Arequipa and Cusco are south Peru tourist destinations and many bus companies, including gringo favourites Cruz del Sur, Oltursa and Civa, operate the 11 hour journey between the cities.
Almost all Arequipa-Cusco buses run overnight and this suits travellers wanting to save on accommodation and maximise sightseeing. However, I highly recommend taking the day bus for the wonderful scenery and wild animals!
Five vicuña, wild relatives of the alpaca and llama, graze on the Andean plain
During my July 2016 Econociva journey I saw many flamingos, vicuña, eagles and other birds of prey as well as an owl, a fox and a condor. Although a scheduled bus trip, it felt like a tour.
A herd of llamas and alpacas on the roadside between Arequipa and Cusco
Row one provided panoramic views of the countryside and its inhabitants. I shared the front with Yola and two other locals and the journey became an opportunity to practice my Spanish and the beginning of a friendship.
Flamingos dotted the lakes and rivers between Arequipa and Cusco
Arequipa – Cusco Travel Tips:
- Take the day bus from Arequipa to Cusco for great scenery. Unfortunately, I’m unaware of a day bus in the reverse direction from Cusco to Arequipa
- Econociva, Civa’s cheapest bus line runs daily 9:30am buses from Arequipa’s Terminal Terrestre, scheduled to arrive to Civa’s Cusco terminal at 8:30pm. Tickets cost 40-45 soles (~US$13)
- Choose row one for the best views and try to book this in advance. If this is unavailable, book a window seat on the right side for the flamingos in the lakes and rivers
- Try the delicious but fatty kankacho (baked lamb) sold by vendors on the bus in the late afternoon
- Book Cusco accommodation in advance as the Econociva bus arrives after dark