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Peru’s famous trekking trails need no introduction. But as the country’s primary trekking destination, the Cordillera Blanca region exerts an inexorable pull. It has something for every ability, from relative novices to elite technical mountaineers. The gateway to this outdoor wonderland is the town of Huaraz, also a convenient stop for organizing guides and provisions. Since the Cordillera Blanca is firmly on the itinerary of many who make the trip to Peru, there are several good transport connections from Lima to Huaraz and travelling between the two should present no significant difficulties. If you don’t have your own transport, the two easiest options are either to fly or to take a bus.
One airline, LC Perú, currently operates flights from Lima to Huaraz airport, departing at 07:30 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Flight time is 1 hour 5 minutes and ticket prices start from around USD 145*.
Lima’s Jorge Chávez Airport is 10 km northwest of the city centre. The Airport Express bus connects the city with the airport with departures from Miraflores from 06:00 to 22:00. Fares are USD 8 one way or USD 15 return. A taxi to the airport costs around 50 soles (about USD 15) and takes 45 minutes.
Huaraz airport is a simple airstrip located around 23 km to the north of Huaraz, just outside the small village of Anta. Onward travel to Huaraz city is possible by either combi or taxi. A combi will cost around 3 soles (about one dollar) while a taxi should be about 30 – 50 soles (about USD 10 - USD 16).
Several bus companies operate services between Lima and Huaraz and there are many departures each day. Most departures are either morning departures, arriving in the evening, or night services that depart in the evening and arrive the following morning.
The main bus companies with services between the two cities are Cruz de Sur, Movil Tours, Linea and Oltursa. Linea buses depart from Terminal Plaza Norte, Cruz de Sur services leave from Avenida Javier Prado and pass through Terminal Plaza Norte, and Oltursa buses leave from Avenida Aramburu. Movil Tours buses start at either Avenida Javier Prado, Paseo de la República or Avenida Alfredo Mendiola.
Prices range from around USD 11.50 to USD 23 for a one-way ticket depending on the company, departure time and class of ticket. The journey takes between seven and nine hours. Bus companies all have their own terminal in Huaraz but these are typically only a short walk from the centre. Note that touts trying to earn commission from hotel rooms or trying to sell treks can be a problem around the bus terminals in Huaraz. They are likely to try all the usual tricks like telling you the guesthouse you have booked is full or that it is too busy or too noisy, etc.
If you have your own vehicle, you can drive from Lima to Huaraz. The fastest route follows the coastal road before turning inland towards Huaraz. It should take around six and a half hours.
*Please note: prices listed in the article are as of November 2017