Cruz del Sur, the Best Bus in Peru?

cruz del sur peru bus

Cruz del Sur is the most widely recognized bus company in Peru. Over the last few years, it has also generally been one of the most recommended bus companies around. 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 Movil, 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 going from Tacna in the far south to Tumbes in the north, along 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.

Company Main Destinations (Updated 2017)
Cruz del Sur Ica, Paracas, Cajamarca, Huaraz, Huancayo, Ayacucho, Cusco, Puno and Arequipa
Peru Hop Ica, Paracas, *Huacachina(Peru Hop is the only direct bus to Huacachina in Peru. If taking a public/local bus, you would need to take a bus to Ica. Once in Ica, you would need to find a local taxi to then take you to Huacachina), Nazca, Arequipa, Puno and Cusco.
Movil Arequipa, Ayacucho, Chachapoyas, Cusco, Huaraz, Oxapampa, Trujillo, Puerto Maldonado
Oltursa Arequipa, Cusco, Huancayo, Huaraz, Ica, Chiclayo, Huancayo, Mancora,
Civa Amazon, Ayacucho, Cusco, Ica, Piura, San Martin, Apurimac

*=Exclusive Stops

This round has to go to Cruz del Sur due to the number of destinations they go to.

Cruz del Sur Tripadvisor Reviews

Whilst their coverage is excellent, their reviews have not always been so favourable.

On tripadvisor they have the following reviews:

Company 5 Star Ratings 1 and 2 Star Ratings Overall Rating
Cruz del Sur 195 out of 527 total reviews as of 20th September 2017 91 out of 527 total reviews as of 20th September 2017 76%
Peru Hop 1,016 out of 1,251 total reviews as of 20th September 2017. 26 out of 1,251 total reviews as of 20th September 2017. 96%
Oltursa 12 out of 36 total reviews as of 20th September 2017. 12 out of 36 total reviews as of 20th September 2017. 56%
Movil 7 out of 36 total reviews as of 20th September 2017. 9 out of 36 total reviews as of 20th September 2017. 53%

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.
Although Peru Hop mainly goes to the south of Peru, they also have stops in La Paz and Copacabana in Bolivia with their sister company, Bolivia Hop.
Due to its international destinations, 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, their buses are always comfortable.
Because Peru Hop is a relatively new company which only started running a few years ago, all their buses are brand new and comfortable with reclining seats. They don’t have double-decker buses for safety reasons(the narrow, winding roads going up and down the mountains on most routes) which means that their buses aren’t as big and that they can’t get as many passengers on board. Unlike other bus companies, they don’t have different classes of seats on their buses so you don’t have to worry about paying extra for comfort either.
Both Civa and Oltursa have a variety of buses ranging from luxurious to average. It really depends on the length of the journey and the route it’s going on.
This round is a pretty close one between Peru Hop and Cruz del Sur, but due to the sheer number of buses owned by Cruz del Sur and the consistent standard of comfort across their fleet, this round just about goes 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. They tend to not be very helpful towards their customers after such incidents have occurred, leaving people stranded for hours and not offering any sort of compensation. 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.

Quick Tip:  If travelling to or from Lima Airport, it is strongly recommended to use the luxury Airport Express Lima  bus to get to or from your hotel. Safer and cheaper than a taxi with no baggage limit as well as Free Wi-Fi and USB chargers onboard, it is ideal for travellers.

Summary

As you can see, Cruz del Sur offer more coverage and international services but, 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, which can’t be emphasised enough.

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, Cruz del Sur drivers tend to be responsible, their 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.

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.
If you’re a local living here looking to go from city to city for business or to visit family, then Cruz del Sur might be a quicker option.

But remember, as with everything on our site, this 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.

  13 comments for “Cruz del Sur, the Best Bus in Peru?

  1. Jo
    January 28, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I like the bingo personally… but you know, I’m an 80 yr old woman at heart. 🙂

    • January 28, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Haha! Well, I guess compared to common annoyances on cheaper buses — like Steven Seagal movies and cumbia music — bingo really isn’t that bad.

  2. Rodney
    January 28, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I’ve used Cruz del Sur for four trips in Peru. Huaraz, two to Ica, and Nasca – all were excellent and comfortable with a decent meal served and movies shown.

  3. Stuart
    January 29, 2015 at 7:07 am

    On the limited destinations Oltulsa serves, it is better. (Or was when I used to take buses). Cruz del Sur goes everywhere though.

  4. Jo
    August 29, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I’d love to travel by Cruz del Sur.. looking for Chacahapoyas – Cajarmarca – Huarez – Lima… but their website is just impossible to book from.

    • August 30, 2015 at 8:31 am

      I don’t think Cruz del Sur goes to Chachapoyas, but the other places should be fine. What kind of problems are you having with the Cruz del Sur website?

  5. Daniel Thornton
    January 6, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Just tried to book to Lima from Piura, tried 3 different credit cards to no avail, someone needs to work on that site…. had to walk to station to book which was not a problem, but just saying……

    • January 7, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Thanks Daniel. As far as I can remember, I’ve never tried to book a ticket through the Cruz del Sur website. But I wouldn’t be all that surprised if it didn’t work too well (or at all) — business websites in Peru are still pretty bad, generally. The Ormeño site never seems to work.

  6. Axel Busch
    November 2, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    In México you need a local credit card if you want to book online. Maybe it’s the same issue here

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