When it comes to a top country to visit in South America, Peru really does tick all the boxes. There’s museums with great works of art, UNESCO sites, beaches, and delicious street food – everything you could ask for on your travels. It can be daunting trying to navigate getting around Peru though, so we’ve put together some handy tips for first time travellers.
Top Tips For Getting Around Peru
1. Cover More Ground with Local Airlines
The most popular airlines here are LATAM, Avianca, Star Peru, Peruvian Airlines and LC Peru. Sure, there are buses between cities, but flying is almost always the faster option. Case in point? Flying from Lima to Cuzco takes just over one hour, instead of a 20-hour bus journey!
P.S. Be sure to book as far as months in advance, and arrive two hours ahead, as often passengers find their reservation gets changed or cancelled last minute.
2. Buses Are a Cheap Way To Travel Around Peru
You can travel the entire length of Peru by bus for under $35 USD, but take note that not all buses are of the same standard! Some local routes can be jarring to say the least so for longe journeys try to book with companies such as Cruz del Sur or Ormeño.
Always double-check where your bus is leaving from (it usually says on the ticket), since in some cities, bus offices are in different locations to the bus terminal itself.
3. The Train is Spectacular – But Don’t Rely On It To Get Around!
Peru’s railway system is a key tourist attraction in itself, as it goes from Lima high into the Andes and also to Macchu Pichu. While it’s not the quickest way of getting around Peru, the incredible views make it worthwhile.
En route to the the ancient ruins of Macchu Pichu, you can sit back and relax with some gourmet food and drink, or sing along with the onboard musicians.
4. Book Tickets Online via Bookaway
You can buy tickets for minivans and buses etc on the spot at windows, but who wants to spend their vacation waiting in line? Plus, the bus services are always busy all year round, especially at peak travel time during weekends and national public holidays.
So, to make travelling around Peru easier, you can book tickets for tourist minivans, private buses and taxis in advance via Bookaway.
5. Download Offline Maps
Download an app such as Maps.me to your phone to have access to maps when there’s no WiFi. It’s essential when arriving in new countries with no connection. Finding hotels. Using taxis. Basically, not getting lost.
6. Be Careful of Colectivos
Colectivos (shared taxis) are a popular transport option in Peru, particularly in the cities. They connect all the coastal towns and are much faster than the bus, although about twice as expensive. However, they have a bad reputation in major cities such as Lima for dangerous driving and crashes happen on a daily basis.
7. Driving in Peru Is Easier Outside of the Cities
You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to navigate Lima’s notorious traffic jams via car, so we suggest if you do want to rent a car, do it outside the city. Be careful of roadside thieves and don’t drive overnight, especially near the Colombian border.
You can rent cars and mopeds quite easily in all cities and jungle towns.