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Hitchhiking in Mexico

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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.

Hitchhiking

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

Books About Hitchhiking

Mexico Travel Guide

Mexico Travel Guide

More Vagabond Journey.com Travel Guides

Ask questions or add comments about hitchhiking in Mexico

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About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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