When I applied to study abroad in Lima, I knew that there would be a great chance that I’d have to determine my own transportation from the airport to my homestay when I arrived. Upon contacting my host mom a couple of weeks prior to my departure, it was confirmed that I would indeed need to arrange a way to get to her house.
My flight landed late that night, at 11:30 p.m. After going through customs and all necessary security checks, I was forced to find a taxi, which I would take alone in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar city to a location I would not recognize. Knowing that many taxi companies can be unsafe made the task even more daunting, and deciding which one to use only made me more nervous throughout the entire process.
Needless to say, I was on edge the entire ride to my homestay.
But, I made it. And now, a month into the program, navigating the transportation system has become second nature. Whereas my first couple weeks I would call a taxi company to ensure secure arrivals and departures to and from my destinations, at this point I feel confident in taking a taxi on the street, so long as it’s registered and the driver knows exactly where I need to go. The prices of street taxis are cheaper as well, another plus in my increased confidence in the system.
And though taxis are definitely a main source of transportation around Lima, I’ve also learned to utilize the buses. While it may take longer and proves to be a jerkier ride through the city, the prices can’t be beat. At first, determining which bus takes me where confused me to no end. I couldn’t understand what buses went on which routes or how to know where to get off. It took about a week of successes and failure to finally get the hang of it, and now the process is more of a habit than anything.
Overall, I’ve come to learn that getting around Lima is never simple, but it definitely is manageable.