Travel to Lima
Flying to Lima
British Airways has direct flights to Lima, but there are several options with one change, including flying with Air France via Paris, KLM via Amsterdam or Iberia via Madrid. Airlines offering direct flights from the USA include LAN and United.
The pricier seasons include June to August, because of European and North American school holidays, and Lima’s hottest months, December to March. You may find a cheaper deal outside these times.
From London - 15 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); New York - 8 hours; Los Angeles - 8 hours 30 minutes; Toronto - 10 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Sydney - 20 hours (including stopover).
Travel by road
Road travel in Peru can be hazardous, due to reckless driving and the poor condition of the roads, many of which are dirt tracks. The main road artery of Peru, the Pan-American Highway, runs the length of Peru's coastline and is generally in good condition, as are the main routes up towards the Andes (but not within). Several roads are tolled.
Traffic drives on the right and the minimum age for driving is 18 years. Speed limits are 100kph (62mph) on motorways, 80kph (50mph) on other major roads and 30-60kph (19-37mph) in built-up areas. Few Peruvians seem to stick to these limits. Foreign driving permits are valid for 30 days from the date of arrival. An International Driving Permit is required for longer stays.
The Touring y Automóvil Club del Perú - TACP (tel: 615 9315, in Peru only; www.touringperu.com.pe) can provide more information as well as driving permits.
Emergency breakdown services
Touring y Automóvil Club del Perú (tel: 611 9999, in Peru only).
The main roads in Peru are the north-south Pan-American Highway and the Marginal Jungle Highway, which runs from the northern jungle almost to the Bolivian border. From the coast, heading inland is the Central Highway, which starts in Lima and runs up to the central highlands and down to the Chanchamayo jungle valley. The Interoceanic Highway connects Peru with Brazil.
Cruz del Sur (tel: +51 1 311 5050; www.cruzdelsur.com.pe) is a recommended bus company with regular services to Cusco, Puno, Arequipa and other major destinations.
Many intercity buses leave from one of the main bus terminals between the Hotel Sheraton and Parque Universitario in Lima's centre, or in the district of La Victoria along Avenida 28 de Julio and Prolongacion Huanuco.
Time to city
From Cusco - 16 hours; Puno - 19 hours; Arequipa - 14 hours; Nazca - 6 hours.
Travel by Rail
The train from Huancayo to Lima (tel: +51 1 226 6363; www.ferrocarrilcentral.com.pe) arrives at the capital's Los Desamparados railway station. It is a 591km (367-mile) odyssey, passing 27 stations, crossing 58 bridges and passing through 69 tunnels (journey time - 12 hours).
There are two services a month between April and November, but it doesn’t run from December to March because of the threat from landslides. Trains usually depart from Lima on Friday morning and leave from Huancayo on Sunday evening.
Travel by boat
Lima's main port of Callao, 15km (9 miles) northwest of the city, is occasionally used by cruise ships. Callao is the country’s largest port, and was founded back in the 1500s. The Peru port authority, Empresa Nacional de Puertos del Perú - ENAPU (tel: +51 1 651 7828; www.enapu.com.pe), manages the port.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises operates cruises between Lima to Buenos Aires.
Cruises tend to put on a shuttle service for their passengers from Callao’s port into central Lima. Some do this free and some charge – check with your cruise liner. Otherwise, central Lima is a short taxi ride away. Taxis tend to cluster in good number at the port; make sure yours is an official taxi, and confirm the price before getting in.