Mexican itinerary

Discussion in 'Americas' started by V@lentino, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    If you want to read the details on the El Ceibo crossing check out this thread http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=422517 and some posts by moi et al from several years ago.I had some pictures there but only now I see that Pixelgallery shut down last December, the pics ar gone now.
    Highly recommended crossing El Ceibo if you are in the area . NB : avoid Monday crossings in case the labour shortage still has only the one official handling Banjercito affairs because you will want to cancel the TVIP and get the security deposit refund if you are en route to South America.

    Now if you do wind up including Palenque in your plans then it really makes more sense to not go as far as Huixtla on Mex 200 because then you would just wind up travelling back NORTH and west while you are only a few km from Guatemala .Unless of course you have lots of time and don't mind meandering like that, which I do highly recommend, and the road from Huixtla north is a beaut (sp?)
    Coming from Pto Angel and Pochutla, after Mex 175, carry the route east on Mex 200 to Salina Cruz, combined Mex 185-190 and 200 through Juchitan ,La Ventosa and at San Pedro Tapanatepec veer away from the coast NE on Mex 190 . You will climb into high country , very nice ranch zone, then steadily higher in steps to Tuxtla Gutierrez(Sumidero Canyon ) , and San Cristobal with cool mountain climate. East of San Cristobal take Mex 199 north to Ocosingo and maybe visit nearby ruins of Tonina before hitting Palenque and the grand ruins site there. After that it is a small wiggle to get to Tenosique and El Ceibo.
    The Mex 200 route along the coast to the GT frontier is also charming ,landscape and climate changes character gradually from the hot and dry into more humid forested greenery resembling the Central American zone you are entering.
    Bythe way , what season is this trip planned to start ? Might make a difference esp. up north , snow in Mexico possible y'know.

    Your map of the Palenque area is missing vast amounts of paved highway ,. You will find excellent highways all the way to El Ceibo and through Guatemala. The options in Mexico and CA are so many you may never get to SA if you explore all of these
    #41
  2. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Thanks for the details Sjoerd Bakker, as I was typing my previous post I was also looking at how to diagonally make our South-East instead of back tracking.

    The trip is planned for late September, out of Victoria, BC, out of LA, where we pick up our riding partner on the 29 Sep/1 Oct, so likely 2 1/2 weeks later around the Mex to Guat border.
    #42
  3. kevin2735

    kevin2735 Been here awhile

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    Can you share the Google link to that route? Would love to look at it more closely.
    #43
  4. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Hard to tell exactly from your map, but my recommendation for road going into and out of Oaxaco is 175. Really amazing road on both sides of the city. I rode it from coast to coast.

    Jamie
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  5. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    +1
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  6. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

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    And really amazing towns on either end of the road...:freaky
    #46
  7. Bueno

    Bueno Adventurer

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    Hello everyone...

    A couple of days ago, I started another thread to ask about "Roads in Copper Canyon for big loaded bikes"... After figuring out a route that is pretty scenic and all paved, I need to define the remaining of the itinerary in Mexico and Central America.

    We are a couple from Brasil that will be traveling from Alaska(USA) to Ushuaia(Argentina) on two big bikes (R1200GSA and Tiger 800xrx) fully loaded. We are intermediate experienced offroad riders, but we don't want to be exposed to unnecessary risks for a long travel like this. We love nice curve roads, great landscapes, historic landmarks/ruins and small villages/cities. We usually skip medium and large cities in latinamerica because of the chaotic traffic and bad drivers.

    Based on the last map of V@lentino and all the great feedback that he received in this thread I re-created the route on Google Maps: Mexico / Central America - Motorotas 2017

    I have a few questions that I would appreciate to hear your opinions....

    1) Devil's backbone: Durango - Mazatlan road
    a) I'm thinking on including this road on my route. Should I include or skip it?
    b) if going only one way, should I take the old one (libre) or the new one (cuota)?
    c) is Zacatecas really important that I should backtrack Mazatlan to Durango? Or can I skip it and go via Guadalajara to Guanajuato region?

    2) Oaxaca - Pacific
    a) Which one is better? 175 to Puerto Angel or 131 to Puerto Escondido?

    3) What do you think on skipping the following cities and simplifying the route:
    a) Skipping Morelia and going directly from San Miguel Allende to Totihuacan?
    b) Skipping Guajunato, S.M. Allende and Querétaro and going directly from Guadalajara to Morelia?

    4) On the route, which cities should I stop and spend an extra day "city-touring"?

