Long and winding road

by StewbUK @, Friday, January 15, 2021, 09:22 (88 days ago)

Hello all.
Has anyone made the drive from the US down to Zihuatanejo?
Do you have any route suggestions?

I know a lot of people travel with pets and with new restrictions by airlines concerning bringing “emotional support animals” on flights,I’m looking ahead to when we travel down with our much loved dog.

Cheers
Stew

Long and winding road

by mindpilot, la Playa Buenavista, Friday, January 15, 2021, 09:49 (88 days ago) @ StewbUK

I have the same situation and the same question.

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Long and winding road

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Friday, January 15, 2021, 10:14 (88 days ago) @ StewbUK

It is a great drive and a great adventure. You will wonder why you didn't do it years ago!!

From Nogales to here it is all toll road except for the last 40 miles. Every city now has a bypass around it so you don't have to go into it unless you chose to. The roads are better than the freeways in California.

Gas stations are plentiful and 99% of them take credit cards. Dog friendly hotels aren't hard to find.

Many people make the drive down from Texas in just two days and I think it is all toll road too. It is easy to find out.

Go to RV.net forums and scroll down to RVing in Mexico and South America. There you will find all the current information on vehicle permits, pets and personal paperwork. There is also an active forum for questions and discussions.

Make the drive!!! It's a wonderful experience. Until we moved here permanently 3 years ago we drove throuhout Mexico every year for over 30 years. We have more Mexico driving miles under our belts than we do in the US.

Long and winding road

by StewbUK @, Friday, January 15, 2021, 10:30 (88 days ago) @ Talley Ho

Great information. Many thanks.

Long and winding road

by mindpilot, la Playa Buenavista, Friday, January 15, 2021, 10:52 (88 days ago) @ Talley Ho

Muchas gracias for that info.

Would you recommend avoiding travelling at night? Thinking about a straight-through roughly 36-40 hour drive, vs a more leisurely two or three nights in hotels.

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Long and winding road

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Friday, January 15, 2021, 11:00 (88 days ago) @ mindpilot

Do not drive at night.

There are many reasons, safety, because if there is going to be an incident, it will be at night.

Another issue is that although they are fenced, animals do wander onto the highways at night. In the northern areas they are seeking the warmth coming off of the pavement.

The reason we always give is that if it's dark you can't see anything!! There is SO much to see that you will likely find yourself planning your return trip back north so you can stop in at at least a couple of locations.

Long and winding road

by StewbUK @, Friday, January 15, 2021, 11:46 (88 days ago) @ Talley Ho

Thanks again for the response.
I’m looking at around 9 hrs drive per day split between us with no night driving.
That’s crossing at Nogales to Los Mochis
Los Mochis to Guadalajara
Guadalajara to Ixtapa with no night travel
To paraphrase “ it’s as much about the journey as the destination “????

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Long and winding road

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Friday, January 15, 2021, 13:22 (88 days ago) @ StewbUK

When we came down moving, we drove a Durango pulling an 8 foot cargo trailer. We hit the border at Nogales at 6am and only took 45 minutes to clear and pay duty on our household items. We spent the night in Navajoa at a great hotel, got up at 6ish, drove to Tepic, another great hotel, with a stop in Mazatlan at Walmart for food. They have a great salad bar. Tepic to here, home, we arrived at 6pm for the sunset.

We changed drivers every 2 hours and peed the pups about every other time.

This was in June so the days were a little bit longer, but not much.

Do remember that we really really know the route. Our Durango and trailer were both Guerrero plated too.

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Long and winding road

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Friday, January 15, 2021, 11:48 (88 days ago) @ Talley Ho

Do not drive at night.

There are many reasons, safety, because if there is going to be an incident, it will be at night.

Another issue is that although they are fenced, animals do wander onto the highways at night. In the northern areas they are seeking the warmth coming off of the pavement.

The reason we always give is that if it's dark you can't see anything!! There is SO much to see that you will likely find yourself planning your return trip back north so you can stop in at at least a couple of locations.

I agree, it is best to avoid driving at night for lots of reasons. That said, I have driven to Acapulco probably close to a dozen times during the past year, always at night so I could conduct my business there and be back in time for comida y siesta. No problems thanks to the vigilance of the police and military for whom most of us are extremely grateful. Except for what seems like a thousand topes, that coastal highway to the south is currently in very good condition.

Long and winding road

by rdcosta @, Saturday, January 16, 2021, 12:20 (87 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Has anyone thought about the covid test for the return. Where and how long it will take unless you get tested here and get back before the 72 hours run out

Long and winding road

by mindpilot, la Playa Buenavista, Monday, January 18, 2021, 07:54 (85 days ago) @ rdcosta

Currently the CDC website says there is no test requirement for land or sea crossing at the US/Mexico border, only air.

