By Plane -- Flights arrive from Lima (1 hr.) as well as Arequipa, Juliaca, and Puerto Maldonado, Peru; Santiago, Chile; and La Paz, Bolivia; at Aeropuerto Internacional Velasco Astete (tel. 084/222-611), 5km (3 miles) southeast of the historic center of Cusco. All major Peruvian airlines fly into Cusco, including LAN (www.lan.com; tel. 01/213-8200); StarPeru (www.starperu.com; tel. 01/705-9000); Avianca (www.avianca.com; tel. 01/511-8222); and Peruvian Airlines (www.peruvian.pe; tel. 01/716-6000). Bolivian airline Amaszonas (www.amaszonas.com; tel. 591/2217-9151) offers flights between Cusco and La Paz. Chilean airline Sky Airlines (www.skyairline.cl; tel. 562/2352-5600) connects Cusco with Santiago. Flights to Cusco are very popular, so make reservations as far in advance as possible during the high season.
Transportation from the airport to downtown Cusco (20 min.) is by taxi or private hotel car. Most hotels, even less expensive hostales, prearrange airport pickup. Taxi fare is officially S/15 to S/20 from the airport to the center.
Making the Connection to Cusco
Flights to Cusco are popular, so make your reservations as far in advance as possible if you are arriving from another Peruvian city. Flights are occasionally delayed by poor weather or are overbooked, and sometimes from Lima it is necessary to go through Arequipa if direct flights to Cusco are sold out. Although it is possible to arrive from North America on an overnight flight that theoretically will put you into Lima in time for an early-morning flight to Cusco, the window is often quite tight, and a fair number of travelers miss their connecting flights. Also, be sure that your travel agent or airline hasn’t inadvertently booked you on a charter, rather than regular, flight to Cusco.
By Bus -- Buses to Cusco arrive from Lima, Arequipa, Puno/Juliaca, and Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon basin. The journey from Lima to Cusco takes 20 to 26 hr. by land; from Puno, 7 to 10 hr.; and from Arequipa, 12 hr. There is no single, central bus terminal in Cusco. Most buses arrive at the Terminal Terrestre, Av. Vellejos Santoni, Cdra. 2, Santiago (tel. 084/224-471), several kilometers from the city center on the way to the airport. Buses to and from the Sacred Valley (Urubamba buses, which go through either Pisac or Chinchero) use small, makeshift terminals on Calle Puputi s/n, Cdra. 2, and Av. Grau s/n, Cdra. 1. For service from Lima, contact the major companies, including Ormeño (www.grupo-ormeno.com.pe; tel. 01/472-5000), Cruz del Sur (www.cruzdelsur.com.pe; tel. 01/311-5050), Oltursa (www.oltursa.com.pe; tel. 01/708-5000), and Transportes Civa (www.civa.com.pe; tel. 01/418-1111). From Puno, Cruz del Sur (see above) and Inka Express (www.inkaexpress.com; tel. 084/247-887) offer daily service to Cusco. From Arequipa, your best bests are Civa and Cruz del Sur.
By Train -- Cusco has two main PeruRail train stations. Trains from Puno arrive at Estación de Huanchaq (also spelled Wanchaq), Av. Pachacútec s/n (www.perurail.com; tel. 084/238-722), at the southeast end of Avenida El Sol. Trains from Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu arrive at Estación Poroy (tel. 084/581-414) on the outskirts of Cusco. Visitors should be particularly cautious at train stations, where thieves have been known to prey on distracted passengers. Sadly, trains no longer depart from the historic main station in Cusco.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.