Do I need a car?
You might be wondering if you need a car for your trip to discover Merida and the Yucatan.
For a short trip, you may choose not to rent a car. Picking up the car in the city of arrival, then traveling and dropping it off in the same city could be restrictive if you have a travel itinerary. Not to mention the deposit fee if the car is returned to a different city than the city of arrival/departure. In short, it is sometimes complicated to rent a car if you want to plan a trip around the whole south eastern part of the country. Or maybe you just don’t want the responsibility.
Luckily, the Yucatan, as in much of Mexico, has an extensive public transportation infrastructure. Here we share some alternative means of mobility. Whether you are in the region of Merida for vacation or because you plan to live there, you will find answers to your questions about getting around in this article.
It is the first means of transportation that comes to mind when you don't have a car to get around. Buses go absolutely everywhere, although comfort conditions vary according to the region and the route. Buses connect all the cities of the country, even outside the Yucatan region. Several bus companies are grouped in the same center, so you can go to the station and choose the one that goes to your destination.
You can also choose the quality of the bus. Indeed, buses in Mexico offers three different services with different characteristics. The first one is called servicio ordinario, that is the ordinary service, offer between 45 and 50 seats, without any particular comfort and are often a bit old. They usually stop on request, and therefore stop often.
The second is called servicio ejecutivo, which means executive service and offers less seats and therefore more space for you. They also have better comfort, with reclining seats, television, air conditioning or even wifi. This service is perfect if you have night trips to make. Always take a sweater as the A.C. can be quite cold.
The third is the most expensive, but the most luxurious as its name indicates. Servicio de lujo offers individual screens, USB plugs, men's and women's toilets. The seats are very wide and comfortable since these buses have no more than 24 passengers.
If you want a total immersion experience, you can also take local buses. These buses are not known for comfort but they get you where you’re going and offer a local, colorful experience.
The Merida’s bus station is located on Calle 50 531A, Centro. The one in Valladolid is at the corner of Calle 46 and Calle 39. The Bus station of Progreso is on Calle 82 and 80 and Calle 29.
Here is the link of the main bus company, ADO, that travels between cities www.ado.com.mx
If you want to travel within the city of Merida, you can do so with the municipal buses. The city bus company divides Merida into four categories: north (Zona Norte), south (Zona sur), east (Zona oriente) and west (Zona Poniente). The ticket for adults costs 7,5 pesos and 2,50 pesos for children, students, the elderly and the disabled.
Here is the map of the bus circuit in the city: http://www.merida.gob.mx/Municipio/sitiosphp/transporte/php/descargas/paraderos/zonas_reubicacion.pdf
The city is also setting up free, solidarity-based transportation for the disabled, the elderly and pregnant women. For more information you can join the service at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Colectivos or Combis
These are mini vans that travel around the outskirts of cities on short trips. You pay on the way in and the destination is displayed on the windscreen. As soon as you want to get off, you tell the driver. Usually they are slow because they stop often.
Cab prices in Merida can vary a lot. If you use a taxi with a distance-related taxi fare, you can identify them thanks to the “Taximetro” sign on the roof or on the side of the car. If it’s not the case, confirm the price of your destination before getting into the car. Taxi from the Airport to the city center of Merida will cost about 200 pesos for 4 people. And from the airport to Progreso for 4 people costs approximately 650 pesos.
Useful links to order a taxi:
- Cabs can be found at the Merida airport. Pay on your way out of Arrivals.
- Order from Progreso: Tel. (999) 935 3934
- UBER: www.uber.com
- Cabify: cabify.com/mexico/merida
- Ryde & Go: www.ryde.mx
- DIDI: mexico.didiglobal.com/usuarios.html
If you feel lost or don't know how to get to your destination, don't hesitate to ask people working in transportation agencies. Don't forget the warm welcome that Mexico is known for. We hope that you now have the tools you need to discover this beautiful region.