Too often lumped in with North America, Mexico is a country that stands out on its own.

Safe Mexican-US borders

busman7

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  • Added on: October 28th, 2010
Border crossing went well but avoiding tool roads (dual wheel van they charge about double for a car) takes time.

4 days now & still a day from Mexico City. :o
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"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

skottandshawna

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2010
laurentango wrote:By private car, RV, or bus, i would recommend crossing at Douglas AZ, Agua Prieta, Mexico, south of Tucson. This is an easy crossing, much quicker than Nogales, although Nogales is not bad going south.
The Agua Prieta route will take you through the high country of Central Mexico. If you are going the coastal route, you make the turn west at Agua Prieta and head towards Hermasillo and then Mazatlan. I have done this one for a Copper Canyon trip out of El Fuerte near los Mochis.
If going by bus, I recommend Tufesa bus out of Phoenx or Tucson, to Nogales. Tufesa goes along the coast, south to Guadalajara. From there you have many options to continue along the coast road to Acapulco, Oaxaca, and Chiapas, or go through Mexico City. If by bus go to Tapachula, Chiapas and take the Tica bus to Panama City Panama.
Lauren



So my wife has some concerns about the safeness crossing the US/MX border. If we did cross on this Tufesa bus to Nogales, can anyone help to put these worries to rest? Also, what is the danger factor of Guadalajara? All in all, we aren't fools for attempting (or even thinking of) this trip to Guatemala overland??? Are we??

busman7

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2010
The only signs of anything out of the normal on my road trip crossing at Douglas were the antics of the US Border Patrol acting like a bunch of out of control school kids playing cowboys & Indians in the Arizona desert!! :crazy:

Can't see there being any problems going by bus to Guatemala, think it would be a nice trip leaving the driving to the professionals on the narrow roads! :)
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: November 14th, 2010
I've always bused it to San Cristobal, then taken a van bus or regular bus to Comitan, where there are van-buses to 'la frontera'. The ride on the small van-buses can be a bit squirrelly, but having driven back from guatemala to Mexico by car, find the bus a lot less messy, especially considering the 'multa's ' the guatemalan frontier guards can pile on the car driver for supposedly bad papers.

4 days to Mexico city, eh? I guess you're not driving by night. Probably a smart move.

busman7

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  • Added on: November 15th, 2010
Was driving a heavily (over)loaded minibus so wasn't breaking any speed limits in the hills, only drove after dark one night to get to a secure hotel.
The Guatemalan border was an expensive zoo to drive through,also only place I experienced any theft was some fuel in a supposedly secure auto hotel in Guatemala, didn't get much as I always waited until morning to fill up but they didn't have to take the fuel cap as well. :(
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

Allan108

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  • Added on: January 18th, 2011
Tijuana

Police officers and national military officers are everywhere in Tijuana. I even dared to stay in Tijuana
overnight after all buses were sold out to Puerto Vallarta. The presence of police officers make me
feel at peace sometimes in Tijuana but DO NOT trust local police officers. They are known to steal people of pocket changes during pat down.

If you go by bus.. its fun to travel along the Baja California and take Ferry from La Paz to two destination in Mainland Mexico. Ferry cost about $70 USD for each passenger without vehicle.

KathleenO

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  • Added on: January 22nd, 2011
I went from Tapachula to Guatemala and on another occasion, from the Yucatan to Belize. I definitely prefer the latter route. It felt safer to me. The border of Guatemala/Mexico was pretty shady. We had to ride a tricycle to immigration and another lady we met rode a tube across the river, lol.

busman7

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  • Added on: January 22nd, 2011
That Mexico to Guatemala border can be hard on the wallet when crossing an hour before it closes van loaded with all my possessions)for a holiday. Place makes a zoo look tame! LOL :darthmavis:
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: January 22nd, 2011
We had to wait for the next day to cross, and ended up in a motel for the night. Wasnb't very cheap, and a real dump. My companion refused to pay a kid a few dollars to 'watch' his car. That night, someone threw a flourescent tube through the grill in our door, kept open because of the heat.

We were surprised the car wasn't vandalized or burglarised. 'A real zoo' indeed.

Very sketchy town.

skottandshawna

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  • Added on: February 1st, 2011
Well we have decided to actually fly from Los Angeles to Oaxaca, and then find some way down to the Guatemala border from there....I am super interested in any advice on what to expect/costs/environment for this Guatemala border, as this will be our first overland border crossing...maybe I will start a new post....

thanks!