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Long and winding road

by Pam in NJ ⌂ @, Morristown, NJ, Sunday, January 17, 2021, 18:44 (86 days ago) @ StewbUK

We drove down from NJ in October....crossed in Mission, Tx. One night in Matehuala. One night in Patzcuaro. It was a lot easier than I ever imagined!!

Long and winding road

by Ironwood @, Sunday, January 17, 2021, 19:13 (86 days ago) @ StewbUK
edited by Ironwood, Sunday, January 17, 2021, 21:26

Hello all.
Has anyone made the drive from the US down to Zihuatanejo?
Do you have any route suggestions?

I know a lot of people travel with pets and with new restrictions by airlines concerning bringing “emotional support animals” on flights,I’m looking ahead to when we travel down with our much loved dog.

Cheers
Stew

We've driven to Zihua 7 or 8 times, most often crossing at Nogales, but twice taking the ferry from Baja California to Topolobampo/Los Mochis, once from Eagle Pass, TX and another time via Brownsville/Matamoros, south to Zihua. It's usually been an adventure one way or another, but we'd do it again if they'd open the borders, particularly the Canada/US border, although we're a tad leery of traveling through the US: too many crazies down there these days. We'd feel a lot safer once we hit the Mexican border.

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Long and winding road

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Sunday, January 17, 2021, 19:40 (86 days ago) @ Ironwood

The border with the US and Canada is definitely closed. However a few desperate souls have had their vehicles transported to the US (I am assuming a flatbed because several were RV's). They then flew to where their vehicle was delivered to and drove down.

The US to Mexico border is completely open and visitors are welcome. IF necessary I can provide proof of that.

Long and winding road

by Padrino ⌂ @, San Diego, California USA, Monday, January 18, 2021, 11:26 (85 days ago) @ Talley Ho

The US to Mexico border is completely open and visitors are welcome. IF necessary I can provide proof of that.

Just a point of clarification: The US to Mexico border is completely open and visitors are welcome. However, the reserve is not true. The Mexico to US border is still closed per U.S./Canada/Mexico's agreement. (Actually, non-essential travel to Mexico from the U.S. is technically still prohibited but as Talley Ho says, in practice, it is completely open and visitors are welcome. The Mexican agents allow you into Mexico and if you are a U.S. citizen, the U.S. agents allow you back into the States.)

One change regarding Mexican tourist visas was related to me by an agent at the border. Before, you could purchase a six-month tourist visa and use it to go back and forth for the six month period. This agent said that this has changed. The tourist visa is still good for up to six months but it expires immediately when you leave Mexico. When you return, you have to buy another tourist visa. Have not been able to find any other confirmation but this will motivate me to finally get off my butt and apply for the permanent visa.

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-1596?language=en_US#:~:text=On%20March%2021%2C%202020%2C%20the,EDT%20on%20December%2021%2C%202020.

Long and winding road

by Ironwood @, Monday, January 18, 2021, 12:33 (85 days ago) @ Padrino

The US to Mexico border is completely open and visitors are welcome. IF necessary I can provide proof of that.


Just a point of clarification: The US to Mexico border is completely open and visitors are welcome. However, the reserve is not true. The Mexico to US border is still closed per U.S./Canada/Mexico's agreement. (Actually, non-essential travel to Mexico from the U.S. is technically still prohibited but as Talley Ho says, in practice, it is completely open and visitors are welcome. The Mexican agents allow you into Mexico and if you are a U.S. citizen, the U.S. agents allow you back into the States.)

One change regarding Mexican tourist visas was related to me by an agent at the border. Before, you could purchase a six-month tourist visa and use it to go back and forth for the six month period. This agent said that this has changed. The tourist visa is still good for up to six months but it expires immediately when you leave Mexico. When you return, you have to buy another tourist visa. Have not been able to find any other confirmation but this will motivate me to finally get off my butt and apply for the permanent visa.

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-1596?language=en_US#:~:text=On%20March%2021%2C%202020%2C%20the,EDT%20on%20December%2021%2C%202020.

We've been coming to Mexico for 30+ years, always by "tourist visas", and have never heard of anyone leaving Mexico before the expiry of their 6 month tourist visa, and being allowed to return on that same visa. Ours (and I expect everyone elses) expired when you leave Mexico, and a new tourist visa must be obtained every time one re-enters Mexico.
Maybe the agent was referring to those oddball regulations covering only the border zone, that folks use to go back and forth in that ballpark 100 km zone, including much of Baja California?

Long and winding road

by Padrino ⌂ @, San Diego, California USA, Monday, January 18, 2021, 12:42 (85 days ago) @ Ironwood

We've been coming to Mexico for 30+ years, always by "tourist visas", and have never heard of anyone leaving Mexico before the expiry of their 6 month tourist visa, and being allowed to return on that same visa. Ours (and I expect everyone elses) expired when you leave Mexico, and a new tourist visa must be obtained every time one re-enters Mexico.
Maybe the agent was referring to those oddball regulations covering only the border zone, that folks use to go back and forth in that ballpark 100 km zone, including much of Baja California?

