Arequipa to Ica by Bus: 2021 updated information about Bus Schedules, Bus Safety, and the Best Bus Companies to take!
A bus from Arequipa to Ica takes around 11 hours and it’s a beautiful trip along the whole Pacific Coast of Peru and it is strongly recommended to take this journey in the day rather than at night. There are no flights between Arequipa and Ica so bus travel is the only real option. NOTE: Ica is a city and there is not much to do there…if you are wanting to visit the sand dunes, you need to go to the Oasis of Huacachina. Public buses go to Ica, private buses (such as hop-on, hop-off) go to Huacachina. Below we have detailed information about bus safety, the best bus companies and what other benefits you should look out for when choosing the best bus from Arequipa to Ica.
A relatively new and refreshing bus service in Peru which started in October 2013, but already has over 2,700 excellent reviews on their Tripadvisor page, which is quite impressive. Being the first and only hop-on, hop-off bus system in Peru, the company covers the Arequipa to Ica route, while going through Nazca as well as other destinations like Paracas, Lima and more. It offers a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation and restaurants in all the destinations.
They pick-up passengers at hotels and hostels in all destinations which is a huge bonus here in Peru (no getting unsafe taxis or going to dangerous bus terminals) and from there take the safer route through the south of Peru. Definitely a service that is recommended for people wanting to travel safely and discover Peru!
We strongly suggest traveling with Peru Hop through Peru. Their unique hop on hop off service is one of a kind in South America and allows you to always travel like a local.
These companies are aimed mostly towards locals, with customer service only offered in Spanish and terminals located far from hotels & hostels. Quality of bus and service varies widely from local bus companies and it’s one of the instances where you truly get what you pay for. All of them offer direct travel from Arequipa to Ica with no free tours or stops along the way. Their overall rating on Tripadvisor, Facebook, and other review sites aren’t usually the best and some are known for having frequent accidents. This option would mostly be recommended for locals or those who are perfectly fluent in Spanish.
|COMPANIES||SCHEDULE||DEPARTURE TIME||DEPARTURE LOCATION||ENGLISH SPEAKING ASSISTANCE||TRIPADVISOR RATING|
|PERU HOP||DAILY||05:45||HOTEL PICK UP & DROP OFF||YES||98%|
|CRUZ DEL SUR||DAILY||20:30||PUBLIC TERMINAL||NO||76%|
Do they collect you at your hotel or hostel?
Some bus companies and all hop-on hop-off companies do actually pick you up at your hotel, thus offering a much safer and secure service rather than taking local taxis.
How is their safety record?
Simply put the name of the bus company, and the word “accident” or “hijacking” into google and see which companies are the best.
What onboard facilities do they have?
Tv’s, toilets (clean!!), semi-cama or cama seats…all of these things will help decide which is the best company.
What is hop on hop off?
A ticket for a hop on hop off bus covers all journeys that the bus company takes. Rather than paying for all bus journeys separately, hop on hop off tickets allow passengers to board as many buses as they want and stay in destinations for as long as they please. They have been described worldwide as the best way to experience all that a country has to offer, and such has been the feedback from those who boarded the Peruvian hop on hop off buses. For more information click here.
Some bus companies have loyalty points schemes (e.g. Cruz del Sur) and others have accommodation and other discounts (e.g. Peru Hop) so shop around and see what other benefits you get with each company
Arequipa to Ica by bus is usually a pleasant journey and most of the road is in good condition. Just choose the best bus company and enjoy the journey! If you are looking for more information about Huacachina, located in Ica, then make sure to check out this guide, complete with what to do, where to go and everything you need to know before you travel