Book the best bus tickets from Lima to Cusco in 2021-2022

Reviewed

on: 2021-09-03

by: Alice Silva

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    21 hours 20 minutes

  • Rating

  • Experience

    Incan history, museums, hiking

  • Best Price

    USD $ 27.14

  • Maximum comfort or class

    Good

  • Departures

    Several departures daily

  • Recommended by

    1451 travelers

Price may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.

The Lima to Cusco Bus Route

The main travel route in Peru is between Lima and Cusco. It is an amazing route you will enjoy no matter how you get there, but it’s a long trip overland and thus very important to make wise decisions that help you travel safely and problem-free.

You will be heading uphill all the way. From the ocean in Lima, the high desert midway, and then the Andes mountains in Cusco. Plan ahead with this guide to find a comfortable and professional bus ride to go up from Lima to Cusco. This guide can quickly match what suits your needs and how to get the best value and quality for your money.

Things to note when you go from Lima to Cusco.

The buses in Peru are not at all the same. Your experience on one does not mean the next bus will have the same characteristics at all. Some have cleaned bathrooms on board, others don’t even have a toilet at all. Some have wide-bodied recliners and personal television screens, and then the next one only shows movies on a shared television screen hanging from the ceiling. Take time to consider what options really matter for you based on the time you’ll be sitting or sleeping on the bus, and what you can live without. The higher expectations you have go hand-in-hand with how much you are willing to pay for them. Understanding the limitations and challenges will be worth it and will navigate you to choosing the bus you want for your trip from Lima to Cusco.

Length of the bus ride from Lima to Cusco

This is a rather long trip, and yet that doesn’t stop thousands of bus riders like yourself from taking it. The distance is around 1142 km (709 miles). The duration is around 20-22 hours, including rest stops that travel along the main highways 3S and 28A. As a result, mentally prepare yourself for a full day and night on the bus to see the spectacular Peruvian landscape go by.

Special features like bathrooms are becoming pretty universal on this route, but not if you choose buses at the bottom end of the price scale. So, consider your personal comfort seriously so that you arrive at Cusco well-rested with energy left to get out and explore.

What ticket costs can you expect?

The good news is that the Lima to Cusco bus fare is a really good bargain. They range from $26 at the most basic economy service up to $66 for the more luxurious options. Factors like seat types, the passenger capacity of the bus, and other similar things will definitely be important, but for the length of the trip, we really recommend investing in comfort. Save your budget fare plans for shorter trips.

Cusco, Peru

The main travel route in Peru is between Lima and Cusco. It is an amazing route you will enjoy no matter how you get there, but it’s a long trip overland and thus very important to make wise decisions that help you travel safely and problem-free.

You will be heading uphill all the way. From the ocean in Lima, the high desert midway, and then the Andes mountains in Cusco. Plan ahead with this guide to find a comfortable and professional bus ride to go up from Lima to Cusco. This guide can quickly match what suits your needs and how to get the best value and quality for your money.

Things to note when you go from Lima to Cusco

The buses in Peru are not at all the same. Your experience on one does not mean the next bus will have the same characteristics at all. Some have cleaned bathrooms on board, others don’t even have a toilet at all. Some have wide-bodied recliners and personal television screens, and then the next one only shows movies on a shared television screen hanging from the ceiling. Take time to consider what options really matter for you based on the time you’ll be sitting or sleeping on the bus, and what you can live without. The higher expectations you have go hand-in-hand with how much you are willing to pay for them. Understanding the limitations and challenges will be worth it and will navigate you to choosing the bus you want for your trip from Lima to Cusco.

Length of the bus ride from Lima to Cusco

This is a rather long trip, and yet that doesn’t stop thousands of bus riders like yourself from taking it. The distance is around 1142 km (709 miles). The duration is around 20-22 hours, including rest stops that travel along the main highways 3S and 28A. As a result, mentally prepare yourself for a full day and night on the bus to see the spectacular Peruvian landscape go by.

Special features like bathrooms are becoming pretty universal on this route, but not if you choose buses at the bottom end of the price scale. So, consider your personal comfort seriously so that you arrive at Cusco well-rested with energy left to get out and explore.

What ticket costs can you expect?

The good news is that the Lima to Cusco bus fare is a really good bargain. They range from $26 at the most basic economy service up to $66 for the more luxurious options. Factors like seat types, the passenger capacity of the bus, and other similar things will definitely be important, but for the length of the trip, we really recommend investing in comfort. Save your budget fare plans for shorter trips.

Selecting a good bus carrier

You may now be ready to click on the Reserve Now button above to start comparing the price and schedule options to find something that is most convenient for you. The carriers that you can reserve online are the most professional and reliable, whereas the ones that are mom-and-pop options are listed but you can only get bus tickets at the bus station. These latter types of carriers are also more likely to be uncomfortable and older vehicles, so we don’t recommend them unless you’re wanting something more rustic.

When can you book your tickets?

The earlier you do it, the better your experience will be in the long run. Early buyers get the best seats, and booking tickets from Lima to Cusco allows you to get ahead of the line at the bus terminal before ever stepping into it. Tickets will likely be still available for this route a couple of days in advance of the journey, but at that point, you will have to be resigned to the seats nobody else wants and may also have to pay more for them as bus companies tend to end their promotions by that time.

When do you want to travel?

