You’ve landed on this post because you are wondering how to get from Cusco to Puno, safely, efficiently and cheaply. There are several different ways to get to Puno from Cusco.

Most travelers usually visit Puno between visits to or from Arequipa and Cusco or tack it on at the end of their trip before flying back to Lima to head home.  

In this article, we’ll go over how to get from Cusco to Puno, the gateway to Lake Titicaca, and at the end of the post I’ll add any useful tips that will aid you in a trip to Peru.

How to get from Cusco to Puno Peru

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How to Get from Cusco to Puno and Lake Titicaca

But first, are you in a hurry? There are four ways to get from Cusco to Puno and Lake Titicaca – by air, by train, by bus and by car. Each option has its positives and negatives, price variation and level of comfort.

One of the easiest and most scenic ways to get to Puno from Cusco is a on the train. You can prebook your train to Puno ahead of time to make sure you get a seat for the exact time and date that you want as tickets book up in advance.

The quickest way to get from Cusco to Puno is to fly and the cheapest way to get from Cusco to Puno is on the bus. Book your Cusco to Puno transportation now if you don’t have time to read the whole article or are trying to book transportation to Puno at this moment.

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The San Blas in Cusco, Peru
How to get from Cusco to Puno

Cusco to Puno Distance

How far is Lake Titicaca from Cusco? The distance from Cusco to Puno is about 390 kilometers (just shy of 250 miles) when traveling by road. However, the distance can vary depending on the specific route taken and any detours or stops along the way.

By bus or car, the journey typically takes around 6 to 8 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. Plus the options to travel between Cusco and Pro by train or plane, which offer different travel times and experiences.

On a train in Peru to Cusco

Ways to Get from Cusco to Lake Titicaca

🛵 Okay, let’s get into the details of the different ways to get from Cusco to Puno.

Everybody has different priorities when it comes to transportation and traveling around a country. My top priorities are to get somewhere safely, swiftly, and for a good price. Double bonus if it’s scenic.

The transportation through this South American country is sometimes long, but it is well connected throughout the country. It’s entirely possible to explore the entire country via tourist transport and/or public transportation.

Plaza des armas a top thing to do in Cusco, Peru

Cusco to Puno by Air

The quickest way to get from Cusco to Puno is by flying. The closest airport to Puno is the Inca Manco Cápac airport in the city of Juliaca.  Juliaca to Puno is about an hour drive.

There are direct flights to Juliaca from both Lima and Cusco. I traveled to Puno at the end of May 2022 and at the time, Jualiaca airport was closed for a few weeks.

Jualiaca has since been open but I met a couple who found out last minute that the airport was closed so just be aware that communication was lacking in this department. 

A Cusco to Puno flight takes roughly 55 minutes and cost between 100-130 USD. Sky Airlines and LATAM Airlines are two carriers that fly from Cusco to Puno. Luggage will cost extra.

Look up Flights to Puno →

✈️ Travel Tip:  If you are flying into Puno check with your hotel as most can book you a shuttle for around 20 soles.

The train coming into Aguas Calientes, Peru

Cusco to Puno by Train

The most luxurious and most expensive way to travel from Cusco to Puno is on the Belmond Andean Explorer. If you love to travel in style then you’ll love the Cusco to Puno luxury train.

This exclusive train ride travels through gorgeous landscapes including rivers and beautiful mountain peaks. This is South America’s first luxury sleeper service and no detail is spared.

The entire journey lasts 10-11 hours where you can enjoy the views from the observation car, sip a pisco sour from the bar car or enjoy a gourmet meal from the dining car.

This mode of transportation is for the train buffs as the scenery is similar to the bus as the rails run parallel to the road. If you’re really feeling fancy, you can book a 2 night journey and end in the white city of Arequipa. Trains depart every Tuesday from Cusco to Puno by train.

Book a Train Ticket →

Things to do in Puno Peru

Cusco to Puno by Bus

The cheapest way to get from Cusco to Puno is on the bus. There are dozens of tourist bus companies to choose from, some better than others.

The terminal terrestre is the main bus station in Puno that the long-distance buses arrive at. Buses leave from Cusco every hour from 4am to 10pm on a regular basis from the main terminal terrestre but there are multiple bus terminals in Cusco so check your bus ticket carefully.

Transzela Cusco to Puno Bus

We took the Cusco to Puno bus option when we were deciding how to get to Puno from Cusco. We had sleeper seats on Transzela and it only cost 40 soles per person.

We vlogged our experience on the Transzela Cusco to Puno bus. You can check it out our Cusco to Puno on a bus travel vlog here.

