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benja123

May 4, 2016, 2:26 PM

Post #1 of 23 (11520 views)

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San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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We used to live in Calif and entered in Nogales but now we are closer to Laredo. We are trying to find the fastest route, no sightseeing on the way down. Would you recommend Saltillo-SLP-Guad-PV or using 40D Torreon-Durango -Mazatlan-PV? We don't mind paying the tolls for better/faster roads
We are planning on stopping for one night...where would you stop?
Thanks in advance!



hunteradvisor


May 5, 2016, 3:27 AM

Post #2 of 23 (11496 views)

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Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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We used to come from the east (Maine-Austin-PV) now come from
The west (Truckee-Nogales). We found it faster to go through Saltillo with the first stop in Matehuala, the Guadalajara to PV. The hotel in Matehuala is perfectly set up for travelers passing through.
Isabel
www.RanchoSolyMar.com


donemry

May 5, 2016, 6:44 AM

Post #3 of 23 (11483 views)

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Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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The route is actually Monterrey, SLP, Lagos de Moreno, GDL to PV. We use that route going and coming and stay in SLP. We stay in the Hotel Zone in SLP near the 57/80 interchange and take 80 out of SLP directly to the new toll road to Lagos.


benja123

May 5, 2016, 7:05 AM

Post #4 of 23 (11480 views)

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Re: [donemry] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. Can you give me an idea of the time it takes to get from the border to SLP? we plan on getting on car permit and FMM online but realize we still have to stop at the 21(?) mile mark to finish up some paperwork and I'm sure during Xmas season the wait will be longer.
Can you also tell me if it is worth using Columbia as the crossing?


benja123

May 5, 2016, 7:08 AM

Post #5 of 23 (11479 views)

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Re: [hunteradvisor] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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thanks very much for your reply. I am hoping to get alittle further down into MX before stopping figuring the drive thru GDL and along the coast will be busy and crowded on Dec 22 and we have to go south of PV to get to our rented condo in Punta Negra.


RickS


May 5, 2016, 10:15 AM

Post #6 of 23 (11466 views)

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Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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You didn't say exactly where in Texas you were starting out from but....

Colombia 'might' be a little less hectic during the Xmas holiday but then it is a bit farther out/back if coming down from, say, San Antonio. Hard to predict.

Trip to SLP should take about 7-8 hours depending on several variables... speed, military stops, fuel, lunch etc.

If you are starting out 'west' of San Antonio I would suggest that you consider the crossing at Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras and down to Saltillo. Easy crossing and very good roads down to Saltillo. And one might consider, no matter where you cross, that from Saltillo to Guad, taking highway 54 from Saltillo to the north side of Zacatecas then down through/around Aguascaliente to the vicinity of Lagos and on down to Guad.


benja123

May 5, 2016, 2:00 PM

Post #7 of 23 (11451 views)

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Re: [RickS] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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We are actually starting from Houston but our son lives in San antonio so we figured we would stay there overnight and get a 3.5 hour head start since we are crossing the next border the next day.
Trying to make the best time and not sure if its worth buying an online car permit or just waiting and doing it all at the border.
If we leave San Antonio before dawn we get to Nuevo Laredo very early and will probably go with bridge II since Columbia isn't open till 8 if my info is correct.
Do you think the route is faster if we do not go Matahuala -SLP-Lagos- Guad and use 54 instead through Zacatecas? I have heard the road is not as good.


chinagringo


May 5, 2016, 2:48 PM

Post #8 of 23 (11447 views)

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Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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Please keep in mind that days are shorter in Dec. and prevailing wisdom is to not drive in the dark in Mexico. YMMV
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



(This post was edited by chinagringo on May 5, 2016, 2:59 PM)


benja123

May 5, 2016, 2:56 PM

Post #9 of 23 (11445 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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I wholeheartedly agree. We've done enough driving to know cows, unlit cars/trucks etc can be around every bend. We figure to be at the border just before daylight to get the paperwork done and then stop near SLP for the night. Any suggestions would be appreciated!


RickS


May 5, 2016, 3:59 PM

Post #10 of 23 (11441 views)

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Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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If you are coming from San Antonio, I would just cross at Laredo Bridge II. I come/go from a little west of San Antonio so Eagle Pass if better for me.... and the crossing and 26k stop there are quite easy and quick. And, although the road from Eagle Pass to Zacatecas (57 and 54) is not 4-lane, it is a perfect road.... wide and mostly arrow-straight and free. Several years ago I "had it to myself" but now many people use that route. BTW, one does not actually go 'through' Zacatecas on that route.... unless one wants to.... but skirts it to the NE on cuota towards Aguascaliente.

