There’s two main ways to get to and from Cusco and many take you through Lima first. There are also a few possibilities of getting around within Cusco once you are here:
Long Haul Bus
Unless travelling from Brazil, Bolivia or Chile you will have to divert through Lima from wherever you are coming from to Cusco. Even if that is from the North of Peru.
Although these bus rides are usually long haul with little stops they are surprisingly plush with large reclining seats, meals on board and TV’s playing films non stop. They can be a great cheap alternative if you are trying to keep costs down. We have found when purchasing before hand then the company Busbud.com to be one of the best to organise your travel plans. This is for its ease of use, international friendly ways of paying and its feature which compares companies to show you all the different options and prices. If you are wanting to go straight to the source reputable bus companies include:
- Cruz del Sur
These all have different options within them for travel so check them out. If you are going with another bus company we strongly recommend researching into them and seeing reviews. Going with a non reputable company can be at best extremely unpleasant and at worst dangerous.
If you are wanting to get a bit more out of your trip on route to Cusco then Peru hop offers experiences alongside its travel. If you have the time then this may be a wonderful way to split the long travel up.
All flights divert through Lima. So to get to Cusco you will have at least two flights. Minimal o one from your country and then another Internal one from Lima to Cusco. You must remember that after disembarking your flight in LiMa you have to collect your luggage and go through security and then re check it into the flight to/Cusco. Even if the flights are on the same ticket, your luggage will not be automatically transferred to your new flight as other airlines and countries do. You must do this yourself. The two biggest and most reputable air lines within the country are:
- Avianca (TACA)
Getting around within the city is fairly easy. Walking around Cusco is usually a lovely way to explore. However if you are wanting to be somewhere specific or you have got caught in one of Cusco’s famous downpours then a taxi is the way forward. You will have no problem finding them anywhere in the city, especially around the many plazas. The customary way to hail a cab is to hold your hard out horizontally and wave your hand. Taxi’s will beep at you to show you they are free and currently have no passengers. If you do not speak the language then google maps and translate will be your friends. Although, do note that address are very informal here so using a landmark or specific place will more than likely be more effective.
Please note: Taxis here as most places in the world have to be licenced. However, there are still a lot of the ones who aren’t. If the car has taxi strips along the side and more importantly its licence plate number printed in white along its side also then this is a licenced taxi. When you enter that same number plate should be printed on the inside of the door in large white text. Taxis can sometimes charge over for tourists, the main rule is that if you are travelling in the day within the city or the outskirts then you should be paying no more than 10 Pen for your trip. The best way to avoid any unwanted fees is to ask how much the trip will cost before you set off. If you are at first a little concerned about anything to do with hail a taxi than Uber other services of the like are very big business here. Download the app and away you go. It does cost a little more at peak times but overall the cost is low and consistent and you don’t have to deal with any language barriers, money exchange for physically hailing a taxi yourself.
If your wanting a cheap and authentic way to get from different parts of the city and don’t mind accidentally getting lost then the bus system in Cusco is for you. Each bus has a separate name along with its color along with its route. Although, the names of the places that it stops is both printed on the side of the bus and shouted out by the conductor. You can also ask the conductor about a certain place and they will let you know if it stops there. Buses range from 50cnts to 1 Pen, and you pay this when departing the bus to the conductor. There is an App called ‘move t’ which shows you the routes of the buses, however there is no time schedule as the system doesn’t work on one. They are in constant motion so you shouldn’t have to wait more than 10min to grab one in the day.