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Flaekingur

Nov 19, 2008, 10:30 PM

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Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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I am planning on driving Winnipeg to Bucerias this winter, I see that there are two possible routes from Monterrey to Guadalajara, #54 through Zacatecas, or #57 through San Luis Potosi. What are the pros and cons of these two routes? I note that the SLP route is a bit farther. What would be the preferred route?
Al Nelson



jerezano

Nov 20, 2008, 9:26 AM

Post #2 of 24 (12231 views)

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Re: [Flaekingur] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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Hello Al Nelson,

You asked:>>I am planning on driving Winnipeg to Bucerias this winter, I see that there are two possible routes from Monterrey to Guadalajara, #54 through Zacatecas, or #57 through San Luis Potosi. What are the pros and cons of these two routes? I note that the SLP route is a bit farther. What would be the preferred route?<<<

I prefer 54 to Zacatecas, BYPASS Zacatecas to Aguas..., Ags. (cuota), , around Aguascalientes and on to Guadalajara via the cuota. This route is less expensive in cuotas than 57 to SLP. The big problem is the periférico around Aguascalientes which is an hour at least with lots of traffic. The periférico at Saltillo is now finished and you can zip through there in a half hour. Cross the border at Colombia not Laredo if you go via Zacatecas or via SLP. Do not enter or stop at Zacatecas unless you are tired. If necessary, overnight at Aguasc....Just as you enter you will see a no-tell motel Don Quixote on the right. Close by is a VIP and a Mc Donalds and various smaller restaurants. Next morning an easy entry to the 3rd Periférico (Anillo) around Ags.

The best alternate and the least expensive is cross at Los Indios (Free Trade Bridge) south of Harlingen, TX to Cd. Victoria,Tam. and then to SLP, Slp via the excellent VIA CORTA (about 40 km of which if not repaired in the past couple years just before you rejoin 57 south of Matehuala can be pretty rough), take the Bypass at SLP but overnight if necessary at intersection with Highway 70 or 57 (need to exit right to SLP both instances) then south of SLP Highway 80 to Lagos de Moreno and then cuota to Guadalajara. I'm told that this route can reach Bucerías in a 9 hour day from Harlingen. I've never gone past SLP on this route. No cuotas until you reach the SLP bypass and then not again until Lagos de Moreno.

On the other hand 57 from Monterrey to SLP while heavily transited by tractor trailers (main route Laredo to Mexico City) while boring as Hades can be fast although more expensive than the Los Indios route. In either case the Highway 80 route south of SLP to Lagos de Moreno is the way to go.

Your choice of crossing the border points will really depend on how you drive from Winnipeg to the Mexico border. As you know US Interstate highways are excellent and in Texas the state and secondary highways are almost as good. But Los Indios is probably the easiest (documentation etc) crossing point in Texas.

You didn't mention your vehicle. A car any of these routes. A motor home the Los Indios route hands down.

Have a good trip. You may get better advice from somebody else on this forum.

jerezano


Flaekingur

Nov 20, 2008, 8:39 PM

Post #3 of 24 (12200 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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Thanks for the come back. We plan to cross at Laredo. Will be two vehicles, Full size Chev Van and Toyota van.
Al


Camille

Nov 20, 2008, 9:50 PM

Post #4 of 24 (12195 views)

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Re: [Flaekingur] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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There's a reason Jerezano is suggesting you cross at Colombia rather than Laredo.... first, you avoid all the city driving involved in getting to the border in Laredo, and you avoid all the city driving getting away from the border in Laredo. At the Colombia crossing, everything you need to do to enter Mexico can be accomplished in one building, instead of several in Laredo. You will save hours by crossing at Colombia, trust me. I've done it at least a couple dozen times....
Safe travels.


Jim B

Nov 21, 2008, 6:38 AM

Post #5 of 24 (12181 views)

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Re: [Flaekingur] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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We did the SLP route and found it very easy. I may decide to try the Zacatecas route in the future. Traffic was light for the most part until we got closer to Monterrey. See my post on "Driving to Aticama" and revise everything for going south.

