How to Travel from Lima to Cusco?

By shortinca
February 28, 2023

Traveling from Lima to Cusco is a journey, many travelers make for their time in Peru. The two cities are nearly 900 kilometers apart, and there are several ways to get from one city to the other. Knowing which option is best for you can depend on numerous factors. This page will explore all the travel options available from Lima to Cusco, from taking a bus or plane to driving yourself! We will also discuss what to consider when determining the best route for you, such as budget and time constraints. Read on to learn about your options and how to get from Lima to Cusco!

Which is the best option for you to Travel from Lima to Cusco?

The best way to get from Lima to Cusco is by plane. The recommended airline companies are Latam, Sky, and JetSmart. The flight from Lima to Cusco is around 1 hour and 30 minutes, and the average cost is around 60$ to 150$ round trip, depending on the season and how early you book. Last minute booking could be around 170$.

If you are traveling on a budget, you may consider taking a bus from Lima to Cusco. The journey by bus takes around 23 hours, so it is not the quickest option. However, it is much cheaper than flying, allowing you to see some countryside between the two cities. The average cost of a bus goes from 100 to 150 soles (around 40$), and the most exclusive buses can go up to 180 soles (50$).

Traveling By Plane from Lima to Cusco

Traveling by plane
Travel from Cusco to Cusco by Plain.

Almost all international flights will arrive at Jorge Chávez airport in Lima. The safest and fastest way to arrive in Cusco is by plane, but you should keep a few things in mind when booking your flight.

There are direct flights to Cusco, and without a stopover, the approximate time of a direct flight to Cusco is 1.5 hours. The airport of Cusco, Alejandro Velasco Astete, is at 3300 meters.

  • When booking connecting flights from your country to Lima and Cusco, remember that you must go through Lima customs, and you will need around 3 hours between flights.
  • Remember to collect your bags from international baggage claim, go through customs, and check in again for the flight to Cusco.
  • Book your flights from Lima to Cusco in advance. There are often multiple daily flights, but they can fill up quickly during the high season, and prices will increase a lot.
  • Once your flight is booked, ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare. The recommended time to arrive at the airport is 2 hours (domestic flight) before the flight.
  • If you are staying in a hotel in Lima the trip to airport from Miraflores and Barranco takes about an hour during peak hours.
  • The check-in process can be lengthy, and you don’t want to miss your flight because you were stuck in the line; check in advance online.
  • If you have a pick-up scheduled in Cusco, make sure you confirm the arrival time 1 or 2 days in advance and reconfirm when you are boarding to ensure the pick-up at the airport of Cusco.

Once you’re through security and on the plane, sit back and enjoy the ride! The flight from Lima to Cusco is relatively short, so you’ll be landing in one of Peru’s most popular tourist destinations before you know it.

Airline companies

Many airline companies fly from Lima to Cusco, but not all are created equal. Here are some of the best airline companies you can take advantage of when flying from Lima to Cusco:

  • LATAM is one of the biggest airline companies in South America. The company offers direct and connecting flights from Lima to Cusco, so you can choose whichever option suits you best. Regarding prices, LATAM is very competitive and often offers great deals.
  • Sky airlines is the perfect choice for budget-conscious travelers. In addition to being affordable, Sky Airlines is also known for its excellent customer service.
  • Jetsmart is an affordable airline that offers flights from Lima to Cusco. This is one of the newest companies offering cheap flights to all destinations in Peru.

Traveling By Bus from Lima to Cusco

Bus travel is the most popular way to get from Lima to Cusco. It is also the cheapest option, with tickets costing around $40. The journey takes approximately 23 hours, so ensuring you have a comfortable seat and plenty of food and drink is important.

The first step is to book your bus tickets; you can do it in advance or directly at the bus terminal. There are several buses from Lima, and each company has its terminal.

In Cusco, most companies leave from the main bus terminal, and only a few have their private terminal.

Bus to Cusco via Abancay

The shortest routes take around 18 to 19 hours to reach Cusco. This is the most popular route; the buses will depart from several bus terminals in Cusco, travel along the coastal area to Nazca, climb the mountain of the Andes in Ayacucho, Apurimac and finally arrive in Cusco. The route is windy, and it is recommended to take motion sickness pills.

Bus to Cusco via Arequipa

To travel through this route, you must take several buses over several days. You can travel straight from Lima to Arequipa and then take another bus to Cusco; this trip can take about 24 hours with 2 buses to Cusco.

The recommended route is Lima – Nazca – Arequipa – Juliaca – Puno – Cusco. The towns in between are all worth visiting and exploring. Specifically, Nazca (Ica), Arequipa (Colca Canyon) and Puno (Lake Titicaca). You can book each bus as you go, all town have plenty of options for ongoing buses.

Travel from Lima to Cusco by Bus

Trains from Lima to Cusco

There are no trains from Lima to Cusco. However, you can travel from Lima – Arequipa – Puno by bus, and from Puno, you can board the Belmond Andean Explorer to Cusco.

Traveling by private car (Rental Car)

Renting a car is the most expensive way to get from Lima to Cusco, but it is also the most convenient. You can find rental cars at all major airports in Peru and most cities and towns.

The drive from Lima to Cusco is long and windy, so it’s important to ensure you have a good map and directions before setting out. The trip will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Peru, so make sure to stop often to enjoy the views. This is not an option we recommend, not only are the roads windy, you will also find other section with one way driving in extremely dangerous mountains with no barriers. The locals are used to driving in these narrow roads, but it be extremely challenging and dangerous for someone not used to these types of roads.

Depending on your itinerary, you can rent one way or round trip.

Bus Tours

There are a few bus tours from Lima to Cusco; the most popular is Peru Hop, a bus company that offers tours from Lima to Cusco. They offer different tour options, including stops at various tourist destinations. Peru Hop also offers various other services, such as accommodation and activities, that can be added to the tour.

Traveling in organized tours

Organized tours are a great way to travel from Lima to Cusco. They are typically all-inclusive and include transportation, lodging, meals, and excursions. Tours typically last for 4-5 days. You can join an exciting group, or if you have a large group, you can request a private tour.

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