It was a mistake for me not to get a picture of the outside of these busses so you might be able to recognize them. The Soyus busses are kind of a cream color with a dark red (I think it’s red) type lettering. On the front, they usually have scrolling messages that say something like “the passengers we pick up on the side of the road on our way to our destination are NOT thieves” and “don’t be racist.”
Now, there are all sorts of different bus lines in Peru and Soyus is among the most inexpensive. However, just because you’re paying more for some other bus line doesn’t mean you’re going to get any better quality service or be safer or anything like that (just see my articles on Cruz del Sur for some examples).
Cruz del Sur is going to cost you a minimum of probably 50 Soles no matter where you want to go. Soyus, on the other hand, will take you there for 10 probably. They get away with a cheaper ticket because they don’t assign seats and they pick up people along the way. Also, they don’t offer a food service, but you can by sandwiches if you like:
Some people say that you’re more likely to be robbed if you travel Soyus, which I think is kind of a foolish thought. After all, who’s going to rob a Soyus bus? Everybody KNOWS that there’s nobody rich on that bus. In contrast, everybody KNOWS that the people on Cruz Del Sur are wealthy, so those are the ones that get pullled over and hijacked (although that’s never happened to me in years of traveling in Peru).
I will say this though, the last time I was on Cruz del Sur my money clip fell out of my pocket and the terramozo (ground steward) picked it up and gave it to me. If you drop money on Soyus, it’s as good as gone. But as long as you go into these things with your eyes open, there’s not a big problem.
Oh, and you should remember to always carry money in about three different places on your person just in case you do something stupid (we all do from time to time).