Ain’t No Chicken Buses Here

Dr. Tapia declared Sue’s eye to be healed so it was time to depart Mexico City. It was never part of the plan to spend much time in capital cities, but what else can be done when medical emergencies occur.

ADOWe checked out of Hostel 333 and made a bee line to Mexico City’s main bus station. Our destination was Tapachula, Mexico, a town close to the Mexico / Guatemala border, and bus transportation was provided by ADO.

ADO is only one of Mexico’s many bus lines, and puts the once fabled “chicken bus” myth to rest. Granted, there may be bus lines equipped with rickety, retired school buses serving rural areas, but those serving major urban centers use sleek, new buses that equal or surpass fleets found anywhere in the world.

It was a long trip, and there was an issue that made it one of the most uncomfortable bus rides I’ve ever been on. The air conditioner was turned up full blast, causing passengers from the middle of the bus towards the rear to virtually freeze. Usually I sleep away the hours of darkness on a bus, but my chattering teeth and shivering body made slumber impossible. It seems the driver’s own comfort dictated the temperature setting, and since the AC units were installed in the roof midway down the bus, with a second one in the rear, the front of the vehicle was much warmer. The ice box AC setting remained unchanged until a new driver with a sense of duty towards passengers’ comfort took over.

A single driver with no regard for passengers is hardly grounds to slam an entire transportation company, especially one as well run as ADO. Ticket purchasing was efficiently handled by harried but friendly staff, and boarding instructions were precise.

Vagabond-Travel-ApprovedThe facility security was obviously employed by the terminal, and was especially intense at the gates. Every piece of carry on luggage was opened and quickly searched, avoiding any significant inconvenience to passengers while at the same time assuring their safety.

All in all, taking the bus in Mexico is the way to go. It’s affordable, a great way to see the country and a reasonably quick way to get from point A to B. I recommend having a blanket or two among your carry on and a warm hoodie though… just in case.

Facebook: autobuses.ADO
Twitter: tuado

If you’ve ever taken an ADO bus anywhere, please share your experience with other travelers by adding a review in the comment section below. Thank you!


Vagabond Travel came into being April 16, 2014 when I departed Canada heading for Mexico City. I have no destination in mind, nor an itinerary to follow. This is a sort of website, journal and travel blog all rolled into one. That's about it.

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