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Professor


Nov 30, 2005, 12:39 PM

Post #1 of 38 (6554 views)

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Long Distance Bus Lines

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What's the name of some of the luxury buslines in Mexico? I took Americanos but they weren't first class.

Thanks.


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 1, 2005, 10:19 AM)



zoeq1000


Dec 1, 2005, 1:07 AM

Post #2 of 38 (6500 views)

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Re: Long Distance Bus Lines

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ETN is the best of the ones I've taken.


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 1, 2005, 10:19 AM)


esperanza

Dec 1, 2005, 4:52 AM

Post #3 of 38 (6495 views)

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Re: Long Distance Bus Lines

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ETN is the top of the heap. Turistar Ejecutivo is also good, as are the Primera Plus luxury class buses.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 1, 2005, 10:19 AM)


Bloviator

Dec 1, 2005, 5:35 AM

Post #4 of 38 (6493 views)

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Re: Long Distance Bus Lines

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Unfortunately, my wife's 40 year old baby boy is going diving in Cozumel and wants us to join him and his wife there for Christmas. ETN does not serve that part of Mexico. Can anyone suggest a next best alternative from Guadalajara- other than not going into the remains of recent hurricanes.

Thanks


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 1, 2005, 10:20 AM)


Anonimo

Dec 1, 2005, 6:14 AM

Post #5 of 38 (6485 views)

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Re: Long Distance Bus Lines

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Flying from GDL to Cancun would be a comfortable alternative to a long, long bus trip.
In every large bus terminal there are many lines and many counters. Some offer servicios coordinados, which I assume is a sort of multiple listing plan. If Ticket counter #1 doesn't have a route to your destination, they can often find you seating on a bus from Ticket counter #5, or whatever. You might find this website, http://www.larpman.com/.../buspages/buswi.html, Larpman's Mexico-Transportation pages, to be of use.

Stay flexible, and keep your options open. There's usually a way to go from point G to point C, but you may have to go tho Mexico City and change to a bus to Villahermosa, and change to a bus to Cancun.You may wish to overnight midway, to break up the long trip.

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo

(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 1, 2005, 10:20 AM)


Bloviator

Dec 1, 2005, 6:44 AM

Post #6 of 38 (6482 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Long Distance Bus Lines

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From your comments, it seems that I'm not likely to take one bus or one series of buses to get to my destination. Do you know if that is the case? I'm aware that air service is easier, but am interested in seeing the country and have a lot of time to spare. Also, air fares are $1,200 for the two of us.

We had originally planned to drive, but the uncertainty of the roads and accommodations after the hurricanes made us decide not to do so. Recent reports, however, seem to indicate that things are getting back to semi normalcy rather quickly.


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 1, 2005, 10:20 AM)


Professor


Dec 1, 2005, 8:17 AM

Post #7 of 38 (6470 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Long Distance Bus Lines

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I like the website fot ETN. I just want to make sure they go all the way to where I'm going which is DF from Dallas Texas. Americanos took me the whole way. I didn't have to change buses and I kept my seat the whole way.

John


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 1, 2005, 10:20 AM)


gpk

Dec 1, 2005, 11:58 AM

Post #8 of 38 (6441 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Long Distance Bus Lines

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During the holidays some travel agencies have special excusions/charters to the various beaches. Not sure if this holds true for the Guadalajara-Cozumel route, but you might check around. It could be cheaper and should at least require only one bus.

Let the forum know how you solve this problem--we always can use up-to-date travel information.


jacpowell

Dec 1, 2005, 3:30 PM

Post #9 of 38 (6421 views)

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Re: [gpk] Long Distance Bus Lines

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A lot depends on what part of Mexico you're in. We've had good luck with ADO. Also, you need to try for delujo rather than first class. There is quite a bit of difference. Of course, you can't always get there from here with your choice of classes. I don't know if it was the difference in bus lines or the difference in classes, but Flecha Amarilla first class was quite a large cut below ADO delujo.


zoeq1000


Dec 1, 2005, 7:33 PM

Post #10 of 38 (6400 views)

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Re: [jacpowell] Long Distance Bus Lines

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Can you tell me what delujo is?


raferguson


Dec 1, 2005, 8:57 PM

Post #11 of 38 (6390 views)

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Re: [jfurgers] Long Distance Bus Lines

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ADO GL is somewhat better than ADO, although I have not ridden ADO GL. ADO is a good first class line.

