• Alan Travers

Is It Safe to Travel by Bus to Mexico?

Updated: Jul 10, 2019



With millions of visitors every year visiting from the states, I thought it'd be fitting to answer this question considering the safety concerns people have when thinking about travelling down south to Mexico.



Short Answer


Yes! Of course, it's absolutely safe for you to travel by coach down to this beautiful country, there is no data or statistics for anyone to say otherwise. How many times have you seen or heard about a bus full of tourists being attacked, not only in Mexico but the world? Never!


Okay maybe you see or hear the odd story about an attack or accident happen somewhere in the world, but it just doesn't happen often enough for anyone to be concerned about it, especially in Mexico!



Looking for a larger explanation?


So you are looking to visit Mexico, but you are not sure which is the best method of travel, you have a ton of options to choose from, all of which are great, but for certain places and travelling times the bus is a much more convenient option for you, the main question people tend to have is that, is it safe to travel by bus to Mexico? so let's dive a little deeper and try to answer that question in full!


Buses


Travelling by bus is completely safe, and you should have little to no concern on whether or not it's dangerous, in fact I would argue travelling by bus to and around Mexico is a much better experience to what you would get in the USA or some countries in Europe.


There are several different classes of coach to choose from with business and executive being the most luxurious of choices. If you have the extra cash to travel like this, I recommend you do so! It's a much more comfortable and pleasant journey with only a slightly higher cost.


You couldn't even compare these buses to those of some American or European brands. If you have never travelled by coach too or from Mexico, you will be pleasantly surprised!


I have had some terrible experiences when travelling by coach before both in the states and Europe, with the most recent being only a short journey from Chicago to Milwaukee using Greyhound.


During this journey, the bus was nowhere near up to standard! The bus was absolutely stinking beyond belief from the moment I had stepped on to it, someone literally just had atomic diarrhoea in the toilet at back of the bus, after five minutes I couldn't stand it anymore, so I chose to make the journey to the end of the bus and close the door for myself, but unfortunately it was broken, I remember briefly looking into the toilet and could only describe what looked to be a massacre in there!


Throughout the trip it smelled terrible, but what was so incredible to me was that the passengers were just sitting there and talking like normal whilst I needed to vomit so severely, the funny thing about the whole situation was that the very place I needed to go and vomit was the toilet that was causing it in the first place.


This was the first time I had used Greyhound in my life, and I had never experienced anything like it, I assume it's just a normal thing that passengers expect to get when using this service.


There is no way you could expect anything like that from any of the Mexican operators, they are incredibly professional, and all of the buses are top class!


Travelling by bus in Mexico has vastly exceeded my expectations! Depending on which way you choose to travel by bus, be it executive or economy class you can expect slightly different things such as food entertainment and service, but generally speaking, nearly all of the services provide the latest in bus technology and comfort!



Roads


Mexico has invested billions into creating and developing new sustainable roads for travel across the country since the end of the 20th century. Although the country is plagued with terrible roads almost everywhere the same can not be said about its highways.


Mexico has two kinds of highways, public and private, the public usually not too pleasant for driving due to the immense amount of traffic, terrible lighting and just bad roads, but in contrast with the private being well managed, more convenient and providing faster travel times.


All of the major bus companies developed a vast network of new routes to take advantage of the new road infrastructure throughout the country, there is not a single state in the entire country that these new toll roads don't go too!


Many if not all of the bus companies travel on these private roads, only when it's absolutely necessary will you see any of these buses choosing other routes, with examples being, no private roads available to said town/city or the highway is undergoing some sort of maintenance, all of which is a rarity though.



Safety


The biggest and most important factor when considering to travel by bus too and or around Mexico!


As briefly answered at the top of this article, the answer is yes, it is safe to travel by bus! But if you really want to get into it, yes is way too simple of an answer, especially when we are talking about such an important subject matter.


Some things you might want to consider regarding the safety of travelling by bus are, Where are you going to arrive? What time are you going to arrive? Are these places dangerous and whats public transport like?



Where are you going to arrive?


There are four main bus terminals in Mexico City, all of which can be found in each of the cardinal directions (north, east, south, and west), each of these terminals provide bus services to different geographic regions of the country.


Usually, tourists or visitors from the states find themselves arriving at the North central terminal.



Are these places dangerous?


Unfortunately, all of the four main terminals in Mexico City are all located in less than ideal locations, although the bus terminals are entirely safe as armed security guards regularly patrol them, although the surrounding areas and neighbourhoods are not deemed so safe!


Another thing worth mentioning is that pickpockets and thieves exist everywhere! Especially in touristy locations such as landmarks, museums, airports, bus stations and densely populated areas, all of which apply to Mexico City.



General rules you should abide by to stay safe:


  • Don't look like a tourist! i.e. No camera, no photographs and no guidebooks!

  • Don't be flashy! Take off the watch/jewellery, don't carry your phone in your hand.

  • Dress casual.

  • Pack the laptop and other expensive electronics away safely out of sight.

  • Plan carefully, don't arrive in the late hours!


If at all possible, try not to arrive at any of the terminals come sundown, I think it goes without saying, come nightfall is when all creeps and weirdos come out to play! It's not something hugely important but just something to be mindful of!



Public Transport


You can find Public transport anywhere in Mexico City, however, I would avoid using it around suburban areas and these bus terminals or airports! It's just not that safe for you to use in these locations, but in and around the city centre its absolutely fine to do so.


I wouldn't recommend you leave the terminal area for any reason! There is a Taxi rank located at every bus station and suggest you use this means of transportation.