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Old 04-05-2017   #1 (permalink)
sandflea
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 4
Driving from Calgary to Riviera Maya

Hello All! I'm new to the forum... My wife and I live just outside of Calgary and we vacation in Mexico yearly...

We're thinking of spending the whole winter in the Riviera Maya area next year...

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

TIA,

Josh
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Old 04-06-2017   #2 (permalink)
life=playa
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Playa del Carmen
Posts: 677
Quote:
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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Old 04-30-2017   #3 (permalink)
sandflea
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 4
Thanks for the reply Drew!

If we do drive, we'll likely be two couples traveling together with a vehicle each... We will be bringing our dog with us so we're looking for some suggestions for hotels along the way.

I've planned out a tentative route:
* Day 1: Calgary to Denver
* Day 2: Denver to El Paso
* Day 3: El Paso to Jimenez
* Day 4: Jimenez to San Luis Potosi
* Day 5: San Luis Potosi to Cordoba
* Day 6: Cordoba to Ciudad del Carmen
* Day 7: Ciudad del Carmen to Akuaml
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Old 05-10-2017   #4 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by josh_edwards View Post

I've planned out a tentative route:
* Day 1: Calgary to Denver
* Day 2: Denver to El Paso
* Day 3: El Paso to Jimenez
* Day 4: Jimenez to San Luis Potosi
* Day 5: San Luis Potosi to Cordoba
* Day 6: Cordoba to Ciudad del Carmen
* Day 7: Ciudad del Carmen to Akuaml
Can help with some comments. Day 3 and 4 are all a blur in my memeory, pretty empty out there from what I do recall (only have done it once, the rest I've done multiple times). Day 5 will be pretty easy as long as you do not miss the Arco and head into Mexico City. The toll is high and there is nothing on the Arco (it runs out into the country) but it beats trying to drive the city. The drive down the mountain can be "fun" if it is rainy or foggy. I have been stopped at the start of it for 9hr while they cleaned up a multi truck accident. The road from Villa Hermosa to Ciudad del Carmen is short but more topes per KM than many places, plan on it being slow.

Only time I've tried to find pet friendly was in Puebla and I used the Holiday Inn. Max sleeps in the camper most of the time.
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