Crowded with people, constantly new passegers gettin on and off, loud music playing, the bus stops every 100m. A guy leans out of the door shouting the names of the most important street it passes through. “¡Todo Arequipa! ¡Todo Brasil! ¡Sube sube! ¡Baja baja! ¡Rapido rapido!” Is it the right bus? You have a second to decide. If you are too slow the bus will leave while your feet are still dangling in the air.
Catching a bus in Lima is an adventure. The Metropolitano, which is the most similar to our buses, covers only a small area of the city, mostly going along the highways. The rest is served by colectivos. Those microbuses will take you almost everywhere, but drive like crazy and look like they are going to fall apart any moment. For a gringo, understanding the system of micros is quite an affort. The bus stops do not exist. The buses have numbers, but the information about the route is nowhere to be found. Solution? If you see people waiting on the street it is probably where the bus stops. Stay with them and ask! That has so far worked well with me!