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Old 09-17-2013   #1 (permalink)
sandflea
 
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Driving to Playa from LA?

Considering the drive from Los Angeles to Playa for long term move. Would love to hear from those who have done it and their experience. Traveling with our dog and are aware of all requirements but seeking a safe ride
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Old 11-27-2013   #2 (permalink)
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I drove from Las Vegas to here with my dog about 4 months ago... Great trip. It takes longer than it looks on paper for a variety of reasons. Topes (speed bumps) mostly. I wouldn't recommend driving at night and take the toll roads whenever possible. Standard stuff.

I went through Las Cruces, NM and crossed at Laredo. Then down through Monterrey, Tampico, Veracruz, Villahermosa, Chetumal and then up to Playa. Lots of fun!!
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Old 11-30-2013   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playa Steve View Post
I drove from Las Vegas to here with my dog about 4 months ago... Great trip. It takes longer than it looks on paper for a variety of reasons. Topes (speed bumps) mostly. I wouldn't recommend driving at night and take the toll roads whenever possible. Standard stuff.

I went through Las Cruces, NM and crossed at Laredo. Then down through Monterrey, Tampico, Veracruz, Villahermosa, Chetumal and then up to Playa. Lots of fun!!
So how long did it take? I was thinking of doing the same drive because it would be sweet to have a car. The US State Dept warnings have me a bit skurred about driving through some of those border and middle states.
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Old 11-30-2013   #4 (permalink)
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It took me about 6 days - should have been 5 but I got hung up in Monterrey for a day, dealing with a lost bank card. Like I mentioned, I only drove during the day just to be on the safe side. That mostly means road conditions and things like that. Potholes are very prevalent, as are speed bumps, and there can be people and animals wandering around at all hours so it's just better to be able to see what you're dealing with.

The US State Department is a little dramatic. Don't linger around sightseeing in the border towns and don't hang out with people that you shouldn't hang out with and you'll be fine.

Here is a cool blog I found that really puts safety in perspective... Travel Safety in Perspective: USA vs. Mexico - Journey Mexico

Statistically speaking...

• You are 23 times more likely to be murdered in New York than in Mexico, 400
times more likely than in the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas specifically.
• You are 39 times more likely to be murdered in Los Angeles than in Mexico,
683 times more likely than in the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas
specifically.
• You are 62 times more likely to be murdered in Miami than in Mexico, 1083
times more likely than in the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas specifically.
• You are 152 times more likely to be murdered in Detroit than in Mexico, 2627
times more likely than in the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas specifically.
*numbers calculated from 2009 FBI Crime Statistics
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Old 11-30-2013   #5 (permalink)
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Hey thanks for the reply. Yeah, I know I shouldn't put too much stock into what the State Dept says. I live in San Diego and drive around Tijuana and nearby Baja California a fair amount so I'm pretty familiar with Mexican driving and roads. I really like the idea of driving down, I might have to rethink my plans.
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Old 11-30-2013   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by __daniel__ View Post
Hey thanks for the reply. Yeah, I know I shouldn't put too much stock into what the State Dept says. I live in San Diego and drive around Tijuana and nearby Baja California a fair amount so I'm pretty familiar with Mexican driving and roads. I really like the idea of driving down, I might have to rethink my plans.
Tijuana is one of the worst places - any border town has exponentially higher risk than any other area in Mexico. Any place down here around Playa del Carmen is as safe as it gets!
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Old 11-30-2013   #7 (permalink)
sandflea
 
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TJ/Baja is not currently as bad as Juarez or some of the Texas border towns. And I'm really only concerned about the part of the drive near the border and then some of those long lonely stretches until you get to central Mexico around the San Luis Potosi latitude. I'm not at all worried about Playa; I've been, it's chill enough.
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Old 11-30-2013   #8 (permalink)
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That was my concern as well. I hit the border crossing at Laredo just after sun up with a full tank of gas and was in Monterrey before I knew it. My only stop in between was at a Pemex so I could grab some pesos out of an ATM for the toll roads. I liked driving those long stretches between Monterrey and the gulf (but that is different from the western ones you are referring to)... I got to eat some really good food at some random village road side stands and from everything that I saw or experienced, it was all safe.

I didn't take any unnecessary risks and kept my eyes open but overall it was a fun drive. Other than getting lost for a while in Monterrey and having the highway completely turn into a residential street in Tampico, it was a lot of fun.
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Old 12-02-2013   #9 (permalink)
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Another great read about the safety of travel in Mexico:

Is it safe to visit Mexico? - Casa de Sueno Playa del Carmen
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Old 12-02-2013   #10 (permalink)
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monterrey can be a bad place to get lost
glad you found your way!
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Old 12-03-2013   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playa Steve View Post
Here is a cool blog I found that really puts safety in perspective... Travel Safety in Perspective: USA vs. Mexico - Journey Mexico

Statistically speaking...

• You are 23 times more likely to be murdered in New York than in Mexico, 400
times more likely than in the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas specifically.
• You are 39 times more likely to be murdered in Los Angeles than in Mexico,
683 times more likely than in the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas
specifically.
• You are 62 times more likely to be murdered in Miami than in Mexico, 1083
times more likely than in the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas specifically.
• You are 152 times more likely to be murdered in Detroit than in Mexico, 2627
times more likely than in the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas specifically.
*numbers calculated from 2009 FBI Crime Statistics

And in Chicago, you'll probably just get murdered!
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Old 01-03-2014   #12 (permalink)
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I drove from Toronto to Playa... one of the most incredible adventures of my life, just me and the dog and the open road... I loved it so much I want to do it again some day!

My best advice is drive in the daylight and take your time, get out of the car and look around... you'll see some amazing things.
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