From La Paz to Cusco by bus: Everything you need to know

Updated: 28 May 2019

The trip by bus from La Paz to Cusco is one of the most popular among tourists from all over the world who come to Latin America, especially in he months between June and August. There are many ways to make the trip; you can take a direct bus between the two cities, or stop in Copacabana (Bolivia) and/or Puno (Peru), which are popular tourist destinations on the shore of Lake Titicaca.

machu-picchu
Machu Picchu, Peru

A direct bus takes about 14 hours, depending on the bus company and the time of departure. You can also make stops along the way, in Copacabana or Puno.

We have put together all the information you might need in order to plan and enjoy your trip to the fullest. 

Several companies offer a service from La Paz to Cusco by bus. There are two possible routes: the one that crosses the border in Desaguadero for migration, and the one that goes through Copacabana, crossing the border in Yunguyo or Kasani. All buses to Cusco from La Paz briefly stop in Puno. You can also travel in a touristic bus such a Bolivia Hop which does this journey allowing travelers to hop-on and hop-off in different locations. See here their different passes and options.

1. Direct trip from La Paz to Cusco

The buses leave from the main bus terminal in La Paz, located on Peru Avenue. Here is the address of the bus terminal:

Before you board the bus, you need to pay a small fee charged by the bus terminal, which costs 2.5 bolivianos per passenger. Look at the table below to see which companies provide this service and all the necessary information.

The migration paperwork at the Desaguadero migration center is simple: you just need to show your ID/Passport at the migration office, and depending on your nationality there might be additional documents you may need to present. To learn about Bolivia’s entry requirements, check our blog post.

La Paz teleferico
La Paz, Bolivia

Direct buses from La Paz to Cusco  

Bus company Seat class Time of departure  Time of arrival  Price in US$ Extra info
Nuevo Continente Internacional Lie flat 7:30 21:30 $21.90 Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Trans Titicaca Normal bus 16:00 6:00 (+1 day) $27.94 Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Trans Salvador Lie flat 3 rows 16:30 5:00 (+1 day) $24.09 Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Tour Peru Lie flat 16:30 5:30 (+1 day) $27.74 Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero

2. Trips with stopover

For a longer trip, but with nice rests stops along the way, and one that allows you to enjoy the tourist attractions of Copacabana, you can first travel from La Paz to Copacabana, and from there to Cusco. The buses also leave from the La Paz bus terminal (see map above) at 07:00, 07:30, and 13:30 in normal buses, which have seats that recline to 120 degrees. The bus company Turisbus offers a tourist service, with minibus picking passengers at their hotels and offering a more personalized experience.

We recommend booking your journey from La Paz to Copacabana in an established bus company such as Turisbus, Diana Tours, Vicuna Travel, Trans Titicaca, instead of the more informal minibuses and buses which leave from the general cemetery as these are loosely regulated and stories of drivers falling asleep while driving have been reported. These have no fixed schedule and leave when they fill up and price is about the same as the buses from the main terminal (20-25 bolivianos).

For these reasons, if the option is available, book ahead your trip to Copacabana with a recommended bus company.

The cost of the tickets between La Paz and Copacabana starts at 25 bolivianos (us$3.65), depending on the time of departure and the bus company. The trip lasts around 4 hours and has to go across through the Tiquina Strait, where passengers must get off the bus and cross in boats (the boat trip lasts around 15 minutes and the cost of 2 bolivianos is not covered int he price of the ticket).

Being a small town, Copacabana does not have a bus terminal. The bus stops in Plaza Sucre, in the center of town. It is here that buses arrive to and depart from. It is located here.

From Copacabana to Cusco

Copacabana is a small town with colonial architecture and many cultural and natural tourist attractions. At the shores of the sacred Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, Copacabana offers boat trips, the best trout in the region in its restaurants on the shore, and tours to the Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna.

copa
Copacabana, Bolivia. Photo: worldynomads.com

After a stay in Copacabana, the traveler can continue the trip to Cusco. Please check the table below to see which companies travel from Copacabana to Cusco and all the relevant information. 

Direct trips from Copacabana to Cusco

Bus company Seat class Time of departure Time of arrival Price in US$ Extra info
Huayruro Tours Semi-lie flat 18:00 5:30 (+1 day) $16.06 50 minute stop in Puno. Migration in Kasani
Huayruro Tours Lie flat 18:00 5:30 (+1 day) $21.90 50 minute stop in Puno. Migration in Kasani
Trans Titicaca Semi-lie flat 18:30 4:30 (+1 day) $21.90 Direct service. Migration in Kasani

However you have planned your trip, nothing compares to the moment you finally reach your destination: the city of Cusco. All the buses arrive at the Bus Terminal of Cusco, located on Av. Vía de Evitamiento #429. Here is the map.

