Bus Travel Prices in Mexico

I’m neck-deep researching a travel planning guide I’m co-authoring with Rob Sangster that will cover Mexico and Central America and here’s a useful tidbit of info worth passing along. Following are bus prices for executive or first-class buses between several cities in Mexico. I know, I know–if you’re a backpacker on a strict budget you’re not going to be traveling in the best available class. But if you’re just down there for a week or two on vacation, you probably will. It’s still far cheaper than a flight.

Monterrey Mexico City 12 hours $74
Cancun Merida 4 hours $35
Oaxaca Mexico City 6 hours $55
Mexico City Puebla 2 hours $12
Acapulco Ixtapa 1.5 hours $11
Guadalajara Puerto Vallarta 5.5 hours $32
S.M. de Allende Guanajuanto 1 hour $10

The rule of thumb seems to be that it’s roughly $5-7 per hour traveling in first class and around $8-10 per hour traveled in executive class. The latter might sound kind of high, but these are some of the best buses I’ve been on anywhere. Some of them only have 24 seats on the whole bus: 3 across and 8 down, with more legroom than many first-class cabins in U.S. airplanes. Plus snacks and drinks. A sweet way to travel.

mexico bus

Now trying to figure a route out yourself can be an exercise in frustration. Thankfully someone at a site called Different World has done the heavy lifting for us. Go here for links to the Mexican bus companies. Most of the sites are in Spanish only, but even if you don’t speak any it’s pretty simple to figure them out.

Comments
  1. Reportero

    Bus prices also depend on how many toll booths the coach passes through and how much it gets charges. In some places – the Guadalajara-Puerto Vallarta run comes to mind – the tolls are pretty steep. First class buses are pretty good here, but for some of the longer trips, check out the new discount airlines, which can be surprisingly competitive.

  2. tim

    Good point. The line from Merida to Cancun is on a $25 toll road too, so that’s an extra buck per passenger. The flight situation is not there yet, but it is getting better. They don’t seem to have figured out the marketing though to make it work. I just took a Click flight last month and there were exactly 3 of us on the whole plane! Last time I was on a plane that was that empty I was flying into Jakarta when there were riots going on.

  3. Steve H.

    Tim,

    That picture is not illustrative of executive or first class seating right? I ask because I´ve been down in Argentina and Uruguay the past 25 days and have not had the option (I came down here as far more of a strict-budget albeit novice traveller than I am now) – and I would definitely be willing to pay the extra money for first class – which as the bus companies tell me is a 100% lay-flat seat. Is this option usually available in most of Latin America?

    Steve H.

  4. tim

    The more developed the country, the more likely you are to find first class or executive buses that offer a big recline or completely flat seats–the latter for overnight buses. So Mexico for sure, Chile and Argentina probably. I flew in Argentina because I didn’t have the time for the long distances, but other people who took the best bus available said it was impressive. I can’t speak from experience there though.

    That picture is from a 3-across executive bus in Mexico. Some have even more legroom than this and I would imagine some overnight routes from the capital have some kind of flatter sleeping arrangements.

  5. Nick

    traveled the executive bus from Mex City to Acapulco. This is the way to go. $40, lunch included. Wife and sat in front of me on the single seat side where both get a window seat on the right side of the bus.came back on a first class bus. No comparison. If they have this service where your going – take it!

  6. Nick

    traveled the executive bus from Mex City to Acapulco. This is the way to go. $40, lunch included. Wife and sat in front of me on the single seat side where both get a window seat on the right side of the bus.came back on a first class bus. No comparison. If they have this service where your going – take it!

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