Peru has long been a popular tourist destination for its fascinating culture, stunning scenery, and of course the world-famous attractions like Machu Picchu. Traveling around the country can be a real adventure, and here are some tips on getting around so that you can plan your trip before you arrive.
Travel by Bus and Taxi in the City
Buses are the cheapest way to get around in the towns and cities, but they can be quite crowded and they also tend to be fairly slow. You may also need to ask locals which buses go to your destination as this is not always obvious.
‘Combis’ are minibuses that race around the cities packed full of passengers. They are not the safest way to travel, but they can be a lot of fun.
Taxis are easy to find, but stick to regulated taxis that you book over the phone rather than flagging them down. There are no meters, so ask for the fare when you get in, and remember that haggling is accepted. You can also hire a taxi for long-distance trips, which is a cheaper option than hiring your own car.
Long Distance By Bus or Train
There are lots of bus terminals in the country, many of which are quite new. For long journeys, you will often check your luggage in, and you will be given a ticket to pick up your luggage at the end. It is best to book these journeys in advance.
Express buses are the best option for long-distance journeys. These are comfortable, air-conditioned buses that often serve snacks. Luxury buses are also available for overnight trips, and these are the most comfortable option for longer journeys.
Trains are not the most convenient way to get around in Peru, but they can be a fun experience. For example, the Ferrocarril Central Andino goes from Lima to Huancayo once a week from April to October, and it will take you to an altitude of nearly 5,000 meters. Another train you may want to catch goes from Cusco to Aguas Calientes when you are traveling to Machu Picchu.
Catch a Flight
Flying is a good way to get between the large cities, and if you are starting your journey in Lima, you will be able to catch a flight to most of the main destinations in the country. Book your flight at the airline’s office on arrival, or even better book it online before you arrive to save more time.
However, always reconfirm your reservation the day before your flight, and always arrive at the airport early. Flights are often overbooked, and they sometimes leave early due to weather conditions. They may also be changed or cancelled at short notice.
If you want to go to Machu Picchu, a flight from Lima to Cusco takes about 90 minutes. This is by far the best option if you are short of time.
Rent a Car
Renting a car should be seen as an option if you are staying in Peru for a longer trip and you want to enjoy the freedom that your own transport provides. However, distances are large in the country, and it may be a better option to fly to a region that you want to explore and then rent a car when you arrive. However, remember that hiring a taxi may be a better option as it can be cheaper and more convenient.
Roadside checkpoints are common in Peru, where police will stop you to check your documents. Make sure you have everything in order which includes your driving license. If you are in the country for more than 30 days, an international driving permit is required.
Be careful of potholes on the roads, and avoid driving at night. Also be aware that other drivers may be more aggressive than you are used to back home, especially in the cities.
Explore this Fascinating Country
Peru is a country that has it all for tourists. There is so much to see here that you will almost certainly find yourself wanting to return when your trip is over. See as much as you can by planning your journey before you arrive using the most suitable transport options, then you won’t have to worry about getting around once you are in the country, giving you more time to enjoy your adventure.
Erik Hervas is a Marketing expert at Seminuevos.com, a company that publishes car listings in Mexico. We provide a friendly platform to help users sell their cars. And we bring buyers by promoting the listings through many channels. Erik has worked for many companies in marketing and he is currently seeking to succeed with Seminuevos.com. He graduated as Food Engineer in 2004 but after owning his business he decided to pursue a career in the Marketing field. He currently reside in Ecuador with his wife and two children.