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Cuzco Airport (Cusco Airport) Peru

Traveling to Cuzco? Here's what to expect when leaving Lima, arriving at the Cuzco airport, and leaving for the downtown (Plaza de Armas) area.

Before Arriving in Cuzco* - Lima Airport

Before landing in the Cuzco airport, the majority of travelers usually have a layover in Lima. Here's what you'll find.

Airline Choices to Cuzco

From Lima, you will prepare to board one of four different airlines with flights from Lima to Cuzco:
(For detailed information on flights, see the Peru Airlines page)

Flight Time: The approximate flight time is one hour, with daily departures throughout the morning and afternoon.

The earliest flights are around 5:25am, so travelers arriving in Lima at night have the option of spending the night at the airport or staying in a nearby hotel.

Fees: In addition, all travelers are required to pay a $5 departure fee at the airport before boarding their flight to Cuzco.

On Arrival - Cuzco Airport

Upon arriving in Cuzco, travelers will find themselves at the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.

Cuzco Airport
Cusco airport panorama
Panorama of Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport
by Aleks Clark  flickr

This is a small, two-story airport containing:

  • a ticket sales area,
  • baggage claim area, and
  • tourist information booths on the first floor, along with
  • waiting areas and boarding gates on the second floor.

Airort Shops: In addition, little tourist shops can be found on both the first and second floor, allowing travelers to browse artisanal items, clothes, and jewelry.

Like most airports, prices are quite a bit higher in the airport than in town for the same products.

Airport Food: Due to its size, the airport does not have eating facilities, with the exception of a coffee shop on the second floor.

Waiting Area: Outside of the airport is a gated waiting area for taxi drivers and those waiting for arrivals, as they are not allowed to wait inside.

Cuzco Airport
Information counter at Cusco airport
Airport Tax Counter at Cuzco Airport
by  Yusuke Kawasaki flickr

Baggage Area

After exiting the plane, you can expect to head immediately to the baggage area.

Note on Tours offered in Cusco Airport area: In this area, travelers will have the opportunity to use the bathroom and get information about tours at the tourist information booths.

However, prices are considerably more expensive than tour packages offered in the center of Cuzco.

Tipping in Cusco Airport: While waiting for baggage, travelers will also receive many offers to have their bags carried out on a small cart.

These locals will wheel your bags out to a taxi, but will expect a tip in return. Two to three soles (S/ 2-3.00)  or about one dollar ($1.00 USD) should be enough!

Baggage Claim Checks: In addition, as you walk out of the airport, you may be asked to present your baggage claim ticket(s) at the door.

Therefore, please have all claim tickets ready before exiting the airport!

Cuzco Airport
Cusco airport check in counters
Cusco Airport Check-in Counters
Yusuke Kawasaki  flickr

Transport from the Cuzco Airport

Once outside, travelers will be faced with transportation options.

Some Cusco hotels offer pick-up services and could arrange for a private car/van to pick up their guests from the airport.

If this has been arranged, someone will be waiting for you, holding a sign with your name on it.

Note: Whether or not transportation has been arranged, all travelers can expect to be confronted with numerous offers from taxi drivers.

Ignore them. You can be rude in this situation if needed (comments on this are accepted at bottom of page).

Safety Precautions: If you plan to take a taxi, the safest option is to take a taxi that is parked within the airport gates.

  • These taxi drivers have to pay a special fee to wait within the gates, making them well known to airport security and staff.
  • Thus, they are considered the safest option for tourists. 

Cuzco Airport
Cusco airport taxi options
Cusco Taxis
by Shashi Bellamkomda  flickr

Paying for a Taxi from the Cuzco Airport:

If you are heading near the Plaza de Armas, the cost will be approximately 8-10 soles or $3-$4 USD (this same price applies for those traveling from the Plaza de Armas back to the airport).

  • Please negotiate this price before getting into a taxi and, if at all possible, try to have exact change for the taxi drivers.

  • This will ensure that travelers pay a fair price and have a pleasant experience as they begin their travels throughout one of the most historical cities of Peru.

Above all, keep smiling and relaxed - it'll all come together, especially once you get used to the altitude!

Contributed by Inside-Peru's Associate Writer Michelle Dinos

*Cusco and Cuzco are both accepted spellings; however Cusco spelling is now more popular.

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