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

Safe Mexican-US borders

skottandshawna

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  • Added on: September 20th, 2010
Hey all - my wife and I are aspiring to go on a RTW trip next spring. Leaving from Saskatchewan, Canada we were interested in border crossings that would safe for us to travel overland.

And while I am asking this question, what would be a great route to go through MX into Central America.

Thanks for your help!

busman7

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  • Added on: September 21st, 2010
Am interested in the answer also as will be leaving on a road trip from Toronto area in a couple weeks for El Salvador, following US Route 66 from Chicago to California, want to stop in San Diego so would like a crossing in that area.
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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

Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: September 21st, 2010
busman, from San Diego you could cross at Tijuana or Otay, but you're probably better off backtracking to Arizona and crossing at Nogales. Otherwise you'll either have to drive down Baja and cross on an expensive ferry to get to the mainland, or you'll have to cut over to the mainland immediately after entering Mexico and that has you lingering along the border than much more. Not a great idea, usually. This assumes you're driving your own vehicle?

To the original poster, you have lots of options, but since your trip isn't til Spring I'm not going to recommend one over any other right now. The situation(s) in Northern Mexico are dynamic and change often. Essentially, your goal is to get through Nothern Mexico into the interior without wasting a lot of time. For a lot of people, that means crossing in the Laredo/Nuevo Laredo area. You can read lots of information, both good and bad information, updated constantly on the Thorntree about the various crossings.

If you're taking a bus, it doesn't matter that much.

busman7

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  • Added on: September 21st, 2010
Not the first Travis wrote:busman, from San Diego you could cross at Tijuana or Otay, but you're probably better off backtracking to Arizona and crossing at Nogales. Otherwise you'll either have to drive down Baja and cross on an expensive ferry to get to the mainland, or you'll have to cut over to the mainland immediately after entering Mexico and that has you lingering along the border than much more. Not a great idea, usually. This assumes you're driving your own vehicle?

To the original poster, you have lots of options, but since your trip isn't til Spring I'm not going to recommend one over any other right now. The situation(s) in Northern Mexico are dynamic and change often. Essentially, your goal is to get through Nothern Mexico into the interior without wasting a lot of time. For a lot of people, that means crossing in the Laredo/Nuevo Laredo area. You can read lots of information, both good and bad information, updated constantly on the Thorntree about the various crossings.

If you're taking a bus, it doesn't matter that much.



Thanks a lot, backtracking to Nogales sounds like a good plan. 8-)
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

Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: September 21st, 2010
If you cross at Nogales, there are two ways. One is right through downtown Nogales, which can be a bit confusing and get you turned around in an ugly border town.

The "Mariposa" crossing, also sometimes called the truck crossing, is easier. You'll see signs for it as you approach the border. I takes you around and outside the main urban area, then hooks up to Hwy 15 just beyond the outskirts of Nogales. Then you're on your way.

busman7

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  • Added on: September 21st, 2010
Again thanks for the truck crossing tip, doubt Map Quest would have given me that, plus it's fitting as I'll be driving a mini-bus.

Booties come through again!! :)
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

JRinPV

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  • Added on: September 21st, 2010
There's a highway from Tijuana to the mainland, via Tecate, that does not require a ferry !
"There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence."
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Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: September 22nd, 2010
If there's a decent highway that can get you all the way over from Tijuana, then that would definitely be the way to go. I just don't see much beyond MexiCali, but I'm looking at a shitty old map. :o

busman7

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  • Added on: September 22nd, 2010
After a bit of googling, think I will stick with the truck route crossing at Nogales.
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

JRinPV

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  • Added on: September 23rd, 2010
The freeway from San Diego to Nogales is a lot easier to drive.
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laurentango

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  • Added on: October 20th, 2010
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

busman7

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  • Added on: October 21st, 2010
Thanks will look at the Douglas crossing. Driving a mini-bus loaded with personal possessions so need as hassle free crossing as possible. Will be crossing the first of next week.

Don't particularly want to go by Mexico City, how is the coastal route, I am heading for La Libertad El Salvador?
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

viajero

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  • Added on: October 23rd, 2010
I suggest you buy a " Guia Roji" map book for excellent detail within Mexico. AND LOOK OUT FOR THE SPEED BUMPS called topes which are sometimes marked and sometimes not. Also be aware that the toll roads are very expensive. Make sure your credit/ debit cards are pre authorized for use in mexico, likewise your cell phone. my only other advice is dont drive an rv your travel options are limited in small towns due to narrow roads.

busman7

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  • Added on: October 23rd, 2010
Thanks

CC's are all authorized for CA, will look for a Guia Roji map book

Should be crossing the border to morow!!
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: October 25th, 2010
Concerning highways and topes:


The private toll highways are absolutely brilliant as transport goes, and they will put a huge dent in your wallet. There are no Topes, just lots of toll booths.

The Public roads are for the "rest of us", and they are full of Topes.

Topes are not just speed bumps. Oh no. Speed bumps in the USA are of a certain height and are in specific places, not to mention usually marked by "low speed zone" signs.

Topes in Mexican roads are put up by the town themselves, it seems, and can be from small to over one foot high. They can be suspension wreckers. The tallest, biggest ones are never marked.

Sometimes just after you stop for one that has to be crossed sidewise, people come out and ask for donations for the fire department or some such thing. Not sure what to do, a buck probably lets you pass in peace.

Just after the huge ones, even the small ones, there are sure to be mechanics and suspension shops for the fools who didn't slow down.

Before you enter any sort of small or large town, assume there will be a Tope and slow down immediately upon sight of any kind of town or building structure. They are made of black asphalt and often impossible to see from a distance. if you're going too fast to stop in time, then you're going too fast.

At night they can be particularly deadly. Many drivers I know find a long distance bus or truck and follow them at night, since those drivers know the roads well, usually. Its usually best just not to drive at night on public roads for this and other reasons.


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