Mexico has traveling by bus totally dialed. I love traveling by bus in Mexico. It’s a first class experience, no question.
It’s relaxing, no fuss, put your luggage on, get on board and the bus pulls away. No safety video, delays, instructions and my electronic devices don’t interfere with the bus controls either!
I can take as much luggage as I want.
I can have as much carry on luggage as I want
I can use my electronic device whenever I feel like it
I can help myself to coffee and snack when I feel like it
It’s cheaper than flying and there’s knee room, in fact call that leg and real body room!
I am greeted and welcomed aboard by the driver himself dressed in suit and tie no less!
Once onboard I can store my water bottle and other stuff in the large storage pocket. Overhead I’ve got plenty of storage bins for my excess carryon luggage and that little bag of food from the last destination! The rest of my luggage is loaded into the storage compartment beneath the bus.
I can take photos or just gaze out the large and spotlessly clean windows, or if I feel like a zzz I can pull the shades and the curtain for complete darkness. I can recline my plush chair to almost lie flat or enjoy the featured movie. Typically in English with Spanish subtitles or the other way around. I can even get myself a coffee or use a clean bathroom at the rear.
Did I mention that the buses are air-conditioned? Mostly set around 23 C, so I’m feeling pretty comfortable. On some I can even get Wi-Fi on board, so if I need to answer email, work or peruse the Internet while traveling, it’s available – plus I have a little plug by my seat to charge my phone. Contrary to rumor there is actually no chickens on these buses either! I am still awaiting this experience which I’m guessing is coming soon in Guatemala. Traveling by bus in Mexico affords us lots of flexibility in creating our own agenda and we’re pretty cool with that. Yes, we could rent a car and drive, but traveling by bus it in Mexico is way more affordable and provides a great way to meet the locals as well.
How awesome is all that?
I highly recommend traveling at least first class in Mexico. ADO and Primera Plus are two of the major first class bus lines. The both have online booking sites, Primera was easy, ADO on the other had would not accept my foreign credit card. Speaking of ADO we used them in Southern Mexico and I do not recommend their OCC line (think budget first class). Rather take the GL class or Platino, I made the mistake of booking OCC for an overnighter from Oaxaca to San Cristobal – all to save a couple hundred pesos. Now this road is 4 hours winding hill climb, 2 hours flat and another 4 hours winding hill climbs. The second driver we had was crazy and reckless, almost losing control on a couple of occasions. As we were in the front seat he got our wrath I can tell you.
As you can see the premium and executive bus lines are — well — almost decadent.
Buy your ticket a little ahead of time for better seat choices you will be happier at the front of the bus for those long journeys. (trust me, it will matter when you are at the back of the bus for hours of curvy roads and smelly toilets) warm jacket and pants as the air-conditioning can be drafty, and ear plugs. (If you are on the economy first class buses, movies are often played over the sound system so there is no escape) If you are right at the front, usually the bus driver has his radio going also.
Travelling by bus in Mexico – beats flying any day!
Try it – I think you’ll like it!