Something New at Integrity!
We are very proud to announce that we are offering pier-side pick-up from the Port of Callao in Lima, Peru. It was not an easy process to obtain the permissions in order to do so, but as we have begun providing this option to our private shore excursionists this past year, we have seen the immense value it has brought to the level of service we are now able to offer our clients.
Why Choose a Company that offers Pier-Side Pick-Up?
As we mentioned in our previous post, with regard to the informality that exists in Peru, many companies here use vehicles that are not registered for commercial use and subsequently do not offer the correct types of insurance to cover you in the event of an accident. One of the best reasons to choose a company offering pier-side pick-up is that it will leave you rest assured that the vehicle in which you will ride in has met all current safety regulations, has permissions to carry tourists, and is covered by the correct insurance policies.
In addition to the vehicle being properly prepared to carry passengers for touring within Peru, the drivers of the vehicles are also required to take anual classes on security and safety regulations within the Port. In order to enter the port, they must also have additional personal insurance provided to them by their employer in case of accidents occurring within the port itself.
Each ship that arrives to the Port of Callao is assigned to a local agency who takes the time to verify all of these details before they allow permission to enter for each and every vehicle and driver. If anything is out of order, that vehicle, or driver, is not permitted to enter and collect passengers. This forces all companies offering pick up at the pier to comply with a long check-list of requirements, thus assuring you that you are dealing with a reputable travel agency on every level. They even go so far as to ensuring your email address is a corporate one attached to a domain name!
All of these requirements are costly and time consuming for tour companies and so many do not want to invest in the process, preferring to meet with their clients outside of the port where there is no form of regulation.
What are the Disadvantages of Meeting Outside of the Port?
The situation in the area sounding the Front Gate at the Port of Callao is very volatile. Currently, as in the past, cruise ship companies are not even dropping their passengers off here but are busing them 30-40 minutes to a local shopping center. Although this area is much safer, the same "Piranhas", as we call them, are milling about to vie for your attention with hopes that you will take a ride or informal tour with them... and let me tell you, they can be VERY persistent.
Some of the inconveniences of being picked up outside of the port are as follows:
Should I Just Completely Disregard Pick-Up Outside of the Port?
Although we do want to point out all of the advantages of pier-side pick up and encourage those who can go this route to do so, we don't want to make it sound impossible to be picked up outside of the port. Pier-side pick-up is best for small groups as the cost can then be divided by 4-8 persons making it more economical. We would normally only recommend pick-up outside of the port if you are on a private tour of 2-3 persons and need an option that fits your budget. Although we prefer the pick-up inside for the ease, comfort and security that it brings to the tour, we know that this is not possible for everyone and it is also an option that is offered on a first come, first serve basis. We have only a limited number of vans that can enter the port and so those booking later on usually do only have the option of pick-up outside of the port. Either way you choose to go, we will give it our best effort to ensure your pick-up runs smoothly!
What do Past Clients Have to say About this Service?
Only way to see Lima
"Had a private, two couples, tour of Lima. Jorge, our driver was GREAT. OMG was traffic terrible but he got us there. I wouldn’t drive in Lima and people talk about Houston traffic. Had two great tour guides, Gaby and Jorge. We were on a cruise and we saw more than cruise line was offering with less cost. They picked us up at the ship which was the only way to go. We just can’t say enough about the whole experience from customizing the tours with Liza to the tours themselves. You can’t go wrong with them. If we go to Lima again this will be the only company we use."
Katy from Texas - A Trip Advisor Reviewer
Did you know that not all vehicles in Peru are licensed and insured to carry passengers as a taxi or transportation service?
Quite a high percentage of vehicles, even those often times working with the most renowned hotels and tour companies, use what we refer to here as "private cars." Basically this just means a vehicle someone has purchased for personal use, but has never registered it with the right entities in order to use it as an official means to work. When a vehicle is registered properly they are then held to stricter regulations, additional insurance requirements and more frequent inspections to ensure the protection for the passengers within.
Unfortunately this is not only the case in Lima, but in reality, many companies use private passenger cars to send their clients down south along the Pan American Highway in order to save costs. As these vehicles do do meet size and safety regulations they are not permitted to carry tourists, thus transporting you illegally. In addition, these vehicles are not properly insured to cover you in the event of an accident. If you've ever spent time on on the Pan American Highway, you will concur that this is one place that you definitely want to be insured!
When you book with us, you can rest assured that you will not only ride in comfort but in security as well. All of our vehicles are registered and have permission (represented by the orange stripe on the license plate) to carry tourists throughout Peru. Our units are 100% insured and equipped with global positioning systems for your security.
This is the smallest sized vehicle that can take you legally down the Pan American Highway. Passenger cars and SUVs are not able to get the permissions needed to transport passengers and should never be used during a service outside of Lima. If you are quoted for something smaller, you had better ask for their paperwork ahead of time!
When all else fails... simply check the license plate. If it is entirely white, then is is a private car and you should not even consider the option. The following color coded plates are what you should look for:
ORANGE STRIPE - This vehicle has permission to take you anywhere in Peru, hop in!
YELLOW STRIPE - This vehicle has permission to transport you only in Lima, use for your local transfers.
GREEN STRIPE - Similar to the yellow, but found on vans, and is for use in Lima only.