Hello, my friend and I travelled through Peru on many buses and further to
xochitl's response, Cruz Del Sur were superb. We used them whenever we could. Sadly they don't cover all routes.
We returned by bus from Puno to Cusco which took about 7hrs, and then flew from Cusco to Lima which took an hour. We already had pre-boooked flights but apparently when we turned up at the airport the price was only about $85 with Taca, I'd imagine Lan's price would be significantly more!
Regarding Puno to Lima by bus; I know it's a 30hr trip from Cusco to Lima, whether there's a more direct road from Puno to Lima to reduce that time I don't know.
Good luck, we loved all 3 places.
Due to circumstances I've ended up with a Machu Picchu walk in the middle of a three week holiday, making an attempt at the standard route a bit convoluted.
I'm likely to be traveling from Lima to Puno (Juliaca), then by bus from Puno to Cuzco. I'd then like to get to Arequipa from Cuzco and then to Lima from Arequipa via Nazca/Ica/Pisco or whatever takes my fancy. I haven't got a big problem with spending too much time on a bus, but in what way are they not "safe"? Has there been a recent spike in bus-focused crime?
Would air travel be much more expensive and much more feasible for any parts of the journey? I'm traveling in November, and my guide book suggests that the aeroplanes don't fly unless they get enough punters to fill them, which would ruin my day.
If you've got three weeks and you don't mind long stints on buses then, personally, I don't think you've got much to worry about. You've got time to see all the places you mentioned without needing to fly (you can always do one flight if you find yourself behind schedule – but a bit of bus travel is good to see more of Peru and get a sense of scale and geography).
As for bus safety... well, it's all a bit subjective really. Again, personally I'd say don't worry about it and just go for it. Cruz del Sur is always a good option, as stated above, and there are a few others that you can generally rely on. Always keep an eye on your gear wherever you are. Opportunistic (non-confrontational) theft is not uncommon and probably the main thing you need to concern yourself with.
You can familiarise yourself with some of the best bus companies here if you like:
Also have a look at the article about the gringo trail and check out the map (expand it a few times to get a clearer picture). Hope that helps a little.
Please read this : tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294311-c3650/Peru:Dr…
Personally I am not a fan of bus transportation in Peru because of their accident rates.
It's hard to argue with the raw stats when taken at face value. I appreciate your concern in this matter, and the stats certainly don't make pretty viewing.
However, there are a few things beyond the numbers that are worth considering (and why I wouldn't tell backpackers to avoid bus travel outright in Peru). The main reason to go with top end companies is safety, not comfort.
The link you posted above mentions the worst offenders: Transportes Ronco Peru, Turismo Civa, Cueva, Molina Union and Expreso Huamanga. I wasn't aware of Civa's bad rep, I'll look into that. But the other companies are definitely not ones I'd recommend. The higher end companies are a lot safer than the endless throng of cheap and unreliable bus companies in Peru, and this does need to be considered when looking at the blanket figures.
If you take a look at this chart (causes of accidents) from the Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Vial:
....excessive speed, imprudent drivers and drunk drivers lead the way in accidents. Tired bus drivers are also a major problem. See this study:
A company like Cruz del Sur has good drivers, good buses and decent overall regulations. Obviously this doesn't apply for all the other traffic on the roads with you but it does make things a lot less drastic than the bare stats would imply.
"The use of reputable transport and bus companies may reduce associated risks when travelling by road in Peru," says the Australian government website. I'd say that it definitely reduces risk (can't back that up with stats right now, I'm no statistician). From personal experience, for what it's worth, I've clocked up a ridiculous amount of hours in buses in South America. The cheap companies often have me cursing the driver (as well as the bus), while most top end companies are a different thing altogether.
I'm not trying to belittle the problem in Peru with road accidents. However, budget backpackers (especially those on longer trips) are unlikely to avoid bus travel and turn to flights and car rental. I think it's more realistic, and more beneficial, to let backpackers know which companies to go with and how to reduce the risks involved with bus travel in Peru.
do this a bunch all over SA the Gringo Trail is WONDERFUL for this
to adjust to alititude and see/experience a lot more than you would if you fly
www.cruzdelsur.com.pe and Ormeno hopping on/off your 2 best buses
usually lots cheaper than flights if time...the VIP seats downstairs
big and comfy better than upstairs worth it to pay a little more for these
www.travel.state.gov Peru for a heads up on safety rarepetty theft issues
overall safe if careful www.insuremytrip.com always wise...
Careful with lodging and tour touts at the bus station
scammers there that prey on clueless newbies
always do your own research get away from there to find
for me though it is a tonne of fun and adventure..
Have been on all the travel boards for years have seen no accidents
with top buses like CDS and ormeno they roatate their drivers
every couple of hours and the Gringo Trail is a nice paved route
mainly double lane highway the whole way..
So for me no accident problems with the top buses
Even won the bingo game on my last CDS ride and paid for my trip.
I have no statistics to back up my impressions, but I just returned from a trip to Peru, and was surprised by how much safer the roads and vehicles seemed than when I was there six years ago. Outside of Lima cab drivers, I saw very few examples of what I would consider reckless driving. I spoke with a tour guide who said that the government has been cracking down on drivers, and inspecting vehicles, particularly buses and tourist vans.
I found the bus ride from Puno to Cusco comfortable and scenic, and not too long. I've forgotten the company, but will see if I can find my ticket.
A Cruz del Sur bingo win? Nice work. Out of interest, and without wanting to derail this thread, how much did you win? I've always gone to sleep when bingo comes around but maybe I'm missing out....