Cruz del Sur Sucks

cruz sucks

Cruz del Sur aka Curz del Sur Not Recommended!

I want to start off with saying I am completely disgusted with my entire experience with Cruz del Sur. Unless trouble is what you want on your journey I suggest that you try another bus line. While traveling through Peru with my Peruvian wife and our 3 kids we have taken many bus trips. Normally we try to get the best deal for the best service.

After a fun filled week in Vichayito Beac, Mancora, Peru we had to get home. We were unable to get seats on Civa Exclusiva and decided to try Cruz del Sur for the first and last time.

I have always compared the rates for Cruz del Sur and until now always chosen to take a more affordable bus line. They charge 12 soles that most of the other bus lines, and from the english website you get a feeling that it is a decent company. However, please do not be fooled with their advertising or shiney black buses.

Upon purchasing our tickets we were given a discount of 5 soles per ticket which was kind of strange. We chose 160 degree seating as they assured us that it was the best seating for the price. I am 6 feet tall and 220 lbs. Not chubby but athletic and the lady at the counter smiled and assured me that I would be happy with the accomidations.

The first problem we encountered was that the lady at the counter in Mancora said she did not have change. As we sat and waited for the bus to arrive several other would be passengers paid and we returned to the counter twice and were told that she still did not have change. I got the feeling that she was trying to steal 5 soles. As 2 other Cruz del Sur employees showed up for work I double checked my ticket which said 105 soles and then made certain the lady hear me tell my wife that if she didnt want to give us our change that I would be calling their corporate offices and filing a formal complaint.

Not the way you want to start a journey to say the least. The Cruz del Sur bus arrived 25 minutes late and we were rushed onto the bus. Once on the second floor I was utterly appalled to find that we were going to spend the next 23 hours smashed into tiny seats with little to no leg room. The Civa bus had already gone by 30 minutes before or I would have demanded a refund.

We had to get back to Lima for work and decided I would try to make the best of the ride as I spend 8 weeks living in the back of my compact Jeep Wrangler car camping in the Rocky Mountains and figured I could deal with not having ample room.

The 3rd problem we encountered was when the bus departed from the station and then we knew we were in for a long bumpy and very uncomfortable ride home. The bus looked brand new on the outside but had to be over 10 years old judging from the seat padding and overall condition of the inside. The ride was rough and so bumpy that 2 of our children and my Wife vomited from the constant shaking from side to side. I liked the experience to being lashed to the main sail of a small sail boat during a category 5 hurricane.

We kindly asked the attendant for some rubbing alcohol and motion sickness pills at the first stop to which he laughed and said there was no pharmacy. Then he moved on down the cabin to chat with the gringas onboard. A little while later we were served and the jerk attendant laughed and asked if I wanted all 5 of our meals as our kids were too sick to eat. The food was cold and mine looked like someone had chewed up some chicken and spit it out right on my plate. I did not eat this as I brought plenty of snacks on board.

Following a few old movies in english with spanish subtitles we tried to go to sleep. The seats are not full 160 degree seats and there is no foot room. The seats themselves are also a little smaller than most coach airline seats and very uncomfortable. I was very tired and fell asleap for 51 minutes until I was awakend by the bus swaying from side to side. For the next 4 hours I sat there with my eyes closed and half awake. I got up and went to the bathroom and it smelled like a chicken farm and there was urine all over the place.

We were served a muffin and a small sandwich for breakfast. We neared Lima and were stuck behind an traffic accident for about 45 minutes in the steep hills of Pasamayo where a truck had overturned. We got back on our way and passed the mega plaza in Comas before we hit grid locked traffic on the expressway. For the next 3 hours the driver sat in traffic moving less than 3 km. I undrestand traffic jams as I have encountered gridlock in NYC and LA but have no explanation for why the driver did not exit the expressway and get us moving. Instead he got into the far left hand land and just sat there.

We arrived 4 hours late and encountered another lazy employee at the baggage claim. One of my bags was the last one off the bus and I stood patiently awaiting the bag handler who was too busy staring at the wall to get my bag for me. I asked for it 8 times in spanish before another employee handed it to me. On the way out a Cruz del Sur employee bumped into my oldest step daughter knocking her to the ground and did not appologize or offer her a hand getting to her feet.

I have never before experiences such horror as this bus journey and I will never take Curz del Sur anywhere ever again. I plan to make it a point to inform all tourists visiting Peru about my terrible experience so that they will not make the same choose. Stay away from Cruz del Sur as you will regret it! I give them a rating of 0 Stars.

If you wish to debate my ratings I welcome you to post in comments.

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Peru Top Rated Bus Tour – Civa Exclusiva 5 stars

Traveling cheap in Peru is easy and Civa bus lines is awarded my 5 star imperial ranking following my recent trip from Lima to Mancora Peru.  I set out to find the best deal on the best bus and took Civa Exclusiva line to Mancora because they had the best price and the newest buses.  I compared prices and accomidation for Civa, Cial, Flores and Cruz del Sur.

Civa Exclusiva’s rates are probably the best deal on the planet for the service provided.  The Price 150 soles about $52 USD for 180 degree realmente is more than 180 it should have said Luxury Rockstar Motor Coach.  Upon entering the brand new bus I was utterly amazed!  Brand new and you would not believe how much space you get!  Each 180 seat was in its own suite complete with personal 16″ LCD TV display, Plush super pluffy leather seat that reclined back way further than any other I have experienced and First Class service. .

Civa’s rate was 12 soles cheaper than all of the other bus lines 180 degree service.  They also have 1st piso 160 degree which was also very nice, just not as much room.  The 180 2nd piso is like none other that I have experienced.  You get 3 times the room and dont feel cramped at all.  I likend it to a private Leir Jet with atleast twice as much room as any other 180 cama bus line available.

