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hack

Apr 18, 2010, 5:23 AM

Post #1 of 33 (19577 views)

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Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Hi all...

Been lurking a bit here recently, have followed along with some interesting debates and read some great stuff. Gerry Soroka's Freeriding the Roads of Mexico piece struck a chord from driving experiences elsewhere in the world. Amazing, the commonalities.

Anyways, I need to be in Tapachula by the evening of May 4. My wife will be on a finca in Chiapas as part of field work for a graudate degree in conservation biology; our son and I will stay in Tapachula. I will drive (in an aging but healthy Toyota Tercel) and they will fly.

From what I can tell, I should probably cross at Brownsville/Matamoros, head south to Oaxaca (some jogging east and west at Poza Rica), and southeast from there. I have some questions about this for those of you who know these things better than I, and thank you very much in advance for your replies. To help you answer them, a bit about me first: I relish long drives and am keen to stop when there's something fun to look at. I am budgeting at least 14 hours a day in transit, including food stops, curiosities, and usually a catnap in the car late afternoon. I have only a few words in Spanish beyond menu words and salutations, but good experience in communicating without a shared language. We are Canadian and usually take with us some maple-syrup candies for ice-breaking purposes. Here's my questions:

1. Any thoughts on my proposed route? At Poza Rica, should I head inland or toward the coast?

2. From the border, how long should I expect this to take me assuming a few hours on backroads a day and then highway? I am figuring 4 days. Point-to-point shows a route hugging the coast at a little more at 19 hours, but I've read here that it underestimates. But I'm open to that route too as well as going through Oaxaca.

3. Can I do the highways at night? Given the heat, it would probably be best to have a long nap in the afternoons and drive till 10pm or so.

4. Any great sights/oddities/restaurants/vistas on the way down? I am holding off on the ruins and big stuff until the drive back together with wife/son.

5. Finally, and I know this ups the degree of difficulty, but I cannot do anything about it -- I have a ridiculously important phone call to receive the morning of May 3, so I am thinking of getting a hotel room for that night and giving the hotel's number to the caller, just in case my phone (verizon) doesn't work. Do I need to be in a major city to do this? I will also pick up a local simcard and stick it in an unlocked phone as another backup. Or is this overdoing it, and I can expect to have reception on a verizon phone all the way down?

Again, thanks all for any replies, and looking forward to picking your brains a few times over the course of the summer...

Bests,

Matt



Altahabana


Apr 18, 2010, 6:26 AM

Post #2 of 33 (19569 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Your proposed route is the most direct from the border to Tapachula, but the part of Tamaulipas you will be driving is experiencing what could be described as an open insurgency between warring drug cartels and those cartels and the military. While I think the chance of getting caught in the middle of something is slight, it is still a risk that you would not encounter if you chose a different entry point such as Laredo or Eagle Pass. I personally would avoid the rural highways of Tamaulipas in favor of another--although longer route.

In general it is not advisable to drive at night unless it is on a cuota (toll road) or within an urban area. I will drive at night but only on highways with which I am familiar and I know to be in good condition. There are different opinions on the risks of driving at night but to tie it into my first comment, there is probably more risk in driving at night than driving through the violence wracked areas of Tamaulipas.


(This post was edited by Altahabana on Apr 18, 2010, 7:00 AM)


hack

Apr 18, 2010, 6:40 AM

Post #3 of 33 (19566 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Thanks for the reply. Looks like I read the drug war wrong. I had concluded that passing between Reynosa and Monterrey put me in the problem area, and that skirting it to the east would be the best thing. I'm of course open to a longer/safer route. Thanks for your thoughts on night driving. That's an interesting perspective, that night driving on a toll road would be dicier than going through the drug-war problem areas. What's the risk at night?


Vichil

Apr 18, 2010, 7:26 AM

Post #4 of 33 (19549 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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 We do the Guadalajara - Chiapas trip several times a year and the fastest way is Queretaro San Juan del Rio Puebla Cordoba Tinaja Tuxtla Arriaga Tapachula. Forget your liking for driving at night. It is not safe. The road between Tinaja can be full of pot holes or can be fine and it is lonely not a good place to break down or run off the toad at night.

