Driving in Mexico

Old Apr 20th, 2016, 09:10 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Driving in Mexico

Thinking about driving from Iowa to Tulum area later this year. Has anyone driven there recently. We have read and heard about all the danger near the border and especially in the state of Tamaulipas. The fastest route is through this area. Does anyone have any advice or a better route to go around this state?
Thank you!
lmerritt is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2016, 10:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,255
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
The best, easiest, fastest, safest route would be I35 down through Texas and cross at Laredo/Nuevo Laredo. Or, the Colombia bridge just north of Laredo, which is usually the easiest place to get your car permit, etc. On a map, it may look shorter mile-wise to cross at McAllen or Brownsville, but with the innumerable topes (speed bumps) and slower traffic, it'd be longer time-wise. And that route is where there'd be security issues, if any. So, best to take the tolls from Laredo/NL to Monterrey, then pick up 57 @ Saltillo on into central Mexico.
Other thoughts: If you do take I35 in Texas, I strongly recommend toll road 130 that connects I35 near Georgetown and ends just outside of San Antonio, bypassing Austin, etc. The speed limit is 80, and there is absolutely no traffic. Otherwise, I35 traffic is horrendous. You may buy the TXtag in advance or just let the cameras take pictures of your plates and get billed later.
Hotels between San Antonio and Laredo are stupid expensive because of the oil drilling in that area.
Most hotels in Mexico are not on the highway, but closer in to the metro areas, with some exceptions. I can give you some suggestions from Laredo to at least Queretaro if you go that route. I've made a border trip to Nebraska more times than I'd like, and will be going again here in a couple weeks.
baldone is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2016, 10:27 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for all of this information. I am definitely doing some research into your suggestions and I may have some more questions. How far do you think we could make it south in our first day if we are at the boarder crossing when it opens and drive to a hotel before it is dark? Any hotel suggestions would be appreciated. We are taking our dog with us. We may have trouble finding hotels that will allow a dog.
Thank you!
lmerritt is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2016, 01:13 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,255
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
How far you may get on your first day of course will be dictated by a number of things. I would budget about an hour, maybe less, to get your car permit, FMM, etc. If you cross on a Sunday, it will likely take longer as folks are heading home after a weekend in the states. As I mentioned, the Colombia bridge will be less intimidating for a first timer (and not as busy), but if you stay in Laredo, you'd have to kinda have to backtrack via Farm & Ranch Road 1472 (Mines Road) which parallels the Rio Grande from Laredo, but only takes about another 15 minutes, which you'd probably make up by having less of a wait.
Be advised that there are 4 bridges. Bridge #3 in the link is Colombia, #1 has the pedestrian crossing and is the bridge you want for customs and immigration. #2 has no customs or immigration, so don't cross there. #4 is truck traffic only. http://www.cityoflaredo.com/bridgesy...ridge4cam.html
Regarding hotels that take pets, if you're familiar with Trip Advisor you can find hotels along your route and select "Pets Allowed" under amenities.
For our part, even though it's only about 6.5 hours from the border, a good stop along 57 is Las Palmas. http://laspalmasmidwayinn.com/en/ They don't advertise as pet friendly, but they are; don't ask, don't tell It's kind of a 60's motor hotel, clean, roomy, secure, and has a decent restaurant, and close to the highway. Otherwise, the next stop would be San Luis Potosi, about another 2 hours or so. There is a Zar hotel on the south end of the city.
You can generally figure on at least 1 Civil Protecion checkpoint that isn't much of a delay. I'm kind of a weenie when it comes to planning on driving too far in one day in Mexico, as an accident or a serious military checkpoint can really slow you down. It's also easy to miss a turn, as road signs can be confusing.
You may want to check out this site (I'm sure there's others) if you haven't already. I suspect there's a number of participants that have made the drive as well. http://intheroo.com/forum/forum.php
Feel free to ask any questions you think I can help with. I've driven through much of Puebla and Veracruz which is on your route, but primarily as a sightseer and off the beaten path. So not much practical help there.
baldone is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2016, 10:54 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The wife and I will be renting car to travel throughout the Pennisula. Planning on renting the full time, however, does someone know whether luggage is permitted on the ADO buses? If possible we might lessen the number of rental car days.
Appreciate any good info on renting a car.
