Aug 30, 2001, 1:54 PM
Post #2 of 4
Given that this forum is about roads, driving, etc., I'm assuming that you are not asking about the flying option.<p>The drive from Acapulco to Zihuatanejo is straight forward and there is only one practical route. Highway 200 is a two-lane, non-toll highway. It is fairly winding, but not mountainous. The distance is about 230 km. Plan on four hours and you should be OK.<p>That gets you over the first distance.<p>I've driven between Zihuatanejo and Tepic (a couple of hours north of Vallarta) twice by different routes. I'll be trying a third route next month.<p>The most direct route is to continue north on 200, bypassing Lazaro Cardenas, straight up to PV. Our drive time for Zihuatanejo to PV was about 12 hours with two drivers, stopping only for gas, not meals.<p>Just north of Lazaro Cardenas Highway 200 becomes very winding. The northbound lane has cliff faces along the right side. The southbound lane has cliff drops along the right side. There are effectively no shoulders or turnout spaces. In the event of an accident or flat tire, there really isn't anywhere for the driver to go. This is "solid-line" driving but, given that the route is travelled by large trucks, there are frequently drivers passing on solid lines.<p>Be sure that your brakes and steering are in good repair.<p>The alternative route, that I'm planning to drive in September, is significantly longer and involves driving on toll highways.<p>Just around Lazaro Cardenas is a highway that goes up to Nueva Italia. (There is a turnoff at La Mira for Nueva Italia, but there may also be a turnoff south of Lazaro Cardenas by now.) The drive to Nueva Italia is free highways.<p>From around Nueva Italia, it is possible to use toll highways to Morelia, Guadalajara, then down to rejoin Highway 200 just south of Manzanillo. This takes you around the cliffhanger road I described above. I'm guessing it would add at least a day to your driving though. (Figure 3.5 hours from Guadalajara to Highway 200, plus the time to get from Highway 200 to Guadalajara.)<p>Using either of these options you are then back into rolling countryside without cliffs to deal with most of the route from Tecoman to Puerto Vallarta.<p>A third possibility would be to take the cuatas from Highway 200 to Morelia, Guadalajara, Tepic, then the free highway from Tepic to Puerto Vallarta.<p>The link below provides a description of the driving between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta.