Where to start
You can reach the city of Cusco either by plane or by road. Nowadays, this second option is a privilege for those that enjoy overlarding travel. In the past, the adventure was difficult, long and unpredictable. All of that changed radically due to the private concession of the Marcona-Urcos route, which is leg one of the Inter Oceanic Highway, managed by Survial consortium.
This has transformed a terrifying, insecure and dangerous road without maintenance, into a highway with international standards, well done to the millimeter, very secure despite the rugged geography, with lots of information, emergency phone booths, highway patrols, and toll booths with bathrooms. Depending on the time, money and your interests, the Lima-Cusco route can be done on an 18-hour bus ride non-stop It can also be done using less conventional means such as kombis, mini-vans, public transportation or even motorcars, making lots of stops all the way and inspired by a more adventurous attitude, a fantastic option for younger people who want and should get to know and travel around Peru.
The road is a gift if you decide to drive your own vehicle. Besides, there is a good print guide in Spanish made exactly for this kind of public: Aventura 757. Guías de ruta Survial. San Juan de Marcona-Nasca-cusco Urcos (Adcenture 757. Survial Route Guide.); it has been finance by Survial and can be purchased at bookstores and malls (www.editorialplaneta.com.pe/description_libro/5732). In this guide I will assume you have arrived to Cusco by plane, since the overlanding route could literally be another guidebook apart. According to recent statistics, 3 million Peruvians fly LAN airlines every year. There are around 20 daily flights on the Loma-Cusco-Lima route. Add flights from TACA, Peruvian Airlines and Star Per, and then you will realize that the amount of Peruvians that fly to Cusco is quite significant. So, I’m getting off the plan at the Velasco Astete Airport: I hope we enter the terminal through a jet bridge, because walking down the steps at morning can be a bit cold.