Tips for Busing the Banderas Bay

These tips are from my recollections and experiences as well as input from online forums. I have not contacted any bus lines to verify information.

I would like this to be a “living” document and welcome all tips. Send emails to “busbanderasbay@gmail.com”

 

Collectivos:

White vans usually with red lettering on the front, as well as their destinations on the front window and the side of the van

Operate to some North Shore communities of the Bay including:

  • PV to Punta De Mita and all communities in between
  • San Juan to Punta De Mita and all communities in between
  • La Mision, Porvenal, and Neuvo but I have not ridden them, yet. I wonder where they go and what’s there? Stay tuned!

Can transport 12 – 15 passengers.

Price is usually the same as the bus but they are more frequent.

FLAG THEM DOWN. There are no set stops, you can flag them down and get off just about anywhere.

HOLLER TO GET OFF.

Get used to saying “buenas dias, tardes, noches” as people board, everyone is friendly and happy

Be prepared to help others off and on, open / close the door

Some are air-conditioned, some are not

You pay for the collectivo as you leave, not when you get on, like the bus.

Busses:

There are several routes for touring the bay.

Route to Mismaloya and points south of the city.

  • Usually orange busses with destinations on front window
  • PV Departures from Basilio Badillo and Constitution
  • Flag them down wherever you are, they usually stop

Route to Punta de Mita (includes stops at all locations in between)

  • Usually white busses with Blue / Red ATM lettering on the side and destinations on the front window
  • PV Departures from the Walmart across from the cruise ship terminal
  • Flag them down wherever you are, they usually stop

Route to Sayulita (includes stops at all locations in between)

  • Usually white busses with green or red trim / fronts and “Compestela” lettering on the side and destinations on the front window
  • PV Departures from the Walmart across from the ferry terminal
  • Flag them down wherever you are, they usually stop

Routes north of Sayulita to Los Ayala includes stops at all locations in between

  • Usually white busses with red trim and “Compestela” lettering on the side and destinations on the front window. Could be green trim as well! Window must mention San Pancho, Lo De Marco, Los Ayala

Flag them down wherever you are, they usually stop

Routes north to La Penita, Tepic, Guadalajara

  • These are touring type buses (Pacifico) but still have their destinations on the front window
  • Usually white / brown / green buses with green Pacifico lettering on the side and destinations on the front window BUT I have seen all green buses
  • These buses do not stop as frequently as the other buses, look for Pacifico terminals in towns, except for Bucerias where there is a stop on the lateral, just past El Centro, heading north at the blue bus sign
    • On return trip from La Penita there is a Pacifico terminal at the top of the hill by the highway
    • On the return trip to Bucerias I have seen them stop on the lateral at the first two or three lights in town but get on the highway before the dry riverbed.
  • Flag them down on the highway, they seem to stop

Safety Tips:

When crossing Highways with laterals, remember, U-TURNS are legal. Cars on the lateral may be
turning left or making a u-turn. Wait until there are 2 red lights for the thru traffic on the highway
and red turning arrows for the lateral. But sometimes, the lights are burnt out, so always be
careful and look both all ways!

General Tips:

  • Destinations are always posted on the front windows. Read them!
  • Destinations are sometimes posted on the passenger side.
  • Have small change. When fares are as low as 7 pesos, don’t pay with 500 pesos, unless you really like coins.
  • Have small change / exact change. I have been charged both 15 pesos & 17 pesos for the same trip. So, when I go, I give the driver 30 pesos for two people. If I give 40 pesos I may only get 6 pesos back or I may get 10! This is part of the fun of bus travel.
  • Most small towns have an “El Centro” where there are taxis, restaurants and usually someone who knows someone who speaks English. If you are not sure where to go, FIND IT!

 

Language Tips:

Many drivers understand some English and passengers are usually willing to help out.

I have never been stranded due to my lack of Spanish.

Try and memorize some key phrases, it shows you are trying

  • Can you stop at……….”puedes parar en..”
  • How much ……………. “cuanto”
  • Where is ……………. “donde esta”
  • Does this bus go to ….. “Va este camion a”
  • Can you tell me where to get off for … “Puedes decirme dónde bajar”

 

If WiFi is handy, use Translate and show the driver, or write it out in advance

Try and learn to recognize numbers and amounts. Don’t keep handing over bills until the driver signals enough.

When all else fails, do not speak louder in your language.

 

 

 

 

Bruce Howells on Email
Bruce Howells
Bruce es un canadiense jubilado, que junto con su esposa Velma, tomó una "mulligan" en la vida y escapó del frío de Canadá y se instaló en Vallartazona. Cumpliendo un retirosueño de no conducir más, Bruce utilizará transportatio públicon para recorrer la bahía y contar sus historias aquí. Consejos e itinerarios bienvenidos. Correo electrónico: busbanderasbay