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Mexicanbill

Aug 13, 2013, 6:36 PM

Post #1 of 27 (11247 views)

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Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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We will be entering Mexico at Eagle Pass. I have been told by some that hwy 54 was to be avoided and to travel hwy 57, but that takes us way out of our way. If I go from Pedras Negras to Nueva Rosita and down to Monclova then on to Saltillo, I can pickup hwy 54 all the way to Guadalajara and then I will find the hwy over the mountains to PV.

However, I am looking for the safest route which might not be exactly as it looks on the map.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated as this will be my first time driving in Mexico. ( Limited Spanish however my wife is from Mexico and she can do the talking for me when needed.)

Once we have the route figured out, we will need help finding a place (hotels) to stay at night where our car will be safe while we sleep and our dog will be allowed.

There again, any and all advice will be very helpful
Chef William aka MexicanBill



mazbeach

Aug 13, 2013, 7:00 PM

Post #2 of 27 (11240 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Travel with a dog in Mexico can be troublesome when it comes to hotels. Not too many are pet friendly. How big is your four-legged child? We have two small Chihuahuas that we sneak in out of hotels in our travels. They are pretty quiet and they haven't ratted us out yet.

Here's a site that might help: http://gringodog.com/...endly-hotels-mexico/


Mexicanbill

Aug 13, 2013, 7:07 PM

Post #3 of 27 (11237 views)

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Re: [mazbeach] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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He's 9 pounds 12 oz/ and does not know when to shut up. His name is Ferocious and he thinks he is, but he really isn't. Thanks for the lead, I will check it out.
Chef William aka MexicanBill


rockydog85251

Aug 13, 2013, 7:48 PM

Post #4 of 27 (11230 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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I have found that Gringo Dog is much outdated, so beware & verify everything/place first. You might post your inquiriy on other area specific forums here.
We have 3 chihuahusa & have found good luck at the no-tell motels....good luck to you and please post any hotels that you area able to use with your quadruped.
Happy trails.........
Willie


RickS


Aug 13, 2013, 8:58 PM

Post #5 of 27 (11214 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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"We will be entering Mexico at Eagle Pass. I have been told by some that hwy 54 was to be avoided and to travel hwy 57, but that takes us way out of our way. If I go from Pedras Negras to Nueva Rosita and down to Monclova then on to Saltillo, I can pickup hwy 54 all the way to Guadalajara and then I will find the hwy over the mountains to PV."

Chef William, here are two route alternatives for you to Guad. when entering at Eagle Pass. You may already know some/all of this, but....

There are two bridges at Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras. Use the newer, International II bridge getting to it off of S. Monroe Street in Eagle Pass. This will connect you with Lbmto. Sur in Piedras which will lead you to Hiway 57 south. You will get your visas and car TIP about 34 miles south on 57 at Allende. Buildings on the right; you cannot miss it.

As you leave these buildings you will go through the declare/nothing to declare lanes (red light/green light). Almost immediately after than will begin a toll road, cuota 57D. Take this and NOT the libre 57 down to Nueva Rosita. Then follow 57 down to Monclova. Take 57 directly through Monclova on Blvd. Harold Pape. Easy. Lots of signal lights but easy. Do NOT speed (as if you could due to the 1 million traffic signals!). Nice city IMO. Do NOT take any bypass around Monclova unless you want to pay mordita. DO gas up in Monclova as the next 100 miles of great, straight wide 2-lane road has no Pemex.

On the NW outskirts of Saltillo (at Ramos Arizpe actually) you have your first decision: Highway 54 or Highway 57. I personally think they are equally good, but the 54 route has less tolls and traffic. BUT if you decide to go the 54 route, you will NOT want to follow it all the way to Guadalajara..... only to Zacatecas City..... then you would go to Aguascalientes. The remaining route south on 54 from Zacatecas City to Guadalajara, though libre, has some very twisty, curvey 2-lane canyon roads later that you may not want to drive first time. And it is NOT shorter time-wise that way anyway. And that road has had some 'situations' in the past with cartel activity. Some folks may even warn you not to drive to Zactecas City at all due to cartel violence lately but I am not in that camp as that activity has not been around the 54 road down from Saltillo nor on the cuota to Aguas.

