Bus, Oaxaca, Mexico to Tucson, Arizona
By First Class Bus
Update and Bus Fares, July 2014
Tufesa Bus serves between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona,
through Nogales to Mazatlan on the Pacific Coast and on to
Bus travel in Mexico has become a luxury ride as the systems continue to improve with the addition of modern buses, new, high-speed roads, and new bus terminals. The improvements make long trip bus travel in Mexico convenient, safe, and comfortable.
This article describes the bus routes from Oaxaca , in South Central Mexico, to Tucson, Arizona. (44 hours) through Nogales, Mexico on the US Border. This route is one of three possible routes for a bus trip the length (north south) of Mexico and is offered as a guide to choosing the best bus ride through Mexico.
- Oaxaca, Mexico to Tucson, Arizona, USA
For a trip from Oaxaca to Tucson, Arizona, several levels of service are available for the first leg, the 6 to 7- hour bus trip from the City of Oaxaca to Mexico City.
- Bus Fares
The regular ADO first class bus will offer the option to sleep, especially on a night bus where no movies play. Unless you need lots of legroom, the ADO normal service should be adequate.
For the run to Tucson through Nogales, make your first stop Mexico City Norte Station; (Terminal Central del Norte) there you will find many options for bus routes going north. (There are four first class bus terminals in Mexico City)
Ticket Price: Oaxaca to Mexico City Norte Station, 580 Pesos, Trip duration 6-7 hours. Night buses offered ADO Tickets and Schedule
Terminal Central del Norte in Mexico City offers many bus routes
for travel throughout Mexico. This is the best terminal for trips
going north. Find here also bus service to Teotihuacan Archaeological
ruin site and the Tula ruin site.
- Terminal Central del Norte, Mexico City
- Many bus lines run north out of Terminal Norte. To continue your trip north to the US border you will have many choices of service and price.
- Mazatlan To Tucson In Mazatlan you can switch to Tufesa Bus, which will have many runs each day heading for Nogales and beyond to Tucson, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, USA. Tap Bus is also an option in Mazatlan but offers less frequent service to Nogales, Mexico.
- Cross Border Tufesa Bus Tufesa Bus is a good, first class ride from Mazatlan to Nogales, a trip of about 14 hours.
- Bus Hub Cities, Oaxaca, Puebla, Mexico City
If you choose to travel the Pacific Coast route to Nogales and Tucson, a good bus line choice from Norte station is Primera Plus.
This luxury division of Flecha Amarilla Bus runs a bus route through Guadalajara and then up the Pacific Coast as far north as Mazatlan. ( 950-1100 Pesos) (Half price senior tickets offered)
Primera Plus offers legroom, headsets for the sound system, WiFi, TV monitor at seat-backs with a menu of movies, and separate men's and women's lavatories, all well stocked with toilet paper. They are careful about security and perform metal detector checks on boarding. (ADO also checks passengers on boarding.)
Primera Plus offers a website and, at times, the ability to book on the web.
Ticket Price, Terminal Central del Norte to Mazatlan, 1100 Pesos, senior discount price 550 Pesos, Trip duration 14 hours
Tufesa Bus is a cross-border bus company with a US base in Phoenix AZ that is rapidly improving service and building new bus terminals.
Ticket Price, Tufesa Bus, Mazatlan to Nogales, (at the border) 1,390 Pesos Trip duration 14-16 hours
One problem comes when the bus crosses the border at Nogales. Non US citizens are allowed to apply for a visa to enter the US at the border crossing. The bus will also go through extensive inspection and could go through a DOT inspection. This could hold the bus up for two hours or more. The best bet, if your destination is Tucson or Phoenix, is to leave the Tufesa bus with all your luggage at its terminal in Nogales and take a 70 peso cab ride to the border crossing.
Find the representative for the Sahuaro Shuttle at the entrance corridor to the crossing. (Or call 520-573-1399) The representative will walk you across the border through customs and immigration and then take you to the shuttle office just across the border in Nogales, Arizona. The van to Tucson will cost $12.USD to South Tucson, the vicinity of the Tufesa Bus Station, or varying prices to other locations in Tucson up to $25 USD. (Amtrack and Greyhound are located near the center of Tucson.) These shuttles also reach Phoenix.
If you arrive in Nogales at an inopportune time, there is a decent hotel, the Marquise de Cima, next to the Tufesa Bus Station. (500 Pesos per night)
Once in Tucson, you can find options for trips north including a shuttle van to Phoenix. In Tucson you will also find Amtrak, Greyhound, and an international airport for continuing your trip.
Passenger trains no longer run in Mexico except through the Copper Canyon so the bus becomes a convenient way to visit the elegant colonial cities that are worth a day or two stop to tour and make travel photos.
Colonial cities such as Morelia make interesting stops
during a long bus ride through Mexico
- Bus Routes
- The Pacific Coast Route runs from Tapachula, Chiapas to Tijuana.
- The Central Alto Plano Route runs through Oaxaca City, Mexico City, and Chihuahua to Juarez and El Paso, Texas.
- The Gulf Coast route runs from Cancun through Merida to Veracruz and through to Matamoros and Brownsville, Texas.
Many cross routes connect these north south routes and allow great flexibility in Mexico Bus travel.
First Class Bus is a great way to sightee in Mexico because of the many options for bus routes and some great luxury bus lines.
Primera Plus is one of the best of the long distance
bus lines. Primera Plus serves between Mexico City
and Mazatlan while serving many other cities in
- How To Buy Bus Tickets
When buying at the station, if you are not fluent in the Spanish language, write your destination, price and departure time along with your name on a piece of paper beforehand. Take the info from the posted schedule at the station. The clerks will often assume that you want an elevated level of service so by writing the information, you will make sure that you receive the service that you want and the price and departure time. Choose your seat at the same time; otherwise the ticket sales person will assign a seat that might be too far back in the bus, near the lavatory noise and the noise of the back wheels.
Oaxaca and much of Mexico uses military time; 2300 hours is 11 PM. If you miss your ADO bus you will be asked to pay an additional half price to take the next bus.
- Alternate Bus Routes Through Mexico, Chihuahua
At Agua Prieta Bus Station on the US border with Douglas, Arizona you can choose to go on to Nogales or you can cross the border at this less-busy port of entry at Douglas and take the Douglas Shuttle ($25 USD van) to Tucson, Arizona.
Once you leave Mexico City’s Terminal Central del Norte you will have a relatively uninterrupted ride to either Mazatlan (Primera Plus service ends in Mazatlan) or to Chihuahua. You might book all the way through to Nogales at Terminal Norte if you go the Chihuahua route with Omnibus, Futura, or Chihuhuenses.
You could also choose the Gulf Coast bus route at Norte by going through Veracruz to Matamoros and Brownsville. ADO runs bus routes through Veracruz to Matamoros.
Bus Travel Details
It is good option is to buy a roll of toilet paper in a plastic bag at the small convenient stores in the Norte Station. It is best to carry toilet paper, toothpaste and brush, aspirin, and Imodium in your pack for the extended bus trip. Buy bottled water every chance that you have. Good food will be tough to find in the stations. (healthy food)
Buy dried fruit and granola ahead and pack it. (Note that in the agricultural areas of Northern Mexico you are not allowed to transport fresh fruit or vegatables) Only Central del Norte, Guadalajara, and Morelia bus stations are likely to have decent food options.