Bus Travel in Mexico
Bus travel is a very important and very affordable mode of travel in Mexico. There are several long distance bus lines which offer bus services between the major cities. Also, within the cities you can catch the local bus if you need fast (sort of) and cheap transportation.
What you need to know about long distance buses
The long distance buses are called “camiones” and they offer either first class (or “luxury”) or second class services. If you don’t want to stop that much (or at all in some cases) choose the “luxury” buses.
Several bus lines exist in Mexico. And in major stations each line has its own desk where you can buy a ticket. In large stations, the platform also indicates the destination. Many major lines also operate websites and in some cases you can even book a ticket online.
Luggage goes underneath and there’s also a small place above your head for small backpacks. Some companies give a receipt for the luggage but some don’t. You don’t need to worry much but keep an eye on your luggage each time the bus stops in case you don’t have a receipt.
On your ticket, the word “asiento” means your seat.
Companies, destinations and useful websites
There are many bus lines in Mexico (and plenty of them luxury lines) but not all have websites. With that being said, here’s a short list of some of the bus lines in Mexico which also offer the possibility to book your ticket either online or by phoning the company.
ETN is by far one of the best companies to choose. They give you a receipt for the luggage and their first class buses are indeed luxurious. The site is also in English and you can buy your ticket online. The destinations covered are: Mexico City (Norte and Observatorio), Aguascalientes, Celaya, Colima, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Irapuato, Leon, Manzanillo, Morelia, Puerto Vallarta, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, San Miguel de Allende, Uruapan, and Zamora.
ADO GL is another bus line which offers luxury services. The site is also in English and there’s a number to call for reservations. The destinations covered are: Mexico City (TAPO and Norte), Cancun, Chetumal, Merida, Playa del Carmen, Oaxaca, Puebla, Jalapa, Veracruz, Villahermosa, Tampico, and Poza Rica.
Uno is yet another luxury service. The site is also in English and there’s a number to call for reservations. The destinations covered are: Mexico City (TAPO), Cancun, Campeche, Merida, Oaxaca, Puebla, Jalapa, San Cristobal de las Casas, Veracruz, Villahermosa, Tampico, and Poza Rica.
Estrella de Oro is yet another luxury bus line. Their website is great in Spanish and it even allows for online reservation (apparently there’s bit of technical issues with the English version). The destinations covered are: Mexico City (Taxquena), Acapulco, Aguascalientes, Chipancingo, Cuernavaca, Ixtapa, Queretaro, Lazaro Cardenas, Taxco, and Zihuatanejo.
Bamba Experience is probably the best option for backpackers. The buses are based on a very flexible hop-on-hop-off schedule and the prices are reasonable. The destinations covered are: Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido, Zipolite, Mazunte, Huatulco, San Cristobal, Palenque, Flores/Tikal, Bonampak, Yaxchilan, Guatemala, Panajachel, and Antigua (yes, you read it right: they also cover Guatemala and Belize). And you can even book a hostel via the same website.
When everything else fails, you always have the option to check Ticket Bus , a website which allows you to book tickets from pretty much any Mexican bus line.