We were a little apprehensive about taking a 24 hour bus ride from Lima to Cusco, but we figured it would help us acclimatize not to mention that it was about 1/5 the cost of flying. While normally fairly adventurous, after some research and hearing some horror stories we decided to look for tickets on one of the more tourist focused buses which were more expensive but also had better records in terms of security, timeliness and comfort. Unfortunately, with limited time and a few failed attempts we ended up booking with the only company that allowed you to purchase your tickets online which by that time had only the VIP seats left which were of course also the most expensive.
As it turns out our ride to Cusco was shamefully luxurious. Each seat had a personal screen on which you could enjoy the latest obviously pirated movies, TV shows, music and games. The seats reclined 160 degrees and were so wide that I could curl up on my side.
They provided us with a warm blanket, pillow and dinner and breakfast which were quite edible. We even had wifi, in areas with cell service. There were also two bathrooms on board, one on each level, but you were strictly only allowed to use it for number one!
It was slightly unnerving when they came down the aisle before we left and videotaped the face of each passenger and then assured us that each bus is monitored by GPS 24 hours a day to watch for any unscheduled stops, but we both felt incredibly safe for the entire ride.
Overall it was a much better experience than I had anticipated, but I hope that we can spend less than $60 on our next long distance bus ride from Arequipa to Lima either by purchasing our ticket more in advance or going with one of the slightly less expensive companies.