Getting Around, Arequipa Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Arequipa, Peru)

Picture of the Rodriguez Ballon International AirportSouthern Peru is easy to reach by a number of different transport options. Within Arequipa itself, often the best way to travel around is on foot, moving from attraction to attraction, although taxis and buses are available. The historic centre of Arequipa covers around five blocks and even the districts of Cayma and Yanahuara are within walking distance.

Buses provide a cheap and relatively easy way to travel around much of the Arequipa area, with both minibus transport and 'combis' running along the Bolivar, towards the Terrestre Terminal, next to the Terrapuerto bus terminal. Close by, the surrounding rural area offers Spanish-style terraces, mills, palaces, volcanoes and more.

View of Rodriguez Ballon International Airport

Rodriguez Ballón International Airport (AQP) / Arriving by Air

The simplest way to travel into Arequipa from any great distance is to fly into the city's very own Rodriguez Ballón International Airport. Located just 7 km / 4 miles from the city centre, the Rodriguez Ballón Airport is amongst Peru's main air hubs and offers a selection of international flights to destinations such as Bolivia, Chile and La Paz, as well as to the domestic Peruvian cities of Cusco, Juliaca and Lima. Taxis are on hand at the airport and transport passengers to central hotels around the Plaza de Armas in less than 20 minutes.

Photo of cathedral and adjacent street

Car Rental

It is quite possible to hire a car complete with driver for the day, for less money than it would cost to rent a car in other countries. Having your own set of wheels allows you to take day trips that would otherwise be far more difficult, and many drivers will be able to suggest suitable places of interest, such as the Colca River and the beaches of Mollendo.

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Image of the Rio Chili river and highway

Buses and Coaches

There is currently no bus transport available at the Rodriguez Ballón Airport, although long-distance buses are on hand and travel as far afield as Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Santiago (Chile). However, cheap night buses should be avoided if possible, due to higher incidents of accidents and crime. Those wishing to explore other parts of Peru will find regular buses travelling to Cusco (nine hours), Lima (16 hours), Nazca (nine hours), Pisco (12 hours), Puno (six hours) and also Tasna (six hours).


The train station in Arequipa lies just 1 km / 0.5 miles to the south of the Plaza de Armas. However, in recent years, regular services have been suspended and currently private trains can only be chartered by groups of at least 40 passengers. If you do manage to catch a train, you can travel to both Juliaca and Puno, both of which are close to Lake Titicaca Along the way, look out for the native Peruvian wildlife around the Andean Plateau (Altiplano), such as alpacas, llamas and pink flamingos.

View of the city's bright yellow taxis


Taxis are the perfect way to travel short distances around central Arequipa, often being used to reach the bus terminal from the Plaza de Armas.

The important thing to remember is to always use official taxis, which have prominent roof signs, such as the Ideal Taxi, Panataxi and Presidential Express firms. Be sure to pay per ride, and not per head.