May 2, 2011, 2:36 AM
Post #1 of 2
Busing Mexico City to Morelia and/or Pátzcuaro, with special reference to Maravatio.
Busing Mexico City to Morelia/Pátzcuaro
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(I’m not writing about Primera Plus for this route, as we’ve never taken it.)
The best bus line is ETN (Enlaces Terrestres Nacionales). http://www.etn.com.mx
However, it doesn’t stop at Pátzcuaro. It does go to Morelia and other points. There are frequent departures from Terminal Poniente (Observatorio). (While there are also departures from Terminal Norte, they are less frequent and tend to be late at night.) If you are going to Pátzcuaro, you can either change to the first class AutoVías buses or the second class Purhépechas. The latter are not bad, just that they make frequent stops to take on or let off passengers along the way. Seating is a comfortable 2 and 3 setup. Their are leg rests and individual video screens with headsets. You can choose your entertainment
Another, perfectly satisfactory option is to get an AutoVías bus from Terminal Poniente to either Pátzcuaro or Morelia. Most of the rolling stock consists of double decker buses. Some find the lower level “Ejecutivo” class more comfortable, and there’s wi-fi Internet aboard. (Also aboard the ETN buses.)
The upper deck on AutoVías has many more seats, but I’ve seldom found them all filled. The two frontmost seats have a huge, panoramic window that allows you a great view of Destiny looming ahead. :-)
My wife finds the swaying motion of the upper deck induces motion sickness. I like sitting upstairs.
Both lines provide restrooms (the newest model AutoVías buses’ restrooms are very compact and uncomfortable compared to the previous, spacious models). as well as a snack or a drink and a sandwich. The sandwich is fine, if you’re not fussy. But the tortas and baguette sandwiches sold in Terminal Poniente are simple yet better.
To Maravatio? I don’t think the express ETN buses stops there. However, it would be worth checking the AutoVías website http://www.hdp.com.mx to find out. Chances are that the buses to Maravatio are not Ejecutivo Class. See the website.
(Yes; AutoVías has departures from Terminal Poniente to Maravatío about every 30 to 45 minutes, beginning at 6:15 and ending at 20:14. The class is Servicio Plus, which is not super luxurious, but more than adequate. The trip takes 1 hr. 30 min. to 1 hr. 45 min. Seems incredibly short time to me!)
While we usually spend at least one night in a Mexico City hotel before flying out (and several when returning); it is possible, depending on your fatigue level, that you might want to continue on by bus to your final destination. (We wouldn’t want to.)
From the MEX Airport, the smart transportation solution is to get a boleto de taxi at the taquilla (taxi ticket booth) *inside* the airport. Fares are by zone. A trip from MEX Airport to Terminal Poniente may approach $200 MN. I can’t say exactly, as we’ve never done that ride directly.
Some other travelers, particularly on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree, Mexico Branch, encourage arrivees to take the Metro. It may look like a bargain compared to a cab, but when you are tired, new to the city, and carrying more than a couple of small bags, I definitely don’t recommend that means of transportation. The route involves a transfer or two, which are not necessarily simple to navigate. In conclusion, take an authorized cab.
Sometimes the taxi ticket seller may try to sell you a ride in a van/Suburban. That costs about twice as much as a regular cab and isn’t necessary, unless you have tons of luggage and several passengers.
My final advice about using the cabs: as the driver plunges into the sometimes insane Mexico City traffic, just take a deep breath or two, and say to yourself, “Fe en Dios, y adelante.” ("Faith in God, and straight ahead!")
I'm going to adopt that as my new signature.
EDIT to add more info, as requested by Robert65:
Oh, o.k. I overlooked senior discount fares.
I will write only about about the senior INAPAM (formerly "INSEN") discounts, with two minor exceptions.
The major Mexican bus lines, and some of the minor ones, offer senior discount fares. We've always gotten them with 50% off the regular fare.
However, the number of seats allocated to be discounted is limited per bus. The number may vary with the bus company. Thus it's best to prebook, either in person (at the ticket counter) or on the Internet (which we have done only once, and it was a bit messed up.) As I mentioned here or elsewhere, on our recent return from Mexico City, all the INAPAM seats on the 11:00 ETN departure were sold out, so we paid full fare rather than wait until 1:00 for discounted seats.
When boarding, you may be asked to show your INAPAM card as well as your ticket, but this has been uncommon in our experience.
Another, simple thing I overlooked is that when purchasing tickets for Primera Clase or higher trips, you can look at the computer monitor and choose your seats. We prefer the right side, a couple of seats back from the driver's compartment. But preferences vary. Of course, we try to avoid the rear of the buses near the rest rooms. However, many of the newer buses have the rest rooms behind double doors.
I could go on, but I won't.
(This post was edited by Anonimo on May 3, 2011, 4:52 AM)