Cusco Airport, also known as Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, is the second biggest airport in Peru. Despite the difficulties due to the location of the airport, the number of passengers is constantly growing. In this airport guide, we’ll help you find your way through Cusco Airport.
With nearly 3 million passengers, Cusco Airport grew to be the second biggest airport in Peru in the last years. That’s especially interesting as the only one runway each can be used for departing and arriving aircraft due to the difficult approach. Further limitations are the enormous height (3.300 meters) and the bad weather conditions. As of now, any departures or arrivals at night are forbidden at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport. Thus, all traffic is handled with daylight.
Despite all these limitations, Cusco is getting a more and more popular destination. All flights to Cusco are domestic, with just two exceptions (Amaszonas and Peruvian fly to La Paz, while Avianca flies to Bogota). At the same, the domestic schedules are extremely frequent with up to half a dozen flights to the most important destination, Lima, per hour. LATAM Peru (six domestic destinations) and Avianca (four domestic, one international destination) are currently dominating the market in Cusco.
Despite the number of passengers, Cusco Airport feels very small. This means that there are not many shopping and dining options available. That’s not to say that there is not anything, but all you can find are a few small shops before and after security.
I didn’t see any proper restaurant, so the only food you can get are snacks as well as some bar food. When it comes to shopping, you can get some daily needs stuff, but you can’t do any real shopping for clothes or something alike. Yet, as the airport is mainly used by tourists, you can find a lot of souvenir shops.
There’s hardly any city airport that’s located so close or even “in” the city as Cusco Airport. Thus, there are no proper airport hotels. Instead, you can actually reach basically every hotel in Cusco in 15 to 30 minutes by taxi.
Thus, I’d recommend to book a hotel in the city center instead of sleeping in the rather “dead” area around the airport. You can find some two or three star properties here, while the city center offers plenty of decent four and five star options, too.
Despite neither Avianca nor LATAM offering lounge access for premium passengers at Cusco Airport, there are two VIP Lounges. One of those is located landside, while the other one is located after security. Both lounges can be accessed with certain local credit cards as well as Priority Pass. Neither of these lounges looks terribly inspiring, but they are a better place to hang out prior to departure than the disappointing gate area.
There’s hardly any public transportation in Cusco Airport. While there are local buses, those are relatively tough to use for foreigners as there is neither information available in the internet nor in English. However, you can easily organize a driver prior to your arrival or just take a (cheap) taxi to your hotel or destination. Nevertheless, be sure to be aware that drivers tend to overcharge, so you’ll need to negotiate the price. Uber or other apps are not available in Cusco.