Traveling from Peru to Bolivia by land is an unforgettable experience. Both countries are marked by the Andes mountain range and by the culture of the Inca Empire, a marvelous civilization that continues to amaze due to its mysteries. Lake Titicaca is also a natural and cultural attraction that is shared by both countries, the highest navigable lake in the world, at an altitude of over 3,800 meters above sea level. This was a sacred place for the Incas and also the other indigenous cultures that lived nearby, and legend says that it was on the Island of the Sun, on the Bolivian side, that the Inca Empire was founded. In Bolivia, you can visit Copacabana, a picturesque town on the shore of the lake, from where you can take a boat to the Island of the Sun and island of the Moon. Puno, on the other side, offers a more direct trip to the floating Islands of the Urus.
Another attraction not to miss in Bolivia is the Uyuni Salt Flat, the largest salt desert in the world, a landscape out of this world that has been used in movies such as Star Wars; the last Jedi. Uyuni is a must for a complete and diverse trip through South America.
In order to travel from Peru to Bolivia by bus and enjoy this experience, you only have to plan ahead a bit and organize your itinerary, leaving plenty of room for improvisation, of course. You can reach Bolivia from the main cities of Peru, such as Lima, Arequipa, Puno and Cuzco. You can arrive in La Paz directly, and from there you can travel easily to all the important tourist destinations in Bolivia, such as Copacabana, Uyuni, Sucre, Potosi, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.
Read on to find out all the details!
Arequipa to Puno and from there to La Paz by bus
Arequipa is one of the most important cities in Peru, and many people travel from there to La Paz and back every year for tourism and business. In order to travel by bus from Arequipa to La Paz you need to divide the trip in two segments: first from Arequipa to Puno and from there to La Paz. Puno lies tat 292 km from Arequipa, and the trip takes around 6 hours. One of the most visited cities in Peru, Puno is in the tourist circuit of Lake Titicaca, making it an important tourist destination. The buses leave from Arequipa every day, from the Bus Terminal located on Arturo Ibañez St. Before boarding the bus, each passenger must pay a small fee called “Tami”, charged by the terminal. The buses arrive in Puno at the bus terminal located on Primero de Mayo St., # 703. From that same Terminal, you can take the bus to La Paz and continue your trip. The buses from Puno to La Paz leave every day between 07:00 am and 13:30. This trip also takes around 6 hours, depending on the route and bus company you choose. You can choose the direct route, which takes you through the border at Desaguadero, or the more touristic route through Copacabana, which is a slightly longer trip. In either case, the buses arrive in La Paz at the Bus Terminal located on Peru and Uruguay Av. In order to start planning your trip right away, you can click on the following link: Arequipa to La Paz
Cuzco to Copacabana, or Cuzco to La Paz by bus
Going from Cuzco to La Paz by bus takes around 12 hours, covering a distance of 640 km. The journey crosses the highlands of Peru up to Puno on the shores of lake Titicaca, to continue on to La Paz. You have two options to continue from Puno to La Paz, one passing by Kasani/Copacabana and the other, faster, through Desaguadero. The route basically depends on the bus company you choose for this trip. the buses from Cuzco to La Paz leave every day between 22:00 and 22:30 from the bus terminal located on Vía Evitamiento. They arrive in La Pas at the bus terminal, which is located on Perú Av.
On the other hand, you could take a direct bus to Copacabana first. There are several bus companies offering this service at different schedules and prices. The buses depart from Cuzco´s bus terminal and make a stop in Puno for passengers to get off or on. The trip from Cuzco to Puno takes 6 hours, and from Puno to Copacabana another 4 hours. All passengers get off in the town of Yunguyo, the border between Bolivia and Peru, in order to clear migration. Follow this link to book your tickets online right away or just to check out schedules and prices: Cuzco to La Paz
Lima to La Paz
Traveling by bus from Lima to La Paz is an affordable and exciting journey between two of the most important capital cities of the Andes. Buses travel a distance of 1514 km in about 26 hours (sometimes migration paperwork takes longer, delaying the trip a few hours). The road from Lima to La Paz is very interesting because of the contrast of landscapes all along the way; the traveler will ascend from 0 to 3,600 meters above sea level. The bus stops at Desaguadero, the Bolivian border, where passengers get off the bus to do their migration paperwork. Buses to La Paz depart from the main Bus station in Lima and arrive at the bus Terminal of La Paz on Uruguay Av. To see the available schedules and prices, and to book your tickets online, follow this link: Lima to La Paz
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Have a nice trip!