It will take you 11 to 12 hours from Cordoba to Tapachula if you leave at day break you may make it when at sundown if you are lucky, the last part of the trip may be in the dark but the toad is straight with quite a few check points so you should be ok.
Fill up around Minatitlan there are very few service stations after that.

It took us 5 hours more to go San Cristobal Mexico city via Juchitan than via Cordoba. The coastal road and mountain road going to Oaxaca takes more time , Not sure about the kilometers but longer time wise.


(This post was edited by Vichil on Apr 18, 2010, 7:55 AM)


Hound Dog

Apr 18, 2010, 9:08 AM

Post #5 of 33 (19525 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Your proposed route is the most direct from the border to Tapachula

Actually, the most direct route from the Texas border to Tapachula is via Puebla and then down through Veracruz State to Minatitlan and then the new toll road from Minatitlan to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas then the new toll road to Arriaga/Tonalá, Chiapas and from there down the excellent four lane autopista 200 to Tapachula. If you go via Oaxaca, Tehuantepec and , Juchitan, Oaxaca you will add several hours and many kilometers to your trip. As we live in both the Lake Chapala/Guadalajara, Jalisco area and San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, and travel between these two areas several times a year, I can assure you that the route I have designated is the most direct. Nothing wrong with going via Oaxaca City but that is not the most direct route.

I should warn you that traveling in Mexico over back (libre) highways is a poor idea as that option will add a huge amount of time to your already rather lengthy drive; you will find yourself inching slowly over mountainous or swampy terrain behind endless lines of slow trucks struggling up dangerous grades and crawling through urban areas with terrible signage where you are certain to get lost several times and you will find countless topes (the dreaded Mexican speed bumps with no consistent construction) slowing your journey considerably and making sightseeing, versus watching for the next tope, a dangerous axle-threatening endeavor,

There is really for no reason to take back roads for the most part as the toll roads are every bit as picturesque as the back roads in general - even more picturesque for that matter.

Yes you can do this in four days. If, when you say Tamaulipas you mean Nuevo Laredo then you will want to connect to the new Arco Norte south of Queretaro to get to Puebla without the necessity of traversing Mexico City which can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with that megalopolis and its famously crooked cops who would love those Canadian plates.

Coming down from the Texas border I would leave at dawn and get beyond that part of the border area which has experienced some violence recently. That way you will be well south of that area where most of the gun battles have taken place without risking night driving which would be quite dangerous in the north at present.

Some will disagree, but if I were you I wouldn´t even consider driving on strange highways until 10:00PM and I would also never consider sleeping in my car if at all possible unless you can make a deal with an active, all-night Pemex station.

Most of the roads you will traverse whether you go thorugh Tuxtla Gutierrez or Oaxaca City are quite good if you stay on the toll roads. The exception is the new toll road from Minatitlan to Tuxtla Gutierrez which is in disrepair with dangerous potholes and should never be driven at night.

I have some suggestions for you on short libre drives that are quite scenic if you head down through Veracruz State so let me know if that is your intention.

Have a nice trip.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 18, 2010, 9:12 AM)


chinagringo


Apr 18, 2010, 10:05 AM

Post #6 of 33 (19512 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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You might try the following link:
http://aplicaciones4.sct.gob.mx/...a&eligeIdioma=si

Put in your starting point and desired ending point. It should give you a route, time estimate, distance in KM's and total for tolls.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



(This post was edited by Rolly on Apr 18, 2010, 10:24 AM)


Vichil

Apr 18, 2010, 11:49 AM

Post #7 of 33 (19492 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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good site but totally off on the number of hours it takes to drive from point A to point B....21 hours Nuevo Laredo Tapachula ! I wish! Try 32 hours without stopping. You get stopped between 5 and 8 times by check points on the way down there and that is when you are lucky and the Zapatistas do not decide to stop the traffic for an hour or two between Tonala and Tapachula like they did to us in February. No big deal but it happens on a regular basis.
By the way May is the time the teachers in Oaxaca love to block the Isthmus road for hours so go the VeraCruz, Tabasco , Chiapas States route at that time of the year.

We drive from Guadalara to San Cristobal de las Casas for about 2000 pesos including gaz and tolls plus one night in a hotel around Fortin, Orizaba or Cordoba,

This week going back we will stay in some rustic cabins at Hacienda Chautla for something like 150 pesos matress rental included. We have sheets blankets and pillows . Add the food as well cheaper to go by bus for one person.


