Mexico Connect
Forums  > General > Traveling Mexico


happygilmore

Jan 9, 2014, 3:08 PM

Post #1 of 25 (7483 views)

Shortcut

Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hi everyone

I am planning my drive from the coast of Mississippi to Tapachula, Chiapas in the next few weeks and would like some input from you all on my route. I'm taking my 2001 Toyota sequoia along with a dirtbike on the back.

My plan is to cross at Nuevo Laredo at sunrise and take 85 towards Monterrey, taking the bypass around Monterrey on 40D towards Saltillo. Then get on 57D outside Saltillo, ride that out until bypassing around Mexico City and connecting with 150. I found a nice hotel in Puebla to stay overnight and Puebla will make a good stopping point.

The next morning I'll continue on 150 until it turns into 145D. After getting on 145D I will take 185 south at Acayucan. Then follow that all the way to the coast and then take 195/200 all the way to Tapachula

Thoughts?

Cheers.



esperanza

Jan 9, 2014, 3:48 PM

Post #2 of 25 (7471 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
That first day is waaaay too long...Laredo to the Arco Norte (going around Mexico City) is nearly 11 hours, plus another two hours to Puebla, depending on traffic going around the DF. The whole end part of that day will be at night. I wouldn't do it.

Puebla to Tapachula will take about 10 hours.

I'd break the trip up differently, especially that first day.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









mazbeach

Jan 9, 2014, 3:56 PM

Post #3 of 25 (7467 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Waaay too long for the first day. Check mileage and tolls here.

http://aplicaciones4.sct.gob.mx/sibuac_internet/ControllerUI?action=cmdEscogeRuta


happygilmore

Jan 9, 2014, 4:10 PM

Post #4 of 25 (7465 views)

Shortcut

Re: [mazbeach] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
It's almost 12 hours to puebla from Laredo, so if I left Laredo at 5am I'd still get to puebla before sunset around 6:15. So that automovil column on the consulta de ruta is the list of toll prices? That means about 150 dollars worth of tolls. I had heard the tolls were expensive but that's crazy.


chinagringo


Jan 9, 2014, 4:23 PM

Post #5 of 25 (7457 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
happy:

Since you are debating with some experienced Mexico travelers, I have to guess that you have little or no experience driving in Mexico? Remember days are shorter this time of year and apparently you are planning to sail through your crossing with no delays. As for your comment about tolls, try driving the libre (free roads) and see how great of time you can make. Part of the toll is insurance and you can pretty much count on help from the Green Angels should you have mechanical issues. If we have a choice between a cuota versus a libre, we will always drive the quota!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



happygilmore

Jan 9, 2014, 4:32 PM

Post #6 of 25 (7455 views)

Shortcut

Re: [chinagringo] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
I lived and drove in Chiapas for 6 months. I've just never driven through Mexico.
I understand the toll roads are worth the money.
I'm asking about the route I'm taking and whether or not it appears to be the safest/easiest/dependable way to Tapachula.


Thanks.


chinagringo


Jan 9, 2014, 4:56 PM

Post #7 of 25 (7451 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
The only portion of your route that we have driven is the Arco Norte, which we found to be one of the finest cuotas we have ever driven but services including Pemex stations are few and far between. Would highly recommend having a full tank when you connect with the Arco Norte. When we last drove it in both directions (August of 2012), there was a heavy presence of Federales and they have raised the fines for speeding on Federal highways quite dramatically since then.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



citlali

Jan 9, 2014, 7:18 PM

Post #8 of 25 (7420 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
We live in Chapala and San Cristobal de las Casas . We usually go to Tuxtla so I cannot help you but I am curious if you have ever done the Acayucan Juchitan road. We have done Oaxaca Tehuantepec Juchitan and have done the Tuxtla Tapachula road but never Acayucan Juchitan. Wat do you know about it?
Can you post your experience after you do it? We cannot wait until the new highway Oaxaca Tehuantepc, Juchitan is finished, it sure would help us as we do not like the Orizaba, Cordoba Tuxtla road in the winter because of the fog . Last January we stayed in Orizaba and had fog all the way to Tuxtla where the skies were clear but it was a long way to go in the fog.
I have to say that we have had bad weather in the winter on that road every year for the last 3 or 4 years so this time we doing Puebla Oaxaca Tehuantepec but that 5 hour drive from Paxaca to the coast is really curvy as well...We realize we maybe in the fog till we arrive in Acayucan but are curious what happens next and is it faster ...

The Juchitan Tapachula drive is not exciting but it is an easy road.


(This post was edited by citlali on Jan 10, 2014, 5:30 AM)


RickS


Jan 9, 2014, 7:34 PM

Post #9 of 25 (7419 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
The route you have chosen is certainly the best and safest; however there may be several things wrong with your other analysis....