If'n it were me, crossing around Christmas, I'd for sure purchase my Visa and TIP online! YMMV


benja123

May 5, 2016, 4:58 PM

Post #11 of 23 (11439 views)

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Re: [RickS] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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so you recommend 54 to 45 at Morelos to Aguascalientes on 80 to GDL? Is that a better (faster) route than going 57 past Matehuala-SLP-Lagos-GDL?


RickS


May 5, 2016, 6:53 PM

Post #12 of 23 (11427 views)

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Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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As I suggested in my first sentence.... if I were coming from San Antonio I would cross at Laredo Bridge II (as a trip over to Eagle Pass from San Antonio then on to Saltillo is out of the way).

BUT, if I were coming down through Laredo, when I got to the north side of Saltillo on 40D I would continue on around to 54 and down to Zacatecas (Morelos) to Aguascaliente and then on to Highway 80 around San Juan de los Lagos.... rather than from (north side of) Saltillo come down 57 to Matehuala then SLP then to Lagos de Moreno and to the same spot around San Juan de los Lagos. It is shorter and with less tolls on 54.

BUT at the end of the day both ways are just fine; going "south" of Saltillo, 57 is a four lane and 54 is a wide 2-lane to Morelos. One must also take into account where to stay the night and their comfort level going a different route. I've done both those routes several times and really have no preference (other than the tolls and slightly longer trip and potential bad cops on the SLP bypass on 57).


bowmanmt

May 9, 2016, 4:21 AM

Post #13 of 23 (11368 views)

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Re: [RickS] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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Its been a few years, but we would cross Columbia first thing and drive thru Matahuala then in the same day get to Lagos. We would stay at Casa Grande. Super nice hotel, pet friendly and all. Not sure if they are still open.. We would get into Lagos right at last light. I think it was a 10 or 11 hour drive.


benja123

May 9, 2016, 9:33 AM

Post #14 of 23 (11351 views)

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Re: [bowmanmt] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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We may have to go through crossing II since we also need to get car permit paperwork done and bank isn't open at columbia too early.
Think it's about 2-3 hours from San Antonio to border, we will try to get there just at dawn. Would love to get as far as Lagos on the first night but not sure we will make it.
We actually are coming from Houston, staying overnight at our son's place in SA to get a head start in the am.
And as was pointed out earlier we are unfortunately traveling at the equinox...sun sets earlier!
Thanks tho for your info- it is good to know the distances in hours...much more accurate for planning than looking at kilometers.


bowmanmt

May 9, 2016, 4:12 PM

Post #15 of 23 (11327 views)

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Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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You wont make Lagos in time, meaning I dont drive after dark anywhere in Mexico anymore.. I barley make it and I leave Columbia by 8.30 am. If you could get all your paperwork done and be out of Larado by 8 then you will make it by last light.


benja123

May 10, 2016, 7:19 AM

Post #16 of 23 (11306 views)

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Re: [bowmanmt] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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Good to know. We will have a backup plan for staying overnight around SLP if we don't get out of Bridge II by 8:30am. I may go ahead and do online documents for car and FMM to try to streamline the process.
I know Dec 20-21 is going to be very crowded at the border!
Thanks again for the info.


NorthAmericanTraveler

May 16, 2016, 8:56 AM

Post #17 of 23 (11260 views)

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Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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If it was me making the trip I would take MX 54 all the way from Saltillo to Guadalajara. There are no tolls and its the shortest route.


RickS


May 16, 2016, 10:35 AM

Post #18 of 23 (11250 views)

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Re: [NorthAmericanTraveler] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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Well, not me (taking 54 from Zacatecas down to Guadalajara). And it is shorter in mileage but NOT in time... but is without toll.

Why not? Because it is not an 'easy' drive. I've taken that route (and highway 23 roughly between those two cities) in the past. AND I took it again 6 weeks ago northbound just to satisfy myself that I was not being misinformed about the route due to time-passage since I last drove it. I am not!

The road has these 'problems':
- It is 2-lane and not a wide 2-lane at that
- The 'bottom half' is a very twisty/curvy road (and I'm used to driving mountainous roads)
- I could only average 40 mph (I checked) for that lower 100 mile portion and that takes into account that I was VERY lucky because I was driving it on a Sunday and didn't get behind a truck or bus but once. I was driving a 'sporty' car and I'm not a slow driver.
- The entire road goes through several 'towns' that slows one's progress
- The entire road is chock full of topes, not only in towns but at every little 'settlement' along the way
- And as stated, while it is shorter in distance it is NOT shorter in time compared to taking the cuotas between Guad and Zac.
- The road enters/leaves Guadalajara from the far north side and if you're coming from/going to anywhere on the south side (Lake Chapala?) you'll add that more time to your trip. I DID take the 'new' eastern loop from the airport and around, which is definitely better than going "straight" through Guadalajara IMO.

