The best ways to visit Peru
Peru's capital city Lima is the gateway to the rest of the country.
Flights from Australia
There are currently no direct flights from Australia to Peru.
- From Melbourne, you can fly to Lima with a single stopover in Los Angeles in the USA.
- From Sydney, you can fly to Lima with one stopover via Los Angeles or Dallas in the USA, or via Santiago, Chile.
- There are more options if you're willing to fly with two or more stopovers.
Flights from other countries
You can fly directly into Lima from:
- Quito, Ecuador with several direct flights daily taking just over two hours.
- Santiago, Chile with daily flights that last just under four hours.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina, with direct flights of just under five hours.
- Brazil, Sao Paulo (five hours) and Rio de Janeiro (five-and-a-half hours).
- Bogota, Colombia in around three hours.
- Caracas, Venezuela in four hours.
Airports in Peru
The Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) in Callao, in the wider Lima metropolitan area, is the main hub for international travel in Peru.
What you need to know about Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM)
- The airport is about 40 minutes drive from central Lima, but may take longer during peak times between 7am and 10am and between 5pm and 8pm.
- If you're transiting the airport and want to exit to see some of the city, you'll need to go through migration control and customs. When you return to the airport, you'll need to pay a tax, called the Unified Tariff for Airport Use (also known as the TUUA), which is approximately $US31 for international flights and $US11 for domestic flights. If you fly into the airport directly, this tax is included in your ticket price.
- The Airport Lima Express operates a bus service for passengers with free Wi-Fi, USB chargers and no baggage limits. The bus travels between the airport and the hotel district of Miraflores. You can buy tickets at counters located at both the domestic and international arrivals terminals. Find timetables and more information on the Airport Lima Express website.
- You can find a list of licensed taxis and shuttle bus operators on the LIM website. A taxi from the airport to major hotels in Lima will cost about 60 soles (around $25).
- There are four rental car companies located at LIM: Avis, Budget, Hertz and Grupo ANC. Avis is available only at the international arrivals area of the airport, while Budget and Hertz are located in both the international and domestic arrivals terminals.
- Visit the Lima airport website for more information.
The Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport is the main airport for travellers wishing to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu.
What you need to know about Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ)
- Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport is around 15 minutes drive from the centre of Cusco.
- You can find a booth for the official Llama Taxis in the baggage collection area of the airport.
- You can catch a local bus outside the airport from near the Pecsa petrol station into the city centre, but watch out for pickpockets.
- Visit the Cusco airport website for more information.
Travel by land and water
You can enter Peru via official checkpoints from Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile by bus or car. While it is also possible to cross by land from Colombia, the Australian government advises travellers not to do so because of the threat of drug traffickers and guerrilla forces.
Travelling to Peru from Bolivia by land
There are two main land crossings between Peru and Bolivia: from Copacabana in Bolivia, near Lake Titicaca, to Puno, on the Peruvian side of the lake (the more common route); or between Bolivia's Desaguadero and Puno.
Travelling to Peru from Ecuador by land
Avoid the border areas between Peru and Ecuador in the Loreto, Amazonas (Cordillera del Condor) and Cajamarca regions as they may still contain landmines.
You can cross more safely via three official routes: near the coast on the Aguas Verdes route (Huaquillas, Ecuador to Tumbes, Peru), through the mountains via the La Tina route (Macará, Ecuador to Sullana, Peru), and through the jungle via the La Balsa route (Zumba, Ecuador to San Ignacio, Peru).
Travelling to Peru from Chile by land
You can get across the Chile-Peru border by travelling from Arica, Chile to Tacna, Peru.
Travel by water
The city of Iquitos in Peru's Amazonas region can't be reached by road, but is connected by river to Brazil and Colombia. You can take a speedboat to the tri-border, or take one of the slower boats that take up to a few days to reach your destination. Be careful if you do decide to travel by river though – armed criminals have been known to target boats in the region.