Flagging down a taxi in Huaraz; what to expect

C atching a taxi in Huaraz is quite an easy process and it shouldn’t take much longer than a couple of minutes before you get spotted. In Huaraz there are two types of taxis, the formal ones to be recognised by their big blue checkered labels on the side of the car (frequently station wagons) and the informal ones, which logically have no stickers on their cars. Sadly, the formal taxis are frequently dirty and dusty on the inside and give the impression that the drivers hardly clean their cars. Although in Lima Peruvian taxi drivers tend to be chatty and friendly, in Huaraz the drivers tend not to talk much. They rather listen to a terrible huayno or cumbia song, although if you´re lucky they will just listen to the local news.

Expect to pay three soles for a ride within the city. Although the fare commonly known amongst locals, drivers in Peru almost constantly try to overcharge, especially with foreign tourists. Peruvian taxis don’t run on meters, so it´s a smart idea to agree on the fare in advance. If you´re taking a taxi outside one of the many bus terminals in Huaraz, expect to pay up to five soles. Understand that these drivers have been waiting up to an hour before the bus got there, and you´re the one who has to pay for that. Ask beforehand how much he will charge you to take you to a hostel of preference. Be prepared, however, as some taxi drivers to try to change your mind as they’re often paid a commission for taking passengers to specific hostels and hotels. They will make up whatever story to change your mind, so just politely insist that you would like to check it out for yourself or say you have a reservation. Instead, if you have a booking or reservation, you might as well ask your hostel or hotel owner to arrange a pick up for you.

In the past, The Huaraz Telegraph reported on touts lurking at the bus stations in Huaraz. As Huaraz has no general bus station but all companies run their own terminal, expect to get approached by captadores or jacales who have probably paid some soles to be able to approach you. Sadly, for most you´re nothing more than a walking ATM machine. Attempts to eliminate the touts from the bus stations in Huaraz have all sadly failed so be prepared.

Most taxis don´t have any pocket money, so make sure you have exactly three soles instead of paying them with a bank note of 20 or 50 soles, in order to avoid getting charged more for example. Last time we checked, the Uber app taxis were not (yet) available in Huaraz, but there´s more taxis than cows in Huaraz so this shouldn’t be a problem. Tipping is not required and highly unusual. Through the years we have been informed about dodgy taxis but these cases are really scarce. If you don´t like the drivers attitude before the ride, just walk away and wait for another taxi to appear.

Author: Benny Andersson

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