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nicoli

Oct 1, 2014, 9:03 PM

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Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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My family and I are excited to move to Sayulita this month, and will be driving through the Nogales crossing south on Hwy 15. I've traveled and driven in Mexico several times however this will be the first time crossing the US-Mexico border by car. I already already have my Residente Temporal stamp in passport (not the official card yet) and my TIP in hand (via online).

I have not been able to find many recent postings specific to driving south on Hwy 15 from Nogales down towards Nayarit. Does anyone have any specific (and fairly recent) experience with this route, and any safety considerations specific to Hwy 15 in Sonora and Sinaloa? (I am well aware of basic safety considerations of driving in daylight, utilizing cuotas, having a good map, etc.) Specifically:

- Any specific guidance with the Nogales crossing? I'm aware the helpful advice here about using the Mariposa / truck bypass exit. Any other advice?

- Any specific things to keep in mind re: specific routes south on Mex 15? Do I need to veer off in order to stay on any cuotas or is it indeed Mex 15 the entire way to Tepic? Any spots to pay closer attention re: recent safety incidents?

- I've gotten helpful suggestions to consider staying in Novojoa the first night. If we crossed the border very early morning, would it be unreasonable to head a bit further south for the first evening, allowing us to make a long trip to Sayulita the second day? Any thoughts on Los Mochis? (based on google maps it is approximately 9 hours additional driving from there to Sayulita which seems doable).

- If we took our time more and stayed a second night on the way down, any suggestions on places to stay between Mazatlan and Tepic for a second evening? (or Mazatlan or Tepic themselves?)

Thanks for everyone's thoughts and support. This forum has been extremely helpful already and I appreciate the welcoming nature of it and folks' informative advice.

Best,

Nick



Teo

Oct 2, 2014, 2:56 PM

Post #2 of 15 (14381 views)

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Re: [nicoli] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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Hi Nick,

Although we've driven this route at least a dozen times over the years, we've not driven Mex 15 recently. However, we did take the bus from Nogales to PV (and back) this past May. So, with that caveat in mind, I'll tell you what I know.

1. As for the Nogales crossing, nothing to add. Would recommend you take the Mariposa crossing into Mexico.

2. It is Mex 15 all the way to Tepic and the cuota is well marked. The only thing you may want to check are the road conditions. After the two recent Pacific hurricanes, I don't know if portions of Mex 15 took a hit from all the rains along the Sinaloa and/or Nayarit coasts.

3. Whenever we've driven this route, we've always done a long first day driving from Nogales to Mazatlan. I wouldn't recommend this. Staying in Navojoa then on to Mazatlan is a much more sane way to break up the drive. Driving from Nogales to Los Mochis in one day is doable but I've not stayed there and have no recommendations for motels. Also you should know that the drive from Compostela to Sayulita along Mx 200 is agonizing. It is oftentimes slow going with many hairpin turns, crazy drivers trying to pass and slooooooow trucks. Plan extra time during this portion of the trip.

4. There are many hotels to choose from if you stay in Mazatlan but keep in mind that driving into Mazatlan takes you pretty far off of Mex 15, maybe 20-30 minutes. We've stayed at the Hotel La Siesta (basic, cheap, clean) right on the malecon and the Shrimp Basket restaurant is right below. Good shrimps and margaritas. :-)

Hope that helps. Don't forget auto insurance.


hunteradvisor


Oct 2, 2014, 4:45 PM

Post #3 of 15 (14368 views)

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Re: [nicoli] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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We should be in Nogales Mon. Leaving Tues for PV if you want to caravan. Otherwise we can post how we make out as we go.
Isabel
www.RanchoSolyMar.com


nicoli

Oct 3, 2014, 12:06 AM

Post #4 of 15 (14347 views)

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Re: [hunteradvisor] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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We are not leaving until next Friday but thanks so much for the offer. We would so appreciate any updates you could post on your way south - that would be extremely helpful!
Happy travels,

Nick


hunteradvisor


Oct 3, 2014, 10:13 AM

Post #5 of 15 (14318 views)

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Re: [nicoli] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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My friends suggested route:
As far a camping goes we have only made one trip through Nogales and we high-balled it to Hermosillo and stayed in a No Tell Motel. That was our first driving trip to Mexico. We have seen a campsite on the right just as you get into town which would be OK for a night, safe but not fancy.

