There are 2 operators that run from Ica to Arequipa, with 5 departures per day. If you decide to take a bus, you can take the Cruzero Evolution 160°, Cruzero Evolution 140°, Cruzero Suite 160º, Confort Suite 180º, Economy, 160 Reclining Seats, and 140 Reclining Seats options.
Arequipa has something for everyone. Seriously...
Food lovers rave about the picanterias and delicious spicy sauces. History buffs flock to Arequipa to explore Santa Catalina Monastery and a way of life that many people have long since forgotten. Sumbay Caves, famous for their mysterious drawings, are also located close by, making for a great day trip. Nature enthusiasts enjoy Arequipa because of the beautiful volcanoes, great for hiking. There are also ample opportunities to go rafting and mountain biking.
See, told ya – something for everyone.
The distance from Ica to Arequipa is about 700 km (435 miles).
The journey from Ica to Arequipa will take you south along the Pacific coast of Peru and into the heart of the country.
If you opt to take the bus the entire way, you’ll pass through several of Peru’s beautiful towns. However, you’ll most likely be making this trip at night, so you won’t see much. So instead, get a nice seat so you can rest and wake up refreshed and ready to explore Arequipa.
Transport from Ica to Arequipa is fairly limited.
The cheapest and easiest way to get all the way down to Peru’s “White City” is to take a bus.
While Arequipa does have an airport, unfortunately, Ica does not. So, the only way to fly would be to take a bus to Lima or Ayacucho and fly from there.
It’s also possible to drive the 9 hours down to Arequipa. However, foreigners are often targeted for police bribes, and rental cars are regularly stripped for parts, so this option isn’t recommended.
Check out a few recommended ways to get from Ica to Arequipa.
Double Decker Luxury Bus
The most convenient and best way to get from Ica to Arequipa is by bus.
The luxury double-decker bus operated by Cruz del Sur lives up to the word luxury.
Each seat reclines 160° and has a charger and personal TV built into the space. There is a bathroom on the bus, and you are provided with blankets, snacks, and several rest stops along the way. Seats are relatively comfortable, and many buses even have WiFi on board.
An added bonus is the Ica to Arequipa bus runs overnight, so you also save on accommodation. The ride takes about 11-hours, and tickets cost between $40-$50.
Because of all of the great amenities, this is probably the best way to travel from Ica to Arequipa.
If the $40-$50 price point is a bit too steep, there is a local bus option as well. While these cost a bit less, the local bus from Ica to Arequipa may require transfers and long layovers.
Oltursa operates a direct bus between Ica and Arequipa for $25. While this option is much more affordable, the seats aren’t as comfortable, and there are far fewer amenities.
Another route is Ica to Nazca, followed by a two-hour layover and transfer, and then Nazca to Arequipa. This option is also overnight and takes about 13 hours.
One of the best local bus options is through Civa. Civa’s route from Ica to Arequipa only costs $16. Still, their buses have air conditioning and seats that recline 140°. This option may lack some of the fancier amenities of the double-decker luxury bus, but for half of the price, you can’t go wrong.
Regardless of which route seems best to you, make sure you check the Ica to Arequipa bus schedules. Make sure all departures line up with your travel plans to avoid any disappointments.
Bus + Flight
Unfortunately, an Ica to Arequipa flight doesn’t exist since Ica doesn’t have an airport. So, you need to take a bus to Ayacucho or Lima first and then fly to Arequipa.
It’s a relatively complicated option, but it is definitely doable if a 12-13 hour bus ride is out of the question.
If your heart is set on flying, the easier combination of bus + flight is from Ica to Ayacucho and then on to Arequipa. However, you should note that this option won’t save you any time, as it takes about 13 hours in total, including the 7-hour bus ride from Ica to Ayacucho.
Once you arrive in Ayacucho, you can take the four-hour flight down to Arequipa. A few airlines operate this flight each day, but there are no non-stop flights. So, while you won’t save on time or efficiency, this could be an option if you prefer not to be cooped up on a bus for over twelve hours at a time.
The other flight option is even more complicated. You would need to take a bus from Ica to Lima and then fly directly from there. It is faster but requires you to transfer a few times on your way to Lima.
Navigating your way to Lima Airport is a bit tricky, but it might be worth it to half your time on a bus.
To get there, you will need to take a bus from Ica to Lima Plaza Norte first. Then, from Lima Plaza, transfer to Thomas Valle, a local bus that departs hourly every day. Get off at stop 28 de Julio. Then, you’ll have to transfer yet again to Lima Ibis Reducto Miraflores in order to catch your last bus to the Lima Airport. Luckily, buses depart for the airport every 30 minutes.
Always make sure your schedule lines up with all of the buses to avoid missing your flight!
Several airlines operate daily direct flights between Lima and Arequipa. The flight takes about an hour and thirty minutes. You can find great deals on flights, especially if you book early. Internal flights within Peru are usually pretty reasonable.
Regardless of how you choose to get from Ica to Arequipa, you are bound to enjoy your time there. Everywhere you turn is picture-perfect, and you’ll be charmed by this town in no time.