I second the Colombia crossing.



mazatman


May 5, 2009, 2:24 PM

Post #6 of 24 (11832 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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The best alternate and the least expensive is cross at Los Indios (Free Trade Bridge) south of Harlingen, TX to Cd. Victoria,Tam. and then to SLP, Slp via the excellent VIA CORTA ( about 40 km of which if not repaired in the past couple years just before you rejoin 57 south of Matehuala can be pretty rough)

jerezano


Has anyone recently been over the 40 km of rough road referred to above? I am planning to take this route shortly and would like to know what to expect. TIA.

Rod



(This post was edited by mazatman on May 5, 2009, 4:10 PM)


jreboll

May 5, 2009, 2:36 PM

Post #7 of 24 (11828 views)

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Re: [mazatman] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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I went through there a few months ago and that section seemed much improved.


Altahabana


May 10, 2009, 12:11 PM

Post #8 of 24 (11767 views)

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Re: [Camille] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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I disagree that Columbia is a better alternative than crossing at Nuevo Laredo. First there is no city driving if you cross at Bridge II, the main international bridge. Interstate 35 ends about 5 blocks from the bridge in Laredo and it is a short straight shot to cross. In Nuevo Laredo you simply turn left at the first street immediately after entering Mexico and go about six blocks. That puts you on Luis Coloso, the loop around N. Laredo. You travel about 6 miles on divided highway until you come to the intersection with Highway 85 to Monterrey and then make a left onto the highway.

If you have to pick up the vehicle permit, the station is between the two bridges and is clearly visible on the right as you are crossing Bridge II. You go about 3/4 of a mile after entering Coloso and then make a left across the opposite lane of traffic at the first light onto the access road that heads back towards the Bridge. There are signs indicating the route marked "MODELO--CIITEV." Unless you are planning to travel during the holiday season when Mexican nationals are returning home, it usually takes no more than 20 minutes to pick up a permit. To get back to Coloso you just retrace your route.

If you choose Columbia you will be going about 30 miles out of your way assuming you are doubling back to Highway 85 and not going the back route into Monterrey on Highway 1. There is less traffic at Columbia and it may take a few minutes less to get the permit, but to me that doesn't justify the extra miles you drive. You certainly are not going to save hours by crossing at Columbia, plus you will be driving on Highway 2 when you double back which has probably the highest volume of heavy truck traffic in Northern Mexico and a substantial number of serious accidents.

Another option if you travelling on Interstate 35 in Texas is to cross at Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras and take Hwy. 57 to Saltillo. It is a longer drive once you are in Mexico, but you avoid Monterrey and there is far less traffic. To get to Eagle Pass you take the US Highway 57 exit off IH 35 at milepost 111 about 45 miles south of San Antonio. The permit station is not in Piedras, but about 35 miles south of there near Allende.


(This post was edited by Altahabana on May 11, 2009, 3:31 PM)


Flaekingur


Nov 30, 2009, 6:58 PM

Post #9 of 24 (10553 views)

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Re: [Flaekingur] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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  Last year about this time, I posted a request for the best route from Saltillo to Guadalajara. I got a great response with much good advice on the many possible routes. There were many pros and cons between MEX 57 via SLP and MEX 54 via Zacatecas.
In the end, we did not go south at all, primarily due to some major problems with some home renovations we were doing that ran well into March rather than December.
Well, we are going to have another go at it this February and we were wondering if there are any changes in which is the preferred route. Most people last winter seemed to recommend the #75/#80 route from Saltillo, although it is a bit longer. I have read that they have done a lot of work on #54 from Saltillo to Zacatecas. What are the opinions this winter?

Also, I read on the Aduanas website that a bond of $300 to $400 is now required for a vehicle permit. Is this correct or am I reading it wrong?

This will be our 14th trip to Mexico but our previous trips were mostly to Bahia Kino in Sonora, Mazatlán,and BCS. This will be our first safari through the east and central parts.

