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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone done this recently? Are the roads safe to drive? I will be only driving during the day and staying with some friends in Monterrey. I'll be driving with a mexican friend and my 2 little dogs. Just want to know if anyone has done this drive lately.

Thanks!
 

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Has anyone done this recently? Are the roads safe to drive? I will be only driving during the day and staying with some friends in Monterrey. I'll be driving with a mexican friend and my 2 little dogs. Just want to know if anyone has done this drive lately.

Thanks!
We've not driven from Laredo to Guadalajara on the same trip, but my wife and I frequently drive from Laredo to Querétaro, and have made a number of trips from Querétaro to Guadalajara (one comng up this Thursday to Jalostotitlan, just outside of Guadalajara) and we have never encountered any trouble of any kind. We are always careful to cross the border early so we can get to Monterrey and beyond before dark, and we are always extremely careful to obey every little traffic rule when crossing Nuevo Laredo, so as not to give the border area police a reason to question us, which could possibly lead to a roadside "fine". We stick to the toll roads, and, this was a pleasant surprise to us, GPS works fine in this area. The area down closer to Guadalajara is also very clean, bright, well marked, etc, never a problem. Please note, all our travel is via toll roads, not cheap, but to me it is money well spent.

A couple of things to note. One is while you are on the main road out of Nuevo Laredo, likely Hwy 85, be very cautious when driving in the right hand lane. There are exits which lead down onto a frontage road, and they are extremely difficult to see if you are driving before sunup. They are not marked at all, and can very easily leave you high-centered. You'll notice them this time when you pass through, day or night. Another tough spot is the area just north of Saltillo. The ground fog is very heavy early in the day and early in the evening. Just drive slowly and use your flashers.

As to the true gremlins as reported by the press, bandidos-druggies-crooked cops-car jackers, etc, we have never seen one, nor have ever spoken with anyone who has personally seen one. Enjoy your trip.
 

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We have recently driven the route from south of San Luis Potosi through Nuevo Laredo to Laredo with no problem. Personally, I would not stop in Monterrey. It is an easy drive from Nuevo Laredo to San Luis Potosi to stay overnight and the drive to Guadalajara.
 

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Has anyone done this recently? Are the roads safe to drive? I will be only driving during the day and staying with some friends in Monterrey. I'll be driving with a mexican friend and my 2 little dogs. Just want to know if anyone has done this drive lately.

Thanks!
If you stay on toll roads (de cuota), drive only during daylight hours, and follow traffic rules, you should be fine. Most crime against motorists happens at night and on rural, non-toll roads. I hope you enjoy Guadalajara; it's a great city!
 

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You didn't indicate if you are a first time driver or if it's just been a while. If you're a first timer, there is a 2nd checkpoint ~20 kilometers south of Laredo. We always approach it as if we owned it, not rude, just confident. I have never been held up here for an inspection, not that we have anything to hide, I just don't like to sit around a checkpoint when I could be knocking back the miles. My wife's Spanish is much better than mine, so we always try to have her behind the wheel to avoid hesitancy in answering any questions from the officer selecting vehicles for additional screening.

We are actually driving Querétaro/Texas/Querétaro the first week in June. If we notice anything untoward, I'll be sure to post it on our return.
 

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We came back from Texas yesterday using the Matamoros, Ciudad Victoria, San Luis Potosi route. Very smooth. We had the aduana checkpoint and then one military stop.
If yo go this way, by the way much more enjoyable scenery, and toll, wise than Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Saltillo, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, there are two new tolls south of Tula.
After the 2nd where you bear right/west toward hwy 57, look for a large cement plant on the right and slow down when you see it as local police hang out at the adjacent overpass and have caused some consternation.
 

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conklinwh said:
We came back from Texas yesterday using the Matamoros, Ciudad Victoria, San Luis Potosi route. Very smooth. We had the aduana checkpoint and then one military stop.
If yo go this way, by the way much more enjoyable scenery, and toll, wise than Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Saltillo, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, there are two new tolls south of Tula.
After the 2nd where you bear right/west toward hwy 57, look for a large cement plant on the right and slow down when you see it as local police hang out at the adjacent overpass and have caused some consternation.
Welcome home.

Sent from my iPod touch using ExpatForum
 

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We came back from Texas yesterday using the Matamoros, Ciudad Victoria, San Luis Potosi route. Very smooth. We had the aduana checkpoint and then one military stop.
If yo go this way, by the way much more enjoyable scenery, and toll, wise than Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Saltillo, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, there are two new tolls south of Tula.
After the 2nd where you bear right/west toward hwy 57, look for a large cement plant on the right and slow down when you see it as local police hang out at the adjacent overpass and have caused some consternation.
Was there a reason why you chose that route over Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Saltillo, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi?

We are heading up to Texas next Tuesday, to a town just northwest of San Antonio. It looks like the Matamoros crossing would add two hours and something to our trip. I'd consider changing our normal route but I'm not sure if I think that it's worth that extra time.
 

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We had a friend recuperating from knee replacement and she wanted to spend a couple days on South Padre Island before returning so the Matamoros et al much faster. If I were going to/through San Antonio, I would do the SLP to Nuevo Laredo route and eat the increased tolls and boring scenery. We actually went up that way 11 May as were going Laredo, Eagle Pass, Ft Stockton, Roswell to Santa Fe and no problem other than hour plus delay on Friday afternoon at US immigration.
 

