Is Mexico Safe?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Arte, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Kurt, check out Googlemaps .com, zoom in on your destination on the coast sand bar and then switch to the satelite photo image, you will see all the detail.
    The sandbar route is worse than I expected . there is virtually no road , for a long stretch. You just have to get a boat across a bit of water and then navigate the track between the palm trees. Do you want to manhandle a heavy bike in sand with hot weather ? Me neither thats why i turned tail with my GS1100 ? :rofl
  2. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Here is what is the start of a ride guide to the area of central Veracruz and the extreme east of Puebla.

    If you want maps, pictures, notes, etc... about a ride, PM me the corresponding number and I will email you a PDF file within a day or two (or 3 if I am busy riding). If you are seriously thinking about spending some time in the area and want to get to know it better, I can ride along with you on these routes if I have the time.

    I always enjoy meeting up with riders coming through and getting them away from the devil's candy addiction to the Mex #180 coast highway, which for the most part, is as exciting as watching grass grow with one exception being the Tuxtlas and the other the baches, topes, and kamikaze Central Americans hauling 3 used cars, two loads of domestic appliances, and a Quetzal in a pear tree.

    Here you go and all feedback is most welcome be it good, bad, or indifferent. Some of these rides are exceptionally good so make an effort when you are in the area to try to experience them.


    Important note! If you want more offroad type stuff, contact Arte and Andres, some of their "Greenland" rides link up with a couple of these routes. So don't forget!


    MOTORCYCLE TOURING CENTRAL VERACRUZ - EASTERN PUEBLA
    A riders guide to roads and sites of interest 2012

    List of Rides - All Are Paved Routes UNLESS NOTED as of February, 2012

    1. Las Casitas, Veracruz to Teziutlan, Puebla (curve after curve after curve after curve after...)

    2. Vega de Alatorre, Ver. to Naolinco, Ver. via Colipa (classic mountain riding and good food)

    3. Naolinco, Ver. to Palma Sola, Ver. via Plan de las Hayas (watch for the "disappearing road" trick after Alto Lucero)

    4. Perote, Ver. to Maztaloya and Los Humeros, Puebla (geothermal delights)

    5. Perote, Ver. to La Cantona, Pue. (archaeological ruins rarely visited but very significant, these ruins need a new publicist!)

    6. Quiahuiztlan, Ver. (archaeological ruins) and the town of La Villa Rica de la Veracruz, beach and dunes. (Where the conquest began).

    7. Veracruz, Ver. to Perote, Ver. via Coatepec, Xico, Teocelo, and Ixhuacan de los Reyes, Ver. (The road less traveled to Perote).

    8. Perote, Ver. to Huatusco, Ver. via Quimixtlan, Pue. (contains off road section of less than 20 kms. and you can make a side trip to where the H1N1 flu virus supposedly began)

    9. Teocelo, Ver. to Guadalupe Victoria, Puebla via Saltillo La Fragua, Pue. (4 possible routes and ALL are very good).

    10. Perote, Ver. to Teocelo, Ver. via Gonzalez Ortega, Maravillas, Saltillo La Fragua, Acocomotla, La Trinidad, Rafael Garcia, and Patlanalan, Pue.
    (Mountain riding)

    11. Xalapa, Ver. to Veracruz, Ver. via Coatepec, Jalcomulco, Ohuapan, Totutla, Manuel Gonzalez, Cameron, and Soledad de Doblado, Ver. (Including the newly paved stretch of 20kms of good curves)

    12. Veracruz, Ver. to Cordoba, Fortin, Orizaba, Ver. via Paso del Macho, Ver. (Stop at the monument for the French Foreign Legion near the site of the Battle of Camerone).

    13. Jalcomulco, Ver. to Cordoba, Fortin, Orizaba, Ver. via Huatusco, Ver.
    (Extra points if you find where the ostriches, yes the ostriches, are hidden).

    14. Xalapa, Ver. to the summit of the Cofre de Perote (this is a challenging high elevation ride not recommended to do without some prior planning and common sense and knowing your limits).

    15. Cordoba, Ver. to Tequila, Ver. via Xoxocotla, Ver. (la "Sierra Fria") via Soledad Atzompa, Ver. (On the map but off the map).

    16. Cordoba, Ver. to Zongolica, Ver. (la Sierra Zongolica classic and once you make the descent you'll know why)

    17. Zongolica, Ver. to Cordoba, Ver. via 25kms of unpaved mountain road through the Sierra de Tlacuiloteca. (Watch for low flying birds of prey).

    18. Cordoba, Ver. to "The Large Millimeter Telescope" at the top of the Sierra Negra, Pue. via Maltrata, Xuchi, Plan del Capulin and Texmalaquilla, Pue. (Contains high elevation maintained dirt road. This is another somewhat challenging high elevation ride that is not recommended without some prior planning and common sense. Free camping is available with no services and "check in/check out" with the local police is sometimes enforced but not a bad idea anyways).

