Lima- and Ayacucho-bound buses usually depart from the Terminal Terrestre, inconveniently located about 2km to the west of the town center. A taxi here costs S3. Buy your bus tickets in the downtown offices spread along the seventh to 10th blocks of Muñoz, and be sure to ask about exactly where your bus departs from – which seems to change on a whim.
From the Terminal Terrestre, several companies offer nightly departures to Lima (S30 to S60, 10 to 13 hours). The higher price tag is for more luxurious bus-camas (bed buses).
Companies go via Huancayo or via Pisco, although if Huancayo is your intended destination, daytime departures run much more frequently from the center. The Pisco route is freezing at night: bring warm clothes. Several companies with offices clustering along Muñoz between Parque Santa Ana and the crossroads with Hwy 26 offer this trip.
Also from Terminal Terrestre, there are bus departures for Ayacucho via Rumiachaca (S30 to S40, seven to eight hours). Some smaller buses leave for the same run from Plaza Túpac Amaru.
Companies serving Huancayo (S15, three hours) include Transportes Ticllas with almost hourly daily departures, as well as a combi terminal on Muñoz close to the center with smaller vans for this ride.
Buses tend to be of the ponderous local variety, filled with locals and their goods.
Colectivos (shared transportation) taxis are the quickest means of transport out of Huancavelica.
Colectivos are is not necessarily the best method of transport to destinations further afield.
Trains currently leave for Huancayo at 6:30am on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Fares are S9 in first class and S13 in buffet class. It takes five or six hours for this scenic trip, one of Peru's last real train journeys.
Ayacucho the Tough Way
Sometimes life is too easy, right? Well, if you are moving on from Huancavelica in the direction of Ayacucho, there are opportunities to make proceedings a little more of a challenge. Besides, the main buses run at night, and who wants to travel in the dark and miss all that cracking scenery?
The ‘easiest’ daytime option to Ayacucho is to take a 4:30am minibus to Rumichaca. In the west of Huancavelica from Plaza Túpac Amaru, minibuses depart daily (S10, six hours). Then wait for an Ayacucho-bound bus coming from the coast. Most day buses from Lima don’t get to Rumichaca until about 2pm.
Another possibility, involving still more stunning scenery and more amounts of time on still more bone-jarring transport, is to take a colectivo (shared transportation) from outside Hospedaje San José in Huancavelica to Lircay (S15, two hours), on mostly paved roads. From the market In Lircay, pick up another colectivo bound to Julcamarca and then to Ayacucho (S30, four hours) on what is half-track, half-road.
The caveat with Ayacucho-bound colectivos in Lircay is that few people want to take them (it's too far) so you might wind up having to pay for the whole car (S120). Ensure you get to Lircay early to maximize your chances of onward transportation to either Julcamarca or Ayacucho.