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How to get from Cuzco to Rio de Janeiro?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean How to get from Cuzco to Rio de Janeiro?

1. Posted by j breezy (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


Wanted some help on finding the best/fastest route to get from Peru to Rio De Janeiro and how many days it will take? Is the best route to depart from Cuzco>La Paz>Santa Cruz>Rio. Please any info will help. Flying is out of the option, so either bus or train or combination of this is preferred.



2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5642 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Yes, like you described yourself it is the best option to get to Santa Cruz by bus, take the train to the border with Brazil and bus onwards towards Rio. I am not sure if there are direct buses from the border to Rio, you might have to switch buses in Campo Grande.
The other parts are possible in one go, although you might have to check if the Cuzco to La Paz route. It might be one ticket, but with a switch of buses in Copacobana.

The only decent alternative, though longer, is to go south from La Paz towards Salta in Argentina and then make your way west towards Iguazu, where there are buses to Rio.
But as far as I know (member Bentivogli will know this for sure) the east-west connections in the upper north of Argentina are lousy and require more change of buses.

Have fun!

3. Posted by j breezy (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Michael.

Approx. how many days will this take? And is it easy to get bus/train tickets there? I'm kinda of new to do this.



4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5642 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jakob,

Although I didn't travel all parts of that route, I generally find it very easy to buy a bus ticket at the (central) bus station and in most cases by on my way within hours. On some parts, the bus might leave just the next day, but mostly there are many buses each day and rarely are they are full.

Cuzco to La Paz is about 12 hours
La Paz to St. Cruz 24 or so
Another 24 to the border with Brazil.
Not sure about distance to Rio, but add another 20 hours or so and you will be fine.
Total about 3,5 days of pure travelling, so make it around 5-6 days in total. You could be sure to be in Rio exactly a week after leaving Cuzco, probably earlier.

Oh by the way, although I don't recommend flying if not really necessary (the scenery is nice for most of the journey), it could be possible that with a little luck it is not more expensive to fly. You just need to be lucky with the prices of plane tickets, as budget airlines are not widespread in south america. But when adding it all up (including possible hostels/hotel stays), it might be about the same price.

Have fun!

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jan-2010, at 12:57 by Utrecht ]

5. Posted by Amandinha (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


I did this route and it took almost one week, I went to Santa Cruz and took the "trem da morte" untill Brazil, in Corumbá and in Corumbá I took a bus to Rio de Janeiro.

see you and enjoy the travel because it´s beautifull!

6. Posted by claytonwang (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!


I'm living in Ollantaytambo, Peru at the moment and would like to make this exact trip from Cuzco to Rio in a few weeks. I know it was a while ago, but do you remember a ballpark idea of how much it cost? The travel alone. THANK YOU!!!!