Escárcega is an unremarkable town at the junction of Highways 186 and 261. For tourists, it is mainly a gas stop for those headed east to the archaeological sites in the Río Bec area  or north to Campeche City  (150 km/93 mi).
It has a reputation for being a rough-and-tumble place; true or not, there is little reason to linger here.
There are two decent hotels on the main drag. The Hotel Escárcega (Av. Justo Sierra Méndez No. 87, tel. 982/824-0188, US$20 d with fan, US$32 d with a/c and TV) is closest to the bus station and has cheap, basic rooms.
If you’ve got more to spend, head another 200 meters to Gran Hotel Colonial (Av. Justa Sierra Méndez at Calle 43, tel. 982/824-1908, US$30–32 d ) where the rooms are generally better, and air-conditioning, cable T.V. and aqua-blue paint jobs are standard. Rooms facing the street have a small terrace, allowing in more light. Both hotels have off-street parking.
Hotel Escárcega has a modest restaurant, and there are a number of small-time eateries along the main drag.
The main bus terminal (tel. 982/824-0144) is at the intersection of Highway 261 and Av. Justo Sierra Méndez; if you’re coming from Campeche, it’s just as you enter town. Always arrive a half-hour early—service here is de paso (mid-route), which means seats are limited and buses may come 15 minutes early or late.
Most travelers are headed to Campeche  (US$9, 2.5 hours), Xpujil  (US$8, two hours), or Palenque  (US$11.50, three hours). There is also service to Chetumal  (US$14, 4–4.5 hrs) and Cancún  (US$35, nine hours), and Mérida  (US$19, 4.5 hours)
The ADO buses don’t stop en route, but those from the second-class terminal (Av. Justo Sierra Méndez and Calle 31, tel. 982/824-0498) can drop you at the Calakmul  turnoff (US$3.75, 1.5 hrs) or the hotels just west of Xpujil  (US$6, 2.5 hours); departures are at 7:45 a.m., 11:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 12:30 a.m.
There’s a gas station—three actually—just down the main highway from the ADO terminal.