Putting Your Bike on a Bus in Latin America

We have now used buses in Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru, and Bolivia, and have used the train in Mexico and Bolivia.

In the US it's quite a lot of pain to transport your bike by bus or plane - they want you to disassemble it, put it in a box, etc. It's a big deal. But we've had generally good and easy experiences.

  • The size of the bus's storage compartment is often the biggest issue. If the bike won't fit, it will have to be disassembled. On a dangerous road in Costa Rica we decided to bail and take a bus and we had to wait overnight for a larger bus with a larger storage compartment.
  • Sometimes the bike goes on top. In that case, we try to supervise how it's fastened down. But they seem to be experts. However, it's our bike, and therefore our responsibility. We care about it more than anybody else does.
  • Sometimes they have charged us a bit for the bikes, which seems reasonable. It is generally negotiable. Sometimes we haven't been charged at all.
  • There is some risk of damage to the bikes, as they rattle around. Normally they come out with some scratch or something that they wouldn't have gotten otherwise. On a couple of dirt roads they have gotten extraordinarily dusty.
  • Sometimes when things are very busy you may have to make advance reservations and wait, since baggage compartments may be all full.

Overall, our experiences with buses have been quite satisfactory and easy.