(This post was edited by Vichil on Apr 18, 2010, 12:03 PM)


hack

Apr 19, 2010, 11:16 AM

Post #8 of 33 (19423 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Thanks, all, for the replies. Dog's route sounds good, so if there's anything cool off that route for a quickie tourist diversion, that'd be great. And OK, OK -- night driving's out! I would be interesting in those short libre routes, however, just for a taste, of course. What do you all think of cellphone access south of Mexico City? Can I roam on Verizon and be OK? Can I pick up a sim card, stick it in an unlocked phone, and get reception anywhere?

Thanks again,

Matt


Reefhound


Apr 19, 2010, 11:50 AM

Post #9 of 33 (19415 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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My unlocked BB gets signal pretty much in all cities and along major highways but not in the mountains. Probably cheaper to get a Mexican cell phone for there. Roaming data charges are especially brutal. I usually pick up Telcel or Movistar.

If you're going the N Laredo/Queretaro/Arco Norte/Puebla route, the Teotihuacan pyramids are only about 15 minutes off the Arco Norte cuota. You could spend an hour doing a looksie or a whole day, depending on how much you want to see.


hack

Apr 19, 2010, 11:53 AM

Post #10 of 33 (19410 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Right now we have Verizon's Canada/US plan, so we pay extra to go no-roaming in Canada (live in MI, on the border). (NOB and SOB something different, heh). Anyways, Verizon says we can switch to US/Mexico and have no roaming charges. But I figure I should get a local cell anyways. Glad to know the reception is reliable as long as sticking to major roads...


chinagringo


Apr 19, 2010, 1:03 PM

Post #11 of 33 (19398 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Be very careful as to what Verizon tells you on the phone and then assuming it to be correct. With respect to using their phones in Mexico, we bought into what they told us only to have massive roaming charges added to our next bill. When arguing with them, they asked for a copy of our confirmation email and we had none. Get any changes in writing and insist on a written statement as to any charges for calls made in Mexico! Because of our experience, we no longer use Verizon.

All that said, if you are confident about charges and terms provided a U.S. cell phone company, I see no reason to purchase a Mexican cell phone. Our Sprint phones have great coverage in Mexico but we use them carefully because of the roaming charges.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



hack

Apr 19, 2010, 1:06 PM

Post #12 of 33 (19396 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Sounds wise, agreed. One must watch one's financial/telecommunications/etc. service providers quite closely these days!

I have an unlocked cellphone already, so assuming I can just buy a phone chip cheap. I think I have read that Mexico is not like the US and Canada, where you have to buy a locked phone and a plan...


Vichil

Apr 19, 2010, 6:18 PM

Post #13 of 33 (19348 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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if you buy a local phone get Te Cel the coverage is excellent . There are spots that are not covered here and there going down there, especially in remote areas f Chiaás but you are pretty much ok evrywhere on the cuota roads going down there.


The weather should be very nice until you reach Cordoba and then it will be hot weather all the way to Tapachula.
Around Puebla you could stop to visit the center or take the drive to Cholula.

The road on the libre between Orizaba and Cordoba is very pretty and takes you through Fortin de las Flores, a place we like to spend the night.

Much other trips will take you out of the way so it depends on how much time you have. The road going through the Tuxtlas, Catemaco is also attractive if you like hot weather...

The road from Orizaba to the turn off towards Tuxtla is a bore but it is mostly sugar cane plantation followed by swamp land. The cuota road turns very picturesque on the Tabasco Chiapas border. There is a beautifull reservoir but not many place to explore if you have a time constraint.

On the coast you can stay at Puerto Arista, check out Boca del Cielo, take the boat accross the laguna to go to the Pacific on the other side.
There are lots of roads leading you to beaches down there.
There are quite a few reserves in Chiapas you can explore but again you need time.


(This post was edited by Vichil on Apr 20, 2010, 7:11 AM)


pana

Apr 22, 2010, 1:36 PM

Post #14 of 33 (19252 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Believe it or not Hack, most of Mexico is now on Google Street View, meaning that you can now "drive" your complete route on your computer before you ever leave your house. Just go to Google Maps and drag the icon of the little man over the map of Mexico and drop him on the highway you want to see.

