Palenque to Merida

Overview Compare Bus Bus + Flight

What to expect in Merida

Merida is the capital city of the Yucatan Peninsula and also the largest city in the region. It’s the perfect place to wander around narrow streets and admire the impressive colonial architecture on either side of you.

Merida also has the oldest cathedral in the Americas and is known as the region’s cultural capital. The city has gained this reputation thanks to its historic buildings and iconic museums, including the Mayan World Museum.

A favourite activity amongst travellers is hopping between restaurants to really get a taste of the delicious Yucatecan cuisine. On top of that, Merida will keep you busy for days exploring nearby Mayan archaeological sites such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Dzibilchaltun and Kabah.

How to get from Palenque to Merida

The driving distance from Palenque to Merida is 535 km. The flight distance is 458 km. What is the best way to travel from Palenque to Merida? The best way to travel from Palenque to Merida is by a 9-hour bus. Total costs range from $50-$67.

2 ways to get from Palenque to Merida

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus9 hours1,020 MXN ($52)Check Bus Tickets
Bus + Flight5.5 hours1,385 MXN ($70)Check Flights

The bus is the only direct public transport from Palenque to Merida. What we like about the bus is that they’re available every day and you won’t have to make a lot of transfers, apart from going to and from bus terminals, which are both located in the city centre.

If you don’t fancy the idea of sitting on a bus for almost 9 hours, the alternative is to take a bus to Villahermosa and from there take a flight to Merida. However, direct flights to Merida only depart on Mondays and Fridays. Including the waiting time for your flight, travel time will take around 5.5 hours.

Although a combined bus and flight from Palenque to Merida isn’t that much expensive compared to taking a direct bus, we don’t think you’ll be saving a lot of time and you’ll end up getting more tired.

Itinerary from Palenque to Merida

Palenque to Merida by Bus

Duration: 9 hours
Cost: 1,020 MXN ($52)
Duration: 9 hours
Cost: 1,020 MXN ($52)

Even though it takes 9 hours to get from Palenque to Merida by bus, it’s still our recommended option. You can sleep for the most part of the journey and be ready for another day of exploring once you arrive in Merida!

Step 1: City Centre to Palenque Bus Terminal

Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 50 MXN ($2.55)
Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 50 MXN ($2.55)

Buses from Palenque to Merida depart from the Central Bus Station, which you can reach by foot from most hotels in the city centre.

If you’re carrying a lot of luggage or your hotel is located a bit far from the station, you can also take a taxi with rates from 50 MXN ($2.55).

Step 2: Palenque to Merida by Bus

Duration: 8hrs 40m
Cost: 920 MXN ($47)
Duration: 8hrs 40m
Cost: 920 MXN ($47)

There are 3 bus departures every day from Palenque to Merida allowing you to travel either in the morning or at night.

As it’s an almost 9-hour bus journey though, we recommend taking an overnight bus, preferably the last trip that departs at 22:00. This way, you won’t lose a lot of daytime for exploring and you can also save a night on accommodation.

ADO Bus, Mexico’s most popular bus company, is the sole operator for this route. ADO buses are equipped with air conditioning, reclining seats and toilet, so you are assured of a pleasant ride.

To make your journey more enjoyable, make sure to bring some snacks and a good playlist to listen to.

Bus schedule from Palenque to Merida

Bus OperatorSchedulesCosts
ADO Bus08:30 – 17:10
12:30 – 21:10
20:45 – 05:25
22:00 – 07:10
920 MXN ($47)
Check Bus Tickets

It’s best to book ahead online as bus tickets tend to sell out quickly, especially on weekends.

Step 3: Merida Bus Terminal to the City Centre

Duration: 5 minutes
Cost: 50 MXN ($2.55)
Duration: 5 minutes
Cost: 50 MXN ($2.55)

Buses arrive at CAME, Merida’s main bus station, which is conveniently located within the city centre. If you wish to walk, the main square is only 15 minutes away. There you’ll find a whole host of hotel options.

If you prefer, it is possible to take a taxi as well. A taxi ride within the city centre should cost around 50 MXN ($2.55).

Palenque to Merida by Flight

Duration: 5.5 hours (incl. 2 hours waiting time)
Cost: 1,385 MXN ($70)
Duration: 5.5 hours (incl. 2 hours waiting time)
Cost: 1,385 MXN ($70)

Flying to Merida is a good option if you are tight on time and wish to get to your destination quicker. However, this is a somewhat limited option since direct flights only depart twice a week.

If you plan ahead though, you may be able to fit it into your itinerary.

Palenque does not have an airport, which means you need to take a flight from Villahermosa, a town located 145 km northwest. You’ll have to take a 2-hour bus first to get there.

Step 1: Palenque to Villahermosa Airport

Duration: 2hrs 10m
Cost: 350 MXN ($17.50)
Duration: 2hrs 10m
Cost: 350 MXN ($17.50)

Getting to Villahermosa Airport is very easy since there’s a direct bus from Palenque’s main bus terminal departing several times a day.

The bus service is provided by ADO Aeropuerto, a sub-branch of ADO that specialises in airport transfers at affordable rates. Buses are equipped with AC, reclining seats and a toilet.

Bus schedule from Palenque to Villahermosa Airport

Bus OperatorSchedulesCosts
ADO Aeropuerto05:30 – 07:40
07:00 – 09:10
10:00 – 12:10
12:00 – 14:10
13:30 – 15:40
15:30 – 17:40
17:30 – 19:40
19:00 – 21:10
350 MXN ($17.50)
Check Bus Tickets

Step 2: Villahermosa to Merida by Flight

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 835 MXN ($42.50)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 835 MXN ($42.50)

Flights to Merida depart from Villahermosa International Airport. It’s important to note that flights depart only on Mondays and Fridays at 20:25. Make sure there is enough time between the arrival time of the bus and the flight departure.

The airline providing a direct flight between the two cities is VivaAerobus. You can also fly with AeroMexico, but you’ll have to make a layover in Mexico City. Airfares start from 835 MXN ($42.50).

TIP: Booking flights several weeks in advance will help you find better deals when travelling in Mexico.

Check Flights on Skyscanner

Step 3: Merida Airport to the City Centre

Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 200 MXN ($10)
Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 200 MXN ($10)

Merida International Airport is located 10 km southwest of the city centre. Unfortunately, there is no public transport available from the airport, meaning the only option is to take a taxi.

Taxi rates to the city centre range between 200 MXN ($10) and 250 MXN ($12.50), depending on the location of your hotel.

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