For tourists looking to discover more about Peru traveling by bus might be the perfect solution. Sure it will take more time, but the rewards, like visiting the Peruvian countryside, are not experienced by all travelers and you will be saving considerably more money too.
Traveling by bus is not for everybody and traveling by bus in Peru presents another challenge. By average is not exactly the safest way of traveling. Roads are lacking upkeep maintenance and traffic signals (although is improving in some areas). Some bus companies are not as professional and their safety record is not very good (but extremely cheap compared to more established companies). These services are mostly used by Lima citizens making a trip home for festivities or to visit family members left behind.
Now the good news. There are also bus companies with good safety records, reliable and modern bus fleet. I had travel in one of them long time ago (Cruz del Sur) thanks to my father for spending more money for us to arrived safely and comfortably at our destination. I can tell you that if I have to travel by bus, I will feel comfortable traveling by Cruz del Sur or Ormeño anytime. Of course, this is not a guarantee, just my personal observation and years of watching the news and what companies are usually involved in accidents.
As a recommendation, always be “heads up” at the terminals. Don’t leave your bags unattended. It will sound mean but try not to give much attention to anybody. People will come to you asking for money or favors, looking for what articles of value you are carrying on, or just “marking” you for some other thief. Take it as part of the Peruvian experience.
Cruz del Sur
Transportes Cruz del Sur is located in Avenida Javier Prado 1109 in San Isidro, Lima, Peru. Founded in 1960, Cruz del Sur is one of the oldest and most reliable bus companies in Peru. Cruz del Sur also has one of the most modern fleet of buses. The “Cruzero Suite” has a total of 39 VIP (First Class) reclining seats, LCD screens, air conditioning and heating system among other amenities.
Cruz del Sur operates this following bus terminals in Lima, Peru:
- Javier Prado Este 1109, Lima. Phone Number: (011–51–1) 225-5748.
- Jiron Quilca Number 531, Lima
- Jiron Montevideo, corner with Jiron San Carlos, Lima.
For information you can also call: (011–51–1) 311–5050 (Lima, Peru)
Some of the most popular destinations for tourist are Lima to Cuzco and Lima to Nazca. Their VIP service has been a favorite among their clients for years.
Lima – Cusco (Cuzco)
Cruzero Service Line
Departs from Javier Prado Terminal at 2pm. VIP seat costs $61.18. The trip lasts approximately 21 hours.
Lima – Nazca (Ica)
Cruzero Service Line
Departs from Javier Prado Terminal at 4:15am, 7am, 7:30am, 1:30pm and 2pm
VIP seat costs $30.94
Duration is approximate 6 hours 45 minutes.
Besides Cuzco and Nazca, Cruz del Sur destinations also include Arequipa, Ayacucho, Ilo (Moquegua), and Tacna. To get more information check Cruz del Sur schedule page at http://www.cruzdelsur.com.pe/itinerario_especifico.php
Cruz del Sur also gives you the option to buy your ticket online here: https://ticketnet.cruzdelsur.com.pe/main.php (Spanish and English)
You will be able to pay with Visa, MasterCard or American Express in a VeriSign secured website.
By Calling 311-5050 (in Lima, Peru) you can order and have your tickets delivered to your hotel free or charge (very convenient)
Grupo Ormeño has been serving travelers since 1970. Ormeño is considered an excellent company and one of the leaders in Peru and with one of the longest (if not the longest) land routes in the world provides a great customer service, excellent safety record and competitive prices.
Especially designed for the most demanding tourists Ormeño’s Royal Class Service Line offers buses with spacious and fully reclining seats, air conditioning, TV and hostess attention among other amenities.
Ormeño’s Call Center will answer your questions about schedules, fares, itineraries, routes and more, 365 days from 7am to 11pm. You can call them at 472-5000. If you are in Lima, ask for delivery of the tickets as I believe there is a small charge and maybe only to some districts in Lima.
You should consider Ormeño if your destination is not available in other bus companies as Ormeño covers a lot of the country and even international travel to Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
Contact Ormeño at this number: (011-51-1) 472-1710
Ormeño’s Main terminal is located at: Avenida Javier Prado Este 1059, Lima, Peru.
I hope this list helps tourists make a more informed decision. Again, all reviews are personal and based on my experience or experiences, that might not be repeatable or the norm. It is very much possible that I missed some other companies with great service and safety track record and I will appreciate contacting me and I will include those in this post as an update or write a new one.
Traveling to another country is an experience, even more so to a country like Peru. Consider carefully if traveling by bus inside Peru is for you not only based on your personal experiences traveling in bus in your country of origin but also how will it be like in a country like Peru. The best recommendations are always from friends that had already done something similar. If you are one of those people with a past experience or are ready to start your bus trip consider leaving a comment of your experiences for everyone to enjoy and learn.