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poisonorchid

May 9, 2017, 4:25 PM

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Question re: easiest safest route from nola to sma

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Buenas, everyone! My boyfriend and I are driving from New Orleans to San Miguel de Allende for a short vacation next month and I'm trying to decide on the best route. Google says that going down through Brownsville and taking hwy 101 is the quickest, however, I'm reading horror stories about it being called the "highway of death" now (I grew up and traveled extensively throughout Mexico as a child but haven't really driven across the border since 2007 so am a bit out of the loop). I was thinking of taking Eagle Pass into Piedras Negras even though it's a bit out of the way as I know that used to be an easy route at least back out to the states but not sure going in.

I really don't care to pay the $40-$50 in toll fees that are present between NL and Monterrey so am trying to avoid that if at all possible. However, if that is indeed the best route at this time, will make the sacrifice. We're not rich gringos and I don't mind venturing off the beaten path, so to speak, as long as we are not in danger. It seems the only difference is about an hour and a half in crossing over at Eagle Pass. Just trying to figure the quickest, most inexpensive, and safest route. Thanks in advance!



RickS


May 9, 2017, 9:40 PM

Post #2 of 7 (7014 views)

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Re: [poisonorchid] Question re: easiest safest route from nola to sma

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Well, all those routes are 'safe' at any given time, and mostly all the time. But keep in mind that even when there is a 'blowup', it recently has been in the city of Reynosa, only for a few hours and almost totally between cartel members. Gringos rarely, if ever any more, are affected. Either I or friends cross at 'all' those crossings frequently and have no real problems.

You have mentioned two routes crossings... Laredo and Eagle Pass. I have traveled them both within the last 2 weeks with no cause for concern. Eagle Pass will be out of your way (more miles) but will have much less tolls, and the roads are good but not all 4-lane. It is my route of choice. Laredo is the choice of the masses because it is so heavily traveled (and people get used to their routines).

Another route, which will be the shortest in time and tolls and distance is.... 'somewhere close to your highway of death' but one should cross in McAllen at the Pharr crossing and not in Brownsville. That is close to Reynosa but not to worry as 'close is no cigar'. From there take Highway 97 down to hiway 101 and follow it through (bypass) C. Victoria and way down to the intersection with hiway 57 just north of San Luis Potosi... then on down to SMA. I have friends that take this route 'all the time'. There has not been any 'real' problems on that route for quite a while.

Whatever route, fill up with gas at the US border as it will be like "2.09 vs $3.50" per gallon in Mexico.

Also, I assume that you are aware that you will need to stop at the border and get a Mexican Temporary Vehicle Importation sticker for your vehicle. It is not that expensive for 180 days ($30?), but one must put a $200-$400 refundable deposit up also. Cash or Credit card.

Viajes seguros


chicois8

May 10, 2017, 8:37 AM

Post #3 of 7 (7005 views)

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Re: [poisonorchid] Question re: easiest safest route from nola to sma

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You write " I really don't care to pay the $40-$50 in toll fees that are present between NL and Monterrey"

If NL means Nuevo Loreto the toll is 210 Pesos or about $11.00 USD...
Rincon de Guayabitos,Nayarit
San Mateo, California


poisonorchid

May 10, 2017, 9:32 PM

Post #4 of 7 (6982 views)

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Re: [RickS] Question re: easiest safest route from nola to sma

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Hi Rick. Thank you very much for your reply and all the info! I think the last route you mentioned and the one I was originally interested in taking until I read about the "highway of death" thing is the one that google listed as the quickest from where we are coming. I think my family used this crossing when I was a child as I have a faint memory of my father mentioned Pharr and maybe going through there, but that was way back in the '80s.

All that aside, I had no idea about the crazy bond one must now post to bring their car across the border! So different from just ten years ago and a shame as I was planning on using that money for shopping. Oh well. I'm feeling really stressed about that as I'm already on a very tight budget, which is why we thought of driving in the first place, to try and save money. I appreciate you letting me know about that.

Thank you again!


poisonorchid

May 10, 2017, 9:35 PM

Post #5 of 7 (6981 views)

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Re: [chicois8] Question re: easiest safest route from nola to sma

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I remember driving through on one of the toll roads back in 2007 and going through a multitude of them that cost around $40 or so- it was crazy! Seems I've read in other places about people still having that experience. I'm pretty sure it was crossing over at Laredo but not 100%?


RickS


May 11, 2017, 5:07 AM

Post #6 of 7 (6978 views)

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Re: [poisonorchid] Question re: easiest safest route from nola to sma

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Couple of thoughts.... the deposit for the car permit can be put on a credit card and since you suggested it would be a 'short' visit, the card may not come due before your return and the deposit would be refunded to your card within 3 business days after you cancel it back at the border leaving. Just a thought.

Also the Pharr International bridge connects "immediately' with a new road that gets one 'out of the border area' quickly and to hiway 97 straight shot down to 101 going to C. Victoria. Friends say this crossing route is pretty painless and quick.

With respect to tolls... here is a website that can be used to determine tolls and distances on any route within Mexico.



http://app.sct.gob.mx/sibuac_internet/ControllerUI;jsessionid=tpBRZJSFLYBr12snhbB1RnnqhH46bltFp9q9Yd2np1Cy1Fwj2d8h!974878883!-1551340886?action=cmdEscogeRuta&eligeIdioma=si



poisonorchid

May 11, 2017, 12:49 PM

Post #7 of 7 (6961 views)

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Re: [RickS] Question re: easiest safest route from nola to sma

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Thanks again so much, Rick! We're on a two week trip so that'll put us roughly in Mexico for about ten days or so. The problem is that I'm going to have to charge the $400 to a "break glass in case of emergency" credit card, which I was keeping for emergencies and possible to make purchases while in the country. Even though I get refunded when exiting, this doesn't help while I'm in Mexico, lol, or if I have an actual emergency. So, it puts me in a spot. Today, I'm trying to find the most reasonable insurance plan and trying to get the letter of permission from my lending bank as I'm still making payments on my car to be able to take it across...another pain in the cula. (have any recommendations on insurance companies?)

Thanks for the link regarding tolls. It's good to hear that things have apparently settled down on that highway, compared to all the horror stories I read from circa 2011. That is my preferred path and seems the quickest, most direct route down to sma.
 
 
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