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Poohb

A cautionary tale about the 'FREE' buses.

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We stopped here on Saturday (RCI). I imagine it will be the same no matter what line. We boarded the first free bus that takes you to the end of the pier (several miles). We were informed that it would take us to the Auto Progresso Bus Terminal; which is where we were meeting our private guide. The bus, instead, went to a small lot where there were many vendors. The driver wouldn't open the bus doors until they gave us a spiel on the tours that the company was selling ('right outside the bus door'). Our group, at the back of the bus, finally got up and walked to the front saying we were leaving. The 'sellers' weren't happy but opened the door and then everyone else also followed us off the bus. It took an extra 40 minutes to hook-up with our guide that was several blocks away. FYI as of Saturday you could get a taxi for 4 for $10 and it actually took you to the bus terminal.

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I believe so. We had to walk through the gauntlet of vendors to get to the buses. I actually wasn't looking for taxis since we were hopping on the bus.

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Just to clarify, the taxis were on the pier near where the buses load?

 

I was on the same cruise. I did not see any taxis at the cruise port. The buses and vans provided by Progresso was the only way to get into town. The van I was on did end at the bus terminal. A rep from Auto Progresso did board the van pitching their tours, took less than 4 minutes. There were numerous AP vendors at their terminal and there were other buses awaiting those with excursions. On one side of the terminal is an area that vendors are set up. I did not see it until I returned to the ship as I exited the bus terminal to the left directly onto the streets of Progresso.

 

Do be certain to check what time the last shuttle/bus leaves the terminal going back to the ship.

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We stopped here on Saturday (RCI). I imagine it will be the same no matter what line. We boarded the first free bus that takes you to the end of the pier (several miles). We were informed that it would take us to the Auto Progresso Bus Terminal; which is where we were meeting our private guide. The bus, instead, went to a small lot where there were many vendors. The driver wouldn't open the bus doors until they gave us a spiel on the tours that the company was selling ('right outside the bus door'). Our group, at the back of the bus, finally got up and walked to the front saying we were leaving. The 'sellers' weren't happy but opened the door and then everyone else also followed us off the bus. It took an extra 40 minutes to hook-up with our guide that was several blocks away. FYI as of Saturday you could get a taxi for 4 for $10 and it actually took you to the bus terminal.

 

Who told you they were taking you to the the bus station? They’ve been taking people to that market for at least two years now. The spiel is short and listening to it is your payment for the free ride. The bus terminal is no more than a 5-min walk.

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We went on the free shuttle which yes, is operated for free by a travel/excursion company. We got to the same place once in Progreso and he did the sales pitch but it took maybe five minutes. I really didn't find it a bother at all, honestly.

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There are two different destinations for the buses (free but will take tips). When you get to the bus circle after passing through the pier shops there are Autoprogreso guides there to direct you to the right bus.

 

One destination in the Autoprogreso terminal where they will certainly present info on tours their company sponsors. Takes a few minutes and tour counselors are outside actually selling the various tours. If you have booked a tour already they will help you check in. Tip: If you book a tour for Uxmal it doesn't leave until 9:30, and Chichen Itza leaves at 9:00. Your "meeting time" will be much earlier so you can visit all the vendor stalls in the terminal. Vendors there are not really pushy and they have some nice items at good prices. Some tour companies do meet there, but they are outside of the terminal.

 

If you want TP in the bathroom, tip the person at the door.

 

Second bus destination is straw market near the beach. We didn't take that bus. Supposedly that is a larger local market.

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