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Old 12-17-2008   #11
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
My 0.02 cents: there is a greater risk to traveling in Mexico right now than in recent history; particularly anywhere near the US border. Even way south near Guatemala, locals say crime is up. Traveling a night is simply asking for it. Kidnapping is mostly a Mexican on Mexican crime. Even short trips at night is asking for it. Weigh these risks against the rewards of adventure.

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Old 12-17-2008   #12
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1994
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There is some useful information and tips on specific regions and issues here at the Canadian Consulate Site. Travel Report for Mexico

Like everyone has said here, it is more than likely to be cool and safe, but there's always that what if. I traveled that a-way a few years ago, crossing at Columbus/Palomas (which was a breeze) in New Mexico and re-entering the states at McAllen/Reynosa which was still hectic and stressful (even though it is rumored to be much more laid back than Brownsville/Matamoros).

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Old 12-17-2008   #13
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Durango, Colorado
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Thanks for all of the tips, links and advice. Still a little nervous, but I think we are going for it. We decided to get a hotel in Brownsville the night before and cross early the next morning, get away from the border area, then stay in Valles. Looking at a map, it looks like the International Bridge in Matamoros allows an easy loop around downtown and quick access to Hwy 180 and away from the border. I looked at the Pharr crossing, but it seems like it would be more difficult to get on a major highway headed south. Hopefully there will be enough day light left to check out a few of the sites near Valles (Micos, Santa Maria, etc).

Any advice on Valles to Mexico City? I was thinking of taking Hwy 85 (Pan American), but Hwy 120 looks gorgous on google earth. I am meeting up with a family from Durango, CO outside of Mexico City (San Juan del Rio area). We will be staying with his sister, so I shouldn't have to be around Mexico City too much without a local guide. Then we are going to go back via Palomas.

We are going to be helping out at a shelter outside of Mexico City, giving the kids some simple toys and hygiene items. I thought it would be a great cultural experience for my kids (seeing how other kids in the world live and how well they have it in Colorado).
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Old 12-17-2008   #14
Denver, Colorado
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Getting robbed by cabbies is fairly common in Mexico City,thats why i recommended walking near your hotel at night,maybe have your hotel call a cabbie they trust then call the same guy to return, most have cell phones now.At the airport you buy an official cab ticket at a kiosk, i like public transportation best but if you are lugging bags around you are very conspicuous and encumbered you need to get shed of them ,at the hotel not due to theft.

Borders are magnets for scumbags,the road between Cayo ,Bz. and Tikal/Flores,Guat. is notorious for banditry,THEY KNOW YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR ELEMENT AND HAVE MONEY /VALUABLES ON YOU.About 5 years ago some Guatemaltecos held up 26? vehicles on the road from Bullet Tree Falls to El Pilar archaeological site[guat and bz] a few miles inside Belize,essentially took over the road for a few hours,robbed every car, then just disappeared into the jungle over the border.Usually it is private vehicles and tour vehicles that get robbed a lot more often than collectivos and chicken buses.There are a lot of wild west type semi lawless areas scattered around Mexico /C A.I think taking toll roads in Mexico helps some.Still the overwhelming majority of people experience only minor hassles.
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Old 12-17-2008   #15
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Durango, Colorado
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There isn't anything mentioned here about crossing at Nogales and taking Mex 15D (a toll road) to San Carlos. Does anyone know if the situation is better/ worse in this area? I'm planning on truck camping on the beach- is that also a bad idea? I camped on the beach in Rocky Point a few years ago and it was fine, but that was during Spring Break. I don't know how populated it will be next week.
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Old 12-17-2008   #16
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Durango, Colorado
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Here's some fairly current info on Nogales:

Danger at Nogales border? ... - Thorn Tree Travel Forum - Lonely Planet

We have friends who drive to their place outside Mazatlan several times a year. They take that road and said it's very good... except for getting past the sprawl of Hermosillo.

Don't know San Carlos, but years ago I camped with friends in Bahia Kino, which is a little north of San Carlos/Guaymas. Kino was cool and completely uncrowded back then. We tent camped in an "RV" park in Kino Nuevo... after a particularly hilarious adventure hitching from Hermosillo.
You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you. - Heraclitus of Ephesus
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Old 12-17-2008   #17
Salt Lake City, Utah
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I drove that road back in January. Camping on the beach there is a bad idea - Guaymas is a rough town and is too close. Look for an RV park that will let you camp in your truck - its worth the small amount of money.

The road itself is no problem, and the border crossing is very easy. Make sure to stop and get your Sonora vehicle pass at the customs station around KM24. One nice thing about crossing at Nogales is that if you are headed inland, you don't actually go anywhere near the town itself.

Its a long drive from the border to Guaymas, so get a very early start or spend a night in Hermosillo. There is really nothing else at all between the border and Guaymas, and it would be a bad highway to drive at night.
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Old 12-17-2008   #18
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Summit, Colorado
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broach the subject delicately if necessary,if they try to take you in " no podemos/puedo pagar aqui/ahorita ?"
Excellent advice. Last trip, I got off for $20 and 15 minutes with this one versus the 4-7 hours and $150 it would have cost me to jump through all the official hoops they wanted me to.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 12-17-2008   #19
No seas pendejo
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Bonedale, Ra'do
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Check Point Ease

Want to grease those military checkpoints? A little tip I picked up before driving all through Baja. Collect some old Playboy mags and right before each checkpoint stick one under the drivers seat. You should see the smiles on those boys when they discover this little treasure. No doubt they will take a look at your seat area first during the search. When they pick up the mag, you can say, "La quieres? Un regalo." Worked every time, never waited more than 5 minutes at a check point. Safe journey...
salvation is in the mind, be mindful at all times
J. Kerouac
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Old 12-17-2008   #20
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Uncle B View Post
La quieres? Un regalo
uncle b, u rock! lets go 2 mehico!

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