Before heading to Peru I was trying to plan bus routes, prices and companies to go with for the numerous bus journeys I would take whilst in Peru travelling completely over land. I read a lot of great things about Cruz Del Sur from them having a great safety record to the service provided on board. The only caveat was that the prices were considerably higher than some of the other bus companies in Peru.
One amazing “trick” I found to get Cruz Del Sur bus tickets cheaper is to use the Spanish version of the Cruz Del Sur website (http://cruzdelsur.com.pe). Here is a simple example for a one-way bus route from Lima to Arequipa on August 28th.
Using the English Version
You can select your language on the site in the upper right hand corner. There is a simple dropdown to pick from numerous languages. In this example, I will choose English (also the default language).
As you can see in the image above, I am on the English version of the site and have chosen the one-way route from Lima to Arequipa on August 28th. In the itineraries section, you only see regular and VIP tickets available with the lowest price ticket costing 100 SOL (about $30.5 USD) for this 16-17 hour journey (by North American standards that is still VERY cheap!).
You’ll notice that there are no results in the Outstanding or On Sale ticket columns. I had always just assumed these were either not available (ie. no sales at the moment) or these special priced seats were all sold out. As you’ll see below, this is something reserved for locals or those who speak Spanish. As is often the case in South America with preference and preferred prices going to locals.
Using the Spanish Version
Here you can see I am using the Spanish version of the website for the same one-way route from Lima to Arequipa on August 28th, 2015. However this time you can see many options listed in the on-sale and outstanding ticket columns in addition to the regular and VIP seating that we saw above.
With these new options, the lowest price ticket for this journey is a mere 59 SOL (about $18 USD) almost 50% cheaper than the lowest price ticket on the English version of the site!!!! I went through other languages such as German, French and Chinese and they all had only the regular and VIP columns like the English site.
If you want these cheaper prices, learn a bit of Spanish or just use Google Translate to navigate through the Spanish version of the site and through the payment/checkout process when purchasing your ticket.
It is important to note, the outstanding and on-sale tickets are only for a limited selection of seats but it is certainly a great bargain no matter, especially if you are on a budget like I was. Also, if you go to the bus terminal to buy your tickets (rather than buying online) make sure to ask them for an “insuperable” (outstanding) ticket to also take advantage of the much cheaper prices we found online on the Spanish side of the site.
I took 6 or 7 Cruz Del Sur buses in Peru and highly recommend them to anyone! The service on board was great, meals were delicious, seats comfortable and they played movies (most in Spanish, some in English) to keep you entertained. Some buses even had wifi and power outlets under the seat if you were lucky! Couldn’t have asked for any more especially when it only costs $18 for a 17 hour journey! Next time you are in Peru definitely give Cruz Del Sur a shot and be sure to use the Spanish version of their website.