We have been crossing over through Lukeville just South of Organ Pipe National Park in Arizona as of late. Itís a great way to enter as itís very low key and you can stay the night in the park just before you cross the border. Then you can easily make it (after paperwork delays 20 miles South of the border, usually quick though) to a nice dry camp just up the road (a few miles) North towards Magdalena from Santa Anna. I think this would work for you if you got an late start from the Nogales border. The Mexican guy that has built the campsite is very friendly and he has built an interesting kind of ďdesperadoĒ movie set kind of thing.

From there we hit the Coast and make our way down to Huatabampo a great beach on the Coast at the end of the road. Itís a little out of the way but worth it. The other option is to head into the hills to Alamo which is a neat town loaded with character. Camp at the hotel with a nice pool. Unfortunately our next favourite spot to stay was called ONAC but I understand that it closed this summer for redevelopment. To bad as it was a great spot with a nice beach and pool. Fast wifi too.
Isabel
www.RanchoSolyMar.com


Moisheh

Oct 5, 2014, 9:04 AM

Post #6 of 15 (14247 views)

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Re: [hunteradvisor] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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I do not think the OP is camping. Stay on the cuota and do not drive at night. Make sure you know where you will be stopping by 3 pm. You will need pesos for the tolls. Are you pulling a trailer or are you in an open pickup? Both require you to stay in a fenced yard and maybe with security. We have done this route many times but always in an RV.


raquelylosdinos

Mar 25, 2015, 10:04 PM

Post #7 of 15 (13515 views)

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Re: [nicoli] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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I am planning on making a very similar trip, from Nogales to PV - did you survive?

More importantly, did you run into any situations you felt were dangerous?

Thank you!


hunteradvisor


Mar 26, 2015, 7:08 AM

Post #8 of 15 (13501 views)

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Re: [raquelylosdinos] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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Indeed we not only survived we thrived and are planning a round trip in Aug to visit family in CA returning in Oct through the Baja then taking the ferry to Mazatlan and then home to Mayto. We never got an early start due to setting up our car insurance in Hermisillo the first day, then staying in Alamo at a cool place and hanging with the owners and then appreciating the super cool old plaza of Mazatlan finally ending up in Sayulita 3 nights later. We really were about enjoying the journey and not making a beeline so I sure you can make it faster, but if you're paying gas and tolls anyway, why not enjoy the ride. That time of year you're traveling has the longest daylight which is to your advantage, maybe plan to pull in an hour before sunset, we always strive for this and never make it. We were traveling late one night and a group of guys tailed our truck, but then we had 5 bicycles on the roof rack along with a yurt dome.
Good luck and enjoy!
Isabel
www.RanchoSolyMar.com


playaboy

Mar 26, 2015, 7:33 AM

Post #9 of 15 (13497 views)

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Re: [raquelylosdinos] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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I did two Lakeside to Nogales trips in the last month. The roads were in good condition. Best thing was the Mazatlan bypass was open. Lots of various government checkpoints including, surprisingly, INM


RickS


Mar 26, 2015, 9:33 AM

Post #10 of 15 (13488 views)

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Re: [raquelylosdinos] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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I know that your question was sincere but it never ceases to amaze me as to questions like yours. Hundreds of thousands of people drive around Mexico and it is rare that anyone, especially Gringos, ever have any problems.

Like Playaboy I too drive in and out of Mexico as well as within 'often'...since around 2000.... and I never feel like I shoud be supervigilent. Your trip will be almost 100% on a heavily traveled toll road. There will be normal stops where you may, or may not, even have to show any paperwork. It's all part of life here.

Enjoy your trip and enjoy PV.


rvgringo

Mar 26, 2015, 1:15 PM

Post #11 of 15 (13476 views)

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Re: [RickS] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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We made the trip from Guadalajara through Nogales to Tucson recently. No problems expected and none found. We lived in Mexico for 13 years and drove wherever and whenever we wished. No reason to worry.


chinagringo


Mar 26, 2015, 5:04 PM

Post #12 of 15 (13462 views)

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Re: [raquelylosdinos] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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Anyone who has traveled Mexico extensively should be candid enough to admit that reporting on conditions along a given route only matters on the particular day the trip is being made. Anecdotal evidence from the day before, a week before, a month before has absolutely ZERO bearing on what may happen on the day you are passing through! And please, don't pass off the BS that you have never experienced a problem in all your years of traveling in Mexico, so no one should be concerned.

