Peru Hop La Paz to Cusco to Lima: What to expect

cusco cathedral peru hop

Cusco’s Cathedral

The Peru Hop (also known as the Bolivia Hop for the Bolivian leg of the journey) is the first-of-its-kind bus service for travellers to South America.

The service provides several options for visiting two of the region’s busiest tourist spots, Bolivia and Peru. Depending on your specific travel requirements, you can choose to start in Lima or La Paz or anywhere in between. You can check out all of the ticket options here.

One of their most popular routes is the full journey from La Paz in Bolivia right through to Lima stopping of course also in Cusco. Here is a list of everything you can expect along the journey, all of the stops and some tips for along the way.

La Paz to Copacabana 

Start with a pick-up from La Paz, Bolivia’s capital.

Take Bolivia Hop from here to Copacabana (not to be confused with the beach in Rio!), about a 3.5 hour journey. Boat trip, lunch stop and view point included on route.

Enjoy a day of hiking to Cerro Calvario here (short hike), take peddle boats out onto the lake and enjoy an impressive town square, cathedral and markets. You can also take a day-long boat trip to the Isla del Sol, a pretty island with a strong native culture. 

Copacabana to Puno

Leave Copacabana for Puno, a large city on the edge of Lake Titicaca.

From here, take a tour to visit the miraculous man-made floating islands and the indigenous populations who live there.

Puno to Cusco 

Depart Puno for Cusco, a night bus that takes around 8 hours. You will arrive to Cusco extremely early in the morning so may be worth booking your accommodation for that night so you are guaranteed a bed when you arrive.

You will probably spend at least four plus days in Cusco exploring the beautiful city, doing a trek to Machu Picchu and a one day tour to the Rainbow Mountain.

Cusco to Arequipa 

Depart Cusco for Arequipa, another night bus that will take about eight or so hours.

Arequipa is a beautiful city with a stunning colonial-style centre. You will spend a few days here enjoying the atmosphere as well as potentially trekking El Misti volcano (if you are brave enough) and spending two days hiking nearby Colca Canyon.

Arequipa to Nazca 

You will spend one full day doing the nine hours to get from Arequipa to Nazca. You will receive a basic breakfast bag on bus (cereal bar, juice). 

There is a 45 minute stop for lunch in a small seaside town. Minimum price for this lunch is 20 Peruvian Soles, so might be better to bring a packed lunch.

You can choose to spend a night in Nazca to see the infamous Nazca Lines either by plane or by a visit to the tower which costs only 3 Peruvian Soles. Bear in mind, if you choose to skip Nazca and go straight to the next destination, Huacachina, the bus will stop and include a free visit to the tower. (I would recommend skipping Nazca if you are short on time). 

Nazca to Huacachina 

The bus takes another two hours from Nazca to Huacachina, a ‘desert oasis.’ Banana’s Adventure Hostel is a popular spot for backpackers and has lovely places to lounge and excellent food. Every night accommodation you spend here includes one free tour so the extra couple of euro a night is worth it. 

Spend at least a day here soaking up the sun, going sand boarding and doing a pisco tour.

Huacachina to Paracas 

Depart Huacachina for Paracas, only an hour and fifteen minutes away. Again, enjoy the sun, take a tour into the National Reserve here. You can rent dune buggies and bikes.

Also take a two hour boat tour to the Ballestas Islands for some stunning wildlife and landscapes.

There is also the option to go para-gliding in Paracas should you be tempted.

Paracas to Lima 

Depart Paracas for Lima, a five hour drive. This bus journey includes an hour-long stop in Casa Hacienda de San José, a beautiful old colonial house in rural Chincha. Enjoy it’s pretty veneer, dark history and former underground slave tunnels.

Arrive in La Paz.

Are you tempted to take the Peru/ Bolivia Hop? 

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