Flaekingur


Rolly


Nov 30, 2009, 7:14 PM

Post #10 of 24 (10548 views)

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Re: [Flaekingur] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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"Also, I read on the Aduanas website that a bond of $300 to $400 is now required for a vehicle permit. Is this correct or am I reading it wrong?"

A cash bond is required only if you don't use a credit or debit card.

Rolly Pirate


Flaekingur


Nov 30, 2009, 9:21 PM

Post #11 of 24 (10524 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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Thanks Rolly, that's the same system as it used to be, I just read it wrong.
Al


jerezano

Dec 1, 2009, 10:56 AM

Post #12 of 24 (10487 views)

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Re: [Flaekingur] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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Hello Flaekingur,

Yes, they have done a lot of work on the Saltillo to Zacatecas highway. It is now free 4 lane divided highway for 160 km north of Zacatecas which is a bit more than half way to Saltillo. From Saltillo south to meet the Zacatecas border, the state of Coahuila has opted for two and two halves wide lanes but is doing the work in short stretches between the normal two lane free federal highway over two mountain ranges. They are working like dogs trying to finish to the Zacatecas border by January 1. Probably will not make it but the highway is really improved much already.

Consequently much of the tractor-trailer traffic which normally goes the Ramos Arizpe route through SLP and on to Mexico is starting to divert to this Saltillo to Zacatecas route. Weekend driving is no problem whatsoever.

Also there is now a cuota from Monterrey to Saltillo which cuts through the Saltillo Canyon and reduces that white knuckle drive to "pan comida" and about 1/2 hour. At the top of the canyon the exit right to Saltillo is a bit sudden and not properly marked so come up in the right lane as you reach the top.

As you approach Zacatecas at Morelos there is now a cuota bypass around the city of Zacatecas. Well marked as Mexico, Aguascalientes, etc. Pan comida. Two toll booths totaling about $5 usd for the worry free drive on to Aguascalients. For that reason, unless you are really tired do not enter Zacatecas to seek a motel, just continue on to Aguascalientes about 45 minutes further on.

The 4 1/2 to 5 hour drive from Saltillo on to Zacatecas is now reduced to 3 1/2 to 4 hours depending on how fast you want to fly.

Have a good trip. jerezano.


sioux4noff

Dec 1, 2009, 9:27 PM

Post #13 of 24 (10445 views)

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Re: [Flaekingur] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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The last time we drove from Waco, Texas to Bucerias we crossed the border at Eagle Pass, TX / Piedras Negras. From there you head south through Monclova and to Saltillo. We spent the night in Saltillo, then went by way of Matehuala, the loop around SLP, and the next night in GDL. Makes a shorter day the last day to get to Bucerias.
We take the route through Ameca and Mascota rather than the toll road from GDL to Bucerias.
Email me if you would like more details.


donemry

Dec 6, 2009, 7:16 AM

Post #14 of 24 (10342 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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For our 7th trip driving, we drove down with 4 adults and a dog while pulling a small, closed trailer. We stayed overnight in Laredo on Dec 1st and went up FM 1472 to the Colombia crossing, arrivng there about 8:45. It took just under an hour to get FMT's and a permit for the car and trailer.

Went through the "Nothing to declare" lane and got a green light. Same thing at the 25 KM checkpoint. No one asked about the dog and we didn't mention it, but we did have the health certificate.

So we took 85 to 45 to 57 to 80, stopping overnight at the Casa Grande in Lagos de Moreno. Then on to Guadalajara and the usual route to PV. There is a new stretch of toll road open, connecting 85 to 45, since last spring. No issues on the trip and did not run across any interior checkpoints.


Georgia


Dec 6, 2009, 5:05 PM

Post #15 of 24 (10302 views)

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Re: [Flaekingur] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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We travel frequently by car from Guadalajara to Texas. We've tried it both ways: Laredo and Colombia. Colombia wins hands down, in either direction. While it is about 20 miles longer by the time you hook up to I35 going north, it is at least a half hour shorter as a cconsequence of the ease and efficiency at the Colombia crossing. Everything is in one building. It's quick, efficient and friendly. No driving and looping around under bridges through the mayhem of city streets in Laredo to get your permit. The Colombia Bypass takes you about 35 miles north of Laredo on I35. Going north we usually stay in Cotulla; going south from Austin we stay in Matehuala.


