Hostal Tamba Colorado - Pisco

Pisco Travel Blog

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Why so slum?

Got here safe and sound. Although I'm changing my name (again) to Haggle Rock after today's shennanigans.

As it was my first bus trip in Peru, and having heard a fair few stories that ended ‘…and when we woke up five minutes from x, our passports and cameras had gone!’, I decided to take the classy bus - Cruz del Sur. Locals told me the taxi there should cost 8 soles, so off I went.

I pulled over one of the nicer looking taxis, with a driver who looked like a sixty year old Tom Selleck (if he isn’t sixty anyway). I explained where I was going, and the taxi driver nodded - “25 soles”

I laughed out loud (lol) - “Nooooo. Ocho soles. Peruano price”

He then pulled out a laminated sheet with prices on that looked all official-like and pointed at an area which had 30 soles written next to it.

Slumming it, slumming it, slumming it..

Nice try, but I knew that he was pointing at the wrong area and that the bus terminal was in La Victoria, super-official laminated price of 15.

He accepted this and was happy to charge me fifteen.

I said, ‘non, doble! Doble!’ for a bit, and then made my killer move. ‘Dies / nada ?’, with appropriate weighing of scales hand movements, and went to walk away.

He then nodded. I confirmed ‘Dies’ and held up ten fingers. He nodded again, held up ten fingers and said fifteen. I did a final ten for confirmation then got in the car.

As I finally got to my destination and handed over the ten soles, Tom Selleck gave me a vigorous double handshake, patted me on the back and wished me a good journey. All the ride I had felt like slapping the guy, but I guess I need to learn that bartering is nothing personal, even though sometimes it feels like an argument.


Cruz del Sur refers to its bus terminals as Terrapuertas - or ‘Earth-ports’ and the experience is actually similar to flying. Luggage is checked in, all passengers are videoed then into the fat comfy seats, with a meal served during the earth-flight.

The initial stage of the journey took me out of the (a bit shitty but relatively) affluent surrounds of Miraflores and through the miles of slums around Lima.

I had decided on a final destination of Pisco, however the buses only stop at Paracas (which is on the Panamericana Highway), so this was where I alighted.

Jesus got to Pisco ahead of me and tagged up the place. Crazy son-of-god mo-fo.
A taxi driver approached me almost instantly, quoting 30 soles for the journey. I explained that I was going to get a collectivo, and he told me that there weren’t any. Suspicious.

I then asked a random woman where the collectivos were. She confirmed that there weren’t any, but luckily she could arrange me a taxi and hotel if I wanted it…

I decided upon a different tactic: look for the biggest shit-heel as they are less likely to be interwoven with tourism. I found him and he duly pointed me one street over to where collectivos ran every ten minutes, for a more pocket-friendly 1.25 soles (incidentally a reasonable price by taxi would be about ten soles)

At just about the point that the gang of stray dogs were getting too close for comfort then a minivan style collectivo pulled over. I decided to ingratiate myself with the locals by smashing my head off the door frame on the way in. OK - more an accident than a decision, but everyone group ‘oooh’ed and then went out of their way to make room for me. Top technique.

I found the hotel I’d been looking for. The owner quoted 50 soles a night, without breakfast, which as it turns out was the actual price on the internet. However, confused what with all Euros, Soles, double room occupancy and suchlike, plus having had a day of over-inflated prices, I launched straight into bartering grandstand mode.

I ended up getting the room for 40 soles (10 quid) a night, with breakfast included. The woman seemed to find it funny, but told me to check the internet because I’d got a special price. It turned out I had.

richiegetslost says:
If its your first Peru bus journey then cruz del sur and I think ormeno are the two nicer ones - safe and secure. If you're not going overnight (so not sleeping) then the cheaper ones are probably more enjoyable - you can open the windows, get off for food and see a bit more of the country.
Posted on: Jul 17, 2011
laureley says:
hey richie, good job at lowering all those prices, I hope I can handle that myself when I'm off to Pisco :D do you recommend Cruz del Sur? How much was the ride from Lima to Paracas?
Posted on: Jul 04, 2011
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Why so slum?
Why so slum?
Slumming it, slumming it, slumming…
Slumming it, slumming it, slummin…
Jesus got to Pisco ahead of me and…
Jesus got to Pisco ahead of me an…
Pisco Hotels & Accommodations review
Awesome. Nice clean rooms, internet and TV, incredible Pisco Sour for 6 soles and the couple that run it are some of the nicest and friendliest I´ve … read entire review
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