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  1. Default Driving from San Francisco to Merida, Mexico

    Later this year (probably early December) my wife and I will be moving from San Francisco to Merida in Yucatan, Mexico.

    We will be driving our 2008 Subaru Outback and it will be full of stuff and want to go the quickest/safest route taking toll roads whenever possible. I'm guessing the best route to begin would be to drive I-5 south and then take I-10 towards Texas but not sure where would be the best place to do the border crossing and which route to take through Mexico.

    We will, of course, only be driving during the day and hope to find hotels where the car will be secure at night. I've driven extensively in Central America and some in Mexico so am used to bad roads and crazy drivers. We speak enough Spanish to get by.

    Thanks in advance for any info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona


    Hello, and Welcome to the RTA Forums!

    I drove to Merida in the fall of 2015; spent about a month touring Mayan ruins and Colonial cities in the Yucatan and Chiapas. Like you, I had quite a lot of experience driving in Latin America, but in my case it had been almost 40 years since I'd done anything quite like that. I'm pleased to report that it's a lot like riding a bicycle. My instincts kicked in, and I remembered how to handle myself, even when things got sketchy (as they most always do). That trip to Mexico was some of the best fun I've had in a very long time, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Merida is a great town, as you're obviously aware. As long as you take sensible precautions--like not driving at night, and sticking to the Cuotas, (the toll roads), your drive down should be pretty seamless.

    Traveling east into Texas before you cross is sensible, for a number of reasons, and the best crossing point, based on a lot of things I've read, as well as my own experience, is Eagle Pass Texas, down into Piedras Negras; from there, take Mexico 57 south. Depending on what time of day you cross, a good stopping point might be Monclova, or Saltillo if you can make it that far before sundown. The northern border states are a little crazy--very heavy military presence, and lots of roadblocks where they'll check your papers and such. You say you've driven in Central America, so I'm sure you know what that's like. Get yourself a Mexican Road atlas; the Guia Roji is the best, and can be ordered online.

    Rather than re-invent the wheel here, I'm going to refer you to an article on this website, "Hoy no circula", that will link you to an article I wrote in my blog about road tripping in Mexico. There's a lot of good information there, and it's reasonably current. (There's a lot of stuff on my site about Mayan ruins, also, if that sort of thing is of interest to you).

    Good luck and have fun--I'm jealous of your move!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona


    Hello again. It occurred to me that I should make the path to my blog post a little less convoluted. Just click the link below, and you'll be taken right straight to it:

    Mexican Road Trip, circa 2015


    On the Road in Mexico-6.jpg

  4. Default

    Thanks Rick - great info in your blog!

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