Hitchhiking in Mexico
Mexico ranks among the better countries in the world for hitchhiking. Many people own personal vehicles here, and there is a great system of highways that stretch all over the country. There is an entire community of travelers hitchhiking Mexico from end to end, and, from interviewing them, the roadside bumming is pretty good. From my own experience, I hardly even needed to stand on the road long enough to stick my thumb out before getting a lift.
The hand signals for hitching in Mexico are much the same as in the USA: stand on the side of the road with your thumb sticking out, and drivers passing by will know that you are looking for a ride. Be sure that your appearance is kept up, and that you look like a backpacker just wandering about the country — which is to say, benign.
Remember to not stand on the highways directly when looking for a ride. On ramps, intersections, and gas stations all make for better hitchhiking platforms. Highway petrol stations are one of the better places to get picked up at, as you are afforded the opportunity to choose your ride and walk up to the driver and ask directly for transport. Such face to face interaction will up your rate of success considerably, and give you more power in deciding who you get into a vehicle with.
A word of warning about hitchhiking in Mexico is that it is not uncommon for people to drive drunk, and sometimes you will find yourself in a vehicle with a driver with a beer between his legs. It is up to you to determine how drunk he is and whether you should proceed with the ride. If at any time you feel uncomfortable with a driver, get out at the next off ramp or petrol station.
The Spanish phrases for hitchhiking are as follows:
Pidiendo a ride (Ride is in English, seriously, this is what people say), Pedir Aventón, Hacer Autostop, Pedir Cola, or even, “Ir a Dedo.” These phrases are very regionalized throughout Latin America, but they all should be understandable.
For more on getting around the world by thumb, go to Vagabond Journey Travel’s Hitchhiking Index.
More infromation about hitchhiking
- Information about hitchhiking around the world
- Travelogue entries about hitchhiking
- Travelogue entries about Mexico
Mexico Travel Guide
Mexico Travel Guide