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Driving to lake Chappala from Canada

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Ramblingrivers
12/30/2018 10:31 EST

My wife and I would like to drive to lake Chapalla in Jan 2019 . Is it safe and what is the best border crossing . Thinking of Laredo!
Any info would be appreciated .
Ramblingrivers

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RVGRINGO
12/30/2018 11:29 EST

Just head south, and you may very well end up crossing at Laredo and continuing on to Guadalajara and Lake Chapala from there. The route will be obvious, via San Luis Potosi, and autopista toll roads most of the way. Just keep your tank half full, stop and smell a few roses along the way, and enjoy the trip. The only real danger will be snow and ice at the beginning, and road rage on crowded highways in the USA. Otherwise; a piece of cake.

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NilesS
12/30/2018 21:48 EST

As long as you follow the standard advice: don't drive at night, stay on the main highways, bring hard to find auto parts along, and be prepared for military roadblocks (at least we hope they're military) = you'll be fine.

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YellowTail
12/31/2018 06:27 EST

Perhaps we don't go to the right places but we have seen very few military road stops in Mexico - and most all of those were along the coast in Guerrero ...

When we drove down through Laredo en route to Mexico City we _were_ stopped at least twice by Federales. One guy even passed us by in the opposite direction and then crossed the grassy median to stop us. I have to admit - my pulse was probably elevated - but they were just interested in our well-being (making sure we knew where we were going etc).

Over the years there have been many times when we have been driving on wet/icy highways with dense fog. Truly perilous conditions high in the mountains. Often we have seen a Federale driving very slowly with his flashing lights going. Sure you can pass him by going 100+ kph but it might be smart to fall in behind him and let him lead the way,

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Ramblingrivers
12/31/2018 08:06 EST

Thanks for replying! Any problems at the border and where would you recommend to stay over nite between Laredo and Aliliic Lake Chapalla..

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NilesS
12/31/2018 10:11 EST

Here's a link to a route that might be helpful. Cheers.

https://www.accesslakechapala.com/guide/driving-in-mexico/driving-instructions-from-laredo-to-chapala/

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Retiree2
12/31/2018 14:17 EST

Hotel Concordia in Centro de San Luis Potosi was closed for a year being completely remodled. The whole inside was gutted and rebuilt. All new everything including windows, doors, restaurant, lobby and coffee house. It will cost about $1,500 pesos for 2 people at least. It used to cost about $550.00.

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YellowTail
12/31/2018 15:04 EST

We had all the time in the world and it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We spent the first night in Saltillo at the Quinta Real (nice place, very secure parking). We spent the second night in Queretaro.

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Ramblingrivers
12/31/2018 15:29 EST

Appreciate all the help and guidance ! Thanks!

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Ramblingrivers
1/2/2019 17:04 EST

Thanks for the driving info from Laredo to Lake Chappala by Kevin Paulini. I was looking for his email at end of site but could not locate it. Would anyone have it so I can e-mail for some current info! Gracias!

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RVGRINGO
1/4/2019 11:37 EST

I suggest that you order, online, a copy of Guia Roji, Gran Atlas de carreteras de Mexico. It is an excellent atlas of Mexico's highways, and will make planning your trip, and side trips, a breeze. There have been rumors of the company's bankruptcy, but you may be able to find a copy on their site, or from others.

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Ramblingrivers
1/7/2019 09:52 EST

Hello again ! Could someone recommend where and how to get vehicle insurance for driving in Mexico. We are coming from Canada!
Someone mentioned to get auto insurance and tourist visa when we cross border at Laredo.
Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks. We were going to stay in Laredo and cross in morning ? Your thoughts!

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grapenut
1/7/2019 09:56 EST

GET MEX INSURANCE.. IF U DONT HAVE IT AND U R IN AN ACCIDENT, IT DONT MATTER WHOSE FAULT IT IS 'U GO TO JAIL!

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Bollocks54
1/7/2019 12:16 EST

I spoke to my US carrier, Geico, prior to leaving the US, They have a recipricol Mexican insurance carrier, that they provided me with, and they took care of me immediately....e mailed the policy, which I downloaded. FAR easier than doing while in transit. DON’’T travel in Mexico without proper , independent coverage....

