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-   -   Driving to Veracruz, Mexico (https://www.fodors.com/community/mexico-and-central-america/driving-to-veracruz-mexico-1661049/)

vane08 Dec 4th, 2018 07:35 AM

Driving to Veracruz, Mexico
 
Hello All,

My husband, kids and I are planning on driving to Veracruz, Mexico from McAllen, Tx. Has anyone done this stretch of Mexico that can give advice? We are aware we should travel by day only and stay on the "Cuota" route, but I can't help but wonder how safe this is and if there are hotels near the "cuota", gas stations maybe any help if the need arises. In the past we have only traveled from Santa Teresa, NM to Durango; but I imagine that it is a totally different drive. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

baldone Dec 4th, 2018 09:24 AM

Greetings Vane. My wife and I live full-time in Mexico, make a couple border trips each year and thus I've driven much of that route in addition to sight-seeing trips exploring the area. Here's my thoughts. I've driven from Tampico to Veracruz without issue and wouldn't hesitate to drive it again. On 2 recent border trips from Guanajuato state we routed through Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas rather than the more popular Hwy 57/40 route through Central Mexico, again with no issues. There was a very notable military presence on the highways in Tamaulipas due to security concerns. Recently however, the military pulled out because they weren't being paid by the state. The state said they weren't doing their job, blah blah. So when we planned our last trip I intentionally avoided the heart of Tamaulipas state, specifically any route east of 85. I'm generally not a weenie when it comes to driving in so-called 'dangerous' zones, but when I read of the security problems in that area it does give me pause. I can and do avoid that area partly because of security concerns and partly because for our travel purposes I've had other options, such as Laredo, Colombia, Eagle Pass, Del Rio. We do have friends that drive to McAllen often from San Miguel, and they take the 40D cuota from Monterrey with no issues. Speaking of cuotas, there are none on the route you describe. The cuotas all have a 'D' following the Hwy number. Generally, there are no hotels along the cuotas. You'll typically have to enter an urban area via the libre to find a hotel. But pretty much any city of any consequence will have a hotel or 2, but quality and parking may vary. Don't know if this is helpful or not.

vane08 Dec 4th, 2018 09:49 AM


Originally Posted by baldone (Post 16835178)
Greetings Vane. My wife and I live full-time in Mexico, make a couple border trips each year and thus I've driven much of that route in addition to sight-seeing trips exploring the area. Here's my thoughts. I've driven from Tampico to Veracruz without issue and wouldn't hesitate to drive it again. On 2 recent border trips from Guanajuato state we routed through Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas rather than the more popular Hwy 57/40 route through Central Mexico, again with no issues. There was a very notable military presence on the highways in Tamaulipas due to security concerns. Recently however, the military pulled out because they weren't being paid by the state. The state said they weren't doing their job, blah blah. So when we planned our last trip I intentionally avoided the heart of Tamaulipas state, specifically any route east of 85. I'm generally not a weenie when it comes to driving in so-called 'dangerous' zones, but when I read of the security problems in that area it does give me pause. I can and do avoid that area partly because of security concerns and partly because for our travel purposes I've had other options, such as Laredo, Colombia, Eagle Pass, Del Rio. We do have friends that drive to McAllen often from San Miguel, and they take the 40D cuota from Monterrey with no issues. Speaking of cuotas, there are none on the route you describe. The cuotas all have a 'D' following the Hwy number. Generally, there are no hotels along the cuotas. You'll typically have to enter an urban area via the libre to find a hotel. But pretty much any city of any consequence will have a hotel or 2, but quality and parking may vary. Don't know if this is helpful or not.

Thank you, this is very helpful. I have not been able to sleep with the concern of something happening to my kids above all. I was not aware this route does not have tolls, after carefully looking at my map I see a slight area with tolls.
My route is taking us on the 180 route, but now I am concerned that may not be best. I would hate to risk it. Do you mind me asking you how recent was your last trip?

baldone Dec 4th, 2018 11:48 AM

Our last trip to the border was in October. We drove 57/40/85 to Laredo. Return trip was Nuevo Laredo/85 then south of Monterrey and spent a night in Linares before heading back to 57 north of San Luis Potosi. Prior to that, last May, we drove 57 to 101 spent a night in Tula, then around CD Victoria, then on to Monterrey then Laredo. Our trip to Tampico was 2 years ago. We combined it with the Huasteca Potosina, which could be an option if you've got an extra couple of days and aren't in a huge hurry. It's beautiful. We likewise visited some waterfalls in Santiago, Nuevo Leon on one trip. Just an FYI if you were open to a couple of options of sightseeing on the way that are probably safer. If you're thinking about which route may be the fastest, keep in mind that often the libre or free highways have a lot of topes or speed bumps that can be a nuisance and slow you down. But it seems from Google maps/street view that 180 is pretty desolate so there may not be as many. If you drove from Santa Teresa to Durango you no doubt had some pretty desolate stretches. But it looks like that was mostly toll roads, so likely more traffic and the Green Angels too. BTW, we spent a couple nights in Durango on the return from our May trip to the border.


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