Bus Travel Tips In Peru For Backpackers

The following Peru bus travel tips are largely aimed at long-distance travel. Peru backpacking can involve quite a lot of lengthy bus journeys. Eight hour stints can soon seem like relatively short hops after a few fifteen, twenty or even thirty hour marathons. These Peru travel tips should hopefully make the bus travel experience a more bearable one.

peru bus travel

Luggage – Where to Put a Backpack When Traveling Peru by Bus

Some backpackers may, quite reasonably, worry about stowing a backpack in the undercarriage luggage compartment of a bus. Keeping one eye on the all-important backpack is a basic traveling instinct. However, luggage stowed in this manner is generally very secure. Be sure to take a luggage ticket and keep it safe.

Once a backpack has been stored in the luggage compartment it is basically out of reach for the duration of the journey (barring emergencies). Having a smaller, secondary backpack in Peru is always useful – both for day-to-day use and for taking on to buses.

Valuables and other items needed for the journey (see below) can be placed in the smaller backpack and taken onto the bus. This can be put in the overhead rack or, more securely, between your feet – petty thieves also travel by bus in Peru.

What to Take on the Bus – Peru Travel Vitals and Valuables

peru bus travel tips

Whether to keep vital documents and valuables in a small backpack (in the bus) or in the main backpack stored below is a matter of personal choice. Many backpackers prefer to keep credit cards, cameras etc with them on the bus for a greater sense of security. Although luggage stored below is generally secure, keeping valuables within sight certainly lessens any worries about entrusting such things to the baggage handlers.

If deciding to leave cash and credit/debit cards in the luggage hold, be sure to take enough money on the bus for food and drinks. Small change is vital as many vendors won’t have change for larger bills.

Passports should be kept within reach as police spot-checks occur frequently and documents need to be presented. Photocopies are normally accepted, but not always.

Peru Bus Travel Tips – Comfort & Keeping Occupied

peru bus travel tips

Here are a few items that a Peru backpacker might want to take on the bus, both for overall comfort and keeping occupied. Most buses will have onboard music and movies. However, the music can get very repetitive and there are only so many badly dubbed Van Damme/Seagal/Stallone movies that the average person can stand.

Clothing for both hot and cold conditions – Dress lightly as it can get very hot in some buses. Take some extra layers as maxed-out air conditioning and high altitude stints can make the onboard temperature plummet.
Snacks and drinks – Some Peru buses will serve meals onboard, others will stop for food. Taking extra food is always advisable, while taking water is a must.

Toothbrush – Grabbing the chance to brush your teeth is a great way to freshen up after a long overnight stint, especially with a good few hours left to go. Chewing gum is a useful back-up option.

ChapStick/Lypsyl – Chapped lips are a real pain on a long trip, especially if no remedy is at hand.
Toilet paper – Another essential Peru backpacking item, don’t leave home without it.

MP3 – A bit of music can help the time go by. Putting a Spanish language course onto an MP3 can also make bus trips a good time to practice the lingo.

Books – A good book is a wonderful thing for making the hours drift by. Taking a guidebook onto the bus can help with planning the next step of a Peru travel adventure.

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