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"Safe" cabs in Lima?

"Safe" cabs in Lima?

Old Feb 25, 2014, 10:06 am
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"Safe" cabs in Lima?

We're heading to Lima with our children and have heard various stories regarding which cabs to use to get to and from the airport. Is there a general recommendation?

Also, from those who have been there recently, is it generally considered safe to hail a cab on the street? If so, is there anything in particular we should be looking for (i.e., a brand of cabs)?
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Old Feb 25, 2014, 10:20 am
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Taxi Verde has a stand and flat rates to several destinations. We then chatted up the driver and got his personal card for our return to LIM airport.
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Old Feb 25, 2014, 12:55 pm
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The simple answer is to just take Taxi Green (Taxi Verde) from the airport. So as not to repeat any info, here's an existing thread you might wish to read: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/peru/...ty-issues.html

To the airport, have your hotel call a radio taxi.

It's not completely safe to hail a taxi on the street, because anyone can hang a shingle on their car and call it a taxi. Best to have your hotel or restaurant call you a taxi.
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Old Feb 25, 2014, 3:46 pm
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We felt fairly comfortable hailing on the street. Walking out in front of the Sheraton hotel to the street for a regular taxi we had no less than 15 cars drive up to us. Stick with the ones with their taxi numbers painted on the side. And I would avoid any two door taxis...yes we saw at least one !
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Old Feb 25, 2014, 4:07 pm
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Taking an unauthorized taxi from the airport is riskier than taking one elsewhere (although I still recommend taking authorized taxis whenever possible to avoid problems).

As has already been suggested, I would also recommmend taking Taxi Green from the airport.
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 7:45 am
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Actually, don't take any taxis outside from the airport. There's a story of an American couple who went against advice and were subsequently kidnapped and robbed for a good 5 days. Don't let this happen to you.
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 10:16 am
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We all know we are most vulnerable when travelling, airports, bus stations, because we have all our valuables with us then. Funny, thieves know this too. Anywhere in the world. Taking a taxi is just as risky as taking a mototaxi, taking a bus, or even walking. IMHO the risks of taking a taxi to or from LIM are being overstated here.

Regardless, there is nothing stopping a Green Taxi driver from arranging to be robbed. Green Taxi drivers can deny finding your lost cell phone in their cab, just as easily as any other cab. Green taxis are no more immune from having a window smashed than any other taxi... well, maybe more risky because thieves may well know a Green Taxi likely has a pax carrying all his valuables. My rule is never take a taxi when it has been waiting at the airport or bus station for a fare – too much time to plan, especially while knowing his next fare may well be carrying all his valuables.
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 10:17 am
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Here's my advice to those hoping to save a few soles by taking street taxis in Lima:

1) If you don't speak decent Spanish, don't do it.
2) Don't hail them from the airport. Callao is a nasty part of town. As other posters have suggested, if your budget is limited try Green Taxi.
3) Hail them only in the better parts of town---San Isidro, Miraflores, San Borja, Surco, for instance.
4) Negotiate the price before you get in, and if you don't have exact change for the fare, confirm with the driver that he/she has change.
5) Know the best routes to your destination, and if the driver starts to stray from them, start asking questions. It also helps if you have a good sense of direction in the city---something which, given the size of Lima, its complex road network and frequent cloudy conditions, is not something easily acquired by visitors.

I have followed these rules for many years when living in Lima and visiting, and I have never had trouble.
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 10:20 am
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Cool

Originally Posted by bingocallerb22
We all know we are most vulnerable when travelling, airports, bus stations, because we have all our valuables with us then. Funny, thieves know this too. Anywhere in the world. Taking a taxi is just as risky as taking a mototaxi, taking a bus, or even walking. IMHO the risks of taking a taxi to or from LIM are being overstated here.

Regardless, there is nothing stopping a Green Taxi driver from arranging to be robbed. Green Taxi drivers can deny finding your lost cell phone in their cab, just as easily as any other cab. Green taxis are no more immune from having a window smashed than any other taxi... well, maybe more risky because thieves may well know a Green Taxi likely has a pax carrying all his valuables. My rule is never take a taxi when it has been waiting at the airport or bus station for a fare – too much time to plan, especially while knowing his next fare may well be carrying all his valuables.

