Month Around Mexico - Driving Vs Bus

Travel Forums North America Month Around Mexico - Driving Vs Bus

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Mexico
1. Posted by twconnell (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi All,

I am soon to be spending a month travelling around Mexico, landing in Mexico City with 2 other friends and travelling mainly south of Mexico City.

Originally i had planned on hiring a car, however all of the reading and research I have done has suggested that the bus system in Mexico is a very good one as being very comfortable.

I was wondering if anyone out there had experienced both of these options and had an opionion on the best option. The way i see it is that a car is likely to be a bit more expensive but between the 3 of us not too bad, and will have the advantage of being able to come and go to places as we please.

Is there anything in particular that i should know about the hiring a car option?

Does anyone know of the best (cheapest but reliable) car hire company? Some initial online enquiries got me a quot of about $460 US for 3 weeks.

In terms of bus routes, i think i am roughly going to do the following: MEXICO CITY - VERACRUZ - VILLAHERMOSA -CAMPECHE - CANCUN - CHETUMAL - TUXTLA GUTIERREZ - PUERTO ESCONDIDO - ACAPULCO - MEXICO CITY

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone can give me!


2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3580 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I went from Las Vegas to Acapulco and bacK! via public bus. Quite the adventure, not eager to do it again. Renting a car does allow more flexiblity on route decisions, but there is a huge downside. Driving in Mexico is not for sissies. The rules of the road are different from we are used to. The Mexican police are another factor. Your Spanish is probably not up to the task of explaining what went wrong if stopped. Theft is another thing to consider. You will not look convincingly Mexican to avoid being targeted for theft and bribes.

All things considered, I would vote for riding the bus.
Good luck to you guys.

3. Posted by togler (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

yeah i agree with mike.

4. Posted by taki (Full Member 132 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

since you are doing touristic places, it would be worth the trying but you need to be a gooood driver though.

On the other hand, the bus rides are excellent if you go on first class standards, not recommended the 2nd class ones which probably may provoke in you, views like the ones expressed here...

check (bus nationwide network)

and you can definitely try also airplanes which have reasonable fares too. (especially for long distances)

check national car rental i would say it is or so, they have good prices and they have full coverage in terms of insurance.

Good luck!

5. Posted by c_salazar (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Well all is true!!. I'm Mexican and I'm living in Mexico City since born. I know almost all country and is really great.

About BUS vs CAR: Both options are acceptable, but to me, CAR is better option, as they said, give you flexibility to move around. The bus in Mexico are the most comfortable in the world (really, i know many countries). But by price, will be more expensive by BUS for 3, if you want to calculate bus prices, you can make an itinerary with info from: WWW.TICKETBUS.COM.MX or WWW.ADO.COM.MX, there you can see bus fares. If you decide to check airfares go to: WWW.INTERJET.COM.MX or WWW.AEROCALIFORNIA.COM.MX or WWW.CLICK.COM.MX , these airlines are only for local flights.

Is true, too, about the risk of theft and police, but is not more risk than broke a leg or get flat a tire or something like that. The reallity is the Police is corrupt but we have a 1 policeman for 17,000 citizens, the probability to be detained by police is very little ONLY in case if you make a infraction. About theft is another worng idea, your car could be stolen if you park it in risk areas in Mexico city are THOUSAND parking lots and are very cheap, like half pound by hour. The gasoline are cheap too, like 2 pounds for a galon. The real problem is the risk areas, but you no need to park in these areas. The problem in Mexico is not so serious as many people say. You only need to be SMART!!!

In the south of Mexico are THOUSAND things an places to see and to do, if you decide by bus the problem are the time to transport, to go to bus station, and to wait a departure. With car you will be from one place to another with complete freedom. Remember the distances go to in this site you can trace your route and calculate the distances, travelling time, and cost. Here you can decided CAR or BUS and is possible to see both options.

By example from Mexico city to Cancun are 1,621 KM and the trip time is 21hrs with one stop to refuel. Think distances!!

Finally, you must to consider ONLY two things: COMFORT (Bus) vs FREEDOM (Car).

If you want we can show you Mexico city, recommend you hotels here and places to see. If you want just tell me how many days in every city and we can recommend you some things to do. Other recommendation is Don't make hotel reservation except the first night in Mexico City to go stright to rest from flight. why? because are hundreds of hotels in every city in Mexico, is more expensive make reservations by internet. One year ago i made a trip to cancun without reservations and is the best experience, you can decided where to sleep, where to stop, you can rent in the hotel you like and is CHEAP!!!. (always are rooms)

Mexico is a Unbelievable place to know, believe me.

Good luck.

Carlos A.

6. Posted by twconnell (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Thanks everybody for such helpful feedback - it certainly was detailed!

I think at this stage we are leaning towards driving; i certainly take on board concerns about roads and livestock etc, but having survived 3 weeks on the road driving the lenght and bredth of Cuba i think i am well prepared for it - i've never seen so many bulls on the road in one place before.

Carlos - or indeed anyone who knows - when you said that internet bookings are best avoided as they are more expensive, does this apply to hiring a car as well? or is it best just to hire one in case they don't have a suitable one when you get there?

having a quick look i found hertz at about $467 US for a small car with AC for 3 weeks which seemed quite good so i was tempted to book early

thanks again for all the helpful feedback


7. Posted by shecky (Inactive 1 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I just returned from another trip through Mexico. Rented a car this time. The freedom was fantastic. Economical. Yes we did encounter Police corruption. Just outside of Cancun, "speeding" we payed him off right on the spot $85.00 US. Other than that, no problems. Just watch yourself entering and exiting the larger cities, they are waiting for rental cars to make the smallest of mistakes. The smaller older colonial towns have different driving rules than you are used to. Do your homework , ask questions (ie: we asked a cop when we weren't driving about making right hand turns on red etc. etc. )and you should be o.k.