Peru Hopping from Lima to Cusco

I had just two short weeks to spend in Peru, but SO much I wanted to do and see. I tried to make the most of my time (and money!) by using the Peru Hop bus from Lima to Cusco.

What the heck is Peru Hop?

Peru Hop is a hop-on, hop-off style bus that goes throughout the southern half of Peru from Lima to Cusco, hitting the major tourist attractions along the way. The main selling points of the Peru Hop bus tour are the social aspects of the experience, major discounts on accommodation and activities, superior bus safety, and the convenience of being picked up and dropped off directly from your hotel or hostel (no need to take a taxi to the bus terminal).

Peru Hop Review: Hop on Hop Off Tour Bus from Lima to Cusco
stopping for the Nazca lines viewing (for FREE)

Peru Hop – Is it Worth It?

Well, that depends.

YES! Peru Hop is worth it:

If you’re after convenience

It doesn’t get more convenient than Peru Hop in terms of bus travel. With almost every other bus service, you’d need to take a taxi to and from the bus terminal after every single journey. Not so with Peru Hop. Included in the price of the pass is hostel/hotel drop off and pick up at every single stop EXCEPT for Paracas and Huacachina, which are so small you could walk to the furthest hotel in less than 10 minutes.

While this might not seem like a big deal, if you’re well-versed in Latin American travel, you know how obnoxious it can be to deal with taxi drivers, especially after a somewhat sleepless overnight on a bus. You either end up haggling for way too long and wasting your time, or you take an overpriced fare and waste your money, especially late at night and early in the morning . Either way, no bueno.

Peru Hop is also super convenient in that they’ve already done all your necessary research for you.

Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco
research done for you = more time lounging on the beach in Paracas

The Peru Hop guides suggest the best activities at each location (usually with a few varied length and price options), with pricing at a group discount. Peru Hop even has free activities arranged at certain stops along the route, including viewing of the Nazca lines, a Pisco distiller, and historic slavery tunnels. If finding a delicious, authentic (and inexpensive) place to eat is among your concerns, Peru Hop also has it handled with pre-planned food stops. There’s even always a vegetarian option that can be veganized.

Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco
really delicious vegetarian sandwich stop on the way from Lima to Paracas

Peru Hop has also worked out special deals with recommended hotels and hostels, so you get the best price without needing to spend hours on Agoda. At each overnight stop, Peru Hop provides a selection of accommodation options, ranging from super budget friendly dorm rooms to luxurious private rooms at resorts with pools. If you’d rather go with your own choice of hotel, that’s fine too! In most cases, I booked the hotel myself because I wanted to use up Agoda points, and it was no problem.

YES! Peru Hop is worth it:

If you’re short on time

The Peru Hop “Full South” bus tour was created to maximize a traveler’s experience in a short period of time. You only need SIX days minimum to visit Lima, Paracas, Huacachina, Nazca, Arequipa, Puno, and Cusco (with a few extra free stops for free tours thrown in). Seriously!

Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco
Peru Hop free tour: Nazca line viewing

I had two weeks, which I felt like was the perfect amount of time, especially if you want to work in a trip to Machu Picchu and a few overnight stays in some of the other cities.

YES! Peru Hop is worth it:

If you’re into socializing

Peru Hop was a VERY social trip. At each stop, the Peru Hop guide organizes group dinners, activities, and bar nights to make it easier for people to socialize and meet one another. The hostels they recommend also usually have a strong party, social vibe.

Even if you don’t go out of your way to make friends, you won’t be able to help it. You’ll run into the same people multiple times throughout your trip, maybe meeting up at later stops, or when you’re on the same organized group activity.

Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco
Peru Hop free activity: Pisco tasting!

This is an awesome option for a solo traveler who worries about making friends and having fun. It’s also great for friends or couples who want to meet new people on their trip but don’t get approached as often because they’re not solo.