Anyway, count me out taking that route ever again. If one doesn't mind the things I've mentioned above, or just wants to see new territory (the canyons outside of Guad are nice to see... at least for the non-driver!) or wants to save the cuota pesos, then flail away. But don't do it because it looks like a shorter route.... because it isn't.


(This post was edited by RickS on May 16, 2016, 10:37 AM)


NorthAmericanTraveler

May 16, 2016, 4:13 PM

Post #19 of 23 (11236 views)

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Re: [RickS] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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I'd still prefer taking a winding rural MX 54 than drive through Aguascalientes.

With all the new toll roads Mexico has been building, I'm a little surprised that they haven't built a new toll bypass around Aguascalientes yet.

Driving via SLP would also be out of the question for me, because that is way out of the way.


(This post was edited by NorthAmericanTraveler on May 16, 2016, 4:15 PM)


donemry

May 17, 2016, 6:19 AM

Post #20 of 23 (11214 views)

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Re: [NorthAmericanTraveler] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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Trying to visualize why SLP is out of the way for you. Where are you starting from?


NorthAmericanTraveler

May 17, 2016, 9:17 AM

Post #21 of 23 (11196 views)

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Re: [donemry] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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In Reply To
Trying to visualize why SLP is out of the way for you. Where are you starting from?


I'm starting at Saltillo. It is 502 miles from Saltillo to Guadalajara via SLP. It is only 420 miles from Saltillo to Guadalajara using MX 54. On top of that MX 54 is entirely toll free while MX 80D from SLP to Guadalajara will cost you $525 MXN ($29 USD). That doesn't even include the Matahuala and SLP toll bypasses. According to Google Maps you only save 25 minutes by traveling via SLP, so I don't see how MX 54 is not the obvious way to go.

I'm just stating that if it was me making the trip from Saltillo to Guadalajara, MX 54 is the way I would personally go and I wouldn't even consider using any other route. The other two options both take you through large cities while all MX 54 passes through is small towns.


rvgringo

May 17, 2016, 1:00 PM

Post #22 of 23 (11189 views)

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Re: [NorthAmericanTraveler] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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I agree with the suggestion for Rt 54, as we have used it in the past and liked it; even the last little curvy bit just before Guadalajara is interesting and has some spectacular scenery. The roads, other than that bit, are straight and you can usually make very good time. On occasion, we have stopped for the night in Jara and at Zacatecas.


careyeroslib

Oct 22, 2016, 4:44 PM

Post #23 of 23 (9680 views)

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Re: [benja123] San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta- best route from Laredo?

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I realize this is an older thread, but I saw "San Antonio to Puerto Vallarta" and "December 22nd" and I thought it wasn't too late to respond.

We don't drive back and forth anymore, but we used to, mostly through Laredo, to the Hotel Zone of Puerto Vallarta. Once, on almost the exact day you will be travelling, we approached Puerto Vallarta.

First, I see you have driven through Nogales before, so you have driven the route between Compostela, through Las Varas, and on to Bucerias and Puerto Vallarta, so forgive me if you already know this. But, I have to tell you that driving the route between the end of the toll road and Puerto Vallarta in the dark on that date was not at all fun. And if you are going to Punta Negra, Jalisco, you are looking at an additional hour south of where we ended (which is near where the cruise ships dock), right through Puerto Vallarta downtown traffic.

My advice is to have several alternative plans (A or B). I would allow at least 6 hours of daylight between Guadalajara and Punta Negra, Jalisco.

If you arrive in Guadalajara, with less than 6 hours until dusk, I would look into staying there, and getting an early start on your third day. We absolutely love Quinta Don Jose in Tlaquepaque, because you drive into secure parking, leave your stuff, and go have a drink at the bar and dinner at their restaurant. They will even pack you a lunch if you wish to leave early.

If you wish something more economical, go to the outskirts of Guadalajara at a place like Hotel Zar

http://www.reservations.com/...adalajara?rmcid=rcc3

If you reach the end of the toll road, at Compostela, there is a great little place less than a mile towards Tepic. It is called something hotel Marpel. Sorry I can't find a link to it, but we looked at it and it is everything you would expect from a motor hotel (clean, gas, restaurant).. You need to turn right, not left (as you would if you were continuing towards Puerto Vallarta directly.)

It is not fun to drive the road from Compostela south after dark--and especially before Christmas. You get giant trucks behind you,in a hurry to deliver their much needed Coca-Cola or Corona supplies. They sit on your tail, their lights blaring. People going in the other direction (towards Guadalajara) don't understand the concept of dimming their high beams.

Good luck.

PS. I agree with those who say that you should not take Highway 54 all the way south. unless if you are sightseeing.


(This post was edited by RickS on Oct 23, 2016, 7:52 AM)
 
 
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