Lima Getting There and Away
Lima's airport Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chavez is located about 30 minutes by taxi from the city centre or from Miraflores. Allow an hour for this trip, though, as heavy traffic can sometimes be a problem. If departing internationally, check-in 3 hours before departure. For domestic flights check in 2 hours before departure. This may seem excessively early but airlines have the habit of overbooking the flights so if you really have to be on the plane get there before the rush. The main domestic airliner is LATAM Airlines www.latam.com (previously known as Lan). This is by far the safest and most professional airline. Other domestic airlines include Avianca www.avianca.com/en-uk/ , Peruvian Airlines http://www.peruvian.pe/pe/en/ , StarPeru www.starperu.com, & LCPeru www.lcperu.pe For more details about these airline companies see our web page Domestic Flights
Lima Bus Station
There is no central bus station in Lima, each company has its own arrival and departure depot. Be particularly careful with your valuables at any of the bus stations since there are always thieves and bag snatchers looking out for an opportunity. The biggest and best companies with countrywide destinations are:
www.grupo-ormeno.com Av Calle Carlos Zavala 177, Lima centre Tel 427 5679 They also have an office at Avenida Javier Prado Este 1059 Tel 472 1710 Buses to most major cities in Peru
Cruz del Sur
www.cruzdelsur.com Buses to the Arequipa, Ica, Cusco, Puno, Chiclayo, Trujillo and Pisco depart from their bus station located at Jr Quilca 531, Lima centre Tel 424 6158. Buses to Tumbes, Piura, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Huaraz, Arequipa, Tacna, Cusco and La Paz depart from their bus station located at Av Javier Prado Este 1109, San Isidro Tel 225 6163
www.oltursa.pe Avenida Aramburu 1160, San Isidro, Lima. Buses routes mainly up and down the coast, south to Paracas, Ica, Nazca, Arequipa and north to Chiclayo, Trujillo, Piura and Mancora
Lima to Cusco
Flying between Lima and Cusco takes about one hours and is by far the safest and easiest way to travel. Basically the high mountainous Andes lie directly between these two cities so you either fly over them or take a long winding detour around them.
By Plane (flight time 1 hour 15 mins)
There are many daily flights between Lima and Cusco. All flights depart in the mornings because the weather is usually better and the pilot needs to see where he is going as he navigates a few tricky mountains just before landing in Cusco. The views out of the left hand windows are particularly good of snow-capped Salkantay about 10 minutes before arriving at Cusco but you can't always decide which seat you get allocated. The flight time is about 50 minutes. If you really can't afford to miss you flight then we suggest taking one of the early flights before 09:30 since later flights often become delayed or canceled particularly during the wet season in the highlands (January to March). Airline companies operating this route include LATAM www.latam.com, Avianca www.avianca.com, Peruvian Airlines www.peruvian.pe, StarPeru www.starperu.com and LCPeru www.lcperu.pe (for more details see our web page Domestic Flights)
By Bus (20 hours via Abancay, 24 hours via Arequipa)
There are two routes from Lima to Cusco. The quickest and more direct route is south to Nazca and then east to Abancay and then on to Cusco (1500 kms and takes about 20 hours) This is the most popular route during the dry season when the roads are good (May-Sept). Outside the dry season the roads can become impassable die to heavy rains and landslides with frequent long delays. It's best to avoid the route altogether from December to March. However when the weather is good this is a stunning ride with magnificent scenery but the road has many sharp and dangerous curves so it could really be classed as an adventure activity and not for the faint hearted.
The alternative, and longer route, that many bus companies offer goes to Arequipa first (1015 km and another 15 hrs) where you will have to take a connecting bus on to Cusco (500 km & 10 hrs). There may be very long periods between these connecting buses and you will probably have to change bus so even if the connection is fairly quick the entire trip can take around 24 hours. Quite often you will find that the bus from Lima to Arequipa travels overnight (to avoid the high temperatures during the day) arriving early in the morning. The onwards bus to Cusco may also depart in the evening and arrive early in the morning in Cusco, allowing you to spend all day visiting Arequipa. You can store your bags at the bus station in Arequipa but always take your valuables with you. Bus companies operating this route include Cruz de Sur www.cruzdelsur.com and Ormeño www.grupo-ormeno.com
Lima to Paracas (Paracas National Reserve and Ballestas Islands)
Paracas is 266 km south of Lima. There is no airport nearby so independent visitors must travel by bus, taxi or private car.
