Getting Around Peru: How to Choose the Right Transportation for Your Trip

Getting Around Peru: How to Choose the Right Transportation for Your Trip

Peru is very well known for its rich history, breathtaking natural attractions, and dynamic culture. This beautiful nation provides a variety of sites that fascinate travelers from all over the world, from the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu to the mystical beauty of the Amazon jungle.

In order to fully enjoy your time in Peru, you must pick the right transportation for your trip. Whether traveling through crowded cities, over difficult terrain or on scenic rail journeys, choosing the right transportation options in Peru can significantly improve your whole experience.

In this blog article, we’ll take a look at the different options and everything you have to know for a safe and unforgettable trip to Peru.

Blog content:

Considerations for Choosing Transportation in Peru

Geographic Diversity and Challenges in Peru

huacachina oasis surrounded by desert dunes and city

Peru has a variety of environments, from high peaks to deep jungles to huge coastal plains. Accessing various parts of the country might be difficult due to this geographical diversity. When choosing a transportation option in Peru, beware of distance, and infrastructure.


Factors to Consider When Selecting Transportation Options

Budgetary restrictions: Set your transportation budget and take into account the most affordable options. To make a good decision, compare the costs of buses, trains, planes and other forms of transportation.

Time restraints: Consider how much time you have available for your journey and how fast you must get to each destination. For instance, domestic aircraft can reduce travel time when covering big distances, while buses might work for small ones.

couple inside of a luxurious train

Comfort preferences: Think about how comfortable you want to be when you travel. Different forms of transportation provide varying degrees of comfort. For instance, trains can be a fantastic alternative if you enjoy relaxing and picturesque travel, whilst buses offer affordability but may offer various degrees of comfort.

Accessibility to various regions: Choose among Peru’s top destinations when planning your visit and look at their accessibility. While you can reach certain regions better by plane, others may have well-developed road systems. Consider the accessibility and dependability of the available transportation choices for each destination.

By following the above points, you’ll have an effortless and memorable trip to your destinations in Peru.


Transportation Options in Peru

couple walking with luggage to plane

Major Airlines and Routes

LATAM Airlines and Sky Airlines are the most well-known airlines. They connect numerous important cities, including Lima, Cusco, Arequipa, Puno, Iquitos, Trujillo and Puerto Maldonado, via a variety of routes. Due to the ease of access to remote areas and time savings, flying is one of the best transportation options in Peru.

We can also help you add flight tickets to your Peru itinerary. Have a look at our blog post about our customized Peru tours to learn more.


Buses in Peru

bus on a road surrounded by cars

Exploring the Extensive Network

The bus network is very wide in Peru, connecting large cities, small towns, and even remote areas. Buses provide a reliable and low-priced method of transportation to get you where you need to go, whether you explore the coast, highlands, or jungle regions.

You’ll find different bus types in Peru that accommodate various travel needs and price ranges. There are numerous options to choose from regular buses with modest comforts to luxury coaches equipped with comfortable seating, entertainment systems, and onboard facilities.


Popular Bus Companies and Routes

Peru is home to many credible bus companies that provide reliable services to a variety of locations. Organizations like Cruz del Sur, Oltursa and Movil Tours are well-known for their high standards of safety and relaxing travel. Popular roads include, among others, those from Lima to Cusco (for experiencing various Machu Picchu tours), Arequipa and Puno.


Trains in Peru

couple at the end of the train with drinks

You can explore the country’s breathtaking scenery and cultural treasures in a unique and different way thanks to Peru’s train services.

Overview of train services: There are different train options that tend to be rather expensive, whether you’re looking for a short ride to Machu Picchu or a multi-day tour through the Andean mountains.

Iconic Train Journeys: The Andean Explorer is South America’s first luxury train journey that combines daytime getaways with sleeping accommodations at night. You’ll experience all of that, while passing through breathtaking valleys, rivers and cute Andean villages.

Reservations and Ticketing Information: It is important to book in advance, especially for the train to Machu Picchu, since this experience is so popular. If you need help with your trip to Machu Picchu, feel free to contact us, as we can organize your entire trip, including transportation, train, guide and tickets to this unique site.

There are two major train companies in Peru: Peru Rail and Inca Rail. We mainly work with Peru Rail for our Peru tours and they offer the following train options for your Machu Picchu trip: Expedition, Vistadome and Belmond Hiram Bingham, each with their own features and comfort levels.


