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skyline

Dec 3, 2005, 4:28 PM

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ROADS/LODGING TALPA,MASCOTA,SAN SEBASTIAN

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I WILL BE IN PV AREA 3RD WEEK OF MARCH. HAS ANYONE RECENTLY BEEN UP IN THE MOUNTAINS FROM THERE AND STAYED AT SAN SEBASTIAN,MESCOTA, OR TALPA? WHICH ROAD IS BEST TO TAKE TO EITHER OF THESE PLACES, DO I NEED TO RENT A 4W DRIVE OR WILL A STANDARD RENTAL CAR DO? WHAT LODGING WOULD SOMEONE RECOMEND IN THESE VILLAGES ETC. ANY INFO WILL BE WELCOMED, THANKS,JIM


(This post was edited by skyline on Dec 3, 2005, 4:29 PM)



Bloviator

Dec 3, 2005, 6:08 PM

Post #2 of 6 (2290 views)

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Re: [skyline] ROADS/LODGING TALPA,MASCOTA,SAN SEBASTIAN

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Guad Reporter this week (Dec4-10) had an article about San Sebastian.


tonyburton


Dec 3, 2005, 10:43 PM

Post #3 of 6 (2275 views)

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Re: [skyline] ROADS/LODGING TALPA,MASCOTA,SAN SEBASTIAN

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See also one of my articles on this site:
http://www.mexconnected.com/...es/sansebastian.html


lisasmith

Dec 5, 2005, 1:59 PM

Post #4 of 6 (2229 views)

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Re: [skyline] ROADS/LODGING TALPA,MASCOTA,SAN SEBASTIAN

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I went to Mascoto by way of the road that leaves Puerto Vallarta through Paso Ancho. The roads were very good and there was no difficulty passing through the rivers in the few places that it was required. I was driving my little toyota tacoma and we didn't have any problem. We stopped a lot a long the way. It is a great trip.


RickS


Feb 6, 2006, 3:08 PM

Post #5 of 6 (2100 views)

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Re: [skyline] ROADS/LODGING TALPA,MASCOTA,SAN SEBASTIAN

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We just visited the San Sebastian del Oeste/Talpa/Mascota area a few weeks ago.... Drove in from the east/Guadalajara side and exited around the airport in Puerto Vallarta. Several things come to mind....

There has been some speculation that this would be a 'short cut' from Lakeside to Puerto Vallarta, since it is a straighter shot. FORGET THAT! If time-to-get-there is your motivater, go around on the Autopista towards Tepic.

The road itself is pretty typical Mexican two-lane, paved all the way now. Discussion of late has been on the condition of the part(s) that were previously unpaved and maybe unpassable except by 4-wheel, and even then not in the rainy season because of wash-outs. My report to you is:

- the side road out to Talpa is a pretty good, if narrow, paved two-lane. The last few miles drops (and I mean drops!) down from the pass into the Talpa valley. Very beautiful but the driver won't want to take his/her eyes off the road to look. Talpa is nice, but we didn't spend the night due to time commitment.

- The road on to Mascota is good and the view of the valley when approaching is spectacular. We stayed the night in Mascota and really liked the clean, prosperous-looking town. Hotel recommendation below.

- While in the Mascota area, we drove up to Laguna Juanacatlan and the Sierra Lago Resort and Spa. WHAT A BLAST!!! The road up is only 12 miles, but will take you an hour. It starts off paved, then some dusty/bumpy gravel, and then, as it climbs up to 7000 feet, it is a very narrow and sometimes very steep cobblestone road. But Oh! what a beautiful and exciting drive through the forest with spectacular views back into the valley you just left. Although we saw a regular sedan up top, I would recommend a higher profile, smaller car.... forget your Lincoln Navigator!. The resort is all that is up there (and the restaurant was NOT open to non-guests), but it and the little lake setting is grand. We walked around the beautiful wooded property which has unique lodging bungalows, some even eco-tent-style cottages (but seriously nice!), a spa with outside hot-tub, an in-door sauna with showers/lockers for both sexes, AND a top-notch stable with wonderful horses, probably Aztecas breed. If you go up, take a snack and water and plan on it taking a half-day minimum.

- the newly paved portion of the road from Mascota up over the mountain pass and then down to the vicinity of San Sebastian (La Estancia actually) has some 'minor' areas of rough road where the pavement was damaged, probably in the rainy season and probably due to the poor engineering techniques of Mexican road builders. The road to San Sebastian from La Estancia starts out pavement but quickly turns to dirt. They are widening it and it will probably be paved within the year.

- San Sebastian is a small, very old village. To us, it was a delight... more than that actually. It spoke to us. Narrow, hilly cobblestone streets/lanes in a beautiful setting. Very nice and friendly people. The kind of place we might like to spend some serious time (if one could find anything to purchase there... we saw nothing Se Vende!). Cool nights, warm days, low humidity (sweater, then short sleeve). Gotta go back there again!

- The road on out, from La Estancia to Las Palmas and continuing on to PV, is the newer paved 2-lane all the way. One portion of it not too far out of La Estancia has to traverse down and up a VERY steep canyon. Traffic is only one way down/up so there may be as much as a 15 minute wait at either end. I'm from Colorado and I've NEVER seen a road with a grade THAT steep. I'm glad we were behind that big dump truck and huge bus going down. At the bottom you cross a (paved) stream bed with crystal clear water flowing and then start back up. (They are building a suspension bridge over a narrow part of the canyon that will replace this traverse. We got a pretty good/close look at the bridge-in-construction, and I don't know if I want to actually cross it when it is complete!). The road finally intersects Hwy 200 just north of the PV airport.

Time-wise, from Mascota to PV airport could probably be made in an hour/forty-five; surely that when the suspension bridge is finished. Maybe an hour/fifteen from San Sebastian.

Hotel Recommendations:

Mascota - Meson Del Refugio, one block off the Jardin. A beautifully restored old 2-story hotel with very large/bright rooms; good beds; secure parking. $450mp for two. This is a large town so there are other accommodations; we looked at some a bit cheaper but they didn't come close to comparing.

San Sebastian del Oeste - Hotel Posada del Sol, right on the edge of the square. An old, somewhat restored Hacienda style dwelling with clean, large-but-somewhat-dark rooms; decent beds. Wonderful ambiance and Senora Margarita Garcia will show you around and point out all the "original" aspects (including door-sills, ceilings, etc.). Very nice folks! $350mp. We looked at another hotel first, the Hotel El Pabellon, on the other end of the jardin. I don't know whether we got the Gringo price or whether they had upped their rates since the town was having it's annual founding-fiesta starting in a couple of days, but they wanted $850mp for a room very comparable to the Posada del Sol. We passed.

So, again, don't take this route if you are trying to get to/from PV in a hurry. But if you are looking for a wonderful adventure into a beautiful area of mountains and valleys and towns, by all means take the above described trip. If you have the time, take a week and enjoy!

Rick in Colorado


Anonimo

Feb 12, 2006, 7:03 AM

Post #6 of 6 (2045 views)

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Re: [RickS] ROADS/LODGING TALPA,MASCOTA,SAN SEBASTIAN

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I Googled "Laguna Juanacatlán, and came up with this excellent website description.
http://www.moon.com/...gunajuanacatlan.html



Saludos,
Anonimo
 
 
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