Transport and Communications in Peru

By | April 15, 2022


According to Franciscogardening, the public urban transport system in Peru is one of the most disorganized in Latin America. On the streets of large cities, small and mostly old buses and minibuses rush to each other, stopping anywhere, and barkers-conductors vying with each other shouting out the names of the stops. Each bus or fixed-route taxi has a route written on the sides along which they travel. This is the cheapest way to get around the city, although not always the safest. The fare is about 1 sol (about 30 cents). Recently, more modern buses have begun to appear in Lima, also moving along certain routes.

The best way to get around the city is by taxi. Official taxis are usually yellow. The fare is negotiated in advance, before you get into a taxi, and it is customary to bargain here. There is no taximeter in Peruvian taxis. Taxis are inexpensive, in Cusco an average of 3 sols, in Lima 7-10 sols for short distances. To move very close distances (several blocks), you can use the services of a motor rickshaw (motorbike taxi) – the journey costs 1-2 soles and leaves a lot of impressions.

To travel between distant cities, it is preferable to use an airplane. There are airports in almost all major cities of the country.

Flight duration:

From Lima to Cusco 1 hour / 1 hour 15 minutes

From Lima to Arequipa 1 hour 25 minutes

From Lima to Iquitos 1 hour 45 minutes

There is also rail service in four main areas:

Lima-Huancayo-Lima – the macho train, until recently the highest railway in the world. The train leaves for Huancayo and back once or twice a month. On the way, it passes through 69 tunnels, 58 bridges and the highest point of the way – 4,782 m.

  1. Cusco-Machu Picchu-Cusco. There are three categories of tourist trains on this section of the journey – Backpacker, Vistadome and Hiram Bingham plus a train for local residents, on which foreign tourists are strictly prohibited. The duration of the trip is from 5 to 4 hours, depending on the departure station. Most trains leave for Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo Station in the Inca Valley. There is a 1.5 hour ground transfer from Cusco to this station. There are also Inca Rail trains to Machu Picchu.
  2. Puno-Cusco-Puno – Andean Explorer luxury train. 10 hours on the way. Includes lunch on the train and stunning views.


Peru has good and relatively inexpensive gold and silver. Pendants, rings and earrings with traditional Peruvian motifs and symbols, interspersed with semi-precious stones. Excellent products made of alpaca wool in Kuna, Alpaca 111 and other brand stores. Quality products “from the manufacturer” can also be purchased in Cusco and Arequipa at factories (factorias). In the markets, alpaca products are of poorer quality and therefore cheaper. Synthetics, rabbit or sheep wool are very often mixed with alpaca wool here. Alpaca fur is also used to make rugs, soft toys, hats, slippers and handbags.

Pottery (especially copies (replicas) of ancient artifacts of the Incas and pre-Inca cultures) are also in demand. When buying them, it is recommended to keep a receipt so that if necessary, provide it at the airport when departing from Lima. Export of originals is strictly prohibited. It is also better not to take coca leaves out of Peru – there are strict controls for this at the airport and dogs carefully sniff luggage. The import of any coca products into the Russian Federation is strictly prohibited.


The customs declaration is filled out on the plane before boarding in Lima and presented at the customs control, where you will be asked to press the button on the metal gate. If the green light turns on, you can go on, red – you will be asked to step aside, pass the suitcases through the scanner and, if necessary, open them and show the contents. If items are found that are subject to declaration and are not listed in your declaration, they may be confiscated and you may be fined. Peru bans the importation of unpreserved foodstuffs. It is allowed to import no more than 3 liters of alcoholic beverages. It is forbidden to import and export objects and things of historical, artistic or archaeological value without special permission. The export of wool and leather products, jewelry, souvenirs, you may be required to show a receipt from the store where the items were purchased. Import and export of national and foreign currencies is not limited, but it is mandatory to declare amounts in excess of 10,000 US dollars or the equivalent in another currency. It is prohibited to import and export animals and plants without special permits.


In Peru, it is customary to tip suitcase porters at airports and hotel porters. The standard fee is 1-2 soles per suitcase. In restaurants, if you are satisfied with the service and food, it is customary to leave 10-15% of the bill, although the Peruvians themselves are not generous with tips. In most restaurants, tips are already included in the bill. It is also customary to tip drivers and guides at the end of excursions. Their salaries are low and tips are welcome. The amount depends on your generosity and the quality of the services provided.

For photographing local residents and children in Cusco and other cities, it is customary to give one or two salts. On the streets of Cusco you will see many colorfully dressed women and children with llamas, alpacas or lambs, who themselves will ask for a photo for a nominal fee. Do not insist if filming is refused!


Mobile phones work in Peru if your device supports the 1800 band. For international calls and calls within the country, we recommend that you purchase a local Claro SIM card (TIM Peru) if your stay in Peru will be long. For international calls from regular phones, we recommend purchasing a calling card for 10 soles or more. For calls within the country, you can use telephones or buy a Telefonica card. Calling from hotels is expensive.

Peru code 51. Lima code 1. To call abroad from Peru, dial 00 – country code – area code – subscriber number.

There are Internet booths in all large and relatively large cities. The cost of an hour of work on the Internet is about 1-2 dollars. For international calls, you can also use the services of special negotiation

cabins. Internet is available in most hotels (even 3* hotels have at least one computer with Internet access). Plus, many hotels offer free Wi-Fi in the rooms. In mountains and remote settlements, mobile communications may not be available.

Transport and Communications in Peru