    19. Cordoba, Ver. to Ciudad Mendoza, Ver. via Tequila, Tlaquilpa, Xoxocotla, Atzompa, Ver. (end of route is different from #14 as it is via Atzompa and not Soledad Atzompa, Ver. Try to see if you can find "la cocinera", you'll be glad you did).

    20. Veracruz, Ver. to Catemaco, Ver. via Roca Partida, Montepio, Sontecomapan, Ver. (contains very short maintained dirt road section through tropical forest near UNAM Biological Research Station, someone might even be available to give you an interesting talk about the biology of the region, some very knowledgeable people working there).

    21. Veracruz, Ver. to Catemaco, Ver. via Los Tuxtlas, Ver. conventional lower elevation mountain route that follows Mex #180 "the coast highway".
    (The one that everyone always does but they forget to buy cigars in San Andres Tuxtla and some "Chochogo" at the roadside stands).

    22. Xalapa, Ver to Huatusco, Ver. via Quimixtlan, Puebla a great ride that includes a back view of Pico de Orizaba and a long gravel stretch that can be done on a GS1200 if the rider has some offroad experience. (It's a bone shaker but if you get it on a clear day you won't believe the scenery, and it all begins with a misty waterfall).

    I can provide notes, links, and further information on the historical and/or natural significance of each of the rides and how to link them to your advantage if your time is limited or you want to maximize your riding time.


    General Notes (Only for those new to Mexico)

    - The Green Angeles (Los Angeles Verdes) tourist assistance still operate on some of the major roads. Don't rely on this service but they can help with minor mechanical problems and towing advice.
    - There are very few police patrols in these areas, you will be your own law for the most part and though there is mountain rescue available for the area near Pico de Orizaba and the Sierra Negra, it is not to be relied upon for anything more than a service of last resort in an emergency.
    - Military patrols are infrequent but do pass some areas but on a weekly basis for the most part and not daily. In fact, there are few daily patrols of the more remote areas. But you will almost always find someone somewhere no matter where you are in either the state of Veracruz or Puebla.
    - You MIGHT find someone who speaks MARGINAL English in the remote areas, and there is common use of Nahuatl indigenous language dialects especially in the Zongolica and Quimixtlan areas. Start learning Spanish.
    - Three of the rides will take you to elevations beyond 3,200 meters of elevation, be sure you can handle heights especially if you are doing a rapid ascent from sea level. For example, you can easily ride from sea level in the port of Veracruz to the absolute peak of the Cofre de Perote at 4,500 meters in 3 hours which leaves little time for your acclimatization be sure you can handle upper elevations where you will have about half the oxygen that you have at sea level.
    - Pemex stations can be found along these routes, however premium (the red handled pump) fuel probably will not be available but the lower grade Magna will be available.
    - Carry small bills and change, don't expect everyone to be willing to break a $500 peso bill. Tip the Pemex attendants as they work for tips.
    - Expect to attract a lot of attention in the remote areas. This can be both fun and frustrating depending on the type of attention it is.
    - Celluar phone service cannot be relied upon in remote areas though there is surprisingly good coverage in certain areas.
    - Almost every area will have a "tiendita" or little convenience store of some sort or another but don't expect to find many restaurants in the high sierra regions or in the remote areas of the high plains (ie. the Serdan Alta Plana)

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  3. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Mike-

    Maybe you want to put your VC/Puebla ride tips in another thread of their own. That way they don't get lost in our little asylum here. Maybe throw in a thread link here when updated or someone asks for more VC info.

    I do need to Puebla sometime, get some of that quality mole poblano. Hard to find here in Ohio. Maybe the cartels could branch out into running batches of some of Abuelita's secret mole recipes up north here. I'd pay for some of that. But then, like Guinness, it probably wouldn't taste the same in our cold, dreary, cloud infested climate. :cry
  4. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Folks shouldn't worry about lack of the high octane gas at higher Mexican elevations. There's so little air up there, that your engine isn't making the compression to truly need 91+ octane. And, its cooler up there too.

    Giving a 500 peso note to a Pemex attendant is just asking for a screwing. (On a motorcycle, where your average fill is about 200 peso. Unless, of course, you're on a GSA Valdez Edition, which might actually need 100 liters of fuel :lol3)
  5. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Hi Mark, yes, it is very cool in the upper elevations, however the type of road you are on and the lack of air can give you an overheat situation. On the BMW GS twins you will appreciate the higher octane to avoid the pinking under load on the sand and dirt/rock roads. Many of these stretches are first gear.