We happen to have a close personal friend that has lived in Mexico for 15+ years, owns a business in Michoacan and is totally fluent in Spanish. He had made the trip to/from Michoacan/Laredo too many times to count without incident. A couple of years back, he was traveling the cuota outside of Monterrey when he came over a rise to find a roadblock. Long story short, he was left on the side of the cuota with NADA and his Toyota Tundra and his personal effects were down the highway.

This is the reality and it is up to the indidual traveler to figure out what their tolerance level is and do their own research using whatever local media sources they can identify!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



nicoli

Mar 26, 2015, 9:32 PM

Post #13 of 15 (13445 views)

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Re: [raquelylosdinos] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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Hola raquelylosdinos,

I made this trip last October 2014, and it was amazingly smooth and easy for me. I went with a close friend of mine, two gringos riding a small SUV packed to the brim with moving boxes, luggage and a cargo carrier on top - and we had ZERO incidents whatsoever. No sketchy situations, no cops to deal with, nada. A bit more detail of our experience and plan:

General "rules of thumb" we (mostly) kept to:
- We never rode at night
- We pretty much only rode on cuota / toll roads (see below)
- We planned out where we would be staying, sleeping each night
- We had a good map of roads and stayed track of where we were

The only exceptions of veering off toll roads were once to take a short side trip to a coastal-tourist town we read about in the Lonely Planet (can't remember name), which was fine; having to ride 10-15 min. into a small town to get gas because we were almost out (we couldn't find the station at first but asked locals and they were very helpful); and starting to take another side trip to a coastal area we had NOT read about at all, started to get very weird looks from several men hanging out on corners who didn't look especially friendly, and we decided to turn right around and head back to the cuota road. In general, I'd say definitely stick to the cuota roads, try to plan ahead re: gas and you'll be totally fine and safe.

Here was our itinerary:

1) We stayed overnight on the Arizona side of Nogales, and woke up at sunrise to cross the border. We used the Mariposa Truck Route to cross (see other postings on this site about this)

BORDER: This was probably the main thing I was a bit worried about since we were bringing so much stuff, and I didn't want to pay import taxes, or have our car searched, etc. We pulled up with no one else in line, got a green light and was waved through by the only official looking guy standing on the side of the road. You then have to drive about 20 min. to the immigration office to get your papers / passport stamped and deal with your car import. At the office, again - no line, super friendly guy, super easy.

2) We drove pretty much straight to Navojoa, stopping for lunch along the way. Cuotas all the way. Very easy. Stayed at a simple, nice hotel in town right on the main road. No security gate, but the office had someone 24 hours and they overlooked the parking lot. We kept our stuff in the car minus major valuables.

3) Next day drove to Mazatlan. Again, cuotas, easy.

4) Final day drove to Sayulita area where we now live. Took the 200 after Tepic, which can get slow with one-way, curvy roads especially when you fall behind slow trucks. So give yourself extra time for that final leg of the trip.

Hope that is helpful! I think you'll be totally fine, especially if you stick with those simple "rules of thumb."


darrellk

Mar 27, 2015, 8:30 AM

Post #14 of 15 (13427 views)

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Re: [nicoli] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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I just drove from Mexicali to Aguas and had a non eventful trip. I followed the coast down to Los Mochis and then took couta the rest of the way. I never drove at night.


RickS


Mar 27, 2015, 7:05 PM

Post #15 of 15 (13394 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Nogales crossing to Sayulita / Nayarit

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chinagringo and I will just have to agree to disagree on the answer given to the person who asked about conditions. Since none of us are clairvoyant we can't predict what may happen the moment a person 'comes over a rise', and evidence garnered from those who have recent experience is all that is available, especially if those giving the info try and keep their ears to the ground about conditions.

Of course no stretch of ground can be deemed 100% safe, as suggested by the Toyota Tundra story, either in Mexico or the US or anywhere.

It is my opinion that the person was trying to do some research here and asked a question of the 'populace'. I don't think that I or any others gave off any BS about anything, but that will certainly be in the eyes of the beholder.
 
 
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