One is that if you leave Laredo at 5am, it will still be dark until sunrise at 7:30. You wouldn't catch me driving the larger Toyota Sequoia through Nuevo Laredo and southward at that time of the morning! Crossing will also take some time even at that hour of the day.

I also concur with the others that your 12 hour estimate is faulty.... more like 14 hours considering that you will have to stop at the border, stop for a lot of toll booths and you'll have to fill that Sequoia several times. You'll also hit several Federal/State stops along that route and even if you don't get pulled over for further inspection at them it will eat into your time. I've driven much of that route a couple of times in the last year and it is all I can do to average 55 MPH over the long haul and I try to drive at least 70mph when appropriate.

If you insist on that schedule I suggest that you get your vehicle permit online prior to showing up in Laredo, and maybe cross over the evening before and get your visa (this is assuming you don't already have both already).

Good luck with your trip.


citlali

Jan 10, 2014, 5:33 AM

Post #10 of 25 (7393 views)

Shortcut

Re: [RickS] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Rick S
Have you taken the Acuyan Juchitan road. Is it less curvy than the Oaxaca Tehuantepec and how long does it take to get from Acuyan to Juchitan. I would like to hear from people who have driven it as the google thing is good for autopista but not so good for other roads. I do not care about the shortest route just would like to hear about the state of the road.


RickS


Jan 10, 2014, 6:33 AM

Post #11 of 25 (7383 views)

Shortcut

Re: [citlali] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Unfortunately, no.


happygilmore

Jan 10, 2014, 8:29 AM

Post #12 of 25 (7365 views)

Shortcut

Re: [RickS] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Ya I'm going to schedule in another day of travel.


esperanza

Jan 10, 2014, 9:12 AM

Post #13 of 25 (7355 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Smart decision, happygilmore.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Aaron+

Jan 10, 2014, 9:13 AM

Post #14 of 25 (7355 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
One really cannot predict when a road will suddenly close owing to, say, a landslide, particularly in Chiapas, Veracruz, and Tabasco during this period of still heavy rains. Toll road or a libre, no real way to know in advance. No real equivalent here to the AAA and equivalents in the USA and Canada. (The two "national" auto associations here are pretty much DF, Guadalajara, and Monterrey oriented.) Perhaps calling the SCT's Green Angel hotline could give you a heads up, easier than trying to catch an English speaker at each state's SSP HQ.

Do remember that with your purchase of a Mexican automobile policy, you (normally if not always) get a number to call in case you get in a jam, including your car breaking down (that is, another number besides the Green Angel's 078 daytime service along toll roads and some other major highways).

Then again, besides the occasional road closure owing to traffic accidents (which can happen anywhere), in Mexico the authorities tolerate multi-hour shutdowns of highways undertaken by so-called teachers and others with grievances, who are trying to get the ear of the media and the authorities.


esperanza

Jan 10, 2014, 12:42 PM

Post #15 of 25 (7330 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Aaron+] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply

In Reply To
Then again, besides the occasional road closure owing to traffic accidents (which can happen anywhere), in Mexico the authorities tolerate multi-hour shutdowns of highways undertaken by so-called teachers and others with grievances, who are trying to get the ear of the media and the authorities.


Or the goat...

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









happygilmore

Jan 10, 2014, 1:44 PM

Post #16 of 25 (7313 views)

Shortcut

Re: [esperanza] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Thanks guys for all the input and advice.
Here's a link to my route:
https://maps.google.com/...a=pr&t=m&z=6


Taking ya'lls advice on shortening my driving times I've decided to plan on stopping in San Luis Potosi for my first night and Minatitlan for my second.


chinagringo


Jan 10, 2014, 2:03 PM

Post #17 of 25 (7309 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Since you haven't driven the Arco Norte, you may enjoy the following video shot with a dash cam driving north out of Puebla:

http://youtu.be/J7LODkRL4jA

WE were driving north out of Puebla towards Morelia but this will give you an idea of what the countryside is like. There are some mountainous sections that are quite scenic. I apologize for the music - you will probably want to turn down your sound.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



happygilmore

Jan 10, 2014, 3:35 PM

Post #18 of 25 (7300 views)

Shortcut

Re: [chinagringo] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Appreciate that Neil.


esperanza

Jan 11, 2014, 6:06 AM

Post #19 of 25 (7268 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
One other word to the wise: if you are planning your trip for the near future, before you leave be sure to check out flooding conditions in Tabasco. This has been the worst winter in history for floods, roads washed out, etc. Our daily newspaper (El Universal in Mexico City) just yesterday reported that the only road leading from a town in Tabasco to Chiapas had completely fallen apart due to water damage. Friends who recently drove to Villahermosa spent nearly 15 hours getting there from the DF, again due to flooding. Just sayin'...

