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busy street in Cusco with people everywhere

Uber Promo Code. What to expect when using Uber in South America.

If you are into traveling and/or if you are from this planet you probably have already heard about Uber. Uber is a global ridesharing company that offers its services in many cities of the world. However, not in all cities and countries. So you might have heard about it but never actually used it. If you have not used it yet you can find an Uber promo code in this article that will give you free rides on Uber or at least a discount on your first (long) ride where ever in the world you use it. All you need is the app on your smartphone and an account.

HOW TO SIGN UP AND APPLY THE UBER PROMO CODE

Here is a manual on how to get Uber and use the Uber promo code for free rides on Uber. 

  • Download the app on your phone. Click here to be forwarded to Uber. Scroll down to get to the links to both the Apple App Store and Google Play. Or find it directly in the app store of your choice.
  • After signing up and logging in, go to the Payment section and enter the Uber promo code 2hjlk under “Add Promo/Gift Code”. It’s easier to just use this link: Click here to have the Uber promotional code applied.
  • Voila! Your Uber discount code will be automatically applied when you take your first ride. Afterwards you can use your credit card or debit card to pay for rides.
  • You also automatically get your very own personalized promo code from Uber that you can share with friends and others to receive yourself a discount. Get people to sign up using your Uber promotional code and help them and yourself the save money in the process.

WHAT TO EXPECT AND WHERE TO USE UBER

We wrote a big article on yet another ride sharing company that operates in Southeast Asia called GRAB. So, if you plan to travel to Thailand or Indonesia get more information and our Grab promo code. Grab actually managed to push out Uber in Southeast Asia. Instead Uber now holds a stake in Grab rather than operating with its own system.

BENEFITS OF USING UBER

But back to Uber. Uber is a great alternative to taxis and/or public transport. It’s safer, usually cheaper than taxis in most countries, and more comfortable. That makes Uber a perfect mobility solution especially in countries in which safety might be an issue or where public transport is non existent or straight up bad.

For us Uber was super helpful in South America not only in regards of staying safety (all drivers get a background check) but also in helping us to connect with locals and even making friends. Lastly, our Spanish skills improved considerably thanks to Uber

Read more on safety in South America: Is South America safe? Here are all our South America safety tips for you.

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT UBER

It has to be noted that not in all South American countries Uber drivers operate legally. We did use it in few places and countries like that and had no problems. Yet it is something to be aware off and might explain weird behavior of drivers especially around places like airports, bus stops and train stations. Simply because it’s here that taxi drivers and (transit) police officers are likely to harm Uber drivers. There are 2 things you can do to help out your Uber driver:

  • Sit in front. This will help to make look the car like a regular car
  • Be ready to pretend to be the driver’s friend from overseas

UBER REVIEWS SOUTH AMERICA

ARGENTINA

In Argentina we used Uber only in Buenos Aires. It worked very well and we had no issues. However, during our visit Uber was not legally operating in Buenos Aires. That means that drivers face a lot of troubles if caught either by taxi drivers or police. Fines and violence are every day problems for the Uber drivers. Airports are no go areas for them. Hence, we had to take a regular taxi from the international airport and paid a lot for the ride. Leaving for Iguazu from Jorge Newbery we were dropped a bit away from the terminal to avoid trouble for the driver.

Many drivers we met had no choice but to drive for Uber. Many are refugees from Venezuela. You usually recognize Venezuelans in other South American countries because they are seemingly the only ones who speak and understand English. You’ll increase your chances of getting a driver by switching the payment to cash. The reason for that is that Uber is denied access to Argentine bank accounts. Thus, Uber is unable to pay drivers their share from credit card payments they collect.

BOLIVIA

Uber is definitely hit and miss in Bolivia’s capital La Paz. But regular taxis are even worse. As a matter of fact most taxi drivers didn’t even stop for us when we tried to stop them. Once they realised we were foreigners they turned pale and disappeared quickly. Others will give up as protests and demonstrations paralyze the city center regularly (in late 2019 often very violent).

