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Al Weinberg

Mar 11, 2002, 3:29 PM

Post #1 of 5 (4127 views)

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CFhicago to Monterrey to Puerto Valharta

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We are no particular hurry. We will be driving from Chicago to Monterry to Puerto Vallarta and want to get the flavor of the real Mexico, to see the colonial cities, if any, along the way, and get some tips on where to eat and sleep and which hightways would be suggested. Where do you suppose we could get this information?
I would like to know how many driving hours this will take? Hwy. 54 seems like the most direct but is that the best road to take?
We will probably take the coastal road through Mazetlaan back. So any tips on that will be helpful also.



Rolly

Mar 11, 2002, 6:55 PM

Post #2 of 5 (4131 views)

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CFhicago to Monterrey to Puerto Valharta

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Highway 54 is a mixed bag. From Laredo to Zacatecas, there is nothing to see; it is boring desert with heavy truck traffic on the mostly two-lane road. South of Zacatecas things begin to get more interesting. There are a couple of quaint colonial villages before you get to Guadalajara and a remarkable amount of stone fences that put New Hampshire to shame, but, and this is a big but, the highway is nerve-racking. It is a narrow mountain road with lots of slow moving trucks without much opportunity to pass. And I don’t find the scenery all that great. I once lived in Denver and have driven all over the US Rockies, and I have never encountered such a bad mountain road. I’ll never drive it again.<p>If I were to make your trip, I would drive your itinerary in reverse – first Mazatlan then PV. I would go Laredo/Monterrey/Satillo/Torreon/Durango/ Mazatlan. Durango is an interesting city. The others along the way are not. (I live in Torreón) But you have the great advantage of driving on toll roads all the way to Durango. While the toll roads aren’t cheap, they are excellent and nearly truck-free. You can make Laredo to Durango in one long day (13-14 hours). If that is too long a day, over night in Torreón. From Durango to Mazatlan you will be on a two-lane mountain road that is better than highway 54 and has glorious scenery. <p>On the way home I would go from PV to Guadalajara stopping along the way in Tequila. From GDL, go east to Morelia, then north to San Luis Potosi with an over night detour through San Miguel Allende. From San Luis Potosi, it’s north toward home.<p>Now this is a longer route that you probably have in mind, but it will show you quite cross section of Mexico.<p>No doubt others will post their idea of your best route. Any way you go, there is no missing the boring desert of south Texas and northern Mexico. You are also going the have to cross the mountains of western Mexico.<p>Enjoy your trip.


Andy in Monterrey

Mar 16, 2002, 10:45 PM

Post #3 of 5 (4128 views)

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One way to get the flavor of the real Mexico is to travel by bus

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There are buses that leave directly from Chicago for Monterrey. The name of one line is "El Conejo" (the rabbit). These buses are excellent and are far superior to Greyhound. They all have air conditioning, reserved seats, movies, etc. If neither you nor anyone who would be with you speaks Spanish, you might want to seriously consider this. From Monterrey, you can catch a bus to Guadalajara and then to Puerto Vallarta.<p>Driving in Mexico without anyone in your car being able to speak Spanish is risky, at best. Although there are some on this message board who disagree with me on this, every Mexican that I have talked to about this agrees with me. If neither you nor anyone in your car knows enough Spanish to ask for directions, deal with the "transitos" (traffic police), and communicate with mechanics if there are any car problems, you could find yourself in a heap of trouble! <p>You could also have problems on the bus if you don't speak Spanish, but not near as much as driving without you nor anyone with you being able to speak the language. If you insist on driving, bring someone with you who speaks Spanish. There are many Mexicans who live in Chicago. I'm sure some of them would be glad to help you.<p>: We are no particular hurry. We will be driving from Chicago to Monterry to Puerto Vallarta and want to get the flavor of the real Mexico, to see the colonial cities, if any, along the way, and get some tips on where to eat and sleep and which hightways would be suggested. Where do you suppose we could get this information?
: I would like to know how many driving hours this will take? Hwy. 54 seems like the most direct but is that the best road to take?
: We will probably take the coastal road through Mazetlaan back. So any tips on that will be helpful also.<p>


fidel

May 16, 2002, 7:16 PM

Post #4 of 5 (4126 views)

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One way to get the flavor of the real Mexico is to travel by bus

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: There are buses that leave directly from Chicago for Monterrey. The name of one line is "El Conejo" (the rabbit). These buses are excellent and are far superior to Greyhound. They all have air conditioning, reserved seats, movies, etc. If neither you nor anyone who would be with you speaks Spanish, you might want to seriously consider this. From Monterrey, you can catch a bus to Guadalajara and then to Puerto Vallarta.<p>: Driving in Mexico without anyone in your car being able to speak Spanish is risky, at best. Although there are some on this message board who disagree with me on this, every Mexican that I have talked to about this agrees with me. If neither you nor anyone in your car knows enough Spanish to ask for directions, deal with the "transitos" (traffic police), and communicate with mechanics if there are any car problems, you could find yourself in a heap of trouble! <p>: You could also have problems on the bus if you don't speak Spanish, but not near as much as driving without you nor anyone with you being able to speak the language. If you insist on driving, bring someone with you who speaks Spanish. There are many Mexicans who live in Chicago. I'm sure some of them would be glad to help you.<p>: : We are no particular hurry. We will be driving from Chicago to Monterry to Puerto Vallarta and want to get the flavor of the real Mexico, to see the colonial cities, if any, along the way, and get some tips on where to eat and sleep and which hightways would be suggested. Where do you suppose we could get this information?
: : I would like to know how many driving hours this will take? Hwy. 54 seems like the most direct but is that the best road to take?
: : We will probably take the coastal road through Mazetlaan back. So any tips on that will be helpful also.<p>


rebecca schultz

Jul 19, 2002, 8:16 PM

Post #5 of 5 (4127 views)

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One way to get the flavor of the real Mexico is to travel by bus

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WE are planning a trip to Puerto Varrata and then would like to go to Zihuatanejo by bus. Do you know if there is a bus service for that trip and if so how do we get the information.
 
 
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