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Review: Peru Hop Bus Tour

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Peru Hop Bus

Welcome to my Peru Hop review! I’ve written up the stories of my journey separately, but I was so impressed with this company that I wanted to review the service and let anyone headed to Peru know about this awesome bus service!

From Lima, I knew the route I wanted to take to Cusco, and I knew that I wanted to stop off at a few places on the way to break the journey up. Sick of researching and organising bus times and tickets myself, I was delighted to discover Peru’s hop-on hop-off bus company, Peru Hop.

Peru Hop didn’t commission this write-up – and I paid for my trip entirely. These are genuinely my opinions and experiences. They’re a fantastic company, and if you’re travelling to Peru you absolutely should go with them.

Peru Hop Review

A relatively new company, Peru Hop was started in 2014 by Irish business partners Will and Connor. Both owners are super hands-on and make sure to meet all their passengers, and they’re both really funny and great guys. The story behind Peru Hop is that Will ‘went backpacking around the world like an idiot’ in Connor’s words, and fell in love with a girl from Lima.

After a second circuit around South America, he upped sticks and moved to Peru to be with the girl of his dreams, and had the idea to start up a hop-on hop-off bus tour like New Zealand’s Kiwi Experience. Somehow he convinced his friend Connor to swap Ireland for Peru, and after a year and a half of planning Peru Hop was started.

How It Works

Peru Hop Group Shot

The idea is a simple one. You buy a ticket from Lima to Cusco (or the other way around) which is valid for one year and stops at Paracas, Huacachina, Nasca and Arequipa en route. You can hop off at each stop and stay as long as you like before hopping on the next bus. The recommended tour takes about six days. You’d have one night in Paracas, one in Huacachina, an overnight bus to Arequipa, a quick stop in Nazca for the viewing tower, and finally two nights in Arequipa before the last stretch to Cusco.

With a ticket valid for one year, you can drag this journey out as long as you like. For instance, I spent three nights in Paracas and four in Huacachina. You can also opt for a slightly cheaper ticket which doesn’t stop in Arequipa. So after Huacachina, you stay on the bus for the full 20 hours or so straight to Cusco.

Peru Hop Ticket Options

There are two ticket options for departing from Lima. One leaves at 6am Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and goes directly to Paracas, arriving at about 9am.

The other leaves at 9am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For just $10 more it includes a fab full-day tour which makes the journey down to Paracas way more interesting.

I hopped on at 9am on a Monday and was collected from my hostel by Paul, who walked me up the street to where the bus was waiting. Owner Will rode with us for the first part of the journey and conducted the Lima part of the tour.

Peru Hop Itinerary

Lima to Paracas

Lima - Christ Statue

The day tour en route to Paracas included the Peru sign followed by the Christ statue in Lima, the pre-Inca citadel of Pachacamac, lunch on El Silencio beach, and the Hacienda San Jose. In Paracas, the bus dropped us at the door of our hostel, and the guide from the bus, Alexandra (we swapped guides halfway through the first day) stayed there with us. She was super friendly and hung out with us at the hostel bar both nights she was at the hostel.

The company also arranged tickets for a boat tour of the Ballestas Islands the following morning, with a company who give their passengers a discount, saving us the hassle of organising the trip ourselves.

Paracas to Huacachina

Hacienda San Jose

The route from Paracas to Huacachina – the oasis town in the desert next to Ica – was also broken up with an extra stop. This this time it was the national park at Paracas, a huge section of coastal desert with dramatic cliffs and red sandy beaches.

Because I’d ‘hopped off’ for a few nights in Paracas, I was travelling with a new group and a new guide – Nillo – but if you travel the ‘recommended’ route with Peru Hop you’ll be with the same group and guide all the way, a great way to make new friends.

In Huacachina, Nillo gave us a brief personal tour, pointing out the best bars and restaurants, and helped us organise a sandboarding and dune-buggy tour for the following day. Peru Hop passengers also get discounts at their recommended hotels, meaning that our stay in Huacachina’s Casa de Arena was super cheap.

Huacachina to Arequipa

Peru Hop Bus, Paracas National Reserve

The bus ride from Huacachina to Arequipa is overnight, but starts with an optional tour in the afternoon of a Pisco vineyard – where we tried a lot of wine and pisco – before heading to Nazca for the viewing tower over the Nazca lines, and for dinner. I skipped Arequipa as I had a Machu Picchu tour already booked. So I stayed on the bus after everyone else got off, travelling straight through for another ten hours to Cusco (with a stop for lunch and at a stunning viewpoint in the mountains).

However, I travelled back from Cusco to Arequipa with Peru Hop and received a discount as a returning customer! The route to Cusco via Arequipa is longer, but also is known for being much safer than the direct road from Lima – Cusco. So that’s another perk of travelling with Peru Hop.

Travelling with Peru Hop

Ballestas Islands, Paracas

The recommended route with Peru Hop lasts about five or six days, but with tickets valid for one year it’s possible to hop off for as long as you like, which is exactly what I did. Hopping back on is simple, just send the office an email letting them know which bus you want to get on (try to give at least 24 hours notice).

I was so impressed with how quickly the office replied to all of our emails – usually within five minutes, even after 5pm! I mentioned this to Will, who said it was a big part of their service, as they know travellers don’t always have wifi for very long (especially in places like Huacachina). So the company make a point to come straight back to all emails to answer questions and confirm bookings. This was a huge selling point for me!