Taxis and Ride-Sharing in Peru

yellow taxis behind each other

In most major regions, particularly in well-known tourist locations like Lima, Cusco and Arequipa, taxis are easily accessible. Next to taxis, you’ll also find different ride-sharing services like Uber and Cabify that you can use.

Safety must come first when using taxis or ride-sharing services in Peru, therefore make sure to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Select licensed taxis: Look for licensed taxis with identification numbers and company logos. To protect your safety, stay away from unmarked or unlicensed taxis.
  • Secure your belongings: Keep your possessions close to you and lock the doors to keep them secure. Try to avoid displaying your expensive belongings as it could draw unwanted attention.
  • Share trip information: Share with a friend your route, including the name of the driver, the taxi company or ride-sharing service, and the expected time of arrival if you don’t have a food feeling.
  • Be careful at night: When you use a taxi or ride-sharing service at night, especially in unfamiliar regions, it’s important to pay extra caution.

You can enhance your experience and ensure a secure journey when you plan to use taxis and ride-sharing services in Peru by being aware of these safety considerations and suggestions.


Rental Cars in Peru

It might be flexible and convenient if you want to rent a car in Peru, but it’s crucial to consider the pros and cons before you decide. Here is an overview to rent a car in Peru and some practical advice.

It might be flexible and convenient if you want to rent a car in Peru, but it’s crucial to be aware of certain points before you do so. The benefits of renting a car are flexibility and convenience as you can make as many stops as you want and also discover off-the-beaten-path locations.

rental car at the side of the road

However, driving in Peru is everything other than fun, as the driving conditions in major cities are terrible due to the heavy traffic, aggressive driving and unfamiliar road signs. Next to that, it might be difficult to find a parking spot and most importantly, in certain districts the crime rate is high.

To avoid car theft, robberies or anything else that could put you and the people you are traveling with in danger, it’s better to choose one of the other transportation modes in Peru


Rental Car Companies and Regulations

A number of domestic and foreign rental car firms run operations in Peru, with a selection of vehicles. It’s a good idea to look and compare costs, read reviews, and pick a reliable business with open rental rules.

However, we do not recommend renting a car in Peru as it can lead to many issues that could negatively impact your vacation. For that reason it’s better to use some of the other mentioned transportation options, such as: flights, trains, buses, taxis or ride-sharing services.


Choosing the Right Transportation for Different Destinations

view on Machu picchu and urubamba river

It’s important that you take into account transportation alternatives based on criteria like distance, accessibility and the availability of local transit while setting up your vacation to major destinations in Peru, such as Lima, Cusco, Arequipa, and the Amazon.



There are several ways to get around in Peru’s capital. Walking or using public transportation like buses and the Metropolitano system are practical and inexpensive options for short distances within the city.

Taxis and ride-sharing services are widely available. When exploring central districts like Miraflores and Barranco, traffic jams can be severe during rush hours, so plan appropriately or go by foot.



Due to its small size, it’s highly recommended to walk to get around in Cusco! There are also available ride-sharing and taxi services. The most popular alternative for more extensive treks to Machu Picchu is to take a train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo.



Arequipa provides a variety of transportation possibilities and is well-known for its colonial architecture and closeness to the Colca Canyon. You can walk throughout the city, especially in the old district.

For quick excursions, taxis and ride-sharing services are practical. You can visit the Colca Canyon on pre-planned tours that include transportation.



To get to the Amazon Jungle demands careful planning. Travel choices may differ depending on the specific lodge or location that you stay in the Amazon. The majority of the time, tourists fly into places like Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado, and then they use ground and river transportation that has been organized by the hotel or tour company.

For a more in-depth understanding of both destinations, we highly recommend having a look at our comparative guide to Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos.


Decoding Peru’s Transportation Puzzle for an unforgettable time

As you can see, selecting the right form of transportation option in Peru is essential for your entire trip. Therefore, make sure to choose the right transportation by carefully considering your needs, preferences and how enjoyable you want to travel.

If you need any additional support with your trip through Peru, feel free to send us an email to

  • 8 July, 2023 at 10:32 am

    I wasn’t aware of the different transport options in Peru. We thought about renting a car and travelling through the country… but that looks like not the best option. We will probably book only flights! Thanks for your support

    • 9 July, 2023 at 1:09 am

      Hi Jeroen,
      thanks for your comment. Flying to the different destinations in Peru is a great option as you’ll save a lot of time and it’s the most comfortable way of travelling.
      Otherwise than that, all of our tours include a pick-up and drop-off from your accommodation and you can also add a private airport transfer.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.


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