If you are on Delta or Aeromexico, you will come into Terminal 2 at the airport. You won’t have to go to Terminal 1 for any reason (other than to meet a friend or relative if needed). Once off the plane, arriving to immigration and customs are very straight forward and all in a line; there is no where else to go, just keep walking and follow the corridors and the other passengers. Once at the immigration area, find the line for foreigners.
At immigration, you’ll need to provide your passport and your immigration and customs forms. The bottom portion (index card size), of the immigration form is your temporary visa for stay in Mexico . Don’t lose it; you’ll need to turn it in once you leave. Once through immigration, you’ll continue on to the baggage claim area. Pick up your bags and head to customs located at one of the exits. You’ll have to pick up your bags and run them through an x-ray machine that will check for any items not permitted in Mexico and items that you should pay a duty tax. All personal items that you plan to take out of Mexico with you are fine. Items that you plan to sell or that have commercial value are the ones they are looking for. You’ll also have to push a button for a random inspection. If a green light come up, you’re free to pass. If a red light comes up, you must place your bags on a table for inspection. They’ll open your bags and move things around for a physical inspection. The red lights don’t come up very often. At the exit of customs are automatic frosted sliding glass doors.
Once you come out of the frosted sliding glass doors of customs, start looking for two things. 1) A change house, to change money into pesos if you need pesos. You’ll need some to start off with because once you get to Puebla, the dollar is not widely accepted. Mexico is a highly cash based country, especially in small stores. I would recommend changing around $50 – $100 dollars to start, depending on your length of stay. If you have a credit card or debit card, you’ll be able to purchase a bus ticket with it, but have cash as a backup. The second thing you’re looking for is 2) a store that sells refreshments, gum, magazines, etc. and buy a public phone card called a “tarjeta LADA para teléfono público” (Tar-HETa LAH-Dah PAR-a Te-lEF-on-oh POO-Blic-oh). They sell them in $30, $50, $100 and $200 pesos. The one for $30 pesos should be sufficient. Save the card to call us after you’ve purchased your ticket. (If you have a cell phone that works in Mexico, you can use it to call and can skip this last step of buying a “tarjeta LADA”)
You can pick up the non-stop luxury bus to Puebla from Terminal 2; there is no reason for you to go all the way to Terminal 1. From the customs exit you’ll go to the right and all the way to the end of the terminal towards doors to the outside with many windows that let in natural light. You’ll head out the doors and to a small building on the right to purchase your bus tickets. Let me know if you want a picture. There is a parking area for buses and to the right-hand side is a small building that has a waiting area and a bus ticket counter in the back corner. The bus company that you’ll be riding with is called, “Estrella Roja”. Look for the place at the ticket counter that says, “PUEBLA” and buy a ticket to a bus station called “4 Poniente”. You’ll have two options, 4 Poniente and CAPU. CAPU is the big bus terminal and you don’t want this one. 4 Poniente is a private bus station only served by buses coming and going to and from the airport. It’s nicer, calmer and closer, so buy a ticket to 4 Poniente (Cuatro Poniente). A one-way ticket has a cost of $194 pesos. You can pay with pesos or dollars(at a low exchange rate) and you can usually pay with credit/debit cards. Buy a one-way ticket (boleto sencillo). You can buy a round trip ticket (boleto redondo) now, but you don’t save any money and you have to hold onto and present the ticket stub in order to redeem it for a ticket upon your return. From the ticket counters turn around in 180 degrees and head outside. There is a small temporary counter set up for the bus company, Estrella Roja. Present your ticket and they’ll inform you if your bus is the next one. Stay alert, and wait for the next bus, it picks up passengers quickly and then departs. Give your luggage to one of the men who put the bags under the bus and then wait for a luggage ticket. You’ll show the luggage ticket when you arrive to Puebla and they’ll compare it to make sure you don’t have someone else’s luggage by mistake and to make sure no one gets your luggage. At the “4 Poniente” bus station in Puebla, we’ll meet you and give you a small orientation and take you to your host family’s house. If you have time to call us from the airport, please do in order to let us know that you arrived and when you’ll be leaving the airport. If not, wait until you arrive to Puebla and call us from there. Calling instructions are next:
With your phone card that you purchased earlier:
Upon purchasing a bus ticket, find a teléfono público (public payphone) with a TELMEX logo on it. Pick up the receiver and introduce the phone card you purchased into the slot with the microchip facing up and towards the pay phone. Call us to let us know that you have arrived and what time you’re bus is scheduled to leave, so we can better calculate your arrival time and meet you in Puebla.
I’ll send you an email with the contact numbers to call when you arrive
If by chance something happens and you don’t have time to call or you’re having trouble getting in touch with us, go to Puebla and once you arrive you can call us and we’ll meet you at the bus station within 20 minutes.
If there’s any confusion with this, let us know before you leave for Mexico, email@example.com.