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Two Bus Rides in Mexico
Busing from Querétaro to San Miguel then on to Guanajuato
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
These are words that I live by, and this mantra also rings true for me when it comes to travel.
Many people search for the easiest way to get from Point A to Point B. The journey is something to get through to reach a reward. For me… the journey can be one of the most exciting components… especially if it is a new experience.
After spending a week in beautiful Santiago de Querétaro, it was time for me to move on to my next home for five days, San Miguel de Allende. Many people that makes this trek will hire a driver or catch an Uber, but I wanted to experience the unknown… the sights, the sounds, the feel of the station… the bus… the people.
According to much of what I read online, many travellers recommend purchasing your ticket in advance. I followed this advice, but I do not believe it was a necessity… especially if you plan on being at the station at least 30 minutes or so before your departure. I’m sure this would vary by city and time of travel, but for my 1:00 bus ride there were no more than four people in any of the bus lines.
I purchased my ticket in advance from ETN Turistar. The cost was $108 pesos (~$5.40 US) with about 90 minutes in travel time. The time would have been similar in an Uber with a cost of $800 to $1,000 pesos (~$40 to $50 US).
If you decide to purchase your ticket in advance, you may experience a problem using a US credit card. I did. As a backup, I recommend having a PayPal account, as ETN accepts payments with PayPal. My transaction was processed with a US card linked to my PayPal account.
The lobby of the Querétaro bus station was larger than I expected and included several waiting rooms. I was unsure which waiting room was mine, but all it took was showing my ticket to the agent at the ETN desk. She directed me to “Sala B,” located next to the desk.
The bus was about 45 minutes late in departing, but once we loaded up it took off right away. So, be on time and don’t expect the bus to wait. As we were preparing to board, another passenger decided to make a “quick trip” to the bathroom. I looked around on the top level of the double decker bus and didn’t see him. As we were pulling out, I saw him at the terminal. Oops!
After spending several days in San Miguel de Allende, it was off to Guanajuato. The station here is much smaller, so there was no confusion about where to wait. There is one common waiting area. You will find each of the terminals clearly marked. The ETN spots are at the far right.
I opted to purchase my ticket in advance again for the 90-minute ride… the cost was $184.50 pesos (~$9.25 US). I saved about 20 pesos over purchasing at the station. In comparison, the Uber price was, like before, $800 to $1,000 pesos or about $40 to $50 US.
Tip: Don’t expect to find many travel essentials at the San Miguel or Guanajuato stations. I realized this after I left my phone charging cable at the Airbnb. Luckily, it was no problem find the cable at Oxxo.
If you have not travelled by bus in Mexico, I encourage you to give it a try. Embrace the adventure. Enjoy the journey.