How to get to the city of Cusco?

How to get to the city of Cusco, from the most important cities in Peru?

There was a time when all the roads that ran through Tahuantinsuyo began and ended in the magical city of Cusco. Today this is no longer the case. However, this incredible city continues to attract thousands and thousands of travelers every day, who travel to explore Cusco’s incredible tourist attractions. Therefore, in this blog I am going to write about the different ways of how to get to the imperial city of Cusco.

How to get to Cusco from Lima?

Cusco, the Rome of America and the favorite destination of millions of travelers, is located in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, more than 500 kilometers south of Lima. Therefore, the way you want to get to the cosmopolitan city will depend on the type of trip you want to make to the heart of America.
And to get to this ancient city you can take a domestic flight, make the journey by road or combine the trip by car and train. But many intrepid travelers wish to make their entrance to the city of Cusco with a tour, which can start in the city of Lima, Arequipa or Puno. The choice will depend on the taste of each traveler.

Lima to Cusco by plane

The best way to go from Lima to Cusco is by plane for 70% of travelers. The trip is much more comfortable, safer and the travel time is shorter.

There are 3 airlines that currently serve the Lima – Cusco route:

  • LATAM Airlines
  • Sky Airline
  • JetSMART Peru
  • Viva Air

Travel time by plane takes only 45 to 60 minutes. Flights depart from Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima and arrive at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco. Latam is the airline that operates 80% of flights on this route. Sky Airlines operates 15% of flights and finally Viva Air with 5%. Aero Peru will soon be operating on this route. It is also expected that airlines such as Avianca, Peruvian, LC Peru and Star Peru will reopen their flights in Peru, so that flight ticket costs can be more affordable.

This option is ideal for travelers from all over the world who must necessarily arrive in Lima before taking their flight to Cusco. However; there is an exception, travelers from Chile do not have to go to Lima; since they can take direct flights to Cusco from the city of Santiago de Chile.
Apart from Lima, you can also reach Cusco by plane from these cities in Peru:

Remember that international flights to Peru arrive during the early morning hours. So, consider your connection time to the city of Cusco and foresee a place to rest. On the other hand, don’t forget to buy your air tickets months in advance, as this route is in high demand.

Getting to Cusco by bus

Another way to get to Cusco is by bus or private car.

But, this odyssey is made more for the adventurous. The trip of more than 1000 kilometers takes 23 hours, on average. Not only is the travel distance, but also along the trip you will face abrupt changes in the weather. For example, you will ascend from 100 meters above sea level, from the coast to 4000 meters above sea level, then another descent to 2100 meters above sea level and then another ascent to 3400 meters above sea level. Sometimes these ascents, descents and the endless curves cause the passenger to have problems with altitude sickness or soroche.

The bus trip from Lima to Cusco can be done in any of the ground transportation companies: Cruz del Sur, Excluciva, Oltursa or Tepsa. Excluciva, is one of the companies that has the most comfortable buses, a 2 level bus only has capacity for 32 passengers and has 180° seats. By land you can choose to travel through the following routes:

  • Lima – Paracas – Nazca – Abancay – Cusco (shortest and busiest route). Distance: 1102 Km. Travel Time: 23 hours average.
  • Lima – Paracas – Nazca – Arequipa – Cusco. Distance: 1523 Km. Travel Time: 28 hours average.
  • Lima – Paracas – Nazca – Arequipa – Juliaca – Cusco. Distance: 1624 Km. Travel Time: 30 hours average.

If you are thinking of arriving to Cusco by bus or private car by any of these three routes. Ideally, you should make stopovers so you can visit the tourist attractions of Paracas, Huacachina, Nazca, Arequipa or Puno. This way you will not only enjoy the breathtaking views, but also make the most of your time.

Getting to Cusco by Train

There is no direct train service from Lima to the city of Cusco. And the only way to get there by train is from the white city of Arequipa or from the city of Puno.
To get to Cusco by train you must first travel by bus or car to the city of Arequipa. And from there you must embark to Cusco. However, remember that the train to Cusco leaves only on Saturdays through the following route:

  • Arequipa – Juliaca (Puno) – Cusco. Distance: 750 kilometers. Travel Time: 24 hours.

Likewise, the train that operates this route makes stops along the way. The train’s itinerary is 3 days and two nights.

The train ride to Cusco is one of the greatest experiences one can live. For this route has been awarded as “The second most beautiful in the world“. And, above all, because in this exciting journey you can enjoy the luxury and comfort of the Belmond Andean Explorer Train from whose large panoramic windows you can see the immense plateaus and the magical landscapes of the Andes Mountains.

You can also travel on the Perurail Lake Titicaca Train that departs 3 times a week from the city of Puno to the city of Cusco. The train from Arequipa to Cusco via Puno is the exclusive Belmond Andean Explorer Train. Therefore, you should consider your budget to travel on this train. Because of the exclusivity of its service and the lavish cabins it has, the costs are usually high. travel on this train. Because of the exclusivity of its service and the lavish cabins it has, the costs are usually high.

“Great trips happen only once. So, what are you waiting for to get to Cusco? Choose the best way that suits you and explore the magical city of Cusco”

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