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cat_lover Aug 7th, 2009 11:22 AM

Bus or Fly from Puno to Cusco?
Me again!

Another question we had relates to transportation from Puno to Cusco. Our tour company is advising we take the bus, but we thought flying would save time and give us more time in the actual cities. What is there to see/do on the bus ride between these two cities? Can anyone share advantages to bus vs. air transport and vice versa for this leg of our journey?

crellston Aug 8th, 2009 12:12 AM

I would definitely recommend the bus. We used Inka Express (8 hours) who incorporate a tour so you get to stop off at various places along the way. To be honest I found our particular guide to be a bit of a pain (but I do have a very short attention span!). The scenery on the altiplano is quite spectacular and you would miss a great deal if travelling by air. A link to our bog covering the trip + Puno

There is also a train between the two which is probably a bit quicker and a straight bus which takes about 5/6 hours.

bjamie Aug 8th, 2009 09:36 AM

My husband and I also took the Inka Express bus in early July and thought it was a great way to travel. Our guide wasn't great(in fact he was so terrible it was actually pretty humorous) and the included lunch buffet was mediocre, but the time flew by and it was nice to see a bit of the rest of the countryside. They stop at some pre-Incan ruins which were interesting, and a pretty church. The other stops were pretty forgettable. Everywhere else we traveled in Peru we flew so it was nice to have a change of pace.

cat_lover Aug 9th, 2009 12:06 PM

Thanks for this info! I'm not sure which bus our tour co. was suggesting, but I'll inquire.
Would love to hear from others also, if there are more opinions out there.

crellston Aug 11th, 2009 04:50 AM

bjamie - we must have had the same guide!!

bjamie Aug 11th, 2009 05:43 PM

Perhaps we did! I could barely stay awake listening to him, though since we were only stuck with him for a few hours it became a joke.

P_M Aug 12th, 2009 04:33 PM

I've heard good things about the Inka Express but unfortunately we took a cheaper bus. It's definitely not worth the savings, if you take the bus use the Inka Express.

qwovadis Aug 14th, 2009 06:00 AM the way to go

hits all the tourist sites plus a nice lunch


jlhart Aug 14th, 2009 01:02 PM

We just took First Class Bus. I think it's in the range of $5-10 cheaper than Inka Express. We stopped at all the same places as Inka Express, including the same lunch place (which wasn't great). The trip actually went by pretty quickly with all the stops (and naps in between) and other than the ubiquitous dust on the roads making us sniffle, it was a better than expected trip.

I'll be posting a trip report soon--just got back a week ago.

Axel2DP Aug 14th, 2009 07:35 PM

Did you guys prebook your Puno hotel before your bus trip? If you did the Lake Titicaca tour the morning after you arrive in Puno then did taking the bus gave you enough time in Puno the evening of your bus arrival to get extra supplies, gifts for the host family on the lake, etc. I'm still debating whether to fly or take the bus. Thanks.

Axel2DP Aug 14th, 2009 07:39 PM

Also, how much time did you have at each site that the bus visited? Can I buy a bus ticket the day before departure?

crellston Aug 15th, 2009 02:37 AM

The bus arrived late afternoon which allowed plenty of time to wander around the centre of town and hang out in the main squre watching the fiesta that was on at the time and the shops all seemed to be open until quite late. It is best to book the bus trip a few days in advance as it does get booked up. Unusually for us, we booked both the hotel and Lake tour online from Cusco but it is not really necessary as there are lots of hotels and tours available (you could even turn up at the dock and find a tour). Aparently the quality of tours does vary so it may be prudent to do a bit of research beforehand. We had thought that we had booked an overnight stay on the islands but due to my not very good spanish, we had not! It would have been very simple (and a lot cheaper) to arrnge it there and then and travel back to Puno on our own but my wife was suffering with the altitude so we did not bother.

cat_lover Aug 18th, 2009 09:51 AM

Thanks everyone for the great info!

live42day Aug 26th, 2009 06:54 PM

We took the bus one way and flew the other which was perfect. We loved the sceanery, but did necessarily want to see it twice.

cat_lover Aug 29th, 2009 12:04 PM

We just finalized our itinerary with Kuoda Tours (we were VERY pleased with Jole's ability and willingness to work with us for a very customized tour). Based on the advice in this thread, we are taking the Inka Express bus from Puno to Cusco. We leave for Peru in early October, so I'll post a trip report when we return.

maribel2 Aug 30th, 2009 01:22 PM

Just take the Turismo Merr Bus , they do the same as first class / is new bus and charge less !

Axel2DP Sep 4th, 2009 04:38 PM

Can I buy the bus ticket the day before or should I buy it at least a few days earlier? Do I need to make Puno hotel arrangement before arriving or will I be able to find a place to stay when I arrive by bus? Thanks.

Axel2DP Sep 4th, 2009 04:42 PM

Oops I had already asked the question about if I can buy ticket the day before. Sorry.

SbugLS Sep 15th, 2009 07:21 PM

I would like to know the answer to your other question because I was wondering the same thing! Should the Puno hotel reservation be made in advance?

crellston Sep 16th, 2009 12:34 AM

Sbug - There are loads of reasonable hotels in the centre of Puno so there should be no problem in finding somewhere nice to stay on the day (we arrived on the day of a major fiesta and our place had plenty of rooms free). However, be aware that the bus staion is not in the centre but a taxi ride away so you would need to ask the driver to drop you at say Plaza de Armas and have a wander around from there. (Puno was one of the places where we did have a few hassles with the taxi driver) Alternatively select a possible hotel from your guide book and ask to be dropped there and take a chance on of them having a room free, if not there will be one nearby. If you want a specific hotel, book in advance

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