Lima International Airport or, if you prefer it’s official name Jorge Chávez International Airport is the most important airport in Peru. If you are arriving in Lima airport for a layover only, or to spend some days in the city, I recommend staying in Miraflores, even though there are many hotels around the Lima airport.
Although it is a bit far from the airport, there is no need to worry, to get from Lima airport to Miraflores is really simple and there are many ways to do so, some are more secure than others though.
When traveling to Lima, most people choose to stay closer to the city center, as it is easier to get around the city. Although staying in the main square or around it might sound interesting, the best option actually is staying in Miraflores or in the Barranco area.
Particularly, I recommend staying in Miraflores since it is easier to get around, there are many buses in these areas and many restaurants, also some of the most important tourist points in Lima are located in Miraflores.
If you have at least one day in Lima and are staying in Miraflores, it will be possible to make your way to the city center and visit Plaza Mayor and some tourist points nearby.
How to get to Miraflores from the Lima International Airport
Although the name suggests, Lima international airport is not located in the city of Lima, rather it is 17 km away, in an independent district called Callao, and the trip from the Lima airport to Miraflores and Barranco, takes around 45 minutes, depending on the traffic (to be honest, it can take a lot more sometimes because the traffic in Lima is crazy).
Although it is one of the busiest airports in South America, it is pretty small compared to other airports around the world, Lima Airport, it has only one terminal, but it offers great facilities, it was rewarded as the best airport in South America in 2011.
In the case of layovers in Lima, the airport counts with many souvenir shops where you can buy Pisco, the Peruvian traditional drink, products made of llama wool, among other things. Close to Lima Airport, you will find hotels, if you prefer to spend the night nearby.
Transport to Miraflores from the Lima International Airport
Unfortunately, public transportation is not an option when you are trying to get Lima airport to Miraflores.
There is no subway or train linking the airport to any part of the city, the few local buses, micros and combis are not trustful either, especially for those first-timers, but don’t worry, the other options are very pretty simple, and can be cheap if you choose wisely.
Airport Taxi Lima
This is the most expensive option on the list. In general taxis in Peru are very cheap, as long as they are not an airport taxi!
If you are really thinking about taking the Lima airport taxi though, remember to negotiate the price for the service before you actually take it, taxis in Peru don’t have a taximeter, so the price can be a surprise sometimes, but it is supposed to be something around $60 soles or US$20.
Although you will pay a really expensive price for a Lima airport taxi, don’t bear high expectations, the cars are normally in bad conditions and don’t offer much comfort.
But still, if you want a taxi, avoid the street ones or the service of those men standing outside the exit door of the terminal building, you may think they will be cheaper than the companies inside the terminal building, but it is no truth, besides it is sometimes shady as well.
You may ask why, and the answer is simple, the area around Lima airport tends to have a high crime rate, plus the chances are that this service will be more expensive than the others, as some drivers try to take advantage of the tourists sometimes.
To get from Lima airport to Miraflores you really don’t need to take an airport taxi, however, if your hotel is located in another area besides Miraflores and Barraco, this is one option to consider.
The VIP option for taxis, Green Taxi is also freaking expensive, but at least offers cars in good condition and is an official airport taxi, in other words: it is safer.
Green taxi is one of the airport taxi services you will find inside the Lima airport terminal buildings and the most famous of the licensed taxis.
It is a good alternative if you still want to take a taxi despite the price, or if your hotel is not located in Miraflores or Barranco.
Make sure to check the table for the price of the Green Taxi service, since it depends on the area you want to be dropped off. In general, it is around $50 or $60 soles (US$15 or US$20).
Lima airport Transfer
The price of a Lima airport transfer may vary depending on the number of passengers. But it is way cheaper than the taxi. The price for Ebus Lima Airport Shuttle company, for example, is around US$7 and the vans depart from the airport every 2 hours, starting from 05:00 until 23:00.
There is also Urbanito Shuttle Bus, which drops you off directly in your hotel, but the prices will vary depending on the location of your hotel. They also depart every 2 hours. Many hotels also offer privative transfer service and the price is around US$20.
Airport Express Lima
The best option if you are looking for comfort and good price. Tickets for Airport Express Lima are US$8, with group discounts being available as well, their Airport Express Lima’s facilities include well-equipped buses. Airport Express Lima is the official airport bus, and as so, you can expect the best and most secure service from them.
They have 45 – 50 super comfortable reclined seats and offer free wifi and USB ports to charge your gadgets on your way to the hotel. There is no baggage limit, so don’t worry to be charged more for that, as it happens sometimes in other companies. The Aiport Express Lima bus also has TV, A/C, toilet on board and is monitored by GPS for better security.
Their buses leave the airport every 30 minutes in the morning, from 09:30 to 11:30 and night from 17:30 to 00:00, and every 1 hour from 12:00 to 17:00. Their time table is super reliable so you know exactly when a bus is coming and what time you will arrive at your destination.
They also do the other way around, so you can take their bus from Miraflores to the Lima airport as well. The bus has 7 different stops around Miraflores, and they let you know exactly when you have arrived at your stop, so you miss it nor get lost in your way to your hotel.
The tickets can be bought online or inside the terminal, otherwise, you can also pay in cash at the bus.
The main public bus companies that pass close to the airport are the Holding Express S and Aquarius Express. Both operate from 05:00 to 00:00. The price for their ticket is just $3 soles, and both go to the center of Miraflores neighborhood.
If you are visiting Peru or South America for the first time, I truly not recommend going for the local bus, it can be hard and confusing for foreigners, as probably nobody will speak or understand English.
Besides the buses, you may also find local micros and combis outside the terminal making their way to Miraflores, they are small vans that carry people around in Peru. Their service is just like the local bus maybe with less comfort, I also don’t recommend this option.
Another issue in taking the local bus, micro or combi is the number of pickpockets, again, due to the high crime rate around the Lima airport area, it is always good to pay attention and go for the safest options ever.
Uber in Lima airport
Sadly, taking an Uber in Peru and especially in Lima airport is not an option. There were many reports of inappropriate behavior from some drivers and other incidents, as a result, Uber drivers were banned from the Lima airport area and Uber is not licensed, because of this, it is generally speaking, extremely hard to request Uber in Lima airport.
They hardly get access to the airport as police are constantly checking for their permission.
I don’t need to say that taking an Uber at Lima airport is not recommended at all right? I would actually avoid taking uber anywhere in Peru, it is not a safe option and there are so many good services offering cheap prices for their services that it is not worth taking the risk.
If you wonder though, the price from Lima airport to Miraflores by uber is something around S/60 or S50, accordingly to the app’s estimator.
Disclaimer: We received two Airport Express Lima passes, but as always, all opinions are completely my own.