    I put the post into the Mexico route planning thread, thanks for the suggestion. I guess another thread in the Latin America section might not hurt.
  6. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

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    Happy hour at the Rockaway... I think that was the night Dianna and I went out to eat, and returned a bit later. Sorry we missed each other Bob. I passed a posse of 4 GS riders who were heading south on the cuota between Puebla and Oaxaca yesterday, and assumed it was you guys and you'd been delayed. Didn't bother to stop as I caught the mother of all cold/viruses in PE and decided to head home pronto, without infecting any intrepid travelers. If I'm taking a cuota, you know there's a good reason, as I almost never do dat. Back in SMA hacking my brains out as I type. Let me know if you guys come back through this way, and I'll shout the posse a round.
  7. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

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    We rode down 175 and I kept thinking I had somehow got on to 131, as it sucked so bad. We rode back up 131, so I now know definitively what the differences are betwixt and between the two. There were stretches on 175 where it was OK, but mostly you could never lay it out the way you would like as the corners where the arroyos washed over the road, were almost guaranteed to be awful, and the rest of the road was just bad. Toward the bottom, I ended up pacing a guy on his little 250 and he set as good a pace as I was comfortable riding that road.
  8. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

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    That's pretty much my take on them also having ridden both this past week. I would characterize 175 in its current state of repair, as a very twisty road, poorly maintained throughout, but particularly bad in the corners where the arroyos spill over the road surface. You can find yourself in first gear as often as not in those corners. The upshot is that the heads up riding continues unabated for almost the whole ride to the coast, (after you enter the montanas). There is one stretch in the middle, and the end where it improves a lot. I rode back 131 two days ago, and I would characterize it differently. Riding out of PE the road absolutely sucked for the first hour and a half at the rate I was comfortable riding it, (20-30 mph). This first stretch is often no different, and sometimes worsse than any dirt road I've ridden. It's largely bumpy pavement, (the kind that bounces your bike to the outside of the curves if you ride it very hard at all), punctuated by stretches of no pavement, or very little pavement. The stretches sans pavement seemed to be more than those with pavement, but it may just be my imagination. After leaving PE, and approaching the top of the first pass, the pavement improves dramatically. The rest of the ride seemed to be quite good to me, although I admit I had been predisposed after the first hour and a half of the ride, to think that a ride on corrugated washboard, sand, and marbles was a walk in the park.
  9. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    I arrived back in Oaxaca after trying the 131 hwy from Puerto Escondido. Spectacular road and scenery. Plus, McFoil and crew have illegally parked on the front of the zocalo and the Policia Estatal is threatening to tow them. I asked the Policia to give them some time as I'm sure they wouldn't have left their bikes there for long. Looked for them for a bit but no idea where to look. Anyway, all is well is Oaxaca.
  10. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Arrived in San Cristobal, will catch up later this evening after photos & eats
  11. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    For the second time, staying here
  12. Cal

    Cal Been here awhile

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    Wow that Hotel looks great! Is it really $100.00 a night? I stayed at San Martin up the pedestrian mall for $15.00 with parking up the stairs in the lobby. Solo travel did not allow any higher class hotels.
  13. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan There, that's it

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    I'll second that!
  14. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan There, that's it

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    Got so dangerous in Puerto Escondido that we had to leave this morning for San Cristobal de las Casas. Tomorrow Guatemala.
    [​IMG]
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  15. jnorton1

    jnorton1 Been here awhile

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    I didn't want to start a new thread. I've read a bunch of threads all stating different documents and fees necessary to cross the mexico border. I'm headed to baja in April. What all do I need. will be likely staying in the north but may dip into southern baja. The trip will be 7 days.
    1. Vehicle import?
    2.tourist card?
    3. Original title of the bike?
    4. Insurance ?
    5. U.S. registration ?
    6.passport
    7. Anything missing ?

    Thanks
  16. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

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    Just parked my bike in Cabo from coming down from the states. You DO NOT need a Vehicle Import for Baja. I actually didnt need any paperwork as they didnt look at anything my entire way thru Baja but all the other stuff is a good idea. I went with a notarized copy of my title b/c I hate having the og on me. I think you got it all and insurance is a must and tourist card at the border. Baja was great!!! Enjoy it!
  17. rockymountainoyster

    rockymountainoyster Been here awhile

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->ATM card. A new law in Mexico aimed at reducing money laundering prohibits us from paying for hotels in US dollars. Have to pay with credit card or pesos. The peso exchange rate is better at ATM’s even with the fee charged. In 11/10 the official rate was 12 pesos to the dollar. Merchants would give you around 11 if you wanted to pay for goods with USD as would hotel front desks. Official money exchange windows paid about 11.2 pesos/dollar. We will have some fees at the border and I can’t remember if they will take USD.

    This was last year. Is this still true boys and girls?
  18. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Yes but I saved up for it by sleeping in Balloonman's hammock in Pto. Escondido
  19. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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  20. StinkyBoy13

    StinkyBoy13 Stinky Pig

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    Thanks for fending off the Policia. We went into the market to find some bugs to eat. Si all is well in Oaxaca.....