Public transportation in Banderas Bay is affordable, plentiful, safe, friendly and fun. You never know what you will see and experience! It provides an outlet for adventurous souls to realize a flavor of Mexico that not everyone experiences.
As we have bounced up and down winding roads, we have observed musicians plying their trade, singers, guitar players, a troupe of “African drum” players with their dog, passengers with chickens, vendors (pop, water, breads, candies, fruits, juices) getting on at one stop and disembarking at the next, a young mother with children standing and singing her heart out then passing the hat for tips.
Then there are your fellow travelers on the bus. Kindred souls relinquishing their seats to pregnant ladies, mothers with young kids and seniors (much to my wife’s chagrin, I am always left standing, while she secures a seat. Just saying!)
Travelers carry bags, groceries, suitcases, and surf boards on the busses and no one complains if they are bumped or banged by an errant piece of luggage.
Ask the driver where to get off (this is where it is helpful to speak “pequito” Spanish) and it seems as if everyone on the bus will help you when it’s time to get off.
We have had many “locals” assist us in a mixture of their English and our Spanish on where to go and how to get there; all in a good way, of course.
Once upon a time when we were dressed for a night out in our finest tourist dress up clothes, we sat in the last row of the bus where there were five seats, three occupied by local workers sharing a case of beer. In no time at all we were sharing their beer and were all friends for that moment in time.
Another aspect of public transport for the north shore is collectivos, white vans with red on the front and their destinations on the window that can carry 12 – 15 passengers. The price is usually the same as the bus, but they are more frequent. You can flag them down from just about anywhere. No set locations for pickups or drop offs, no waiting 30 minutes for the next bus. The friendly camaraderie of helping passengers with bags enter and exit, wishing others good day as they board, hollering at the driver when passengers want to get off makes the trip itself an adventure.
For some reason, you pay for the collectivos as you leave, not when you get on.
My personal best reason for ‘Busing the Bay’- I hate driving! One of my goals in moving to Mexico was to give up driving. With the frequency of the busses and not having to wait in -30c weather, that is one bucket list item accomplished!
I look forward to trips using public transportation and sharing my adventures so that you too can Bus Banderas Bay. On a parting note, I am only averse to driving a vehicle, not been driven by others in theirs.
There is not a lot to learn to get around using public transportation, but there are some basics that will help. View my Tips on Busing Banderas Bay column, pack your adventurous spirit and start Busing the Bay.