UNO is a luxury line, have not ridden it either.

To go to Cancun, I think that ADO, ADO GL, and perhaps UNO run that route.

One of the few bus websites that actually has schedules and tickets is Ticketbus, which was down when I tried it just now. Remember that most bus lines do not have websites, let alone websites with schedules.

https://www.ticketbus.com.mx

ETN is the nicest I have ridden, but Primera Plus is nice.

It is a little confusing, some first class lines don't really deserve the name, some first class lines are good, there are some lines a little above first class, like Primera Plus, and there are some true luxury lines, like ETN.

The price is related to the quality, you do get what you pay for, keep that in mind when you walk around the bus station comparing schedules and fares.

If you look at the price, you will probably find that you might as well fly as take a 20 hour bus ride.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


sfmacaws


Dec 1, 2005, 9:11 PM

Post #12 of 38 (6388 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Long Distance Bus Lines

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We recently made the drive from GDL to near Playa del Carmen, which is where you catch the ferry to Cozumel. The roads are not a lot worse than they were, more potholes and more detours as they are being repaired. It's certainly doable and if you aren't rushed it is an enjoyable drive. It's a long ways, allow at least a week and preferable much more if you don't want to marathon drive. Hotels are open along the route and the hurricane damage is rapidly being repaired in cities and on the toll roads. I noticed more standing water and that the rivers are higher and there is also a lot of repair going on of levees and river banks. It's obvious that there was major flooding (from Stan mostly in Tabasco and Veracruz) but things are drying out and for a passerby things are returning to normal. If you have the time, I would recommend driving and doing some sightseeing along the way. You will pass through many interesting areas of Mexico on this route, from Puebla to Palenque. There are so many things to see that are nearby that you could easily spend months or happily spend weeks.

On the other hand, when you were quoted the cost to fly was the destination Cozumel or Cancun? Generally the cost to fly to Cozumel is much higher than the cost to fly to Cancun. From Cancun airport it is a short bus ride to Playa del Carmen and the fast ferry to Cozumel.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Anonimo

Dec 2, 2005, 2:37 AM

Post #13 of 38 (6374 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Long Distance Bus Lines

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Yes, that is often the case on long hauls. You very likely will have to change buslines at some point, usually at major junctures such as Mexico City, Vhmsa, etc. This is very common here. However, as with many things Mexican, what I have told you may well be somewhat different in reality.

Get a good, up to date as possible guidebook, look at Larpman.com, but consider these to be only guides, not fixed in stone. You will almost always find an on-going bus within a few hours, particularly to major destinations such as Cancun. (Except, perhaps, at the peak holiday periods before and after Christmas and Easter.)

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


Uncle Jack


Dec 2, 2005, 5:01 AM

Post #14 of 38 (6370 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Long Distance Bus Lines

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Literal translation of de lugo is "of luxury" It is a de luxe or deluxe class bus.

uj


Bloviator

Dec 2, 2005, 5:20 AM

Post #15 of 38 (6367 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Long Distance Bus Lines

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Thanks for the great reply. It makes driving an option again. If the roads were passable already, they should be somewhat better by mid December. To tell the truth, I only checked airfare to Cancun, forgetting that Cozumel has an airport.

If you are in the Ajijic area, I'd appreciate getting together for lunch or something so that I can get further information about the trip. We had planned four days each way. Is that enough? Can we avoid Mexico City without adding lots of kilometers to the trip? Can you recommend places to stay along the way?

Obviously, I expect mountains of postings or hours of your time. Aren't you glad you sent your very helpful posting?


Bubba

Dec 2, 2005, 10:47 AM

Post #16 of 38 (6335 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Long Distance Bus Lines

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If you go to the Mexicana site or Aero Mexico and find a cheap flight via a small airline, you can fly Guadalajara Merida or Cancun for 100 dollars and many hotels down there have incredible deals going to attract customers back. This am we were looking at a junior suite for 2 adults and 4 childre including breakfast and drinks at night for $400 a night for 7 nights in Cancun.
You can also go luxury bus to DF spend a night and from there to Villahermosa spend a night or 2 check out Palenque and then on to Merida or Cancun. Or you can go one way by bus and come back by plane. Lots of options right to attract tourist back.


sfmacaws


Dec 3, 2005, 10:45 AM

Post #17 of 38 (6293 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Long Distance Bus Lines

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I am in Akumal about 65 miles south of Cancun so I'll have to take a rain check on lunch in Ajijic ;)

Yes it is longer in KM and longer in time to drive around the DF. We usually do it though as it is less in stress. However, we are driving a 27' motorhome and towing a jeep wrangler so we make a more attractive target for the transitos and there are more rules about where we can drive.

