Friday, December 26, 2014

Tucson, AZ to Oaxaca Mexico by Bus

Phoenix/ Tucson through Chihuahua to Oaxaca By first Class Bus
Updated December 2014

    For travelers to Mexico from the Southwest USA there are several ways to get from Tucson, AZ  and cross into Mexico.  The two most commonly used bus routes, because of their transportation services, are the crossing at Nogales and the one at Douglas Arizona/Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.    If you are vacationing in the USA and want to visit Mexico, these bus and shuttle services make it possible.
     The route into Mexico could depend on where you are going in Mexico. On the trip described here, the route is direct to Mexico City and beyond to Oaxaca City, so the Douglas, Arizona route is the shortest. This is a distance of 1,600 miles and is a little more direct than the coastal route through Nogales to  Mazatlan and Guadalajara.
The route through Douglas will take you to Chihuahua, Zacatecas, and into Mexico City, and a whole lot of great Colonial Cities in between if you wish to tour.
        The first leg of this trips starts with the shuttle from Tucson to the border. The Douglas shuttle starts trips in the early am, 7-8 am. There are a few Douglas shuttles all located on or near South 6th Street in Tucson.  The Douglas Super Shuttle and others cost $25-$30 USD.
If you are going deep into Mexico you will need to get a six-month tourist card (Permission to visit Mexico)  at the border crossing. You can change money at the bank ATM in Agua Prieta
     You might pass through the border at Agua Prieta without a check of any papers, or luggage. Nogales is a different story; they have the red light/green light system and you might be checked by US and Mexican officials or you might just pass through.
     In the Agua Prieta crossing and the Nogales crossing, apply for the tourist card and pay 280 Pesos at the nearby (same building) bank.
On walking out of immigration at Agua Prieta look for the ATM a short distance down the street at the crossroads, or find a casa de cambio to change some money. The bus station will take USD but you are better off to have Pesos. They do have the figure in their head to make a currency change, however.
As you travel beyond the border you should use pesos.
      Catch a cab at the border for 70 pesos ($6 USD) and head for the Central de Autobus de Agua Prieta.  (Estrell Blanca Bus)
At the station you will find an Omnibus station on the same street.  Also find  Chihuahuenses service to Chihuahua.  The Omnibus station is across the street from the Central de Autobus, so you have options; they go to Mexico City Norte Station as well.  I prefer the Chihuahuenses Bus because I like their leg rests and deeply reclining seats for a long trip.
    If you are not fluent in the language, write your name, destination, and ticket price on a paper or note book and hand it to the ticket seller. Also be sure to pick a seat that will be comfortable for you;  towards the front is quieter and a smoother ride.

see Tips, destination and ticket price  

The buses are frequent and you could book directly to Mexico City (28 hours) or to an intermediate city such as Chihuahua, San luis Potosi, or Zacatecas for rest and and some great sightseeing.

Chihuahua/Copper Canyon .

Zacatecas Ruin Sites

San Luis Potosi photos

Oaxaca Guelaguetza Parade July Youtube
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