There is no central bus station in Lima, each bus company has its own separate depot. Read our comprehensive guide to bus travel in Peru for more detailed information.
Two great companies that offer quality bus travel for tourists in Peru are Peru Hop and Cruz del Sur.
Peru Hop and their fleet of modern, comfortable and safe buses have proven to be a really popular method of transport for visitors to Peru. They provide free pick-up-drop-offs in all their destinations, on-board bilingual guides, discounts on accommodation and much more. On TripAdvisor, they have over 1,300 reviews and a 96% approval rating, making them the highest rated bus company in all of Peru and highly recommended with slightly over 4 years in the market.
Cruz del Sur is one of the largest bus companies in Peru, and operate all major routes throughout the country. Their modern fleet of single and double-decker luxury coaches offer competitive pricing without cutting back on quality. The VIP seating (first floor) offers fully reclining, extra wide leather seating. Their terminal in Lima is located in the district La Victoria. Remember to look after you valuables in the bus terminals as petty theft is a common problem and could easily ruin anyone’s trip.
Lima Airport Bus:
For a long time getting from Lima Airport to the downtown Lima districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro was a challenge. The only way to make the journey was on public bus (not much fun or particularly safe), or by taxi. Thankfully, Airport Express Lima, with thousands of passengers taking the service in less than a year, takes all the stress away. Their service on all buses include free Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, toilets, on-board assistance and more! Definitely the transport to consider when arriving to Lima Airport. If you want to read more about Airport Express Lima, check out our post about them!
Lima Bus Routes:
Lima to Paracas by Bus (Paracas National Reserve & Ballestas Islands)
Pisco is 240 km’s south of Lima, and although there is a small airport in Ica, there are no commercial flights that link with the capital Lima. The bus route from Lima to Paracas takes around 4 hours along the Pan-American Highway (South). The route is crosses the dry arid desert of the coast, on a mainly straight road. Public buses usually cost around $20 one-way. If planning to travel further on to Cusco, Arequipa or Puno we recommend you use a hop-on, hop-off bus service.
Lima to Nazca by Bus
Nazca is approximately 440 km’s south of Lima, twice the distance of Lima to Paracas. The journey follows the Pan-America Highway (South) and takes approximately 6 hours. Although there is a small airport in Nazca, there are no commercial flights from Lima, therefore this bus route is the only way to travel to Nazca. Nazca is also a good stopping point for tourists heading to the southern city of Arequipa. The route costs approximately US$25 – 30, depending on bus company and type of service.
Lima to Arequipa by Bus
Arequipa is just over 1000 km’s south of Lima, and by road this bus journey takes approximately 16 hours. This journey follows the Pan-American Highway (South) along the dry and arid Peruvian coast passing through Paracas, Ica and Nazca before arriving into Arequipa. This bus route costs approximately US$30 – 40, depending on bus company and type of service. It is highly recommended to visit and spend a night in Paracas and/or Huacachina along the way to Arequipa if possible.
Lima to Puno by Bus (Lake Titicaca)
Puno (Lake Titicaca) is some 1,300 km’s from Lima. There is no direct route from Lima to Puno and all buses must first travel to Arequipa, before travelling on to Puno. It is not recommended to make this route in one journey, as travel times are between 18 and 20 hours. Flights from Lima to Juliaca (1 hour from Puno) take approximately 2 hours with a stop over in Arequipa.
Lima to Cusco by Bus
The route between Lima and Cusco is popular with travellers looking for the most economical method of travel between the two major destinations. Be careful when booking tickets as many bus companies will tell you that the route is direct, however most bus companies first travel to Arequipa where you will pick up a connecting bus to Cusco; this route can take 36 hours. The most direct route first travels to Nazca before climing the Andes and crossing to Abancay before arrving into Cusco; this route takes 24 hours. Be warned that this bus route crosses extreme and norrow mountain roads, and at times can be a little worrying. It is much safer to make this journy through the South of Peru which takes a much safer and nicer route. Although a little longer, you’ll be able to discover some amazing destinations along the way.
According to more than 60,000 travellers, the best way to travel to Cusco, Arequipa, Puno and/or the other destinations in Southern Peru is with the hop-on, hop-off bus service Peru Hop. With on-board bilingual assitance, discounts on accommodation, free tours and much more, Peru Hop tends to be most recommended bus travel option. If you want to learn more about them, check out our post reviewing Peru Hop!
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