In the last 5 years we have used 3 or 4 different routes and I can't say that any stand out as wonderful. It kind of depends on which direction you are coming from and whether you want to exit to Puebla or another direction. I have some good directions for the different routes from an RV book that we call the "bible" of rving in Mexico, Mexican Camping by Mike and Terri Church. I'll be happy to post them one at a time if you or anyone eles is interested. Most of them assume you are entering the area from the north through Queretaro but they can be modified.

This year we came from GDL through Toluca again. I sent the directions we took to another mexconnect friend last week who was going to Oaxaca. I'll quote that here.



Quote
Coming into Toluca on 55D you have to get across town and out towards Ixtapan de la Sal. Before you get to Ixtapan, in the town of Rayon there are signs for Tenapgo de Arista. Take that and then look for signs leading to Lagos de Zempoala - the signs usually say L. Zempoala - this is the hardest part as the sign is small. Once on that road you go up and over the mountain through some beautiful country but the pass is over 10k' and the road is 1 lane each way with no shoulder. You will come out in Cuernavaca, look for signs going to Cuautla or Izucar de Matamoros. Near KM 97 on the road between Cuautla and Izucar de Matamoros, there is a road going off to the left towards Atlixco. It is a big new road but it is not on my copy of Guia Roji which is from 2001. From Atlixco you go to Puebla to get the toll road down the mountain to the Oaxaca turnoff. Getting across Puebla can be entertaining, the roads did not match my map in the Guia Roji and we just followed our gps until we found the highway out towards Amozac. This will be easier in a car than in our 27' RV towing a jeep <g> Alternately you could skip the turnoff to Atlixco, go on to Izucar de Matamoros and from there to Huajuapan de Leon and Oaxaca. I haven't tried that road but it looks good on the map, I'd probably give it a try rather than deal with Puebla.


If you would like the Church's directions (which are better than mine and very blow by blow) on crossing the DF or going around to the east without entering the Hoy No Circulo area then let me know. It might be something others would want as well.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




sfmacaws


Dec 3, 2005, 12:10 PM

Post #18 of 38 (6284 views)

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Re: Places to see along the way

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As far as places to see and stay, I'll put some ideas I would have for the southern part of the trip. There is so much in central Mexico that would be interesting I'd have to write a book and others have done it. I'll say that I'd spend at least a few days in Puebla, a week would not be too long.

From Puebla, the road drops precipitously about 5000' in 30 miles down to Orizaba. It's a good, divided road but if you are afraid of heights don't look over the side. This is where the weather changes dramatically and you are suddenly in warm, humid air with tropical scents and bananas, coconuts and mangos growing around you. Hope that the weather is clear and you can get a good look at the volcano Orizaba, it is the tallest in México and 2nd or 3rd for the continent. It is particularly spectacular because it rises from a low tropical area without other mountains around it. I believe it is over 18k´ in height. You can see it from the road between Cordoba and Orizaba unless it is raining or foggy. If you are in a hurry and started very early from Puebla, you can get on the toll road about 25 km before Veracruz and head towards Minatitlan and Villahermosa. If you started late or want to see Veracruz (recommended) then go on into the city and find a hotel downtown. I am obviously not up on hotels since we travel by RV but I'm sure others can recommend one.

From Veracruz to Villahermosa is either a days slog on a boring but much faster toll road or a long perambulation through coastal estado de Veracruz and Tabasco. If you go for the scenic but much slower route, spend the night around Lake Catemaco. It's the home of famous brujas and has tourist accomodations. If you take the toll road, start early and go all the way to Villahermosa. The cities in between are off the road for one thing and pretty boring oil towns for another.

Villahermosa is only worth about a day to me, maybe Bubba found something else to do there but we haven't. It's a wealthy town and has lots of good hotels, WalMart, etc. The one thing worth seeing is the parque at the museum which has some of the original Olmec heads from the area.

From Villahermosa it is an easy drive to Palenque which is a must see in my book. It's one of the top Mayan sites in 3 countries and worth at least a whole day at the site. There are nice hotels in the town but I didn't see any at the site, that could have changed. There is a nice motel along the road to the site that has an RV park in back. The museum just outside the park is also worth a visit.