Yikes! Are you serious! I have been using the six-month tourist visa to go in and out of Mexico for years! Not one agent until now has said anything. I have a friend who did the same for many years until he and his wife finally moved down to Todos Santos (between La Paz and Los Cabos in Baja California) and are now Mexican citizens. Ah, guess I really have to get my butt in gear to get my visa permanente "rentista!" I downloaded the application. Doesn't look too difficult. Have a residence address in Rosarito all lined up!

Long and winding road

by Ironwood @, Monday, January 18, 2021, 14:27 (85 days ago) @ Padrino

We've been coming to Mexico for 30+ years, always by "tourist visas", and have never heard of anyone leaving Mexico before the expiry of their 6 month tourist visa, and being allowed to return on that same visa. Ours (and I expect everyone elses) expired when you leave Mexico, and a new tourist visa must be obtained every time one re-enters Mexico.
Maybe the agent was referring to those oddball regulations covering only the border zone, that folks use to go back and forth in that ballpark 100 km zone, including much of Baja California?


Yikes! Are you serious! I have been using the six-month tourist visa to go in and out of Mexico for years! Not one agent until now has said anything. I have a friend who did the same for many years until he and his wife finally moved down to Todos Santos (between La Paz and Los Cabos in Baja California) and are now Mexican citizens. Ah, guess I really have to get my butt in gear to get my visa permanente "rentista!" I downloaded the application. Doesn't look too difficult. Have a residence address in Rosarito all lined up!

Todos Santos, Rosarito......maybe, as I wrote, that works for Baja California. Out of curiousity, I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else who has arrived by air direct from the US or Canada, at, for example, Zihua Immigration, and been re-admitted back into Mexico by showing their still-valid - for - max.- 6 month tourist visa. In fact, we've always been required to surrender our tourist visas when leaving Mexico by air, so we wouldn't even have an un-expired one to show.

When leaving Mexico by car, the process is admittedly different. One has to surrender their Temporary Import Permit, (TIP), but, oddly enough, not their tourist visa. In fact, at the Nogales crossing, we've always parked our car at the side of the highway, just after surrendering our TIP, and walked across the highway to the Customs & Immigration building, to hand-in our tourist visas and get our passports stamped with an exit stamp. The latter is part of documentation we have to provide to our provincial car insurance people, to get a refund of our car insurance premiums for the period we were in Mexico, (a period which our provincial government car insurance does not cover).

Long and winding road

by Dalejb, Monday, January 18, 2021, 15:06 (85 days ago) @ Padrino

It has been almost a year since I crossed the border in a vehicle. Things may have changed but whenever ever I went into the Western half of Sonora or the entire Baja area they considered it the “No hassle zone “. There are even signs to that effect along the road. As such we didn’t have the usual permits for us or our vehicle. Farther east is not the same.

Long and winding road

by Ironwood @, Monday, January 18, 2021, 15:35 (85 days ago) @ Dalejb

It has been almost a year since I crossed the border in a vehicle. Things may have changed but whenever ever I went into the Western half of Sonora or the entire Baja area they considered it the “No hassle zone “. There are even signs to that effect along the road. As such we didn’t have the usual permits for us or our vehicle. Farther east is not the same.

That's what I'm talking about. Away from Baja California, on the mainland south or east of the Sonoran "no hassle zone", the rules are different. We drove from Tecate to Cabo San Lucas and didn't even require a TIP, until we took the ferry from La Paz over to the mainland.

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Long and winding road

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Monday, January 18, 2021, 19:27 (85 days ago) @ Padrino

The so called, "Tourist visa," is actually a single entry document. IF the person looking at it cares, that is what it is.

The airlines are responsible for taking a tourist visa from everyone who gets on the plane, no matter how you arrived in the country or if you are a resident.

Vehicle permits are another thing. A standard TIP for a non RV is good for 180 days and requires a deposit to be made. If you don't turn it in within the 180 days, you lose the deposit and the ability to get another permit in your name.

RV permits are good for 10 years and do not require a deposit.

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Long and winding road

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Monday, January 18, 2021, 06:05 (86 days ago) @ Ironwood

I think you only need to worry about crazies if you go to Washington DC.

--
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Casa Amarilla Vacation Rental
http://www.casaamarillazihua.com/

Long and winding road

by FotoNut, Thursday, January 21, 2021, 20:36 (82 days ago) @ frostbite

I would suggest stopping a lot and maybe taking 1-2 weeks to get here if not more. In fact I left the US over a year ago and just made it here last week. There is a lot to distract one along the route. Also my idea of nine hours a day on Mexico roads seems a little brutal to boot.