Depending on the things you’d like to do, the places you want to visit, and the time you might have, there are different ways to travel in Peru. Make sure to know your transport options to optimize your time and experience through this South American gem. Keep reading and learn more about it!
As you may know, Peru is the third-largest country in South America and one of the most diverse regions on the continent. Therefore, there are tons of attractions for everybody where history, ancient traditions, and natural wonders will surely leave you breathless!
Once you have decided what are the main destinations you’d like to visit, you may end up wondering, how are you going to get to all these places? Well, here are some suggestions:
- If your itinerary is flexible, consider taking bus rides, this way, you’ll get to explore Peru like a local expert.
- If you’re on a tight schedule, we advise you to take domestic flights to the main cities of your travel plan.
- If you want an exclusive and unique experience, consider taking a rail route through Peru’s Adean gems.
Yes, we know, there are plenty of things to keep in mind before traveling abroad. However, here we are to take all that stress away. In this blog, you’ll find detailed information about the different transport options in Peru so you can organize your trip itinerary.
Exploring Peru by bus is the best option for those with extra time and a flexible itinerary since many tourists consider it as a more enriching travel experience rather than by flying to different cities.
Keep in mind that traveling through Peru by bus isn’t for everybody. Due to Peru’s extension, you will come across different routes, where some might be longer and others shorter. Therefore, we highly recommend doing your research and learning about the different travel times between the destinations within your itinerary.
While planning a bus trip through Peru, take into account that there are different bus companies, and not all of them are reliable. We want you to travel in comfort, which is why we encourage you to check the company’s reputation before purchasing a ticket.
Bus travel in Peru is considered to be the cheapest option for budget travelers. Even if you’re taking a luxury bus service, you’ll find remarkably low fares. The bus conditions in Peru may vary according to the popularity of the destinations, where transport to the most in-demand cities will be more efficient and luxurious rather than the most battered buses used in low-demand local routes.
According to the time efficiency and safety on the road, traveling through the coastal highway is very effective and generally punctual. On the other hand, while going through a mountainous route, you may experience slow-going rides and possible delays due to breakdowns and landslides during the rainy season.
It is worth mentioning that most cities in Peru don’t have a general bus terminal, and you’ll run into some bus companies that have their private bus station. Therefore, consider double-checking your meeting point before departure since these independent bus terminals aren’t always in the company’s sales point.
If you happen to be on a tight schedule, this will be the best option for you. Although domestic flights are significantly more expensive than a bus ride, they help you save time and to enjoy more of the destinations you’re visiting.
Keep in mind that only the largest cities in Peru have an airport. However, if planning to visit small towns, you can fly to the nearest airport to later take transport to these locations.
For example, if Lake Titicaca is on your itinerary, you will have to fly to Juliaca and then take a one-hour taxi ride to Puno to visit this attraction. Likewise, there are other places with nearby airports where you can easily get transfers to your destinations.
There are five international airports in Peru, where only Lima International Airport has daily flight schedules and arrivals. The other four are located in Cusco, Piura, Iquitos, and Arequipa, where departures and arrivals are scheduled for some countries in South America on specific days of the week.
For those taking domestic flights, we highly recommend you arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before departure, since due to the ever-changing weather conditions, flights may be delayed or may depart earlier than scheduled, especially in Iquitos.
While thinking about the best way to travel around Peru, we cannot leave train travel behind. Although most of Peru's cities are not accessible by train, you can still have an excellent experience through some of the country’s main destinations.
From Lima, the Central Railway connects the Pacific coast to the Andean countryside. It is considered the world’s highest passenger train since it’s final station is in Huancayo, located over 3,200 meters above sea level.
To experience this authentic railroad, you must organize your trip according to the train’s departures from Lima, which only runs twice a month between April and September, corresponding to the weather conditions. Unfortunately, the Central Railway stopped operations in 2020 until further notice.
However, you shouldn’t be discouraged since there are other options for you to have an outstanding trip through the Andean rail routes! The luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer connects three of the most in-demand attractions in the Peruvian highlands.
The famous Belmond train ride is considered one of the most beautiful in the world since it goes through Cusco, Puno, and Arequipa, three regions recognized for their historical, cultural, and natural heritage.
For those visiting Machu Picchu, train travel is also possible to this enigmatic wonder of the world. From the most luxurious to the tourist-class carriages, here are some of the most recognized trains to Machu Picchu:
- Sacred Valley Train: Live an authentic experience in this luxurious train with 1920s-style wagons, where you’ll travel across the Urubamba Valley until the heart of the Peruvian high jungle.
- Vistadome Train: This panoramic train offers a full view of the scenery transition between the Peruvian Andes and the high jungle. It departs from Cusco, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, and Aguas Calientes train stations.
- Expedition Train: This tourist-class service train is the most in-demand carriage to visit Machu Picchu. It departs from Cusco, Ollantaytambo, and Aguas Calientes train stations.
Yes, we know, there are tons of options for accommodation, transport, and destinations, without mentioning the travel documentation you may require, yet, planning a trip to Peru isn’t always that difficult as long as you have all the needed information.
1. The overall planning process is very exciting, finding out what you’d like to do and visit is the best way to start. Once you know where to go in Peru, research about travel times, transport options, and accomodation, then organize your itinerary according to that.
2. Make sure to learn about the weather in Peru. The climate conditions in this South American gem may vary according to its regions, so keep that in mind at all times, especially to prepare the perfect packing list.
3. Once that’s set, it’s time to know about the Peru entry requirements since they can be different depending on your nationality or the current situation of the country.
4. As in most trips abroad, there are some important things to know before venturing out of your country, one of those things is knowing about local currency. Although most South American countries accept payments in US Dollars, make sure to know about the currency in Peru before boarding the plane.
These are a few of the many things to consider while planning a trip through Peru. If you wish more information, make sure to read our informative guides and don’t miss a single detail!
Although in the previous section we mentioned some of the primordial things to keep in mind while planning a trip, trying to figure out the logistics involved in transport, accommodation, and tours may be a hassle.
However, you don’t need to go through this alone since hiring a local travel agency will save you time and stress before and during your trip. Likewise, if you’re looking for a personalized experience and travel off the beaten path, a travel agency can assist you so you can make the best choice.
Not everything is on the internet. Most international travel agencies and tour operators in Peru have exploited the same destinations over the past years, leaving jaw-dropping attractions behind that could surely complement your trip.
By hiring a Peruvian travel agency, you’ll have assistance throughout your itinerary, 24 hours a day, meaning that if you stand upon some difficulties during your trip, everything will be solved in a matter of minutes.
Here in Machu Picchu Travel, we care to provide comfort, safety, and unique experiences from day one until your eventual return home. Dare to discover the country of the Incas with a tourism-specialized local company and make the most of your adventure!