Oct 22, 2016, 4:44 PM
I realize this is an older thread, but I saw "San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta" and "December 22nd" and I thought it wasn't too late to respond.
Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?
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We don't drive back and forth anymore, but we used to, mostly through Laredo, to the Hotel Zone of Puerto Vallarta. Once, on almost the exact day you will be travelling, we approached Puerto Vallarta.
First, I see you have driven through Nogales before, so you have driven the route between Compostela, through Las Varas, and on to Bucerias and Puerto Vallarta, so forgive me if you already know this. But, I have to tell you that driving the route between the end of the toll road and Puerto Vallarta in the dark on that date was not at all fun. And if you are going to Punta Negra, Jalisco, you are looking at an additional hour south of where we ended (which is near where the cruise ships dock), right through Puerto Vallarta downtown traffic.
My advice is to have several alternative plans (A or B). I would allow at least 6 hours of daylight between Guadalajara and Punta Negra, Jalisco.
If you arrive in Guadalajara, with less than 6 hours until dusk, I would look into staying there, and getting an early start on your third day. We absolutely love Quinta Don Jose in Tlaquepaque, because you drive into secure parking, leave your stuff, and go have a drink at the bar and dinner at their restaurant. They will even pack you a lunch if you wish to leave early.
If you wish something more economical, go to the outskirts of Guadalajara at a place like Hotel Zar
If you reach the end of the toll road, at Compostela, there is a great little place less than a mile towards Tepic. It is called something hotel Marpel. Sorry I can't find a link to it, but we looked at it and it is everything you would expect from a motor hotel (clean, gas, restaurant).. You need to turn right, not left (as you would if you were continuing towards Puerto Vallarta directly.)
It is not fun to drive the road from Compostela south after dark--and especially before Christmas. You get giant trucks behind you,in a hurry to deliver their much needed Coca-Cola or Corona supplies. They sit on your tail, their lights blaring. People going in the other direction (towards Guadalajara) don't understand the concept of dimming their high beams.
PS. I agree with those who say that you should not take Highway 54 all the way south. unless if you are sightseeing.
(This post was edited by RickS on Oct 23, 2016, 7:52 AM)