We always favor public transport in our travels, and this is for a lot of good reasons: less pollution, less fatigue, less expenses, more meetings with locals. As a bonus, night buses save money on a hotel night and save time on a busy schedule.
If you are going to visit Mexico, forget about the rental car. Mexican buses are among the best in the world: reliable, safe, economical, quiet and particularly comfortable. We took a bunch of buses through the Yucatan, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla and Mexico City without encountering any problem. Even the bus terminals are well maintained, bright and spacious, with a waiting room, Wi-Fi, shops and a secure locker for luggage.
This article will explain how to book bus tickets Mexico, from a ticket counter, but also online, because the information is not always easy to find and there are some tips to know. As most tourists travel to the southern half of Mexico, we are going to focus on the ADO company that operates its own buses and has also bought out its competitors, the OCC and Oriente bus companies. Our advice is therefore valid for these three companies.
First class Bus or second class?
Generally in Mexico, first class bus tickets are about twice as expensive as second class buses. Advantages are:
- the level of comfort, with large seats soft and reclining, we love it!
- speed because the bus makes fewer stops
- the toilets on board
- air conditioning well dosed, never too strong
- sometimes electrical outlets
- Baggage tagged and managed in the hold by the staff itself to avoid disappearances
- places awarded
- the schedules available on the internet
- the possibility of buying his ticket on the internet.
The second class Mexican buses maintain a very acceptable level of comfort, similar to the Eurolines buses by us. Here are the advantages:
- these buses are more numerous
- the ticket can be bought at the last moment
- the seats are clean and fluffy
- the atmosphere is as calm as in first class
And the disadvantages:
- there is often air conditioning, but set too loud
- the same for music
- places are not always awarded, it depends on the lines
- companies do not hesitate to sell more tickets than there are places and sometimes people stay standing in the aisle
- bunkers are rarely cleaned and tend to dirty luggage.
Our recommendation: for a journey of less than three hours, both take a 2nd class bus.
That’s the thing to know! The company ADO has set up a system of promotions for the first ones who reserve their places (in first class only). The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get the maximum reduction of about 50%. The promotion then gradually decreases until you find the normal fare as the bus fills. Fortunately, Mexicans are not the type to book early. You can get these discounts by booking a few days in advance.
Buy bus tickets at the ticket counter
The easiest way to get a bus ticket to Mexico is to go to the counter of any ADO bus terminal. You will be able to look at the seller’s computer, compare the prices of each line and choose your seat. Anticipated reductions are applied automatically if necessary.