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Exploring Mexico: How to Get Around

Exploring Mexico can be an incredible experience, and you can make the most of it with some planning. While the big touristy cities (Like Cancun and Playa) are easy to get to and are great stepping stones to start your travels, they will not provide you with an authentic taste of Mexico. The best places to visit in this country aren't always the easiest to get to so you may need to take a variety of different transportation to get there.

By Plane

Mexican cities are very well connected via domestic airports and cheap flights. We’ve flown between Cancun and Mexico City for just $7 USD! If you need to cover a large distance quickly, flying is a super affordable and time-effective way to do this in Mexico.

Volaris and VivaAerobus are a choice when looking for cheap flights, and the best deals can often be found through them. However, Aeromexico and Aeromar also offer flights to many Mexican cities for reasonable prices. It is always worth looking around the different airlines to compare prices and find the best value for money.

By Car

If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to get around, you may want to consider renting a car or motorcycle. This can be a great way to explore the country, but you should make sure you are familiar with the local driving laws and regulations. Plus, driving allows you to go wherever you want, whenever you want, giving you the most flexibility out of all the transport options.

You'll find many of the major car rental companies in the big cities. If you're renting a car, you must be over 25 and pay with a credit or debit card. Cash is generally not accepted by rental companies and be sure to get full coverage insurance, just in case! Driving can be quite an adventure with crazy drivers and roads in poor conditions.

By Bus

Chicken buses, though, are by far the best way to get around Mexico! While they are not the fastest or most comfortable way to travel, they are cheap, fun, and an essential part of the Central American backpacking experience! Their blaring music and bright lights make them hard to miss as they travel from town to town, and they will get you to pretty much anywhere you need to go.

Collectivos are another great way to get around. They are minivans that travel specific routes, are more comfortable than the chicken buses, and are still very affordable. They will have a card on the front windshield telling you their route. Collectivos are widely available in most cities and towns, and you can usually find them at bus stops or terminals. For others, you may need to dig through some forums to find out where they leave from. Be sure to keep an eye out for your stop, as the drivers may not always announce it.

For long distances, you might want to opt for coaches, which typically have air conditioning, entertainment, and toilets on board. But, these buses are relatively expensive, and you can save yourself time and money by flying. Busbud is a great tool to find which buses are heading to your intended destination and also for comparing prices.

By Taxi or Ridesharing

Ridesharing services like Uber and Cabify have become popular in Mexico in recent years, making it easy to get around major cities. With affordable prices, it's a great way to explore the area quickly. While ridesharing fares typically fluctuate based on demand, taxis offer more consistent pricing, however, they are usually more expensive overall and will only accept cash payments.

By Train

While it is a dwindling form of transportation between cities, there are still some scenic routes that take you across the country. Currently, the government is working on the Mayan Train, which will connect most of the Yucatan. The government has announced that the first lines will be running in December 2023, however, there is a high probability it won't be completed on time.

By Boat

There are regular ferry services between mainland Mexico and the islands off its Caribbean and Gulf coasts. They are a convenient way to travel and explore the country's tropical coasts and islands. Many of these ferry services offer multiple departures each day, so it is easy to find an option that suits your itinerary.

On the Pacific side, Baja Ferries provide connections between a few ports in Baja California, and the rest of Mexico.

Getting around Mexico can be a great way to explore the country and experience its culture. There are several options available for getting around, and each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Whether you choose a chicken bus or a flight, you’ll be sure to have an incredible trip!


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