This one time we seemingly got lucky when we tried to get to La Paz’ central bus stop to catch a bus to Copacabana at Lake Tititcaca. A taxi driver stopped for us and started the ride only to get stuck over and over again at random streets. We had no clue what was the matter with him and he kicked us out. We exploded and called him all kind of funny Spanish names as we had to walk to the bus stop. The elevation and our backpacks made it a blissful stroll. On our way we found out why he kicked us out: the were no cars and only people on the streets to the bus station. On our way back we turned to Uber and had no issues aside from waiting for a bit.

VIew on Copacabana, Bolivia from above
Copacabana, Bolivia

We also used it to get to the Airport. It worked out. Until today we’re in touch with our driver (who speaks fluent German and solid English) who took us to the airport on time. Whereas the first Uber driver decided to not take us after making us wait for almost 30min.

BRAZIL

Brazil is the second biggest market for Uber. That tells you already that Uber is a thing in Brazil. Also, Uber saved us big time in Foz de Iguacu (Iguazu Falls).

We crossed the border from the Argentine side of the falls but our bus driver never let us get a stamp in our passport once we entered Brazil. It was dark and once we realised and confronted him he didn’t give a f*ck. Guess who took us from the bus stop to the hotel and then back to the border in the middle of the night to get our passports stamped? That’s right our Uber driver. He was also the only Uber driver in Brazil that was willing or able to communicate with us in Spanish. Lucky us. We also used Uber in Rio de Janeiro and could always rely on the drivers there.

a view on Rio de Janeiro use uber promo code
Sunset in Rio

CHILE

Uber in Chile is similar to Uber in Argentine or Colombia. It works but it’s technically not legal. Nevertheless, we used Uber in Valparaiso and Santiago. No problems unlike this one time we almost got robbed in a bus in Chile. However, similar to Colombia and Argentina make sure to sit in front and pretend to be the driver’s buddy. During our visit Uber was not available in San Pedro de Atacama but since you can walk almost everywhere it does not make to much sense anyways.

COLOMBIA

Another country were Uber is technically illegal is Colombia. Nevertheless, we used it extensively in Colombia’s capital Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena. In remote areas such as Salento there was no service available. The same holds true if you plan to explore the beaches in Colombia or magnificient San Andres. You’ll have to rely on other means of transport such as taxis and busses.

city center in Bogota where you can use Uber promo code
City Center Bogota

ECUADOR

In Ecuador you can use Uber in the mayor cities Quito and Guayaquil. We used it quite often in Quito and had very good experiences. We could practice our Spanish and are still in contact with one of the drivers.

PERU

Peru is an interesting case. We had mostly positive experiences. However, we heard or read bad things about using Uber especially in Lima. We used Uber in Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. During our time (1st half 2018) in Peru there was no Uber available in any of the other Peruvian cities (for instance in the hiking centre Huaraz). We didn’t spend much time in Lima so we only used it a few times. In Arequipa we couldn’t get a driver at the airport and took a taxi instead which was fine as well.

busy street in Cusco where you can use Uber
Busy Cusco

In Cusco we dared to take an Uber to the Salineras de Maras. That’s a 40 km ride one way. We asked our driver if he could wait for us at the parking lot and then pay him the same price for the return trip. He agreed. Now the interesting part. We still had a bit to go but lost network connection and so did our driver.

a view on pink salt mines in Salineras
Pink salt mines in Salineras de Maras

Looking for another adventure nearby Cusco: Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain Peru: All you need to know before your hike.

That meant he couldn’t finalize the trip and Uber kept the “meter” running until our driver had network again. That was a couple of hours and of course we ended up paying much more than at first communicated in the Uber app. Luckily, I memorized the price range that was shown when we booked the ride. Uber believed us and immediatley reimbursed us. It was a bit tricky but proved us how fair Uber operates and how flexible the drivers tend to be.

URUQUAY

In Uruquay we used Uber in Montevideo. It was very handy getting from the bus stop to the city center and back once we left. Other than that we used buses which were quite alright and cheaper for sure.

What are your thoughts on using Uber around the world? Did you struggle to use Uber or did you find it easy?

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