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Hello, does anyone have information on traveling from the East Coast in the US (New Jersey) to Playa Del Carmen. Looking to drive this trip, will most likely enter with a temporary resident visa. What is best port to enter Mexico and best/safest route to take. Thank you
 

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You may get a couple of recommendations but my opinion using your criteria would be:

* Cross at Laredo and take toll roads (cuota) "through" Monterrey, Saltillo, San Luis Potosi, and Queretaro (one will actually 'skirt' all these cities).
* Prior to Mexico City take the Arco Norte cuota (M40D) skirting Mexico City and ending up east of there around Puebla.
*East on cuota 150D and then SE on cuota 145D to Minititlan
*East on cuota 180D to Villahermosa
Here you have a choice:
*either remain on 180D up to Merida and then across to the Playa del Carmen vicinity, or
* go east on hiway 186 to the vicinity of Chetumal, then on 307 up to Playa.

Some may say cross at McAllen or Brownsville Texas and drive down through Veracruz City on highways 101/180. That route has had some safety concerns over the years but one would probably be OK. It would be 100 less miles but no faster that my other route. There would be significantly less toll cost this way.
 

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I drive the Brownsville (TX)>Matamoros>Veracruz> route about 3 times in a 12 month period and have been doing this since 2006. There was ONE time in about 2011 when I was advised to cross elsewhere (Reynosa) which I did.....but other than that, no problems.

It's kinda tricky in places and the roads in Veracruz State are very bad in some areas. The casitas de cobro will cost you less than 300 pesos. The Laredo>Monterrey route is well over 1000 pesos but the roads are much better....at least again, until you enter Veracruz State. But you miss the whole northern part of Veracruz, because you enter near Puebla and soon head south. I drive to the Yucatan quite often and go fishing in Xcalak (near Chetumal) or Isla Blanca (north of Cancun) I'm thinking about doing a tarpon trip to Campeche in the near future.
 

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Thank you so much, very helpful. Yes we heard to go through Laredo. We heard there was some security issue going through the state of Chaipas now, not sure if any of the routes you mentioned go that way. Appreciate your time and help!
 

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Thank you so much. We have heard to stay away from Vera Cruz now, seems to have some issues. Also heard to try and not go through the the state of Chaipas. We had a recommendation to from San Luis Potosi, east of Mexico City, down through Puebla and into Veracruz, but that is where I am a little concerned :) But I think further south is Chaipas, I am not sure, will need to get a map out. Appreciate your help
 

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I'm driving to Merida, I'll post a little more about this when I figure it out. Mexico City has a rule that every car is banned from driving one day a week, depending on your plates. Veracruz is on the way to Merida via Campeche.

Are you sure you want to drive?
I've got some stops and I'm bringing in stuff so it makes sense for me.

Do the math when it comes to fuel hotel etc.
Not, dissuading you check helping you think it through. Like I said, I'm driving
 

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Hi, Thanks so much. We have a place in playa del carmen, and we want to drive so we have the car, as the the cost for rental is too much for 6 months vs. gas,tolls and a couple nights of hotels. We are also bringing some household items with us, nothing big or expensive just same basic items. We also thought it would be nice to try and see places to Monterrey and San Miguel Allende on the trip.
 

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Hi, Thanks so much. We have a place in playa del carmen, and we want to drive so we have the car, as the the cost for rental is too much for 6 months vs. gas,tolls and a couple nights of hotels. We are also bringing some household items with us, nothing big or expensive just same basic items. We also thought it would be nice to try and see places to Monterrey and San Miguel Allende on the trip.
that makes sense
at some point it's cheaper to buy an old car than renting
 

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That pass really saved our butts. We were pulling a trailer in the express lanes in Mexico City (which you can not do). When the motorcycle cop pulled us over we gave him our pass and he let us go...

One last tip : I think the pass gives you a month of use - but you can break that month up - like say 2 X 2 weeks - in case you are going into (and through) CDMX and have a return trip later.
 

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I haven't driven thru those points but I can give you some advice. From Nuevo Laredo to Queretaro there are a lot of semi's on the road as it's one of the main routes for logistics. If you have car trouble they probably won't stop to help as they have to maintain a tight schedule and they don't want to risk the merchandise.

Below is a link to the government site where you can input your current location to destination and it will inform you off the toll booths (for the toll roads) along the way including how much they charge.
Traza Tu Ruta

I did not see any mention if you were going to have any cell phone service. If so Google maps works well in Mexico. The government also has the Gasoapp that will show you nearby gas stations along with the pump prices. I have it for my iPhone and they should have it for Android as well.
 

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No, just wanted to let you know what to expect. As long as you are on the toll roads you should be fine. Also take note that the toll roads do have some road side assistance thought it's very basic. They can still call a tow truck service though.
 

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Thank you for the info
ATSI, when referring directly to a particular post, it's a good idea to hit the Reply With Quote tab before writing your response. Otherwise, it may not be clear who you're talking to.
 

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You might want to purchase a transponder for the toll roads - it cost something like 200 pesos and I bought mine at the Ahorro farmacia. Some toll roads in Mexico (like the second level in Mexico City) require a transponder as there are no manned toll booths. I have mine setup to refresh another 500 pesos every time the balance drops below 100 pesos - but that is against my Mexican credit card. You can also prepay at many locations. Here is the link :

https://www.idmexico.com.mx/idmexico/
 

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No, just wanted to let you know what to expect. As long as you are on the toll roads you should be fine. Also take note that the toll roads do have some road side assistance thought it's very basic. They can still call a tow truck service though.
ok, great!
 
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