Arequipa to La Paz by Bus

Arequipa to La Paz by Bus: 2019 updated information about Bus Schedules, Bus Safety, and the Best Bus Companies to take!

A bus from Arequipa to La Paz takes around 10 hours, a long trip but is full of beautiful landscapes. Since the bus needs to cross the border between Peru and Bolivia, make sure you know about the visa requirements and fees. Depending on the service you choose, you might be lucky enough to have a guide on board to help you with the paperwork. The other way to get from Arequipa to La Paz is by plane, but this can be expensive, as flights between Peru and Bolivia are classed as international flights. Below we have detailed information about bus safety, the best bus companies and what other benefits you should look out for when choosing the best bus from Arequipa to La Paz.

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We strongly suggest traveling with Peru Hop through Peru. Their unique hop on hop off service is one of a kind in South America and allows you to always travel like a local.

To take a bus from Arequipa to La Paz you have 2 main options:

1 – Hop-on, hop-off bus (Peru Hop)

Pros:

  • Daily departures
  • Hotel/hostel pick up & drop off
  • Safe and comfortable luxury buses
  • Rated the #1 way to travel through Peru
  • Onboard, bilingual guides assisting you throughout your trip
  • Exclusive discounts on accommodation and restaraunts
  • Free, exclusive tours and stops along the way
  • Suitable for all types of travellers

Cons:

  • No Wi-Fi (no bus traveling through Peru will have Wi-Fi, even if falsely advertised)

A relatively new and refreshing bus service in Peru which started in October 2013, but already has over 2,700 excellent reviews on their Tripadvisor page, which is quite impressive. Being the first and only hop-on, hop-off bus system in Peru, the company covers the Arequipa to La Paz route, while going through Puno as well as other destinations like Cusco, Huacachina, Lima and more. It offers a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation and restaurants in all the destinations.

They pick-up passengers at hotels and hostels in all destinations which is a huge bonus here in Peru (no getting unsafe taxis or going to dangerous bus terminals) and from there take the safer route through the south of Peru. Definitely a service that is recommended for people wanting to travel safely and discover Peru!

2 – Public Bus (e.g. Cruz del Sur, Civa , Oltursa)

Pros:

  • Daily departures
  • Comfortable buses (depending on the company)
  • Loyalty programs
  • Direct buses from Point A to Point B (having to take the more dangerous route, over the speed limit, no stops along the way)

Cons:

  • Often unsafe and wreckless
  • Pick-ups and drop-offs in terminals, far from hostels and hotels
  • No bilingual, onboard assistance
  • Low Tripadvisor rating

These companies are aimed mostly towards locals, with customer service only offered in Spanish and terminals located far from hotels & hostels. Quality of bus and service varies widely from local bus companies and it’s one of the instances where you truly get what you pay for. All of them offer direct travel from Arequipa to La Paz with no free tours or stops along the way. Their overall rating on Tripadvisor, Facebook, and other review sites aren’t usually the best and some are known for having frequent accidents. This option would mostly be recommended for locals or those who are perfectly fluent in Spanish.

The schedule and departure times of buses from Arequipa to La Paz are as follows:

COMPANIESSCHEDULEDEPARTURE TIMEDEPARTURE LOCATIONENGLISH SPEAKING ASSISTANCETRIPADVISOR RATING
PERU HOPDAILY 05:45HOTEL PICK UP & DROP OFF YES98%
CIVADAILY 21:00PUBLIC TERMINALNON/A
TRANSZELADAILY 22:45PUBLIC TERMINALNON/A
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Additional Information To Help Choose What Bus Company To Take:

Do they collect you at your hotel or hostel?

Some bus companies and all hop-on hop-off companies do actually pick you up at your hotel, thus offering a much safer and secure service rather than taking local taxis.

How is their safety record?

Simply put the name of the bus company, and the word “accident” or “hijacking” into google and see which companies are the best.

What onboard facilities do they have?

Tv’s, toilets (clean!!), semi-cama or cama seats…all of these things will help decide which is the best company.

What is hop on hop off?

A ticket for a hop on hop off bus covers all journeys that the bus company takes. Rather than paying for all bus journeys separately, hop on hop off tickets allow passengers to board as many buses as they want and stay in destinations for as long as they please. They have been described worldwide as the best way to experience all that a country has to offer, and such has been the feedback from those who boarded the Peruvian hop on hop off buses. For more information click here.

Other benefits?

Some bus companies have loyalty points schemes (e.g. Cruz del Sur) and others have accommodation and other discounts (e.g. Peru Hop) so shop around and see what other benefits you get with each company

Summary

Arequipa to La Paz by bus should always be broken up with a visit to Lake Titicaca, whether at Puno or Copacabana, so try to find a suitable option allowing you time at either place!

DISCOVER PERU LIKE A LOCAL
ONLY WITH PERU HOP
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