Safety of Driving Through Mexico

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Dec 5th, 2004, 08:36 AM
  #1
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Safety of Driving Through Mexico

We are drivng to Mexico in January. We will enter in Laredo, TX. Our destination is Matazlan. We plan to take two days. We will stay overnite in Torreon and be in Matazlan the next day. Leaving Matazlan we take a route up the coast towards Culiacan. The first night we will stay in Navojoa and the second day be in California. Friends have expressed great concern about our safety. One friend travels to Mexico often but always flies. We do not speak any Spanish. I would like to hear from any who have done this trip and if you felt you were at risk.
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Dec 5th, 2004, 03:21 PM
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Have not gone as far as you mention. It has certainly been no big deal for us to drive down to Monterrey or Saltillo, Matehula, etc. It seems to me this would be a long haul as you detail it. I'm not sure two days would be enough. If you are not familiar with Mexico I think you would be pushing the envelope. Mexico is more different from the U.S. than Europe is. For me, ability in Spanish would be the big issue. I think being fluent in Spanish is the single greatest factor that has allowed me to travel the country with few problems. I would not like to get lost, be looking for help, get stopped in a roadblock by Federal drug agents, etc. without knowing the langauge. From what I continue to read the most dangerous part of your trip would be down toward Mazatlan, with rural Sinoloa State being one of the more dangerous areas. I don't think doing what you propose would be impossible, but- be well prepared, obey all warnings, plan and have good guide books- I think Sanborn's (not the Mexican one) has really good driving guides. It depends on the type of folks you are. I would not have wanted to do this for a first experience in Mexico.
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Dec 6th, 2004, 11:30 AM
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I have done LA to Puerto Vallarta via Nogales then back to Mazatlan, ferry to La Paz, then from Cabo San Lucas to LA...
My wife and a friend did Puerto Vallarta to Corpus Christi via Brownsville...
Not a problem with either trip...
Stick to the Autopistas as much as possible, when stopping for the night choose a hotel with an enclosed parking area - they will usually have a guard outside too. Don't leave anything in the vehicle even so...
All autopistas and most main highways have the Green Angels - a free service for breakdowns, they carry some gas and can make emergency repairs or arrange for a tow truck.

You will need to get insurance at the border - Sanborn's is one provider.

I only spoke very limited Spanish whe I did my trip and had no problem.

Have a great trip.

Andrew
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Dec 7th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Good advice from Dude and Andrew. I lived in Laredo for a number of years and have driven in all parts of Mexico.
My spanish is passable but I have never had the first problem while driving there. Your trip does sound like you are pushing it a bit for the time involved.
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Dec 8th, 2004, 12:02 PM
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Laredo- Mazatlan

Jmtbjt> I would drive to Nogales Arizona and just go south to Mazatlan,; its much safer and quicker than Laredo-Mazatlan.

When in Culiacan do not stare at people next to you, or people driving next to you. Culiacan is known for car to car shooting just because people stared back.
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