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What You Must Know About the ADO Buses in Mexico

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ado buses in mexico
courtesy of TripAdvisor

If you’re wondering if traveling through Mexico by bus is a good idea, I would definitely say it can be a positive experience.  The country has an extensive system for buses with many different companies offering daily service in most cities In Mexico.

But possibly the largest and most efficient of them all is the ADO bus company which pretty much takes a large majority of the market in Mexico.

So if you’re wondering about this way of transportation and if bus travel is for you, I’ve covered almost everything you need to know so read on…

ADO Buses in Mexico: What is ADO Mexico?

The largest bus company in the world, Autobuses de Oriente (ADO) provides luxurious rides to travelers across Mexico. With an extensive fleet of first-class buses with reclining seats and power outlets at every seat as well extra leg room for those who need it; these vehicles are perfect if you’re looking forward some serious relaxation on your next trip!


A/C is included too so travelling on an ADO bus kind of feels like travelling business class on an airplane. Your comfort is definitely taken into account with this bus line.

Where Can I get to on ADO buses?

Mexico is huge, and while there are many bus companies that serve the country’s most popular destinations such as those found on ADO’s fleet list ( Autobuses de Oriente), it does NOT travel throughout all the Mexican states. You’ll need to use another line if your destination happens north of Mexico City; they vary depending upon where you’re going!

If you’re travelling a long distance across the country you’ll probably have to switch buses during your trip. There are various websites to help plan your route and determine how to get to your destination like Rome2Rio.

If buses aren’t your thing, though, check out how to rent a car in Mexico..

Is the ADO Bus Safe?

The ADO buses in Mexico are one of the safest ways to travel in Mexico. Every passenger must pass through a metal detector and carry-on bags are searched before boarding, so you can rest easy knowing nobody will be bringing weapons on board! (Not that I would ever recommend being concerned about this anyway… but at least now you can rest easy!

Most importantly–the toll road always comes first when travelling via buses with Mexican federal highway jurisdiction because they’re regularly patrolled by police. The highways are well repaired unlike some normal streets that may have potholes or other hazards which can cause an accident.

Theft is not something that should be taken lightly, but it’s very unlikely. Petty theft can happen on any bus route and sometimes tourists are targeted because their belongings look more valuable than others!

Be aware of your surroundings at all times when traveling by land or sea; don’t leave anything behind for someone else to grab (likewise if you’re staying in an hotel). However you are no more likely to be a victim of crime travelling on the bus than by using any other method of transportation.

ADO bus

What Are the Different types of ADO Buses?

ADO buses in Mexico offer a variety of services, and they have affiliate companies that offer more economical options. The highest level of service provides luxurious amenities at affordable prices. This usually comes with long journeys on fewer stops which can be inconvenient for some people’s schedules as well as uncomfortable during hot weather conditions.

When on a long trip (5 hours or more), it’s hard to beat the comforts of premium service. However, if you want an economy ticket for shorter distances then the GL service will be just fine too!

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ADO GL Buses

Ado GL buses are the newest, most luxurious way to navigate through your day. While there isn’t an individual media center on these vehicles like in some other models of transportation (like airlines), every seat comes equipped with both audio jack and USB ports so you can plug anything into them if desired!

For those who prefer not to listen out loud or charge devices during their trip- each window also has its own electrical outlet available for use when needed.

GL offers a comparable level of service for less money than the Platino service . Passengers typically receive complimentary beverages upon boarding and have access to premium departure lounges when available . Although it operates on more frequent schedules , its smaller size makes GL an excellent value.

ADO Platino Service

What’s better than a high-end bus ride to your destination? A luxurious one! That is exactly what you’ll get when traveling with Platino.

You wait in an exclusive lounge at the station, drinks, complimentary WiFi and all of those other niceties that come along on these upscale journeys. The price is a little higher than GL buses.

GL Buses have less amenities yet still offer some of the high end amenities of the ADO Platino Service.

The Primera Clase ADO Bus

The Primera Clase buses are the most basic of all ADO’s services. These 44 passenger vehicles have air conditioning and plenty to keep you entertained with their USB ports, outlets and TV screens everywhere. Bear in mind, though, this can be a little annoying depending on what film is being watched since there’s no individual audio connection for each person but they do offer a great view from behind seatback screens!