Although I go the 54 route from Saltillo down, I suggest that you might want to consider staying on 57. It will become 4-lane and sometimes cuota as you skirt around Saltillo then down towards Mathehuala and then to San Luis Potosi (you will bypass both of these unless you end of spending the night in one). Pay close attention to the speed limit on the San Luis Potosi bypass even if it says 40kph! Then almost immediately after the SLP bypass rejoins 57, you will want to watch for a 'new' cuota (80D?) going right/west. The sign will say "Guadalajara/Lagos de Morenos. Watch your speed during the first few miles of this road also.

From there it's just follow the signs to Lagos (use the little bypass of Lagos also and watch your speed there too), and then on to Guadalajara on 80D cuota.

P.S. The last part of your post said 'Over the mountains to PV'. You might want to clarify what you mean there also as there is a good way and a not so good way... especially for the first time driver in that area.


(This post was edited by RickS on Aug 13, 2013, 9:04 PM)


Mexicanbill

Aug 14, 2013, 5:18 AM

Post #6 of 27 (11197 views)

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Re: [RickS] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Thank you RickS, This is just the kind of information I need. I will mark my map and use it as a guide. Can I ask one more favor, can you also tell me which is the Good way from Guadalajara to PV. I have only made that trip twice, once by car, with a nephew driving so I was sight seeing, and once by bus (which broke down half way through the trip) Your detailed driving information as taken a lot of stress off of planning the trip as we have decided to skip the relatives and just do it alone, because they couldn't legally drive our car anyway.
Chef William aka MexicanBill


esperanza

Aug 14, 2013, 6:25 AM

Post #7 of 27 (11182 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Your Mexican relatives are most certainly allowed to drive your car, as long as you are in it with them.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









RickS


Aug 14, 2013, 11:12 AM

Post #8 of 27 (11156 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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The two routes from Guadalajara to PV: one is via cuota (mostly) and the other is libre. Both are about 175 miles.

On the map it looks like the libre is a straighter shot... and it more-or-less is that but it is not faster nor as 'easy' a trip IMO. It is 2-lane all the way, and towards PV will have some 'mountainous' terrain dropping down to sea level. There are some nice towns to visit along the way (again, mostly in the latter part) such as Talpa de Allende, Mascota and my favorite San Sebastian de Oeste. But all of those could be visited later as a trip back up from PV. This route would be taken from Hiway 15 a bit west of Guadalajara, then out towards Tala and Ameca.

The other route would be to take the cuota 15D west of Guadalajara towards Tepic. This road is very beautiful as it goes out through 'tequila land' and then through some wonderful lava fields. Being cuota, it's an easy ride. About 90 miles out, before Tepic, you will take the exit to Chapalilla and Puerto Vallarta. From there on the roads will be well-signed to PV. You'll have a stretch of 2-Lane cuota (200D) over to Compostela where you will then join libre 200 down to Las Varas and then on down to PV. As you may already know, 200 is a twisty and windy road and the traffic can be both heavy and dangerous (crazy drivers!!!).

I've driven both and like them both. One is free and the other has tolls. When I am in my sightseeing mode, I take the free road; when I want to get to the PV area more relaxed I take the cuota (although that last part of 200 cannot be called relaxing!).


(This post was edited by RickS on Aug 14, 2013, 11:16 AM)


mazbeach

Aug 14, 2013, 11:21 AM

Post #9 of 27 (11149 views)

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Re: [RickS] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Or go a little bit further yet past Tepic and take the turnoff south to San Blas, where you turn back east towards Mirimar. After a bit you will connect with 200 south of Tepic to continue your journey. Really a pretty drive. Plus, you miss all of the commercial stuff between this junction, north to Tepic.


mazbeach

Aug 14, 2013, 11:25 AM

Post #10 of 27 (11148 views)

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Re: [mazbeach] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Oops, I meant west of Tepic.


donemry

Aug 15, 2013, 8:35 AM

Post #11 of 27 (11077 views)

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Re: [RickS] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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I would be hesitant about the road from GDL through Mascota. The new road from Mascota to Las Palmas is very prone to rock/landslides in the rainy season and shortly after. Although the road from Chapapilla to Las Varas is also through the mountains, it is an older more stable road.

