Airport in Cusco - Alejandro Velasco Astete (CUZ)
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Airport in Cusco - Alejandro Velasco Astete (CUZ) Reviews
Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport Apr 16, 2014
For some travelers, only driving or taking a 21-hr. bus ride from Lima to Cusco will satisfy their desire to experience seeing the magnificent sights and changing geography that such a drive will ensure --- especially if time is not an issue. However, those on a shortened timetable will surely appreciate the advantage of flying to Cusco in only 1 hr or so from Lima. Airlines offering regular service to Cusco include LAN, Star Perú, Avianca, and Peruvian Air Lines. We thoroughly enjoyed our Star Peru flight and the excellent views of the Andes and particularly the peak of Mt. Veronica.
It allowed us to have some fabulous views of the Andes mountain range. We had an unusual, hair pin approach to "Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport," and could see that this airport is almost totally surrounded by the city of Cusco and is at an elevation of approximately 10,860 ft. and is approximately 10 minutes from the historic center of Cusco. This airport has been serving Peruvians and tourists alike since 1964, but there is a plan to build a larger airport somewhat further from town with a safer location and easier approach.
The jetway from our plane helped to speed our walk to customs/baggage claim in Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport and I noticed there were plenty of all kinds of shops, eateries, tour desks, a Peru Rail office at our fingertips. I also noticed that many tour desks were offering customers mate de coca tea as the change in altitude from Lima is quickly palpable. Our coach and driver for the next 4 days were already waiting for us only steps from the airport.
Taxi transportation as well as "collectivos" should be available virtually at any time just outside of the airport. A taxi ride into the city should cost about USD $5 - $6 or so + a small tip (2014 price). Viator.com also offers transfers which you can pre-book online for about USD $6.50 per adult currently and the reviews seem to be pretty good. The driver waits for you outside of customs with a sign with your name on it. Check out their site at: http://www.viator.com/Cusco-tours/Airport-and-Ground-Transfers/d937-g15-c52. (You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser.) Check also with your hotel in Cusco to see if they offer free or inexpensive transportation to/from the airport.
Leaving Cusco and the Sacred Valley to return to Lima, we once again were transported back to the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport. Our check in was quick, but our flight back to Lima was delayed by a half hour. Still, this was quite acceptable and even better for me personally because this delay gave me the time needed to purchase several last minute gifts for people at home and there was a very nice shop which carried Andean crafts, food, and souvenirs at this airport!
By the way, if you are curious about the name of this airport, it was named in honor of Alejandro Velasco Astete who was the first Peruvian pilot to cross the Andes from Lima directly to Cusco in 1925. In the fall of the same year, he died while trying to avoid crashing into a crowd of spectators at an airshow in the city of Puno. Cusco's airport was named in his honor and in recognition of his pioneering achievements in Peruvian aviation history.
Part of the Sacred Valley, Peru 2014 travel blog
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Airport in Cusco, the closest to Machu Picchu - Alejandro Velasco Astete (CUZ) Dec 14, 2008
Machu Picchu might be the most famous attraction we have in Peru. But in order to get there you have to go through Cusco city and if you are flying, this is the airport you will arrive to.
I have been flying to this airport since I was a little girl and I'm happy to say it has been improving lately.
It's mostly domestic, there are just 3 international flights, 2 from Bolivia and 1 from Brazil. But most of the tourists come through Lima.
Here are a couple of tips for your stop here:
-since it's a small airport there are not many airlines serving this airport. It's strange to find many flights arriving at same time, so picking up your bags would be easy.
-when you are arriving you will feel the air a bit strange because of the altitude. Take it easy and walk slow, so it won't hit you.
-just in front of the baggage claim, there are a lot of stands from different hotels and tour operators. They can be quite annoying.
-the best way to go into the city is taking a cab. Be sure they don't overcharge you. You have to bargain with the drivers. If they are asking for too much say: "muy caro" (too expensive)
-before departing you have to pay an airport tax. For domestic flights is S/.11 (about US$3). Pay that after getting your boarding pass.
-going through security is simple and easy.
Ok, now something serious. Cusco's airport can be problematic. It can be shut down, sometimes because of the bad weather and other because protests. In that case you'd have to stay longer at the airport or maybe come back the next day. There is a good number of daily flights to Lima, but I'd recommend to show up early, just in case.
Something fun/nice is that you might be welcomed by a group of musicians and also the staff working there is friendly. Just when you are landing to Cusco, you will see the beauty of the city and couldn't wait more to start discovering the city.
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1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy