Most popular esp. for RVer's, those in a hurry to get to new Yucatan.. Toll roads, safe driving. Enough RV parks, with 1 boondock unless you go to Cholula. Few scenic sidetrips. Highway between Puebla and Orizaba ascends to over 8,300 feet (2550 meters). Often foggy. Safety tips in my roadlog.
Gulf Coast route some prefer. Mostly free roads. First days in Tamaulipas and Veracruz states, which have bad reputations. Some rough roads near Tampico. Enough RV parks, nice scenery. Little-visisted archeological sites.
If you are a transmigranted you HAVE to take this route. If you don't know what that is and are going to Belize, get my FAQ. RV'ers prefer it to Matamoros as it is easy country driving. See notes about Reynosa route for rest of story. Same roads after El Tejon.
Traditional route. Not much in favor now. People afraid of cartel activity in Matamoros and Tamaulipas state. If you're coming from central or western USA or Canada, Reynosa Gulf route saves about 100 miles. Mostly same roads as Reynosa and Los Indios. Difference is you go through Matamoros traffic, which is tough on RV's.
One of the most popular routes. Easy driving on mostly toll roads. You do cross half an hour of mountains between Monterrey and Saltillo, but the rest is flat. Some scenic sides or you can drive straight through to Guad / Lake Chapala in 2 days.
There are many ways to get to Guatemala or Belize, but you MAY have to use an obscure crossing. If you qualify as a transmigrante, you have a lot of paperwork and rules to follow. Briefly, if you are moving to C.A. or have a lot of stuff or extra vehicles, you are a transmigrante. This FAQ tells you what you need to do.
Sure, you could just jump into your vehicle and take off for Mexico. How hard could it be? That, and "Hey watch this ...." are famous last lines. One of my few jobs was teaching the cast and crew on MTV's Road Rules show how to drive in Mexico and act as location scout. Kknowing a few Mexican driving customs will surely help you have a more enjoyable trip. It'll certainly be safer.
Do you want to really explore Mexico? Do you just want a safe, driect route with a driving itenerary and hotels. Need pet-friendly hotels or those with secure parking? I can help you with any or all of these. I’ve made plans for families, young couples, mature couples, single men and single women of all ages. That pretty much covers the spectrum, don’t you think?
Thanks to the Peunte Baluarta between Durango city and Mazatlan, you can drive from the East coast to the West in an easy 2 days or less. Better yet, spend a few days in the Sierras with waterfalls, burding, hiking and an Alpine setting.
Mexico's colonial heart is the most interesting part of the country from an historical and cultural perspective. Some towns have ghosts, others mines,hot springs, history, art, artisans.
It includes San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala, the two most popular expat destinations. But there is much, much more. Guanajuato is the most European city in Mexico. Zacatecas is like old Spain.
It is nearly impossible NOT to pass by some scenic jewel no matter what your route. Every one of my guidebooks has directions to some. Take advantage of them. But these selected trips have more scenic attractions per kilometer than most.
Most people drive down the Pacific coast from AZ because it is close and an easy drive. They come for the beaches and fishing which are great. But there is much more.
The colonial mining town of Alamos is most interesting. The river fort town of El Fuerte is worth a visit. Los Mochis was once a Utopian community. The Copper Canyon railroad connects here. Take a few days and enjoy.
Mexico's western states of Durango, Chihuahua and Coahuila get short shrift in the tourism press. But they hold some of the most fascinating areas. The Copper Canyon is bigger than the Grand Canyon. The mountain loges in Durango just off the famous toll road to Mazatlan are like Alpine villages. Hundreds of species of birds flock here. There are waterfalls. In the eastern part of the state are hot springs.
The route to Belize is the same as routes to Yucatan. You exit just before Chetumal.
The route to Guatemala branches off from the route to Yucatan at either Acayucan, Veracruz or near Coatzacoalcos, VER.
From there, there are two alternatives. All are included in the collection of roadlogs and maps in the Guatemala booklet.