Lima does have a public transportation system, but it is definitely not the best around. Many travelers who come to Lima and use the buses or trains sometimes feel unsafe, both because of other persons riding along, and because of the quality of the buses and trains they are on. However, it is important to keep in mind that while not every accomodation will be as well kept as in the United States, they will still run. The inhabitants of Lima use the public transportation system every day, and they generally do not have a problem with it.

The transport system has improved much in 2011 with the Metropolitano bus system. This is a fleet of big grey buses fueled by natural gas, which have their own lane on the metropolitan highway. Access is by stations that look like metro stations, oftne on bridges, with stairs and lifts, and controlled by electronic chip cards. If you can use a Metropolitano, do it, it is by far the safest transport medium in Lima in North-South direction. City to Miraflores it is also the fastest transport possible. Currently they are also building metro train lines between Lima and Callao and 4 other lines, but still this is future. The first will open around April 2014.

Micros are the most common type of buses in Lima. These are large buses, much like the ones you would find in a city in America. There are smaller buses that are known as combis as well. These look more like small vans, and can't carry as many people. The buses in Lima are the most practical way to get around, especially if you do not know the area well. But be careful, drivers can be rude, may not be well-trained, and cause many accidents and can leave you in the midle of the street instead of at the right side.

Maps of the public transport system are hard to come by, as there are more than 500 different routes. However, a map with 12 recommended routes exist and can be downloaded for free at the website of Rutas Recomendables . The map includes among others a route from/to the airport and to the city center. The bus system works, but it has to be stressed that a little sense of adventure is required. If you prefer to play it safe, it is better to take a taxi.

The taxis aren't exactly expensive, but you may get what you pay for - the rides can sometimes be risky, as the drivers in Peru are not as careful as you may expect them to be. Also, if you do not speak Spanish very well, some of the drivers may try to rip you off. However, the buses do not run all day, and they do not go to every location in the city, so you need to plan ahead to where you want to go and the time of day. In some situations, you might have to take a taxi. - Since 2013, all taxis must be registered and have a taxi license. However, there are still too many unoficial taxis on the street. Be careful so you do not take a bad one and get robbed by the driver. Use a taxi that you can call, like Taxi Satellital (even with an App).

As an alternative, try to book a hotel in Miraflores instead of downtown Lima.  Prices in downtown Lima might be a lot cheaper but it is not as safe for tourists, as the hotels are not well kept and people may see a tourist as an easy mark.  It's better to book a hotel or hostel in Miraflores were tourists are welcome, most of the staff speak in english and they will help you to find your way around the city.