Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, with international airport code CUZ, is Cusco´s only airport and is located just 10 minutes by taxi from the historic centre. Avianca, Star Peru, Peruvian and LAN Airlines are the main carriers operating from the airport, with the small local operator of Amaszonas Airlines operating s handful of flights per week to Bolivia.
Transport to Cusco
Travel by Plane
Most international travellers must first fly into Jorge Chavez International Airport Lima before going to Cusco. Very often, they will then spend a day or two exploring Lima before flying on to visit Peru’s main tourist attraction Machu Picchu. The following article discusses Cusco Airport in detail however, take a look at this page if you want to know more about Lima Airport.
Travel by Bus
If it’s a more scenic and cultured route of Peru you’re looking for, we would suggest travelling by bus and visiting some of Peru’s other fascinating destinations such as the age-old Nazca lines, the national reserve in Paracas where the desert meets the sea or the highest lake in the world, Lake Titicaca. To see some of these attractions we strongly recommend following Peru Hop‘s full south route down along the coast from Lima to Cusco.
Transport from Cusco
Official Airport Taxis
Llama Taxis are the only official taxi company operating from Cusco Airport, the rest are un-official. Llama Taxis have a booth in the baggage collection are where you can reserve your taxi. Vehicles are typically Toyota Salon cars, and are modern and safe. The price from Cusco Airport to Plaza de Armas or any of Cusco´s tourist hotels (within the city) is 35 Soles (US$ 12).
Un-official Airport Taxis
On arrival at Cusco airport you will find an abundance of taxi drivers offering their services. Taxi drivers congregate around the area outside of the airport right after luggage collection (you can´t miss them). In typical Peruvian taxi driver style, they can be a little overbearing and very persistent, but don´t let this put you off. Taxis are not metered so you need to agree a price first before getting in. The price should be around 10 – 15 soles (US$ 3.50 – 5.00) for the 10 minute journey. Be aware that taxi drivers will start by offering a price of 25 – 30 Soles, so don´t jump straight in, make sure you barter and get the right price. Taxi drivers are required to pay a 2 Soles parking fee when leaving the airport, and often and (very cheekily) request this in addition to the pre-agreed tariff. The quality of taxis can vary greatly from clean modern vehicles to rusty old buckets that barely run. Make sure you are happy with the taxi before you get in it. If you are feeling particularly tight, walk outside the airport and grab a cab in the street, you may get a ride as cheap as 5 Soles (US$ 1.7).
Taking a Bus from the Airport
There are no bus services departing directly from Cusco Airport, but local buses known as combis depart from just outside the airport near the Pecsa petrol station. Imperial buses run to Cusco´s centre and charge just 0.60 Soles (US$ 0.25). Be warned, pick-pocketing is rife on a combis!
Cusco´s airport is located in the districts of Wanchaq and San Sebastian just 3.7 km´s (2.3 miles) or a 10 minutes from Cusco´s historic centre. In 2011 after several years of delayed construction a new road opened linking the airport to the centre of Cusco. Although the area surrounding the airport is not aesthetically pleasing, it is not considered unsafe during daylight hours.
Public Side of the Airport
Restaurant – On the second floor there is a fairly large restaurant come snack area called “Cafeteria Aeropuerto,” that offers everything from coffee to cakes to burgers to full blown meals like lomo saltado. Prices are fair, and the food is actually quite good.
Snack Bars – Several small snack bars can be found on the first and second floors of the airport. A coffee and a small snack will set you back around 15 Soles (US$ 5.20).
Money Exchange – On the ground floor is a small money exchange booth. Here you can exchange Euros, Sterling and US Dollars. Exchange rates are not as good as you might find in the centre of Cusco, but this is an airport after all. Note that ripped or even slightly damaged foreign currency will not be accepted.
Club Lounge – On the first floor (public side) there is a club lounge. The lounge offers comfortable seating, free wifi connection, complimentary drinks and snacks (selected) and free local phone calls. The lounge is free for Diners Club International members and Lounge Club members, or there is an entrance charge of US$ 28.32 per person. The lounge is open from 6am – 7pm.
ATM´s / Cash Machines – All of Peru´s major banks have ATM machines at the airport (first floor) and accept Visa, MasterCard, Amex and all other major credit/debit cards.
Tourist Information – On the lower level tucked away to the rear of the airport there is a small tourist information booth. Operated by PromPeru the official Peruvian Tourist Board, the staff can offer tourist information about not only Cusco but all other destinations in Peru. Here you can also log complaints about hotels, airlines, tour companies and guides. Open from 6am – 5pm.
Internet Café – On the second floor (public side of the airport) you will find a small internet café. They offer internet access, skype, printing and scanning facilities and international and local calls. The internet is 5 Soles (US$ 1.75) per hour and the café is open 7 days a week from 7 am – 4 or 5 pm (depending on how the staff feel).
Book Store – On the second floor just before passing through security is a book store. Here you´ll find international books in several different languages, including Spanish, English, French, Italian and German.
Departure Side of the Airport
Snack bar – A small snack bar offers everything from empanadas to cakes to fresh sandwiches and the usual selection of drinks, like coffee, herbal teas, water and fizzy drinks. There are no big plates of food on sale here. Prices are higher here than in the public area of the airport but they are still reasonable compared to other airports around the world.
Shopping – The small departure lounge has various high-end shops for the purchase of last minute gifts. The Peruvian jeweller Ilaria, the alpaca garment manufacturer Kuna and the tapestry experts Galaria Latina are to name a few.
Photos of Cusco Airport
Being the 2nd biggest airport in Peru, Cusco airport recieves domestic and some international flights from the following destinations:
- Puerto Maldonado
- La Paz