Upon arrival at the Lima airport you are finished with your international flight and now have to figure out domestic travel in Peru. Where and what method you decide on to get around to your next destination can have a huge impact on your vacation. For example, taking a domestic flight to Cusco would be a good idea while taking a bus to Cusco not so much.
A big factor for domestic travel in Peru is to know exactly where you are going next. Let’s say you want to take a trip to Trujillo in the norther part of Peru, flights are of course available and if you don’t have too much time to spend that would be your most direct route. On the other hand, Trujillo is only 8 hours away by bus ride. The roads are well taken care of and you will go through miles of coastline that is worth seeing. There are a few bus companies that have great service and specialize in going north such as Oltursa for one. On the other hand if your next destination is the beach town of Mancora or the Southern white city of Arequipa you need to consider each one by bus will take anywhere from 14-18 hours. This will normally be way more time than anyone wants to spend on a bus seat no matter how comfortable it is. Even if we so much as compare pricing for Bus vs Plane for Cusco, Mancora, Arequipa as destinations; flying is only slightly more expensive than the bus (the more comfortable lines anyway). Now there are buses that will take you to the furthest sections of Peru at a more than reasonable cost but the ride won’t be all that comfortable or enjoyable for that matter.
Domestic travel in Peru can be comfortable, affordable and enjoyable as long as you plan out your destinations accordingly. An example of a good route for someone that wanted to take some time out from flying everywhere and visit a nearby destination via land travel would be the following: Arrival to Cusco – Cusco city tour on day 2 – Aguas Calientes on day 3 – Machu Picchu tour day 4 – Flight back to Lima day 5 with afternoon city tour – Bus ride to Paracas day 6 – Nazca lines tour day 7 and return to Lima. This itinerary includes both flights and bus rides that would not feel too long and tiring.
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