Arriving to Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport can be an overwhelming experience, especially for non-Spanish speakers and first-time travellers to Latin America. It’s one of South America’s busiest airports, and as soon as you leave the arrivals zone you are likely to be bombarded by numerous taxi drivers offering their services.
The majority of taxis in the capital are non-registered, and taking one of these unofficial vehicles is always a risk, for tourists and for locals. The area around the airport is one of the most notorious neighbourhoods of Lima and for someone not knowing the area or where they are going, it can be extremely dangerous.
Lima Airport has long needed a safe, reliable and economical way of travelling to and from the airport. This April, a brand new airport bus service was launched by the name of ‘Airport Express Lima’. This official bus service runs between the airport and Miraflores (Lima’s most popular tourist district, and one of the safest places to stay).
The bus route
Airport Express Lima operates between the airport and Miraflores, with 7 official stops in this district. It’s just a 5-minute walk or less between any stop and 150 hotels and hostels in Miraflores. The buses have a regular service, departing every 30 minutes from the airport. If travellers arrive before the official bus departure they can wait on board and make the most of the free Wi-Fi.
The application on their website can calculate how far your hotel is from their official stops, so you know where to catch the bus to the airport. If you’re leaving from the airport to Miraflores, they will explain everything at the airport counters.
Purchasing a ticket is easy. You can buy a ticket via www.airportexpresslima.com with credit card or purchase your ticket directly from the Airport Express Lima ticket counters, located inside the airport. At their counters you can pay with credit card or in cash (dollars, soles and euros are accepted). The price for a one-way ticket is 8 USD (approx. 24 Soles), and a round-trip costs $15 USD. Tickets bought online do not need to be printed and can be shown via tablet or phone.
Lima’s traffic is absolutely chaotic. During peak hours of transit (between 7am and 9am, and from 5pm to 9pm) the journey time between Miraflores and the airport can take well over an hour. Weather conditions also affect traffic, although in Lima rain isn’t that common at all. Outside of peak hours, you can do this trip in 45 minutes.
If you’re travelling to the airport, it’s always wise to leave ahead of schedule due to potential heavy traffic. Bear in mind the recommended check-in time for your flight: for international departures, it is required to be at the airport 3 hours before departure time, and for domestic departures, it is 2 hours before departure time.
The Airport Express Lima buses
The Airport Express Lima buses are new and were chosen with passenger comfort and safety as a their number 1 priority. They are quite large, with 40 spacious, reclining seats. They are clean, modern, and comfy, with free on-board Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, TVs, a toilet, and ample storage space.
Luggage: The buses have no luggage limit. The same amount of luggage that you can take on the plane will always be allowed. The buses have a large and safe luggage space.
Pets: Pets are permitted on the bus if they are kept in an appropriately-sized box or cage. The animals must travel in the baggage storage area of the bus. All assistance animals with the appropriate paper certification are allowed on the bus and must sit on the floor.
Contact: See the website airportexpresslima.com for further information regarding bus stops and timetables, as well as to purchase a ticket.
Passenger benefits: Apart from the bus facilities already mentioned above, Airport Express Lima has an on-board English-speaking assistant to help with arrivals, perfect for new visitors to the country. You can learn useful tips about things to do in Lima, as well as how to keep yourself safe around Peru. They also offer some discounts and special deals with their partners.