The most enjoyable way to get to Puno from Cusco is on the Inka Express. The Inka Express offers luxury buses with panoramic windows and include lunch, oxygen and an English speaking tour guide. This trip takes about 8 hours.

Cruz del Sur Cusco to Lake Titicaca Bus

Cruz del Sur is another bus ride option. This is one of the biggest and safest bus companies in Peru that has luxurious sleeper seats. You are able to book tickets in advance online which is convenient.

This also makes ticket prices a bit more expensive so if you are traveling on a budget, your best bet is to book one in person at the station.

Peru Hop Bus

Peru Hop is another bus company to take to get to Puno from Cusco. If you have ample time to explore Peru, the benefits of booking with Peru Hop is get one of their hop on hop off long passes.

This allows you to be in your own schedule and explore a lot of hidden gems that Peru has to offer. I took a Peru Hop bus from Lima to Cusco stopping in Huacachina and Nazca along the way.

If I would have stopped in Arequipa and Puno before arriving in Cusco, I could confidently recommend this Peru bus company.

Unfortunately, I was on a time schedule to get to Cusco as I was trekking Salkantay without a guide, tent or reservations and had to be in Machu Picchu on the specific date of our entry ticket.

Therefore, my Peru Hop experience ended up being an unexpected 28 hour bus ride that I never want to repeat…ever again.

Book a Bus to Puno →

Lake Titicaca Homestay in Peru

Cusco to Puno by Car

The most convenient way to get from Cusco to Puno is by private car. If budget is not an issue you can hire a private car to get to Puno. It will cost anywhere from $200 and up.

Hire a Private Driver →

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    Pisco bottles in Cusco, Peru

    Arrive in Puno 

    Once you are in Puno, Lake Titicaca is at your doorstep.  Puno Port or the ferry station has boats that take you across Lake Titicaca and to various islands within the Lake such as Islas Uros, Isla Taquile, Isla Amantani and Isla Suasi.

    These islands are usually experienced on a tour but it is possible to experience them on your own by purchasing a round trip ferry ticket.  These tickets can be purchased at the dock.  Ferries cost 20-30 Soles round trip depending on where you are going plus a 5 Sole admission onto the island of Uros.

    Ferries leave from the Puno port for Isla Taquile at 6:45am every morning and for Amantani at 8am.  Ferries departing from Amantani to Taquile and Puno around 4 pm everyday but it’s also Peru so definitely check a few days before and the day of as times vary.

    I'm Jess Traveling through Peru at Machu Picchu
    A man taking a siesta on the Salkantay Trail by Humantay Lake

    Cusco Travel Guides 

    🥑 I spent 2 months hiking, eating and traveling around Peru so if you are planning a trip to this majestic country check out my Peru travel page for anything you need to know about travel to Peru.  

    Cusco is one of the most popular destinations in Peru. Not only is it the gateway to the iconic Machu Picchu but you can’t help but fall in love with this adorable city.

    I spent over three weeks exploring Cusco, the sacred valley and trekking to Machu Picchu via the Salkantay Trail. Check out the guides below to help plan your travels through Cusco.

    The floating islands of Uros

    Puno & Lake Titicaca Travel Guides 

    🦙  You’ve seen iconic Machu Picchu, you’ve experienced the best things to do in Cusco, you’ve explored all that Sacred Valley has to offer and now you’re ready to explore Lake Titicaca.

    Puno is the capital city of the Puno region in southeastern Peru, that sits on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world and is one of the coolest places to visit in Peru.

    There are many things to do in and around Puno, that a visit to this region is a must-do on anyone’s Peru Itinerary.

    Peru Travel Vlogs

    Would you rather see what it’s like to travel Peru? Joe and I filmed several travel vlogs while we explored this fantastic country.

    Check them out after you read this post and please subscribe or give us a thumbs up. It doesn’t cost you anything and really helps us be able to continue creating free content for you to enjoy 🙂.

    🎥 Watch our Peru Series on YouTube

    Final Thoughts on How to Get from Cusco to Puno

    As you can now see, there are 4 ways to arrive in Lake Titicaca from Cusco. I can’t wait to take the train on my next visit to Peru.

    👇 If you found this article useful or anythings changed since writing this, let your fellow travelers know in the comments below.  I try to keep my guides as up to date as possible so this site can be a travel resource for all. And I’d love to hear from you.

    Peru Travel Guides ↓

    📍 Planning a trip to Peru? Peru is an amazing country full of friendly people, majestic mountains, and adorable llamas.

    Check out the guides below for more inspiration and aid in planning your travels to Peru.

    Best Things to do in Miraflores

    Eating Guinea Pig in Peru

    Everything you Need to Know about Hiking Colca Canyon Independently 

    Enjoy this Post?!?! Pin in for Later ↓

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