Many travelers make the critical mistake to not familiarize themselves in advance with Peru’s unique holidays and traditional events. These times, as well as weekends in general, can be both crowded and more expensive to get around. We do our best to show you these special days on our online scheduler so that you can avoid them and travel at optimal and less expensive times. But go one step further and read up on not just Peru’s holidays, but special holidays and festive periods specific to Cusco. Check the main events on the Peru official website.

Understanding the bus schedules

You can see the schedules at the bus company’s window at the terminal, but you can also save yourself time and trouble by just getting the same information online. Bus companies also sometimes choose certain departures to only sell online tickets in advance before opening them for general sale a the bus station, or they have a colloquial way of referring to the route at the bus station that is more for locals and that foreigners will misunderstand. For example using an abbreviation or nickname to refer to a city that would elude a foreign traveler, or only listing the schedules that start at another major departure terminal instead of the smaller one you may be standing in.

However, the AndesTransit platform removes the mystery out of all of this and caters to the foreign traveling audience by simplifying and aligning the schedules to your exact origin, and then showing you the larger service it is connected if you are interested. We are passionate about offering customers a variety of price and add-on choices to suit their traveling style and budget. On top of that, we are uniquely positioned to be more sympathetic to foreign travelers who are unfamiliar with local transportation practices, i.e., “we’ve got your back.”

Things to do in Cusco

Vinicunca mountains

Once the captivating capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is now home to the archeological ruins of the lost era. The Imperial City is nestled in the Peruvian Andes and offers a sweeping view of the mountain range. This oldest inhabited city on the continent is also a doorway to the Lost City of the Incas. Several tours are available from Cusco to Machu Picchu (shh, you must arrange a tour in Cusco, but you can actually save on transportation by taking the shared shuttle from Cusco to Hidroelectrica and have the guide meet you there).

There are many more unmissable historic gems and plenty of things to do in Cusco, so visitors can expect to bridge ancient and modern America in a single frame.

#1 - Start with the Central Square of Cusco

All of the historic center is breathtaking. Built by the Spaniards on the remains of The Great Inca Square, Plaza de Armas of Cusco keeps the spirit of the lost empire alive. From being the Inca’s "place of crying" to the execution grounds of the famous rebel, Jose Gabriel Tupac Amaru, it has borne witness to many eras of time. Today, it is lined up with cobblestones, park benches, and patches of lush grass. Those exploring the square will find two prominent buildings of the city here, Cusco’s Cathedral and the gilded Church La Compañía de Jesús.

#2 - Step into the past

No need to travel outside the city limits of Cusco to touch a remnant of the Inca civilization. Just visit the ancient Twelve-Angled Stone. Perfectly cut and glued together without mortar, this amazing piece of ancient engineering that is set into centuries-old Incan walls is a window to the architectural precision of the Incan era. To see the stone, just take the narrow path called Portal Belen located to the right of Cusco’s Cathedral. Keep walking through the Calle Hatunrumiyoc until the large stone walls appear.

History lovers can later head to the Sacred Valley of Cusco. It is located approximately one hour from the city. The valley runs through a number of historical sites, each one of them revealing another fascinating side of the Incan civilization. The most frequented ruins found in the valley include well-preserved relics of Ollantaytambo, an ancient complex of Pisac, remains of Q’enqo, stone walls of Sacsayhuaman, and popular remnants of Machu Picchu. Those with time and interest can explore other sites too.

#3 - Hike to panoramic views

Cusco is perched high in the Peruvian Andes which gives hikers and tourists an opportunity to climb up to the tallest viewpoint and admire a view sure to take their breath away. Two places that are popular for these vistas are the Limbus Restobar and View House. Head to Limbus to enjoy the panoramas from within a floor-to-ceiling seating area. Hike higher to reach the View House for even better views and to avoid congestion and long queues at Limbus Restobar. Set off early for the trek to catch the amazing sunrise.

While Cusco is supposedly settled in the shape of a puma that viewers could see from these vistas, time has expanded the settlement limits and it is difficult to mark the outline clearly today.

4 - Plan a Day Trip to Rainbow Mountains

Known formally as Vinicunca, the "Rainbow Mountains" are the second most-visited Peru travel destination after Machu Picchu. Tapered at the height of 16,000 feet above sea level, the massif can be a challenging climb. But all efforts are worth it when you reach the summit painted in vivid colors. These mountains are considered a holy site in Peru. Their path is a steep incline, so hikers without strong limbs can opt for mountain bikes or horse rides for convenience. Those who wish to see the mountain when the colors are at their best should make sure to hike on a clear day. The best way to ensure this is by checking the weather forecasts beforehand. Due to the altitude, the weather can get quite cloudy, so much so that it seems to hide the mountain completely.

Conclusion

Journeying by bus between the two greatest cities of Peru just adds all the more to the experience of their dramatic contrasts. Cusco is full of native Latin American history and it’s also a big city where you will find adventure wherever you go. The plentitude of bus departures, competitive pricing, and all kinds of options for different comfort levels, allows you to see the real Peru in the villages and farms that line the highway between the coast and the mountains where Cusco awaits you.

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long is the bus ride from Lima to Cusco?
The distance from Lima to Cusco is around 1142 km (709 miles). It takes between 20 and 22 hours.
What is the cost of traveling by bus from Lima to Cusco?
Around $23. Cheaper on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Avoid holidays.
Does the bus from Lima to Cusco stop at Machu Picchu?
No. You want to search for Cusco to Hidroelectrica, but make sure you first reserve a tour in Cusco because of local regulations.
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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