Mexico Expat Forum - Driving from the U.S. to Merida

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Susan5
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6/22/2011 16:19    
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We have fallen in love with Merida and are considering retiring there next year. I am concerned about the drive though. We have 2 large German Shepherds that will make the move with us..hence the drive instead of flying. I have several questions and am hoping someone has made the trip recently and can fill me in. How long of a trip is it from Brownsville to Merida?
What time of day should we cross the border?
Are the main roads still safe from the border to the Yucatan?
Or..should we forget driving and just pay the price to fly the dogs?
Thanks!
Susan

cupcake45
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6/22/2011 19:08    
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Great question. I would like to know what responses you get. Also would like to know what attracted you to Merida.

Susan5
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6/22/2011 23:22    
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We actually went there on Vacation 2 years ago. Wanted a place that was warm, away from the tourist hot spots, but close to the beach. We were really taken by how vibrant the city is, how much there is to do all the time, great restaurants, art, history, culture, everything! What makes us want to move there is all of that plus the excellent health care...Star Medica hospital, cost of living, fresh food markets and the people. We always feel safe in Merida. It's a quick flight from the U.S. so we can get back quickly or our kids can visit us easily. We've made 2 trips and are going down for 6 weeks in Sep/Oct to explore neighborhoods and look for a long-term furnished rental. My only question is whether to drive or not.

todoslarry
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6/24/2011 15:50    
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I live here in Tulum. I made that drive last fall form Austin to Tulum in 4 days. Great drive easy to do and loads of fun. There were no safety issues at all!!!
Your 2 dogs are the best thing that you can have fo traveling partners. Mexicans are by nature afraid of large dogs, my lab is 120 lbs and all muscle and he freaked them out at first even though he would lick them before he ever thought of biting anyone. When he stuck his big head out the window everyone and i mean all stepped way back and smiled.
The Federales, local policia and Immigraation were all nice and polite.
Learn to say " amigo pero" friendly dog.
I run an expat service here- www.gringosinparadise.com.mx check it out. I can offer you lots of tips and great medical ins. advise.
Embrace the change, it's all good. Your one of the lucky smart few getting out while they still can. It going to get real ugly up north over the next 2 years. You will slow down and learn to enjoy life here again and yes its does cost less 30-40 % or more depending upon your needs or wants.
I love it here, everytime i go back it feels less and less like home sadly.
I just drove mt friends car down from LA all the way last week, and even better road trip than my last.

ml500
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6/25/2011 11:02    
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I have made the trip several times, traveling through Tampico & Vera Cruz. The trip is really nice traveling through the small villages but you can get lost quite easily in Tampico and Vera Cruz. The quickest & Safest way would be to take Hwy 57 out of Monterray and go until you reach the Pueblo Cuota Road several miles South of Queretaro. This cuota road is only 3 years old and takes you to the main east & west quota road that takes you to Villa de Hermosa. The scenery is magnificant especially when you cross the mountains east of Puebla. We live in a small Mayan Village east of Merida and we love it here.

Susan5
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6/25/2011 13:12    
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Wow, great to know our huge traveling companions will be an asset! They love to ride in the car so this should be quite the adventure for them.

Susan5
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6/25/2011 13:17    
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Thanks for the reply. We're definitely going to check out the Motul area when we're there this fall. I really liked what we saw. We drove around out there last October but failed to find a subdivision that had been listed on a realtor's website. I also do not like the traffic. But one of the reasons for trying to be close to Centro is being able to grab a cab to get around. Guess we could drive into the shopping center from Motul and snag a cab there.

Susan5
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6/25/2011 13:24    
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About the dogs. While your lab might lick someone to death my GSD's are perro malo unless they know you. Once you are a friend THEN they will lick you to death. They do NOT like anyone approaching the car or us and will freak out barking and throwing themselves at the car windows. Do you think that is going to be a problem with the check point soldiers and/or the police?

ltroshinsky
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7/29/2011 18:43    
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I will be driving from Tucson to Guaymas. Safe?

Anyone familiar with Guaymas area?

ids
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9/1/2011 01:53    
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Wishing you luck. We will be doing that drive soon also. Checking out retirement locations. We will also be moving our 2 dogs and they seem to have same traits yours do when someone approches the car.Go nuts first ask questions after Mom has a fit,but we have tried a squirt bottle with them and it seems to get there attention so they will listen to you.Please let me know how your trip goes as i think we are going in October. Wishing you a safe trip. I can be reached by email idsundberg@gmail.com

todoslarry
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9/1/2011 08:20    
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Remember you will have a good time, enjoy this experience. We just drove over from Tulum to Lake Chapala a 1,400 mile trip went thru many Army or Federale inspections with the same outcome as usual for us, smile be polite their just doing their job making you safe.
I have logged many thousands of mile driving here in Mexico with NEVER a bad incident. My !000 lb Lab is always a help as 90% of all Mexicans are extremely cautious about big dogs or perro. Check out my new and vastly improved website, www.gringosinparadise.com.mx
Be safe and have fun, you will love the trip.
Larry

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