From Palenque you have another decision, either go across the bottom of the peninsula to Chetumal or go north near Escarcega to Campeche and Mérida.

If you go across, start early and you can make it to Chetumal in one long day. There is beautiful country in between and a few small towns and mayan ruins but not a lot of places to stay. I'd avoid staying in Escarcega, I think it is a dump even though they are busy sprucing it up for tourists. This area makes famous cheeses, stop in the town of 18 of Marzo and buy some cheese or ice cream. Once you hit the border of Quintana Roo, the road improves incredibly and is good the rest of the way to Chetumal. There you can stay downtown or go out along the bay to the small suburb of Calderitas and stay on the water, beautiful. I can get you the name of a spot there that also lets RV's park and is gorgeous. The Mayan museum in Chetumal is fantastic, don't miss it. Or you can go a little ways north on the road to Cancun and stay along Lago Bacalar, there are several inns and B&B's there and it is also beautiful. Don't miss having lunch at the huge cenote near there where you can dive in from your table and swim while waiting for your food. From chetumal or Bacalar it is about 5 hours to Playa del Carmen and the ferry to Cozumel. In between is the small town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto which has a large place in the history of the area and the Caste War but is rather unremarkable otherwise. From Tulum to Playa is called the Maya Riviera and there are lots of resorts and some small resort towns. We live along there in Akumal, it's a good spot for dinner and it is usually easy to get a room in any of the casitas or condos. Puerto Aventuras is also along here and also has good restaurants strung along a lagoon and places to stay. Playa del Carmen has many places to stay and is an interesting place to spend a day or so, particularly people watching. It's got more of a Euro clientele than many of the other resorts and you will find the guys hawking restaurants can do so in Dutch, French, German, Italian and English. The people ferry to Cozumel leaves many times a day and takes less than an hour. If you want to take your car across, you will have to continue north to Puerto Morelos and use the car ferry. I don't yet know if it is in service but I can check for you. If you'd like, you can store your car in Playa at "secured" parking. I can't vouch for the security as I haven't used it for many years. Shoot, just send me an email and you can store your car here in Akumal if you want. Cozumel hasn't got a lot of roads (especially after Wilma) and a car isn't necessary there. You could probably also spend one night at a hotel with good secure parking in Playa and book another night on your way back and they would store the car for you.

If you go the other way around the peninsula, you will go to Campeche which is worth a night along the harbor. You will also go by the Puuc Hills area of Mayan ruins which are also very high on my personal list of best ruinas. Uxmal is much more interesting in most ways than Chichen Itza, if you have to choose, choose Uxmal. Near the ruins of Uxmal are many, many other mayan cities. The whole area is fascinating and beautiful to drive through. The towns of Mani, Oxcushkob (can't remember the spelling but that is how it sounds), Tikul, and others are worth exploring. There are good hotels around Uxmal, some right at the ruins. This is the area to enjoy mayan food, poc chuc, sopa de limon, panuchos. The Grutas de Loltun are worth the fee for the guided tour and are rarely very busy.

Next you will arrive in Mérida, my favorite city in all of México. My favorite hotel there is the Gran Hotel, although I haven´t stayed there for a few years as we have a place to park our RV now. It has secure parking around the block and since Mérida is difficult to drive in I recommend getting to the hotel and having the bellman go with you to show you where to park. Then leave the car there until you are leaving the city. Get a guide book to read up on the city, it is too much to write here but there is a lot to see and do in the city and in the area - enough for at least a week but no less than several days. You will leave Mérida for Cancun, the toll road is the easiest but is expensive and I don´t know how far along they are in repairs. It might be best to return this way giving longer for all the repairs to be completed and to find out recent news of it while in Playa. The road to Cancun from Playa is fine, we drove it a few days ago. I just don´t know yet about the one from Cancun through Valladolid to Mérida. I can ask if you decide to come that way.

Jeez, I´ve written a book! Sorry if this is too long, but I left out a lot. We have spent a lot of time driving around and exploring México, I can go on and on about some areas.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Bloviator

Dec 3, 2005, 6:24 PM

Post #19 of 38 (6258 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Places to see along the way

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I thank you both very much. I really do appreciate your efforts and look forward to making the trip soon. The time and effort you took was exceptional.

I've heard/read about the fast descent. Sounds like a real adventure.

Maybe we can do lunch in Cozumel soon since you won't be near Ajijic.


