How far is Quito from Cusco? Here's the quick answer if you have friends taking shifts as driver so that you can make the entire trip by car without stopping.
Nonstop drive: 1,857 miles or 2989 km
Driving time: 38 hours, 13 minutes
This is a really long drive, so it's not very realistic to drive nonstop. To get a better idea of how long this road trip would actually take, scroll down to calculate how many hours it would be if you drive with stops.
Now let's assume you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line between Cusco, Peru and Quito, Ecuador. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula. For a long distance, this appears as a curve on the map, and this is often the route that commercial airlines will take so it's a good estimate of the frequent flyer miles you'll accumulate as well.
Flight distance: 1,017 miles or 1637 km
Flight time: 2 hours, 32 minutes
The straight line flight distance is 840 miles less than driving on roads, which means the driving distance is roughly 1.8x of the flight distance.
Your plane flies much faster than a car, so the flight time is about 1/15th of the time it would take to drive.
This is a medium length flight, so unless you have a nice private jet, you might be booking a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. Scroll down to see a more realistic calculation that takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.
Realistically, you're not going to want to drive without stopping all the way from Cusco to Quito, especially if you're the main driver. So let's say you're actually planning a road trip to Quito, and you need to stop along the way to rest. Plus if it's a real road trip, you might want to check out interesting stops along the way, eat at great restaurants, and find a hotel to stay overnight. That's what Trippy is perfect for, helping you figure out travel plans in detail.
Based on the length of this trip, we think you could spread out this fun road trip over a number of days.
Road trip: 4 days of driving
With the full itinerary planned out, we can estimate your total travel time for this trip.
Travel time: 31.5 hours on the road with 3 overnights
Start in Cusco.
Drive for about 4.5 hours, then stop in Nasca and stay for about 1 hour.
Next, drive for another 4.5 hours then stop in Lima (Peru). Stay overnight.
The next day, drive for about 3.5 hours, then stop in Huaraz and stay overnight.
The next day, drive for about 6 hours, then stop in Trujillo and stay for about 1 hour. Next, drive for another 3 hours then stop in Chiclayo and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 4.5 hours then stop in Tumbes. Stay overnight.
The next day, drive for about 2 hours, then stop in Baños and stay for about 1 hour.
Finally, drive for about 4 hours and arrive in Quito.
To see all the details on this itinerary, including recommended restaurants, hotels, and things to do along the way, check out the full road trip planner:
In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a private plane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city. But for most of us, we're going to be flying on a commercial airline (whether it's first class or coach). So that means we really need to account for all the extra travel time getting to the airport, waiting for our flight, and making it to the destination.
To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.
Departure airport: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ)
Arrival airport: Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)
With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.
Getting to the airport: 8 minutes
Getting to your destination: 36 minutes
Now finally, let's look at an actual flight from CUZ connecting through LIM and arriving at UIO flying on LATAM Airlines. We can figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, time to taxi on the runways, and an average layover time of about 2 hours.
Initial flight time: 1 hour, 14 minutes
Connecting airport: Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM)
Connection flight time: 2 hours, 9 minutes
So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Cusco to Quito including time spent getting to and from the airports, roughly 2 hours at the departure airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, plus the connecting flight with a 2-hour layover.
Total travel time: 8 hours
To see the details on this flight plan, including recommended airports, airline, and route, check out the flight planner:
Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Quito, Ecuador. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Quito. A great place to eat might be Old Town. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Quito like Otavalo. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Quito like Time crunch must do/see/eat in Quito?. Click the button below to explore Quito in detail.
The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line (or driving the same roads back and forth). But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse directions to get the distance from Quito to Cusco, or go to the main page to calculate the distance between cities.
If you happen to know Cusco, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about Cusco!