    5) I'm still working on the remaining of the route. My girlfriend wants to go to Cancun, so I may include a loop going there, crossing Belize and going to Tikal in Guatemala. Any suggestions for this route?

    6) Is it worth going to El Salvador? Anything good to see there? Is the border crossing bureaucratic and take a lot of time?

    7) Any route suggestions for the remaining countries in Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama)?


    Thanks,
    Bueno
    #47
  8. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    1) Definitely ride the old libre DGO-MAZ
    c) Zac is a super cool city; worth extra kms.
    2) 175 is a little more scenic, 131 rougher and more remote. Both fun.
    3) Morelia probably the most beautiful city in Mexico IMO.
    Guanajuato is close second. San Miguel is very fun with many nice restaurants, fun gringos, pretty touristy.
    Guadalajara is a humongous city, maybe skip.
    5) Canucn is way out of the way, like 1000 miles from Mexico City. Very touristy. But if girlfriend wants to go .....Saludos.
    #48
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  9. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    I concur with Jimmex. Just adding that there's an easy way to turn off to see the Baluarte Bridge
    then continue on 40 libre. Also, you can save a little time by taking 40D toll road between Durango
    and El Salto without missing any of the good stuff. And Guadalajara is Mexico's 2nd largest city with
    the traffic to prove it. I'd concentrate on the smaller cities like Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Morelia, Tequila....
    #49
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  10. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    It's always difficult to set an itinerary, and I'm afraid I will not be much help.

    What I would not miss are Zacatecas - San Miguel de Allende - Guanajuato - Morelia - Puebla. Durango nice but not a must. If you are coming from Baja, then MZT makes sense if coming from US, I would skip. From Oaxaca the 175 is really nice, and you can find acc in Zipolite.

    If you like big cities than Mexico city is worth it, if you don't you will hate it; if you go, stay in the centre, park the bikes and walk and take the subway, the congestion is hellish.

    I would not miss Chiapas, especially Tuxtla Gutierrez, and San Cristobal de las Casas. From there you can cross to Guat at el Ceibo (between Tenosique in MX and El Naranjo in GT) easy peasy 20 mins out of Mx and 45 into GT and it was the Friday at 1200 during Dia de los Muertos, should you opt for it you will be in good position for Flores and Tikal in Guat, or Belize for that matter.

    As others have said about Cancun, yes the beaches are nice but super touristy and expensive, coming from Brasil I am sure you are familiar with nice beaches so I would skip. We spent 5 weeks in Mexico and would have spent more if we could have spared the time.

    In terms of El Salvador, and any others, you have to figure it out in terms of interest and time, every country as something to offer according to what you want/don't want, so it is really hard to rely on others to tell you go or not. We were not particularly impressed by Salvador; We rested in San Miguel prior to crossing in Honduras.

    In CR we started on the Pacific side, then inland to La Fortuna and crossed into Panama at Sixaola and made our way back to the Pacific side via the 10-11-21 rejoining the 1 for a little while around Chiriqui.

    For the borders, just be patient and make sure you have all the little pieces of paper that everyone needs for people and bikes. The worst by far for procedures was into Costa Rica, the longest wait we had was entering Ecuador, there was only one custom officer to process the bike, at least 4 hrs of just waiting for our turn if I remember well.

    Good luck, have fun, take as much time as you can.
    #50
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  11. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    All well put above, Guada is too big to enjoy (8+ mil people) unless you have a specific person/place to visit there , stay away.
    I'll add that one of my favorite Pueblo Magico/small towns is Patzcuaro which is only ~ 30-35k from Morelia and a great place to stay then go over to Morelia. The mariposa reserve nearby and also in in Michoacan is a neat thing to see, maybe a bit late in season for them to be nesting in the reserve now?
    If it's gotta be a Caribbean beach then south of Cancun is better IMO. Playa del Carmen and below IMO. Might take her to the touristy but fun indeed, Xcaret and splash in the water all day. It's tame snorkeling but neat spot and the killer buffet with endless drinks and food will ruin you.
    Chichen Itza (stay in Valladoid, small town that likes tourists but nice place still) and many more archeology spots nearby, too many to list here, see multiple's in a day and all worth the time. Merida is worth a night or more and best seen at night via a stayover.
    When on that coast we go 5+ hours down from Cancun to "someplace" near Mahahual a place that the cruise ships have ruined but doable when they're not there, especially a bit away from the centro tourist crap.
    If you go to Guanajuato then stay at least one night over across the platano in a hotel @ Real de Catorce-look online for hotel of same name. I also enjoy a night in small Delores Hildago , good street food, home made ice cream and a nice museum.
    Oaxaca City and outlying areas are my fave place in Mexico for a bigger city. Take her to the plaza at night for a homemade ice cream, or more.
    Chiapas without Palenque? Tuxtla G. I'd miss that, I remember an industrial city? I read the other day the new Audi Q5 will be mfg in Chiapas,MX.
    Enjoy!
    #51
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  12. Bueno