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Thanks conklinwh, that makes sense.

We've gone that SLP/NL route so many times I think I'm beginning to recognize some of the mules and cows that are always grazing along the roadside north of Matehuala. This trip we're going to spend a couple days in Real de Catorce on the way north so we have to take that route anyway. Returning we'll be able to pick our route but the NL/SLP way does make the most sense.

We usually cross at Colombia so there is never much wait at the border (except for the times they have decided to give us a hard time because they think I'm a pollero and my Mexican wife is my client). The 15 minutes of extra driving is usually more than made up for by the quicker crossing. Plus we now know where the infamous speed traps are so we are careful.
 

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I did a return trip from Guad to Macallan in January and it was fine. Follow all the rules of common sense and relax. I usually enjoy the trips to and from the border. Well until I hit the border anyway :)
 

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I've shied away from Columbia because of the speed traps and the fact that I don't have Texas Tag, actually I do but I left in Raleigh with a few other misplaced things. We have been staying in Laredo as not much Laredo-San Antonio but given last experience, that may change. Also, we had forgotten how much nicer the drive from Harlingen/Brownsville via Ciudad Victoria was.
 

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It's not a bad drive . However , once we made the mistake of driving through the heart of the city of Saltillo . We lost more than two hours in the endless signal lights and traffic .

When you get close to Saltillo , make sure you stay on the left side that is marked Matehuala instead of the route that is marked Saltillo .
 

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That's a good way to follow the cuota route. When the NV-Monterrey cuota ends, look for cuota to Saltilla to avoid Monterrey. When approaching Saltillo, follow quota to Matehuala, likewise when approaching Matehuala, San Luis Potosi and when approaching SLP, Queretaro and Mexico. Of course after this cuota, you head off to GDL.
 

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We just completed the bottom leg of your planned trip and it was incident free. On Thursday, we drove out to Jalostotitlan from Querétaro and, while there, took a day trip in to Tonalà (Guadalajara). We always go via Celaya, Salamanca, León and I believe we pick up your route just out of Lagos de Moreno. There's always a big military presence in the stat of Jalisco but I count this as a good thing. We've never been pulled over and inspected, one of the benefits to appearing old and innocent. There's a little bit of hwy maintenance between Lagos de Moreno and Guadalajara, single lane traffic, but it was nothing worthy of changing the route to try to miss it.

Next week we'll drive the northern half, Querétaro/Nuevo Laredo and I'll let you know how that goes.
 

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We got home yesterday from a round trip drive Querétaro/Austin, TX/Querétaro, via Nuevo Laredo. The trip was pleasant in all aspects. We do obey the speed limits when traveling from the border, bridge # 2, to the 20 K checkpoint, even though they seem a bit conservative. I see no reason to rush through this area and invite problems with the local police. Bridge # 2 is always our route of choice as we are familiar with it, and the directions to Monterrey are clearly posted. Our habit is to overnight in Laredo and get an early departure which gets us home mid-afternoon. Also, we have never experienced long border lines at ~6:00 AM.

There's always another smaller checkpoint a few K's south of the 20 K facility, but it's no more than throttling the traffic down to one lane and making eye contact with all the drivers. We've never been stopped here.

One caveat I will add is probably good business wherever you are. When purchasing gasoline, always verify that the pump register is reset to zero. If you are asked to pull forward to where you cannot do this from within the vehicle, then get out and do so. Some of the displays screens are scratched and dirty and seem to "almost" be set up for deception. If an attendant seems in a hurry to get the pump started, it might be that his agenda is more than just getting you quickly back on your way. While speaking of the attendants, this is the prime season for insects, and your windshield will be a testament to this. Most attendants will provide a windshield wash, and this is always worth a few pesos to me.

The thread starter seemed to lean toward security/safety, so, to be true to the thread, we saw absolutely nothing to be concerned about, unless it might be the free range sheep, goats, horses, burros & cows along the roadway. Most of the time, there are people tending them, but you will also see an occasional road killed animal, so, alertness & a co-pilot are two valuable commodities for the drive.

I hope your trip is as pleasant as ours was, and, barring car trouble, I see no reason why it will not be.
 

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We've never had delay coming into Mexico but leaving at Nuevo Laredo has some significant variation. Good to know that immigration and Banjercito open at 6AM. We usually shoot for 8AM as about 8 hrs to our place from immigration. Expect that depending on where you live in Queretaro that you are about an hour longer.
You are right about the pumps. I always get out and that seems to motivate attendant to point out the zeros.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I think I have the route figured it out. I'm just uncertain of a small stretch.

Would you recommend going from Guadalajara to Silao then go north to San Luis Potosi? Or go all the way to Lagos de Moreno-Ojuelos de Jalisco- San Luis Potosi?
I've been reading that at later there is a toll road but not totally finished. Any advice?

Thanks!
 

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Use the Lagos de Moreno route. The unfinished road is not a problem. as the old road runs alongside. If the new one is open, in parts, you can use it.
 
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