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Old 04-06-2017   #2 (permalink)
DrewJones's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Playa del Carmen
Posts: 739
Originally Posted by josh_edwards View Post
I'm looking for some advice on a driving route from the US boarder to the Riviera - surely there are some peeps on the forum who've done this successfully

Sounds like a fun trip!

I've driven from Mexico City to Cancun, so no quite as long as your trip, but long enough.

Assuming you just want to drive through and not tour around a lot, I'd estimate that 90%+ of you trip will be made on the very high quality toll roads. Pretty much every major route has a Libre (free) and a Cuota (toll road). Unless you really want some adventure, I'd recommend doing the toll roads the entire way. They are usually 2 lanes each direction with a shoulder. Your toll includes insurance, so keep your receipt. They are maintained well. Road side assistance is available (I forget the phone number, but it's posted often). Outside of busy cities, the flow of traffic will be pretty fast, as usually the only people that pay the tolls are the ones who afford decent cars. I think the rate is something like 100 - 200 pesos per hour, I forget.

Daylight driving only is generally recommended. Finding a hotel is very easy if you don't have pets or kids, and you're willing to stay in a family run place. Usually those are a few hundred pesos, and no reservation is needed. If you have pets, you'll want to find places in advance. If you have kids or just want to stay at a nicer place, there are plenty of 1000 - 2000 peso places in the cities.

The area between Villahermosa and Campeche is the only place I recall where there isn't a good toll option, so there you're on some "rougher" roads, though overall it wasn't that difficult. But there are speed bumps that seemingly come out of nowhere. Toll roads have very few bikes, kids selling stuff on the roads, dogs, etc... but once you get to the free roads these driving hazards abound. I feel like I saw 3 or 4 accidents on the 6 hours or so of free road I drove, and not a single one on the toll roads.

The toll roads are also better than the free roads at having garbage bins available, but still it's best to bring your own small garbage bags.

The US and Canadian governments keep pretty good up to date travel advice and warnings. If you must drive through a danger area, just fill up with gas in the major city, and drive straight through during daylight.
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