JerryElisabeth is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2016, 06:16 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,255
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Yes, luggage is permitted. It is tagged, you're given a claim ticket just like on an airline, then it's stored under the passenger compartment.
As far as renting a car, (and maybe you're already aware of the following), don't be fooled by $2 US daily rates. That doesn't include insurance. Buy as much insurance as you can reasonably afford; your final daily rate should be around $40 US, depending on the type of car, and usually shouldn't be over $50 unless you rent a SUV or van. There are those that use their credit card insurance to cover collision. But if you go that route, be prepared to have a hold of a few thousand dollars put on your card. And if you do have an accident/claim, you'll be expected to settle with the rental company before you leave Mexico and then fight it out with your card company later. Make copies of all accident reports. When you rent, take pictures of every little nick, dent, or scratch, including the wheels/hubcaps, even if the agency notes it on the rental agreement. Also know that drop off rates can be steep, so try to drop the car off where you first rented it, in other words, don't rent in Cancun and drop it off in Campeche. Name brands such as Hertz or Avis will be franchises, so any complaints to a corporate office will fall on deaf ears. There are a number of posters here that have had good results with rentals, so hopefully they'll chime in as well.
baldone is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2016, 12:57 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glad you brought this up. I am actually planning a trip to go all the way down to Panama visiting all the countries in Central America along the way. I plan to start in May beginning from Maryland. Hope it works out for you. The border information from "Baldone" is very helpful
munoz4u is offline  
Old May 9th, 2016, 04:20 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,255
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Hi imerrit, just an fyi. Just crossed the border today. The #1 bridge will be closed for 18 months. That means the crossing @ #2 will likely be longer than normal, and aduana/immigration will happen @ approximately the 21km mark. So, the only 2 options are #2 and Colombia.
baldone is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2016, 05:43 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is getting closer to our journey. Thank you for all the information. Do you recommend crossing at bridge number 2 or Columbia? If Columbia do you have a hotel you would suggest close by. What would the main differences be between the two? Thanks
lmerritt is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2016, 12:45 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,255
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Good that you checked back. Best I can tell, (from a drive by), you cannot do your car permit/immigration stuff at KM 21. You will need to do it either at Colombia or in Nuevo Laredo. However, to get to customs/immigration in NL, you'd have to cross at #2, and then backtrack some 15 blocks through town. If you drill down on google maps, you can find the location. If it were me, I'd opt to cross/get permits & FMM at Colombia. So much easier. That said, there are no hotels in that area. My preference is to drive from either Austin or San Antonio area to Saltillo in 1 day. It's only about 6 hours driving (SA-Saltillo) but figure time to do your paperwork. In Saltillo (Ramos Arzipe to be exact) there is a Sheraton Four Points that takes pets. In my first post I mentioned that hotels between San Antonio and Laredo are expensive; that's changed with the drop in oil prices. So you could stay in Cotulla, cross at Colombia, and move on to Matehuala if you want to make it a longer day.
baldone is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2016, 11:02 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If crossing at colobia is there a toll road from there to get to 85D. Can we get everything done there?
lmerritt is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2016, 11:40 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,255
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
The highway from Colombia to 85 is not a toll road. Sections of 85 are toll, however, so you'll need pesos, I wanna say the first toll is some 210 or 220 pesos. I think that's the most expensive toll you find on 85/40/57. And yes, you can get all your permits and such at Colombia, right after you cross the bridge. Be sure and have copies of all your documents. You will go through the customs check, and get either red or green light. If red, they will do a cursory check of your stuff. Then just pull forward to the parking area and walk back to immigration.
baldone is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2016, 12:48 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,255
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Imerrit, I just happen to be planning an upcoming border trip myself back to the US and noticed that the #1 bridge is now open.
http://www.cityoflaredo.com/bridgesy...ridge4cam.html
baldone is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2016, 04:35 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,255
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Ugh, my bad, the website use to show 'closed' for #1. Now they post a pic on the MX side from '15.
baldone is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
tzvikah
Mexico & Central America
5
Mar 22nd, 2019 02:34 PM
vane08
Mexico & Central America
3
Dec 4th, 2018 11:48 AM
MizMaryKC
Mexico & Central America
8
Dec 4th, 2015 05:17 PM
cerelia07
Mexico & Central America
3
Jul 14th, 2015 10:00 AM
ChaingetheCycle2012
Mexico & Central America
15
Aug 20th, 2014 09:49 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:11 AM.