How to get from Cusco to Puno?

Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, is arguably the second most visited attraction in Peru, after Machu Picchu. Puno the Folkloric Capital of Peru serves as the gateway to Lake Titicaca. 

Travelers traveling from Cusco to Puno are often muddled in choosing the best and safe mode of transport. In this post, we have compiled the best ways of transport from Cusco to Puno and the pros and cons of choosing them. 

Cusco to Puno Bus

Cusco to Puno Bus

The cheapest, safest, and most preferred mode of transport from Cusco to Puno is by bus. Many bus companies serve this route, and some have multiple daily departures. The route is also served by busses operating from Cusco to Copacabana or La Paz in Bolivia. 

Yes, this is the best option to reach Puno from Cusco. 

Busses in Peru are relatively safer and due to overgrowing competition among most companies, they go above and beyond in offering optimum service to their passengers. Most of them have reclining seats and some even offer meal services onboard. 

Busses from Cusco depart from the main Bus Station which is 11 kilometers away from the main square of Cusco, with the exception of Cruz del Sur which departs from its own terminal. The bus terminal in Puno is just 1.7 kilometers away from the main square where most hotels and hostels are located.

Pros of traveling by bus from Cusco to Puno:

  • It is cheaper, safer, and more comfortable
  • Choosing a night bus with fully reclining seats would let you get some sleep and you won’t lose time traveling and will be arriving fresh to start your Lake Titicaca Tour.
  • Bus terminals in both Cusco and Puno are closer to the city center.

Travel Time: 7.5 Hours

Price: 10 – 15 USD (each way)

Cusco to Puno

Cusco to Puno Flight:

Juliaca’s Inca Manco Capac International Airport (JUL) serves the city of Puno. It is 32 kilometers away from Puno and takes 45 minutes to an hour by road to get there.

As of 2022, only LATAM Airlines has one daily direct scheduled flight between these two cities. Most airlines operate with a stopover in Lima, the capital city of Peru. 

Pros of traveling by flight:

  • It is safe and comfortable
  • It is less time consuming

Cons of traveling by flight:

  • It could be expensive as there is just one airline operating this route
  • The airport is not closer to the city of Puno.  An airport transfer costs 40-45 USD each way. 

Travel Time:

  • 55 Minutes flight 
  • 1 hour from Juliaca to Puno by road

Price: 65-100 USD (each way)

Cusco to Puno Traina


Cusco to Puno Train:

This is an elegant way to reach Puno from Cusco by embarking on a ride on this luxurious pull man style train service operated by Peru Rail with their flagship service in South America, Belmond Andean Explorer service. The 10.5-hour overnight trip on a luxury train ride offers a lifetime experience. 

Pros of traveling by train:

  • It is safe and comfortable
  • It is a lifetime experience

Cons of traveling by train:

  • It is expensive
  1. Uros Floating Island half day tour.
  2. Uros and Taquile Island full day tour.
  3. Uros, Amantani and Taquile two day tour.

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