I had a great experience travelling with this awesome new company. Aside from meeting tons of new people, travelling with Peru Hop meant that the hassle was completely taken out of travelling for about a week, with no need to organise buses, taxis or tours myself.

Selling points for Peru Hop

Although it probably works out a little more expensive than the DIY route taking local buses, the extra perks – not to mention the discount cards and additional tour stops – mean that you really get a lot for your money. Plus the ‘All-Inclusive’ option with hotels and tours included is clearly a bargain.

It’s a great way to make the most of your time in Peru, especially if you’re on a tight schedule. (Check out my buddy Gemma’s fab three week Peru Itinerary for more tips on maximising your trip to Peru). I can honestly say that I would recommend Peru Hop to anyone travelling in Peru. If nothing else, it was just a really fun way to travel!

  • Passengers get a free Inti Card, which gets discounts all over South America on restaurants, tours, bars, spas and hostels – like 4 nights for 3 at Pariwana Cusco.
  • Peru Hop are the only bus company that goes straight to Huacachina, rather than next door Ica.
  • Longer journeys include stops at places of interest you otherwise wouldn’t see.
  • Lovely staff!
  • Peru Hop will book hostels for you – at a discounted rate. They can also organise tours like the Ballestas Islands in Paracas, sandboarding in Hiacachina, or Colca Canyon in Arequipa.
  • Travel with like-minded backpackers of a similar age group. Meet lots of new people and socialise easily!
  • English movies and music on the bus. Once you’ve seen your fourth Spanish-dubbed Jean Claud Van Damme film you will realise what a big selling point this is!
  • Peru Hop collect you and drop you off at your hostel. So no more pricey taxis from the bus station.

Prices start at $159 USD for the Lima-Cusco route. Visit the Peru Hop website, for more info. 

18 thoughts on “Review: Peru Hop Bus Tour”

  1. This sounds like an excellent idea – I’ve been thinking about visiting Peru for a while, and this seems like just the thing to get a taste of the place. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

    1. No problem! If you get the chance I fully reccomend travelling with Peru Hop – one of the best companies I’ve experienced on my trip :) Enjoy Peru if you do go!

  2. This is so lovely!! Thank you for sharing, and the price is unbelievably cheap!! I am sure to consider this as part of my big SA travel, but the thing is I plan to go all the way up to Salt Lake Flat from Mexico D.F. (stop off at Bogota and Cusco on the way) to battle the altitude sickness so I might do it on my return trip to Cartagena, Nice stuff!

    1. I think it’d be fine to have suitcases. They just put all the luggage in the hold beneath the bus, and it’s not a service just for backpackers. Are you thinking of giving them a go? I had so much fun with Peru Hop – some of my fondest memories of Peru :)

  3. Yes I am thinking of giving them a go if I do go to Peru. I had heard of them and it seems like a good idea to give them a try. Do they give you a discount for Machu Picchu?

  4. Oh ok I see. Well I was wondering did you book online with a certain company or did you book when you were in Peru? I’m not sure if you mentioned it on one of your posts but did you go on the trails hiking or did you take some sort of transportation to get to Machu Picchu?

    1. I did the Inca Jungle Trek, it’s sort of the fun/easy option really! There was some hiking involved along original Inca trails, as well as biking, zip lining and other fun stuff. I wrote about each day of the trip in these posts:
      1 –
      2 –
      3 –

      Also, I wrote a more general round up of what the Inca Jungle Trek is here:

      I booked mine online a few months in advance, via Loki Hostel. They were ok but I found their service pretty bad. However the tour itself was run by Conde Travel, so it would have been cheaper to book directly with them. The tour and Conde Travel were both great and I’d happily recommend them.

      Hope that helps :)

  5. Ok thanks Emily! Great posts too! So you did the three day instead of the four day trek. So you would recommend me to book through Loki Hostel or directly through Conde? Another question, did you also get to see Huayna Picchu or is that within Machu Picchu? Thanks for your help!

    1. I did the 4 day trip, the 4th day is actually in Machu Picchu.

      I would book directly through Conde. Loki did not have great service. Bug bear in mind it’d two years since I did it. Both companies may have changed a lot. Take a look at some of the latest trip advisor reviews and shop around!

      Huayna Picchu is within the site of Machu Picchu. Once you get into the site, there are two mountains you can climb for amazing views of the city – Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. I had tickets for MP Mountain but didn’t do it in the end – I was exhausted and the day was too hot. You need to book tickets for the mountain in advance as they sell out fast, but they’re only an extra few dollars. If you take a look at my blog post on Backpack South America I think I outlined the differences between the two mountains.

      Hope that helps!

  6. First time to Peru, Machu Pichu , of course, main draw. Sold on the Peru Hop, but not 100% sure. Most concerned with Emailing Peru Hop for next leg. With spotty signals, will my email get thru for next pick up? Is there internet,hotel, etc. in major towns? I notice that Arequipa to Cusco is overnight: however, I want to stop at Puno for one night? Travelled all of Europe and some Eastern. 76, wife and I , good condition. Is that a problem?

    1. Hi Edwin. Cities in Peru have decent WiFi same as anywhere else. I believe the Peru Hop offices are based in Cusco – they will have good enough WiFi to get back to you within a week. The trips are generally customisable so I recommend asking them about the possibility of stopping in Puno. Enjoy your trip :)

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