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Jul 24, 2011, 8:07 PM

Post #1 of 5 (4388 views)


Driving from Texas to Puerto Vallarta...Need Advice!

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HELP! My wife and I are planning on driving from Dallas Texas to Puerto Vallarta in November 2011 and need some advice. First of all, we are planning on staying down there for 6 months and so we figured it would be the most economical to have our car there than to try and rent a car for that long. Neither of us know any Spanish. We do have friends that speak fluently so we were thinking of at least having a phone with us so that we could call them and have them translate if need be for us. We need help knowing where the safest crossing is at in Texas and what highways we should plan to travel. Does anyone have any suggestions as to safe places to stay along the way. Looks like we will probably stay overnight at least twice on the way down. Any help would be much appreciated!! Thanks!!


Jul 25, 2011, 11:26 AM

Post #2 of 5 (4356 views)


Re: [lancetailor] Driving from Texas to Puerto Vallarta...Need Advice!

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Having travelled from Waco to Puerto Vallarta, I would suggest getting as far as Saltillo on your first day. We found the crossing at Eagle Pass very easy. The second night we spent on the north side of Guadalajara, so we would have an easy day to Vallarta. That makes a long day's drive, Saltillo to Guadalajara, but do-able.
From Waco to Bucerias (just north of Vallarta) we figure 24 hours of "car time" which includes stops for gas, food, etc.
Send me a private message if you'd like more info.


Jul 25, 2011, 12:07 PM

Post #3 of 5 (4349 views)


Re: [lancetailor] Driving from Texas to Puerto Vallarta...Need Advice!

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lancetailor, I see that you are new to this forum. Welcome. This subject (where to cross, where to stay and what's safe) have been discussed often here. One can use the "Search Posts" function above to find some of these discussions. Just put something like 'crossing' or 'bridge 2' or 'Piedras Negra' in the search string and read away.

Having said that, I'll give you my dos pesos worth..... Coming from Dallas I would use one of two routes; both will end up around Saltillo so from there on the route would be the same. Where to stay depends on when you cross the border. Many stay at the border one night and and cross earlier in the morning.

1) Nuevo Laredo and Bridge 2 (sometimes called the 'new' bridge)
2) Piedras Negras (Eagle Pass)

1) Cross at bridge 2, get pesos at a casa de cambio in that area and head south on cuota (toll road) 85; skirt Monterrey and head towards Saltillo; a little before Saltillo take cuota 57 south towards Matehuala and San Luis Potosi. Skirt Potosi (unless you need to stay there overnight) and about 20 miles south take the road towards Aguascalientes. About half way there you have a choice..... continue on to Aguascalientes or cut south at Ojuelos de Jalisco on highway 80 to Lagos de Moreno and on to Guadalajara. If you go on to Aguascalientes, you would then go south on cuota 45 and then take 80 south to Guadalajara.
2) There is only one crossing at Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras. Take hiway 57 south towards Allende. This is where you will get your visa and vehicle permit. It is about 65km south of the border and 'you can't miss it'. It is right before you would pick up the short 57 cuota on south to Sabanis and Monclova. Continue on 57 south of Monclova towards Saltillo; then follow the directions from above. This road (57) from the border to Saltillo is mostly free and a very good/straight road. When it is not 4-lane it is a very wide and good 2+lane. Do NOT take the 'by-pass' around Monclova..... go straight through the city on Blvd. Pape. Easy.

If you don't already have one, I would highly recommend getting a road map of Mexico.... specifically a Guia Roji "Por las Carreteras de Mexico" 2011 version. Good book stores have them or look on the Internet. Pricey but I wouldn't make your trip without 'something'.

From Guadalajara there is really only one way to PV.


Jul 25, 2011, 1:31 PM

Post #4 of 5 (4333 views)


Re: [lancetailor] Driving from Texas to Puerto Vallarta...Need Advice!

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I have an alternative suggestion, which you may have already considered - but my dos pesos worth.....

1) Get yourselves into a Spanish immersion class - immediately

2) Consider using public transportation..........what you save on gas, tolls, ins, weat & tear on car, etc. may more than pay for the airfare to fly to PV.....or take a bus....they are wonderful, very inexpensive & for the most part, hassle free.

Once in PV, you could rent a car for special day trips, while using busses or taxis to get around town. Your friends probably have a car & they might be willing to take you shopping when they go to the store.

3) Repeat........get into a Spanish language won't be sorry!

4) Relax & have a great time!


Sep 16, 2011, 1:04 PM

Post #5 of 5 (3643 views)


Re: [RickS] Driving from Texas to Puerto Vallarta...Need Advice!

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There are actually two bridges to cross in Piedras. There is a new bridge south and east of the city that will by-pass the city to the east. Our last crossing was at the Columbia bridge west of Laredo. I like this the best except for the 10 miles along the river to the Aduana where you pick up 85.

We are crossing at the Columbia bridge again this year on Oct 31st if anyone is looking for a travel buddy.

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