Hello and welcome to this review of LATAM domestic service within Peru. This is the fourth leg in an old series from the fall of 2016 that I'd never gotten around to finishing. As a result, this report has inadvertently become a retro-report–though two years wasn't that long ago, the last two reports in the series will definitely feel retro.
For some background on this trip, I had found some decent oneworld Business class fares to Peru over the Thanksgiving Holiday, which presented a perfect opportunity to go to Machu Picchu and check off one of those long-time bucket-list trips. The flights between Washington, DC and Lima were bought as one ticket and these domestic flights on LATAM were bought on a separate ticket.
We arrived to the Cuzco airport about 2 hours before departure. It was a bit early for a domestic flight but, because traffic through the small streets of Cuzco can be very unpredictable, we wanted to make sure to leave our hotel in the center of the city with ample time.
The exterior of the terminal has stone walls that remind one of the Inca architecture for which this area of Peru is famous.
Check-in was relatively quick despite LATAM's many domestic flights operating from Cuzco. Security was a bit slow, but we had plenty of time. There were no priority lanes at either check-in or security.
As you can see there are tons of flights between Cuzco and the capital of Lima. I believe there are other domestic flights within Peru as well.
The terminal is very small and could really use a refresh (maybe it's gotten one since then). It got very crowded at one point where several flights were departing within a few minutes of one another. Unfortunately there was no LATAM lounge, or even a Priority Pass lounge, in CUZ so we were stuff hanging out in the terminal.
Our flight would be departing out of Gate 3
The small old terminal isn't terribly planespotter-friendly with lots of walls blocking views.
Boarding began on time and I was pleasantly surprised that priority boarding was enforced for oneworld frequent flyers with Preferente on their boarding passes.
This allowed us to be among the first to board.
Our aircraft was in the beautiful LAN livery. At the time, there were only a handful of aircraft in the new LATAM livery. Granted, the painting seems very slow overall–two years later there still aren't that many in the new livery.
The antimacassars had the new squiggly LATAM logo
These domestic flights don't have premium cabins; however, our oneworld status allowed us to select seats towards the front.
The 30" seat pitch definitely feels tight. Thankfully we ended up with an empty seat between us.
The seat back pocket is at eye level, allowing more room at the knee level–though really it mostly allows carriers to reduce seat pitch.
There are several audio channels, including audio for the overhead screens.
Unlike the flight to Cuzco, which was packed, this flight had a lot of open seats, especially towards the front. The off-peak lack of demand probably explains the cheaper price for this flight.
The first row remained completely empty.
There are some pretty cool and rare things for AvGeeks to see in Peru. Like this 37 year old Peruvian 737-200 classic parked next to our aircraft.
As the flight was not full, boarding was completed early. As a result we pushed back from the gate early.
Not sure what kind of maintenance this old 737 was undergoing but it looks positively ancient.
Taxi to the end of the runway was short
There is only one runway in Cuzco, completely surrounded by the city.
Lining up for takeoff on Runway 10
Passing the terminal at high speed
Nice views of the outskirts of town on takeoff
poorer neighbourhoods in the hills high above Cuzco
The mountains around Cuzco are pretty arid, though there are some green valleys here and there.
shortly after takeoff the friendly cabin crew began the in-flight service.
There was a choice of several juices and sodas, but I had an Inca Kola, as it's not something I see everyday living in the U.S.
Just for laughs comedy pranks programming played on the overhead TVs throughout the flight.
But on a route like this that crosses the Andes mountains, the best IFE was outside the window.
Though it was cloudy for the first half of the flight
The clouds dissipated to reveal beautiful mountain scenery.
Small lakes on top of mountains
Beautiful rock formations…
And snowy mountaintops
Interestingly coloured rocks
More snow-capped mountains
A mountaintop village and agriculture
As we approach Lima, the valleys become noticeably more smog-filled
The smog hangs thick as we arrive over the Lima area
Lima is a huge sprawling city
I had to clean up the photos to better see through the thick layer of smog
The airport is located in the Northwestern district of Callao.
It is an industrial port area.
Looking back towards the city as we turn over the Pacific to line up for landing, you can see just how thickly the smog covers the city.
There was some nice planespotting on the way to the gate.
LATAM Peru B767-300ER at the international gates
LC Peru B737-500
LATAM A320 with sharklets
Star Peru Bae 146-100
Another old Peruvian B737-200
A closer look at the Star Peru Avro RJ
Another LATAM A320
LATAM dominates LIM, but there's a nice variety of Central and South American carriers.
We parked next to this Avianca A320
A last look at the cabin on deplaning.
It was a quick walk to the baggage claim area and bags were already coming up the belt when we arrived, which was a pleasant surprise, considering we were the first to deplane.
We could see our aircraft from the baggage claim area.
After grabbing our baggage we arranged a taxi into the city centre right there at desks in the baggage claim area, which was very convenient.
Thanks for reading!
⬇️ Machu Picchu Tourist Bonus below ⬇️
Bonus : Click here displayhide
It's a beautiful scenic 3 hour train ride from Cuzco
The train arrives in the small spa town of Agualcalientes at the foot of the mountain.
It is then a short, but scary bus ride up winding roads on the sides of sheer cliffs to the ruins of the Inca city.
The climate around Machu Picchu is very different than Cuzco's arid desert-like climate. Make sure to wear mosquito repellent–despite the altitude, the humid climate is mosquito heaven.
We were lucky to get some sunshine as Machu Picchu is often in the clouds.
It is a breathtaking site
The Peruvian government limits the number of daily visitors to the site so it never gets overly crowded. Walking around these magnificent ruins is a very pleasant experience.
Panoramas of Machu Picchu. Photos don't do justice to this amazing place!
Cusco - CUZ
Lima - LIM
Overall it was a very pleasant short flight with LATAM. The flight was on time and arrived early in Lima. Cabin crew were friendly and spoke English well. I appreciate that there were overhead screens with audio channels for IFE on such a short flight. The seat pitch is a bit tight, but he seats were generally comfortable and it helped that the front of the cabin was mostly empty.
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