Lima to Cusco

January 23, 2018

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

Travelling to Cusco from Lima takes around 24 hours on a direct bus with no stops. It is always recommended to divide up this long journey with stops along the way. Most public buses cross through the dangerous Andes Mountains so it is recommended to take the longer trip down via Arequipa for safety reasons. In this guide, we have included 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 Lima to Cusco.

Public buses travelling from Lima to Cusco do this journey via Nazca, requiring to go across the Andes which is not a safe route. Although slightly longer, the best and safest route for this journey is via Arequipa. It is highly recommended to go this slightly longer route or to break up this long journey with other stops along the way in the south of Peru. The alternative option to this bus journey is to go from Lima to Cusco by plane, but this is usually expensive. This does turn out to be expensive and time consuming, especially considering the location of Lima Airport, which is quite far from the main hotel area of Miraflores. However, the Airport Express Lima Bus now offers a safe and cheap way from Lima Airport.

To get from Lima to Cusco by bus, it is recommended to cover the South of Peru and maybe make stops at places such as Paracas, Huacachina Oasis, and Arequipa. 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 Lima to Cusco, 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 Lima to Cusco are as follows:

COMPANIESSCHEDULEDEPARTURE TIMEDEPARTURE LOCATIONENGLISH SPEAKING ASSISTANCE
CRUZ DEL SURDAILY 12:00 , 14:45 and 17:15PUBLIC TERMINALNO
PERU HOPDAILY 06:00 and 07:00HOTEL PICK UP & DROP OFF YES
TEPSA
DAILY 14:00 , 15:30 and 17:30PUBLIC TERMINALNO
GREEN TOAD WEEKLY 03:45PUBLIC TERMINALNO

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 Lima to Cusco by bus is a long and unpleasant direct journey, and should be divided up with stops where possible (maybe at destinations such as Huacachina and Paracas). All you have to do is choose the best bus company and enjoy your journey!

Quick Tip: If travelling to or from the airport in Lima. There is now a direct bus link between there and Miraflores via the new official Airport Express Lima. These new buses have free wifi and usb charging ports at every seat and best of all tickets are as cheap as $9 usd one way.

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