Mysterious Aztec ruins, vibrant local food, the feisty Frida Kahlo, and some of the most spectacular beaches in the world – there really is no lack of reasons to visit Mexico! Home to some of the friendliest people you’ll meet, a trip to Mexico is all about immersing yourself in the local culture. It’s almost impossible to be in a country like Mexico and remain untouched by its food, culture, and people!
Having said that, your first trip to the country needs careful planning, especially when it comes to finding your way around using the local transportation. Mexico has a well laid out network of different modes of transportation and with a little bit of advanced preparation, it is entirely possible to explore the country by yourself.
Cross-country transportation in Mexico
Mexico is a fairly vast country and if you want to cover ground in a single trip, be prepared to do a fair bit of travel. But thankfully for us, Mexico has an excellent network of airports connecting all corners of the country. Fast, convenient, and reasonably priced, flying across the country is one of the best modes of transportation in Mexico.
Operated by multiple local airlines like Volaris and Aero Mexico, it is easy to travel within Mexico by air. Here are a few routes you could consider when planning your itinerary:
|Mexico City to Cozumel||Once a day||Starts at USD 52|
|Mexico City to Oaxaca||Up to 13 times a day||Starts at USD 46|
|Cancun to Cozumel||Once a day||Starts at USD 130|
|Mexico City to Tijuana||Up to 7 times daily||Starts at USD 66|
Did you even experience Mexico if you didn’t pay a visit to Cozumel, Cancun, or Playa del Carmen? Mexico’s seaside cities and islands are some of its biggest highlights and nothing beats a relaxing ferry ride to take you to these destinations.
Undoubtedly one of the best modes of transportation in Mexico, high-speed ferries are run by multiple operators such as Ultramar and Winjet and are typically equipped with all basic amenities like toilets, WiFi, air conditioning, and onboard entertainment. Here are some ferry routes for your inspiration:
|Cozumel to Playa del Carmen||Up to 8 times daily||Starts at USD 14|
|Cancun to Isla Mujeres||Up to 15 times a day||Starts at USD 10|
|Chiquila to Holbox||Up to 9 times daily||Starts at USD 11|
Bus transportation in Mexico is one of the most popular ways to travel long distances across the country. With a large network of routes, bus transportation companies in Mexico such as Futura and Ado offer excellent connectivity between most cities.
Buses in Mexico are comfortable, equipped with reclining seats, air-conditioning, toilets, and sometimes even some form of entertainment. From Cancun and Tulum to Playa del Carmen, map your itinerary with some inspiration from some of our favorite bus routes in Mexico.
|Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende||Once a day||Starts at USD 33|
|Cancun to Playa del Carmen||Up to 20 times a day||Starts at USD 6|
|Cancun to Tulum||Up to 10 times daily||Starts at USD 12|
Minivans and cars are great for traveling from cities to the nearest airports or ferry ports. They also offer the flexibility to pick up and drop off passengers at their respective hotels, making them a slightly more convenient option than buses.
Hiring a private car is an expensive affair, but if you’re traveling with friends or family in a group, it might be a good idea to consider this option.
|Cancun to Chiquila||Up to 4 times daily||Starts at USD 44|
|Cancun to Playa del Carmen||Up to 24 times a day||Starts at USD 3|
Transportation within cities
Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey are three cities in Mexico that have a Metro rail network. In fact, the capital city’s Metro system is the second largest in North America, making it the most common transportation in Mexico City.
While the trains may seem a little outdated, they offer a convenient and economical way to travel from one part of the city to another. Although they run every day till midnight, it is best to avoid them after dark if you are traveling alone since they pass through parts of the city notorious for crimes.
A fairly new addition to Mexico City’s public transportation system, Metrobus is a rapid transit system that is efficient, reliable, fast, and cheap. With dedicated bus lanes available for the Metrobus, they are a much faster way to travel in Mexico City than local buses and are also considered safe.
Local buses in Mexico are an adventure by themselves. With very little official information available about routes, bus stops, and timings available, make sure you plan ahead if you want to travel by local buses.
It is also a good idea to avoid taking these buses late at night for safety issues, especially if you are new to the city.
Probably the safest and most convenient mode of local transportation in Mexico, taxis can be hired easily using Uber and Didi. Try to avoid the local cabs that may be unregistered and can even scam tourists into paying more. Having said that, no matter where you hire the cab from, make a note of the car’s number plate and driver’s name before hopping in to be on the safer side.
Mexico is a huge country offering a myriad colorful experience and it would be a shame if you don’t make the most of it during your time there. We hope this Mexico transportation guide helps you plan your trip better and see the country in all its beautiful glory!