From the ancient realm of Machu Picchu to the heights of Cusco and the crashing coastline of Paracas, Peru is a place that offers something to satisfy every type of traveler.
Illustrated by a colorful collection of pleasurable pursuits, no doubt planning a trip to Peru can ignite the travel bug within. But with so many things to see and do in Peru, it can take time to determine what's worth your time. And how best to get around, of course.
That's where I come in! I've compiled a detailed guide of all the major airports in Peru, alongside everything you need to know before traveling there. Hold your horses because you and I are about to dive in!
What is the major airport in Peru?
When flying in from an international airport, Peru's biggest airport, Jorge Chávez International Airport, is most likely where you'll be landing. Located a quick 10 km from Lima, this is one of the best areas to embark. Situated only a short 1.5-hour flight from Cusco, this is also the best international airport to land at if you're making your way to Machu Picchu.
How many international airports are in Peru?
Peru is home to 234 airports. Yes, you read that right! That's a lot of airports. But out of that total, only 5 are international airports and only 21 offer scheduled flights.
As a somewhat hilly, mountainous region, air travel is one of the most convenient, comfortable, and fastest ways to get around here. As such, most domestic flights are also ridiculously cheap, costing around $50, give or take.
What are some of the most known airports in Peru?
With literally hundreds of airports, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out where to fly to. Depending on your accommodation and trip priorities, airport routes can differ drastically.
Here's a table of some of Peru's main airports and the city in which each of them is located in:
Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima
Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) will most likely be where you touch down in Peru. Centered in Callao in Lima's metropolitan area, this is one of the biggest, most bustling airports in the entire country.
Most domestic and international flights fly in and out of this airport. If you're planning on venturing out of or across Peru, your next connection will likely be from this base as well. International airlines like American Airlines, Iberia, Air Canada, and Air France all fly in and out of Jorge Chávez.
Consisting of one terminal across two floors, it features International and Domestic Arrivals sections, check-in desks, and a Departures Hall. If you're hungry, you're also in luck because there are tons of shops, bars, and restaurants here.
Your transportation options from the airport include driving or catching a bus or taxi straight into the center of Lima in around 30 min. Heading to Machu Picchu? Airlines that fly from here to Cusco's Alejandro Velasco Airport include Sky Airlines, Viva Air, and LATAM Airlines.
What to do in Lima?
Jump, skip, and hop right off the plane to some of the country's biggest attractions:
- Stroll to see the vibrant yellow-tinted Plaza Mayor.
- Discover the stunning Malecón de Miraflores clifftop walkway.
- Grab a Pisco Sour.
- Stare in awe at the Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima.
Rodríguez Ballón International Airport, Arequipa
As the third-busiest airport in the country, Rodríguez Ballón International Airport is the best destination to choose if you're planning to explore some of the world's largest canyons. Also known as Arequipa Airport, this Peruvian gem lies southeast of the Cerro Colorado region.
Considering its ideal location, this is the airport to fly into if you want to spend a few days discovering the Rio Cotahuasi Canyon or the closer-by Colca Canyon.
With a two-story terminal featuring an Arrivals and Departures Hall, it also hosts restaurants, shops, and other handy amenities. For example, car rental, Wi-Fi, lounges, and an information desk.
If you want to hire a car, driving into the city center will only take 30 mins. There are also public transport options available, as well as a convenient taxi transfer. Airlines that fly to and from Arequipa Airport include Sky Airlines, JetSMART, and LATAM Airlines.
What to do in Arequipa?
As one of the fairly less-traveled cities in Peru, Arequipa is home to some seriously stunning not-to-be-missed gems:
- Get lost in the palm-tree-lined Plaza de Armas, Arequipa.
- Be gob-smacked by the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa.
- Wind through the striking colors of the Monasterio de Santa Catalina.
- Indulge in authentic local Peruvian cuisine.
Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, Cusco
Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport (CUZ) is the top airport to fly to if you're traveling to one of the country's biggest attractions. Situated east of Cusco, it's the closest airport to Machu Picchu.
Located in the Wanchoq district and just east of the city's heart, this airport also offers a quick zip to any of your activities in Cusco. By car, it's roughly a 10 min trip.
Featuring one terminal and Departures and Arrivals Halls, it's relatively easy to get around in this petite airport. In the Arrivals Hall, you can exchange cash at one of the offices, rent a car, ask for information from the friendly staff and take out money at an ATM.
What to do in Cusco?
As the former Incan capital, you can bet your bottom dollar that this place is brimming with exciting activities:
- Head out to Machu Pichu and the Sacred Valley.
- Be mind-boggled by the gargantuan Saqsaywaman's Stone Walls.
- Enjoy a drink in the Cusco Main Square.
- Shop 'til you drop at the San Pedro Market.
- Enjoy the vibrant Cusco nightlife.
Nail your flights to Peru!
Whether you're popping around ancient sites, prancing through colorful towns, Peru hostel-hopping, or exploring the untouched beauty, Peru is sure to satisfy your wanderlust. Planning a trip can be stressful, especially when there's so much you want to fit into your schedule!
Luckily for you, Pilot is happy to be your travel companion. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip with Pilot and start the countdown now!