Monday, January 6, 2014

Bus, Douglas, AZ To Mexico City

Bus, Douglas, AZ To Mexico City
 Updated December 2013

Futura Bus runs bus routes from the US border to
 Mexico City Norte Station
Hi A.L. Thanks for your kind comments and question. I received your email query (below) about a first class bus trip from Douglas, Arizona to Mexico City and went on to investigate a straight shot, direct bus Douglas/Agua Prieta to Mexico City non-stop. 
 I have been reading your Road Trip Mexico blog - I am trying to get from Agua Prieta, Sonora to Mexico City as quickly and cheaply as possible (comfort isn't really a priority in my student budget life :). I saw that you were able to do the entire trip by bus in 2010... do you think that this trip could be completed in a day? I was a little bit confused - did you have only two buses (one to Chihuahua and one to Mexico City) or additional buses between those? Thank you in advance for any help, and for the excellent blogging. Best wishes, A.L
 I happened to be in Tucson visiting family when I received your letter and I was on my way to Mexico City. I went ahead and made the trip myself within the week to see just how long a direct trip from Douglas to Mexico City would take. I hope this description of this first class bus trip from Tucson Arizona to Mexico City through the border station of Douglas, Arizona/Agua Prieta, Mexico will help.

Several first class bus lines run bus routes from the
 US border to Mexico City Norte Station, Omnibus, 
Futura, Tap, ETN, Chihuahuenses, and Tufesa 
among them 
Douglas Shuttle
The Douglas Shuttle makes many daily trips to Douglas, AZ from Tucson. Several shuttle services run shuttle vans from the area of the 4000th block of South 6th Street in Tucson.  I took the Sahuaro Shuttle, 4202 South 6th , it is one of the ones I have used in the past. (520-573-1399 or 520-173-1355)
The shuttle cost $25 USD and takes about two hours to reach Douglas from Tucson.
 If you arrive in Tucson by air on your way to Douglas, call the 
Suhauro Shuttle for an airport pick-up. Cost $8.00 USD additional.
Bus Agua Prieta to Mexico CityOnce you reach Douglas, walk across the border at Douglas/Agua Prieta and stop at the Mexican Immigration office to get a Tourist Card (FMM, Forma Migration Multiple). You must carry this form with you if you will be in Mexico beyond 72 hours and if you travel beyond the border area. 
 The form is good for 180 days, a six month visit.  Cost is $25.00 USD or 295 pesos. If you are not a US or Canadian citizen check the web ahead of your trip for the visa requirements for citizens of your country.

The first class buses use the
 modern,  high-speed
After passing through immigration, find an ATM machine just a block south at the bank building.  Then find the taxis on the corner and take one for 60 pesos to the Agua Prieta bus terminal. You can ask the taxi driver to stop at a different ATM  machine or at a money changer if you still need Pesos.   The bus terminal will take dollars but as you leave the border area, most places will not take dollars so it is best to get pesos before you leave Agua Prieta.

Aguascalientes is a good stop for sightseeing on 
an Agua Prieta to  Mexico City bus trip 

Bus Agua Prieta to Mexico City
This bus trip from Agua Prieta to Mexico City Norte Station  will take at least 28 hours so the short answer to your question is no, you can not make the trip in one day. The trip will take a bit more than a full day and, in fact all told, boarding the shuttle at 9 am and arriving at Mexico City around 5-8 pm will be more like a day and a half.
 Pack a little food and water but there will be many stops in cities along the way for water and snacks. Below find a list of stops on recent trips (July 2013) ( December 2014)
Paquime Ruin Site, Casas Grandes

I left Agua Prieta 1:45 pm on Chihuahuenses Bus. Ticket price, 1851 Pesos ($144.00 USD)
Nuevo Casas Grandes, 5:00 pm  
5 minute stop     (Paquime Ruin Site nearby)
Arrive, Rio Grande, Zacatecas State, 4:30 am 10-15 minute stop 
Fresnillo, 6:30 am  10-15 minute stop 
Zacatecas City, 7:30 am  10-15 minute stop      (On an extended trip, a good stop for  Sightseeing)
Aguascalientes, 9:00 am   10-15 minute stop    Aguascalientes-Sightseeing
Leon, 11:15 am  10-15 minute stop 
Irapuato 12:15 pm  10-15 minute stop 
Queretaro, 2:30 pm  5 minute stop 
Mexico Norte Station, Mexico City, 6:00 pm (8:00 pm local time)  end of trip
Note that there is a two hour time difference. (at certain times of the year depending on daylight savings )
The actual arrival time at Norte Station was 8:00 pm


From Norte Station, buses serve Mexico in all directions. (See Norte Station, Mexico, ) There are ATM machines in the stations, clean rest rooms, taxi service, and restaurants.  The station is under-lit  (dark as a cave) and this makes it difficult to use the ATM machines.  Taxis and transportation are just at the front of the station.

Trip km/Miles and Time
1994 Km, 1239 miles, 28 hours

Mexico City's Norte bus terminal, 28 hours from 
Agua Prieta/Douglas Arizona.
  • This is a difficult trip unless you can sleep on the bus. 
  •   Chihuahuenses Bus does not consistently stock paper in the lavatory.  Bring your own.  The other bus services serving similar routes, Omnibus, ETN, and Futura do put paper in the lavatories. (Find Omnibus just across from the Agua Prita bus station)
I usually stop in cities along the way for a tour and a hotel stay.  Colonial cities such as Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, and San Luis Potosi make great touring.

If you do make a direct trip to Mexico City, anticipate your arrival.  You are apt to be quite tired and will want a plan for lodging or have an onward bus in mind once you reach Norte Station in Mexico City.  
Wishing you a good trip.

Related Links
Teotihuacan Ruin Bus, Norte Station 

ADO Bus, service to Southern Mexico, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatan

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