Cusco to Ica by Bus: 2021 updated information about Bus Schedules, Bus Safety, and the Best Bus Companies to take!
A bus from Cusco to Ica takes around 19 hours. The trip is usually via Nazca (across the dangerous Andes mountains) or Arequipa (a little bit longer but much safer route). The other option is taking a flight to Lima and then a 4 to 5-hour bus to Ica which can be really expensive and time consuming. 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 Cusco 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 Cusco to Ica route, while going through popular destinations like Arequipa, Nazca 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 Cusco 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||19:00||PRIVATE TERMINAL||YES||98%|
|CRUZ DEL SUR||DAILY||4:00, 16:00, 18:00||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
Cusco to Ica is a long journey which should be broken up with stops at Arequipa or Nazca if possible. The longer road via Arequipa is definitely the recommended option as it is much safer. If you are looking for more information about 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