If you want to travel from Cusco to La Paz by bus, there are 2 options:

  • a direct bus which can take up to 15 hours; or
  • an indirect bus with a stop at Puno or Copacabana along the way.

We travelled from La Paz to Cusco by bus stopping at Copacabana for a few days.

We loved Copacabana and Isle de Sol and recommend this over a direct La Paz – Cusco bus.

Cusco to La Paz

Direct Bus

If you are short on time, the direct bus from Cusco to La Paz takes 15 – 16 hours.

We recommend the overnight cama bus option to save time. The journey and border crossing was not dangerous.

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Cusco to La Paz Bus Times

Identifying the main bus station in Cusco can be a little tricky as there seem to be several.

Buses to La Paz or Lima leave from Terminal Terrestre Cusco.

The timetable from Cusco to La Paz is as follows:-

  • 22:00
  • 22:30

That’s it. Doesn’t seem like much right?

There is some variation here, with different operators arriving at different times.

Cusco to La Paz Bus Operators

Trans Salvador is the fastest leaving Cusco at 22:00 and arriving in La Paz by 12 noon the following day. Book at the terminal or online here: http://www.trans-salvador.com/inicioEn.php.

Tour Peru departs at 22:00 and arrives by 14:00. Book online here: http://www.perutourbus.com/.

Nuevo Continente Internacional departs at 22:30 and arrives by 13:30. This company doesn’t operate it’s own website, and if you read around the web for it’s reviews, you’ll see this (non)attention to detail is indicative of the average reputation it has earned.

Peru Hop departs at 22:00 and arrives the following evening at 21:30 as it involves some sightseeing. Find more information about their tour here: https://www.peruhop.com/.

Indirect Bus Cusco to La Paz via Copacabana or Puno

We really, really recommend you don’t miss the happy town of Copacabana and virtually deserted and unspoiled Isle del Sol (north island). Take a look at the photos from this place and tell us we’re wrong.

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A visit to Isle del Sol is like stepping into a time machine

Cusco to Copacabana

If you have the time, taking a bus from Cusco to Copacabana is a great choice.

Copacabana and Isle del Sol just across the Bolivia border are uncrowded spots on Lake Titicaca favoured by the young South American hippy crowd.

But party town it is not – except for the exceptionally fun Festival of the Virgen de la Candelaria where local men and women in coordinated suits, dresses & bowler hats boozily dance around the town in a colourful, choreographed dance (sometimes enhanced and sometimes limited by the alcohol).

On Isle del Sol there are no bars – just beach camping or simple accommodation, a little drinking (being neighbours to the wine regions of Argentina & Chile has its advantages) and enjoying the simple life for a moment, breathing sweet, fresh unpolluted air.

An overnight bus is again the best option from Cusco to Copacabana to save time (and money on accommodation).

South America has a great bus system with large, comfortable seats which can recline to a bed (usually luxury cama options).

Also, all buses from Cusco to Copacabana stop in Puno. No matter what your ticket vendor says to the contrary, you will find yourself stopping here.

If you have more time, consider spending a night or two in Puno which is also on Lake Titicaca.

If you want to visit Copacabana you will take the same bus as those travelling to La Paz, so the the timetable is the same:-

  • 22:00
  • 22:30

If you want to travel from Cusco to Puno or Juliaca, a few more services run which you can buy tickets for from Terminal Terrestre Cusco.

Huayaruro Tours also operate from Cusco to Puno or Copacabana. Their service was okay but we were annoyed they assured us the bus would not stop in Puno, which turned out to be a lie.

Copacabana to La Paz

The bus from Copacabana to La Paz is far quicker than the journey from Cusco to Copacabana, clocking in at around 2 hours.

From any tour office in Copacabana you can buy tickets to La Paz for 35 Bolivianos.

There are also plenty of collectivos offering this route (probably only doable if you have little luggage).

It does involve an over-water aspect where the bus and passengers are transported by ferry to the mainland.

Buses from Copacabana to La Paz run from morning to evening every 30 minutes – 1 hour.

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Direct Bus from La Paz to Cusco

Like Chris Rock warns, “there’s no sex in the champagne room”, there’s no direct buses in South America. None. No matter what the vendor will tell you.

The “direct bus” from La Paz to Cusco will stop in Copacabana and Puno. Do yourself a favour and enjoy these beautiful places.

The direct bus from La Paz to Cusco takes 15 – 16 hours. Thankfully most are overnight buses and the journey isn’t too uncomfortable.

All buses from La Paz leave from the Terminal de Buses de La Paz.

La Paz to Cusco Bus Times

Your La Paz to Cusco bus departure time options are:

  • 7:00 (BoliviaHop)
  • 7:30 (Nuevo Continente Internacional)
  • 16:00 (Trans Titicaca)
  • 16:30 (Trans Salvador / Trans Peru)

Trans Salvador is again the fastest leaving La Paz at 16:00 and arriving in Cusco by 6:00am the following day. As with all bus times listed in South America, take this schedule with a large grain of salt. Book at the terminal or online here: http://www.trans-salvador.com/inicioEn.php.

Trans Peru also departs at 16:00 and arrives at 6:30am (in reality probably at the same time as Trans Salvador).

Tour Peru departs at 22:00 and arrives by 14:00. Book online here: http://www.perutourbus.com/.

Nuevo Continente Internacional is the day route option leaving at 7:30am and arriving 22:30pm. This sounds like an awfully long, boring trip during the daytime which we would avoid if scheduling allows.

Bolivia Hop (aka Peru Hop) offers the tourist route, departing at 7am and arriving the same time the following day. Find more information about their tour here: https://www.boliviahop.com/.

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La Paz to Copacabana Bus

You can get to Copacabana direct from La Paz for 35 Bolivianos from the bus terminal.

There is also a ‘tourist transfer’ which includes a hotel pick up for 40 Bolivianos.

We chose this option and booked a transfer with Diana Tours. Contact information here: https://www.diana-tours.com/.

Collectivos from La Paz Terminal to Copacabana leave the terminal regularly.

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Our bus from La Paz to Copacabana waiting to cross by ferry

Copacabana to Cusco Bus

As “direct” buses in South America are rarely actually direct, you’ll be joining passengers who started their journey in La Paz.

So, the if you want to catch the bus from Copacabana to Cusco allow about 2 hours onto the La Paz schedule.

The Copacabana to Cusco bus timetable is roughly:

  • 9:30 (Nuevo Continente Internacional)
  • 18:00 (Trans Titicaca)
  • 18:30 (Trans Salvador / Trans Peru)

The cheapest semi-cama seats cost 120 Bolivianos and the upgraded cama-seats cost 160 Bolivianos.

If you want the cama seats, be sure to purchase the tickets a few days in advance.

Note. if you want to travel from Copacabana to Puno before heading on to Cusco, the best price we found was 30 Bolivianos.

Peru & Bolivia Travel Blog Posts

After visiting Machu Picchu, it’s time to travel from Cusco to Lima by bus.

In Peru you should really visit the desert oasis in Huacachina to go sandboarding and race a dune buggy. You can do this on the journey from Cusco to Lima with a stop in Ica – we’ll show you how.

If you’re travelling to Bolovia, don’t miss Copacabana and Isle del Sol.

In Copacabana you should try to time your visit to experience the colourful, boozy Festival of the Virgen de la Candaleria.

The crown jewel of any visit to Bolivia is the breathtaking Uyuni de Salar. Find out everything you need to know in our Uyuni Salt Flat FAQ guide.

Travelling or Planning a Trip to South America? Pin this guide to Pinterest!

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