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Air

Arequipa’s Rodríguez Ballón International Airport is about 8km northwest of the city center.

LAN has daily flights to Lima and Cuzco. LCPeru also offers daily flights to Lima. Sky Airline flies to Santiago in Chile.

Bus

Most bus companies have departures from the Terminal Terrestre or the smaller Terrapuerto bus terminal, located together on Av Andrés Avelino Cáceres, less than 3km south of the city center (take a taxi for S7). Check in advance which terminal your bus leaves from and keep a close watch on your belongings while you’re waiting there. There’s a S1.50 departure tax from either terminal, paid separately at a booth. Both terminals have shops, restaurants and left-luggage facilities. The more chaotic Terminal Terrestre also has a global ATM.

Dozens of bus companies have desks at the Terminal Terrestre so shop around. Prices range between super-luxury Cruz del Sur and Ormeño with 180-degree reclining ‘bed’ seats, and no-frills Flores which travels to a greater variety of destinations including Mollendo, Moquegua and Ilo.

Long-Distance Bus Travel

Night buses provide a convenient means to reach many far-off destinations in a city where options for air travel are limited, although some routes do have histories of accidents, hijackings and robberies. Paying a bit extra for a luxury bus service is often worth the added comfort and security. Exercise extreme care with your belongings on cheaper buses and refrain from keeping baggage in overhead luggage racks.

It is also recommended that you carry extra food with you on long bus rides in case of a breakdown or road strike. Bring a warm item of clothing aboard if heading to the canyons, as temperatures drop as you ascend to higher altitudes, even on what starts as a warm day in Arequipa. This is especially essential on tour buses that make stops and let you out.

Regional Services

Many buses useful for sightseeing in the canyon country leave from the Terminal Terrestre and Terrapuerto bus terminal. Travel times and costs vary depending on road conditions. During the wet season (between December and April), expect significant delays.

The best companies serving the Cañón del Colca (Chivay and then on to Cabanaconde) are Andalucía (from Terrapuerto) and Reyna (from Terminal Terrestre). Catch the earliest daylight departure, usually around 5am, if you want to travel in the canyons the same day. Reserve tickets a day in advance, if possible, by phoning ahead (Spanish only).

Reaching the Toro Muerto petroglyphs can be difficult with public buses and it is much easier to go with a tour company. It is possible to go first to Corire (S12, three hours, hourly) with Transportes del Carpio, but you need to ask if they will pass near the petroglyphs on that service. From Corire you can continue on to Aplao in the Valle de Majes (S18, 1½ hours) for river running.

Reyna has a service departing 4pm to Andagua (S36, 10 hours) to visit El Valle de los Volcanes. The bus leaves Andagua for the return trip to Arequipa at around 5:30pm.

For the Cañón del Cotahuasi (S30, 10 hours), Reyna has a 7am and 5pm departure, and Cromotex has a 6pm departure.

Arequipa Buses

Cabanaconde

Cost (S)

17

Time (hr)

5

Camaná

Cost (S)

12-55

Time (hr)

2.5

Chivay

Cost (S)

13

Time (hr)

Cotahuasi

Cost (S)

30

Time (hr)

10

Cuzco

Cost (S)

25-135

Time (hr)

10

Ica

Cost (S)

75-160

Time (hr)

11-15

Juliaca

Cost (S)

20-80

Time (hr)

5

Lima

Cost (S)

50-140

Time (hr)

14-17

Mollendo

Cost (S)

12-15

Time (hr)

2-2½

Moquegua

Cost (S)

20-30

Time (hr)

Nazca

Cost (S)

50-120

Time (hr)

10-12

Pisco

Cost (S)

40-144

Time (hr)

15

Puno

Cost (S)

20-82

Time (hr)

5

Tacna

Cost (S)

30-40

Time (hr)

6