Peru being too big for me to cycle across and still make it to Patagonia for the summer, I had to decide between bus and plane options. I chose bus, in order to see Lima and Cusco still.
I was unable to find info on viability of taking a bike from Guayaquil to Lima on a Cruz del Sur (30 hours), so posting in case of use to anyone who’s touring.
I emailed Cruz del Sur before my journey, and they informed me they would happily take my bike, but that it would have to be boxed. An excess charge for any weight on top of hand luggage applied of $1/kg.
A local bike shop was happy to give me a box, so I disassembled my bike and put it in (Luckily I have SandS couplings, so it was easy to dismantle).
I got to the huge terminal at Guayaquil just over an hour early. Make sure you do this. There are porters in the car park (and at other end) so manoeuvering the bike box and luggage is no problem. Cruz del Sur have a luggage counter on the ground floor, where they weigh everything. I paid my $40 excess, and could have left my stuff there, but preferred to take to the bus stop on the uppper floor myself. They were happy with this, and the porter knew where to go. He was happy with the 2$ I gave him, which seemed reasonable given the whole process took half an hour or so.
Once on the bus, everything went super smoothly. I had paid for the ‘excecutive class’ on the lower deck, and it is hugely luxurious. The 30 hours went very smoothly, and the border crossing was ably managed by the Cruz del Sur staff, who clearly knew better how to manage it than the staff there. It’s possible to withdraw local currency as well as buy a SIM card at the border.
Note there are two customs checks, one at the border and one about an hour later, where passports are also checked again. No idea why. At both checks, they hauled the bike box out and I was questioned about it, as they thought it was new (understandable, given it was in a new box). No worries once I explained, If you don’t speak spanish, you might want to have photos handy to show you’ve been touring or that bike is clearly not new.
All in all, it was super easy, and I have no hesitation to use Cruz del Sur for a longer journey like this again. For a short hop, boxing up would be more of a hassle.
I had previously read comments about CDS food being rubbish and necessity to stock up. I went a bit mad at the supermarket and bought way too much stuff. The food was fine – you wouldn’t want to eat it every day, but a couple of bags of crisps and some water is more than sufficient to take with you.