How to get to Guanajuato from Leon Airport (BJX)

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By
Wesley
October 5, 2023

Welcome to the enchanting colonial city of Guanajuato, nestled in the heart of Mexico! With its vibrant culture, colonial architecture, and rich history, Guanajuato has become a must-visit destination for travelers from around the world. Whether you're eager to explore its winding alleys, marvel at its stunning plazas, or immerse yourself in its lively arts scene, Guanajuato offers an unforgettable experience for anyone that ventures here.

While most people couldn’t point out the city on the map. When planning your trip to Guanajuato, it's crucial to consider your transportation from the airport. The journey from Del Bajío International Airport (BJX) to Guanajuato will be a little further than you're probably used to and it will take some time to reach the city. So I put together this article for you to help you prep to visit this colorful city.

Overview of Guanajuato and Its Appeal

Guanajuato is a city that effortlessly blends history with modern charm. As you step foot into its picturesque streets, you'll be greeted by colorful facades adorned with intricate balconies and flower-filled window sills. This UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases Spanish colonial architecture at every turn.

Beyond its architectural wonders lies a city teeming with cultural experiences. From exploring the famous Callejón del Beso (the Alley of the Kiss) to attending one of the many international festivals held throughout the year, such as the Cervantino Festival or Festival Internacional de Cine de Guanajuato (Guanajuato International Film Festival), there is always something captivating happening in this little vibrant city.

The Importance of Planning Transportation from the Airport

Getting your transportation sorted out before arriving in Guanajuato is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to start your vacation stress-free and without wasting time figuring out logistics upon arrival.

Secondly, Guanajuato is a popular tourist destination, and it's not uncommon for airport transportation services to be in high demand. The airport is situated about an hour from Guanajuato.

By planning ahead, you can secure your preferred mode of transport and potentially save money by booking in advance. By understanding the appeal of Guanajuato and recognizing the significance of planning your airport transportation, you will be well-prepared to embark on a memorable journey through this captivating city.

Airport Information

Del Bajío International Airport (IATA: BJX), also known as Guanajuato International Airport, serves as the main gateway to Guanajuato, a charming city in central Mexico. With a rich history and vibrant culture, Guanajuato attracts both domestic and international travelers seeking an authentic Mexican experience.

BJX itself has an interesting history, having been inaugurated in 2000 to replace the previous airport that could no longer accommodate the growing number of visitors. At BJX, you'll find a range of facilities and services designed to ensure a seamless travel experience. 

It is in the top 10 busiest airports in Mexico. The airport features modern amenities such as duty-free shops where you can enjoy some retail therapy before or after your journey. There are also numerous restaurants and cafes offering delicious Mexican cuisine for those arriving with an appetite.

Know where to stay and the best spots to visit, check out our Guanajuato city guide.

Transportation Options

Taxis

Taking a taxi from BJX to Guanajuato is a convenient option if you prefer direct transportation without any stops along the way. Taxis offer flexibility in terms of departure times and drop-off locations within Guanajuato. 

A taxi ride from the airport to the city will take you around an hour and will cost around 550 pesos or $30 USD.

It's advisable to carry smaller bills for payment as drivers may not always have change for larger denominations.

Bus Services

If you prefer a more cost-effective option with a touch of convenience, shuttle services are an excellent choice. Bus companies such as UNEbus operating at BJX provide shared transportation to various destinations, including Guanajuato. 

They are the only company I know of that operates from BJX to Guanajuato. The other option is to take a bus to Silio and then connect to Guanajuato or other destinations.

One significant advantage is affordability. Shared shuttles are generally cheaper than taxis, especially for solo travelers or small groups.

Reserving your tickets in advance can ensure availability and save you from any last-minute hassles.

Taking an Uber at BJX Airport

When it comes to getting around in Guanajuato, taking an Uber from BJX airport to Zona Centro is not only convenient but also a great way to start your trip immersed in the local culture. The scenic drive from the airport takes you through winding streets and alleys, offering glimpses of colorful buildings and colonial architecture. 

As you make your way towards Zona Centro, you'll pass by historic landmarks such as Teatro Juarez and Plaza de la Paz, giving you a taste of what awaits in this charming Mexican city.

One of the advantages of taking an Uber is that you can relax and enjoy the ride without worrying about navigating unfamiliar roads or dealing with haggling taxi drivers. Plus, with Uber's affordable rates in Guanajuato, you can save money for exploring all the attractions that Zona Centro has to offer. 