    Bueno Adventurer

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    Thanks guys (@jimmex, @SkizzMan, @V@alentino, @kantuckid and everyone else on this thread)...

    I'm doing the final route adjustments... and I would like to ask:

    1) Morelia to Puebla - GoogleMaps is suggesting me to take 15D north of Morelia up to near Atlacomulco, probably quota. But I see another curvy road, probably old 15 (libre) that goes to Ciudad Hidalgo and from there I can take B roads going through Senguio, Los Reys, El Oro de Hidalgo and finally Atlacomulco. Is this second route worth the extra hours? Is this a safe route?
    Screenshot 2017-05-09 15.05.52.png


    2) Tehuacán - S.J. Baptista Tuxepec - Google Maps is suggesting a route up north that goes through Cordoba on MEX 150D. There is another road MEX 182, that goes through Teotitlan de Flores Magon and Lake Miguel Alemán. Again, is this second route worth the extra hours? Is This a safe route?
    Screenshot 2017-05-09 15.12.43.png

    Thanks,
    Bueno
    #52
  13. Bueno

    Bueno Adventurer

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    @katunckid, I have read a R&R about Real de Catorce, but checking the map it is 300kms north of Guanajuato. Is that the one you are talking about?

    Thanks again for all the other tips, specially near Cancun....

    Cheers,
    Bueno
    #53
  14. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I was (sort of) confusing Zacatecas (which is close to Real De Catorce) with Guanahuato in my mind-sorry. Delores Hildalgo is in fact close to Guano..
    Might clarify whats point A & B in the highway choice question? I've been on both map roads but not recently enough to make a specific safety comment-I do remember the road I took from Oaxaca to Cordoba was a fun ride-the one through the park on the map above. Cordoba is historical, i.e. colonial city but not a place I'd go again on purpose to do or see something.
    For me, the ride across Mexico from the isthmus all the way to Palenque (San Cristobol in the middle) are noteworthy in their rise from the sea to the mtns and similar to Pureto Angel inland and Pureto Vallarta inland. Other than some various mountain ridge rides they are among the very best in riding and scenery. Chiapas is neat but San Chris is a bit too touristy yet worth the visit.
    Cancun is a created tourist area that gets dissed by riders as not the Authentic Mexico but the area does have much to offer. It was not some stupid Mexican mistake to locate the tourist zone there. Lots to see and do, just stay away from the pricey big box hotels as the rates are high, food expensive too many drunk gringos:lol2 other nearby spots are Cozumel-depends on your time and interests. It is a good snorkel spot and away from the cruise docks it gets better. Holbox Isl., Tulum (the preserve below Tulum is where the natives go to spend weekends) & Xcalak at the tip if you want to stay and dive cheaper. Beaches are better north of there plus lots of people to go with it. The beach in and near Majahual is nice too.
    #54
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  15. Bueno

    Bueno Adventurer

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    @kantuckid, here is the map with both routes marked.

    Red one is probably the quickest route suggested by google... Blue one is the one through b roads and probably would take hours more to ride... If it's worth, I don't mind riding more...

    Screenshot 2017-05-09 15.05.52 copy.png

    Screenshot 2017-05-09 15.12.43 copy.png
    #55
  16. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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  17. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Bueno, on your last two maps-
    From Morelia east to Atlacomulco the blue route is recommended , lots of mountain scenery , small towns , pine forests , farms , curves , a day loooong ride .
    Your red alt route is a fast mostly toll road. You can get on the TOLL road at Atlacomulco which is the ARCO NORTE around the north of the DF. and get to Teotihuacán more easily.

    In your second map you are somewhat confused , for the road to Córdoba from Tehuacan you are not restricted to only the TOLL road 150D ,which is okay if you were rushed but not as much fun as the LIBRE 150 especially around the hairpins of Azumbilla. And you actually don't need to go via Tehuacan , there are other paved connections to get to the place where Mex 150 Libre crests the edge of the Mexican plateau and gives an airplane -view down the valley.

