Getting around Peru

By Air

LC Peru (formerly LC Busre), LAN Peru, Peruvian, StarPeru and Avianca Peru (formerly TACA Peru) handle virtually all domestic air traffic linking Lima to Andahuaylas, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Chiclayo, Cusco, Huánuco, Iquitos, Juliaca-Puno, Piura, Pucallpa, Puerto Maldonado, Tacna, Tarapoto, Trujillo, Tumbes and other cities.

By River

Transportation is available between Pucallpa and Iquitos (approximately five days) and from Iquitos to the border with Brazil and Colombia (two to three days). However, river travel can be long and uncomfortable.

By Rail

A tourist train operates services between Puno and Cusco and from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. There is a daytime connection from Puno and Juliaca to Cusco. From Cusco there is a daily train to Machu Picchu, which takes approximately four hours. There are also three major passenger services in Peru; these run between Arequipa, Puno and Cusco, Cusco and Machu Picchu and Lima and Huáncayo.

Do note that the train between Arequipa and Puno and Puno to Cusco are the only means of transport for local people, therefore do not expect a luxury trip with good service. Fast and comfortable electric autovagons operate on some routes. There are no connections between Lima and Cusco. Always check for revised schedules. It is also possible to charter a train from Arequipa to Juliaca for groups of 40 or more.

By Road

The Central Highway connects Lima with La Oroya and Huancayo. From La Oroya there is a road connecting Cerro de Pasco, Huánuco, Tingo María and Pucallpa on the Ucayali River. Landslides are frequent in the rainy season (December to March), making for slow travel. The Touring y Automóvil Club del Perú and the Instituto Geográfico Nacional sell maps. Travel guides like Guía Toyota and Guía Inca del Perú include good road maps. Traffic drives on the right.


Operated extensively, providing a very cheap means of travel. Greyhound-type buses are operated by Cruz del Sur, Enlaces, Express Sud Americano, Ittsa, Oltursa, Ormeño, Perú Bus and many others. Quality of service varies according to prices.

Car Rental

American, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Mitsui, National, Rentandina and others have offices in Lima and provide service to all main cities.

Documentation: Foreign driving permits are valid for 30 days starting the date of arrival. An International Driving Permit is required in case of longer stays. International driving permits in Peru can be obtained through the Touring y Automóvil Club del Perú. All foreign vehicles must obtain the appropriate documentation from the National Automobile Association in their own country or on the Peruvian border before entering the country (in this case a 90-day permission will be obtained). You should always carry your driver’s licence, a copy of your passport and, if the vehicle is rented, a copy of the rental contract.

Urban Transportation

Public transport in Lima is provided by conventional buses and by minibuses (combis). The minimum rate is $0.30. These operate from 6 am to 12 midnight, on established routes; wherever possible, try to avoid using bus travel late at night.

Taxis can be located pretty much anywhere throughout the city. Prices should be established before the journey as taxis don not have meters, and it’s best to hail a taxi that is from a registered company. Many unlicensed taxis companies are in operation and visitors are advised to avoid these. Taxis usually have a red and white taxi sign on the windscreen. Bright yellow taxis are registered with the Metropolitan Lima Taxi Service. These are the only taxis allowed in to downtown Lima. There are taxis at the main hotels and airports. Taxi fares increase by 35-50% after midnight and on holidays.

There is an extensive and safe taxi service available by telephone in the main cities.

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