Soyuz bus company review: a “low-cost” bus company for those on a tight budget
Soyuz isn’t one of the most well-known bus companies in Peru, especially among foreign travelers, but it’s been around since 1980 and carries a lot of passengers to destinations big and small along the southern coast of Peru. Peru by Bus brings you a review.
Soyuz bus company review
Foto: www.groupon.com.peThis company buses aren’t as comfortable as those of its larger competitors, such as Cruz del Sur, TEPSA, Oltursa and Movil Tours, but they are cheaper. For travelers on a tight budget, and anyone wanting to travel to smaller towns along the south coast, it’s a good low-cost alternative. Just don’t expect the comfort or additional services provided by its more expensive nationwide rivals.
The Soyuz Group also runs the PerúBus service, with buses branded as such. Its services are all very similar; as such, this review can count for both (any notable differences will be highlighted).
The company has its main bus terminal in Lima. Its other major terminals are dotted along or near the coast to the south of Lima, in Cañete, Pisco, Ica and Paracas. Unlike major nationwide companies (Cruz del Sur and TEPSA, for example), Soyuz is limited to this specific region.
Despite its limited domestic coverage, it does offer one distinct difference that sets it apart from its rivals. With Soyuz, depending on the service, it’s possible to stop at numerous smaller towns between the larger cities, making it a great choice for adventurous explorers and people needing to get to specific locations that most tourists would never visit (and that larger bus companies don’t go to).
As well as stopping at its main terminals, Soyuz has paraderos (bus stops) all along the main Pan-American Highway (Panamericana Sur) south of Lima as far as Ica. This includes plenty of popular beach destinations such as Punta Hermosa, Pucusana and the Boulevard de Asia. If you are a swimmer or surfer, Soyuz is a great way to get around this stretch of the coast south of Lima.
Under the PerúBus brand you’ll find two special services. There’s PerúBus Express, which only stops at the main terminals in Lima, Chincha and Ica. Then there’s PerúBus VIP, which runs directly between Lima and Ica with no stops in-between.
How good are the buses?
As mentioned earlier, don’t expect the buses to be as comfortable as the larger long-distance buses used by nationwide companies. That being said, they’re not dilapidated “chicken buses” either. Soyuz spent $12 million modernizing its fleet in 2012 with additional updates in 2014, keeping standards at a respectable level.
For shorter hops along the route, let’s say an hour or two, you should be reasonably comfortable. The buses have 135-degree reclining seats, which, while not as comfortable as the 160- to 180-degree reclining bed-seats offered by other companies, is nonetheless enough to get a decent nap. For the four- to five-hour trip from Lima to Ica, for example, you might get a bit restless and sore.
Soyuz buses show movies and play music to help you pass the time. Food is not served onboard, at least not on the standard buses, so take water and some snacks. Each passenger is allowed to carry a maximum of 20 kg of luggage (backpack, suitcase etc.). It is the same amount as allowed by companies such as TEPSA and Cruz del Sur.
If the cost of a ticket is your main concern, then it’s certainly worth comparing Soyuz/PerúBus prices with those of larger companies. Here are a few examples (minimum prices for standard services) between two major routes from Lima:
Soyuz/PerúBus – S/25
TEPSA – S/48
Cruz del Sur – S/52
Soyuz/PerúBus – S/38
Oltursa – S/55
Cruz del Sur – S/58
As you can see, it’s quite a significant difference. From Lima to Ica, Soyuz is less than half the price of the same ticket with Cruz del Sur. So if you want to save money and you don’t mind sacrificing a little comfort and additional services, it’s worth considering Soyuz as an option, especially for short trips along this part of the coast south of Lima.
How safe is Soyuz?
You might feel a little less secure traveling with Soyuz than with larger and more famous companies like Cruz del Sur, TEPSA, Movil etc.
Generally speaking, these larger companies offer much more clarity regarding their security policies, whereas Soyuz doesn’t cover such things on its own website. Standard Soyuz buses also make a lot more stops, which can increase the risk of robberies even if the stops are at officially-designated locations.
Soyuz isn’t a company you should avoid using because of safety issues. It has a solid reputation in Peru, especially for a regional company, and it continues to modernize both its fleet and its infrastructure.