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What is recommended of the 3 Laredo border crossings. I understand that the Columbia Bridge crossing opens at 8AM. Plus, about how long a drive to San Miguel de Allende?
 

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Welcome to the forum. If you use Google to find "Rutas punto a punto" you can select the English version and find routes, distances, tolls and waypoints throughout Mexico. The site seems to be down at the moment, but is usually very helpful.
 

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Thanks,I found "rutas punto a punto"on another thread. I still would like to know which of the Laredo border crossings is most recommended.
 

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Thanks,I found "rutas punto a punto"on another thread. I still would like to know which of the Laredo border crossings is most recommended.
I have crossed at both Colombia and Laredo in both directions.Perhaps,its just been bad luck but I always seem to be in a major line up at Laredo.For that reason,I only cross at Colombia now.People will say that Colombia is out of the way coming from both north and south but personally,I would rather drive a bit further rather than be stuck in a line.I have found the clerks working at Colombia to be efficient and friendly and the car import/tourist visa are promptly issued. Be sure not to speed from Colombia to the Monterrey turn off as a couple of friends have been ticketed in that area.
 

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Like Mr. Chips, we've crossed at both Laredo and Columbia. We much prefer Columbia. Everything is there in one place and we've rarely spent more than 20 minutes completing our paperwork.

I have crossed at both Colombia and Laredo in both directions.Perhaps,its just been bad luck but I always seem to be in a major line up at Laredo.For that reason,I only cross at Colombia now.People will say that Colombia is out of the way coming from both north and south but personally,I would rather drive a bit further rather than be stuck in a line.I have found the clerks working at Colombia to be efficient and friendly and the car import/tourist visa are promptly issued. Be sure not to speed from Colombia to the Monterrey turn off as a couple of friends have been ticketed in that area.
 

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I read in another thread where RVGRINGO was talking about using the Progresso crossing and then driving to Ciudad Victoria and stayng the night there. I'll be coming from San Antonio and my end destination is the city of Guanajuato. Does anyone have an opinion as to whether Progresso would be a better place than Laredo/Columbia to cross.
I'll have a car full of things "for my rental". I have read the aduana web page saying what is permitted with an FMT and I think I might push it just a little and hope for "la verde". If not, I'll be prepared to pay a little. Is one of those crossings more apt to inspect my car than the other, or is it just pure chance?
Any feedback from you folks who have made crossings at either place would be much appreciated... my countdown is down to less than 3 weeks and I'm psyched!!
(also any route advice?... i.e. Columbia/Monterrey/San Luis Potosi/Guanajuato or Progresso/Ciudad Victoria/San Luis Potosi/Guanajuato)

Thanks much
 

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Your most direct route is via Laredo, Monterrey, San Luis Potosi and Guanajuato. The red or green light is supposed to be random, but if you attract attention, you can still be stopped.
Don't forget your Mexican car insurance, temporary car importation and to keep all your documents safe.
Enjoy your trip and post your comments.
 

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Thanks RVGRINGO. I have several insurance quotes, I just need to decide which to purchase and I'll heed your warning about my documents. I have one more routing question. My girlfriend will be taking a bus north from Mexico City to meet me at my overnight stopping point (yet TBD) and we can ride together the second day from there to Guanajuato. According to rutas punto a punto, Ciudad Victoria is 4.5 hours down from the border and then it would be 6 hours more to Gto. the following day. That seems like a nice way to split it up. Is there a city you can suggest that is between Monterrey and SLP that would serve the same function of splitting the drive into 2 nice days but have easy bus access from el DF?
 

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I don't know of anything much between SLP and Monterrey/Saltillo. Your suggestion of Cd. Victoria might be a good option and there are good hotels with secure parking on the main square. We often use Hotel Sierra Gorda, if you need a name and a place to meet.
Enjoy your trip.
 

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We take the Columbia/Monterrey/SLP route and spend the night in Matehuala. Las Palmas is the place most folks stay. There is a restaurant anyou park your car right outside your room. The last time we were there, rooms were about $750 Pesos. We now stay at the Villas Real, an auto motel on the north side of town. No restaurant but secure parking - each room has its own lockable garage. We bring snacks with us or go to Las Palmas before checking in to Villas Real. The place is clean and most importantly for a loaded car, secure. A 12 hour stay is about 400 pesos, but I've been told that it might be cheaper if you ask for the overnight rate.

I read in another thread where RVGRINGO was talking about using the Progresso crossing and then driving to Ciudad Victoria and stayng the night there. I'll be coming from San Antonio and my end destination is the city of Guanajuato. Does anyone have an opinion as to whether Progresso would be a better place than Laredo/Columbia to cross.
I'll have a car full of things "for my rental". I have read the aduana web page saying what is permitted with an FMT and I think I might push it just a little and hope for "la verde". If not, I'll be prepared to pay a little. Is one of those crossings more apt to inspect my car than the other, or is it just pure chance?
Any feedback from you folks who have made crossings at either place would be much appreciated... my countdown is down to less than 3 weeks and I'm psyched!!
(also any route advice?... i.e. Columbia/Monterrey/San Luis Potosi/Guanajuato or Progresso/Ciudad Victoria/San Luis Potosi/Guanajuato)

Thanks much
 

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When we crossed at Progresso, there was no line up and the paperwork was completed efficiently.The town is small and you really cant get lost finding your way out.I am not sure what we did at Matamoros...think we missed the bypass as the signage was not very good.We eventually came out to 180 and stayed the night at a no tell in Ciudad Victoria. If this is your first trip,I would suggest Colombia and the route outlined in the earlier posts.
 

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Thanks, Mr. Chips. That's what I have decided to do. A major factor is that the schedule of the buses from DF to Matehuala would have my girlfriend arriving in the late afternoon (very convenient since that's when I'll be arriving as well) whereas with DF-Ciudad Victoria all buses I could find were overnighters arriving in the wee hours of the morning which is very inconvenient. Your comments just confirm that Colombia is the way to go for many reasons.
 

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Question for Ajijicalf:

Could you give me any more specifics on the location of Villas Real? Is it off of 57? WIll I see it from the highway to make an exit?

Thanks!
 

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You cant see it from the highway but pretty hard NOT to find as it is on the main road through Matehuala .....walled and on a corner....not far from the OXXO which is a good spot to pick up coffee in the morning....400 pesos for the night...they actually have at least one 2 bed room as well for slightly more...room was spotless...crossing at Colombia was a breeze...doesnt appear that the toll road is monitored as my travelling companions did not have a Texas Tag...several police cars ticketing on Hwy 2 so check your speed
 

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Thanks Mr. Chips,
I'm actually writing this from Guanajuato so I found Real Villas and, as you said, it was hard not to see it - it is indeed the only pink castle in town. I agree, the room was spotless and the 400 pesos for 24 hours was a pleasant surprise as I'd read it was 400 for 12 hours. The peace of mind of having my loaded car in an attached locked garage was worth more than that.
For anyone else thinking of stopping there, they do have a room service menu with reasonable prices and they deliver it through a nifty privacy carousel in the wall. We didn't order anything because I thought there would be no food available so we stopped at the supermarket and picked up some dinner fixings which worked out fine too.
The border crossing at Colombia was a breeze except for one anomaly. The father of a family of 3 in line in front of me had the same name as someone who had commited a serious crime in Mexico. They had to spend 45 minutes searching databases to make sure he wasn't the same fellow. With typical Mexican bureaucratic efficiency, they wouldn't move to the next person in line until they resolved the issue so we all had to wait. So much for saving time. Así es la vida mexicana. Otherwise, it was very simple and quick. I second the warning about speeding on Mex-2.
Thanks to everyone for the advice and tips; it made my trip less stressful having an idea what to expect and the Matehuala/Real Villas tip was worth its weight in gold!
 

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Thanks Mr. Chips,
I'm actually writing this from Guanajuato so I found Real Villas and, as you said, it was hard not to see it - it is indeed the only pink castle in town. I agree, the room was spotless and the 400 pesos for 24 hours was a pleasant surprise as I'd read it was 400 for 12 hours. The peace of mind of having my loaded car in an attached locked garage was worth more than that.
For anyone else thinking of stopping there, they do have a room service menu with reasonable prices and they deliver it through a nifty privacy carousel in the wall. We didn't order anything because I thought there would be no food available so we stopped at the supermarket and picked up some dinner fixings which worked out fine too.
The border crossing at Colombia was a breeze except for one anomaly. The father of a family of 3 in line in front of me had the same name as someone who had commited a serious crime in Mexico. They had to spend 45 minutes searching databases to make sure he wasn't the same fellow. With typical Mexican bureaucratic efficiency, they wouldn't move to the next person in line until they resolved the issue so we all had to wait. So much for saving time. Así es la vida mexicana. Otherwise, it was very simple and quick. I second the warning about speeding on Mex-2.
Thanks to everyone for the advice and tips; it made my trip less stressful having an idea what to expect and the Matehuala/Real Villas tip was worth its weight in gold!
Is the Real Villas a "no-tell" as in an amorous rendezvous kind of place? I like the secure parking and room service aspects, but we're traveling with our 6 y.o. child - would it be an appropriate place for us??
 

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Yes, Villas Real is a "no-tell" as in an amorous rendezvous kind of place. The caveat is that the television has mostly "in your face porn." There are, 1 or 2 non=porn channels.

With a 6 year old, I'd go another mile or two south and stay at Las Palmas. It is an older motel, but it is clean, the rooms are located well off the road and you park your car right outside the door to your room. I believe they have a guard also. It also has a decent, sit down restaurant on the premises. The last time we stayed there, I think the room rate was about $75USD/night. Last item, they also have internet access in the lobby.


Is the Real Villas a "no-tell" as in an amorous rendezvous kind of place? I like the secure parking and room service aspects, but we're traveling with our 6 y.o. child - would it be an appropriate place for us??
 

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Yes, it is a "no-tell" but, had I not known that in advance, there isn't much to clue you in. There were dozens of regular non-porn TV channels and we only found porn because we kept clicking to see if it was really there. There was nothing sordid or explicit at all in the room. If the garage parking is really important to you, I'd say it's OK to stay there with a child. However, if a guarded parking lot is just fine for you, then I'd agree with Ajijicalf that Las Palmas would be a better choice because it is a tradition hotel and fairly nice at that (we ate our breakfast there before moving on).
 

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It's about an 11 hour day but you can do San Antonio to San Miguel/Guanajuato in one day. We do it sometimes but have good friends that do it monthly. If you did stop, only Matehuala & SLP are options.
I would use Columbia crossing. You would need have an FM3 and a certified tax list from Mexican Consulate to have any value. I would bring a "cost list" and gut it out with a good story.
Ciudad Victoria is good from Harlingen/Brownsville but not Laredo.
We often drive via Houston to Harlingen. Then is less than 10 hours to San Miguel, a lot easier driving and a lot less tolls. You could go San Antonio to Harlingen via Corpus Christi and then via Ciudad Victoria but certainly a long way around.
 
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