The best way to get to Lake Titicaca from the Peruvian side, Peru Hop is a safe, affordable and fun option whose hop on hop off style of travel gives you the chance to explore the real Peru. Simply “hop off” in Puno and you’ve arrived to the shores of Lake Titicaca.
Peru Hop’s route, which first moves along the coast and then slowly ascends into the Andes while stopping at interesting cities along the way, is also highly recommended in order to give your body a chance to acclimatize to the altitude.
The sister service to Peru Hop, this is the preferred option for travelers coming from the Bolivian side of the lake. The concept is the same: “hop on” anywhere along the route and “hop off” at interesting sites along the way. Stay as long as you want and then hop back on!
This style of travel is the best option to really see another side of the country in a safe, affordable and fun way.
If money is no issue, the most extravagant way to get to Lake Titicaca from Cusco is the Belmond Andean Explorer, the first luxury sleeper train in South America. This new service features private cabins, a lounge car, an onboard spa and an observation deck to take in the gorgeous sights of the Andean mountains as you make your way up to the lake.
The PeruRail Titicaca Train offers slightly more affordable service, but is still on the luxurious side. Take advantage of the open-air observatory car to snap photos of what is often considered one of the most beautiful train rides in the world.
The nearest airport is in the small Peruvian town of Juliaca, located about 44 km from Puno. From here, you’ll need to take a taxi or bus to get to Puno. Flights from Cusco take only one hour and arrive twice daily. Direct flights from Lima are also easy to find. There are no airports on the Bolivian side of the lake, and flights from Bolivia will need to connect through Lima, adding an extra 5 hours or more to your travel time.
In general, it’s not recommended to fly due to the risk posed by altitude sickness. At 3,810 meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca is well above the point where soroche (as the locals call it) can take effect. Symptoms of altitude sickness can include headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fast heart rate, insomnia and more. The safest way to travel is by bus, gradually increasing the altitude and giving yourself a chance to acclimatize.