The drive time seems to be about the same either way, the cuota route is less stressful, yet still scenic.


sioux4noff

Aug 17, 2013, 2:24 PM

Post #12 of 27 (10709 views)

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Re: [donemry] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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We always use the free road through Mascota. My husband, the driver, prefers it. Less traffic, virtually no trucks and very scenic.


careyeroslib

Aug 21, 2013, 12:36 PM

Post #13 of 27 (10580 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Great info on Eagle Pass. I might say we used Rick S´s directions going from Saltillo to Eagle Pass. Great trip. Thanks RickS :)

I´ll just speak to the Guadalajra to Puerto Vallarta stretch. At the end of a long trip such as yours, and such as we have done many times, take the Cuota. The road through Mascota is picturesque and I would certainly recommend it as a stand-alone route between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, but not after hours and hours of driving.

Also, usually, when you first get on the Cuota, sometimes they are selling IAVE passes (toll tag) Even if you never use it again, it´s really nice just sail through the various toll booths without fumbling for change.

If you have more questions about this route, please post back. I´m wondering if you are now crossing at Juarez instead.


sioux4noff

Aug 21, 2013, 1:22 PM

Post #14 of 27 (10570 views)

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Re: [careyeroslib] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Good point that at the end of a tiring trip easy is the operative word!


Mexicanbill

Aug 27, 2013, 4:58 PM

Post #15 of 27 (10360 views)

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Re: [careyeroslib] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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First I've heard about the toll tags. I'll look for them when I get to Mexico, thanks
Chef William aka MexicanBill


robt65

Aug 27, 2013, 9:18 PM

Post #16 of 27 (10345 views)

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Re: [careyeroslib] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Does anyone know if those IAVE passes (toll tag) also include the insurance that the regular toll Cuota booths provide?

Thanks,

Regards,

robt65
San Juan del Rio
Querétaro


Mexicanbill

Aug 29, 2013, 6:40 PM

Post #17 of 27 (10277 views)

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Re: [robt65] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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What insurance is provided with the toll tags? I'm learning more every day?
Chef William aka MexicanBill


esperanza

Aug 29, 2013, 6:56 PM

Post #18 of 27 (10271 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Not toll tags, Mexicanbill. Toll receipts, the little papers that the toll booth attendant gives you when you pay your toll on the cuotas. Don't throw them away till you reach your destination. If something happens to your car or to you due to road conditions, the SCT (Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes) will pay your expenses.

For example, several years ago I was driving from Morelia to Guadalajara on the toll road. A little while after paying the toll at Ecuanduréo, Michoacán, the condition of the 4-lane cuota deteriorated so badly that I felt a loud THUNK--but the car I was driving had run-flat tires and it took me a few minutes to realize that the driver's side rear tire was flat. I slowed down and pretty soon I approached the Ocotlán, Jalisco toll booth. According to the toll receipt, you are required to notify SCT at the nearest toll booth. When I told the person staffing the booth what had happened, she asked me to pull over to the side of the exit and wait for the insurance adjustor. He came immediately and asked what happened. I told him about the road conditions and he just shook his head and said, "This road is a mess and needs to be fixed."

A flat-bed tow truck picked up our car and us and took us into the town of Ocotlán, to the SCT repair shop. Because the tire was unusual and had to be ordered, the repair shop took us to the bus station and paid for our bus back to Morelia. When the car was ready, we hopped on the ETN bus out of Morelia and went to pick it up in Ocotlán. Cost to us? Zero. Cost to the SCT? Well over 6000 pesos. Worth it to save your toll receipts? You betcha--priceless.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Aug 29, 2013, 9:06 PM)


robt65

Aug 29, 2013, 8:54 PM

Post #19 of 27 (10252 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Hey Mexicanbill,

Esperanza puts forth a very excellent first hand knowledge report as to why to pay your tolls at the booths. They can literally save a person thousands of pesos. I travel frequently between my home in Querétaro and McAllen Texas About six times a year for over 600 miles in each direction, and use several different cuota's. Several different cuota's are operated by different companies. They all provide insurance for any event that gets a to be a problem.

