Posted by: robinson2000 | February 22, 2011

Buses, Taxi’s and Colectivos to Darkest Peru!

18th-21st February – We left the beautiful ambiance of Bansos feeling well rested but slightly hesitant about the forthcoming few days. Between Banos and the Ecuador-Peruvian border was very little to hold our interest which meant either killing time in dead beat towns or spending many boring monotonous hours cramped up in buses. We went for the latter option and ended up spending the majority of the next 4 days travelling.

We left Banos early on the Friday and caught a quick bus to Ambato which was only an hour away. Once in Ambato we changed to another bus that took us to Cuesca, (nearly 8 hours away) the 3rd largest city in Ecuador with its cobblestone streets, flowering plazas and whitewashed buildings with old wooden doors and ironwork balconies. Its was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has an immense cathedral. We finally arrived early in the evening and once our bags were dumped in a hostel with a foul-mouthed Irish room-mate we headed into town and devoured some chicken wings, beef, nachos, beans and 2 milkshakes each to feed our ravenous appetites.

The next morning we treated ourselves to a fry up breakfast and headed to the main Plaza of Cuesca to see the Catedral de la Inmaculada which dominated the main square. The sun was scorching so after an ice cream we headed back to our hostel and caught a cab to the bus terminal. On arrival we informed a helpful bystander of our destination who thought he could save us a long wait by helping us catch a bus that was just leaving. We raced through the terminal looking like an Olympic sprint team following this small Ecuadorian chap through a melee of people only to the find the bus had just left. Still thinking we had a chance of catching this damn bus he lead us out of the terminal gates into the crowds of people on the street back into the beating sunshine and tried chasing the bus. At this point we were all gasping for air and struggling with our 12kg backpacks so he hailed us a cab and told the driver to chase after the bus. After a few minutes we overtook the bus and cutting it off at a junction where we were able to transfer our baggage and finally relax into the journey.

Five hours later we arrived in the pleasant highland city of Loja (pronounced Loha), locked our gear up, bought a night bus ticket for 11pm that evening and headed into the town for some food. We had 5 hours to kill before our night bus took us from Ecuador to Peru so we whiled away the time in an internet cafe, eating pizza and drinking warm white wine. We boarded the stuffy night bus just before 11pm and attempted to catch a few broken hours sleep before we were rudely awoken at 2.30am by the immigration authorities who marched all of us off the bus and made us fill out meaningless bits of paperwork while they scrutinised our passports, especially Rice’s who’s was in a sorry state after swimming in a lake with it. After much bleary eyed waiting, pigeon Spanglish and strained smiles we were given the go ahead to be on our way and enter Peru, a brand new South American country, home of Machu Picchu, the Nasca Lines and of course every ones favourite marmalade eating bear, Paddington. At that time of night I was in no mood to contemplate the countries fascinating attractions so we boarded the bus and slept through till we arrived at Piura at 7am.

I think it was Sunday by the time we staggered off the night bus feeling utterly terrible from sleeping in a sitting position all night. I remember next to nothing about Piura apart from walking down the high street to an ATM, drawing out a few hundred Sols and latching onto an English couple who were heading to the same place as us. By 8am we had boarded yet another bus heading for the coastal resort of Chiclayo. It was only 3 hours away so I found a double seat at the back of the bus and crashed out for the whole journey.

We arrived at 11am in Chiclayo but wanted to get to the small beach resort of Pimental so we trudged 800 metres down the road to a colectivos depot where we jumped onto a small bus to our final destination. We were all shattered, hot and hungry when we finally arrived so we dumped our stuff in the only hostel in town and headed out with the English couple for a beer, lunch, sun bathing on the beach and body surfing in the waves.

After being eaten by multiple dive bombing flesh sucking mosquitos for most of the night we got up at 9am for a decent hostel breakfast and headed back to Chiclayo by taxi in order to catch a bus to the much nicer fishing and surfing village of Trijillo which was another 4 hours down the coast. We found a good well run hostel near the beach and headed back into the waves for more body surfing. Tomorrow we’ll spend the day here trying to surf before moving onto Lima by yet another night bus!

Transport Tally

Buses : 6

Taxi’s : 8

Colectivo’s : 2

Hours on a Bus : 30

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


  1. Good post, mate. Top photos too!

  2. Wow what a journey (just might be worse than the “96” bus to bexleyheath :{ You lot certainly know how to squeeze a lot of things into a day. Oh, and I now have a mental picture of dive bombing, blood sucking mosquitos, Yuk. This is a trip of more than one lifetime, Ben. Buena suerte y buenas noches :’)

  3. […] Cuenca including the beautiful cathedral, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For the pics see here (hat-tip Ben […]

  4. Just back from India absolutely shattered, Having a very lazy day today!!!!!
    Our vehicle count is Train, Toy train, Palace on Wheelst train elephant, camel, rickshaw , tok tok, coach and loads of forts and temples. Love the blogs. Sue & Mick x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: