How To Get Around In Mexico
Knowing how to get around in Mexico is pretty important for anyone who wants to go on an extended Mexican journey. Truthfully, the only way to get around in Mexico is by some sort of motor vehicle. There isn’t really a reliable train system, planes are expensive, and, without a private yacht, boating is wildly impractical if not impossible. Still, the Mexican traveler has some choices to make in terms of motor vehicle transport.
- Private Vehicle: Driving your own car, van, or truck is probably the best way to get around in Mexico. Having your own vehicle gives you freedom to travel wherever you want, whenever you want. The roads in Mexico are decent, but a 4WD vehicle is ideal, as there are quite a few dirt roads in Mexico, especially as you get away from the cities. The only negative aspect of driving a private vehicle is that cars with American plates are popular targets for banditos and federales.
- Motorcycle: This is easily the most badass way to get around in Mexico. A bike has all the same advantages as a private vehicle, plus it is less conspicuous. Unless you plan on bringing a lot of crap (or friends) along for the ride, your best bet may be to grow a stache, hop on a bike, and charge it south.
- Rent-a-Car: A rental will do the job, and has most of the same advantages as having your own car. Just make sure to buy insurance, because using a rental car to get around in Mexico can be like wearing a target in some areas.
- Bus: Public buses in Mexico are actually pretty sweet. They are cheap and comfortable, and if you go with a major touring bus, they aren’t too crowded. This is the best option for backpackers trying to get around in Mexico. Buses go to all cities and tourist destinations as well as quite a few smaller towns. It is difficult to take a bus to more out-of-the-way destinations.
- Taxi: If you got where you are going by bus, then you will need a taxi to stay mobile in your destination. If you know any Spanish, or even if you don’t, you can always haggle a lower fare. The standard “gringo rate” is a rip-off. Still, don’t be a complete cheapskate. What may be merely a few bucks for an American might be a big deal to some cab drivers. If taking a cab from an airport, try to get an officially sanctioned airport shuttle, otherwise you are an easy target for crime.
- Hitch: Thumbing it is probably the most dangerous way to get around in Mexico, and it isn’t really recommended, but if you have an adventurous spirit or a truck driver fetish you might as well grab the nearest hobo bindle and shoot your thumb skyward.
- Tus Pies: When in Mex, do as the Mexicans do. The best way to get around in Mexico over short distances is to walk. Just try not to do anything around noon, if you do, you’ll understand the reason for siestas.