Getting Around in Peru
After you've successfully gained entry into the country, your Peruvian adventure truly begins! You can pick your transportation in Peru based on your travel priorities—pick transport that’s the right combination of comfortable, fast, and affordable. Peru is a big country, so you may need to arrange for some longer trips if you want to fit all of the top destinations into one trip. The best time to visit Peru is when your schedule allows it; the best way to get around is a matter of how much of the country you want to see, and how quickly. Whether you take the slow scenic route, or stop in several destinations, there's a transportation option for you.
Peru is a long country, studded with the mountains of the Andes. These mountains make Peru less than ideal for a road trip, especially one that you have to negotiate yourself.
Planes are a popular way to travel between Peru’s cities, especially if you’re trying to see all of Peru’s sites in just a couple of weeks.
Jorge Chavez Airport (LIM) in Lima is Peru’s largest international airport. There are also international airports in Iquitos, Arequipa, Piura, and Cusco.
By Rental Car
Rental cars are inconvenient for traveling around the country, especially between cities. Keep in mind that it can be dangerous to drive alone in rural areas, especially at night. Driving yourself around Peru is also difficult if you are unaccustomed to navigating several different types of terrain and seemingly abrupt weather changes (dependent upon your location).
Even if you’re staying within the city, keep in mind that driving attitudes are different in Peru, and drivers can be significantly more aggressive. Roads, especially the roads outside the city, are often not well maintained.
Buses are some of the most common ways to get around Peru, and a good option for traveling between cities when you don’t want to take a plane. One of the main risks is luggage theft.
Buses take many forms in Peru. Larger buses that travel between cities are also called autobuses.
Urban buses are called combis or colectivos. Larger combis travel between cities. Micros are smaller versions of combis. Combis and colectivos are the cheapest way to get around Lima, and often also the quickest. Bring change—these buses do not have automated ticketing.
Luxury buses have assigned seating and bathrooms. They’re more expensive than regular buses, but still cheaper than renting a car.
Trains have the advantage of allowing you to take in more of the scenery.
Many visitors choose to take a train to Machu Picchu from Cusco. You can take luxurious train rides that come with live music and gourmet meals.
There’s also train line that runs between Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca.
Taxis can be quite expensive, and the price of a taxi ride is typically subject to some negotiation. You should agree on a price before getting into a taxi. They are notoriously expensive in Lima, and not subject to any kind of regulation.