By Bus (3 hours 30 mins)
The trip from Lima to Pisco takes about 3 hours 30 minutes by bus. The bus companies Ormeño or Cruz del Sur are recommended.
It is possible to take an organized tour of this region. Several tour agencies in Lima offer this service. You could just take a tour of Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands (one day) but it is often better value to combine this visit with a trip to Nasca to see the Nasca Lines (two or 3 day trip returning to Lima)
Lima to Nazca
Nazca is 455 km south of Lima. There is a small airport at Nazca but this is mainly used for light aircraft. There are no commercial passenger flights between Lima and Nazca. Visitors must travel by bus. It makes a good stopover on the trip from Lima down to south coast to Arequipa.
By Bus (7 hours)
Several buses run daily between Lima and Nazca. The trip takes about 7 hours and costs US$24-50 depending on company and type of service. The bus companies Ormeño or Cruz del Sur are recommended.
Lima to Arequipa
Arequipa is 1,010km south of Lima. Visitors can travel by bus or domestic flight.
By Plane (flight time 45 mins)
There are several daily flights each way. Airline companies operating this route include LATAM www.latam.com, Avianca www.avianca.com, Peruvian Airlines www.peruvian.pe, StarPeru www.starperu.com and LCPeru www.lcperu.pe (for more details see our web page Domestic Flights)
By Bus (16 hours)
Several buses run daily between Lima and Arequipa. The trip takes about 16 hours and costs US$24-50 depending on company and type of service. Companies operating this route are Ormeño and Cruz del Sur. Many buses depart Lima in the evening and arrive in Arequipa early in the morning. This avoids travelling during the hot temperatures of the day and also saves on one night's accommodation. The condition of the road is very good.
Lima to Puno (Lake Titicaca)
The airport closest to Puno is located in a town called Juliaca. The are several buses waiting outside the arrivals lounge in Juliaca to take you on the 45 minute bus ride to Puno. Ask if the buses will drop you off directly outside your hotel. The road from Lima to Puno goes via Arequipa. There may be a long delay between connections in Arequipa which is great if you want to visit the city quickly. You will also usually have to change bus and possibly bus company.
There are a couple of flights daily between Lima and Juliaca (airport nearest to Puno). All flights make a short stop at Arequipa on the way although you don't leave the aircraft. Flight times vary but generally allow 2 hours. Airline companies operating this route include LATAM www.latam.com and Avianca www.avianca.com (for more details see our web page Domestic Flights)
By Bus (22 hours)
Bus companies in Lima sell tickets Lima to Puno but you will find nearly all buses go to Arequipa first where you will have to take a connecting bus on to Puno. There may be very long periods between these connecting buses and you will probably have to change bus. Quite often you will find that the bus from Lima to Arequipa travels overnight (to avoid the high temperatures during the day) arriving early in the morning. The onwards bus to Puno may also depart in the evening and arrive early in the morning in Puno, allowing you to spend all day visiting Arequipa. You can store your bags at the bus station but always take your valuables with you. Cruz del Sur operate this route but are by no means the only company. If possible ask other tourists in your hotel in Lima which company they can recommend.
Lima to Huaraz
Huaraz is located 405 km north-east of Lima. There are no commercial flights between Lima and Huaraz so the only means of transport is by bus.
By Bus (7 hours)
There are many daily and overnight bus services to Huaraz. The cost is US$18-48 depending on the company and service. The journey time is about 7 hours. Bus companies that operate this route are Cruz del Sur, Expreso Ancash and Movil Tours.
Lima to Iquitos
Iquitos is effectively land-locked by the surrounding Amazon jungle and the only transport in is by plane or by boat. The boat option is not really practical.
The flight time from Lima to Iquitos is about 1 hour 15 minutes. There are several morning flights per day in both directions. Airline companies operating this route include LATAM www.latam.com, Avianca www.avianca.com and Peruvian Airlines www.peruvian.pe (for more details see our web page Domestic Flights)
Next >> Cusco Visitor Guide