Anonimo

Dec 4, 2005, 2:33 AM

Post #20 of 38 (6236 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Places to see along the way

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I hope the Moderator makes this thread a "keeper"

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


Bloviator

Dec 9, 2005, 12:25 PM

Post #21 of 38 (6154 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Places to see along the way

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I don't know about the moderator, but I want to start it up again. Things have developed and we are seriously planning the trip to be with my wife's son & daughter-in-law in Cozumel over Christmas. Evidently the roads are satisfactory and driving will give us a chance to see the countryside at our own pace.

After re-reading the earlier postings, I can see that I am going to have a problem with timing. This trip is only somewhat a sight seeing trip. Mostly it is an exploratory trip for later visits and a trip to reach a destination - Cozumel. The posters have all recommended that we take at least a week each way. We can do that, but were figuring on leaving Ajijic on the 19th and reaching Cozumel the 24th. We'd like to visit all the interesting places mentioned, but don't really want to be away from the garden and our pets more than three weeks.

Therefore, we have set up the following itinerary.

Day 1 - Ajijic to Queretaro. We think this should take about 5+ hours of driving. The Hotel Quinta Santiago has been recommended. Good or no?

Day 2 - We are in the dark. We had planned to go to Veracruz that night, but think from recommendations above that this would be too much of a day. Can anyone suggest a good place midway between the two places to stay? We are trying to go north as far away from Mexico DF as we can.

Day 3 - Wherever to Veracruz. Hopefully about 5 hours of travel. Hotel Emporio has been recommended. Si o no?

Day 4 - Veracruz to Villahermosa. According to posting, a long, boring drive on the cuota. Seems like only about 6+ hours. Camino Real Villahermosa has been recommended. Si o no?

Day 5 - Looking for help again. Had planned to go to Merida, but it sounds as if there's too much to see even on a scouting trip to go that far. We do want to go north and then take the southern route back, though could reverse the order.

Day 6 - Wherever to Merida. Hotel MedioMundo sounds wonderful. Si o no?

Day 7 - Cozumel. Evidently will have to find a place to leave car, though if we don't find a secure place will just go by ferry and use it in Cozumel.

Return:

Day 1 - Chetumal. About 6 hours. Seem to be few places to stay there. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Since next day is long or becomes two days, maybe something past Chetumal, or is it a place not to be missed.

Day 2 - Another black hole day. Obviously Villahermosa is too far. Suggestions?

Day 3 - Wherever to Villahermosa.

Day 4 - Villahermosa to Vera Cruz.

Day 5 - Vera Cruz to Toluca. Can we go that far in one day?

Day 6 - Toluca to Ajijic.

I realize this is a long posting, but would really appreciate any suggestions from you who are experts. This is our first trip of any length since moving here and definitely the first trip into the Yucatan by car.


Ed and Fran

Dec 9, 2005, 1:11 PM

Post #22 of 38 (6145 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Places to see along the way

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I'll take a shot at a couple of the questions:

Hotel Emporio in Veracruz is excellent. Stayed there a few years ago. These days we usually stay at more reasonably priced establishments, but if your budget allows (or if you snagged a good rate), it's a good place.

Hotel Camino Real is the best place in Villahermosa.

Day 5 - Villa to Merida - "Had planned to go to Merida, but it sounds as if there's too much to see even on a scouting trip to go that far."

In my opinion, the only thing worth seeing between Villa and Merida would be Campeche. If you want to see it, spend the night there. You can also spend the next morning there completing your sightseeing, because it's just a short hop up the road to Merida.


Coming back, I wouldn't think that Chetumal to Villa is too far for one day, unless you're planning on stopping and visiting some of the ruins. If you go beyond Chetumal, there are some smaller (clean but spartan) hotels by the side of the road in Xpujil (just over the border in Campeche, about 100 km from Chetumal). We stayed there a few years ago when we visited Calakmul and some of the other ruins in the area. Escarcega is the only town of any size between the two places. Been through there but never stayed there. Or you could go Chetumal - Palenque. But that just adds more time as you'd have to stay and see the ruins.


Vera Cruz to Toluca. Can we go that far in one day?

Definitely, but it could involve going through Mexico City (which would be the direct route).

In general I think your driving distances/times as conservative. But then again I don't know how many places you want to stop for Kodak moments. Sure you don't want to go by bus?

