Book the best bus tickets from Cusco to Arequipa


on: 2021-06-23

by: Joaquin Russo, Staff

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    10 hours 30 minutes

  • Rating

  • Experience

    Colonial Architecture, monastery, hot springs, trails

  • Best Price best price icon

    USD $ 13

  • Maximum comfort or class


  • Departures

    4 Departures Daily

  • Recommended by

    1921 travelers

best price iconPrice may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.

All about the bus from Cusco to Arequipa

The white city of Arequipa, Peru

Arequipa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a broad range of experiences. If you’re traveling from Cusco, we strongly recommend going by bus to get a view of the spectacular Peruvian highlands, and volcanoes surrounding the city.

Founded originally by the Inca Empire, Arequipa is also a stellar example of Spanish colonial architecture built of shimmering sillar stone (thus earning it the nickname, La Ciudad Blanca, tr.: the White City). It was one of the main cities of the viceroyalty of Peru.

Do you want to go to one of the jewels of history in South America? There’s a lot to see in this city located in the middle of three huge volcanoes. AndesTransit has a well-traveled team to help you discover the best of Arequipa!

What are the buses in Peru like?

Buses in Peru are a big deal. Some of them at the lower end still work, but no one knows how. It’s like going on a roller coaster, literally. Sometimes you can even see people riding on the roof.

On the other hand, you can find comfortable, safe, and reliable services provided by brand new buses, complete with 140º or 180º reclining seats, climate control, pillows and blankets, GPS and Wi-Fi, meals, and drinks. This is especially appreciated if you’re going to Arequipa.

How long is the bus ride from Cusco to Arequipa?

The journey from Cusco to Arequipa is a 10 hours ride of around 500 kilometers (310 miles). The road starts at the Choquequirao region, passing by Checaupe and Pomacanchi lakes, ending in the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve. It is a downhill road as you have to descend 1000 meters (3280 ft).

Both natural and manmade factors can affect your trip. It is a high mountain road, so it's not impossible to find snow. And it also has a lot of traffic, since Cusco is one of Latin America’s most touristed ancient native American cities, and Arequipa is one of the most populous cities in the country, second only to Lima. You can check all your bus options here at AndesTransit. We suggest only companies with good reputations to ensure you have a pleasant trip.

Check out our guide for Tips for Safe and Comfortable Bus Journeys.

What is the cost of traveling by bus from Cusco to Arequipa?

Fares will range between $12 and $15 (46-57 PEN), and that can stem from many factors. Mainly the price is determined by: the class of bus; when you go (usually more expensive on weekends and cheaper on weekdays); when you book (remember to book in advance, especially when traveling on holidays); and the bus company you choose.

Cheaper buses will be very basic, as you will notice that seats only slightly recline and there is no onboard bathroom. If traveling on a low budget, remember to take snacks with you on the trip.

You can get a first-class bus if you want to. Comfortable reclining 180º seats, personal TV, Wi-Fi, climate control, blankets, pillows, and onboard attention. Of course, that costs a bit more, but you are going to be on that bus for 10 hours. Keep that in mind when making your reservation!

What are the bus schedules from Cusco to Arequipa?

Buses departing from Cusco to Arequipa make the trip mostly at night.

Spending the night on the bus may be a good option to save the cost of a hotel room and arriving early in the morning.

Search for all the schedules at AndesTransit by just typing in the cities and pressing the Reserve Now button above. There you’ll get the most up-to-date and accurate information on the schedules for buses from Cusco to Arequipa.

Where can I book bus tickets from Cusco to Arequipa?

When booking bus tickets from Cusco to Arequipa, you have two options: buy them in-person or online with AndesTransit.


This can be stressful since you will have to run from one company window to another, comparing prices and schedules. You will probably end up choosing the closest one. If you have free time before the departure, keep an eye on your valuables, and good luck grabbing a snack or going to the bathroom. Bus terminal bathrooms can be dangerous.


By buying your bus ticket online with AndesTransit, you just go to the station minutes before boarding time, check-in your luggage, and board the bus. All that is left to do is to enjoy your bus trip to Arequipa.

To get started, click the Reserve Now button at the top of this page to see all of your options. Choose the company you want, check the time of departure and seat type, and then pay with your preferred credit card or PayPal.

What is the best bus from Cusco to Arequipa?