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









wilpharm

Jan 12, 2014, 6:13 PM

Post #20 of 25 (7186 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
gonna be a helluva feat to get to Puebla before dark…its a dark to dark drive just from Laredo to GDL this time of year & pretty hard to accomplish in the summer.
good luck!!!! most of that drive is 100 to 110 KM limit..I wouldnt push that too much unless you like to pay mordidas...


chinagringo


Jan 12, 2014, 6:25 PM

Post #21 of 25 (7181 views)

Shortcut

Re: [wilpharm] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
If you read back, the OP did announce that he had revised the trip length!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



robt65

Jan 12, 2014, 7:06 PM

Post #22 of 25 (7171 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Here is something else to consider very carefully. I live and have lived just 4 clicks off the 57 two hours north of Mexico for the past four years. I take that road every day twice and three times a day to and from San Juan del Rio. Monday through Wednesday noon the heavy traffic is north bound. From Wednesday afternoon and night, the traffic picks up immensely. This is the main route into and out of C.D. Mexico and beyond. It is the main truck transport route for commercial freight deliveries into Mexico on the southbound side. You will definitely be a part of sleepy and late running drivers highballing for Mexico and no one gets in their way. Heading south, I would definitely plan on an overnight in San Juan del Rio before any Wednesday, with an early morning (5 AM) start the next morning.

At six AM the heaviest traffic southbound starts and lasts until Saturday afternoon. There are many construction areas north and south of San Juan del Rio currently, on the southbound side. These transport drivers, as many as 40% are doubles like you have not seen before and think nothing of immediate turns in front of you for a faster lane, and most are young inexperienced drivers and are indifferent to your feelings. the person with the right of way, appears to be the one who gets the lane first.

I certainly do not mean to scare you, but make you aware, this section of 57 into Mexico and the Arco Norte is like nothing you have experienced before, unless you have driven in Moscow Russia. You can save a lot of time and a lot of traffic by taking the bypass around Querétaro, watch for the signs to Mexico and / or San Juan del Rio as you come to the second turn off to San Miguel de Allende. Take that turn off and follow the signs to Mexico. The extra Cuota cost is 40 pesos and saves about two hours of nerve racking driving through the city of Querétaro any time of day or night. It's the last Cuota "Pay Palace" until you reach the Arco Norte. Pay attention to what folks who have been here a while are trying to share with you.

P.S. A good inexpensive hotel is the first turn off to San Juan del Rio. Very clean and cost of $470 per night, per room. Just stay on the road as it curves under the 57, go up over the bridge, and down the other side. Then on past the all night Pemex and across a pretty narrow 300 year old bridge. About half a click more and on your right is the O'Puente Hotel. They have good, clean and inexpensive food there also. It is right across the street from the Commercial Mexicana supermarket. A total of about four minutes after exiting the 57 south.

Good Luck,
robt65
San Juan del Rio
Querétaro


(This post was edited by robt65 on Jan 12, 2014, 7:31 PM)


citlali

Jan 17, 2014, 5:38 PM

Post #23 of 25 (7060 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
We just went through to San Cristobal from Vera Cruz so passed by Minatitlan and the condition of the roads are fine and there is no rain or just some of he chipichipi in someareas but nothing serious. It has been cold and dry so hopefully it will be the same for you.


(This post was edited by citlali on Jan 18, 2014, 7:37 PM)


happygilmore

Jan 26, 2014, 6:11 PM

Post #24 of 25 (6841 views)

Shortcut

Re: [citlali] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Thanks everyone for the info.


I've got a question about license plate placement. I've read somewhere that in Mexico you're required to have a front license plate?


Also, my motorcycle will be mounted like this:
http://www.toyota-4runner.org/...orcycle-carrier.html


With the bike mounted my license plate is covered up. So do ya'll think it would be best to leave it as is, mount it visibly on the hitch carrier, or just move it to the front of the vehicle?


Thanks.


chinagringo


Jan 26, 2014, 6:30 PM

Post #25 of 25 (6839 views)

Shortcut

Re: [happygilmore] Planning Drive to Tapachula

Can't Post | Private Reply
Happy:

I doubt highly that anyone can give you a "one size fits all answer" that works everywhere in Mexico. Front license plates seem to be an issue in some Mexican States while others could care less. As a precautionary measure, we installed a souvenir Route 66 front plate just so there is a plate since New Mexico is rear plate only. Never had an issue before or after - so who knows?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM

 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4