Cycling in Lima is not for the fainthearted. The traffic in the city can be extremely overwhelming and dangerous, even for the most experienced bikers. However, during recent years Lima has become a friendlier city for cycling, and if you have the right equipment and know which routes to take,and this means that riding a bike to commute to work or discover the city is now a possibility.
Main Cycling Routes
Many people ride their bikes on the streets, along with cars, buses and micros, but there are some cycling crossings along the city which are safe and which will help you go from one point of the city to another faster:
- Arequipa Ave. (Lima, Lince, San Isidro, Miraflores)
- Salaverry Ave. (Jesús María, Lince, San Isidro)
- The long malecón on top of the cliffs from Barranco through Miraflores and all the way to San Isidro.
- San Borja Norte Ave. (San Borja)
- Campo de Marte (Jesús María)
- Mariategui Ave. (Jesús María)
- Huaylas Ave. (Chorrillos)
- Ferrero Ave. (La Molina)
- Colonial Ave. (Lima, Callao)
- Universitaria Ave. (San Miguel, Pueblo Libre, Lima, San Martín de Porres, Los Olivos)
Having the right equipment and taking the necessary precautions is key in order to successfully ride your bike around Lima without any major incidents. Here are some tips:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Wear bright colored clothing and light on up after dark.
- Always lock your bike, and do not trust it overnight in an unsupervised location.
- If possible, do not leave your bike alone locked in the street, thieves use heavy duty chain cutters to break any type of lock.
- Legally speaking, you can ride on the sidewalk, but with right of way to pedestrians.
- Avoid cutting through dangerous areas. You might think you are safe, but its not hard to knock someone off a bike now, is it?
- Highways like Panamericana have a side emergency help track, wide enough and relatively safe for cycling if you are an experienced biker. Even so, when bike riding groups take to the Pan American, they still often contract a pacer car as a caboose to secure their back. The Central highway (which heads east from Lima into the mountains) often does not have much of a shoulder, is full or trucks and busses, and the pavement is in bad shape in many places. Avoid this highway at all costs, at least close to Lima. No joke… it is a complete nightmare!
We’d like to hear from the cyclists on this page. What advice would you give to others in terms of locations, equipment, and safety? Share your experience on our forum topic: Cycling in Peru