We hope the information has been useful and that you have a wonderful trip through the lands of the Incas.

To purchase tickets online, visit our site: www.ticketsbolivia.com

 

Bolivia Entry Requirements: A Complete Guide

Lake Titicaca, Peru-Bolivia Border
Lake Titicaca at the Bolivia-Peru border. By Jonathan Lewis via Wikimedia Commons

Bolivia is a beautiful, diverse and surprising country. There you can visit the Uyuni Salt Flats, the Amazon rain forest, travel across Lake Titicaca, hike in the Cordillera Real and much more. Here you will find all the information you need regarding entry into the country and visa requirements.

Visa Requirements

First of all, you will need a valid passport for ID. Countries which you can travel to and from Bolivia with only a national ID are Colombia, Peru, Ecuador (CAN – Andean Community) and Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay (MERCOSUR).

All business travelers and persons wishing to stay longer than 90 days per calendar year must obtain a visa in advance. Please note that migration officers at the border stamp passports for 30 days and that if you want to stay longer you will need to get it extended before leaving the country. This can be done at one of the Dirección general de migración offices (Directorate General of Immigration).british passport

Tourists who overstay, or who forget to extend their 30-day visa will have to pay, upon leaving the country, a daily fee of about 25 bolivianos (about $3.70 USD).

Regarding tourist or visitor visa requirements, countries are divided in three groups: (the list of countries in groups can be found here. Please note that this list can be subject to change)

GROUP 1 and nationals of MERCOSUR and CAN (Andean Community):

Passport holders from any of these countries do not require a visa or need to pay any kind of fee upon entering Bolivia as tourists (if you’re traveling for business or studies please see below). The only requirement is that you present a valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months. You will have the right to stay in the country 90 days per calendar year (but will initially receive 30 days which can be extended).

GROUP 2:

Passport holders from any of these countries need to apply for a visa either at a Bolivian embassy or directly at the border. Obtaining a visa at the Bolivian embassy in advance is free of charge, however if you opt to get your visa at the border, a $95 USD fee will apply.

Tourist Visa for citizens of the countries in Group II, have an admission period of 30 days after the date of entry. The admission period may be extended at the offices of the Directorate General of Immigration.

GROUP 3:

Passport holders from countries in group 3 will need to apply for a visa prior to their arrival in Bolivia. Tourist Visa for citizens of the countries in Group 3, have an admission period of 30 days after the date of entry. The admission period may be extended at the offices of the Directorate General of Immigration.

The Cost of a Tourist Visa is $30.00 USD. Processing time is 3-5 weeks.

EXCEPTION: US CITIZENS

US citizens require a tourist visa to enter Bolivia. Americans can apply for a visa either at a Bolivian embassy or consulate, or at the border.

The tourist visa for US citizens is valid for 10 years from the date of issue and the admission period per year is 90 days. A US citizen tourist visa holder will be able to use the visa for up to 3 each year.

The cost for the visa is $160 USD.

The process for US citizens and list of documents required is explained in more detail here and here.

OTHER TYPES OF VISA

If you need to stay in Bolivia for more than 90 days in a calendar year or if the purpose of your visit is not tourism then you will have to apply to the corresponding visa. Check with your local Bolivian embassy or consulate what the requirements are and allow for 3-5 weeks for them to process.

Crossing Borders

Bolivia-Chile border Hito Cajon

  • Sometimes you will be asked to present a return ticket or a proof that you will be leaving the country. Some airlines might not let you board without one or you may have to show it a the border.
  • Make sure you have your certificate of yellow fever vaccinations: It’s a country entry requirement. The government of Bolivia requires proof of yellow fever vaccination, especially if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever. Your yellow fever certificate may be asked when entering the country. The Ministry of Health of Bolivia also states that all travelers visiting yellow fever risk areas must carry proof of yellow fever vaccination. Risk areas are: the Oriente Boliviano, Beni, Chaco and the Amazon rain forest.
  • If you are flying to Bolivia and landing in La Paz, be aware of the altitude as the airport is at 4,000 meters above sea level. You may experience a headache, dizziness and other symptoms related to the altitude. If these don’t disappear after a few day or become too severe, go to a clinic and/or descend to a lower altitude.

