I recently returned from a North-Atlantic ferry flight a few days earlier than planned. When I arrived in Lima I couldn’t get a good airline ticket from Lima to Cusco, so I decided to take the bus instead.
As the crow flies, Lima to the imperial city of Qosqo is only 364 miles, but by bus the trip takes about 21-22 hours due to the traffic in Lima (2-3 hours) and the winding roads through the Andes mountains.
Taking the bus from Lima to Cusco is a bit of an adventure and a good way to see a little bit of Peru outside of the typical tourist areas. However, be warned: taking the bus from Lima to Cusco is not a good idea unless you are comfortable traveling in cars and busses over winding roads up and down steep mountains. Near Abancay for example the road goes up and back down several thousand feet. Inside the bus it can be very cold at night, so you need to take a blanket along. The restroom on the bus isn’t very clean even by Peruvian standards. Also, you never know what to expect on the grainy TV in the bus, but it probably won’t be anything you’re used to seeing on the boobtube at home.
There are many bus companies in Peru. We take the “Flores” company, which is quite nice and only costs 100 Soles (~$30) each way for the nice seats on the lower level of the bus.
Here’s a few pictures of my last trip:
Flores is great as a cheaper alternative. It is the least expensive of the better bus companies or the most expensive of the worst ones – but either way, acceptable. There’s nothing like Oltursa when you can get it though!