sábado, 7 de febrero de 2009

How to come to Cusco by bus?

Cruz del Sur, the best bus to travel to Cusco

Going to Cusco by bus could be a problem sometimes if you don’t have the right info. There are many coaches from Lima to Cusco but not all of them offer a good service. Here I am going to mention some of the companies I myself travelled with.

You can find many buses going to Cusco from Lima. The departure time of almost all of them is between midday and 5 or 6 pm. The trip lasts around 20 hours (yes, I know…. tooooo much but it is worth it if you want something cheap), very different from going by plane (just 1 hour)

The first part of the trip is really boring. Lima – Nasca (first 6-7 hours) resembles a desert; in fact, you travel through a desert. Then you travel all night long from the coast to the mountains. I recommend taking some pills against high altitude illness just in case. When you wake up at 6-7 in the morning, you will see an extraordinary landscape around Abancay city. The nature, the mountains, the sky, everything is amazing. From Abancay to Cusco (the last 4 hours of the trip) the landscape is great.

Here I will compare the 5 different coaches that travel to Cusco.

Click the picture to enlarge it

I am gonna talk about the following enterprises: Cruz del Sur, Civa, Cial, Wari-Palomino and Flores.

1. Cruz del Sur (www.cruzdelsur.com.pe): The best bus that goes to Cusco, in my opinion. The service called “Cruzero” is really great and it departs twice a day (2pm and 5.30 pm). This bus doesn’t stop on the way and you get dinner and breakfast inside the bus. There are hostesses (kind and cute girls in almost all of the cases) who serve you as best they can. The movies shown are not bad, but if you don’t like them there is always the option of listening to your mp3 player.

In this service there are 2 floors. The first one is the best, of course. The second floor is not bad at all, but if you want your trip to be more comfortable, pay a bit more and take the first floor.

The bus tickets are expensive, but I repeat, it is really worth to pay more because of the service, comfort and security (the buses don’t stop on the way to pick up passengers and they change drivers every 4 or 6 hours). One way first floor ticket costs around US$ 54.00 and second floor like US$ 45.00 (prices of February 2009). I travelled in “Cruz del Sur” lots of times and I was always happy with my choice.

Evaluation (over 10):

  • Security: 8
  • Cleaning: 9
  • Punctuality: 10
  • Service: 8
  • Comfort: 8
  • Prices: 6
  • Bus Station: 9

Extra info about “Cruz del Sur”

  • It accepts all credit cards
  • You can buy your tickets on the Internet
  • Air conditioning / Heating inside the bus
  • Bingo with free tickets as prize after dinner
  • Bus equipped with GPS
  • 2 toilets (one per floor)

Cute Argentinian passenger singing in Cruz del Sur Bingo

2. Expreso Cial (http://www.expresocial.com/). This is not a bad bus, it’s similar to Cruz del Sur but the service is not as good. Only one bus departs from Lima to Cusco daily at 1.45 pm. The prices are not low either, US$ 47.00 if you choose the first floor and US$ 38.00 if you choose the second floor.

Evaluation (over 10):

  • Security: 7
  • Cleaning: 7
  • Punctuality: 8
  • Service: 7
  • Comfort: 7
  • Prices: 7
  • Bus Station: 8

Extra info about “Expreso Cial”

  • It accepts all credit cards
  • Air conditioning / Heating inside the bus

3. Civa (http://www.civa.com.pe/). In this case we have 2 different types of buses: the “economic” and the “superior”. Both of them have toilets inside the bus. Meals are not served in the “economic” bus; they stop in restaurants on the way to take dinner and to eat breakfast. This is the reason why a trip with this bus lasts a couple of hours longer than others. “Superior” service is similar to Cial and Cruz del Sur.

“Economic” costs around US$ 24.00 and “Superior” costs US$ 38 in First Floor and US$ 28.00 in Second Floor. The “Economic” bus departs at 1.30 pm and “Superior” at 4.30 pm.

Evaluation (over 10):

  • Security: 5
  • Cleaning: 5
  • Punctuality: 5
  • Service: 5
  • Comfort: 6
  • Prices: 8
  • Bus Station: 4

Extra info about “Civa”

  • It accepts all credit cards
  • Air conditioning / Heating inside the bus

A puppy playing with plastic inside "Economic" service of Civa (sorry for pic quality)

4. Wari – Palomino (http://www.expresowari.com.pe/). The buses of this company depart very often. Wari – Palomino has 3 types of services: “Ideal”, “Imperial” and “Bus-Cama”. The “Ideal” service has neither toilets inside the bus as far as I know, nor meals (they stop in restaurants on the way). It costs US$ 25.00 and it departs 4 times a day (9am, 11am, 2pm and 3.30 pm). The “Imperial” service has a toilet and serves meals but the buses are not that modern and comfortable. “Imperial” costs US$ 29.00 and it departs once a day (5pm). The “Bus-Cama” has a similar service to Cruz del Sur or Cial. It departs twice a day (12.30 pm and 8pm) and costs around US$ 41.00

Evaluation (over 10):

  • Security: 6
  • Cleaning: 6
  • Punctuality: 5
  • Service: 6
  • Comfort: 6
  • Prices: 7
  • Bus Station: 4

Extra info about “Wari – Palomino”

  • It accepts all credit cards.
  • Air conditioning / Heating inside the bus, apart from the “Ideal” service (this is not a joke, get a blanket if you travel in “Ideal”).
  • 2 Bus Stations, the best one is in Arriolas avenue. The other one (Luna Pizarro street) is in a very dangerous place. Go to Arriola!!!

Inside Wari - Palomino

5. Flores (http://floresbuses.tripod.com/). This is a bus enterprise that I would never use or recommend. I’ve heard lots of bad stories about Flores. There are 2 types of buses that go to Cusco, “Imperial” and “Golden”. Both have toilets, air conditioning / heating and meals, but “Golden” is more comfortable than “Imperial”. That’s the reason “Golden” costs more (US$ 35.00 first floor, US$ 28.00 second floor) than “Imperial” (US$ 28.00). “Golden” departs at 4pm and “Imperial” at 6.30pm.

Evaluation (over 10):

  • Security: 2
  • Cleaning: 2
  • Punctuality: 3
  • Service: 3
  • Comfort: 4
  • Prices: 6
  • Bus Station: 1

So if you want to go to Cusco by bus, use Cruz del Sur without doubts. If you want a real Peruvian adventure, with lots of problems and stuff, don’t hesitate (and don’t complain) and take Flores. Taking any of them, even Flores, will be worth it when you finally get to see Cusco, Machu Picchu and all the wonderful places around.

5 comentarios:

  1. do i have to let my comment in english?
    thanks for your help, i will need it for my next trip!!
    take care!

  2. nice info!!! and if I want to travel Nazca to Arequipa?

  3. Hello Keith

    If you want to go from Nasca to Arequipa, you can use Oltursa (www.oltursa.com.pe) or Cruz del Sur (www.cruzdelsur.com.pe). Those coaches are the best for that trip, even though I prefer Oltursa. So if you can, go to Arequipa with Oltursa (its a pity they dont have service to Cusco!!!).

    Greetings from Lima

  4. can you recommend a bus from nazca to cuzco directly? could it be that the bus from lima stops there and takes passengers in nazca?

  5. All coaches mentioned before have services from Nazca to Cusco. I highly recommend Cruz del Sur. That trip is not showed in their website but I called to veriry the information. It costs the same than Lima-Cusco but it is worth it.

    If you prefer a cheaper option (but also a good one), take Cial.