Of the companies with services between Cusco and Arequipa, we think the best one is Oltursa. Oltursa is one of Peru’s highest-ranking bus companies, and for good reason. Its buses have good bathrooms, climate control, reading lights, blankets, pillows, and a choice of 140º or 160º reclining seats (with only a small price difference). For your entertainment, there is WiFi (if available), the best movies and music, and snacks during the journey.

Another good option for this route is Cromotex. The service is pretty good, with a bathroom, movies during the trip, and on-board staff. You can also choose TransZela, which takes 11 hours (makes more stops) and is around the same price compared to other companies.

What to see in Arequipa

Visit the Yura spring waters a few miles away from Arequipa

Arequipa (2,350 meters / 10,595 feet) is known as La Ciudad Blanca (The White City) for its unique buildings made entirely of sillar, a white volcanic stone. You can spend many days here, strolling the narrow streets and dropping into museums and colonial mansions. The variety of cuisine will dazzle your taste buds, whether it’s traditional cooking like picante and cuy (guinea pig); or international fare, including Moroccan and French.

Mundo Alpaca in Arequipa is a great place to see alpacas up close while exploring all the kinds of products made from their wool.

And then there are the excursions you make outside the city, and these are easy to do on your own or with a local tour company. Some examples are Colca Canyon and its small indigenous communities; Cotahuasi Canyon, more than twice as deep as Arizona's Grand Canyon; Valle de Majes, a premier wine, and pisco growing region; and the Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca with the Cataratas Pillones. For outdoor enthusiasts, the canyons and national reserve provide hiking (senderismo); and many mountain climbing (andinismo) opportunities up Misti, Chachani, and other volcanoes nearby.

But if you have only a few days to spend in Arequipa, here are a few choice sites to put on your itinerary:

#1 - Monasterio de Santa Catalina

Until 1970, when the 16th-17th century Santa Catalina Convent opened its doors to the public, life within these walls was shrouded in mystery. This is a city within the city, complete with over 100 houses, 60 streets, a plaza, church, and cemetery. An art gallery houses more than 400 paintings from the Cusqueña School.

#2 - Museo Santuarios Andinos

This museum, dedicated to high-altitude archaeology, features finds discovered in the mountains surrounding Arequipa. It has mummies – including the famous 13-year-old Juanita – and their burial goods: gold, textiles, woodcarvings, and ceramics.

#3 - Plaza de Armas

People from Arequipa say it's the most grandiose plaza in Peru. The central square is guaranteed to impress. With leafy palm trees and stunning colonial churches, Plaza de Armas is the heart of the White City, and certainly one of the best views.

#4 - Mercado San Camilo

You don’t have to travel to New York or Paris to see a bona fide work by renowned French engineer Gustave Eiffel. Just head over to Mercado San Camilo, a national landmark and one of the city’s oldest markets (Calle San Camilo). Not only will you see a fine example of Eiffel’s later works, but you can grab a meal or stock up on supplies for your hiking and climbing expeditions.

#5 - Aguas Termales de Yura

If you’re seeking to relax after canyon trekking, mountain climbing, or just checking out Arequipa’s many attractions, then some aguas termales (hot springs) might be in order. Near the village of Yura (29 kilometers / 17.5 miles north of Arequipa) is a series of pools (29-34ºC / 84-93ºF) with medicinal properties. During the week it is quieter than on weekends.

Want to check out other hot springs in Latin America? AndesTransit has you covered – find the nearest Hot Springs by Bus.


Dominated by volcanoes, with a mixture of quaint streets, impressive churches, white stone, and the wonderful geography that has created a fertile valley, Arequipa is a place you won’t forget. Enjoy the warm water of a thermal pool and take a gaze at the beautiful mountains surrounding you on all sides.

Unique cuisine, ancient history, and good people. That is Arequipa, the legendary “White City.”

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long is the bus ride from Cusco to Arequipa?
The distance from Cusco to Arequipa is 500 km (310 miles). It takes around 10-11 hours.
What is the cost of traveling by bus from Cusco to Arequipa?
It ranges between USD $13 to $17 depending on services, time and day chosen.
Where can I book bus tickets from Cusco to Arequipa?
You can buy tickets at the bus terminal in Arequipa or get the online on sites like
What can I do in Arequipa?
You can visit museums, cathedrals, or take a day-trip to explore nearby trail paths.
Where does the Cusco to Arequipa bus arrive?
It usually arrives to the Arequipa bus station but it is decided by the operator.
What are the ticket policies?
It depends on the carrier you choose, but their specific policies can be previewed during checkout or in the summaries printed on your ticket email. For a general overview, see the Ticket Policy page.

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