This blog post is for anyone...and everyone... who could benefit from our experience with our massive bus trip down the mexican coast. There wasn´t a lot of information available to us, and as a result, we had to figure it out along the way...so, hopefully this helps someone out.
From Melaque, there is only one bus line that will go straight through to Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo. The bus line is called "Elite" and operates a direct first class bus service that runs only once a day from Melaque. The bus leaves at 5pm everyday and costs $400 pesos per person ( roughly $30- $35 canadian) The bus that we were on took exactly 12 hours to arrive in Zihuatanejo.
From Zihuatanejo to Puerto Escondido, you cannot take a direct bus, as one does not exist. You must first take a bus to Acapulco. The bus to acapulco is run by "Estrella Blanca" bus lines. We took the first class bus as it was only a few dollars more than the second class bus. The departures were at 4pm and 8pm. We chose the 8pm bus, as we were told that we would be able to transfer to a 2am bus in Acapulco going to Puerto Escondido, minimizing our wait time. The bus from Zihuatanejo / Ixtapa to Acapulco Ejido cost $133 pesos per person (roughly $10 canadian), and took 4 hours.
Unfortunately for us, when we arrived in Acapulco at around 12 or 12:30 and tried to buy tickets for our connecting bus, we were told that it was sold out, and the next bus would be leaving at 7:45am, meaning that we had to spend the night on the floor of the bus terminal. Note to anyone who is planning to do this leg of the trip that it would be in your best interests to pre buy your tickets from Acapulco to Puerto Escondido. The bus line that ran this bus was "Alta Mar / Costeños" The bus trip was first class and took 10 hours. It cost $303 pesos per person (roughly $25 canadian).
From Puerto Escondido to Mazunte, San Agustinillo, Punta Cometa, or Zipolite, you must take a bus at the OCC bus terminal bound for Pochutla...but get off at San Antonio and take a cab to you destination. This will save you about an hour of travel time, and money. The fare cost $30 pesos per person ( about $3canadian) and the taxi from San Antonio to San Agustinillo cost $50 pesos.
Some notes on bus travel in Mexico:
- First class buses do not really have a specific standard that they have to adhere to. Some are really new and fancy ( and we found the most uncomfortable) and some are extremely old and ghetto. The only thing that makes a bus first class is the fact that they will all have the air conditioning blasting you the whole time, a TV (whether it works or not) and some sort of toilet facility, which the second class busses do not have.
- I highly recommend that you wear pants, bring a sweater, and a blanket on any first class bus ride. It is freezing on those busses, so much so, that it is impossible to keep warm and makes the trip uncomfortable. Someone told me i should bring a blanket, and i figured, im from canada, the AC on a bus cant be that cold....but believe me, it really is.
-Any time we got on a bus they tagged our bags and gave us a ticket. This lead us to believe that the ticket would be required to claim our luggage at our destination .Wrong. The tickets are basically just a show...nobody checks anything, so if there are people getting stuff from under the bus before your stop, i would recommend that you watch the bags coming off the bus to make sure yours isn´t one of them.
- You must stop in Acapulco, whether you want to or not. Acapulco is the end / starting point for all of the bus lines. The bus lines that run north of Acapulco only run north, and the bus lines that run south of Acapulco only run south, therefore if you are doing a trip such as ours from the northern mexican coast down to the southern part of Oaxaca, Acapulco is unavoidable.... which is good if you want to go there....but if you dont, it sucks.
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Saturday, December 5, 2009
With love from Erin at 2:52 PM