Bus Routes Through Mexico. Bus Travel, Nogales to Yucatan, Chihuahua to Mexico City Norte, Via Futura, Chihuahuenses, Omnibus, ADO.
If you are purchasing bus tickets in a Mexican bus terminal and are not fluent in the Spanish language, write your destination, time of departure, and the listed price on a piece of paper or in a note book page along with your name spelled out legibly.
- Tips on Purchasing Bus Tickets in Mexico:
The ticket sales person will assign the seat to your name.
Bus lines post their destinations, departure times, and prices on boards behind the counter in most stations or out in front at a few others. The clerk, seeing that you are a tourist, might assume that you want an elevated level of service. (called Lujo, Grande Lujo Ejecutivo etc.) The elevated level of service cost considerably more but is not much different than “Normal” first class service except for the free bottle of water and perhaps a bag of chips, possibly more leg room, fewer seats.
If you write down your destination, the price and the departure time, you prevent communication errors.
Always choose your own seat. If you let the ticket clerk assign a seat, they will give you the seat at the back of the bus and you will be too close to the lavatory, the engine noise, the tire noise, and the slamming lavatory door.
Don’t stress too much over seats, however, the buses rarely fill and once the bus is rolling you can move to a more comfortable location.
Three main bus routes south from the US border offer travel the entire length of Mexico
- Bus Routes through Mexico
From the northern border at Nogales, Juarez, or Tijuana there are two options: the Central Highlands route through Chihuahua or the coastal route through Mazatlan.
- Bus Routes, Nogales to Yucatan
On the coastal bus route, Tufesa Bus or Primera Plus buses reach Guadalajara from Mazatlan.
- Bus Route. Mazatlan to Guadalajara
From Guadalajara Primera Plus bus reaches Mexico City
- Bus Route, Guadalajara to Mexico City
The alternate bus route from the north and west is offered by bus lines serving from the US border on the Bus Route, through Central Mexico. These could include Omnibus or TAP Buses from Nogales to Chihuahua, then a Futura, Omnibus, or Chihuahuenses Bus to Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, or San Luis Potosi, following the Central Highlands south to Mexico City's Terminal Norte.
- Bus Route, Central Mexico through Chihuahua
If you have started your trip from the US Border you will reach Mexico City's Terminal Norte after about 36 hours of bus travel from the time you leave Nogales or Agua Prieta.
At Terminal Norte you will have several options to continue south.
You could go from Mexico City to Oaxaca (7-8 hours) via ADO and continue on ADO from there to Palenque and then on to Merida on the Yucatan.
Alternately you could go via ADO from Mexico City to the Gulf Coast and follow the coast through Veracruz and on to Merida. Merida is a good transportation hub to all of the Yucatan.
ADO continues service from Merida to Cancun and the border of Belize
Another option is to go to Oaxaca City and from there to San Cristobal de las Casas. From San Cristobal, ADO Bus goes over the mountains to Palenque and on to Merida and the Yucatan.
Once you reach Mexico City, you will have many options for destinations via ADO
States of Mexico served by ADO Autobuses
Campeche, Chiapas, Izapa Ruin site, Federal District of Mexico City, State of México, Teotihuacan
Hidalgo, Tula Ruin site, Oaxaca, Monte Alban Ruin Site, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Olmec La Venta, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Jalapa, Olmec, Yucatán, Chichen Itza
Bus Travel Through Mexico:
Nogales to the Yucatan through the Central Highlands of Mexico.
From Mexico City in Central Mexico, three main bus routes continue south and east: the central route to Oaxaca City, the coastal route through Acapulco to Tapachula, Chiapas, and the Gulf Coast route through Veracruz, Campeche, and on to Merida.
- Central Mexico Bus Routes
ADO Bus serves from Mexico City and covers all of southern Mexico to the Borders of Belize and Guatemala ADO serves Chiapas and the Yucatan from Mexico City, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca City, and from Veracruz.
Although the buses will not likely be filled, the choice seats will go early)
- The exception would be Easter and Christmas.
The downside to just showing up is that you might not get the seat that you want.
Any seat between seat 4 to seat 20 should be a good ride Anything in the high teens or the low 20s for a night trip should smooth out every bump and every rattle. Any seat in the high teens and low twenties makes a great snooze.
For the central highlands, long bus trip south from the US, the left side of the bus is the best side if you want to avoid the bright afternoon sun which will be on the right side of the bus. On the left, the sun will be no problem and you can plan on sleeping part of the 36 hours or so that it will require to travel from Nogales or Agua Prieta to Mexico City's Terminal Norte.
Bus Travel through Mexico follows well established Bus Routes. These routes allow Travel from Nogales, Mexico to the Yucatan of Mexico for example, and could include a bus to Chihuahua then to Mexico City Norte Station, Via Futura Bus, Chihuahuenses, or Omnibus. From Mexico City, the ADO Buses run bus routes south to the Yucatan.
You could board a first class bus at the border of Tucson to go south at Nogales or at Agua Prieta/Douglas Arizona all the way to the Yucatan without ever needing a reservation.
- Bus Route and Bus Service Tips
- . Most Mexican Bus lines do not have functioning websites
- Exceptions: ADO, Tufesa, Primera Plus, Tica
You rarely need a reservation when traveling through Mexico by bus; you can usually have the flexibility of just showing up.
The central highlands route would include trips through the cities of Chihuahua, San Louis Potosi, and Zacatecas among many others.
- Visits to Colonial Cities
The bus passes through Chihuahua the city where the Copper Canyon Train starts its 6:00 AM run west through Tarahumara country as it heads for the Pacific coast at Los Mochis.
In any of the larger cities you can stop for tours and find plenty of hotels for an extended visit. You can also change bus lines as there are several that make the trip south to Mexico City.
(You will find links on the Mexico Home Page to many suggested side trips.)
Bus travel in Mexico is from modern stations such as ADO's first class terminal in Oaxaca City