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Apr 27, 2004, 7:35 AM

Post #1 of 4 (10630 views)


driving to Chapala

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I am driving down to Lake Chapala, just south of Guadalajara, from Las Vegas, NV. What is the best route to take? (e.g. good roads, inexpensive, clean places to stay). The maps show 2 main routes that are about the same distance, but one goes straight south from Juarez and is inland, and the other one connects to the the Pacific coast highway which is mostly toll roads and the hotels could be quite expensive. What's your experience?


Apr 27, 2004, 9:20 AM

Post #2 of 4 (10615 views)


Re: [tynelson] driving to Chapala

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Let me suggest another possible route. From Tucson go east on I-10 to Deming, NM. South from Deming to the Columbus, NM/Palomas border crossing. Clear the visa and vehicle paper checkpoint at Palomas then south to Hwy. 2 and go east to the highway just south of Santa Teresa border crossing and go right to Hwy. 45 and on to Chihuahua.

This completely avoids the Juarez mess and gives you more time in the US with lower gas prices, better roads and no tolls.

The Hwy 45 route has relatively high tolls but not as high as the coast route, IMO, and is much faster.



May 8, 2004, 2:53 PM

Post #3 of 4 (10540 views)


Re: [mepsi] driving to Chapala

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I agree with Mepsi. This past year, we drove to Chapala using Nogales. The road is long and very busy in certain areas between Mazatlan and Tepec. I will never use that route again.

Crossing at El Paso (St Teresa) is much better and less stress. Use Gomez Palacio/Torrion as your over night stop. A few decent hotels with good resturants and inside off -street parking.

About 16 hours driving from US border to Chapala.

(This post was edited by Rolly on May 8, 2004, 3:04 PM)


May 8, 2004, 8:00 PM

Post #4 of 4 (10517 views)


Re: [donnieboy] driving to Chapala

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Hi Donnieboy

I was through the Sta. Teresa crossing again yesterday and it went as smoothly as usual. The only problem right now is a construction detour on the south side of Juarez between the crossing and the Vehicle check at km. 30 where you have to get vehicle papers and tourist permits. If you are coming from an area which allows it I'd again suggest crossing at Columbus/Palomas and clear the vehicle and other checks there then go east on Hwy 2 to the intersection with the road from Sta Teresa and go south to Hwy 45 and on. The formalities are usually much quicker and easier than at the Juarez POE (and also less screwed up).

If your time doesn't allow you to get all the way to Torreon there are a couple only adequate hotels at Jiminez or Delicias as well. It has usually been more effort than it was worth to stay in Chihuahua, especially since they seem to move the route through the city about every three days; never the same way twice. It's the only problem on the entire trip for finding your way but over the last couple years signing has been better; for a long time a few years ago there was none.

BTW, the entry at Columbus is also the best way if you want to go to Creel and the Copper Canyon or to Cuauhtemoc and the Mennonite colonias.

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