Regards

Ed


Bloviator

Dec 9, 2005, 1:35 PM

Post #23 of 38 (6139 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Places to see along the way

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Thanks for your input. Was just sitting here looking up hotels in Campeche. Sounds like Houston (where I have lived and enjoyed a lot) with Spanish. Bienvenidos a Campeche, you all. As noted below, I won't have to plan that night's stay thanks to your input.

I agree that our itinerary is very conservative. We do want to spend time seeing things and not drive too far each day. Having driven the 1,500 miles from Ajijic to San Diego in two days and then being a zombie for the next two days, I want to take it easy.

I haven't booked at the Emporio, but rooms seem to be about $85 per night.

Good point about the ruins. We're not ruins kinds of people. Ruins ourselves, maybe, but ruin people - no. Saw Tulum, enjoyed it, but like Ronald Reagan and redwoods, once you've seen one, that's all that is necessary - though, I'm always checking out something that sounds dull and being fascinated.

Villahermosa to Merida - Thanks again. Just rechecked the mileage (kilometerage?). According to Auto Club map (my source for all of my distance figures) it is 650 km. However, that seems to include driving inland quite a ways. Is there any reason not to go along the coast (hiway 180) via Ciudad del Carmen? It is much shorter, and an easy day going that way.

Again, thanks. You have been very helpful. If I get to get nearly as good suggestions from others, I'll be very happy.


Ed and Fran

Dec 9, 2005, 1:55 PM

Post #24 of 38 (6137 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Places to see along the way

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Villahermosa to Merida - Thanks again. Just rechecked the mileage (kilometerage?). According to Auto Club map (my source for all of my distance figures) it is 650 km. However, that seems to include driving inland quite a ways. Is there any reason not to go along the coast (hiway 180) via Ciudad del Carmen? It is much shorter, and an easy day going that way.


That's the way I would have expected you to go. It's an easy, if boring, drive. Don't bother stopping for anything more than lunch and gas in Cd del Carmen. It's not exactly a hotbed of tourism.

Regards

Ed


sfmacaws


Dec 9, 2005, 9:59 PM

Post #25 of 38 (6115 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Places to see along the way

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I'll try a few too.

Day 2 - From Queretaro to Veracruz is more than a day even if you went across the DF. There is a long bypass route from Tepotzotlán (south of Queretaro and just before DF on hwy 57) to Pachuca to Apizaco and then Puebla that is doable in 5 or 6 hours, but probably more. Two lane roads with lots of truck traffic but they are pretty good roads. I'd say Queretaro to Puebla would be a long days drive no matter how you do it. It will take you 2 days to get from Queretaro to Veracruz. You could go through Xelapa to Veracruz, I haven't driven that road but it has to be mountainous, ask the Gringo Jalapeño on that forum.

Day 5 - I would reverse the order here and go the southern route on the way over and northern back. They had a lot of flooding along the Cd del Carmen area from Stan, a little longer to fix it would be good.

Day 6 - Did you look at the Gran Hotel in Mérida? Beautiful restored mansion with original tiles and furniture. In the right neighborhood to enjoy the centro and the street cafes, central but the neighborhood is safe.

Day 7 - I drove by the place we used to store our cars in Playa the other day, it's now a 3 story hole in the ground with huge machinery working in it. Another big condo building is rising. Puerto Morelos just south of Cancun is where the car ferry leaves from. You might want to check into a hotel in Playacar (southern edge of Playa del Carmen) and have them hold your car and get you a cab to the people ferry. It's an upscale hotel zone, quieter than in Playa but I don't know the names of the hotels there. Go here and search on Playacar or Playa del Carmen http://www.locogringo.com and call around.

Return:

If you go south on your return, I'd stay at Bacalar you can find the hotel name on the above locogringo website. It will take you some time to get over on the ferry and get going south. Our neighbors here drive every year from Canada and they always go into Palenque to spend the night between Chetumal and Villahermosa. The ruins are spectacular, Tulum does not begin to compare, but even without going to the ruins they say the hotel choices are better.

If you go north on your return it's an easy days drive to Mérida. From there you can make it to Villahermosa in a day going via Ciudad del Carmen. I agree with Ed, roll up the windows, turn on the AC and go mosquito free. Some of the drive is quite pretty, just humid and buggy.

You could stay in Cordoba on your way north, it is a fair sized, prosperous looking city. From Cordoba you could make it to Puebla and perhaps go on to Cuernavaca via Atlixco in one day.

Your choice would then be over the mountain or in and out of the edges of DF on the highway to Toluca for your last night.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán


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