The Cusco Peru Airport is one of the most popular airports in all of South America. This has everything to do with its location. You can find the Cusco Airport, or the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, as it is more officially known, just three miles southeast of Cusco’s historic core. Cusco is a major tourist attraction, and it also serves as the main jump off point for trips in Peru’s Sacred Valley region.
The Cusco Airport is the second most important airport in Peru after Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima. While it has some limitations due to its proximity to Cusco’s city center, it handles more than one million air travelers on an average annual basis. Both domestic and international flights serve the airport. The domestic flights are especially abundant in number. Most arrive from Lima, and there are options out of Arequipa and the Amazon basin city of Puerto Maldonado. As for the international Cusco flights, a healthy amount arrive from the Bolivian capital of La Paz. More often than not, those travelers coming from other continents fly to Lima first and then make the connection to Cusco.
Since the Cusco Peru Airport receives so many tourists, it offers a convenient tourist booth in the arrivals terminal. This terminal is also home to numerous tour operator booths, as well as a currency exchange and an ATM. As for getting from the airport to the city, taking a taxi or riding in a private car that is provided by a hotel are the main options. It is also possible to take a combi into town, though these small buses aren’t very convenient as there isn’t a lot of room for luggage. Many of the Cusco hotels can arrange an airport pick-up for their guests, and these hotels aren’t only of the upscale variety.
Cusco flights are very popular, so travelers who wish to fly to the city are encouraged to make their flight reservations as far in advance as possible. Of course, anyone who is wondering how to get to Cusco doesn’t have to limit themselves to flights. Other options include taking a bus or a train. Buses that are destined for Cusco tend to embark out of Lima, Arequipa, Puno and Puerto Maldonado. Trip times are long, but at least Peru has amazing scenery and the buses are most often comfortable. A bus ride from Lima to Cusco takes around 25 hours on average. Compare that to an hour for a flight.
As for riding the rail, some of the trains that visit Cusco arrive from Puno and Arequipa. These trains stop at the Huanchaq Station. The other Cusco trains arrive from the Amazon jungle, Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo, and they stop at the San Pedro Station.
Image: Miguel Vera (flickr)