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AlohaMan

May 1, 2006, 1:38 AM

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Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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We're going down mid-june for a six week trip and hope to spend a lot of our time in the colonial highlands. Am particularly interested in visiting Patzcuaro. There have been so many positive posts on this and other boards praising the region... I just have to find out for myself. My Wife and I are Travelling with an older 20' Mobile Traveler built on a dodge frame. Can anyone suggest the best routes to get to Morelia and the best border crossing coming from Denver. I'm a newbie and am really excited about this new adventure and hope you can point me to the right roads.
Mahalo,
AlohaMan



kittythegm

May 1, 2006, 7:27 AM

Post #2 of 14 (4499 views)

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Re: [AlohaMan] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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We are leaving Albuquerque the 2nd or 3rd of June and plan to cross the border at Santa Teresa, NM. Much better than crossing at El Paso/Juarez - easy crossing, no lines & no Juarez traffic. Border opens at 6:00AM and we plan to be there at opening. Our route goes thru Chihuahua to Gomez Palacio/Torreon (1st nights stop. Then Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes to the toll road into Guadalajara and on to the Lake Chapala area. It looks to me that you would stay on the road to Leon and on further but we have never made the trip in that direction.

A majority of the driving is on toll roads and certainly easier that the free roads. We try not to drive after dark and plan approx. $100 USD in tolls to Guadalajara.

You will probably receive more advice on the route from Aguascalientes to your destination.


jerezano

May 1, 2006, 7:55 AM

Post #3 of 14 (4494 views)

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Re: [kittythegm] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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Hello,

There is a new bypass (cuota) of Zacatecas City if you are coming south from Torreón thru Fresnillo. Just on the the Zacatecas side of Fresnillo in the City of Calera after you pass the airport exit there is an exit to the new cuota. It will be labelled Aguascalientes. There will be two toll booths of about $30 pesos each one at Morelos. Zac, and the other after you cross over the Zacatecas-Aguascalientes libre. This way you miss the horrible grades on the Zacatecas periferico, and all the truck traffic on the Zac-aguas libre.

Happy travelling. Adios. jerezano.


jerezano

May 1, 2006, 8:19 AM

Post #4 of 14 (4488 views)

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Re: [AlohaMan] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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Hello,

I would suggest you head south from Denver to Laredo but at Laredo you cross over on the Columbia bridge bypassing Nuevo Laredo and shooting straight for Monterrey. Take the periferico around Monterrey, head for Saltillo but just as you exit the Saltillo Canyon at Ramos Arizpe you swing left on the couta to Matahuala and Mexico City. First 40 or so kilometers a very heavy and taxing upgrade, but a forced and enforced truck route around Saltillo. And it is two lane in your direction. Down the main trucking highway from the border to Mexico City (wide lanes, good surface, heavy truck traffic) but easy driving and boring, bypassing San Luis Potosí and then at Querétaro the junction of the Mexico city-Guadalarara cuota you swing right to Salamanca and there swing left (south) on Mexico 43, a straight and mainly level shot directly to Morelia on two lane but well surfaced and not heavily trafficked highway. This route will give you excellent time and minimize the cuotas charged. If you haven't traavelled in Mexico with a RV you will find the coutas high, but usually worth it in time and nerves saved as well as getting you away from most heavy truck traffic on dangerous two lane surfaces.

If that heavy upgrade worries you, at Ramos Arizpe you can continue on toward Saltillo and take the exit to Torreón. From there to Fresnillo to Aguascalientes (bypassing the grades at Zacatecas) to León to Salamanca and then at Salamanca swing right onto Mexico 43. This route will involve a confusing and hour-long ride on the Aguascalientes periferico as well as considerably more cuota fees, but escapes really heavy grades and a lot of the heavy truck traffic.

You didn't say if your rig is diesel or gasoline. Gas was about $2.22 a gal in April. There has been a slight increase this month as mandated for every month.

Happy travelling. Adios. jerezano.


(This post was edited by jerezano on May 1, 2006, 8:26 AM)


kittythegm

May 1, 2006, 9:21 AM

Post #5 of 14 (4477 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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We must be missing something here!

After looking at the maps, we cannot figure out why one would subject themselves to the horrible drive through west Texas to get to Laredo to say nothing of the higher gas prices in the U.S. Then one would have the dubious pleasure of crossing into Nuevo Laredo with all of its crime etc. Sure there may be fewer tolls and less driving in Mexico but we just cannot see it.

The main reason we cross at Santa Teresa is that we avoid the hassles of El Paso/Juarez and then basically have an enjoyable drive south into Mexico. Are there spots without great scenery? Yes but that is true most places. Are the highways better on the other side? Maybe but it would be hard to beat the toll roads on the other route.

Either way, driving a gas or diesel motor home would be cheaper in Mexico than in the U.S. at the current rates!


sfmacaws


May 1, 2006, 10:39 AM

Post #6 of 14 (4468 views)

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Re: [kittythegm] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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We crossed the border last October in our 27' MH straight south of Denver at the Palomas crossing, it's right below Deming NM. It was small and easy and fast. We then went west a bit and south through Nuevo Casas Grandes with a side trip to see the fantastic pottery in Mata Ortiz.

But, I agree that you should cross at Columbia or Palomas and not go down into Texas. There's no reason to, gas is now cheaper in Mexico. The scenery is not much better in that part of Mexico but at least it isn't west Texas.

