When I first got to Mexico, I was quite lost concerning transportation and accomodation. However, as I now spent almost eight months in this fascinating country, I somehow found my way around and would like to share my wisdom with you in order for you to be better prepared for your own trip to Mexico. As it turned out that I do have a longer list than I thought, I decided to split this entry into two. So this is why in this entry you’re gonna find some tips on how to move around in Mexico and in the next one, I share with you the best possibilities for accomodation. If you happen to have experiences with travelling Mexico as well, feel free to leave a comment below this entry.
Within the cities and villages, it is super easy to move around by Camiones, which are local buses or vans that circulate around some areas. Sometimes they also connect different cities, which was the case when I took a Camión form San José del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas. I paid $34 (ca. 1,65€) for a 45-minute ride which was the cheapest way to get there. In some places there’s also a metro system which works exactly the same way as in every other big city in this world, just cheaper. In Mexico City you only pay $5 (ca. 0,24€) per trip! If you’re lost in transportation at some point, here’s one tip that goes for everything: ask the locals. They know and they can always tell you the best way how to get to your destination. And little by little, you’ll figure out how it works. Except for Guadalajara maybe. I am completely lost here.
In some cities (like I notice now in Guadalajara) the Uber App is super practical as well. Works like a taxi service, just cheaper and with drivers that drive their own cars instead of official taxis. This app definitely already saved me now and then. Plus, you always get discounts on your first ride, so you can try it out practically for free. It is a safe alternative when you’re lost in the middle of the night and I was always lucky to have really nice drivers.
If you want to travel further away, there’s almost always a bus that gets you there. Check out the webpages Reservamos and MexicoAutobuses to get the exact information for departures, routes and prices. However, I wouldn’t book the buses on the Reservamos page, as they usually charge you a lot of service fees. Better check where the nearest bus central station or local ticket shop is and buy your tickets there directly, that’s a lot cheaper. Sometimes you can also buy the tickets in Oxxo supermarkets. Two bus lines I can absolutely recommend are Primera Plus or TAP Confort. Wow, those buses are pure luxury! They have films you can watch, games you can play, music and the most comfortable seats ever. This is why I prefer to take a nightbus on long distance routes, they’re great to sleep in!
A cheaper way is carsharing. BlaBlaCar is quite popular here, you can check your desired route and have a look if you find someone who’s going that route at what time. Easy and saves you a lot of money. Plus, a car is sometimes more comfortable than a bus. If there’s no route on BlaBlaCar, you can also check Facebook groups. That’s what I did on my way from San José del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur. Carsharing is called “dar raite” in Mexico and the people who offer it are called “raiteros”, so you have for example the Facebook group “Raites y Raiteros Los Cabos”.
For longer distances you can go by plane, Mexico has a quite well structured air transportation system. Almost every more or less important city has an airport, however the most important ones are Mexico City, Cancún and maybe Tijuana. By the way, from Tijuana you can walk over a bridge to San Diego on the US side. Enjoy the more or less free border as long as it still exists… Anyway, prices are quite okay for flights within Mexico. Not comparable to Ryan Air however, with which I paid only 10€ to go from Porto to Lisboa, but still affordable. Depending on the distance and the airport you normally pay between 50-100€ for a flight. Check out Skyscanner to compare prices.
There are also ways to travel Mexico on the water, for example by ferry. I personally don’t like boats but there are good routes from Baja California Sur to the opposite coastline. The trip is about 8 to 9 hours and costs minimum $1,600 (ca. 80€). If you wanna have a cabin during the trip, it’s gonna be more expensive. However if you are a person that prefers to travel slowly and who loves being on the water, this is the option for you. Check the website of BajaFerries for more information.
Train – Barranca del Cobre
A great thing that I really want to do once in my life is to take the Ferrocarril (train) in the Copper Canyon, the Barranca del Cobre. I didn’t have time to visit the north of Mexico this time but it’s definitely on my bucket list for next time (I mean, come on, you’ve already figured out how much in love I am with this country, right?!). The Barranca del Cobre is four times bigger than the Grand Canyon and on its deepest point, the Barranca de Urique, lives the biggest group of Mexican natives, the Rarámuri. The train goes between Los Mochis on the Pacific to Chihuahua and stops in between. Check the webpage (or better call them) to get more information.