The bus left on time and departed promptly heading north we enjoyed the typical bus food although it was a little better quality.  The ride was like being in the clouds with a super soft experience the entire way.  The Movies shown were currently in the movie theaters and dubbed in spanish with english sound.  The bathrooms were clean.  Even though we were on the second level the bus did not shake from side to side at all.  We arrived a little ahead of schedule the following morning.

After trying countless bus services throughout Peru I will only travel long distances on Civa Exclusiva from now on.  The price is better than the rest and the service in unmatched.  (*****) 5 Star Rating!

Thank you Civa for an amazing journey.

Survive Kombi Crash in Lima

We were heading to Punta Hermosa the other day on a Kombi bus that we got on at the station near Puente Santa Rosa close the Plaza De Armas.  This ride we jumped on one of the small Kombi’s and were seated in the first row facing forward behind the driver.  The driver was busy not watching the traffic that was stopped in front of us and was unable to stop when we collided with a larger tour bus at about 30 mph.  I slammed my foot on the bench in front of us to brace and luckily was not thrown out the front window.  My wife grabbed me and I sustained 2 deep cuts from her clutching my arm.  Other than that we were just a little sore.

The Kombi was totalled, the front windsheild knocked out and the engine locked up.  The bus in front of us just kept on trucking and we walked to the side of the highway and demanded our passaje back.  Then we boarded another kombi and continued on our journey.

Tips to Surviving Bus Accidents in Lima Peru

1) Never sit in the front rows or back row.  These Kombi buses are small and not well protected in the event of an accident.

2) make sure you have something to grab onto in case of a bus crash.  Like a hand rail or your husbands arm, just try not to punch holes in his skin with your sharp fingernails.

3) When in doubt wait for another bus.  If there is no where to sit dont get on.

Good Luck

Bus and Combi travel in Lima

The preferred method of trasportation around Lima is the bus system.  Except for the Metropolitano bus and taxi lines all other buses are privado or privately owned usually by the driver.  All buses in the city have street names written on them for instance Abancay or Tacna.  They normally travel in large circles on their routes.  I normally pay 50 centimos for a close fare and not more than 1 sole for city routes.  Buses are great and go everywhere even to the Sur of Lima all the way to Km 51 Sur to  San Bartolo stopping at Lurin to see Pachacamac, Punta Hermosa, Punta Negra and anywhere in between.  These types of buses can be found at Puente Atocongo.

To get to Puente Atocongo you will need to take another bus such as one traveling evitamiento to all stops on the highway.  Inquire with the cobrador before getting on to be sure you are getting on the right bus.

I suggest taking the larger buses as they are safer and usually not so cramped for space.  Do not be surprised as they fill them all the way up and seats are hard to come by.

Tips for taking the bus in Lima

1) Take change with you as you wont be able to get change for bills on the bus.  Do not pay when you get on the cobrador will come around asking for passajes en manos.  This means to tell him your street destination and pay your fare.  Make sure they hand you one ticket for each person and keep them in your hand while on the bus.

2) Ask the cobrador before you get on if you are not sure where you are going.

3) To get off at your stop get up and walk to the front say bajo or esquirda bajo (down at the sidewalk).

4) If the bus is crowded get up early and walk towards the front saying con permiso so people will try to make way for you to get through.

5) Enter and exit quickly as they are always in a hurry.

6) Around 5-7 PM buses heading to the outskirts of the city will be packed with people heading home from work and may not stop if they dont have room.

Lima to Cusco by Bus

The main method of transportation in and around South America is Bus.  Although buses here are much different from those in the United States.  Here, you can travel like a rock star aboard any of the super churre service lines.  These provide a VIP salon on the first level composed of semi-cama plush seating.  The seats reline to 180 degrees and are quite comfortable on long trips.

The trip from Lima to Cusco heads out of Lima to the south through Lurin towards Nazca.  From there the route takes you up through the foothills of the andes mountains through Abancay and Curahuasi and finally to the Mochileros Mecca of Cusco high in the Andes Mountains.

The buses from Lima normally leave in the early afternoon arriving in Cusco the following day around 12 noon.  The trip takes between 22 and 23 hours depending on the bus line you choose.  I have experience with 2 different tour operators.

I would strongly recommend not taking the Flores bus line as its buses are a little older and the toilets smell really bad.  Some of the buses stop for bathroom breaks but ours didnt.  By the night time the entire bus smelled terrible and everyone started getting sick from the weaving road and the shear change in the altitude.  Lima is at sea level and Cusco is at around 10,000 feet.

Palameros is the other trusted bus line that I have used.  This is a newer line as of 2009 and the buses are new and very clean.  They also will stop if you need to use the restroom and shy upon going #2 in the bathrooms onboard to provide all with an enjoyable ride.  You can expect to take one small carry on bag with you and they sell limited beverages and snacks along the way.  The supplies dont last long and you should plan to bring your own water along with you as the beverages normally are gone quickly.  The service does include 2 meals which normally consist of a small dish of rice and a piece of chicken and some small desert, breakfast of sweet bread or cookies and coffee.  Prices are around $45 one way.

Other Buses from Lima to Cusco include Cial, Civa and Cruz del Sur.

Recommended carry on items:

1)water (this will help with the change in altitude)

2)snacks

3)entertainment-they do have tv’s on the bus and show movies in spanish sometimes in english with subtitles, but never hurts to bring your laptop or ipod onboard.

4)TP this is a must as is you need to use the facilities they do not provide it.  Most of the bus stations and stops provide restrooms / banos and normally charge S./0.50 fifty centimos and provide a few pieces of tp.  I always keep some in my back pocket in place of a wallet.

5)advil to help with the altitude