YES! Peru Hop is worth it:

If safety is a priority

My husband is an international security consultant, so safety is always on my mind, maybe too much. Peru Hop deserves an A+ in terms of security.

Anytime I take a bus, I worry about two forms of robbery: within the bus, and bus hold-ups. Within the bus, I didn’t worry about stealing at all. There’s a sense of community with travelers, and I felt my possessions were totally safe. I even left my laptop in the seat back when I went on the Pisco tour and to the Nazca lines. Southern Peru has been struck by a string of bus hold ups, especially in remote areas. The Peru Hop buses are equipped with 24 hour GPS monitoring, which would instantly inform the guys at HQ if the bus was taking an unplanned stop (i.e. a hijacking or armed robbery).

Another concern when taking buses around the world is the safety of the drivers. I’d been subjected to drunk drivers in Cambodia, sleepy drivers in Thailand, and speeding drivers all over the world more times than I’d like to count. With Peru Hop, every long bus ride is manned by two drivers, so no one gets too tired. The bus has an internal speed limit system, which sets off an alarm if the driver goes too fast.

Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco
bus equipped with alarm system

As a usually solo female traveler, I haven’t always felt safe on overnight buses. I have been in a few sketchy situations with very creepy bus drivers and fellow passengers that were behaving oddly with no one to turn to. That’s not an issue with Peru Hop. There is always a guide present, and anyone who feels uncomfortable can always tell the guide who will help you find a more suitable seat.

When the bus has arrived, as mentioned above, you don’t have to worry about being in a taxi at 4am alone, as Peru Hop drops you off, safe and sound, directly to your accommodation.

YES! Peru Hop is worth it:

If you’re worried about reliability

Choosing a reliable transportation option is a valid concern, especially in Latin America, and especially if you’re on a strict time frame.

Peru Hop was extremely reliable. We always arrived to our destination on time, if not early. The pickup times provided were also always on time, more or less, with the longest wait being 30 minutes which is VERY good especially in South America where timeliness isn’t always a priority.

I didn’t worry about the bus being canceled, or breaking down, or being left stranded somewhere on the side of the road and missing my tour. The buses themselves looked pretty new and in good condition.

Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco
reliable Peru Hop bus

If something did happen, I wouldn’t worry, as the customer service at Peru Hop were responsive, quick, and English-speaking. The presence of the guide on the bus at all times also meant there was someone on top of thins.

The company is run by a few Irish guys, which also set my mind at ease. No offense, South America, I love ya, but you’re not quite known for top-notch service standards.

NO! Peru Hop is NOT worth it:

If you’re a penny pincher

You can book local buses for each stretch of the journey for cheaper than the Peru Hop ticket, that’s true. But you’ll also be foregoing the free activities, losing the savings of being dropped to your accommodation (and not needing a taxi), not getting Peru Hop hotel and activity discounts, and spending time researching which accommodation and activities to book. If you are on a super strict budget, though, Peru Hop is probably not your best choice.

Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco
free stop with Peru Hop: beneath this gorgeous entryway lies former slave tunnels and a tragic history of enslavement

NO! Peru Hop is NOT worth it:

If you’re looking for super luxury

In general, buses in Latin America are not the most luxurious choice. Peru Hop is no exception. One of the buses I was on was quite comfortable, with big wide seats and a generous recline, but the others looked and smelled old, had cramped leg space and narrow seats (and I’m 5’2″, so I can’t imagine how tall guys felt). While it says online that seats come with USB ports, none of the buses I was on had this amenity. If you’re looking for luxury, it’d be better to fly or rent a private car.

The bus company Cruz del Sur is also much more comfortable and luxurious, with individual TVs, almost fully reclining seats, and even a “hostess” (but you will need to taxi to and from the bus station, arrange your own accommodation and activities, and miss out on the social aspect of Peru Hop).

Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco
free stop with Peru Hop: Paracas nature reserve

Was Peru Hop worth it for me?


Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco

I enjoyed the convenience, safety, sociability, and reliability of Peru Hop. The provided tours were awesome, and the optional (paid) tours were excellent as well.