My original question to this really good post is whether or not "those IAVE passes (toll tags) also include the insurance that the regular toll Cuota booths receipts provide?" I have never been able to find out if they do or not. Using the cuota's as frequently as I do, I would love to get through the sometimes long lines faster. However I do not want to get such a pass (toll tag) if I am not going to get the same insurance benefits that a standard 5 minute wait would give me. It is just too good a thing to pass up.

A lot of newbie ex pats should always learn that not everything in Mexico would be logical or as it would seem to make sense" always remember one thing here Mexicanbill . . . . .the only thing for sure in Mexico, . . . . . is that nothing is for sure. We NOB'ers take a lot for granted from the way we used to live and bring that kind of baggage with us. Well things here are different and it is up to us to do our homework. So if as to my original question asks does any one have any first hand knowledge if one does indeed gets the same insurance benefits with a "toll tag" that one gets with a pay as you go receipt from the Cuota toll both when you pay your toll, I would really like to know. Souix4noff makes an equally good point in saying that toll tags do indeed save time, which is really nice at the end of a long days drive.

I am headed NOB again next week or so and this time I will make a point to ask if indeed such toll tags offer the same insurance and does that insurance work the same and is it honored by all the various companies that Mexicanbill for asking.

Regards,

Robt65
San Juan del Rio
Querétaro


careyeroslib

Aug 30, 2013, 2:53 PM

Post #20 of 27 (10200 views)

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Re: [robt65] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Robt65: It´s all computerized. You have to prepay and wnen you go through a toll booth it "sees" your IAVE pass and then, if there is insufficient funds, the bar doesn´t go up. If you do, the bar goes up and your account is debited. You can check online for a record of your trips.

There is no difference between paying via IAVE (prepaid) or paying cash with respect to the rights you have. . You are a toll-paying customer with the same rights as a person who pays with cash.


robt65

Aug 30, 2013, 4:56 PM

Post #21 of 27 (10180 views)

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Re: [careyeroslib] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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careyeroslib,

Thanks for the response as to how it works. Can you post the source of the information regarding the insurance is included and that all different toll road companies recognize and use the one single IAVE pass? Thanks.

Regards,

Robt65
San Juan del Rio,
Querétaro


tonyburton


Aug 30, 2013, 5:02 PM

Post #22 of 27 (10179 views)

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Re: [robt65] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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A map of coverage is linked to from the IAVE website:
https://www.iave.mx/iave/default.aspx
and no doubt all the terms and conditions are there too, somewhere!


robt65

Aug 30, 2013, 8:23 PM

Post #23 of 27 (10152 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Hello Tony,

Thanks for the information. I appreciate the source site.

Regards,
Robt65
San Juan del Rio
Querétaro


(This post was edited by robt65 on Aug 30, 2013, 8:25 PM)


robt65

Aug 30, 2013, 8:54 PM

Post #24 of 27 (10146 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Hello Again Tony,

Evidently it does cover all 16 "Corredores" in Mexico, no matter the operating company. https://www.iave.mx/iave/Default.aspx However unless I missed it, I read the entire site and saw nothing about providing insurance as does the individual method of paying at the booths. I will be happy to stand corrected if another poster has a printed source.

Regards,

Robt65
San Juan del Rio
Querétaro


esperanza

Aug 30, 2013, 9:11 PM

Post #25 of 27 (10140 views)

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Re: [robt65] Eagle Pass to Puerto Vallarta travel info needed?

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Yes, you are covered by the same travelers' insurance, even though you do not have a paper receipt for paying your tolls.

https://www.iave.mx/iave/TramiteFaqs.aspx Click on 'Garantías'.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Aug 30, 2013, 9:12 PM)
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