Cusco to Puno by Bus

Cusco To Puno by Bus: 2019 updated information about Bus Schedules, Bus Safety, and the Best Bus Companies to take!

A bus from Cusco to Puno usually takes around 6 hours on a direct bus and is usually an overnight journey. It is recommended to depart Cusco at around 10pm to arrive into Puno at around 6am, in time for any Lake Titicaca Tours which usually begin around 7am. There are 2 other options to get to Puno from Cusco;

HOW TO PERU TRAVEL TIP: Save money and stay safe when going to/from Lima Airport by using the Official Bus service inside the Airport called Airport Express Lima
  1. by plane via Juliaca
  2. or by taking the new Andean Explorer, a luxury train.

Both options can be really expensive but are always an option if you are very short on time.

Quick Tip: When traveling from Cusco to Puno, the safest, fastest and best option is to travel with Peru Hop. A hop on, hop off bus that allows passengers to choose how long they want to stay in each place. Every trip is accompanied by a guide with optional free stops to help you make the most out of Peru!

FIND OUT WHY

To take a bus from Cusco to Puno 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 Cusco to Puno route, while going further on into Bolivia (La Paz & Copacabana) or down to Arequipa and Lima. 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!

How To Peru Tip:

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.

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 Cusco to Puno 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 Cusco to Puno are as follows:

COMPANIES
SCHEDULEDEPARTURE TIMEDEPARTURE LOCATIONENGLISH SPEAKING ASSITANCETRIPADVISOR RATING
PERU HOPDAILY22:00PRIVATE TERMINAL YES96%
INKA EXPRESSDAILY06:50PUBLIC TERMINAL NO85%
CRUZ DEL SUR DAILY08:00 and 22:00PUBLIC TERMINAL NO76%
DISCOVER PERU LIKE A LOCAL
ONLY WITH PERU HOP
FIND OUT HOW

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

The journey from Cusco to Puno by bus is usually a pleasant one (depending on what company you travel with) as most of the roads direct and smooth. All you have to do is choose the best bus company and enjoy your journey! If you are looking for more information about Puno, then make sure to check out this guide, complete with what to do, where to go and everything you need to know before you travel

DISCOVER PERU LIKE A LOCAL
ONLY WITH PERU HOP
FIND OUT HOW

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