In the future, I’d love to see bus upgrades. I, for one, would be willing to pay more for a PeruHop experience combined with Cruz del Sur-style bus comfort.

Pin Peru Hop Review: Exploring the Pros and Cons for the “Full South” Bus from Lima to Cusco

Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco         Peru Hop Bus: Full South Bus from Lima to Cusco

While I was a complimentary guest of Peru Hop, all of my opinions and advice remain my own.

Would you do a hop-on hop-off bus? Why or why not?


A short vacation in Thailand turned into a life abroad with a canceled ticket home. Nearly a decade later and after living in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, and Puerto Vallarta, Steph is on to her next adventure and living back in beautiful, cosmopolitan Mexico City. She is living, traveling, and working (both as an expat therapist and an international health insurance representative) around the world to find the beautiful, inspirational, and interesting while sharing it with you!

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Lara
    January 22, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

    • Steph
      January 25, 2018 / 6:17 am

      Thank so much, Lara!

  2. David from
    November 17, 2018 / 10:27 am

    Awesome article, thanks for the tips! Indeed, Peru has a great mix of different sceneries and attractions such as the majestic Machu Picchu, the expansive Atacama Desert and the snake like Amazon River that cleaves through the heart of primary rainforests.

    However, there are tourist-targeting scammers and petty crime to be wary of. Do be wary of the ‘bird poo’ / mustard scam, the poor student scam, airport fake taxis, carjacking, ATM fraud, sob story scam and many more!

    • Steph
      November 17, 2018 / 12:56 pm

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lisa S
    April 28, 2019 / 12:59 pm


    I am traveling with my 13 year old son to Peru in June. We are considering Peru Hop but the restrictive bus times might not work as we have 10 days and want to spend 4 in Cusco (including an overnight to Machu Picchu). We will have to fly back to Lima from Cusco. Have you done this? I’m wondering about the altitude change on the flight back, I know it is not recommended to fly TO Cusco from Lima. Also, is Peru Hop more 20-30 year olds, party scene? I wonder if it is not the best for my son and I, although we are very sociable. Thanks!

    • Steph
      April 29, 2019 / 9:58 am

      Hi Lisa – this was my itinerary and I wouldn’t really make it any shorter. With only 10 days and spending 4 in Cusco, I don’t know that bus would be the best option unless you skip some stops (and then that would be a LOT of time on a bus in one stretch).
      Going from high altitude to low altitude isn’t a problem, it’s only the reverse.
      PeruHop is almost exclusively 20-30 year olds, and the hostels that they arrange at each stop do have a party atmosphere. However, they also suggest (and provide discounts for) quieter options, which is what I personally took advantage of or booked my own. I didn’t partake in the partying (I’m not a big drinker and I’m on the “30s” end of the spectrum) and I still found it really worthwhile.

  4. Alicia and Jose
    August 17, 2019 / 8:23 pm

    We were in Peru in May of this year 2019, I had not be able to write until now. We want to make sure you know how great your employees are and how they take their jobs seriously. We spent 2 weeks traveling throughout Peru and also included a day in Bolivia. When we got to Bolivia we did not have visas ready and they were right there the entire time until we were all cleared. Their Personality and energy throughout the 2 weeks was energetic, positive and informative. Your staff were always aware and concerned for everyone’s safety as well as knowledgeable for recommendations at each location. Unfortunately I don’t remember the names of all those that journeyed with us to the various locations. Our dates of travel were April 29 through May 13.

    • Steph
      September 8, 2019 / 1:01 pm

      I’m glad you had a great time with Peru Hop!

  5. Diane
    November 9, 2019 / 2:22 pm

    Hi Steph,

    You had mentioned in your itinerary that you would have used a different provider in Machu Picchu, is there any that you would recommend?

    • Steph
      November 11, 2019 / 8:37 am

      Hi Diane! I would definitely go with Viator.

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