Driving from US to Panama

Old Jun 16th, 2014, 09:09 PM
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Driving from US to Panama

Hello, my wife and I are planning this fall to drive to Panama. We plan to live there for a minimum of three years, but will most likely be there for longer. Our concern is the drive. We plan to enter Mexico at Nuevo Loredo TX. and take the federal hwy 85.
Has there been anyone recently that has driven this route within 2013-2014?
What are we to expect and need to prepare for along the way with police and at the borders?
How much will we expect to spend? (We plan on not taking a long time along the way for stops. Except in Oaxaca mx, and in San Salvador we have friends to stay with)
And what places do you recommend to stop at along the way?

Of course We plan to NOT drive at night and understand there can be and will be some corrupt officials. Anyone have experience?

Thanks for your help!
cerelia07 is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 01:38 PM
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Borders can be a nightmarre in central america, in some countries can take up to 5 hours in line to get a stamp that allows you into the country so you need to be patience, Panama you would love for sure.
powelltrip is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2014, 04:02 PM
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Just came back from NOB. I would recommend crossing at the Colombia bridge, just north of Laredo. Much less traffic, and you bypass Laredo and Nuevo Laredo altogether. Downside is that you'll have to pass customs twice, once at Colombia, and then again on 85 about 20 km from NL. I did get the mordida in Nuevo Laredo, but I was speeding, 90 km in a 60. I had the option of going to city hall and paying $1,300, or just fork over a few hundred pesos and be on my way. Hotels along the way close to the highways are few, your best bets are Saltillo, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi & Queretaro on the libramientos. As you approach Mexico City, be sure to take the Arco Norte and avoid DF completely. From Laredo to on to Oaxaca, its smooth sailing. But stopping places in Mexico kinda depend on when you cross, and how long you plan on driving each day. I can give a few recommendations based on that. Car permits are another issue, be prepared to pay up to $400 US, and if you don't cancel it when you leave, you'll end up forfeiting it. Insurance is a must. And if your car has a loan against it, that complicates matters. You'll probably pay up to $80 US for tolls all the way to Oaxaca, but its well worth it.
baldone is online now  
Old Jul 14th, 2015, 11:00 AM
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I was just wondering if you ended up making your trip? I am curious about how it went and which route you took as we are considering doing the same and would love to hear about your experience.
Hwab is offline  
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