Pana


Vichil

Apr 23, 2010, 8:42 PM

Post #15 of 33 (19191 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Remember that the cuota roads are patrolled by the green angels who will help you if you break down. They will send tow trucks or help you change a tire etc...

Yesterday we ran into a piece of metal somewhere on the Vera Cruz Cruz quota. The Green Angels found us, send a tow truck and an insurrance adjuster as they had not picked up the metal CAPUFE was responsible and will pay for the repairs to our door and a new tire.

South of Mexico they can be reach by dialing 074. They told us it was a national number but in other parts of the country they show different numbers so I am not sure what the story is. You can always dial 074.

Some of the people who helped us spoke English and they told my husband to write his claim in English. It was great having them help us. One plus in the favor of cuota roads.


hack

Apr 25, 2010, 6:41 PM

Post #16 of 33 (19116 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Oh how interesting; the Green Angels. Found this online; nice to know that's an option should AAA's promises of roadside assistance fall short...

If you have an emergency while driving, call the Ministry of Tourism's hotline or (55) 5250-8221, extension 130/297, to obtain help from the “Green Angels,” a fleet of radio dispatched trucks with bilingual crews. Services include protection, medical first aid, mechanical aid for your car, and basic supplies. You will not be charged for services, only for parts, gas, and oil. The Green Angels patrol daily, from dawn until sunset. If you are unable to call them, pull off the road and lift the hood of your car; chances are good they will find you.

Anyways, Hounddog -- was going over your suggested route, which seems to be roughly to cross at Eagle's Pass, Take the 57 to Queretaro, Arco Norte across to D150/D180, and then turn south at Minatitlan. (Arco Norte's not on the latest AAA map, but from posts in the forum, it seems easy to trust that it exists). It's from there that I get confused. From there I see a tollroad (not divided tho?) that goes to Tuxla. From there it looks like either a jog back west to get to the A200, or a combo of libre roads heading SE. What I'm not sure of is why this is better than heading south on 185 at Acayucan and then taking 190 east to A200. Of course I'm only looking at the map, so I don't know what these roads are like, etc.

Also, could I get this from Nuevo Laredo, or is it better to take the 57 from Piedras Negras?

And, I found in another thread a discussion about the Arco Norte being rather boring, and that for those with time, there's another road called the DF that might be more fun. What's the DF? How I can find it on the map?


see saw sallie

Apr 25, 2010, 7:12 PM

Post #17 of 33 (19111 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Good timing I guess since I was sifting through messages for answers on the same questions hack has. I too want to know if we can get to the Arco Norte from Nuevo Laredo? Maybe I need a guia roji too (suggested on another thread). Don't want to go through Monterrey...but unsure it is better elsewhere either. We know the route through Monterrey.

Sallie


Vichil

Apr 26, 2010, 7:48 AM

Post #18 of 33 (19084 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Do get a Guia Roji it of Mexico, it is the only way to get decent maps . It is our bible when we travel and it is pretty accurate most of the time...
The roads are always marked unfortunately they are sometimes marked after the intersection rather than before. I call that the comfort signs , when several kms down the road you will see the sign showing you it is the right road...
From Cordoba continue on the Vera Cruz autopista and exit towards Coatzcoalcos / Minatitlan/ Villahermosa at Tinaja, you will be on 145 then on to the next intersection, 180 goes to Villahermosa and the other road, the one you want towars Las Choapas/ Tuxtla. This road is only two ways but there is little traffic right now it is in pretty decent shape make sure you have gas, there are I think a couple of stations but better be safe.. The road does not have much traffic and it is very beautiful as you go west. Although a two lane road, it is a cuota road so same rules apply. The emergency number there is 074. After you go over the dam you will get closer to Tuxtla( you do not have to get into Tuxtla), I noticed they were working on some type of bypass go towards Berriozabal follow a sign to Arriaga and do not go all the way to Arriaga exit towards Tonala. This road is pretty new so I do not know if it shows on your map . It is a cuota road going through the reserva La Sepultura, a beautiful steep area going down to the coast. I am looking at a 2008/2009 Guia Roji and the road is not on this map so it may not be on yours. Once is Tonala it is a straight shot to Tapachula on the coastal highway where you never will see the water.