And now enjoy your stay in Bolivia! With TicketsBolivia.com you can book ahead your bus and train tickets within Bolivia and to neighboring countries.

From Uyuni to Cusco by bus: A complete guide

Updated January 2020

The trip from Uyuni to Cusco by bus must be divided in at least two segments, or three, depending on your plans and preferences. You will need to travel from Uyuni to La Paz, either directly or with a stop in Oruro, and from there you can take a direct bus or flight to Cusco.

Cusco to Uyuni by bus
Uyuni to Cusco by bus

The fastest option from Uyuni to Cusco

There aren’t direct buses between Uyuni and Cusco. The fastest way to get there would be flying with one change of plane in La Paz. Amaszonas, a Bolivian airline, has direct flights from Cusco to La Paz and then from La Paz to Uyuni. This journey would take the whole day and costs about 200-260 us$ depending on the time of year. If you are looking for a more affordable alternative, the best way is to take a bus from Cusco to La Paz (direct or via Lake Titicaca) and then another bus from La Paz to Uyuni.

Since buses from Uyuni to La Paz arrive around 6am and buses from La Paz to Cusco leave in the afternoon at about 16:30, it it possible to do this journey without spending the night in La Paz. You can visit La Paz during that time. Also, you can leave bags at the La Paz bus terminal or at the counter of the bus company. However, it means taking two night buses in a row which is tiring.

Stop in La Paz

Uyuni to La Paz by bus

The distance between Uyuni and La Paz is 731 km. La Paz is located at 3,600 meters above sea level. You can travel from Uyuni to La Paz either by direct bus, or by a combination of train and bus. Check our post on Uyuni to La Paz by bus. All buses headed for La Paz leave Uyuni at night, from the bus stop located on Calle Cabrera, on the corner of Avenida Arce. The trip takes about 9 hours. Once you arrive in La Paz, the buses arrive at the main bus terminal, located on Uruguay Street on the corner of Avenida Peru.

CompanyBus classRouteTime of departure and arrivalPrices in US Dollars
Trans OmarSemi lie-flat/Lie-flat 3 rowsDirect service20:00/6:00 (+1 day($14.60/21.90
PanasurLie-flatDirect service20:30/6:00 (+1 day)$14.60/21.90
Cruz del NorteSemi lie-flat/Lie-flatDirect service20:30/6:30 (+1 day)$14.60/21.90
Trans TiticacaLie flatDirect service22:00/7:00 (+1 day)$27.74
Bus Uyuni to La Paz: Schedule and Prices
Salar de Uyuni,  Bolivia
Cusco to Uyuni by bus

Uyuni to La Paz by bus and train

To go by train and bus, first, you have to take the train from Uyuni to Oruro and then continue by bus to La Paz. The train companies offering this service are: Expreso del Sur, which leaves on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Wara Wara del Sur, which leaves on Mondays and Thursdays. The trains offer Salon class and Executive class services, where Executive class is more expensive and has more comfortable seats, and amenities such as blankets and snack on board. All passengers have access to the dining car on the train.

The train leaves Uyuni from the station located arrives at the train station on Ferroviaria Av. on the corner of Arce Av. They arrive in Oruro at the train station located on Velasco Galvarro St.

From there you can take a taxi to the bus station in Oruro in order to take a bus to La Paz. Then, buses leave every half an hour and the trip takes around four hours.

machu-picchu, peru
Uyuni to Cusco by bus
Machu Picchu, Peru

La Paz to Cusco by bus

For the second leg of your trip from Uyuni to Cusco by bus you will have to take a night bus. The journey from La Paz to Cusco takes about 12 hours, covering a distance of 640 km. In order to travel from La Paz to Cusco by bus you have two alternatives: you can go through the Bolivia-Peru border in Desaguadero, or you can go though Copacabana, crossing the border in Kasani. Desaguadero is a more direct route, while Copacabana is the more scenic route, taking your to the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Bus companySeat classTime of departure Time of arrival Price in US$Extra info
Nuevo Continente InternacionalLie flat7:3021:30$21.90Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Trans TiticacaNormal bus16:006:00 (+1 day)$27.94Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Trans SalvadorLie flat 3 rows16:305:00 (+1 day)$24.09Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Tour PeruLie flat16:305:30 (+1 day)$27.74Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Bus from La Paz to Cusco : Schedule and Prices

Tips to travel from Uyuni to Cusco by bus

You should know that in Bolivia, lie-flat buses have seats that recline to 160-170 degrees, not 180. Semi lie-flat buses recline to between 150 and 160 degrees, depending on the bus. This is important to keep in mind in order to keep your expectations realistic. The services on board don’t usually include foods or drinks on board, so you should make sure you take something to drink, blankets and more food on board, just to make sure your trip will be comfortable.

