Cusco Airport, Peru – or to give it its official title: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, is Cusco’s only airport. The airport has consistently ranked as Peru’s second most important air terminal, after Lima Airport (Jorge Chávez International Airport), annually handling close to 2,500,000 national and international passengers.
The airport is located 5.5 km (3.4 miles) from the Plaza de Armas in the historic centre of Cusco. The approximate journey time is 20 minutes by taxi.
Unlike Lima International Airport, which is served by the luxury buses of Airport Express Lima, Cusco Airport is not so well served. There is no bus service directly to or from Cusco Airport itself and the center of Cusco. However, Cusco is serviced by a network of privately owned mini buses known as Combis.
Each Combi company has a set route that they trace all day on fleets of old inner-city buses. They do not have fixed schedules but run very frequently.
Fares are 0.80 (PEN). The buses are crowded and the seating is very limited, there are no baggage storage areas. These buses are notorious for pick-pockets and we do not advise travelers to use them for transport to or from Cusco Airport.
Taxis are by far the most popular mode of transportation for people to and from Cusco Airport. On arrival at Cusco airport you will find an abundance of taxi drivers offering their services.
At the baggage collection carousels within the terminal there are two small desks offering airport transfers. Llama Taxis are one of these, their fleet of taxis comprises of modern and safe black Toyota saloons. The price from Cusco Airport to Plaza de Armas or any of Cusco’s tourist hotels (within the city) is 45/55 Soles (US$15).
Beyond this just outside the door to the building to your left, a vast quantity of taxi drivers congregate (you can´t miss them). In a typical Peruvian taxi driver style, they can be a little overbearing and very persistent, but don’t let this put you off. No taxis are metered here so you will need to agree a price first before getting in.
The price of a taxi from Cusco Airport to the historic center of Cusco is around 10 – 15 soles (US$ 3.50 – 5.00) for the 20-minute journey (ask your Peru Hop guide for more information about rates). Be aware that taxi drivers will start by offering a price of 25 – 30 Soles (US$ 7.50 – 10.00) or even higher. You will need patience and the ability to negotiate firmly to ensure you get a fair price. Taxi drivers are required to pay a 2 Soles parking fee when leaving Cusco Airport, and often ask for this from the passenger in addition to the pre-agreed fare, be firm and inform them this was not the agreement.
As you leave the terminal building to avoid the baying mob of taxi drivers on the left it is possible to walk to the right along a footpath by the car park wall. This will lead you out to the gate where you will find a cab for under 10 soles to anywhere in Cusco.
When traveling from your hotel or hostel to the airport, the reception at your accommodation can call a reliable taxi company to take you to the airport. If you prefer, it is very simple to hail a taxi on the street in Cusco and simply request AeroPuerto. There are heaps of easily identifiable taxis with roof signs on the streets of Cusco. As the taxis are not metered, agree the fare before getting into the taxi. The price will range from 8 – 12 Soles from anywhere in the center of Cusco or San Blas.
There are a host of companies offering private transfer services online from Cusco Airport to the historic center. Cusco Transport Tours, Cusco Airport Shuttle and Cusco Transfers to name a few. Prices start from US$20 for a saloon car and increase with each additional passenger.
Cusco airport is a small, single-terminal international airport with minimal amenities and services and is now operating at maximum capacity.
NOTE: The airport is open 5:00AM – 10:00PM. It is not possible to spend the night in the airport.
Tip for Cusco Airport: On the grounds of the airport in the small car park are a number of shops and kiosks. They are located directly in front of the main door of the terminal building across the other side of the car park. They sell a range of sweets, biscuits, drinks and even freshly made sandwiches at very reasonable prices and far cheaper than anything within the airport building.
On the first floor there are 20 check-in desks with very limited space. There are no seating areas.
Seating is uncomfortable and extremely limited, often not enough to accommodate the amount of passengers waiting in the airport.
Seating is uncomfortable and again limited. At peak times there is not enough to accommodate the amount of passengers waiting at the gates.
Given the fact there is no scope to increase capacity at the current location, a new airport is being built outside of Cusco, in Chinchero. Peru is going ahead with the construction of a high-volume airport despite controversies over potential risks to the ecological treasures of Chinchero.
Chinchero Cusco International Airport will be located over 30 km from Cusco and this new airport will have more than double the current capacity of Cusco Airport. No set date for opening yet due to the pandemic.
For more information about getting from Lima to Cusco, then check out this page for a complete breakdown of the different options that you have available to you! Or, if you want to know about the best things to do in Cusco then check this out!