Cuzco is one of the most important tourist destinations in South America. As such, it attracts travelers from every country. Planning ahead is important if you want to travel to Cuzco by land during high season months of July/August, and December/January. If you are planning on traveling to Cuzco from Bolivia or Argentina, we have put together all the information you will need in order to plan your trip.
Travel from La Paz to Cuzco: If you are starting your trip in La Paz, you´re in luck: you can decide if you want to take a direct bus from La Paz to Cuzco, or if you want to break up your trip to spend a few days in Copacabana and Puno in order to visit Lake Titicaca, the sacred lake of the Incas.
The bus from La Paz to Cuzco takes about 12 hours, covering a distance of 640 km. For traveling to Cuzco you have two alternatives: going through Desaguadero, the border between Bolivia and Peru, or passing by the Copacabana-Kasani tourist area. The buses leave every day at 7:30 and 16:30 from the Bus Terminal of La Paz, located on Uruguay Av. Before boarding the bus you need to pay a small fee of 2.5 Bolivianos, called Uso de Terminal. In Cuzco, the buses arrive at the bus terminal on Avenida de Evitamiento.
From Cochabamba to Cuzco: In order to travel from Cochabamba to Cuzco by bus, you have to divide your trip in several segments, as there are no direct buses for this route. The most efficient way to do it is to travel first from Cochabamba to La Paz, and then from La Paz to Cuzco. The trip from Cochabamba to La Paz takes around 8 hours, covering a distance of 378 km and crossing the valleys and Altiplano region of Bolivia. La Paz lies at an altitude of 3,600 m above sea level. The buses depart from Cochabamba at the Bus Terminal, located on Ayacucho Av. Before departure you will have to pay a small fee (around 50 Cents of a dollar) for the Terminal´s maintenance. In La Paz, the buses arrive at the Bus Terminal on Uruguay Avenue, in the city´s center.
Traveling from Santa Cruz to Cuzco: Santa Cruz is the most important city in the south of Bolivia, and it is key as a connection to Brazil and Argentina, due to its location. In order to travel from Santa Cruz to Cuzco by bus, you need to divide your trip in at least two segments, as there are no direct trips available. The most efficient way is to travel first from Santa Cruz to La Paz and from there to Cuzco, because the quality of the buses is better, as well as the conditions of the roads. The trip from Santa Cruz to La Paz takes around 17 hours, covering a distance of 851 km. The buses leave from the Bimodal Bus Terminal in Santa Cruz, located on Montes Av. The buses leave every day between 14:00 and 20:00, almost every hour, so you have many options.
Before boarding the bus, you need to pay a small fee of 2.5 Bolivianos, called Uso de Terminal. After crossing the low-lands of Santa Cruz, the valleys of Cochabamba and climbing to the highlands of the Altiplano region, the buses arrive in La Paz at the bus terminal on Uruguay Av. You can take your bus to Cuzco from the same bus terminal, as explained above.
From Sucre to Cuzco: Sucre is the capital city of Bolivia, one of the jewels of our country due to its amazing colonial architecture. In order to travel from Sucre to Cuzco by bus, you need to, again, reach La Paz first, as there are no direct trips available. The distance between Sucre and La Paz is 694 km, and the bus trip takes around 12 hours. To travel by bus from Sucre to La Paz you have to go to the bus station at Ostria Gutierrez Avenue. Before boarding the bus you have to buy the “uso terminal” which is a fee charged by the Terminal. It costs 2.5 Bolivianos. The buses leave every day between 19:00 and 20:00, arriving in La Paz the next morning, at the Bus Terminal located on Uruguay Av.
Uyuni-Cuzco: Uyuni has become one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the region, and many travelers are keen on visiting Uyuni and Cuzco when they travel around South America. Again, you should travel to La Paz first, and then to Cuzco as explained above. Between Uyuni and La Paz there is a distance of around 731 km, and the trip takes around 11 hours. You can travel from Uyuni to La Paz by direct bus, or by bus and train. All buses depart from Uyuni at night, from Cabrera Av., arriving in La Paz early in the morning at the Bus Terminal located on Uruguay Av.
In order to make the trip by bus and train, you should take the train from Uyuni to Oruro and then continue by bus to La Paz. The train companies offering this service are:
*Expreso del Sur: Uyuni-Oruro (Wednesday and Saturday)
*Wara Wara del Sur: Uyuni-Oruro (Monday and Thursday)
Buses depart from Oruro to La Paz every day, every half hour. The trip lasts only four hours and the buses leave from the main Bus Terminal, located on Gregorio Reynolds Av. You can plan your trip by visiting www.ticketsbolivia.com to compare bus companies and prices and book online to avoid hassles and secure your tickets during high season.
Travel from Buenos Aires to Cuzco: If you want the most direct trip from Buenos Aires to Cuzco by bus, again you must divide the trip in several segments because there are no companies offering the direct route. In this case, you should travel from Buenos Aires to Santa Cruz first, and from there to La Paz, as explained above. The trip from Buenos Aires to Santa Cruz by bus covers a distance of 2362 km and takes around 36 hours. This can vary depending on the time of year, since during tourist months there can be a lot of traffic at the border. The trip crosses the Bolivian tropics and the valleys of Argentina. Buses depart every day from the Bus Station Retiro, in Buenos Aires, located on Libertador Av, and arrive at the Bus Station in Santa Cruz, located on Montes Avenue.
From Villazon to Cuzco: Another way to make a pretty direct trip from Argentina to Cuzco ys crossing the border through Villazon, and from there to La Paz by bus, or by train and bus. You can even pass by Uyuni, first, for a very complete tourist experience. The trip from Villazon to La Paz lasts around 18 hours, taking you on a journey across most of Bolivia in the west and crossing the Altiplano and valleys of Bolivia through a paved road. The distance between the cities is of 1,331 km. Along the way, the bus will stop several times for passengers to buy food and stretch their legs. In order to take a bus from Villazon to La Paz, you must go to the bus terminal in Villazon, located on La Paz Av. Before boarding the bus, you will have to pay a small fee called “uso de terminal”, which costs around 2 Bolivianos. The trip ends with the arrival of the bus at the Main Bus Terminal of La Paz, on Uruguay Av.
If you prefer to reach La Paz by a combination of train and bus, you must take a train to Oruro, first, and then a bus to La Paz. Oruro is located at a distance of 655 km from Villazon. The train trip takes around 13 hours, departing at night and arriving in Oruro early in the morning. The trains leave from Villazón at the Train Station, located on Antofagasta Av. The companies offering this service are Wara Wara del Sur and Expreso del Sur with executive and salon class service. Wara Wara del Sur leaves for Oruro on Mondays and Thursdays, and Expreso del Sur leaves on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Once in Oruro, take a cab to the bus station located on Gregorio Reynolds Av., and take a bus to La Paz. From there, the trip to Cuzco is direct and you can use the information above. For more information, visit www.ticketsbolivia.com