Enlaces Terrestres Nacionales & Turistar Lujo (Mexico) #TravelTuesday
I remember when I first moved to Canada, landing in Vancouver, and having to go down to Seattle for a meeting, and taking an interurban bus and thinking to myself “dear God, how does the first world define good interurban travel? This is horrendous!”. I hardly recovered from that, until recently when the Pacific Coach Lines started to equip their interurban buses with wireless internet connections. But the best, luxurious travel I had ever experienced (short of travelling first class by airplane) has been with Enlaces Terrestres Nacionales in Mexico, recently fused with Turistar Futura and becoming ETN-Turistar Lujo.
Enlaces Terrestres Nacionales is actually a company that was founded in Leon, Guanajuato, and the idea for it was that most other interurban travel was almost like second-class travel, so first-class travellers needed first-rate service. ETN started the practice (now widely adopted) of providing a lunch/snack and a drink (though I’m really sad to see that the level of service is going downhill because now, for short distances’ travel (2 hours), ETN does not offer a sandwich, but lately they’ve been offering only peanuts and other small snacks (this is very recent, perhaps 1 week or so).
I travel ETN everywhere when I’m in Mexico, simply because I like the level of comfort and service. Most ETN units are equipped with wireless internet now, though it drops the signal every so often, particularly when travelling through mountains.
According to ETN’s listing of amenities:
- 24 comfortable individual and shared seats (I love the individual ones and always sit in one)
- LCD screens
- Online wireless internet (which drops often, sadly)
- Leg rest
- 2 bathrooms on board (male and female)
- Individual reading light
- Air conditioning with individual regulation
- Individual (self-contained) audio system (which I sometimes use when my iPod runs out of battery)
- Seatbelt (which I think is a great idea)
- Controlled driving speed at 95 km/h (which I’m not sold on, because I think they could go up to 130 km/h no problem and shorten trips)
- Video system (which I often don’t like because they promote old movies sometimes)
- Welcome snack (which has gone downhill from when ETN first started: juice box, cookie, sandwich and a yogurt; now it’s often only a soft drink and a small bag of peanuts)
- Self-serve coffee service
- Individual cupholder
- Individual magazine holder
Overall, I can’t complain. The worse ETN-Turistar Lujo still beats any of the Canadian interurban buses I know of (except for Pacific Commuter Club). I think I will forward my post to ETN-Turistar Lujo folks, though. I really don’t like the downhill. “yes, we had a full-on snack bag, and now we give you peanuts” trend.
Disclosure: I pay for every single one of my trips on ETN-Turistar Lujo, on my own dime. As always, I retain full editorial control over anything I post on my site. I have no financial nor otherwise stake in ETN.