Cusco, Peru has a somehow 'wild' public transportation system, including buses, minibuses, and so-called collectivos. These options are generally considered to be inexpensive and convenient, but they can be very crowded and a bit uncomfortable at times.
There is a bus terminal for long distance buses (e.g. to Puno, Puerto Maldonado, Arequipa, Lima. Buses to the Sacred Valley leave from a different place: Either Puente Grau (at the intersection Avda Grau and Avda del Ejército) (Chincheros, Urubamba) or from Calle Puputi (close to the intersection with Juan Santos), if you want to travel to Pisac and Urubamba.
Buses within the city
Within the city, buses are the most common form of public transportation in Cusco. They are operated by a variety of different companies, and they run on set routes throughout the city and to nearby towns and villages. The buses are usually painted in bright colors, and they have a sign on the front of the bus indicating the route. However, there is no specific timetable and may not be as reliable as in other cities.
Minibuses are similar to buses, but they are smaller and can be more convenient for shorter trips. They also run on set routes, but they may not be as frequent as the buses.
Collectivos are shared taxis that run on set routes and they are usually vans that can hold up to 10 people.
If you are new in Cusco it seems complicated, in the beginning, but once you know which of the over 28 routes is yours, it will be easy. An application that can be of great help is the The Moovit app. Check their overview of routes here: transit lines in Cusco.
Funny detail: the buses in Cusco have names instead of numbers, like “Zorro”, “El Dorado” or “Batman”.
Taxis en Cusco
Taxis are a popular and convenient way to get around Cusco, Peru. They are widely available throughout the city and can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi stands.
Cusco has both official and unofficial taxis, and it's important to know the difference. Official taxis have a yellow and black color scheme, and have a city-issued license plate. They are generally considered to be safe, reliable, and relatively inexpensive.
Unofficial taxis, also known as "pirate taxis", do not have a city-issued license plate and they may be less safe. They also may not be insured. It's important to be cautious when using unofficial taxis and to only use official taxis. Sometimes you have to agree on the fare before getting into the taxi, especially if you are traveling outside of the city. Keep in mind that not all taxi drivers speak English.
You can also ask your hotel or hostel staff to call you a taxi, or you can download a taxi app, such as Uber or Beat, which also offer a safe and reliable service.
Uber is available in Cusco, Peru. Uber is a popular and convenient transportation option in Cusco, as it allows you to see the driver's information and track the car on the map, giving you more control and visibility of the trip. However, Uber is not as popular in Cusco as in other major cities, and the availability of cars may be limited depending on the time and location.
Flights to Cusco
Cusco’s airport Alejandro Velasco Astete is located at 10 kilometers from the city center up till now; a new airport should be opened in 2025 near Chincheros, in the Sacred Valley. There are daily flights to and from Lima, and also to and from Arequipa and Puerto Maldonado.
LATAM Airlines, Sky airlines, Via Air and Jet Smart have direct flights to Cusco. Star Peru mainly operates in northern Peru. More info about How to Get to Cusco
Trains to Machu Picchu
Read about the different trains to Machu Picchu on our page about Machu Picchu.