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sealex

May 23, 2013, 10:17 PM

Post #1 of 10 (9796 views)

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Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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Traveling from Arizona, planning on crossing border May 28 (first time crossing) heading for the Yucatan. Keep getting conflicting advise. Some recommend Laredo -- in US longer, roads better, open 24hrs, easier crossing. Some recommend Eagle Pass -- "safer than Laredo", easier crossing, straight shot down 57. What do you all think?



RickS


May 24, 2013, 5:53 AM

Post #2 of 10 (9774 views)

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Re: [sealex] Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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I have crossed (several times, in and out) at both these borders. As far as ease, getting 'paperwork' at Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras Mexico gets my vote as it is much smaller and rarely many people.

With respect to 'safety', that's a hard one as everyone, including me, has their own story. But the reality is that none of us (except one professional gentleman who posts occasionally on this board and who lives in Nuevo Laredo) can really determine true safety because it is an ever-changing target. My version is that either route, at any given moment/day/week/month is about as safe for the gringo traveler as the other. This assumes that you yourself are not in the drug trade and that your purpose is to stay on the main highways and go from A to Z fairly quickly.

The Eagle Pass route has very good, wide, straight 2-lane roads with only one $7 toll to Saltillo. The Laredo route is mainly 4-lane cuotas (tolls) to Saltillo. After that point (Saltillo) your route will be the same. If you go the Eagle Pass route, gas up in Monclova as the stretch from there to Saltillo has no Pemex stations.

Once you decide your route, come back and we'll give you explicit travel directions/hints.


Altahabana


May 24, 2013, 10:32 AM

Post #3 of 10 (9740 views)

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Re: [RickS] Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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Safety doesn't really have anything to do with the choice between crossing at Eagle Pass or Laredo in my opinion. Same cast of bad actors causing the same problems in both places.

The choice is all about cost and convenience and Rick sets it out pretty well. Crossing at Piedras adds about 90 miles to the trip, but it is a more relaxed trip than the drive south from Laredo because it is much less busy. You also avoid the Monterrey metro area. If you cross at Piedras, the Immigration/Vehicle Permit station is right on the highway about 30 miles south of the border. Hwy. 57 south from Piedras is free with the one exception that Rick mentions and in excellent condition. I also think it is more scenic than the drive south from Laredo, if you are into the high desert scene.

I always recommend crossing at Piedras for first time visitors or people who have little familiarity with the Coahuila-Tamaulipas border area.


RickS


May 24, 2013, 12:21 PM

Post #4 of 10 (9728 views)

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Re: [sealex] Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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Altahabana is the gentleman I was referring to in my first post. He knows that area better than anyone else on this forum.

When he suggests that it is 90 miles farther going through Eagle Pass, I suspect that he is referring to coming from somewhere east. For you, coming from Arizona, taking the route through Eagle Pass and down highway 57 will actually be a bit shorter (40 miles?) than going on down thru Laredo.

Let us know if you need some more specifics and tips going that route (or the other for that matter).

My first tip to anyone doing any serious driving in Mexico is to get a good map..... and I don't know a better one to have then the Guia Roji "Por las Carreteras de Mexico". It is an 8.5 x 11, often spiral bound map that is available in the US.... just google it. I would get no older a map than the 2011 version.


Altahabana


May 24, 2013, 12:34 PM

Post #5 of 10 (9725 views)

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Re: [RickS] Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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Rick is correct. The trip through Piedras is 90 miles longer if you are driving straight South on Interstate 35 to get to the border. If you are coming from the west, Piedras is the shorter of the two routes and makes it the no-brainer recommendation.


sealex

May 24, 2013, 1:43 PM

Post #6 of 10 (9714 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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Thanks for the recommendations RickS and Altahabana.

Any and all tips will be greatly appreciated. We do have our Guia Roja and can understand it will help with our trip, just like a Thomas Bros guide. We also have Garmin Mexico with lifetime updates. We are traveling with our dog and have Health Certificate from our vet.

We are meeting someone in Akumal, Quintana Roo May 31 so we are planning on heading there right away and then take our time sightseeing on the way back. We will be heading back to the States in September.

How early can we cross at Eagle Pass? How long is the wait time for docs at Eagle Pass? Will we be able to get as far at SLP the first day? The point to point says 713.41km (abt 444 mi) and 7 hours. If we can't make it that far the plan is to stop at Matehuala. Second day hoping to get as far as Villahermosa or Mintitian.

