I'm living in Lima for the semester and my classes don't start until September. Three friends and I want to visit Cuzco next weekend but the only flights available are US$300+, a little out of our college budget. Since we do have extra time, we were thinking about taking a bus (about US$45). Has anyone taken this route before? Are there any reliable bus companies that someone could suggest? Thanks for the help!
I took that route two months ago. I went one way Cuzco to Lima. It was an overnight cama bus and I believe it was around 20 hours. I did it two days after independece day so it was more money and I think it was 120 soles. I paid U.S. and it was $38. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the bus company, but I actually still happen to have the piece of paper with travel agency information on it. Let me know if you want that.
Normally you'd have no problem getting between Lima and Cusco via a myriad of reasonable bus companies. Cruz Del Sur seems to be popular with westerners as it's pretty reliable and the buses are of a good standard (think they also give out blankets - useful for the overnight trip). They also have a website (google it) which you can use to book online. They did seem more expensive than other operators with similar standard buses. Cruz del Sur have their own terminal in Cusco, and i'm guessing in Lima too which is a bit more secure if you're worried about that. Other companies will drop you off at the main bus terminal in Cusco (seemed reasonable to me).
However, you'll definitely want to check to see if the Panamerican highway is open after the earthquake. As far as i know all routes between the cities use it and they go along the section between the worst affected areas between Nazca and Lima. Best to check the websites for the bus companies...
Hope that helps,
That is the compay I took. Cruz Del Sur
Check this website out for Cruz Del Sur Go2Peru
I just got into Cusco 3 days ago from Nazca.....
Though Cruz Del Sur is good, if you are on a budget, go for Cial, they are pretty good! I loved the service that they provided, the staff are very friendly and even tried to give an introduction in English.
I was told by someone that it´s only 90 soles from Lima to Cusco - that is only one way though.
I will be traveling around Peru for a month next spring (late April - late May). I was wondering the same question about buses...I keep reading that overnight buses are very dangerous and should be avoided completely if possible. Lonely Planet reports that hijackings, robberies, and violent crime are very common. Yet I certainly can't afford to hop on a plane for every long distance trip! Sometimes overnight buses are the only choice on certain routes.
Can anyone speak to these warnings with personal experience? By the way, I am a woman and will be traveling alone.
I am in Peru right now, and about to leave for Puno on an overnight bus actually.
Well, the overnight buses are okay from my experience if you choose a good one. Take a bus cama or semi cama and you will be able to sleep soundly at night and arrive in the morning in one piece.
Usually they will give you a dinner if the bus leaves a little early (around 8 pm), and/or a breakfast if the bus arrives a little later during the day (around 10 am). I haven´t had any bad experiences yet.
Another tip is, if you want to get cheaper fare, go straight to the bus terminal, they give you the best fare there (tour agencies usually charge twice as much (including their commission)...if you have an ISIC card (or similar cards), or a student card, it would be even better (ask for discuentas), and always ask what´s included in the fare - one with a toilet is usually better
Another thing is...perhaps try to stay in hostels, that would give you more chance of meeting other travellers who might be heading the same way as you are, and making it "safer" and more fun
If you have plenty of cash, then book the tours, sometimes they may be rushed, but it´s all inclusive and usually safe.
Good luck!!! and be safe