Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara /Chapala /Ajijic –Mexico
(information worth noting)
As those who have tried the Mexican Intercity Bus lines know, the busses and service are a very pleasant surprise. It is a great way to travel Mexico and Americans and Canadians would be fortunate to have busses and a bus system as good. (click the link then "slide show" on web album-upper left)
There are many Bus lines in Mexico and I’m sure the competition between them, as in most industries, benefits the consumer. ETN and Primera Plus are two companies that service the PV to Guad. route with very comfortable, first class busses- about a 5 hour trip. We have taken each, and with our DIF (Mexican Seniors Card), our half price tickets were about $ 13.00 USD each (each way). (regular tickets- about 300pesos).
One of the reasons for writing this blog is to help visitors from PV get to the correct Guadalajara Bus Station. A short time ago we had arranged to pick up a client from PV,at the bus station arriving about 3 pm. We stayed until 5pm and could not figure out where he was or call him. We drove back to Ajijic to check emails. There it was!
“Did you forget about me ? I waited from 3pm until 4 pm, then took a taxi to my Hotel.”
A quick call and the mystery was solved. He had got off at the 1st. (small) bus station on the west side of Guadalajara. We had been at the New Central Bus Station – the “Central Camionera” which has many bus lines and is on the east side of the city. It is more like an airline terminal- without the line-ups, immigration, and other delays.
Please note: No buses go from the New Central Bus Station directly to the Chapala /Ajijic Bus Station. Buses and Taxis go from the Central Bus Station to Guadalajara’s Old Bus Station (closer to Guad. Centro), then one would get onto a Chapala Bus for the 30km ride to Chapala. Unfortunately a cumbersome route to get to Chapala / Ajijic by bus, once you arrive in Guadalajara- which is why we like to pick up people at the Central Camionera.
Another couple plus Spanish speaking friend just arrived by bus from PV and did end at the Central Camionera after questioning many and getting different answers. Without the friend, they may have got off at the 1st. bus station also. They had a 2010 Frommer’s Guide to Mexico, which gave little info, and had no section on the Ajijic-Chapala area as a possible side trip from Guadalajara. (Unbelievable !!).
Hope this helps. It’s worth the trip to Guadalajara, Chapala and Ajijic. You will see some of the “Real” (non touristy), Colonial Mexico with the best weather in the America’s and with one of the largest American/Canadian expat retirement populations in the world..