As I said any and all tips and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


mazbeach

May 24, 2013, 2:47 PM

Post #7 of 10 (9706 views)

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Re: [sealex] Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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If you are driving there is little chance anybody will fuss about the dog. If asked, make sure you have a signed health certificate that says the dog is free of parasites internal and external, and that their last rabies shot was within 12 months. The rules say that the certificate can be no older than five days, but we've never had ours questioned even when flying.


RickS


May 24, 2013, 7:27 PM

Post #8 of 10 (9676 views)

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Re: [sealex] Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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How far one can get in Mexico depends on what time your leave Piedras Negras. I don't know what time the border opens.... if in fact it is not a 24/7 crossing. Maybe someone will chime in. If you need pesos, there are several casa de cambios on the road within Piedras.

In Eagle Pass take the 'new Bridge' which one gets to on S. Monroe. Once across the river, take Libramiento Sur, then out to 57. You get your visa and car permit about 30-35 miles down 57 just past Allende. You really can't miss it as it is well marked and on the right (parking lot/building). If you don't know the procedure/requirements for getting the Temporary Vehicle Import Permit (TIP) just ask.

As you exit the parking lot there you will immediately need to get in either the 'to declare' line or 'nothing to declare'. Once past that you will almost immediately see the 57 cuota toll (57D). Take it and not the 57 libre (free). This is the only toll until you get to Saltillo! Follow 57 through Sabinas and down to Monclova. At Monclova do NOT take a bypass to the right but rather drive straight through town on Blvd. Harold Pape. I think this is a very nice town but there are 6 million traffic signals and you will stop at each of them. Watch your speed limit religiously through town, no matter how slow it says. Be sure and fill up your tank in Monclova.

Once you clear Monclova you will have a loooong, straight but good 2-lane road to Saltillo. Nice desert drive and you may not see many cars. Approaching Saltillo (you wont' go into town) 57 will continue south towards Matehuala. At times it will be cuota and times libre. Always pretty good 4-lane.

There is a 'bypass' around Matehuala that you will not take if you spend the night there. There are several good motels within the town. Many (most?) people stay in the Las Palmas but here is a link that will show you most of the others: www.lakepatzcuaro.org/Matehuala.html I understand that the Casa Real, across from Walmart, takes pets and has wifi. The Nori restaurant there is very good.

From there the next morning it's continue down main street which takes you back out to 57 south toward San Luis Potosi. Take the Potosi bypass and watch your speed. Then on to Queretaro which you can bypass on 57D. Approaching Mexico City there is a 'new' bypass, Arco Norte which is probably 57D, which will take one around DF and dump you out 'around' Puebla on 150D. If you don't know about Arco Norte, ask. Last time I heard there weren't any/many gas stations on Arco Norte and it is quite a long way to Puebla.

Sounds like from there you kinda know the route.

Have a good trip.





(This post was edited by RickS on May 28, 2013, 9:12 PM)


salex

May 25, 2013, 1:16 PM

Post #9 of 10 (9618 views)

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Re: [RickS] Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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Thanks for the info.
RickS that description of the crossing is very helpful. I can almost picture it.
It says the International Bridge II is open 24hrs.
Does that mean that Customs & Immigrations is also open 24hrs.
Has anyone crossed as early as 6am?


sealex


salex

May 30, 2013, 4:18 PM

Post #10 of 10 (9446 views)

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Re: [salex] Border Crossing Eagle Pass or Laredo

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As a follow up in case anyone else might need the info. The Eagle Pass Border is open 24 hours and Customs/imm is also open 24hrs. We crossed border 730am, no one else in line. They did open up our van trunk and give it a quick look. We were on our way to the 30mile check arriving at 810a. No one in line for Vehicle Permit or FMM. Of course the nothing to declare line was not operational so they directed us to the declare line and check the trunk once again. No problems. we were still out of there by 9am.
We did make it to SLP by 5pm same day. Next morning we were off again by 7am and were able to make it to Villahermosa by 730p even with two traffic delays around Queretaro which cost us about 1.5 hrs time. The Arco Norte was a breeze but there was a little construction for about a mile but would use it again in a heartbeat

sealex
 
 
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