Thread: Is Mexico Safe?
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:05 PM   #9800
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
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Originally Posted by Pheebs View Post
Hello guys and girls!

Been having a bit of a mooch through this thread with much interest as we have a rtw trip coming up (advrider chasing horizons thread which will eventually be taking us through the wonderful world of Mexico!

Granted, Mexico is a long way off as of yet ( so we will need to keep reviewing the situation as we rock on through but to date have been given a pick and mix of responses on routes. Originally we were planning to keep it on the West coast line, having heard it is stunning and also to avoid major cities and areas. We were then told that there's been a fair few kidnapping incidents and even decapitated tourists found in piles on the beach so avoid that route altogether and blast through on the toll roads, booking in advance.

Naturally we're wanting to be safe and this option has been top of our choice since various other horror stories but we've also spoken to many others who have shared a completely different opinion and have said stick to our original route and go on instinct / the general feel when we're there. We're kind of sad to have to blast through as it all sounds so beautiful... it would be a shame to miss it all.

So... our question to all would be what areas (if any) would you consider to be real no go's and any which are must go's! Are there any favourite routes or suggestions of? We'll be entering and riding North to South!

Also... there's a slight potential we may arrive during the Day of the Dead celebrations. This excites me beyond belief but once again... what are peoples experiences of this? No go's / do's and don'ts?

Thanks people, really look forward to reading your thoughts :)
Agree with all that's been said so far. SR's advice is particularly apt IMO. I personally like smaller border crossings, in particular Columbia,TX, Presidio, TX, Columbus, NM, and Douglas, AZ. I usually try to cross relatively early in the day, and get a couple of hundred miles into the interior by the first night. I don't ride after dark. That said, I've ridden, (over 40k miles), through every Mexican state, with the exception of the Yucatan's three estados, solo, with my blonde girlfriend on pillion, and with small groups of riders with nothing but good stories of Mexican generosity to tell. You will meet some scam artists in the touristy towns who might con you into buying them a beer or a meal, but even then, you'll likely get your money's worth in future stories to tell.

I like heading down the central/west part of the country at the start. That would be through Douglas, AZ or Columbus, NM to Janos/Nuevo Casas Grandes/Buenaventura. That first part is pretty flat and straight, but it's a shorter run than many of the other routes which take you through flatter, longer runs coupled with X-pensive cuotas. From Buenaventura take Rt. 5 which will take you up through some of the Sierra Madres, and more interesting roads, (curves). You can visit Copper Canyon/Creel or just head south through Hidalgo del Parral/Durango. Here you can make the decision to go down the Espina del Diablo to the coast and the beautiful coastal highway or stay inland and head for the cultural centers of Guanajuato/Queretero/ San Miguel de Allende. For pure riding pleasure, I like the Sierra Gordas to the east of San Miguel. There are other equally wonderful roads, (albeit with more traffic), heading south to Valle de Bravo, Morelia, Patzcuaro. The choices abound regardless of your destination or route from all these locales. For me the real decision you have to make is going to be based on your personal preferences regarding climate. I find the beach areas to be stiflingly hot during much of the year, and so prefer the higher elevations of the interior where you may actually feel the occasional chill when riding.

Most of all use your common sense, be polite, and I think you'll find Mexico a wonderful part of your trip. It would be a shame to just blast through it based on some misleading information you may have heard heretofore.
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