Safe route through Mexico

Discussion in 'Americas' started by einnocent, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. einnocent

    einnocent Been here awhile

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    I'm looking to get through Mexico via motorcycle from California down to Guatemala, I and would like advice on constructing a relatively safe route. I've printed out a map and marked it with warnings from the US State Dept:

    [​IMG]
    mexico-danger-map (larger size here!) by einnocent, on Flickr

    It looks like the best way through is to cross at Tijuana and take Baja all the way south and then ferry over to Mazatlan, zoom south to Puerto Vallarta, then go east to Guanajuato and head south from there. What do you think? How would you do it? Btw, I'm open to crossing at other spots other than Tijuana.

    Now, I know what you're thinking, that the State Dept. warnings are overblown. Are they? I'm open to suggestion as to what's not really dangerous and maybe even what they've understated.

    Thanks, everyone!
    #1
  2. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    You'd be much better off simply focusing upon a nice route to Guatemala from where you live. If you feel like it, post that up in the "Is Mexico Safe?" thread and ask for feedback.

    You should read other countries' versions of our own state department warnings and what they say about travel here in America. You'd never travel to the U.S. if you lived overseas and paid attention to that.

    I just returned from Guatemala and had a fantastic time. You will too. Selected pics from that trip are also in the "Is Mexico Safe?" thread, towards the back where the most recent posts are.
    #2
  3. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    PS Under no circumstances are you to eat a hard boiled egg at room temperature from an open air jar at a roadside stand in Mexico. Trust me on that one. That's probably the most danger you'll personally encounter.
    #3
  4. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    Here, I've re-drawn your map for you:

    Brown: Don't worry about that country up there, nobody knows where or what it actually is anyway

    Green: No danger here except moose on the highway and a relatively short motorcycle season.

    Orange: Or maybe that's yellow. Anyway, very dangerous. Orlando, Florida, for example, is the home of Disney World and many other major, popular tourist attractions. For 2011, it tied Birmingham, Alabama at 3rd place for the most dangerous city in the U.S., behind St. Louis, and Atlanta. Detroit was listed next after Orlando and Birmingham. Don't go to Orlando or Disney World. Are you crazy? Mickey Mouse is the head of the Orlando Cartel.

    Purple: Very dangerous if you're in the cartel business. Dangerous if you're' stupid and hang out in sketchy parts of strange cities you've never been to, you're drunk, and you walk about at 3 am with money hanging out your back pocket. You will get robbed or worse then the next day you or your family will contact the US State Department and they'll issue a travel warning.

    Red: That's Guatemala! Don't pass on Tikal, Antigua, Panajachel/Lake Atitlán and a whole long list of great places to visit!
    #4
  5. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    I've lived here for over 30 years and things are not as safe as they used to be but I would still go asnywhere. I did have a very scary incident last week. I was riding on the road from Temazunchale towards Ixmiquilpan. I don't know the road number as that is not something we really use here. It is a nice twisty mountain road. The road was wet and I was wondering how much traction there was when a car coming in the opposite direction lost control and skidded across the road. He did a 180 degree spin and ended up facing in the wrong direction in his lane. The 2 people I was riding with were also pretty freaked out.
    What does this have to do with danger? Well, you are riding a motorcycle the biggest danger you will face by far will come from other road users and your riding skills.
    I am not saying don't be carefull but use common sense and you should be fine.
    If you come through Mex City (which almost everyone will tell you to avoid) you are welcome to stay with us.
    #5
  6. SR

    SR Long timer

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    I spent two and a half years working full time in the stippled area marked as "Specifically Dangerous Area" near the border of Durango and Zacatecas. In that time not a single security incident happened to me or 15 other co workers. The odds that something will happen to you in the 45 minute drive through that area are slim?

    I am going to print this map out for my boss. Maybe I can get some hazard pay.
    #6
  7. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

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    I spend bout 6 months a year in Mazatlan, I do lots of riding out & about....

    Listen to the other fellows here, check out (is mexico safe) thread here on ADV rider...

    and treat mexico like any big city in the upper 49 and you'll be just fine....
    #7
  8. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Thats funny, when I visited Colombia 10 years ago I was addicted to Golf and one of the jungle courses I played served hard boiled eggs at the 10th hole:eek1
    #8
  9. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

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    Dude,
    Ride conservatively, be off the road well before dark, don't go partying at night. Odds are you would do these things anyway. But do not underestimate the fun factor of riding in Mexico. It is off the charts. Food is great, people are great, hotels are great. Have fun!
    #9
  10. Kingo1

    Kingo1 n00b

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    Had no times where Mexico didn't feel safe a year ago. Rode from Yuma to La Paz, took the ferry to Mazatlan, rode to Durango, north to Chiuhauhau, through Hermosillo and back to Yuma. The scariest parts of the whole trip was pulling a trailer through all the traffic in Salt Lake in the construction and Las Vegas on a NASCAR weekend...
    #10
  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    there was an issue or 2 in the nogales city area.
    the mariposa exit #4 is not that place and you are immediately dumped
    onto a high speed 4 line lane hiway 15D w/ security fences on both sides.
    you stop through 2 security checks and then get your paperwork @ 21km.
    after that it's 4 lane toll roads and there safe. spend the 1st night in san carlos and the next in mazatlan and then drop down to san blas and ride the coast to bliss and stop worrying.
    the cartels don't want you or your white ass.

    15 is the free (libre) road
    15D is the toll (cuato rd) road
    toll roads are pricy and worth it in northern mex.
    #11
  12. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Hmmm. Looks like Schizzman and I rode through a 'specifically dangerous area' last year.

    I believe our biggest concern in that area was the location of the next Pemex and how much fuel I really had left in my tank. That's some pretty remote area between Real de Catorce to Zac. and Durango.

    Just use your head, don't drive at night, and you should have fun. All the guys above have personal experience in Mexico, and can tell you more good stories than horror stories.

    I would say 97.8% of the horror stories in Mexico are likely self-inflicted, or could be prevented with a just a bit of forethought.
    #12
  13. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Damn, I am going to print this map out for my wife. Maybe I can get some.
    #13
  14. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Ha! Quoted before you could (and probably should have) tweaked the meaning of "get some" :rofl
    #14
  15. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Avoid riding through Washington D.C.. It is the home of the U.S. State Department and is a very dangerous place. Those people will start a war just about anywhere in the world for the weirdest reasons. STAY AWAY !
    #15
  16. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Nah! Hazard pay is overrated compared to the "other" some! LOL!
    #16
  17. einnocent

    einnocent Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

    I didn't post to "Is Mexico Safe" because it looks a bit like a chat room over there with a wandering thread.

    Garry, the link in your sig doesn't work, but I'll be sure to ping you if we go through Mexico City. Thanks for the invite!
    #17
  18. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    First you said it was the chicken. Now you say it was the egg. :lol3
    #18
  19. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    I'm having trouble remembering which came first :rofl
    #19
  20. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

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    Like most of the others here, I've ridden through most of the "specifically dangerous areas" and specifically dangerous cities on your map within the past 1-4 years. As others have said, don't ride after dark, (and that mostly for the road hazards, not the cartels), use your good judgment, and be polite, and you'll likely be just fine. And if you do manage to make it to San Miguel de Allende alive, PM me and I'll buy you a beer. ;)
    #20