There are 5 operators that run from Lima to Cusco, with 1 departure per day. If you decide to take a bus, you can take the 160 Reclining Seats, 140 Reclining Seats, Business, 180 Reclining Seats, Economy, and VIP options.
There are 3 operators that run from Lima to Cusco. If you decide to take a flight, you can take the Economy option.
Leaving the current capital of Peru to visit the former Incan capital, Cusco, is a significant part of everyone’s journey in Peru. You’ll feel like you’re traveling back in time to visit and see how some other civilizations used to live.
When traveling the 1,205 kilometer (749 mile) distance between Lima and Cusco, you have two transportation options to choose from:
The option you’ll choose depends on your budget and preferences. Flying from Lima to Cusco is a quick and convenient way to make the journey between the two cities, but it’s also far more expensive than taking the bus.
Travelers who are taking the bus between Lima and Cusco will have a chance to see some beautiful sights during their journey. The first part of your trip will take place along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, and you’ll occasionally see this vast body of water appearing behind hills and coastal towns.
Soon, the sun will go down, and you can use the majority of the night time to catch up on your sleep. As the sun rises after several hours, you’ll be greeted with views of the magnificent Peruvian Andes.
If you’re traveling on a plane, you’ll get to see both the ocean and the mountains from an aerial point of view.
Once you arrive in Cusco, go for a stroll around town and grab a coffee or lunch in one of the many coffee bars around town. It’s very important to note that you’ll have a major altitude change when coming from Lima.
Lima sits at 154 meters above sea level, and Cusco sits at over 3,300 meters, nestled among the mountains. You should consider having at least three or four relaxing days to get used to this change and avoid getting altitude sickness. This is especially important if you’re planning to hike the Inca Trail.
Cusco is a relaxing city to visit, and you can spend a few days exploring its streets, plazas, museums, and markets. While you’re in town, don’t miss out on trying some local treats, such as empanadas and tamales.
Once you start feeling better and adjusted to the altitude, the Inca Trail is waiting for you. Needless to say, the trail that takes you to Machu Picchu, is one of the most popular sights around Cusco. This bucket list adventure is what draws many travelers to visit the city, too. The trail is not for hiking beginners, though, and it requires a good level of health and fitness. Those who come prepared will have a great time while exploring the beautiful green forests, ancient paths, and majestic valleys.
Taking a bus
Traveling to Lima from Cusco on a bus might seem like a tiring option, because of the length of the trip. However, there are several well-established routes between the two cities, and you’ll have many bus options to choose from. Usually, it takes between 21 and 23 hours to get to Cusco on a bus. If you’re traveling on a budget, you can choose an Economy Bus, which usually has reclining seats, TV, A/C, and toilets on board.
You can also pay a bit more, and buy a ticket for a VIP Bus, Business Bus, or 160° Reclining Seat Bus. These buses have a bit more space than other cheaper options, larger seats, blankets, charger sockets, and snacks and soft drinks provided.
Taking a flight
Getting from Lima to Cusco on a plane is, undoubtedly, the fastest way to get from one city to the other. The plane takes around 2 hours to arrive in Cusco, but the plane tickets can get a lot more expensive than the bus tickets. During the high season, these tickets can reach $250 per ticket.
The best time to visit Cusco is between June and September. At this time of year, there’s very little rainfall in Cusco. However, the period between June and August is the busiest time of year for tourism in Cusco and the Sacred Valley.