Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world, and its airport reflects that. I am one of the last persons in the world it seems whose luggage does not have wheels, and I got plenty of work out flying in from a few hundred feet above sea level to 8700 feet. Flying in from Texas, we first had to pass immigration, which was quick and pleasant, the official offering us a heavily accented “Welcome to Mexico” and stamping our tourist card good for 180 days. Next we snagged the aforementioned stationary luggage and made our way through customs. Customs in Mexico offers a different twist on random searches. The entering visitor presses a button and a sign either flashes a green “Pase Ud.” Or a red “Revision”. We all lit the green light, and made our way into the the busy Benito Juarez International airport. The airport layout is simple, one straight line forever. There are endless shops selling a variety of goods and services. I attest to the fact that you can change money at midnight on Saturday as well as 9 am on Sunday. Or any other days. The rates vary from location to location, as much as 2 or 3 centavos per dollar. If you like to hike, you can shop around and save a couple bucks on every $100. The rates are extremely competitive and the convenience much greater than if you have to go to a bank later. Remember the Mexican saying “Don’t show your money in front of the poor”. Always keep some small bills and change at easy reach, with the bulk of your roll well hidden, so that when the urge strikes to grab a quick snack or give alms to the unfortunate, you won’t have to break out the wad. Also works for drinks on the airplane. As my pal Steven Fromholz explained “ the dubious pleasures of modern air travel are not enhanced by sobriety”.
Mexico City is a common arrival point for people traveling through to the provinces. If the final destination is no more than 250-300 miles, it is much more economical to take a bus direct from the airport to Puebla or Veracruz than it is to fly, and often not much different in total time. There are at least two lines with regular departures to Puebla, Xalapa, and Veracruz. In Puebla , you can make connection to all points. We took a first class bus from the airport straight to Xalapa, 5 hours for $26 per person one way. Painless without having to maneuver Mexico City cabs and huge bus stations with the aforementioned luggage sans wheels.
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