Traveling from Lima to Cusco City is a journey many travelers make to visit the most amazing places in Peru. The two cities are nearly 900 kilometers apart, and several ways exist to get from one city to another. 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!
How to Travel from Lima to Cusco?
Lima and Cusco are the 2 of the most important cities in Peru. Both cities have a lot of history and culture.
- Lima is the capital city of Peru. It is the center of the country's economy, politics, and culture. This city is located on the Pacific Coast of South America and has a high population density. Founded by Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conqueror, in 1535. It became the center of government for Peru during the time of Spanish colonial rule.
- Cusco is a city located high in the Andes mountains. It used to be the capital of the Inca Empire and is now an important place for archaeology in South America. The great capital of the Inca Empire in the past.
To travel between these 2 cities, you can book a domestic flight from Lima to Cusco or by bus via Abancay or Via Arequipa.
Which is the best option for you?
Flight from Lima to Cusco
The best way to get from Lima to Cusco is by plane. Latam, Sky, Viva Air, and JetSmart are recommended airline companies. The flight from Lima to Cusco is around 1 hour and 30 minutes, and the average cost is around 80$ to 90$ round trip, depending on the season and how early you book. Lastminute booking could be around 120$.
Bus from Lima to Cusco
If you are traveling on a budget, consider taking a bus from Lima to Cusco. The journey by bus takes around 24 hours, so it is not the quickest option. However, it is much cheaper than flying, allowing you to see some countryside between the two cities. The average cost of a bus goes from 60 to 80 soles (around 20$), and the most exclusive buses can be around 180 soles (50$).
Traveling from Lima to Cusco By Plane
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 remember a few things when booking your flights to Cusco.
There are direct flights to Cusco, and with a stopover, the approximate time of a direct flight to Cusco is 1.5 hours. The airport of Cusco, Alejandro Velasco Astete, is 3300 meters (10826 ft) above sea level.
- 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, 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.
- 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 before the flight.
- If you are staying in a hotel in Lima and must arrive at the airport, it takes around 1.5 hours to arrive from Miraflores and Barranco to the airport during busy 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, 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.
Sit back and enjoy the ride once you're through security and on the plane! The flight from Lima to Cusco is relatively short, so you'll land in one of Peru's most popular tourist destinations before you know it.
Best 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, and it lives up to its reputation. 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. To get them, click here!
Sky is the perfect choice for budget-conscious travelers. In addition to being affordable, Sky Airlines is also known for its excellent customer service. Follow their website here!
Jetsmart is an affordable airline that offers flights from Lima to Cusco. This is one of the newest companies offering affordable flights to all destinations in Peru. To get these affordable flights, click here!
Traveling from Lima to Cusco By Bus
Bus travel is the most popular way for locals to get from Lima to Cusco. It is also the cheapest option, with tickets costing around $30. The journey takes approximately 24 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 have a 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 and consider 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 will be Lima - Nazca - Arequipa - Juliaca - Puno - Cusco. You can stop at each place a visit the beautiful cities. The approximate duration of the trip, including stops at each city, will be around 3 to 4 days until Cusco; we recommend booking the buses at each town.
Lima - Huancayo - Cusco
This is the longest and most remote route from Lima to Cusco. It is impossible to travel in one bus; you can travel from city to city in separate buses. However, you can consider this scenic route by private car.
To take this route, you must travel from Lima to Huancayo, Ayacucho, Andahuaylas and finally arrive in Cusco in about 28 hours.
General travel info on how to get from Lima to Cusco
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 cars (Rental Cars)
Renting a car is the most expensive way to get from Lima to Cusco but also the most convenient. You can find rental cars at all of the 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.
Depending on your itinerary, you can rent one way or round trip.
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. The company offers 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.
Frequently Asked Questions on How to Travel from Lima to Cusco
What's the quickest way to travel from Lima to Cusco?
Flying between Lima and Cusco is the quickest option, with several airlines operating flights between Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport and Cusco's Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport; flight duration typically takes 1.5 hours.
Can I drive from Lima to Cusco?
Driving from Lima to Cusco is possible but rarely undertaken due to its long distance and challenging Andean mountain roads. Under ideal conditions, this journey could take around 20 hours, with overnight stops.
How long does the bus journey from Lima to Cusco take?
The trip by bus from Lima to Cusco usually lasts 21 to 24 hours. The duration may vary depending on the bus company and the state of the road. Cruz del Sur and Ormeño are two companies that run this route.
How often do flights from Lima to Cusco operate?
lights from Lima to Cusco are available every day, but the number of flights may vary depending on the airline and time of year. To get the latest information, it's best to contact them directly or a trustworthy travel booking website.
What's the cost of a flight from Lima to Cusco?
The cost can vary significantly depending on the airline, how far in advance you book, and the time of year. It's best to compare prices with a few airlines or travel booking sites. The average cost is around 80$ to 90$ round trip.
Do I need to worry about altitude sickness when traveling to Cusco?
At an altitude of 3,400 meters (11,150 feet), altitude sickness may set in. Headaches, weariness, stomach issues, dizziness and sleep disturbances may occur; for your first days in Cusco take it easy and take regular pauses, speaking to a physician about any issues and taking care to stay hydrated to maximize acclimatization and remain safe.
Can I take a train from Lima to Cusco?
There is no direct train service from Lima to Cusco. If you want to take the train to Machu Picchu, you will need to start your journey from Cusco or Sacred Valley. You cannot take the train from Lima to Machu Picchu without connecting back to Cusco or Sacred Valley.