Car Rental

If you prefer the freedom of exploring Guanajuato independently, renting a car at BJX might be the ideal solution for you. Renting a car offers flexibility in terms of travel timings and allows you to visit nearby attractions at your own pace. The advantages of renting a car include convenience, as you won't have to rely on public transportation schedules or wait for taxis.

Additionally, having a rental car gives you the freedom to explore remote areas surrounding Guanajuato that may not be easily accessible by other means. However, renting a car also comes with some drawbacks to consider.

It involves additional costs such as fuel expenses and parking fees in Guanajuato's city center. Moreover, if you are unfamiliar with Mexican road rules or not confident driving in unfamiliar territories, navigating Guanajuato's roads might pose some challenges.

To overcome these challenges while navigating Guanajuato's roads confidently, make sure to familiarize yourself with Mexican traffic regulations and road signs beforehand. It's also advisable to use GPS or navigation apps on your phone and make sure to download the route before you leave, in case you lose service (which is very likely to happen.

Taking a Taxi to Guanajuato from BJX

Taxi Stand Location at the Airport

When you arrive at Del Bajío International Airport (BJX), you can easily go to the taxi stand that is conveniently located just outside the arrivals area. Here you may have 2 options. The airport taxis, like the white ones above (similar to Guadalajara’s) or a regular taxi.

One of the most appealing aspects of these airport taxis is the ability to pay at the stand. No more fumbling for cash or searching for an ATM, as all major credit cards are accepted right there at the taxi terminal. This convenient payment option allows you to start your journey without any hassle or delay, as soon as you settle into your comfortable cab seat.

Choosing an authorized airport taxi guarantees a sense of security and reliability during your trip. I always opt for them and they are usually the most efficient. These drivers are experienced professionals who have undergone training and background checks for passenger safety. Moreover, they possess extensive knowledge about both BJX airport and Guanajuato city.

As you step out of the airport, you can easily spot the designated area where taxis are waiting. The stand is well-organized, with clear signage indicating where to pay and where to queue up for a taxi.

Fare Estimation and Payment

Before hopping into a regular taxi, it's essential to have an idea of how much your journey to Guanajuato will cost. Several factors influence taxi fares in this region, such as distance traveled, time of day, and potential additional charges for luggage or groups. It's always wise to ask for an estimate from the driver before starting your trip.

Although some taxis might accept credit cards, it's not guaranteed. If you are using the airport taxi then before getting your taxi then you will normally be able to use a credit card at the stand and have a ticket/receipt for the queue. It's also worth noting that smaller bills are preferred as drivers may struggle with providing change for larger denominations.

Factors Influencing Taxi Fares

Several factors come into play when determining taxi fares in Guanajuato. Firstly, the distance between BJX and your destination will greatly affect the fare amount.

Secondly, peak travel hours or late-night journeys may incur higher costs due to increased demand or night surcharges imposed by drivers. Additionally, any extra services like help with luggage or making stops along the way may result in additional fees.

Accepted Payment Methods

When it comes to paying for your taxi ride, cash is usually the most widely accepted form of payment. While some taxis may accept credit cards, it's best not to rely on this option.

Make sure to exchange some currency at the airport or have access to an ATM beforehand. I would also like to add that tipping taxi drivers in Guanajuato is customary, although not mandatory.

A gratuity of around 10-15% of the total fare is generally considered appropriate and appreciated. Having small bills on hand for tipping purposes can make the end of your journey more convenient and ensure a pleasant interaction with your driver.

Using Uber to Reach Guanajuato from BJX

Can you use Uber at BJX Guanajuato Airport?

One of the most convenient ways to travel from the BJX airport to downtown Guanajuato is by using Uber. With Uber operating in this region, you can quickly and easily find a ride as soon as you step out of the airport terminal. The best part about using Uber is that it offers good pricing, making it an affordable option for budget-conscious travelers.

Unlike traditional taxis, an Uber ride provides a more personalized experience where you can connect with local drivers who are often happy to share stories and recommendations about their beloved city.

Advantages of using Uber at BJX

One of the major advantages of using Uber is the convenience it offers. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can book a ride from anywhere and at any time. No more standing on street corners or waiting for taxis to pass by. Uber also provides real-time updates on the driver's ETA, allowing you to plan your schedule accordingly without any hassle.

Another advantage of using Uber is the cost-effectiveness it offers compared to traditional taxi services. In certain cities, Uber rides can be significantly cheaper than hailing a taxi, especially during peak hours or in areas with high demand. 

Additionally, Uber offers various cost-saving options such as pooling rides with others traveling in the same direction, reducing your expenses even further.

