Monday, August 4, 2014

Taxi Green - Lima

It recently came to my attention that I never got around to reviewing Taxi Green, the taxi company that Mrs. Pointsninja and I employed on our trip to Lima last fall.  Our experience with them was excellent, and I thought I'd take the chance to remedy my lapse. 

As Ben recently noted, taxi scams that exploit tourists are one of the dangers of international travel, and Lima is one of those cities that has a bad reputation in this area.  So, it was with some trepidation that I began researching transportation options.  The consensus seemed to be that Taxi Green was the best choice for getting from the airport into Miraflores.  They have a stand inside the airport just before the exit, though you'll likely be approached by one of their drivers before you get to it.  The stand has a list of the set prices to various parts of Lima.  As I recall the fare to Miraflores was 45 soles (about $16).  You could probably do a little better by exiting the airport and negotiating, but it's just not worth it to save a couple of bucks in my opinion.

Regardless, our driver got us to the Hilton with no trouble.  The route is kind of interesting as you descend from the plateau that most of Lima sits on to the highway that runs along the coast.  On one side the Pacific stretches away, and on the other sheer cliffs of stone aggregate hem you in.  Once you get to Miraflores you wind your way back up the cliff. 

Where Taxi Green really shone, though, was on our return when we ended up with an unexpected 12 hour layover in Lima.  We decided to check our bags and venture into the old town to see the Plaza de Armas.  Once again we took Taxi Green for a set price.  On our way into town, our very friendly driver mentioned that the traffic would be heavy due to a visit by the President of Brazil.  Security for the visit also meant that he would have to drop us off just outside the square.

As we approached the square, our driver asked how we planned to get back to the airport.  Well, since this was an unplanned excursion, I hadn't really thought about it.  He offered to meet us in front of the Cathedral a few hours later and drive us back to the airport at the same rate as the trip out.  That suited me just fine.  As we were getting out of the cab he handed us his card and reiterated that he'd meet us at the Cathedral at 18:30. 

It was at this point that something shocking happened.  Mrs. Pointsninja (who has better Spanish than I) asked if he'd like us to go ahead and pay and he said "No, you can pay me later."  I'll admit, I was astonished.  Perhaps it was his way of making us feel obliged to show up for the return trip, but I was floored.  Given the nightmare that is Peru traffic, and particularly considering the security issues surrounding  a presidential visit, I really didn't expect to ever see our driver again.  As he departed with a friendly wave, I said as much to my wife.

Still, after a great afternoon hanging out in Lima's El Centro, we made our way to the steps of the Cathedral, still speculating over whether our driver would actually show up.  Sure enough, he pulled up at 18:30 on the dot.  Despite some truly nightmarish traffic on the way back to the airport, he got us there in time for our flight.  In all, I would not hesitate to recommend Taxi Green if you're planning a trip to Lima.

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