Best driving route from W Coast US to Guanajuato
02-08-2018, 06:37 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-08-2018, 06:39 PM by kimmy.)
Best driving route from W Coast US to Guanajuato
What route do people recommend for driving down to Guanajuato from California? A couple of friends in their late 70s have asked--they have a car with US plates. Their emphasis is on safety 1st and speed 2nd... so I'm imagining tollways wherever possible. They don't mind driving along the US border heading east (Arizona? New Mexico? Texas?) if the route is safer. Also, if there are any recommended places to spend the night on the Mexican side heading south to break the trip up into more manageable chunks, that info would also be much appreciated. Thank you!
02-09-2018, 01:35 AM,
RE: Best driving route from W Coast US to Guanajuato
I can't help with driving from the West Coast but because you did mention that the people desiring to visit were in their late 70's, I'll contribute the following for your use or discard.

Make sure they are in shape, there are a lot of stairs here. Also I hope they have driven in Mexico before. When I was younger I could never get coordinated while driving to look left, right, up, down, forward and backward or adding to that, being foolish enough to think I'd be able to watch the scenery as I did so. I've been driving in Mexico for some years now and am not really that much better - still miss about every 30th tope. One day I'm going to miss the wrong one and bend my frame. The suspension is all to hell already anyway. Impossible to keep a fine tuned car here at least in the suspension department.

And before anyone out there famous for pouncing on me does so, this is reality folks. You can come here, you can enjoy the city, you can have the time of your life but be a Boy Scout - Be Prepared. Logically speaking, it probably doesn't matter to anyone else what we personally are able to do physically, it's up to the individuals visiting as to their capabilities. And I don't mean to ruin anyone's trip because you'll do that on your own if you're not prepared. Stair climbing, light aired high elevation, underground driving with no GPS in tunnels and complicated routes around the city, it's not for the lighthearted. So take a challenge or take caution while being prepared.
02-09-2018, 01:41 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-09-2018, 01:56 AM by DonJuane.)
RE: Best driving route from W Coast US to Guanajuato
Also, the Facebook group "On The Road In Mexico" has a majority of members who drive down from the western area of the US to other western Mexican destinations so if no one here is able to help you with directions, I'd check there. For the most part, the roads are still better in the US than in Mexico and let's see at about 17 pesos a liter, saying 4 liters per gallon would be around 68 pesos per gallon or around $3.40 per gallon, so you do the math if driving across the US is a better deal or not (uncertain of gas prices in your area).

Not telling you what to do but forecasting what I would like best as I age, I would somehow get across the border and buy a series of bus tickets with no intercity run longer than about 6-8 hours and create an interesting matrix of stop overs and inexpensive hotels all along the way. The buses have bathrooms and almost all beat the heck out of a car seat. Plus you can actually watch the scenery. Anyway before I go further, it depends on what they want before I can offer advise. You know, do they want to tour the copper canyon, to get here as fast as possible without sight seeing on the way down, do they want to skirt the beach initially, well there are too many options.

(And for my lurker fans out there who so often gracefully critique my woeful prose "There just too much to see waiting in front of me and I've seen more than I can recall". Changes in Latitudes, Jimmy Buffet)
02-09-2018, 01:51 AM,
RE: Best driving route from W Coast US to Guanajuato
Probably El Paso TX crossing and taking the toll roads.
02-09-2018, 01:00 PM,
RE: Best driving route from W Coast US to Guanajuato
The way I did it was the Google Maps-recommended (as of four years ago) route: Nogales to Guaymas, down the coast to Mazatlán, then Tepic, Guadalajara, and here. I strongly recommend using a GPS to get through Guadalajara.

Places to break up the trip? Mazatlán, obviously. I stopped in Guaymas, which is not one of Mexico's garden spots, but nearby San Carlos is supposed to be nice.
02-09-2018, 02:16 PM,
RE: Best driving route from W Coast US to Guanajuato
If safety is truly paramount, I would avoid the West Coast route, which takes one through several sketchy cities, not to mention the labyrinth of Guadalajara, and drive first to Laredo, TX, then head south from there. I never remember the highway numbers, but the route is obvious, toward Monterrey and then San Luis Potosí. Just be careful to take the toll road that goes around Monterrey and, similarly, the libramiento around SLP. If one fails to do so, getting lost is likely, and getting ticketed for DWF (driving while foreign) is almost guaranteed. A convenient overnight stop roughly halfway along that route is Matehuala. If you avoid the libramiento there and stay on the main highway, a popular hotel, right on the highway and on the northern end of town, is Las Palmas. I prefer to go into downtown Matehuala, but that would be a little complicated for first-timers.
02-10-2018, 07:10 PM,
RE: Best driving route from W Coast US to Guanajuato
We've done your trip too many times to count, having relocated to GTO from Phoenix with many trips for home construction, then moving and now family visits.
For reasons offered above staying in USA and crossing in west or south Texas has been preferred route. The key is that bypass around, way around Monterrey. Make that work and the trip while long is just miles and scenery.
The west coast route is more diverse but just navigating thru GDLA gives me fried nerves.
You will have 10-12 hours driving in Mexico depending on crossing point and almost all can be on exxellent quality and well patrolled toll autopistas. Thus Matehuala becomes an easy mid point and overnight stop. Its a trip you will love and never forget.
Once here for a while you will see that a yearly "border run" can be a single ten hour sprint without cares.
02-11-2018, 06:32 PM,
RE: Best driving route from W Coast US to Guanajuato
Both LA & Oakland have dyerct flights at very reasonable rates on Volaris a no frills airline. I have never had a problem with them leaving OAK at 2:00 AM arriving BJX at arounf 6:30 with the time change. ust a option.

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