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From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

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Piacenza, Italy
Level Contributor
601 posts
118 reviews
From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

I'm planning my trip to Peru that will be at the end of september/beginning of october and right now I'm looking for some infos about the Cusco - Puno tri. I've already searched the forum and found a couple of interesting posts like this one: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294314-i3023-k552…

I'd like to ask those who have been there these two things:

1) Is it worth going by bus talking about the scenary along the way? Not really for the stops you make, but for the landscape, mountains, nature, ecc... It's my first time there, this is the reason why I would choose the bus. Or it's not basic for a visit in Peru and better going by plane that's faster? In this case, I'll have 1/2 day more to dedicate to the visit of Puno.

2) I was told the street is good. Since I feel a bit of sickness on the bus, is there anyone with similr problems who can tell me his experience? I think it should be possible to ask for seats in the first rows paying something extra, right?

Thx anyone for your help! :)

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
9,534 posts
96 reviews
1. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

We did the inkaexpress tourist bus from Cusco to Puno a couple weeks ago. The scenery along the ride is nice but not particularly fantastic. You will see nicer scenery in the Sacred Valley and on Lake Titicaca. The first half is climbing up through the mountains to the pass at La Raya so is pretty nice. It was nice to see the very high mountains covered in snow at La Raya.

The second half of the ride is across the high plane which is very flat and interesting for the first 15 minutes, but after that it's all the same. The last hour or 90 minutes is through Juliaca, which is just a city, and than on an uninteresting flat road. You do not see Lake Titicaca until the very end.

There is also not much in Puno to see so I do not know if having an extra half day helps. The main reason to go to Puno is to visit Lake Titicaca and all the boat tours out into the lake leave in the morning. If you do not arrive until after lunch, I do not think there will be much to do in the afternoon.

The main reason to me to take the bus is it is so much cheaper. Inkaexpress was $60USD per ticket. Flying was three times that price. Plus even if you fly, it is to Juliaca so you still need a taxi to Puno, which you have to pay more for and it is an hour ride. The bus will get you to Puno around 5:00. At most, the plane maybe gets you there at 1:00 so you get three or four extra hours, in Puno, but there is not much you can see while there and you pay a lot more.

The road is OK. It is not an interstate or an autobahn and it is kind of windy on the first part. No one on our bus seemed sick. When we booked ours, all tickets were the same price. All the seats were the same. I do not think you can pay extra to get a seat at the front. I think they just give the seats at the front to people that book their tickets first.

Ga
Level Contributor
25 posts
1 review
2. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

Just got back yesterday from our trip and I completely agree with wes035. The stops were an interesting side to the trip and were places you might not otherwise see.

Piacenza, Italy
Level Contributor
601 posts
118 reviews
3. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

Thx to both of you for your kind answer! Above all Wes032 for the long and detailed description, it will be uselful for sure!

I think I'll wait for a while to see if some good offers come out for the plane, if not I'll go by bus to save some money... right now the difference is big...

Edited: 3:47 am, June 15, 2013
Bolivia
Level Contributor
115 posts
18 reviews
4. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

We did the tourist bus last month and really enjoyed it, the scenery, the stops and the lunch. I get car sick on curvy roads but I had no problem on the bus. We got our tickets for $39 each from our hotel in Puno, so shop around. There are several companies doing the route so there's competition. Also, be aware that Puno does not have an airport you have to fly into Juliaca.

Piacenza, Italy
Level Contributor
601 posts
118 reviews
5. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

Thx Eileen for your comment, reading that you you had no problems of the bus is something positive for me.

I know there's no airport in Puno, I have already booked my plane from Juliaca to Lima, for example. ;)

Edited: 11:32 am, June 15, 2013
Paris, France
Level Contributor
202 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

We will take a flight instead of bus, because you can have an extra half day in Cusco, not in Puno. The flight departs at 3:40pm from Cusco and arrives at 4:40pm in Juliaca.

We think spending an extra half day in Cusco is really worth paying a bit extra.

If you take a shuttle service (Rossy Tours) between Juliaca and Puno (45min), it costs 15 soles. And taxi costs 80 soles.

7. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

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Edited: 3:44 pm, August 02, 2013
8. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

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London, United...
1 post
9. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone knows if there is an afternoon bus service from Cuzco to Puno? So far I've only seen early morning departures and overnight services. I would like to explore Ollantaytambo in the morning, then head to Cuzco and go to Lake Titicaca from there in the early afternoon.

Also, is it possible to go from Cuzco to Llachon, leaving Cuzco in the afternoon? This would be my preferred option.

Many thanks in advance for your help :)

california
Destination Expert
for Palm Desert
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
173 reviews
10. Re: From Cusco to Puno: bus vs plane

I can't answer the bus question but want to point out that you can go down to the Puno docks, and get on an afternoon launch to the Uros Islands, without going on a prearranged tour. They will wait until the boat is full and you will return at around sunset. You will get the whole touristic experience but it will be in Spanish. Just don't do this if it looks like there is a chance of thunderstorms in the sky! We barely made it to the dock, and back to the hotel before the skies opened up.