From Arco Norte to Tonala it is all cuota road no libre no mixture and some parts are beautiful. Parts are two lanes and parts are 4 lanes but it is all cuota.

The DF road does not apply to your trip. My husband posted about the DF road (DF is Districto Federal where
Mexico City is located) Coming from Guadalajara we usually cross Mexico City which we find less boring then the Arco Norte.t It
does not apply to you as you will be coming from Queretaro and I would not advise someone to cross Mexico City unless they have some pretty good sense of direction and have an idea of the lay out of the city. The Nahuatl names will get you every time, they sometimes look alike and the sign is gone before you can read or memorize the whole name. Ok to do with a co pilot not so easy if you are alone.


Vichil

Apr 26, 2010, 7:56 AM

Post #19 of 33 (19080 views)

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Re: [see saw sallie] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Nuevo Laredo to Queretaro, the only time we did it we went Nuevo Laredo Matehuela San Luis Potosi Queretaro San Juan del Rio and then direction Puebla cuota, it do not think it say Arco del Norte but it is where it starts.
We do not go north so we cannot advise you on the best road to the border but this one seems straighforwards.


Reefhound


Apr 26, 2010, 10:40 AM

Post #20 of 33 (19059 views)

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Re: [see saw sallie] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Sally, this subject has been discussed much so check the previous threads if you missed them.

Just stay on 57 from Ramos Arizpe through Queretaro and you will reach the Arco Norte (signed as "Puebla cuota") shortly after 57 turns into a cuota.

There are several route variations for crossing the border and getting to 57 but like you said it's really hard to tell what is the danger spot of the day. Thousands of people take each one every day without issues. With any route, odds are you won't have issues but no guarantees you won't be in the wrong place at the wrong time as the cartels operate in the whole region and the violence can flare up at any place at any time. Best bet is cross in the morning and drive in daytime, minimize the number of stops you make, try not to look too flashy, and get to 57 as quickly as you can.

Last month, I crossed at Piedras Negras and drove down through Monclova and picked up 57 at Ramos Arizpe in order to bypass Nvo Laredo and Monterrey. That route was fine but a few hours longer and slower. I returned by cutting over from 57 just north of SLP to Cd Victoria and came up through the Los Indios crossing. That route was also fine.


hack

May 9, 2010, 2:30 PM

Post #21 of 33 (18874 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Hi all. Turned out a great trip, just a few snafus less than expected. Will check back with a full report later to wrap up the thread. Thanks, all, for the help...

Matt


hack

Jun 28, 2010, 8:10 PM

Post #22 of 33 (18115 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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FINAL REPORT ON TX-to-Tapachula road trip

Hi all, and thanks for your help with this. I followed the route recommended by Houndog: crossing at Piedras Negras, following 57 to Arco Norte, and then using D150 to get past Puebla and onto D180, then connecting to the 200 to Tapachula. For those who might find this information useful, here, belated, is the results of my trip:

1. Crossed early from Eagle Pass to Piedras Negras. Didn't realize that all the paperwork would not be completed at the border but later on along Hwy 57. I also probably missed the place to buy insurance, so I bought some online through http://www.mexicoinsuranceonline.com/. Fast, easy, recommended. Take care of it before your trip, no worries later.

2. Drove in that first day down to Potosi -- a lovely drive through desert in bloom. Made it to Potosi at around 4 -- enough time to stroll the colonial centre and soak up a bit of atmosphere. Cathedral's great. Stayed at the Hotel Guadalajara, which is supposedly in a seedy area according to Lonely Planet, but I found none of that and actually it is right around the corner from the zocalo. Highly recommended -- cheap and clean.

3. Farted around on Day 2. Went to Aguascalientes to see the Museum of Death, then bedded down in Leon at the Hotel Emily. Very cheap, plenty clean, no worries.

