Saturday, June 15, 2024

Best weekend getaways from Mexico City by bus: Part 2

The journey continues! Read Best weekend getaways from CDMX by bus: Part 1 for an overview of CDMX’s most luxurious bus lines, where to board them, and the first 4 of 10 destinations you can reach in 5 hours or less!

Valle de Bravo

Spend the day sailing, kayaking, or paddleboarding on the lake. (Unsplash)

Best for: Outdoors

The highlights: Lake Avándaro, Cerro de la Cruz, Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

What to eat: trout, barbacoa de borrego, sopa de hongos

Why you should go: It’s a well-rounded getaway for active travelers who like a bit of Hamptons-style elegance. Spend the day sailing, kayaking, or paddleboarding on the lake. The surrounding hills offer activities from the relaxing, like hiking, to the more extreme, like paragliding. Downtown is quaint, colonial, and full of restaurants. 

How to get to Valle de Bravo from Mexico City:

From PONIENTE

The Zina Bus line runs up to 26 departures per day. The journey lasts 3.5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 261 pesos. 

Tepoztlán 

Best for: Spiritual retreats

The highlights: El Tepozteco National Park and Pyramid, Tepoztlán market, a temazcal

What to eat: Tepoznieves, tamales de amarillo, cecina con nopales

Why you should go: Legend has it that Quetzalcoatl was born here, and because of that the town’s energy is said to be healing and purifying. It’s a popular escape for meditation, yoga, and those seeking treatment through shamanic practices. It’s also beautiful, surrounded by mountains and unobstructed views of the stars. Don’t forget to hike up the mountain to the temple at the summit.

How to get to Tepoztlán from Mexico City:

From SUR

ADO’s OCC line runs up to 23 departures per day. The journey lasts 1.5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 140 pesos. 

San Miguel de Allende 

Best for: Art

The highlights: Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, Jardín Allende, El Jardín Botánico, Colonia Guadalupe Arts District

What to eat: enchiladas mineras, el fiambre estilo San Miguel de Allende, tumbagón

Why you should go: San Miguel Allende is a 16th-century town with sophisticated amenities. The well-manicured center is bustling with shops, galleries, and restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. A short drive away are hot springs to fend off the possible resaca (hangover) resulting from a typical weekend here.

How to get to San Miguel de Allende from Mexico City:

From NORTE

The Futura line runs up to 1 departure per day. The journey lasts 5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 575 pesos. 

The ETN line runs up to 8 departures per day. The journey lasts 4-5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 688 pesos.

The PrimeraPlus line runs up to 3 departures per day. The journey lasts 4 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 608 pesos.

From SUR

The ETN line runs up to 3 departures per day. The journey lasts 5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 688 pesos.

Morelia

Downtown Morelia is characterized by its architectural beauty. (Unsplash)

Best for: History 

The highlights: Morelia Cathedral, Jardín de las Rosas, Mercado de Dulces, Morelia Aqueduct, Rose Conservatory

What to eat: carnitas, uchepos, chongos zamoranos

Why you should go: Aside from the 200-plus historical buildings made of pink stone, Morelia is a classy haven for art, architecture, music, and food. The zócalo is home to what many argue is the finest cathedral in Mexico. It’s also just 45 minutes from the pueblo magico of Patzcuaro, well worth a day trip.

How to get to Morelia from Mexico City:

From NORTE

The Futura line runs up to 2 departures per day. The journey lasts 5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 531 pesos. 

The ETN line runs up to 10 departures per day. The journey lasts 4 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 648 pesos. 

From PONIENTE 

The ETN line runs up to 10 departures per day. The journey lasts 4 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 648 pesos.

From SUR

The Futura line runs up to 1 departure per day. The journey lasts 5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 704 pesos. 

The TuriStar line runs up to 1 departure per day. The journey lasts 5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 679 pesos. 

Guanajuato 

Best for: Culture

The highlights: Callejón del Beso, Museum of the Mummies, Calle Subterránea, Museum of Diego Rivera, Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato

What to eat: Caldo de oso, enchiladas mineras, Gorditas horneadas

Why you should go: The university town is a maze of brightly colored buildings, lively squares, and an underground tunnel system originally built as a flood defense, but used today for vehicular traffic. Some argue it’s Mexico’s most beautiful city, and I wouldn’t disagree. 

How to get to Guanajuato from Mexico City:

From NORTE

The ETN line runs up to 8 departures per day. I’m pushing the 5 hour limit here but I think Guanajuato is worth it. The journey lasts 5 – 5.5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 882 pesos.

The PrimeraPlus line runs up to 8 departures per day. The journey lasts 4.5 – 5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 779 pesos.

Xalapa 

Xalapa is a unique escape for coffee and mountain lovers. (Unsplash)

Best for: Coffee

The highlights: Museo de Antropología de Xalapa, Parque de los Tecajetes, Palacio de Gobierno, Francisco Javier Clavijero Botanical Garden, its three central markets

What to eat: Mole xiqueño, huachinango a la veracruzana, zazamite

Why you should go: For youthful vibes with a scenic backdrop and plenty of lush vegetation, Xalapa is the best of the tropics without the heat. It sits below the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range and is surrounded by coffee, tobacco, and tropical fruit farms. It’s also a good place to break up the 7+ hour ride if your ultimate destination is the port of Veracruz. 

How to get to Xalapa from Mexico City:

From TAPO

The ADO line runs up to 27 departures per day. The journey lasts 4.5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 523 pesos.

From NORTE

The ADO line runs up to 2 departures per day. The journey lasts 4.5 hours. The cost per ticket starts at 566 pesos.

And there you have it! Now, all you have to do is pack. For the ride itself, don’t forget snacks, tissues, headphones, and something to read or watch, (already downloaded). As previously mentioned, wifi is advertised but not guaranteed.

Most importantly — if you haven’t yet been granted a residency card, bring your passport just in case it’s required for boarding. Otherwise, you’ll be Ubering home. Trust me.

Bethany Platanella is a travel planner and lifestyle writer based in Mexico City. She lives for the dopamine hit that comes directly after booking a plane ticket, exploring local markets, practicing yoga and munching on fresh tortillas. Sign up to receive her Sunday Love Letters to your inbox, peruse her blog, or follow her on Instagram.

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