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How to Get to Cusco from Lima

How to Get to Cusco from Lima

Currently, the only means for international flyers to arrive to Peru is by way of Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport. And though the capital city has much to offer, more often than not travelers are eager to head south for a chance to visit the famed Inca citadel, Machu Picchu. So how to get to Cusco from Lima? Here are three options.

De Lima a Cusco

By plane: For speed 

Flying is by far the fastest option. Various airlines offer daily flights to Cusco from Lima with a flight time of just over one hour. With the majority of flights leaving before 11am (and the earliest scheduled for a 5am departure), travelers could potentially plan a full day of adventure upon their arrival; it is recommended, however, to spend your first day in Cusco taking it easy in order to acclimate to the sudden surge in altitude. 

Many international travelers opt for taking a connecting flight to Cusco from Lima directly after having arrived in Peru. If this should be the case with your itinerary, keep in mind you will need to go through customs prior to your connecting flight.


By bus: For the views

If time is on your side, a bus ride to Cusco from Lima will prove to you the natural diversity and beauty of Peru. Though the Andes mountains can be viewed from above through a plane window, the passing landscapes seen at eye level en route to Cusco city give you a different perspective of the South American country in more ways than one. 

Bus companies such as Cruz del Sur and Ormeño offer two different routes with varying ride times. The quickest option (18-21 hours) takes passengers to Cusco from Lima by way of Nazca and then Abancay. The longer option (24-27 hours) goes from Lima to Nazca as well, however passes through Arequipa before reaching Cusco. While it is more time consuming, the latter is more scenic and can be broken up into stages so that passengers can do some sightseeing

De Lima a Cusco Paisajes

Southern tour: For the experience

Rather than simply questioning how to get to Cusco from Lima, intrepid travelers will ask how to make the most out of this southbound route. Experience the best of southern Peru by making a few stops in between Peru’s modern capital and the capital of the Incan Empire. From Lima, take a bus or quick flight to Arequipa to witness the incredible architecture built out of white volcanic stone (hence the nickname, the White City). After a day or two (and plenty of culinary samplings), head further south to Puno where you can take a boat ride out to the unique floating islands bobbing over the surface of Lake Titicaca. From Puno, Peru’s so called Folkloric Capital, the city of Cusco is just an hour away by plane.