Officials in Veracruz said four people survived the crash, which occurred shortly after midnight in the south-eastern state.
The state civil defence agency said the victims were businesspeople from the region who were travelling from the Tabasco state capital of Villahermosa to Mexico City.
The agency's emergency director, Ricardo Maza Limon, said that victims apparently burned to death inside the bus, which was so badly charred that the tires melted and markings on its sides were unreadable.
The federal highway department, which earlier gave the death toll as 34, said the bus was travelling on a highway in the area of Acayucan when it struck a tractor-trailer owned by a milk protein company that had broken down and was parked along the roadside.
Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto sent a message of condolences to the families of those who died.