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santiago to cusco

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean santiago to cusco

1. Posted by gltsai04 (Budding Member 8 posts) 6y

how much does a bus ride from santiago to cusco cost? How long does it take?

2. Posted by stupidn00b (Budding Member 47 posts) 6y

I hope you have a good book to read my friend, it is going to take a while.

When I did the trip it was in several parts. First you need to catch a bus from Santiago to Arica which departs from Los Heroes. Arica is a town at the border of Chile/Peru. A ticket semi-cama cost me, if I recall correctly, $20,000 CHP (about £25).

When you get there (I picked up the bus at about 10pm and arrived in Arica at about 4:30am + 24 hours) you want to get a 'colectivo' cab. These cabs take you across the border to Tacna. You want to go to the station. This cost me $5,000 CHP, plus 2 mil peso tip to driver who I had a good laugh with.

Once you get to Tacna bus depot get some Peruvian nueva soles (their currency) from the cashpoint. Chilean pesos don't work here. Get some US dollars here too, if possible. I don't recall how much the bus ticket was from Tacna -> Arequipa, I think it was around 50 soles which is about a tenner. That was a really rough bus ride by the way. There was hardly any room to move, and no toilet. If I were you I'd avoid drinking anything for a while before this trip. It takes about 6 hours.

From Arequipa you can get a bus to Cusco. Times may have changed but then I went they had semi-camas leaving in the morning, at about 7am, and cama's leaving at 7pm. I ended up staying the night in Arequipa, as the cama bus was full that evening. You probably will want to as well. After 36 hours of straight travelling you won't need anyone to tell you you stink and look like a heroin addict

I caught a bus to Cusco in the morning, it was another horrible bus, but the ride was 10 hours. Or would have been if it didn't break down.


Santiago -> Arica, 28 - 30 hours, $20,000 CHP
Arica -> Tacna -> 1 hour inc. customs/border check, $5,000 CHP
Tacna -> Arequipa 6 hours, 50 soles
Arequipa -> Cusco 10 hours, I forget how much it cost.

It ended up being about 48 hours of travelling. I stopped in Arequipa for a night at a nice cheap hotel.

Hope that helps

3. Posted by gltsai04 (Budding Member 8 posts) 6y

Hey thanks for the info. So was it worth the exhausting voyage? I am trying to decide if I want to fly into Santiago and work my way up to cusco and machu then fly out of lima or fly into santiago and work my way to buenos aires and fly out of there. Im trying to figure out which would be more exciting/interesting for a solo traveler. Had you been to argentina too?