4. Motored on Day 3, past Puebla, and overnighted in just past Minatitlan. I did not find signs for the Arco Norte, but followed the signs to Queretaro, asked a few times, and ended up on the Arco Norte. I recommend asking once you get close just to make sure. Just past Vera Cruz was the only other directions-related problem I had -- signage on the road, D150, is very poor. At the point where this road merges with another it is necessary to turn off to get to Minatitlan, which on my AAA map is the D180. There is just one sign for Minatitlan. I should have much earlier bought a Gida Roji, the road atlas many on this forum told me to buy. The AAA map is wrong, and I've told AAA so, but no sense in relying on that when the Gida Roja is the thing to have. Anyways, be careful here so you don't miss the turnoff. As an aside, I still don't understand the numbering system for Mexican highways -- all the time I seem to be turning off something called the 200 and onto something else called the 200. Or off 180 and onto 180. I have learned to just pay attention to the desintation names on the signs and not to the numbers of the roads.

5. Day 4, down into Chiapas and over to Tapachula -- great drive. Some slow going given a two-lane highway with trucks a plenty, but nice drive.

Overall, most of the trip was on cuota roads, and the whole thing cost me about $140 in tolls -- not insignificant! The paved libre roads I've driven on since aren't all that bad in comparison. However I thought the roads were in excellent condition (disclaimer, I'm from Detroit, which has perhaps America's worst roads) and I found the driving quite easy and pleasant. Good luck to anyone else who has the good fortune to make this drive -- highly recommended!

Matt


Hound Dog

Jun 29, 2010, 7:07 AM

Post #23 of 33 (18069 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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It´s good to hear you had an enjoyable trip, Matt. I especially am pleased that you spent a night in San Luis Potosí and were as impressed by its pedestrian friendly and inpressive colonial center as was I. Posters often ask if San Luis Potosí is a worthwhile stopover when driving from the vicinity of Lake Chapala to the border and I always say yes for, while the city is mostly a not very impressive spread-out industrial burg, the historic center is a great place to overnight with impressive colonial buildings, several pedestrian-only strolling opportunities among architecturally impressive structures and a lively restaurant scene. If one is driving the eastern libramiento around the city, it is easy to take a detour into the heart of the city´s motel row with several fine options or drive on into the colonial center and stay in one of many older colonial style hotels where one can stroll to dinner at a restaurant or cafe suiting one´s tastes. This is clearly one of the most interesting places to stop over on the way from the Lake Chapala area to the border.

I must repeat my recommendation for a diversion from the cuota for a beautiful side trip on the free Highway 80 south of San Luis Potosí until it rejoins the cuota to Guadalajara about an hour or so later. I only took this route because I got lost leaving San Luis but found myself on a magical high-desert two lane libre through splendid ochre colored countryside with virtually no traffic with which to contend. A fun drive and not really an inconvenience. The countryside and small villages in this region are a delight.

For those of you planning a trip into the Soconusco, Highway 200 from Tonalá to Tapachula is an old but well-constructed and maintained four lane highway that is not a toll road. You will be driving beween the high Sierra and the sparsly-populated Soconusco coast. Plan some time for diversionary trips along this scenic coastal route either to the sea or to the high mountain ecological reserves which include a famous rain forest if you have the time. You may be the only tourist during the work week.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Jun 29, 2010, 7:20 AM)


hack

Jun 29, 2010, 7:46 AM

Post #24 of 33 (18052 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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Potosi for sure is a great place to stop. Some nice shopping opps there too. I won't be able to compare to say for sure until I get there on the way back, but I found a place selling textiles and mescal, and IIRC the textile buys were more impressive than 90% of the mass-produced tourist stuff I saw in San Cristobal, as well as more impressive than the non-tourist stuff for sale in the non-tourist market in San Cristobal. I wonder if there's some sorta cooperative producing stuff for this place I saw in Potosi?

What high-mountain ecoreserves? We've been visiting the beaches up and down the Soconusco, and highly recommend getting to Zacapulco via a boatride through the massive coastal mangrove stands. Would love to try a daytrip inland and highland though.


Reefhound


Jun 29, 2010, 8:50 AM

Post #25 of 33 (18034 views)

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Re: [hack] Seeking road-trip advice from TX to Tapachula

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SLP also seems to be a pretty safe place in Mexico. While it may not have immunity from crime, I have not heard it mentioned in any of the seemingly daily stories of spectacular violence this year. We often stop there for lunch on our way to Celaya and have wandered through various parts of the town but never actually visited the center!
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