Some people just don’t like to fly.
Others prefer the slowness of traveling on the road, watching the scenery pass by.
Some like the price, others the comfort, still more prefer to, as they used to say about Greyhound in the US, leave the driving to others.
Whatever it is, we’re talking about the bus. In Mexico.
No, I’m not talking about the ones with the rear seats removed so we have more space for chickens, turkeys and goats. I’m talking about luxury liners, made by Mercedes Benz and Volvo. Over 40 feet long, almost 9 feet wide and between 25 and 32 seats, depending on the level of comfort you choose.
Not those puny airline seats either. Or what you’d find here on US busses where your knees are constantly in contact with the seat in front of you. We’re talking room to breath, plenty of it. And each seat is equipped with its own personal video console and power hookup for your tablet, computer or Iphone. Did I mention that the top of the line experience also comes with free Wi-Fi?
Oh, each seat is preassigned and reclines to almost a 140º angle, wonderful for sleeping.
In short, these are comfortable long haul busses with plenty of space. They are efficient, run on schedule and a wonderful way to travel across Mexico, no matter your destination. Think of it as the ultimate in slow travel. Relaxed, stress free, safe and sound!
Name a destination, and you can probably get there by bus in Mexico. From Tijuana to the Yucatan, the country is connected by these rolling cruise liners.
Now here’s the deal. Bus travel, unless you’ve just got to make an appointment in some far flung city, is best experienced bit by bit. That’s because you can literally get off at any destination or city along the route, visit and get back on again, and your bus price will remain the same.
Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you are in Mexico City and want to go to Oaxaca. That cost is about $65.00US one way for Platinum Class, the top of the line in Mexico. But if you wanted to visit Puebla for some cemitas, or tacos arabes, you’d pay about $20.00US from Mexico City to Puebla and then $40.00US from Puebla to Oaxaca on that same top of the line bus.
In other words, you can make all the stops you want, see the country, and your transportation costs will be the same no matter how many stops you choose to make. And, if you choose to retire in Mexico legally, with an INAPAM Card, available to all residents over 60 years, you’ll get that bus ticket at half price.
What’s not to like?
I’ve been riding the bus in Mexico for over 20 years. My first journey was a 40 hour slog from Tijuana to Guadalajara on Elite, the old First Class Line of TNS. Now I limit my bus rides to a maximum of 8 hours. It gives me time to relax, unwind, rest and even catch up on a few emails as I see the countryside.
There’s a lot to be said about the speed of air travel, but sometimes to experience all that My Mexico has to offer, you’ve just got to go by bus, and leave the driving to someone else!
Are you going? Here’s the need to know.
There are three main lines that offer significant comfort. ADO in the south, ETN in the north and Primera Plus in the central part of Mexico. Each of these offer varying degrees of service. Below is a handy chart from ADO explaining their different levels of service. ADO, ETN and Primera Plus will have slight variations of this chart. Unless you are going on a short trip, I do not recommend OCC, the younger cousin of ADO. The little bit more you’ll pay for ADO Platino is well worth the investment.
Here’s a link to Click Bus, an online ticket outlet for busses across Mexico!