From Hitchwiki
Revision as of 08:57, 24 March 2011 by (talk)

Earth > Americas > Mexico
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Flag of Mexico Mexico
Language: Spanish
Capital: Mexico City
Population: 108,700,891
Currency: Peso (MXN)
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
(very good)
Meet fellow hitchhikers on Trustroots
<map lat='23' lng='-102' zoom='4' view='0' float='right' />

Mexico is a country in North America. Hitching in Mexico is extremely easy*. In many places, locals hitch to get home from the grocery store, etc. You'll ride in a the back of a lot of pick-ups, and many people will offer you food and drinks, especially Coca Cola!

The best place to get a ride is not on the side of the road or an on-ramp, like in many other countries, but at petrol stations or exits from shopping centres.

Even if you don't ask people and stick out your thumb you can make 500km a day if you are serious. Don't take drugs or weapons with you, because you likely may be checked by one of the numerous military posts especially in the north. In some mid-sized cities like Tampico, Oaxaca, and Pachuca there are no transit roads and you have to cross the city. Taking a bus makes things easier. The Guia Roji road atlas with the maps of the major cities is maybe worth the 100 Pesos. The best way to hitchhike in Mexico is to go to petrol stations and talk with the customers (and even if your Spanish is good, try to speak with a foreign accent ;). Some petrol stations in the north don't allow people to do that, but you can try to speak with the manager, it works sometime. Otherwise, just stay by the cashier of the petrol station, or at the door of the store or anything else (they can't forbid you that), and ask.

In rural parts of Mexico it's common to see whole families hitchhiking together, or for a pick-up to stop for several different groups of hitchers until the back of the truck is completely full. Because pick-up trucks are the vehicle of choice, it's quite easy to get rides just outside of any small town (knock on the back window when you're ready to get out). Occasionally waits are long, due more to local traffic than reticence towards picking up hitchhikers. On some heavily touristed routes with poor public transportation, payment is expected, though it shouldn't be more than 20 pesos (about $2) at most.

Hitchhiking is an easy alternative to taking the train, and occasionally the only way to travel between small communities through which a bus may pass once daily, or less. In small towns, ask around at stores if anyone's headed up the mountain that day.


It may be extremely easy to hitch in mainland Mexico, but in the Baja California peninsula, it's a completely different story! In Baja California, there is only one road, the HWY 1, which isn't hell to hitchhike on but requires a lot of patience: there are often large distances in between cities (which are barely even cities, rather a few ranches and cactus farms) and even larger distances between petrol stations (example: El Rosario is the last one before Guerrero Negro, about 360 km further down in Baja California Sur). Getting stuck in the middle of the desert is NOT fun, and many people can only take you from town to town as it is local traffic or gringos doing one of the many races down in the Baja. Also, unless you are planning on staying in Baja and going back up towards the USA-Mexico border, you should hitchhike from Mexicali south.. If you plan on heading to mainland Mexico from the Baja, you must take a ferry in either La Paz or Cabo towards Mazatlan, which costs about 80$ USD.

The Yucatan Penninsula, on the other hand, outshines all Mexico for its ease and amiability of hitchhiking. You might not even fall victim to Moctezuma revenge eating old papaya slushies and bean burritos out of the trash in some of those tourist strips. Hey!

Mexico is, in my experience, the best country in the Americas when it comes to hitching. Useful Spanish words are "raite" and "aventon", both meaning a lift. Near the Guatemalan border the word "jalon" is used. Also, in south, your rides will ask you about you immigration status and advise you of Control de Migracion check points. In 10 months and tens of thousands of km covered by thumb, my only "bad" experience was between Pto Angel and Oaxaca City (a notorious drug route, as I later learned). The driver asked me to drive and once I was behind the wheel informed me that the van was full of Colombia's finest. I nearly shat myself, but the experience turned out to be quite interesting, as we were forced to make several detours to avoid police checkpoints, taking me through beautiful and remote parts of the Oaxacan mountains I otherwise never would have discovered. Be careful not to get set up. A very, very, rare occurance, but one that can happen.


Hitchhiking in Mexico for Single Women

One of the great things of hitchhiking in Mexico is that even if you travel alone, you rarely have to hitch-hike alone, because hitchhiking is such a common activity among locals. For single females, joining the colourfully clothed “crowds” of locals when they jump on the back of a pick-up truck not only adds to the fun, but also your safety. This is especially handy as in certain areas -like in the North, around Chihuahua- men will take you for a prostitute (no matter if you have a large bag and totally look like a foreigner).