Cusco to Huacachina

January 23, 2018

Going from Cusco to Huacachina by Bus: 2018 updated information about Bus Safety, The Best Bus Companies to take and their schedules!

Travelling to Huacachina from Cusco takes around 19 hours. In this guide, we have extensive information about bus safety in Peru, the best bus companies to travel with and other benefits you should look out for when choosing the bus company you want to travel with from Arequipa to Cusco.

Not all bus companies have access to Huacachina, the only oasis in South America. Only private buses, such as hop on / hop off buses, offer direct transport. Other buses such as public buses have their terminals in Ica, meaning after arriving in Ica, you would need to get a local taxi to the oasis. Although slightly longer, the best and safest route for this journey is via Arequipa. While this trip can also be done through Nazca, the journey involves going across the Andes which is not a safe route. The alternative option to this bus journey is to go from Cusco to Lima by plane and then taking a 4-5 hour bus to Ica and then a taxi to Huacachina. This does usually tend to be expensive, especially once all other costs have been taken into consideration such as the taxis needed to and from the airports, the bus to Ica and the taxi to Huacachina. Below you will find important information to consider before choosing the best bus company to travel with on this route.

Quick Tip:  If traveling to or from Lima Airport, it is strongly recommended to use the luxury Airport Express Lima  bus to get to or from your hotel. Safer and cheaper than a taxi with no baggage limit as well as Free WiFi and USB chargers onboard, it is ideal for travelers.

To travel from Cusco to Huacachina, there are 2 main options:

1 – Hop on hop off bus (e.g. Peru Hop, Green Toad Bus)

2 – Public Bus (e.g. Cruz del Sur, Oltursa)

The schedule and departure times of buses from Cusco to Huacachina are as follows:

COMPANIES
SCHEDULEDEPARTURE TIMEDEPARTURE LOCATIONENGLISH SPEAKING ASSITANCE
CRUZ DEL SUR DAILY14:00, 16:00 and 18:00 PUBLIC TERMINAL NO
PERU HOP
DAILY 19:00PRIVATE TERMINAL
YES
OLTURSA DAILY 16:00PUBLIC TERMINAL NO

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO HELP CHOOSE WHAT BUS COMPANY TO TAKE:

  1. Is it required to travel to the bus companies public terminal or do they pick you up from your hotel/hostel?
    • Some bus companies, such as the hop on hop off companies, do pick you up from wherever you’re staying, which is a much more secure and safer service rather than having to take local taxis. Going with public bus companies you will always have to travel to the terminal meaning there is the need to find out where the terminal is and organising transport to on the day of travel.
  2. How is bus safety in Peru and what are the companies safety records like?
    • This varies from company to company. The best way to find out the safety record of any bus company is to put the name of the company with the words “hijackings” or “accidents” and googling the results. This way you will be able to see which companies are the best.
  3. What can I expect to find on the bus? What are the on-board facilities like?
    • Most companies will have TV’s, toilets (how clean the toilets are depend on the company) and semi-cama or cama seats. All important factors which help determine the best company.
  4. Are there any other benefits I can expect to find depending on the bus company?
    • You will find while doing research that different companies offer different things. Some companies have special luxury class buses that come at a higher price, some companies, such as Cruz del Sur, have loyalty point schemes and other companies, such as Peru Hop, offer discounts on accommodation and other things. Make sure to check out a couple of different companies to see what benefits you can get and which will be the best for you.

The journey from Cusco to Huacachina by bus is a long journey and should be divided up with stops in Nazca and Arequipa when possible. Usually, it is recommended to do this journey via Arequipa as it is a much safer route although longer. All you have to do is choose the best bus company and enjoy your journey!

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