If you are planning a trip to Peru, first understand that it's a very large country with a lot of desert in the most populated areas, high altitude mountains running up the central and southeastern portions where Cusco, Puno, and Huaraz are located, and in northeast densely forested jungle through which there are few roads and only navigable waterways. With such a huge expanse of territory (about the size of Alaska) and a wide diversity of terrain, planning and reserving are essentials for travelers not to overspend their time on transportation that takes away from the enjoyment of their trip. Having said that, there are places you cannot miss.
Peru has long been one of the most popular countries to visit in South America. However, because the distances between points of interest are so large, the only economical way to travel is shared transportation, whether that be public or private. Tourists should keep in mind if considering to rent a car, you will only spend your vacation extremely agitated and anxious from driving on unfamiliar routes and road conditions. Car insurance does nothing for you in a place like Peru, and traffic fatalities sourced to sightseeing while driving are high. On the other hand, Peru's buses and trains are hardy, modern, and driven by consummate professionals of the Peruvian highway. Look to them to be your allies of traveling in Peru.
AndesTransit is your single-stop gateway for transportation services in Peru, both public bus and riverboat, and privately arranged shuttles and charter coaches. We'll take care of tailoring transportation to your taste so that you can concentrate on soaking up the Incan history and monuments, Peruvian culture, colonial cities, and internationally award-winning cuisine.
Travel according to your budget
AndesTransit offers both public services and shared transfers (either cars or small vans) to provide a complete experience that is more economical than other transportation options. Also, don't overlook the fact that the most economical form of transportation is also the one that locals use, which is the only way you can truly get to know local cultures and traditions. So, go and get on the bus with them and get off where they get off to explore what locals experience instead of the tourist traps. It is always recommended to get your ticket at least two days in advance to get the most available scheduled departures and to secure a spot for you and your travel mates.
Comfort and quality of transportation
The quality and comfort of transportation vary according to how much you can afford to spend, and that is why there are several options:
Luxury buses (also referred to as "Lujo" and "Ejecutivo") travel between major cities without stopping. On board you receive the most stylish comforts, including served meals and beverages, wider seats with deeper recline, personal charging stations, and in-seat entertainment. Many travelers comment that luxury buses are even better experiences than first-class cabins on airlines and are still vastly cheaper. This is absolutely the best option when selecting our platform's bus transportation services in Peru.
Sleeper buses may or may not be luxury buses, but what sets them apart is that they partially or totally have fully reclining seats for passengers and are usually reserved for long-distance trips that are overnight.
The most plentiful and popular buses for shorter trips by tourists traveling on a budget, or even locals looking to move themselves and their goods from one place to another, are economy buses (or "económico"). These voyages are low-cost to begin with, or are the ones that usually are part of price-slashing promotions. Be advised they come with few to no creature comforts and sometimes have standing room only for people who buy their ticket at the last moment, so make sure to get your tickets in advance online at AndesTransit by using the box below to run your search.
How to travel to Peru from other countries
Being the cheapest option for international travel, it should not be a surprise that buses are utilized daily to go to and from other countries. The most popular international routes are from Peru to Bolivia and from Peru to Ecuador. But there are also long-distance carriers that go from Lima, Peru, to Santiago, Chile. Bus trips from Guayaquil to Lima usually take 23 hours, but many tourists prefer to enjoy the beach in Mancora, Peru, and then it's a much shorter 8.5-hour ride to Guayaquil, Ecuador. For those visiting Cusco, Peru, you can hop on overnight buses to La Paz, Bolivia, and arrive the next afternoon.
Places to visit in Peru
There are obvious places to visit in Peru, like Machu Picchu and nearby Cusco. Then, there are some not-so-obvious destinations that you can easily get to by bus and not suffer from the same tourist masses. For example, Trujillo and Chiclayo boast extensive ancient temple networks that are larger than anything in Cusco. Puno on the border of Bolivia and Lake Titicaca's shore is a fascinating blend of cultures and history. Arequipa, Nazca, Ica, and Moquegua make for a wonderful southern itinerary that focuses on the best of authentic Peruvian cuisine and vineyards. In the high central mountains are dramatic highland adventures for visitors to Huaraz, Caraz, and Cajamarca. If you are one for flip-flops and some of the best surfing waves in the world, head to the very northwestern corner of the country to the towns of Los Órganos, Mancora, and Zorritos. And finally, if you want to explore the Amazon, take a river ferry from Yurimaguas to Iquito!
Whatever you do, you cannot miss the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru, which has more than 200,000 pieces of the Inca culture. In Cusco, you should also be sure to visit the Barrio of San Blas and see the handicrafts market.
Prices to visit these cities depend on the trip's length from your point of origin and the class of bus or cabin in which you want a seat. You can sort and filter by price on the AndesTransit platform after choosing the date you want to travel.
Travel by bus to save the rainforest
AndesTransit also partners with the global conservation foundation, the Rainforest Partnership, to raise awareness about rainforest protection, slow travel, and community tourism. Understanding that the rainforests and the ecosystem are indispensable for humanity's survival, AndesTransit offers the opportunity to travel the way the local people travel and get up close and personal to the many villages and reserves that are working to balance hospitality and environmental quality. To learn more about the Amazon in Peru, you can travel to Pucallpa or Puerto Maldonado by bus or on the riverboat we discussed earlier to Iquitos.
Tourism in Peru during the pandemic
Tourism in Peru was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Attractions such as Machu Picchu were forced to close for a few months but have recently resumed activities (although access to the ruins is now limited to local tourists and area residents).
Ground transportation, such as buses or private shuttles, has reduced passenger capacity and requires everyone on the bus to wear face masks. All buses are disinfected before and after each trip to ensure passenger safety, and passengers are required to submit proof of COVID-negative health screenings to ensure the safety of both passengers and drivers.