Start of Journey to Cusco...and it was a long one!
Arica Travel Blog› entry 83 of 87 › view all entries
The flight was at an awful time in the morning, 4am...but luckly I had a friend who was willing to drop me off. When I arrived in Arica airport I was unsure of how to get the border with Peru. I jumped into a collectivo to the centre of Arica where I knew it would be possible to get more information. This cost $3,000 CLP to the terminal. From there I managed to find another collectivo that would take me across the border again for $3,000CLP. There is a special terminal for these collectivos as hundreds go across everyday.
I was a very nervous at first when the driver took my passport off to get a form filled in. Was very happy when I saw him return with everything and we set off. The driver stays with you all the time to get you across the border and then leaves you in the terminal of Tacna.
I was hoping to get a straight bus through to Cusco from Tacna but was informed that this wasn't possible. Instead I had to take a bus to Arequipa and from there transfer to a straight route to Cusco. There was a time difference of two hours when I crossed the border so I was in Peru very early. I was finally able to get a bus at 9.15am out of there. The bus costs 20 soles and took 6hrs (they advertise 5!).
Arriving in Arequipa I was exhausted so hoped to get a bus straight away to Cusco. However I quickly learnt that all buses along that road weren't running at the moment! Apparently due to rain they had shut down the whole road...I think however I might of been informed incorrectly and it was actually road blocks which are very typical in Peru.
I was quickly trying to think of options so decided that I might as well see if its possilbe to fly. I spoke to LanPeru and they only had flights from Arequipa in two days time. As I have the Inca Trail booked I decided this was too late so asked about other options. My only choice to get there the next day was to take a over night bus to Lima and then fly from there the following afternoon straight into Cusco. So thats what I did. It wasn't part of my budget as the flight costs £140 but worth it to make sure I got to Cusco in time.
I took the overnight bus to Lima with the company Cruz del Sol. It is more expensive than the other bus companies but after my trouble with journeys I wanted as easy a time as possible. The company are excellent... they serve hot food, give blankets, put movies on in spanish and english subtitles and tell you exactly where you are on your journey.
I arrived in Lima in plently of time for my flight so took a taxi to the airport. There I finally felt I was able to relax as the rest of my journey was going to be straight forward. Flight left on time and only took a hour. After landing in Cusco I jumped into another cab and arrived at my hostel Pariwana where I was welcomed by the happy face of my friend Rebecca! Happy ending to a long journey.