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travlrstwo

Nov 29, 2004, 4:15 PM

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Laredo Border Crossing

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This is my first post so please bear with me. I have read previous posting on this subject but I would like to see if there is any updated information.

My fiance and I will be crossing the border at Laredo in about 1-2 weeks in route to Puerto Vallarta. I have a couple of questions please.

1. The previous postings stated that Visa check cards could be used for the vehicle permit. I also purchased the book Frommer's Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo & Guadalajara, 4th Edition, 2004, which stated that checks cards are not accepted at the borders. Which is accurate info?

2. We have been told the best route to take is through Monterrey and stay the night in San Luis Potosi. Then continue on thru Guadalajara on the toll road straight into Puerto Vallarta. Can anyone give me more detailed information (i.e. specific highways, toll road numbers, etc.) Also, maybe an inexpensive but safe place to stay in San Luis Potosi if this is where we should stay at all.

Your responses will be greatly appreciated.



Rolly


Nov 29, 2004, 4:22 PM

Post #2 of 9 (9657 views)

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Re: [travlrstwo] Laredo Border Crossing

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1. Visa check/debit cars are accepted.

2. Don't worry about highway numbers, they are not a big thing in Mexico. Highway signs are much more oriented toward city names. Be sure you have a clear picture of the towns/cities you will be passing through, and you'll be fine.

Rolly Pirate


travlrstwo

Nov 29, 2004, 8:12 PM

Post #3 of 9 (9628 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Laredo Border Crossing

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Thank you Rolly. I have read your very resourceful replies for many different subjects and you always seem to know the answers. Thanks.


Cynthia7

Nov 29, 2004, 8:37 PM

Post #4 of 9 (9620 views)

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Re: [travlrstwo] Laredo Border Crossing

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A while back someone in San Luis Potosi said they had a guest room and they would welcome paying guests. Anyone remember that post!!


Bubba

Nov 30, 2004, 1:07 PM

Post #5 of 9 (9577 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Laredo Border Crossing

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Be sure you have VISA or Mastercard credit cards with you and in the name of the party importing the vehicle. The last time may wife and I crossed, they would not accept my credit card, only hers since she was the importer even though it is a joint account and we were together. She had not brought any credit cards with he. We had to come up with $430USD in cash which we would have lost had we not taken the car back within six months even though we are FM-3 holders and live full time in Mexico.

I am surprised to hear Rolly say that they will take debit cards but if he says so, then that is probably correct. Even so, you would be wise to take a back up credit card because they cut you no slack at the border.

A couple of things:

You must import your car at the bridge between Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. Do not try this at the aduana south of Nuevo Laredo. They will send you the 20 miles or so back to the bridge. Instructions on how to get to the importation site under the bridge are confusing but don't continue south under any circumstances until you have done this.

You have chosen a good route. Highway 85 will take you straight through to Monterrey and then, if you don't get lost, there is a libramiento (city bypass - good word to know in Mexico) directing you to Saltillo. As you approach Saltillo, the signage is really bad so be sure you are heading south on Highway 57 to Matehuala and San Luis Potosi. Otherwise you will end up in the big city of Saltillo which is not a desireable goal. If you decide to stay in San Luis, stay on the libramiento that goes east of the city and then cut over to the city on Highway 70 West where the modern hotels are located. If you get off and head into the city directly, you may get lost in the very large and confusing city with a poorly signed and oddly designed freeway system from hell. It may be better to stay in Matehuala, especially if it is in the latter part of the day. If you do stay in San Luis, be sure to walk around the historical center which is beautiful.

After San Luis you want to head south on Highway 80 into Guadalajara through Lagos de Moreno and, in Guadalajara, go to Highway 15 West. The rest is easy.

Rolly is right. Know the names of all of the towns you will be transiting especially between San Luis and Lagos de Moreno. In Mexico, the signage is so bad it's laughable but remember this rule:

The next sign you come to at a fork in the road, if there is any sign at all, may not have a highway number and may be directing you to a town that is along the way but may have seemed insignicant to you.

Rule 2:

If you get lost, well that's the way it is here. Stop at the nearest Oxxo for a cold beer and the almost always impressively clean bathrooms, drink the beer or drink two beers, go over your map and set out for your next adventure.

Rule 3:

If there is any chance you are going to get lost, get lost well before dark. Otherwise you are in for a real treat and taking the option of sleeping in your car on the shoulder of a Mexican highway through the night could render you naked and penniless at best. I am not joking.

Have fun in Puerto Vallarta. That is a long and often very scenic drive you plan, and especially scenic around Monterrey, San Luis and Tequila. If I were doing it for the first time I would be sure to take old Highway 80 out of San Luis to see some of the most stunningly beautiful desert anywhere. I would also plan my trip around a stop in Tequila, which is also situated in gorgeous country, and take a tour of a distillery.

A good investment, no, an outstanding investment, is a dashboard compass - an indispensible tool in Mexico.


Rolly


Nov 30, 2004, 2:07 PM

Post #6 of 9 (9567 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Laredo Border Crossing

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The following C&P is from the Banjercito website (they're the people who take your car registration money) with my bold accents.

Garantizar el retorno del vehículo mediante el pago, con tarjeta de crédito o débito internacional expedida en el extranjero a nombre del importador, las tarjetas que puedes usar son Visa, American Express, Visa Electron, "Maestra" y Master Card, si no cuenta con una tarjeta de crédito, tendrá que dejar un depósito en garantía y realizar el trámite directamente en la frontera, el monto está en función del modelo del vehículo y le será reembolsado a su regreso (modelos 1999 al 2004 $400 dólares; 1994 a 1998 $300 dólares y modelos anteriores $200 dólares).

Without reading the entire section on cars, I found three statements allowing debit cards.

The website is http://www.banjercito.com.mx/site/iitv.jsp

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on Nov 30, 2004, 4:18 PM)


travlrstwo

Nov 30, 2004, 3:39 PM

Post #7 of 9 (9554 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Laredo Border Crossing

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Your info is much appreciated. My fiance, David, will enjoy the part about getting lost and "having" to stop and relocate ourselves with a beer or two.

Another question? As of this date, can you or can you not take a desktop computer across the border? I'm confused?


Rolly


Nov 30, 2004, 4:20 PM

Post #8 of 9 (9546 views)

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Re: [travlrstwo] Laredo Border Crossing

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Desktop computers are allowed with the payment of an import duty. I don't know how much the duty is.

Rolly Pirate


razorbackhack

Dec 1, 2004, 5:17 PM

Post #9 of 9 (9478 views)

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Re: [travlrstwo] Laredo Border Crossing

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Cash is always king......Pemex won't accept anything but pesos, but they do a fine job of washing the windshield and even the headlights (they accept tips).

Tollroads from Laredo to Puerto Vallarta, if you decide to use them (highly recommended) will run you about $70.00.

I have made the same trip twice this year, don't get stuck at night looking for a HOTEL....FIND ONE BEFORE IT GETS DARK. I lost valuable time searching for decent room in Saltillo.

The mountains around Monterrey are spectacular....really fun to drive thru.

O yeah, lots of checkpoints on the way to PV, so be patient. The soldiers I have spoken with on the side of the road have been extremely friendly and polite. Have Fun!
 
 
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