You haven’t seen the real Yucatán until you bike and bus it’
This is a chapter from Yucatán’s Magic – Mérida Side Trips: Treasures of Mayab, by John M. Grimsrud.
Buses and Bus Terminals of Mérida, Yucatán
The intention of this chapter is to assist those adventurers and bicyclers who wish to incorporate bus/taxi transport into their travel adventures in and out of Mérida.
First class and luxury buses will definitely get you there fast and efficiently, but for fun, excitement, and adventure, second class will take you to the places that tourists miss most. They travel to the out of the way villages where you will meet the people that live there. Second class buses stop on demand, and take longer than first class buses, and they are perfect for eccentric penny pinchers.
The following information does not give a complete list of all the destinations that the numerous Mérida bus companies service. However, that current information can be found by visiting the websites or calling the phone numbers listed.
Not all buses have space for full-sized bicycles. Folding bicycles that are folded are best because they will go on or in all buses and colectivo taxis (vans), and even if there is no storage space below or luggage rack on top, many will accommodate your bicycle inside. You might have to buy an extra seat for the displaced space.
Full-sized bikes usually can be stowed below in the baggage compartment on first class buses and on the second class bus lines of Mayab and Orienté. There is sometimes a charge for a bicycle. On second class buses, the driver decides if you pay and on first class buses, the baggage handler will decide if there is an additional fee for a bicycle in the luggage compartment.
CAME bus terminal – Centro de autobuses Mérida
Calle 70 between Calle 69 and 71
Tel. 999-924-8391, 923-4440, 923-4443
Lines: ADO, ADO-GL and Platino
CAME bus terminal – Centro de autobuses Mérida.
The Platino buses are fabulous; they have extra wide fully reclining luxury seats, his and hers rest rooms, and a wet bar with coffee, tea, bottled water, and soft drinks included. A kit containing ear plugs, ear phones, eye covers, plus a pillow and blanket are standard equipment. Many people ride these buses though the night and save the price of a hotel room.
Destinations from CAME: Cancún, Campeche, Ciudad Del Carmen, Cordoba, Playa del Carmen, Chetumal, Tulum, Veracruz, Minatitlán, E. Zapata, Palenque, Puebla, México City, Valladolid, Ocosingo, Tuxtla-Gtz, Chichén Itzá, San Cristobal de las Casas,
ADO operates most of the first class buses, which include Platino and GL. They have the best quality and set the standard for all Mexican buses. You will always see these buses professionally driven, and in good condition.
Mérida Fiesta Americana
Across Calle 60 from the Hotel Fiesta Americana in Plaza Bonita
Calle 60 and Av. Colón
Lines: ADO-GL, Platino plus Cancún Airport van
Destinations: Cancún, Cancún Airport, and Villahermosa.
Mérida Alta Brisas
Alta Brisas Mall
Avenida Racho Correa
Near Star Medica
Lines: ADO-GL, Platino plus Cancún Airport van
Destinations: Cancún, Cancún Airport.
This is where you will find what is called the economical buses, plus the first class bus to Chetumal, Clase Europea. It leaves from this terminal at 10 a.m., 4 p.m, 10:30 p.m., and midnight. The trip takes 5 ½ hours. The Clase Europea bus has toilets, but most of the buses leaving from this terminal do not.
TAME is also where you will find; OCC, Mayab, ATS, Oriente, and TRT bus lines. This is where you find the Mayab buses that go to Ticul, Oxkutzcab and Tekax.
Buses from here run to the Caribbean coast, all over Yucatán, Campeche and Tabasco. Here you find the buses to Uxmal and Holbox. Also, you can buy tickets here for all the ADO buses, although they leave from the CAME terminal, which is around the corner on Calle 70.
These buses are all second class, meaning that they have no on-board toilet facilities, and stop anywhere on demand.
This is the best terminal to use for day trips that will take you off the main roads to quaint villages and old haciendas. Buses from this station run to the beautiful Mayan ruins of Mayapán. If you buy a ticket to Mayapán, make sure you specify the ruins of Mayapán (ruinas de Mayapán or zona archeologica de Mayapán) or you may end up in the village of Mayapán many kilometers from the archeological site of the same name.
Folding bicycles are no charge, but, they have a tight fit in the small luggage compartments under these buses.
The Autobuses del Noreste ticket counter also sells ADO tickets to all destinations in Mexico.
Three bus lines are here, Noreste, Oriente and Lus.
Destinations from Mérida on Noreste line and Oriente are Motul, Izamal, Espita, Dzidzantún, Dzilám Gonzales, Dzilám de Bravo, Buctzotz, Tizimín, Rio Lagartos, San Felipe, Kantunikin, Valladolid, and Cancún, and more.
From Mérida on the Lus line; Acanceh, Tecoh, Teabo, Chumayel, Tekit, Mamá, Maní, Oxkutzcab, Peto, Cuzamá, Homún and Huhí, and more.
Destinations from Mérida on Centro Autobuses: These buses head towards Valladolid and Cancun with many stops along the way, including Tixkokob, and Izamal. Centro also has buses to Motul.
These second class buses have no on-board toilet facilities, and make frequent stops. The equipment is well maintained, and their departures are frequent.
Autoprogreso has comfortable, air-conditioned buses that depart about every 20 minutes between 5 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. from their terminal in Mérida on Calle 62 located between Calle 65 and 67. Buses out of this station also serve the beach towns of Chuburná Puerto and Chelém.
Vans – Colectivo taxis or Combis
These fast moving multi-passenger vans park on the street or have terminals at numerous designated spots in downtown Mérida, near and around the main municipal market and also in the Parque San Juan located between Calle 62 and Calle 64 and Calle 69a in downtown Mérida.
There are colectivo taxis to almost all villages in Yucatán.
Most colectivo taxis take departure when they have sufficient passengers.
The nice thing about these colectivo taxis is that you can flag them down anywhere, and they are numerous throughout Yucatán. So, returning to Mérida is quick and easy. We often times bus out to our biking area, and then we return by colectivo taxi, which will get you back to Mérida fast.
Taxi terminal for Tekax located on Calle 62 near Calle 69a, Parque San Juan in downtown Mérida.
To the left are numerous colectivo taxis parked near the main market on Calle 67 near the corner of Calle 54. The first one is from Mérida to Acanceh and Tecoh.
The vans will stop anywhere, but full sized bicycles could be a problem unless you find a taxi with a roof-top rack, and in that case the sky is the limit. Expect to pay an extra fare for your bike if it is loaded top-side. Almost all of these taxis have room for a couple of folding bicycles inside behind the rear seats. They rarely charge extra for the folding bikes.
The possibility of end destinations with these colectivo taxis is extensive.
You haven’t seen the real Yucatán until you bike and bus it.
After more than a quarter century of doing these excursions, we still have a long list of end-destinations to explore.
What are you waiting for? Come on and have the adventure of a lifetime.
It is curious that with the advent of the automobile and the airplane, the bicycle is still with us. Perhaps people like the world they can see from a bike, or the air they breathe when they’re out on a bike… Or because they like the feeling of being able to hurtle through air one minute, and saunter through a park the next, without leaving behind clouds of choking exhaust, without leaving behind so much as a footstep. ~Gurdon S. Leete
Excerpted from The Quotable Cyclist: Great Moments of Bicycling Wisdom, Inspiration and Humor by Bill Strickland.
Copyright 2011 John M. Grimsrud