One of the big drawbacks to the Primera Clase buses is their lack of onboard restrooms. This may not seem like such a big sacrifice, but with 43 other passengers waiting in line for just one bathroom it becomes clear why they’re not top-notch!

Primera Clase is a much more economical option than the Platino or the GL bus but if you are travelling for many hours would suggest booking the higher class buses such as GL or Platino just for comforts sake.

The ADO OCC Service Level

The OCC buses might be a little more luxurious than the Primera Clase, with 44 seats and electrical outlets. The only difference? They don’t have USB ports!

So if you want to charge your phone or listen in on some tunes while traveling across town—you’re outta luck. Also there are TV’s everywhere and no individual audio ports so you’ll be listening to everyone’s movie.

The ADO AU Service Level

Taking an AU bus will not be your best option if you are looking to travel for more than 2 hours. These economy class buses each have 49 seats in air conditioned cabin with no bathrooms onboard!

As such, they stop several times during long journeys so that everyone can enjoy their break without being too uncomfortable or bored on board – which is appreciated but added significantly onto how much time this takes out of every trip.

The AU bus travels between Mexico City and the southeastern states of Mexico, stopping in most cities along its route. 

If you’re looking for an affordable way to travel long distances or if your destination is within a short distance from where stops are located then this carrier might suit what you need perfectly – but it probably won’t be super comfortable nor will it be the fastest way to get to your destination!

The Best Way to Buy ADO Bus Tickets

There are so many ways you can purchase your ADO bus tickets that it can seem confusing. But just use the method that is easiest for you.

Buy your ticket through the ADO website

With ADO buses in Mexico, you can book your tickets in Spanish on their website. It’s easy to navigate and there are no hidden fees or charges so it will be a smooth ride!

If you only have a foreign credit card you won’t be able to pay so you can choose Paypal as your option or the cash payment option.

If you don’t have Paypal just choose the “cash” option. Then reserve your ticket online, but be ready for an adventure at one of these businesses below – they’ll take care if all payment is made in CASH! Once completed ADO will email over confirmation that includes instructions on how/when to collect your tickets.

The businesses where you can complete the payment include:

  • Farmacias del Ahorro
  • Walmart
  • 7 Eleven
  • Waldo’s
  • Farmacias Benavides
  • Circle K
  • Sam’s Club
  • Bodega Aurrera 

Make sure you are close to one of these businesses before choosing the “efectivo” option! 

You usually receive a discount If you buy your bus tickets online at least a day ahead of your trip. 

Another alternative is BusBud which has partnered with many Mexican providers. On the platform you can search for departures and sort them by price, earliest departure or travel time depending on what’s most important to you.

Once you select your departure location tickets can be purchased through Busbud by using your credit card, Apple Pay, debit pay or a few other payment options.

The main convenience to using this Busbud is that the website is in English if you still struggle with Spanish!

Where can I buy a bus ticket in person?


You have plenty of options if you want to purchase your ADO bus tickets on site. The most common place that these stations exist at is Oxxo convenience stores, which may be found throughout Mexico City and other major cities such as Guadalajara or Monterrey.

If this isn’t an option for whatever reason then there are also many kiosks located within airports where you could go instead (ADOs presence inside makes it easy).

Alternatively you can just show up before your bus departs to purchase your ticket.

Bus stations in Mexico are set up kind of like airports. Each bus line has its own ticket window and buses depart from numbered (or lettered) gates.

At large bus stations like those found around the Mexico city, your taxi driver may ask you which company you’re traveling with to determine where it’s best to drop you off but don’t worry if you get dropped off at the wrong terminal cause they’re is always another available!

Mexico City is crazy-large and the bus stations are quite diverse. It can be difficult knowing where to get off at the right stop or knowing how long before your bus leaves so you don’t miss it.

But the departure screens will tell you what city each tickets applies to and times of departure so it’s as easy a possible to catch your bus.

Checking your bags with ADO

With ADO, you can put your large pieces of luggage in the cargo hold. The attendant will tag it and give back some piece for boarding.


You should go to the check-in desk and board your bus at least 30 minutes before departure. So make sure to pack light because there might be a long line as well!

So there you go! Let me know if I missed anything in the comments below and travel with ADO with confidence!

Next: Heading for Huatulco? Check out Huatulco’s best all-inclusive resorts!


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