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May 27, 2016, 10:37 PM

Post #1 of 5 (9022 views)


Route from NL to SMA

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I haven't done this by car in over 10 years. I now have access to more info online and maps but would like anyone with recent experience to share their best tips and routing. I do plan to stay in Matehuala for one night.

I understand there have been some "improvements" to the crossing and finding the immigration building. I also see some spike in warnings for Tamaulipas. Looks like I just want to get the first 2 hours of the drive done and then things may quiet down.

Sincerely appreciate any information!




May 28, 2016, 6:44 AM

Post #2 of 5 (9008 views)


Re: [mexigrl] Route from NL to SMA

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The thread started May 5th re:routes from San Antonio to PV should help you.


May 28, 2016, 7:08 AM

Post #3 of 5 (9000 views)


Re: [mexigrl] Route from NL to SMA

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Tamaulipas? No, if you're coming from NL you want to head towards Monterrey, then follow the signs towards Saltillo. Once you've gotten through the mountain pass, you'll see exit signs for Mexico/Matehuala Libre, and the exit is a big loop that takes you to the right and loops you onto highway 57.

That's the quickest way to get from NL to Matehuala. From there, my suggestion would be, once you get past SLP, take the exit towards San Diego de la Union, which will take you past Dolores Hidalgo, and down towards SMA from the north. It's faster than going down 57 to Highway 1, and a much prettier drive.

The entire drive is an absolute breeze and a straight shoot. The only tricky part is catching the correct exit as you approach Saltillo. You'll be driving downhill, and there will be several rows of little speed humps in the road that you'll be driving over when you start seeing the signs for the Mexico/Matehuala Libre exit. It's the Libre part that is confusing, but you'll be able to exit onto the Cuota for Mexico/Matehuala shortly. It's a left exit that you have to be ready for when you pass a Pemex station on the left.

This is the route I would suggest, and which I've taken dozens of times with zero issue (well, always from McAllen or Monterrey, but it's mostly the same).


May 28, 2016, 8:43 AM

Post #4 of 5 (8989 views)


Re: [roberth] Route from NL to SMA

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Thanks for that info it is helpful - it doesn't sound very different than what I did 10 years ago.
Do you know anything about the new crossing into NL from Laredo? Someone said there is a lane that takes you directly to the immigration building?

Lol, Tamaulipas is the state that NL is in so I'm pretty sure I can't go around it. However I realize that I will only be in it for a short time. I do know about heading down to Monterrey. My concern was recent outbreaks of issues in the state itself and around NL. Wondering if anyone had updates on that.

Appreciate the reply!

(This post was edited by mexigrl on May 28, 2016, 8:45 AM)


May 28, 2016, 9:01 AM

Post #5 of 5 (8984 views)


Re: [mexigrl] Route from NL to SMA

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I haven't heard of any big problems in the N. Laredo area but that doesn't mean that it isn't there. Often Tamaulipus problems are more east of N.L. and down into the State but.....

With respect to getting your tourist card and vehicle permit (TIP).... cross from Laredo using International Bridge II... there will be plenty of signs directing you there. Once you've crossed over the river, follow blue signs like this ( "Modulo CIITEV" ) which will direct you to the building where you'll get both of the above. This building is actually 'underneath' Bridge I and Bridge II but one has to cross and 'double back' to get to the building. Follow those blue signs, including a 'retorno' onto a lateral going back towards the bridges. You won't have any problem finding it "following the blue crumbs".
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