For the past 5 days we have been attempting to find a good price on airfare. Strange as it sounds, there are now only two carriers serving a fantastic destination Peru would want you to believe is the next Cusco; LAN and LC Busre.
LAN is historically expensive for any foreign traveler. Regardless of what the flight costs a Peruvian national, LAN has an automatic price hike of $175 or more. For us this was crazy expensive when you consider the cost to fly to Peru. A ticket to Cajamarca (RT) costs over $1,000 dollars. LC Busre, their only competitor, came in a close second at $800 dollars round trip. Thinking to buy your tickets online? Forget it! You will quickly spend more to fly to Cajamarca than it costs to fly to Peru. We checked last night and were stunned by the $1,300 price tag. That's $500 more than if you buy your tickets once you arrive to Lima... And a crazy amount no matter where you buy the tickets.
Though LAN seldom if ever has a special, LC Busre does have specials once in awhile. After waiting nearly a week we finally found two round trip tickets for just under $400. Unfortunately the computer system was not working correctly and no one could buy these tickets. Today we found two tickets - one way - for $176 dollars each. We bought them and will likely need to take a bus back to Lima when through.
The tickets for a bus are reasonable at around $100 per person. The issue is safety.
Of course Sitting on a crowded bus for 16 hours is not comfortable to think about. The seats were made for much smaller frame people. There is no comfort when your nearly 7 feet tall. Then there is the issue of your personal safety. There are many stories about bandits dressed as the police. They are known to stop busses along remote stretches of the highway and rob everyone on board.
There are also the horrific bus crashes that happen miles from anywhere. We follow the news from Peru and are well aware of the frequency of these crashes. Bandits and crashes are important reasons we really wanted to fly. We really did not want to take a bus and are happy we found a flight we could afford.
The flight between Cajamarca and Lima takes about 90 minutes. There's no reason it should cost so much. Perhaps Peru doesn't want anyone going there.
Undaunted, we are headed there tomorrow!
Next stop Cajamarca! The adventure continues...
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