Disadvantages of using Uber at BJX

While Uber has become a convenient and widely used mode of transportation in many parts of the world, using it at Mexico's airports comes with its own set of challenges. 

Firstly, Uber drivers often face strict regulations and limitations while operating within airport premises, which can result in either longer wait times or walking to designated areas outside the airport.

It’s important to note that Uber is not technically allowed to operate on federal premises, which includes airports. Drivers can be fined if found breaking the law. To circumvent these restrictions, Uber has made areas outside the federal land to pick you up at.

In addition, the pickup location can often be confusing and chaotic, especially for anyone who is unfamiliar with the airport layout or does not speak Spanish. 

Using Bus Services to Reach Guanajuato from BJX

Bus Service Providers

When it comes to getting from the Del Bajío International Airport (BJX) to the charming city of Guanajuato, regular bus services provide a convenient and hassle-free option. 

There are several popular companies that offer reliable shuttle services tailored specifically for travelers heading to Guanajuato. One such company is "UNEbus," which is well known for their serviceability. They run daily trips from the airport to Leon, Silio and Guanajuato.

You can book their service/shuttle here.

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Challenges of using busses

One of the main challenges is that the Guanajuato bus terminal, known as the Central de Autobuses de Guanajuato, is located on the outskirts of the city, not in the downtown area. Unfortunately this means that once you arrive at the bus terminal, you'll need to find transportation to reach your final destination in the city center.

This means that in order to get from the bus station to downtown Guanajuato, you'll have to take a taxi or another form of public transportation. Taxis are readily available at the bus terminal, and you’ll want to get fixed fare before starting your journey. Alternatively, you can use local public buses that serve different routes in the city.

WorldWideyedWes driving to Guanajuato
On the way to Guanajuato

Renting a Car at BJX for Traveling to Guanajuato

Car Rental Companies at the Airport

When it comes to renting a car at BJX, you'll find yourself spoiled for choice with several well known car rental companies to choose from. The major car rental agencies available at BJX include familiar names such as Hertz, Avis, Budget, Mex Rent-a-Car, Alamo, Thrifty, Dollar, Budget, and Enterprise. These companies have a wide range of vehicles to suit different needs and budgets, whether you're traveling solo or with a group of friends or family.

Tips for Choosing the Right Car Rental Company

Selecting the right car rental company can make your journey from BJX to Guanajuato smooth and hassle-free. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

1. Compare Prices: Check the rates offered by different companies and look out for any discounts or promotions they may be running. 

2. Read Reviews: Take some time to read reviews from previous customers about their experiences with each company.

3. Beware that if you come across prices too low to be true, it’s likely they are not adding in the mandatory insurance.

4. Consider Insurance Options: Evaluate the insurance coverage offered by each company and whether it meets your needs. It's always better to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances on the road. 

5. Check Additional Charges: Be aware of any additional charges that may apply, such as airport fees or mileage limits.

Navigating Guanajuato's Roads

Road Conditions in Guanajuato

Driving through Guanajuato can be an exciting adventure as you explore its winding streets and charming towns. However, it's important to understand the road conditions beforehand so that you can navigate safely and confidently.

The roads in Guanajuato state vary in quality but are generally well-maintained, especially major highways connecting different cities. However, when traveling within Guanajuato's towns and villages, expect narrower streets with occasional potholes or uneven surfaces.

While most roads are paved, some rural areas may have gravel or unpaved sections. It's worth noting that driving in Guanajuato can be quite different from urban areas you may be accustomed to.

The streets can be narrow and winding, and traffic patterns can sometimes feel chaotic. In popular tourist destinations such as Guanajuato City, parking spaces might be limited, so it's advisable to plan your parking arrangements in advance.

The roads in Guanajuato city can be narrow and winding. There are also a lot of one way streets. Make sure you are comfortable with these driving conditions before hoping in a car.

Conclusion

Starting on a journey from BJX to Guanajuato doesn’t have to be so daunting. We’ve laid out the many options you have to get from the airport to downtown Guanajuato. 

Once on the road in Guanajuato, the scenery awaits as you navigate through its diverse landscapes and charming towns along the way. Your best bet is to take an Uber or taxi if you are not renting a car. If you travel by bus, just make sure you know you will need to catch another mode of transportation to get to Guanajuato centro.

So buckle up and get ready for a memorable journey through Guanajuato – a place where history meets beauty at every turn! Safe travels!

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baj%C3%ADo_International_Airport
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Written by:

Wesley
I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
Sidra
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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