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RockyRoads

Sep 6, 2013, 2:25 PM

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Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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Hi all. We are planning a trip to Mexico, primarily for the purpose of checking out the Chapala area. Instead of flying into GDL, however, it may be easier for us to go to Puerto Vallarta since we have different family members originating from different US cities. Is it practical to fly into PVR, rent a car, and drive to Chapala? (Might spend a couple days in PV while we're there.) Looks to be about a 5-hour drive, but of course I don't know what all is involved. Thanks in advance for your advice!



RickS


Sep 6, 2013, 2:52 PM

Post #2 of 11 (7016 views)

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Re: [RockyRoads] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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" Is it practical..."

Well, it surely is plenty doable. I would recommend taking Hiway 200 north and then come into Guadalajara on toll road (Cuota) 15D. There is a road 'directly' out of Puerto Vallarta east into the mountains but.....

Hiway 200 is a 2-lane and, depending on time of day/week, can be VERY tedious to drive because of the traffic and idiotic drivers in the twisty/curvey parts. Once one reaches the vicinity of Compostela it will be either 2-lane toll or 4-lane toll. The 4-lane cuota goes through some very beautiful country with areas of volcanic rock. You will, closer to Guadalajara, go past the turn-off to Tequila if a 'detour' to there meets your fancy.


sparks


Sep 6, 2013, 4:28 PM

Post #3 of 11 (6996 views)

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Re: [RickS] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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Personally I would take Hiwy 70 just past HomeDepot, cross over to 80 well before Guad and approach Lake Chapala the back way thru Jocotepec. I can't stand that Vallarta to Compostela road.

Problem is describing that route to someone very new to Mexico. Better to take the most traveled route

Sparks Mexico Blog - Sparks Costalegre


careyeroslib

Sep 6, 2013, 7:47 PM

Post #4 of 11 (6967 views)

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Re: [RockyRoads] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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We live more than half the year in Puerto Vallarta and have driven to Guadalajara and back from Vallarta more than 20 times.

I personally think your plan to fly into Vallarta when your primary aim is to check out Chapala should be plan Z, (when plans B through Y have failed).

Its not an easy drive, however you choose to do it. We have driven back and forth from southern Ontario Canada about 7 times and for sure the stretch from Guadalajara to Vallarta is the most tiring of the whole trip. Whether you take Highway 70 or the toll road its a tiring drive.

If you want to fly into Vallarta, take a first class bus to Guadalajara (theyre cheap and comfy) and rent a car there to check out Chapala.

Some people loathe the stretch between Las Varas and Compostela (the toll road), but I loathe the stretch between Home Depot and Ameca near Guadalajara unless Im sightseeing in my trusty Jeep Rubicon. There are all kinds of giant unmarked speed bumps and, in addition, in or just after rainy season, there can be rock sides blocking the road.

As was pointed out it is a doable drive, but, to me, it seems to be the path of greatest resistance :) given your goal to check out Chapala.


sioux4noff

Sep 7, 2013, 4:01 PM

Post #5 of 11 (6907 views)

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Re: [careyeroslib] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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Good idea to bus to Guadalajara and rent a car there.


RockyRoads

Sep 8, 2013, 6:17 AM

Post #6 of 11 (6865 views)

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Re: [RockyRoads] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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Thanks to all for your help. I think I'll redouble my efforts to fly into Guadalajara. Plan B will be the bus. :)


sioux4noff

Sep 8, 2013, 8:03 AM

Post #7 of 11 (6852 views)

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Re: [RockyRoads] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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For reference, the bus from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara is in the area of 400 pesos each way, and would take about 5 hours each way. Those are rough guidelines.
When toying with flight ideas, try an itinerary of flying into Puerto Vallarta and out of Guadalajara or vice versa. We've gotten decent fares with that stategy on some trips.
Perhaps the Puerto Vallarta area would interest you for retirement. Or, like some people you could spend most of the year in Puerto Vallarta, but go to Lake Chapala (or another cooler location) in the hottest, most humid months of the year


(This post was edited by sioux4noff on Sep 8, 2013, 8:05 AM)


RockyRoads

Sep 8, 2013, 9:36 AM

Post #8 of 11 (6824 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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In Reply To
For reference, the bus from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara is in the area of 400 pesos each way, and would take about 5 hours each way. Those are rough guidelines.
When toying with flight ideas, try an itinerary of flying into Puerto Vallarta and out of Guadalajara or vice versa. We've gotten decent fares with that stategy on some trips.
Perhaps the Puerto Vallarta area would interest you for retirement. Or, like some people you could spend most of the year in Puerto Vallarta, but go to Lake Chapala (or another cooler location) in the hottest, most humid months of the year


Thanks great info. The buses do have bathrooms, right? One time we took a bus from Guatemala City to Puerto Barrios, about five hours. The bus had no bathroom and only made one stop. Kinda tough on senior citizens! ;-)

I have a feeling Puerto Vallarta would be too hot & humid for us at any time of year, but the idea of being near the ocean for part of the year does sound appealing. If youre renting, how does that work? If a lot of other people are doing the same thing, wouldn't it be hard to find rentals for the prime months in both locations? Or are people keeping two houses?


careyeroslib

Sep 8, 2013, 5:44 PM

Post #9 of 11 (6785 views)

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Re: [RockyRoads] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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As for climate, were in Canada right now (southern Ontario, an hour north east of Buffalo, New York) and, quite frankly, the climate is about the same as it was in Vallarta (July and August). A bit sticky, but, hey, get to wear my summer clothes.

I would love to have an apartment in Guadalajara (dream, dream) but it would be because I love the culture of a big city, not because of the climate. I find the climate in Vallarta in the summer just fine. Just dress for it, have some air conditioning, and enjoy being close to the ocean. We love the summers in Vallarta.


sioux4noff

Sep 8, 2013, 10:43 PM

Post #10 of 11 (6756 views)

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Re: [careyeroslib] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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For us, going to Guadalajara is mostly about the big city, cultural, dining, shopping and activities. With climate being a huge plus.
I don't really love Vallarta summers.


AlanMexicali


Sep 9, 2013, 4:42 AM

Post #11 of 11 (6743 views)

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Re: [careyeroslib] Travel from Puerto Vallarta to Chapala

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As for climate, were in Canada right now (southern Ontario, an hour north east of Buffalo, New York) and, quite frankly, the climate is about the same as it was in Vallarta (July and August). A bit sticky, but, hey, get to wear my summer clothes.

I would love to have an apartment in Guadalajara (dream, dream) but it would be because I love the culture of a big city, not because of the climate. I find the climate in Vallarta in the summer just fine. Just dress for it, have some air conditioning, and enjoy being close to the ocean. We love the summers in Vallarta.



We also like the hot humid summers anywhere. We just got back from 2 weeks in Mexicali and San Diego on Saturday morning and the huge tropical front was there. In Mexicali it had a huge rain the night before we arrived 2 weeks ago in the morning the night before and was surprisingly cool that morning and puddles everywhere. By 1 PM the ground was dry and vey hot and humid.

In San Diego it was very hot and humid, but the week of off and on again rain in the desert never made it over the mountains to the coast, only the heavy humidity. Friday in SD it was about 97F.

Here in San Luis Potosi it is cool and rainy and we had a to have jackets and did not enjoy the cold rain this weekend.

I think when my wife retires will be spending July, August and September in San Diego.


(This post was edited by AlanMexicali on Sep 9, 2013, 4:44 AM)
 
 
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