Transport in Mexico

transport in Mexico
Updated 2022-05-26 14:51

One of the best parts about living in Mexico is being able to travel across the country. Mexico may appear small on a map, but it is a big place with many places to visit and things to do. People definitely tend to underestimate its size. You can travel across the nation in many ways, including airlines, buses, and cars. Depending on how much time you've got and what places you want to visit, one type of transportation might be better suited than another. 


It seems as if almost every city in Mexico has its airport, and there are about 50 airports throughout the country that offer regional and international flights. Mexico City and Cancun are the most popular entrance sites for foreign flights. However, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and San Jose del Cabo also get many international flights.

In addition, several national airlines offer domestic and international flights at low rates, including Aeromexico, Interjet, and Volaris. They frequently give significant discounts at particular periods of the year, which are generally when people are the busiest; the further away from holidays you can book, the better. Look on their websites for these sorts of savings, which may not be offered on travel websites such as

This implies you should always hunt for cheap airfare before committing to long-distance bus travel. A flight is frequently less expensive and, of course, considerably faster.


In Mexico, you have to pay a fee to use the airport (TUA), increasing every year. The TUA for domestic flights will rise from 24.50 USD to 26.02 USD, representing a 1.52 USD increase. Whereas for international flights, it will increase from 46.52 USD to 49.41 USD, a 2.89 USD increase.

Good to know:

Mexico City has a new international airport: The opening date for Mexico's new airport, Felipe Angeles International (AIFA), was built in less than three years against all odds and should slow down the capital's heavy air traffic.


The most common mode of transportation in Mexico is the bus. Every Mexican city and village has at least one bus terminal, and some have numerous. Mexico City, for example, has four major bus stops, each having bus routes to different parts of the nation.

In Mexico, several bus companies travel in various regions. Visiting a bus terminal in person is the easiest method to evaluate different operators and their costs. Typically, you may purchase tickets immediately before your trip, and you can also visit their websites, which are provided at the end of this page.

Buses departing from the bus terminal are typically either first or second-class. The distinction is not simply in pricing. First-class buses usually have broad seats that recline far back and offer much legroom. While not as opulent, second-class buses are typically extremely pleasant and clean. Both are air-conditioned and have built-in televisions that broadcast movies and television programming.

Apart from those at the central bus terminal, several sections of Mexico have 'third-class' bus firms that depart from independent stations across the city. These are generally significantly less expensive than taking a bus from the main bus terminal. These buses are sometimes fairly old and prone to problems. Yet, they are just as reliable as any bus from a conventional bus terminal in many situations, so do your research before buying your ticket.

Local buses and colectivos

Local buses operate within cities and between large towns and their outlying regions. They are often loud, rapid, and cheap. Local buses frequently have the towns they pass through displayed on the window to assist you in figuring out where they are going. Alternatively, you may simply ask the driver. On busier routes, you may see some bus stops and shelters, but most of the time, you may just stand everywhere on the way and wave down the bus.

Colectivos, often known as vans, are passenger vehicles that fulfill the same function as local buses. The destinations are posted on the windshield, much like on local buses. Colectivos are particularly prominent in the south, particularly in famous tourist locations like Oaxaca, Chiapas, and the Yucatan Peninsula.


Taxis in most regions of Mexico do not have meters. Tell the driver your location before you get in, and he will give you a fee. If you don't know Spanish, give him a piece of paper with your destination written on it and a pencil so he can take notes.

It is not safe to grab cabs on the street in several places in Mexico, and a better option is to ask the receptionist at your hotel's front desk to summon a taxi for you. Alternatively, look out for the phone number of a cab company and contact one yourself. Most bigger cities also offer services like Uber or Beat, which are safer options. Not only for your personal safety but also because the prices are set beforehand, and you won't have to haggle at the end of the trip.

For example, when you arrive at an airport, instead of taking a cab waiting outside, go to one of the airport's taxi booths or call an Uber.

If you have to hail a cab on the street, be sure it is in good shape and does not have tinted windows. Look for a laminated document with the driver's image, name, and other information in the window. To be extra cautious, take a photo of this credential and email it to someone right away, making sure the driver sees you do so.

Some taxis are colectivo taxis, which have a destination marked on the windshield, similar to colectivos or local buses. Because they are generally packed, you can usually determine whether one is a colectivo cab. They are far less expensive than ordinary taxis but remember to follow the same precautions. This is, for example, very common in Oaxaca. You go to the booth before leaving the airport and tell the attending person your destination, and they will tell you which zone it is in and send you off to the van.


Mexico City has a comprehensive subway system that goes practically everywhere. The metro is typically a better alternative for moving about than a bus because buses are vulnerable to Mexico City's considerable traffic, especially during peak hours. Tickets cost five pesos each, or you may purchase a $15 reloadable card. It's a good idea to buy more tickets at once or to load credit onto your card so you don't have to stand in line at a congested station during rush hour.

Furthermore, some portions of the city, such as Insurgentes Avenue, are served by Metrobus or Trolebus, which cost 6 and 5 pesos each trip, respectively. Monterrey and Guadalajara have light rail networks that also serve the city and nearby areas. Other than those, there are no passenger trains in Mexico besides three that are specifically designed for tourists: the Chepe train that travels through the enormous Copper Canyon in northern Mexico, and the Tequila Express and Jose Cuervo Express, both of which travel from Guadalajara to distilleries near the town of Tequila.

Driving in Mexico

In Mexico, cars are a popular mode of transportation because you don't rely on anyone else's schedule other than your own. You can rent a car - if you have a valid driver's license and, in most cases, a credit card. Nevertheless, you must get Mexican insurance prior to driving, sold immediately at the counter. You will require insurance and a temporary import permit if you drive your vehicle from the United States. This item costs USD 29.50 plus tax and may be purchased at border crossings or online.

Rental car in Mexico

If you enjoy road trips plus flexibility, renting a car in Mexico will be your best option. The obvious pros include that you can stop wherever and whenever you want and get to change your itinerary accordingly to your own mood. One of the downsides is the possible risks you are taking when you decide to drive on your own. A car crash is never fun, but even less in a foreign country. And it can happen to all of us at any point, whether it is our fault or not. Also, the costs are not as cheap considering in Mexico you have to get insurance, wanted or not. Additionally, prices for gas can add up too! You have plenty of national and international car rental companies you can choose from, just be aware of hidden costs!

Useful links:






Bus companies



Estrella Blanca

Estrella de Oro


Flecha Roja

Omnibus de Mexico

Primera Plus

Car rentals




Mex Rent a Car


Mexico City subway map

El Chepe Copper Canyon train

Tequila Express

Jose Cuervo Express

Temporary vehicle importation permit

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