During your stay in Peru, you can choose from several means of transport to travel around. Here is an overview of the Peruvian transport network.
Once you have settled in Peru, you will probably have to move around, whether to go to work, shopping or for sightseeing. If you do not yet have a car, you will be relying on the transport network which is rather developed. Indeed, you can choose from different means of transport, namely the bus, train, airplane, taxi, boat, etc, depending on your means and budget. So take the time to inquire about these before proceeding.
The bus is the main and most popular means of transport in Peru. Most of the country, including villages, are served by the different bus lines. In general, most cities do not have a central station, but you are likely to find bus stops everywhere.
Most major cities are linked to one another by national bus companies. These provide rather comfortable buses with different levels (economy class, VIP or imperial). Buses covering long trips also provide bunker seats, toilets. Others are equipped with air-conditioning and offer meals to their passengers. Village trips, for their part, include correspondence with other local or regional buses.
On the other hand, local and regional bus schedules are particularly random. Indeed, buses are likely to stop anywhere in the streets upon passengers requests, that is not necessarily on bus stops. In the case of long trip, the driver may make a short stop somewhere.
As regards bus fares, these generally vary according to the season and the bus company. During the off-peak period, fares are lowered, but these can double during the peak season and on public holidays. You can even check out some companies' fare lists on their respective websites.
Peru hosts several train lines. Perurail, for instance, links Cuzco to Aguas Calientes, and Cuzco to Puno. Another line links Lima, the capital city, to Huancayo. However, their availability is quite limited, that is thrice a month. Note that the Lima-Huancayo line is 4,818 meters high stretching along the Ticlio.
Two other private train companies provide train lines around the Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu region. However, their rates are quite high as these are especially considered as tourist means of transport.
Taxis can be found in most Peruvian cities. You can find two different types of taxis: formal taxis displaying their company's number on their roof and non-formal taxis which can be distinguished thanks to a sticker on their windscreen. Non-formal taxis are generally cheaper than formal taxis.
Peruvian taxis are not equipped with a meter. Therefore, you are advised to inquire on the fare and negotiate with the driver before boarding the vehicle. On the other hand, taxi fares are higher in Lima, particularly due to traffic jam.
You will also find colectivos which are common taxis. These can operate according to a quota of five passengers per trip. Collectivos are more affordable than taxis and are often faster than buses. Moreover, combis, which are 20-seats buses, are also available in many regions.
Domestic flights are provided by several national companies, namely LAN, Peruvian Airlines, Star Peru and TACA, among others. These link the capital city, Lima, to the regional capital cities. Some flights even serve provincial cities, though on a limited basis.
Given the country's relief and surface area, you would often have to travel by air from one region to another. Therefore, advance booking is highly recommended. You can find airline companies and travel agencies in most cities. Tickets can be purchased at the airport as well. However, this can be quite tricky as flights are full most of the time, regardless of the season.
The boat is a very popular means of transport in the Amazon region. Thus, you can sail along large river in big boats. In smaller rivers and channels, on the other hand, small motorized canoes known as peki-peki serve as taxis.
At the port, you can access to freight vessels. Boat names, their schedules and destinations are displayed on boards. Most boats are equipped with sanitary facilities, meals, etc.
Expat.com – Transports in Peru Forum
Ferrocarril Central Andino – Peruvian Railway Network www.ferrocarrilcentral.com.pe
Peruvian Airlines www.peruvian.pe
Star Peru www.starperu.com
Bus Portal – Bus schedules busportal.pe
Grupo Ormeno www.grupo-ormeno.com.pe
Transportes Linea www.transporteslinea.com.pe