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YellowTail
1/7/2019 12:38 EST

When we left the US we had our Auto Insurance via AAA. It was an excellent policy. AAA had (has) a relationship with some large Mexican Ins. company - don't remember which any longer. I purchased the Mexican Ins from a link off the AAA site. There was one wrinkle when it came to the length of the policy. There was very little difference in price from a short term or annual policy. And - there was no such thing as getting reimbursed for time not used. I suspect you could purchase a policy through CAA.

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RVGRINGO
1/7/2019 13:00 EST

You must have auto insurance from a Mexican carrier. Be sure that hou have liability coverage and the legal assistance coverage, so that you can avoid waiting in jail, in most accident cases that are not terribly serious, and not your fault. Note that driving after drinking can void your coverage, as can having a lapsed Importada Temporal for the vehicle, or even an expired or lost tourist permit or visa. There are no grace periods in Mexico, and you must dot all the i and t details very carefully; even to being sure your name is exactly the same on all documents, just like your passport, license and credit card, etc.

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NilesS
1/7/2019 17:30 EST

There are plenty of ways to get Mexican insurance, online or at the border. It's real easy, but you'll need your car title, if I'm not mistaken. Sanborns is one of the most well-known in Mexico, but there are plenty of others.

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NilesS
1/7/2019 21:07 EST

there is a recommended amount of coverage to carry, but I do not remember what that is off hand, and it probably has changed. I was advised to go with the highest coverage I could afford, as you don't want to come up short in case of a problem.

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Ramblingrivers
1/8/2019 12:04 EST

Thanks! Does anyone know whether a visitors visa is required when we cross the border?

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longtimelurker
1/8/2019 15:16 EST

Yes. You need an FMM for each person and a TIP for your car.

RVG, Guia Roji is out of date the day it is printed. I don't know anyone who purchases those maps anymore. Google maps works great.

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RVGRINGO
1/8/2019 20:23 EST

Yes, all maps are out of date, even before they are printed. However, Guia Roji's atlas was very handy on many occasions. Even now, we do not have the ability to "Google" in our car. Maps and charts have served me well on land, sea and air. I never have used GPS, which is useless when the batteries die at sea after a swamping.....then you die too. Knowing how to use a sextant can be quite useful, with a waterproof chronometer.

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longtimelurker
1/9/2019 09:45 EST

A sextant and a waterproof chronometer? Let's live in the 50's.

We are not talking about sailing the seven seas, we are talking about driving to Lakeside in the year 2019.

A smartphone (which 95% of of us own) and FREE google maps is the way to go.

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RVGRINGO
1/9/2019 13:14 EST

OK Lurker,
Not all of us have those gadgets, and some even consider them toys. In my case, my vision prevents using such small screens, and I depend upon a 27 inch computer screen, and its voice, on occasion. Of course, I was an adult before computers and definitely before GPS. Since those things were not available, we learned the languages, mathematics and the techniques of the day. I flew various types of planes, and now some youngsters are amazed that I could fly what they call, "taildragers". We just called them airplanes. Then, tricycle gear came along. Unfortunately, I am now only able to navigate an adult tricycle, with electric assist.
If you have any further impertinent questions for your elders, I may be able to help you; although my willingness to respond may be slipping. Respect is a valuable asset, which you might find useful in developing relationships.

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YellowTail
1/9/2019 15:21 EST

Sure I have used Google maps on my laptop but on my android cell phone I use "Here". It lets me download the entire map of Mexico to the external SD card and I can use the app in 'offline' mode.

I've been in a lot of taxis in Mexico City that use Waze...

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longtimelurker
1/11/2019 10:46 EST

Yellow, I downloaded Here WeGo and the offline map. It looks like a very good app, thanks for the tip.

" Respect is a valuable asset, which you might find useful in developing relationships. "

RVG, You have been sharing your life on several expat/Mexico forumsfor about a decade. You haven't lived in Mexico for about 5 years. You give terrible advice on most subjects. I will continue to try and protect people trying to follow your terrible advice. I have NO RESPECT FOR YOU.

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