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: February 2nd, 2011
Foot and bus crossing through the frontier near Comitan(Not through belize and the jungle) through the route

Oaxaca
San Cristobal
Comitan
La Frontera

was the one I always took. There are mini-buses that go from San Cristobal to Comitan, and possibly even the border at (tapachula?). If there are any border buses, they'll probably be labeled La Frontera, and you'll want to find out the earliest time they depart, and take that departure. The You get the buses to Comitan from the mini-bus station at the base of the city, where there are bunches of them all together by the road. There is no bus 'station'per se, just places by the road or in parking lots where the vans proceed from. There are no set times. The van fills up, you go.

At Comitan it's the same story for transport, just vans that go to 'la frontera' , but I'd not want to stay in Comitan long. Its a dusty, dirty town with not much to see. From Comitan, however., there ARE the lagos de montebello, which are quite wonderful to see, and one small pyramid site.


One way or the other there WILL be a border booth, and there you get your entry stamp. Now this is the tricky part, the one you will want to pay attention to. There is a second booth you have to go to. In this booth you get your 'tourist paper'. It would make too much sense to do it all in one booth, eh?
So you go there and get your tourist paper for another small fee, and you're set. From there you hop onto one of the many buses to Guatemala city or if you are lucky, Antiqua. Theres not much in Guat city for you.

If perchance you can't get a bus to Antiqua, you get off the bus in Zona 1, and then immediately call a cab to get a ride to a bus to Antiqua. Its not worth staying in Guatemala city and safer to look for a place to stay in Antiqua than Guatemala city, if you arrive in time. This is why you really need to leave for the border early as possible, and to have EXTRA time, you might want to stay in Comitan overnight. I never did this, I just made a straight run from either San Cristobal, or went from Lago de montebello to Comitan, and then Guatemala.


It should take about 4-5 hours from San Cristobal, maybe 6, to the border, and if there is no major line, you'll be in Guat city in plenty of time to get out of it and into Antiqua in time. You have to leave at 6 am to do this., of course. You really don't want to laze around until 10 am, then make your way slowly to the border, then end up in guatemala city at 10 pm, when mosty of the bus lines to Antiqua have stopped running.

See other posts for possibilities of shuttles to Antiqua.

Most of them I know about are probably from hotels, after a nights stay in Guat city, or the airport.

busman7

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  • Added on: February 3rd, 2011
Contemplating a bus trip from El Salvador to Canada (yeah I know it's just as cheap to fly but see my screen name), the way the schedules work looks like I will be spending the night in a US/Mecico border town. :roll:

Any thoughts on the one with less hassle Nuevo Laredo/Laredo or Matamoros/Brownsville :?:
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: February 6th, 2011
One more addition, and you've seen this before.

Take a TAXI from the bus station in Guat city to the buses to Antiqua, or find a direct shuttle, if they're available. Do NOT walk with your backpack and items. Its a confusing mess, and walking it subjects you to all manner of criminals along the way. Even the policeman told us to take a cab, when we were walking.

If you like being careful. make a reservation in a place in Antiqua before you arrive. The best places sometimes fill up. I do know there was but one place in Antiqua I could find that had cheap single rooms. Everywhere else they had doubles for 1.5 times the price. If you are a couple, whoppee! Everything is easier.

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: February 6th, 2011
One more addition, and you've seen this before.

Take a TAXI from the bus station in Guat city to the buses to Antiqua, or find a direct shuttle, if they're available. Do NOT walk with your backpack and items. Its a confusing mess, and walking it subjects you to all manner of criminals along the way. Even the policeman told us to take a cab, when we were walking.

If you like being careful. make a reservation in a place in Antiqua before you arrive. Its possible they might be able to arrange a shuttle from Guat city. The best places sometimes fill up. I do know there was but one place in Antiqua I could find that had cheap single rooms. Everywhere else they had doubles for 1.5 times the price. If you are a couple, whoppee! Everything is easier.

Qwovadis

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  • Added on: February 7th, 2011
www.go-panamerican.com good link for you have done overland several times.

Deluxe bus in day time works best www.ticabus.com your best bet into CA

from Tapachula to Panama City hopping on and off.

Can get dodgy travel carefully check consular advisories and backpacker/trip insurance

always cheap wise...

Happy Journey,


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