This article was updated on September 27, 2018
Traveling within Peru by bus is one of the best ways to discover the unrivalled landscapes the country has to offer – something you’ll definitely miss with the plane. Brimming with a myriad of scenic gems, Peru’s buses pass through many regional sites that will awaken your inner wanderlust. If you’re currently in South America or planning an upcoming trip, here are our 10 tips & tricks for bus travel in Peru.
1. Get ready for high altitudes
Wondering why bus travel in Peru is longer than your usual trek? High altitudes are to blame, and they can reach 5000 meters above sea level. If you aren’t used to traveling on these routes, you may start to feel tired and dizzy thanks to the low air pressure up there.
2. But know how to curb its effects
The best way to deal with high altitudes is to be sure you stay hydrated, pack altitude sickness pills, and avoid overexerting yourself.
3. Discover Peruvian snacks at bus terminals
Delving into the local fare is a fun way to discover other cultures. Want to begin sampling the region’s food before stepping off the bus? Mouth-watering snacks you’ll come across at Peru’s terminals include juanes, tamales, and humitas, which are all neatly wrapped up in traditional leaves. These goodies are easy to pack, making them perfect for on-the-go munchies.
4. Don’t forget to layer
It can get chilly depending where you are, so bring an extra sweater. From the Andes, to the Peruvian Amazon, traveling through many geographical regions means experiencing different temperatures!
5. Admire the scenery
If you’re traveling by day, you’ll begin sightseeing before reaching your destination. With prime views of the Peruvian panorama, unearth the many coastlines, canyons, mountains, and active volcanoes that dot the landscape – for free. If you pass through small towns, you’ll even get the chance to observe how the locals live.
6. Take advantage of full stops
Another great way to snap Instagram-worthy pictures is by getting off the bus! Not only are these breaks welcome after hours of sitting, they’re the best way to get a sense of Peru’s picturesque backdrop. These are also popular locations to buy souvenirs as local crafts people set up shop here – no need to worry about buying gifts during your stay.
7. Research and book your bus tickets online
Search your departure date & time and book your ticket with Busbud. Once that’s done, simply arrive at the bus terminal and board stress free! This is also the easiest way to ensure you are booking through a safe and reliable bus company – and it’s an eco-friendly alternative to other modes of transportation.
8. Opt for luxury
Consider upgrading to first class for ultimate comfort during long day trips or an overnighter. Peru has some pretty luxurious coach buses that are at par with some airline cabins. They offer reclining leather seats, WiFi, power outlets, movie screens, air conditioning, and a hostess that serves onboard snacks and meals.
9. Learn the lingo
Knowing a few key words and phrases in Spanish will come in handy for bus travel in Peru: Bus (autobús), bus station (estación de autobús), Where is the bus stop? (¿Dónde está la parada del autobús?), schedule (horario), arrival (llegada), departure (salida), destination (destino), bus driver (conductor de autobús).
10. Talk to your bus driver
If you do speak the language, chat your driver up during breaks. You’ll be amazed at how much they know – and how much they’ve seen. They will even give you tips on which side of the bus you should sit on to get the nicest views…and photos!
Have you taken the bus throughout Peru and have some tips you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below!