Reefhound


Dec 6, 2009, 7:38 PM

Post #16 of 24 (10285 views)

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Re: [donemry] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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For our 7th trip driving, we drove down with 4 adults and a dog while pulling a small, closed trailer. We stayed overnight in Laredo on Dec 1st and went up FM 1472 to the Colombia crossing, arrivng there about 8:45. It took just under an hour to get FMT's and a permit for the car and trailer.

Went through the "Nothing to declare" lane and got a green light. Same thing at the 25 KM checkpoint. No one asked about the dog and we didn't mention it, but we did have the health certificate.

So we took 85 to 45 to 57 to 80, stopping overnight at the Casa Grande in Lagos de Moreno. Then on to Guadalajara and the usual route to PV. There is a new stretch of toll road open, connecting 85 to 45, since last spring. No issues on the trip and did not run across any interior checkpoints.


45? You mean MX 40? There has been a cuota (periferico bypassing Monterrey) connecting MX 85 (at km 19) to MX 40 (at km 55) for at least ten years.


(This post was edited by Reefhound on Dec 6, 2009, 7:43 PM)


Reefhound


Dec 6, 2009, 7:46 PM

Post #17 of 24 (10278 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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We travel frequently by car from Guadalajara to Texas. We've tried it both ways: Laredo and Colombia. Colombia wins hands down, in either direction. While it is about 20 miles longer by the time you hook up to I35 going north, it is at least a half hour shorter as a cconsequence of the ease and efficiency at the Colombia crossing. Everything is in one building. It's quick, efficient and friendly. No driving and looping around under bridges through the mayhem of city streets in Laredo to get your permit. The Colombia Bypass takes you about 35 miles north of Laredo on I35. Going north we usually stay in Cotulla; going south from Austin we stay in Matehuala.

Unless you're crossing between midnight and 6am. And I have to wonder if you've ever gotten the permiso in Nvo as the looping under the bridges involves passing through one light signal and no stop signs and virtually no traffic and takes about two minutes.


Georgia


Dec 6, 2009, 8:07 PM

Post #18 of 24 (10273 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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Yup. Been there, done that. Never again. Compared to Colombia, it's a nightmare. Depends on the traffic there which is often over the top. We tend not to drive in that general area between midnight and 6 a.m. so the fact that the Colombia crossing is closed then is not an issue.


donemry

Dec 7, 2009, 8:44 AM

Post #19 of 24 (10239 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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Ok 40, then there is a new section of the periferico that connects past the old route after you pass the airport heading south. Whatever it is, it is a much better route now.


jimboynton

Dec 8, 2009, 2:02 PM

Post #20 of 24 (10186 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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How is that road through Ameca?


sioux4noff

Dec 8, 2009, 3:20 PM

Post #21 of 24 (10176 views)

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Re: [jimboynton] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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There is no construction at all on the Ameca road now. We came to Guadalajara that way last Friday. There are a fair number of topes between Ameca and the road to Guadalajara that we don't remember being there before.
We'll be returning to Bucerias by that route also.


jimboynton

Dec 8, 2009, 3:25 PM

Post #22 of 24 (10175 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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Is it that much shorter or better route that thetoll road to Compostela and south on 200?


sioux4noff

Dec 8, 2009, 3:47 PM

Post #23 of 24 (10172 views)

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Re: [jimboynton] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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Shorter -no. Faster - not necessarily. I prefer the scenery on the Ameca route, also appreciate the lack of tolls. Less trucks and buses via Ameca.


RickS


Dec 8, 2009, 4:38 PM

Post #24 of 24 (10165 views)

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Re: [jimboynton] Best route Monterrey to Guadalajara

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And to add to sioux4noff's post, there are some very interesting towns to visit along that route..... Talpa de Allende, Mascota and one of my favorite villages, San Sebastian de Oeste.

Like sioux4noff said, not shorter, not faster but more scenic and no tolls.
 
 
 
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