    The Mex 182 is a very interesting and curvy mountain road but might take you a day extra just from Teotitlan to reach Tuxtepec. It can get rainy and foggy up there- it has cloud forest .
    #57
  18. Bueno

    Bueno Adventurer

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    Thanks SB... Changed the route from Atlacomulco to Teotihuacán as you suggested.

    On the second map snippet, the plan for the day is to go from Puebla to Tuxepec. I'm changing my route to:
    - from Puebla start on LIBRE 150
    - on Tecamachalco ride 714 to Azumbilla
    - there take again LIBRE 150 and stay on it as much as possible up to La Tinaja
    - then SE on 145 to Tuxepec

    On the map I see a parallel road to Libre 150 near Azumbila that goes through Cumbre de Aquila. From google street view, it seems mostly paved, with a short dirt segment. If the weather is good I'm thinking of checking it out... Do you know this road? What do you think?

    Thanks again...
    Bueno
    #58
  19. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    019_LI.jpg These are two parts of pages from my Guia Roji Road Atlas of Mexico with the region you are speaking of . You are not letting Google Maps guidance blind you to the fact that there are many alternate roads available that get you to your destination with calm traffic and good scenery The first ,part of Map 28 , shows most big roads around the Arco Norte for fast travel in the highly urbanized and industrial area . To get to Teotihuacan get off the Arco onto the Mex 85 south of Pachuca and south then follow signs to Teotihuacan east from the TECAMAC exit .
    After visiting the pyramids site try following the state highway shown in yellow east to Cd Sahagun . If you are really pushing for time/distance then you can pick up the Arco Norte again south to Calpulalpan and Puebla and Cholula , but if you want to relax and see some of Mexico then you can follow the lesser free highways.


    020_LI.jpg The second is half of Map 29 with the region east and south of Puebla . Looks like you are already informed about the alt road , state 714, shown in yellow from Tecamachalco to Canada Morelos and there south on Mex 140 to Azumbilla . You will like it - a nice farm and town road with some great locations to view the Pico de Orizaba on good days with no cloud.
    The Libre 150 will be very curvy at the descent, this is where traffic has to switch lanes to permit long trucks and buses to get around steep hairpins so watch the signs and pavement arrows.
    Also 150 Libre threads through the small towns and the bigger cities Orizaba and Cordoba which are quite easy to cross, a well marked route and simple access to their Centros Historicos . But those things should not be considered a nuisance , rather a good way to find restaurants , hotels and local culture and scenery. If you are wanting a restful town consider Fortin de las Flores midway between these two bigger cities . Fortin is very tourist/retirement service oriented with an ample supply of hotels.
    I sense a bit of over -optimism when you express " the plan for the day is to go from Puebla to Tuxtepec " . I really would recommend against trying that if doing it on the libres is the intent . Although Google estimates that the 313 km can be done in 4:37 hours of travelling time that entails taking the TOLL road 150 and zooming non-stop to La Tinaja then south on 145 . It would be more enjoyable to ease off on the throttle and split it over a more relaxed ride and actually see the country with a number of stops in the numerous towns and scenic points . Don't panic about hotels available, there are plenty of options along the way,NO reservations required . Also without the rush/push you could take the much less busy alt road in yellow from Cordoba southeast through Amatlan , roughly following the route of the railway and out onto Mex 145 south to Tuxtepec. It is a descent from the green mountains with a lot of sugar cane farming.(But as Brazilians you may have had your fill of that:lol3)

    I am not familiar with the road at Cumbres de Aquila which you mention, I have ridden past it though. From a bit of research on Google maps SATELLITE VIEWS it is clear that it is a through -route which connects to the TOLL Mex 150 so it will be reasonable to think that the locals travel it frequently, probably paved and transitable in any case. The segment labeled as Cumbres de Aquila has features which suggest it is a new upper price range housing development , folks who live on the scenic rim and commute to the cities for work.


    And if you are looking for a hotel in Tuxtepec , there are many , but last month I stayed in the Hotel Hacienda and I am sure you would love it . Big spacious property, pool, restaurant, wifi ,TV , secure parking and incredibly low price . You might want to stay a week in this resort class hotel ! It is located just north of the river bridge on the west edge of downtown and on the main traffic route for 175 going to Oaxaca west of the big shopping centers .
    Tuxtepec to Oaxaca city is a ride that will fill the entire day , lots of mountain riding and scenery and curves south of Valle Nacional.
    #59
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