Cruz del Sur is the most widely recognized bus company in Peru. For years now, in print and online, no other company has been so consistently recommended. However, with the emergence of the increasingly popular hop on hop off bus service Peru Hop (started in 2013), and improvements made by other local bus companies such as Oltursa and Civa, is it still best option out there?
Cruz del Sur Bus Coverage
Cruz del Sur has the best domestic coverage of any Peruvian bus company, with terminals in almost all of the major cities in Peru, from Tacna in the far south to Tumbes in the north, with more than 25 destinations in between. These include all of the main coastal destinations, as well as highland cities like Cajamarca, Huaraz, Huancayo, Ayacucho, Cusco, Puno and Arequipa. Compared to Peru Hop, Civa and Oltursa, Cruz del Sur wins here.
Cruz del Sur Tripadvisor Reviews
However, whilst their coverage is excellent, their reviews have not always been so favourable.
On tripadvisor they have the following reviews:
5 star reviews: 130 out of 358 total reviews as of 20th December 2016
1 and 2 star reviews : 50 out of 358 total reviews as of 20th December 2016
Overall Rating: 76%.
Compare this to Peru Hop:
5 star reviews : 837 out of 1,019 total reviews as of 20th December 2016.
1 and 2 star reviews : 16 out of 1,019 total reviews as of 20th December 2016.
Overall Rating: 96%.
Unfortunately, Civa nor Oltursa have tripadvisor pages to compare with, so this round goes easily to Peru Hop.
Cruz del Sur International Services
Cruz del Sur also goes to more international destinations than any other Peruvian bus company. Heading north, buses run through Guayaquil and Quito in Ecuador before heading to Cali and then Bogotá in Colombia. They also head south to Santiago in Chile, with two routes into Argentina, one through Córdoba and one through Mendoza, both terminating in Buenos Aires. Cruz del Sur beats Peru Hop, Civa and Oltursa here.
Cruz del Sur Comfort
It can never be said that Cruz del Sur don´t invest in comfortable buses. Their buses are amongst the top of the range, and whilst their safety levels have been questionable, especially on the routes to Cusco, it is hard to find better actual buses than what Cruz del Sur have, so I would give this round to Cruz del Sur.
Cruz del Sur Safety
There have been incidents on Cruz del Sur involving hijackings (which can be googled or read on their tripadvisor page) and from what we have read, their response to such incidents leaves a lot to be desired. As tourists in Peru, there is not a lot you can do, and Cruz del Sur know this, so are inclined to fob you off. Traveling with a reputable company dedicated to tourists, such as Peru Hop or Inka Express, is probably a much better option for those more safety inclined. This round would go to Peru Hop hands down, with a tie between Cruz del Sur and Oltursa for 2nd.
Cruz del Sur wins our little review by 3 rounds to 2 for their coverage, comfort and international services. Peru Hop wins based exclusively on tripadvisor tourists (again showing they are more focused on the tourism market than any other company) and for safety.
Anyway, this isn’t an advert for Cruz del Sur or anything like that. The idea is to allow our readers to get a more insightful view into what is supposedly the best bus company in Peru.
In general, the drivers are responsible, the terminals respectable and the onboard food is surprisingly edible. The bingo is annoying, that’s for sure, but it’s not exactly a deal breaker. For any regular bus travelers around Peru, whether its local Peruvians or expats living here, Cruz del Sur is probably the best way to get around.
However, if you are a first time traveler to Peru, Peru Hop is probably a much better way to see Peru given their extra stops and ease of pickup and drop off service.
But remember, as with everything on our site, it is just an opinion, and we recommend you use travel blogs or tripadvisor to help you make your choice as to the best way to get around this amazing country, or read our post about The Best Bus Companies in Peru Here.