From Uyuni to Cusco by land

Whether you travel by land or by plane, the trip from Uyuni to Cusco must be divided in at least two segments, or three, depending on your plans and preferences. You will need to travel from Uyuni to La Paz, either directly or with a stop in Oruro, and from there you can take a direct bus or flight to Cusco. Keep on reading to find out all you need to know.

View of La Paz from mirado Killi Killi
La Paz, Bolivia

The fastest option

There aren’t direct flights between Uyuni and Cusco but the fastest way to get there would still be flying with one stop and change of plane in La Paz. Amaszonas, a Bolivian airline, has direct flights from Cusco to La Paz and then from La Paz to Uyuni. This journey would take the whole day and costs about 200-260 us$ depending on the time of year but it is the fastest way.

Stop in La Paz

Uyuni to La Paz

The distance between Uyuni and La Paz is 731 km. La Paz is located at 3,600 meters above sea level and a necessary . You can travel from Uyuni to La Paz either by direct bus, or by a combination of train and bus. All buses headed for La Paz leave Uyuni at night, from the bus stop located on Cabrera Street, on the corner of Arce Av. The trip takes around 9 hours. In La Paz, the buses arrive at the main bus terminal, located on Uruguay Street on the corner of Peru Av.

Company Bus class Route Time of departure and arrival Prices in US Dollars
Trans Omar Semi lie-flat/Lie-flat 3 rows Direct service 20:00/6:00 (+1 day( $14.60/21.90
Panasur Lie-flat Direct service 20:30/6:00 (+1 day) $14.60/21.90
Cruz del Norte Semi lie-flat/Lie-flat Direct service 20:30/6:30 (+1 day) $14.60/21.90
Trans Titicaca Lie flat Direct service 22:00/7:00 (+1 day) $27.74
27913035_10156017941187086_2011040220163829429_o
Uyuni Salt Flat

To go by train and bus, you have to take the train from Uyuni to Oruro and then continue by bus to La Paz. The train companies offering this service are: Expreso del Sur, which leaves on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Wara Wara del Sur, which leaves on Mondays and Thursdays. The trains offer Salon class and Executive class services, where Executive class is more expensive and has more comfortable seats, and amenities such as blankets and snack on board. All passengers have access to the dining car on the train.

The train leaves Uyuni from the station located arrives at the train station on Ferroviaria Av. on the corner of Arce Av. They arrive in Oruro at the train station located on Velasco Galvarro St. From there you can take a taxi to the bus station in Oruro in order to take a bus to La Paz. Buses leave every half an hour and the trip takes around four hours.

machu-picchu
Machu Picchu, Peru

La Paz to Cusco

The journey takes about 12 hours, covering a distance of 640 km. In order to travel from La Paz to Cusco by bus you have two alternatives: you can go through the Bolivia-Peru border in Desaguadero, or you can go though Copacabana, crossing the border in Kasani. Desaguadero is a more direct route, while Copacabana is the more scenic route, taking your to the shores of Lake Titicaca.

puno_lapaz_jul10-771
Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Direct buses from La Paz to Cusco  

Bus company Seat class Time of departure  Time of arrival  Price in US$ Extra info
Nuevo Continente Internacional Lie flat 7:30 21:30 $21.90 Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Trans Titicaca Normal bus 16:00 6:00 (+1 day) $27.94 Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Trans Salvador Lie flat 3 rows 16:30 5:00 (+1 day) $24.09 Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero
Tour Peru Lie flat 16:30 5:30 (+1 day) $27.74 Direct service. Migration in Desaguadero

Trip with multiple stops

Tips

You should know that in Bolivia, lie-flat buses have seats that recline to 160-170 degrees, not 180. Semi lie-flat buses recline to between 150 and 160 degrees, depending on the bus. This is important to keep in mind in order to keep your expectations realistic. The services on board don’t usually include foods or drinks on board, so you should make sure you take something to drink, blankets and more food on board, just to make sure your trip will be comfortable.

We hope you found all the information useful, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Have a nice trip!