Before you leave Denver, get a Guia Roji map "Por las Carreterras de Mexico" and a copy of Mike and Terri Church's book "Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping" which has routes and details on all of the border crossings as well as places to camp. Amazon has both of them and they are cheaper and easier to get in the US than in MX.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




jerezano

May 1, 2006, 10:49 AM

Post #7 of 14 (4465 views)

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Re: [kittythegm] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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Hello Kitty,

No, you're not missing anything. I am. I see no reason to drive west from Denver to Santa Theresa and then come back east to Pátzcuaro.

Having driven several times from Denver to Laredo which is a straight shot south on excellent US freeways, etc. I have no problems recommending that route. And as you may not have noticed I recommended crossing at Colombia and not at Laredo.

No matter. Coming south out of Denver these folks will have the option of turning west to New Mexico or continuing south to Texas. In either case they will want to get to the border as quickly as possible. They might even consider crossing at Del Rio or Piedras Negras
although the roads are not that good.

Adios. jerezano.


(This post was edited by jerezano on May 1, 2006, 10:53 AM)


bournemouth

May 1, 2006, 10:52 AM

Post #8 of 14 (4462 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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The 2006 Guia Roji Por Las Carreteras de Mexico is priced at 155 pesos and can usually be found at Walmart stores in Mexico. Amazon is priced at $24.95 US plus shipping but it is convenient to be able to buy it before you leave on a trip.


kittythegm

May 1, 2006, 10:57 AM

Post #9 of 14 (4460 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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Actually Denver, CO is due north from New Mexico. I25 runs north from El Paso thru Albuquerque, thru Sanata Fe, thru Colorado Springs thru Denver. I25 freeway the whole way. If my memory serves me correctly, the Santa Teresa crossing is about 15 miles west of I25 from a junction just north of El Paso. Once across the border, one completely misses the Juarez mess.


sfmacaws


May 1, 2006, 10:58 AM

Post #10 of 14 (4460 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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You're right, it is cheaper in Mexico. I've also found them at Office Depot in Mexico. It's just that there aren't a lot of places close to the border to get one and if you don't know the route, it's tougher without a map. But then, I'm kind of a map junkie. You can use a Garmin GPS, it will show the main highways in Mexico and some other roads and will at least let you know you are still heading in the right direction.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




bournemouth

May 1, 2006, 12:41 PM

Post #11 of 14 (4451 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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Jonna: Have you noticed that Magellan has come out with something for Mexico - I don't know if it is detailed enough but here is the link:

http://www.magellangps.com/en/products/product.asp?PRODID=1233


sfmacaws


May 1, 2006, 2:05 PM

Post #12 of 14 (4441 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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It was hard to see much from the picture but it looks like a lot more detail than I get from the basic Garmin map. Unfortunately for me, my GPS is a Garmin and can't use those maps. I've looked for maps I can use and found one (from someone here) but it was about $150 US which is more than I want to spend. The $79 price for the Magellan is really good. I haven't gone looking lately but the offerings for Mexico were pretty slim in the past. What I have works pretty well for us along with the Guia Roji, it lets me know if I'm on the right highway and if I'm heading the right direction. Getting more detail would be fantastic, maybe I'll have to look around again now while I"m in the US and delivery is easier. Anyway, thanks for the link.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




esperanza

May 1, 2006, 2:12 PM

Post #13 of 14 (4440 views)

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Re: [kittythegm] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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I just drove from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Guadalajara--we arrived home in GDL on Saturday evening April 29.

We discussed crossing at Sta Teresa and decided not to do it because we were traveling with four animals and it's easier to find a pet-friendly motel in the USA than in Mexico. We stayed two nights (El Paso and Eagle Pass) at La Quinta motels, where pets are accepted.

We drove from ABQ to El Paso the first night (we didn't leave ABQ until about 6:00 PM). The second leg of our trip was to Eagle Pass. We crossed the border at Eagle Pass; there was one car ahead of us in line. Immigration is just to the left in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, México. No one else was in the immigration office; my companion's FM-3 was stamped in within 30 seconds.

Leaving Piedras Negras is easy. We drove south to the Saltillo by-pass and joined the road to Matehuala at that juncture. We stayed the third night in Matehuala just to make it easy on ourselves and the animals.

There is still substantial construction around San Luis Potosí/Ojuelos; at one point, we drove quite a distance on a gravel roadbed. There was LOTS of stop-and-go traffic and lots of heavily traveled two-lane roadway. The section of the trip from San Luis Potosí to the toll road to Guadalajara was slow and strenuous driving.

The toll road outside Ojuelos that brings you to Guadalajara is under substantial construction. Much of the entire way to GDL is crowded and slow. The trip from Matehuala to Guadalajara, which should have taken about 5.5 hours, took closer to 7.5.

YMMV.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on May 1, 2006, 4:52 PM)


AlohaMan

May 1, 2006, 3:33 PM

Post #14 of 14 (4431 views)

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Re: [AlohaMan] Best Route Denver, CO to Morelia

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Thank you everyone. I am overwhelmed with the response. For my purposes it seems like the Columbia crossing and heading to Saltillo will be best. From there I would follow the Church guide for the Colonial tour. Will probably be deviating at Guadalahara and heading up the West Coast and ultimately to Southern California.
 
 
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