OK.....

So as someone who travels to Lima a lot, what DO you recommend? Sorry, but the above is not very helpful.
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 1:44 pm
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Thank you, everyone, for your comments. Much appreciated!
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 5:54 pm
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My wife and I were just in Lima and used unmarked street taxis without issue. My wife is a blonde, model-type that draws a lot of attention, but yet, no problems. I feel the issue is over-stated. Lima is extremely safe compared to, say Rio.
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 5:55 pm
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More simply, I'll add to Siempre Viajando's 5 good suggestions:
  1. use a taxi who just dropped off a pax, avoid standing taxis
  2. ignore drivers who aggressively honk at you
  3. use older drivers
  4. assess the driver while negotiating (takes some practice)
  5. walk away from any ridiculously low fare (takes some knowledge)
  6. taxi with a cage to protect driver is a positive
  7. use the trunk
  8. lock the doors
  9. leave windows down a bit to make smashing more difficult
  10. sit behind the driver
  11. call (or fake a call) telling your friend the taxi number
  12. listen in to his cell calls, or better, tell him it is prohibited from using a cell phone while driving
I am not disagreeing with the recommendation a first timer should just simply take a Taxi Green, you should. In fact, do not take just any Green Taxi driver pestering you – go to the Taxi Green counter and get logged in and driver recorded, tariff paid.

I am disagreeing with the general tone of the dangers of taxis to and from LIM in this thread, it is not as bad as some suggest. I have taken taxis to and from the airport over 100 times (or more) this past year and not yet kidnapped or robbed... except if I had used Taxi Green who charge me twice the rate I normally pay. I use taxis almost daily in Lima, and, like Siempre Viajando, never had a problem. Except once I broke one of his suggestions (didn't negatiate fare ahead) and had a quite heated discussion with the driver after - but I know how to argue in Peruvian.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by bingocallerb22
I have taken taxis to and from the airport over 100 times (or more) this past year and not yet kidnapped or robbed
So you're optimistic that it will happen to you soon?

Originally Posted by bingocallerb22
...except if I had used Taxi Green who charge me twice the rate I normally pay. I use taxis almost daily in Lima, and, like Siempre Viajando, never had a problem. Except once I broke one of his suggestions (didn't negatiate fare ahead) and had a quite heated discussion with the driver after - but I know how to argue in Peruvian.
I think this is the crux of the argument: people who are fluent (or at least comfortable) in Spanish will have fewer problems, not only because it makes negotiating a lower price much easier, but also because it's less likely to make them a mark as a clueless tourist. For those of us gringos who aren't comfortable navigating in Spanish, we're simply trying to balance cost and safety.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by linglingfool
I think this is the crux of the argument: people who are fluent (or at least comfortable) in Spanish will have fewer problems, not only because it makes negotiating a lower price much easier, but also because it's less likely to make them a mark as a clueless tourist. For those of us gringos who aren't comfortable navigating in Spanish, we're simply trying to balance cost and safety.
Nothing wrong with that! I can only imagine how badly I would be fleeced in Russia if I wasn't traveling with my Russian wife. It would be ugggggly!
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Old Feb 28, 2014, 9:39 am
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Agree with bingo and I'll add 2 things

You can download an app called easy taxi and order a taxi through there so everything is registered. The app will show you a pic of the driver and his plate number. I don't personally use it but a friend does and the taxis always arrive within a couple minutes and normally won't cost more than 2-3 soles extra.

If I get a taxi off the street for a visiting friend/family member going to the airport, I let the driver see me taking a pic of the plate with my phone. I do it sometimes too late at night if a girl is getting into a taxi solo.

Occasionally there is a problem with lima taxis, but its not that common and the danger is exaggerated.

Last edited by SammySpade; Feb 28, 2014 at 9:41 am Reason: typo
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