How to take the Ruta del Desierto bus in Los Cabos

Many things in Mexico are quite affordable, but airport transportation gets tourist pricing. So the Ruta del Desierto bus to/from the San José del Cabo airport and Los Cabos (or between San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas) can save a fair amount of money.

The bus travels from the airport to San José del Cabo, then along highway 1 to Cabo San Lucas.

Fare to/from the airport is MX$80, regardless if you only go to San José del Cabo or all the way to Cabo San Lucas. Still much more affordable than even a shared shuttle. At the airport, there is a uniformed man selling tickets at the bus stop. (If boarding elsewhere, just pay the driver.)

Fares between San José and Cabo San Lucas is MX$37. There appear to be other local fares, but you’re unlikely to score those fares with luggage or without speaking decent Spanish. (Something to work towards.)

The airport bus stop is located at Terminal 1. International flights use terminal 2, so you will need to make the short walk outdoors between terminals. (When arriving in Terminal 2, go upstairs to the departures level, then walk towards the side with a door. Go outside and follow that direction to Terminal 1. There’s a small sidewalk that goes the entire way, and you’ll pass car rental agencies and an OXXO.)

Their website lists their main stops, but doesn’t have a route map. The bus stops frequently, so you can definitely board or disembark between these main stops.

Ruta del Desierto bus stop map

Ruta del Desierto bus stop map

Hard to make much out of the bus stop map. A main stop in San José del Cabo is at the “La Comer” supermarket. In Cabo San Lucas, it’s near the “Puerto Paraiso” mall near the marina. The bus stops frequently between these mains tops, at the yellow-roofed bus stops along the way. When you see the purple and yellow bus, flag it down to ensure it stops for you.

When you want to disembark, the buses have the usual “stop requested” buttons. Or do like the locals and holler “bajar!” to the driver. Just be ready to get off quickly… they don’t stop for long.

Enjoy the adventure!

4 thoughts on “How to take the Ruta del Desierto bus in Los Cabos”

  1. Paul says:

    Thanks for posting this info. My first time to CSL, and the shuttles want $98 r/t to my hostel in el centro. Nope. I just hope the locals dont’ look at me like a robbery candidate while walking from my stop to the hostel. Ha.

    1. Matthew Clemente says:

      Yes, that’s too often an issue with local transportation in Mexico. But never with the bus! We’ve never experienced issues walking to and from bus stops, especially in more touristy areas.

      1. John says:

        Hello Mathew
        Great info, thank you.
        Can you tell me if we can board the bus in Cabo San Lucas (Marina Fiesta hotel)(I see there is a bus stop near the marina) for Los Cabos (Krystal Grand Los Cabos)?
        Would this take us via the airport where we would just stay on the bus until it arrives in Los Cabos, or does it run in reverse also so we could just ride direct from Cabo San Lucas to Los Cabos?

        Thanks
        John

        1. Matthew Clemente says:

          Hi John – the bus takes the same routes in either direction, so you can go directly from Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo. It passes right by the Krystal Grand. (P.S. Avoid the hard sell for the Krystal International Vacation Club. It’s a scam.)

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