How to Get From Lima to Cusco by Bus or Plane

April 23, 2023 12:37 am38 commentsViews: 66

Many tourists arriving in the Peruvian capital will be heading straight from Lima to Cusco (sometimes spelt Cuzco) in order to visit the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Knowing how to get from Lima to Cusco is obviously a good way to kick-start this particular Peruvian adventure.

Domestic Flights from Lima to Cusco

The quickest and easiest way to get from Lima to Cusco is by plane. There are several airline companies that make the journey, with the most reliable being LAN Peru, TACA, Aero Condor and Star Peru. Always check the latest details regarding any particular airline as reputations and standards can be changeable.

Flights leave daily, but booking ahead is always advisable – this can be done online, through travel agents or at the airport itself. The first departures begin very early in the morning, so an early arrival and a full day in Cusco is possible. The flight time from Lima to Cusco is approximately fifty minutes to one hour.

Getting From Lima to Cusco by Bus – Direct

For tourists and backpackers with time on their hands, buses from Lima to Cusco are a more economical option and a good way to see some of Peru. Travel options here fall into two categories – direct buses from Lima to Cusco, or shorter hops from place to place.

Direct buses can take between 18 and 27 hours depending on the schedule and the route. The quickest route is via Nazca and Abancay and on to Cusco. However, this can be quite a rough ride and problems can occur during the rainy season. A longer but smoother route runs further south, looping through Arequipa before heading for Cusco.

For greater comfort, reliability and security consider going with a top-end bus company such as Cruz del Sur or Ormeño. Overnight travel will mean missing out on the scenery but getting some sleep should be easier. Make sure to prepare for the trip by packing a small selection of snacks, clothing, books etc into carry-on hand luggage.

Short Hops from Lima to Cusco by Bus for a Great Peru Travel Experience

The trip can easily be broken up into stages, with many great places to visit on the way. Taking some time (a week or so) to do the Arequipa loop to Cusco is a great way to see some of Peru’s main attractions. Going from Lima to Machu Picchu in this manner is highly recommended if time allows.

From Lima the first stop can be made at Nazca. The town itself is nothing special, but taking a light aircraft flight over the Nazca lines is a great experience. Arrive early in Nazca and this can be done before heading straight on to Arequipa. Arequipa is a beautiful colonial city, well worth a few days. The nearby Colca Canyon is another great Peru travel destination.

From Arequipa, a six hour bus ride can be made to Puno and Lake Titicaca. Puno to Cusco can be done in six or seven hours by bus. Alternatively, hop on the train which runs to Cusco via Juliaca (check details in advance).

Other Options for Peru Travel from Lima to Cusco

There are very few train lines in Peru, and none that run all the way from Lima to Cusco. Car hire is one other option that can be arranged in Lima. Motorcycle travel is another adventurous alternative. Hitchhiking in Peru is often not recommended, but it is a possibility, as is cycling – both require a great deal of stamina, all the correct gear, and a lot of time.

For a highly recommended backpacker hostel in Lima, consider Friend’s House in Miraflores – ideal for newly arrived backpackers.


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