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Thanks for your responses, but I guess I did not make my intended route clear. My reason for crossing at Pharr is to avoid Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey so I will be heading toward Cuidad Victoria and picking up the new toll road to San Luis Potosi ande on from there. Am looking for somethiung in the area Cuid

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TO Mainecoon:

A while back you suggested that we stop at a Travelodge in Pharr, TX, at the end of the day's travel and then head for the border to get what...all our documents and stuff so that the next morning, we can just drive through? Are you saying that the process can be done in steps, not all at once? I hope so, because we will have 3 or 4 cats with us, and having them in a car is not a great idea, even though we won't reach the border until about January 9 or 10. Please excuse if this question sounds silly, but we are neophytes at this (long distance driving and border crossing) and need all the help we can get.

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Yes. Our friends just came down with their dog. They parked the dog in the room and went down to the border, crossed the bridge and got all their paperwork, FMTs and car permit done. It does take some time as returning back through U.S. immigration can be slow but they were able to get up the next day and just buzz right on through. This assumes you get to Pharr early enough to be able to do this before about 4PM or so.

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  • 6 months later...

I will be leaviing from San Antonio on the day of crossing at Pharr. This makes too long a day to drive straight.thru Anyone know of a reasonable stopping place that takes dogs. Checked out La Quinta in San Luis Potosi, but they are quite a ways into town and also pricy. Stayed at Zar a couple of times but their website now is very explicit "NO Mascotas". Any Suggestions Hotel or Notell?

We stopped at La Quinta last year and it was only 60.00 but maybe there price went up? It was brand new hotel and very friendly and super breakfast.

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  • 3 years later...
On ‎2012‎-‎09‎-‎12 at 2:42 PM, Mainecoons said:

I've gotten enough questions about this route so I'll post my directions here:


Here you go:

The Travelodge is pet friendly and easy to find on the internet. Costco is right behind it and a great place for your last gas fill up before you cross the border.

From the TravelLodge on Houston St., return to S. Cage street and turn south. This will take you directly to the Pharr Bridge. As you approach the Mexican point of entry, the trucks go off to the right, you stay towards the center and you'll make a minor jog at end of the bridge and be facing the immigration building on your right and the red/green lights practically in front of you. Pull through the front and park in front of the building. The entry doors are around on the left side of the building. The desk you go to for FMTs is on your right just past the bathrooms. The car permit (I believe) is either in front of you or to the left. Get the FMTs first then the car permit.

Leaving the bridge, you go through the red/green and head south over a bunch of metal topes and then an S curve a little to your left to put you on the road headed south. As you approch the Mexico 2 intersection you'll see a big and pretty new overhead green/white sign directing you straight ahead to Ciudad Victoria via Mex 97. Do that even though it feels strange at first. You'll pass an industrial area on your left, then go over a short rise that puts you on the bypass cuota. The toll is 7 pesos.

Just past the toll booth, you will go up on an overpass that currently dead ends (though you will see road construction in front of you) and take the ramp that will point you south on Mex. 97. This is the SECOND ramp and it is on top of the bridge, not before it.

Now you are going to follow 97 south all the way to 101 where it ends and you will bear to the right at that point onto the 101 towards Ciudad Victoria..

Just AFTER you go through Guemez (it is on your map), you are going to come to the Ciudad Victoria Bypass. It is signed clearly to San Luis Potosi and I believe to Tampico as well. Go over the overpass and exit right onto a sort of retorno that has you cross the road and backtrack to the exit onto the bypass. This will be very clear when you get there, it is all in the space of about a city block. A strange exit. You will end up headed southeast.

Now as I said before, you will go southeast on this road until you come to the exit onto Mexico 70 towards C. Victoria, at this corner is a very nice gas station and big restaurant and plenty of room to walk the dog, go to the bathroom, ect. Then take the exit ramp onto 70 west (also marked for San Luis Potosi), go a couple miles and you come to another overpass with a ramp before it directing you to exit 70 to go to San Luis Potosi. This road now will take you straight ahead to the Ciudad Victoria Corta which is shown on your map south of the Centro. You do not make any more turns for a long, long time now!

So now you rejoin the 101 at the end of the Corta and you are going to drive a long way south. For some inexplicable reason, our Guia does not show the 101 going beyond Mexico 80 just south of Mguel Hildalgo. This is incorrect. When you come to this intersection, there is now an overpass which is signing you straight south for San Luis Potosi. Stay going straight, do not exit onto Mexico 80. Although it is a libre that will also take you over to Mex 57 it is a lousy, rough road clogged with trucks and it is longer. Go straight, pay the modest tolls and you wil save a half hour from this point. Nice bathrooms just past the first toll booth on your right.

The 101 ends and you bear to the right, passing through the second toll booth for a short stretch of toll road that takes you over to the 57. This is clearly signed towards San Luis Potosi. Not sure of the route number of this one but I think it is 75. NOTE--as you approach the cement plant exit a couple miles west on this stretch, slow down as we've seen speed traps here.

As noted previously, as you approach the 57, use the left lane to take the overpass ramp that puts you on the 57 south. As you approach San Luis Potosi, the libre into town is on your right, the cuota bypass is on your left. Go left. At the toll booth, get gas, walk the dog, hit the potties. You're getting close!

Now you are going to start following signs directing you to Guadalajara. You will exit the bypass back onto 57 on the south side of San Luis Potosi and go a very short distance before exiting to your right onto the Corta Cuota towards Villa Arriaga and Guadalajara. Remember to be on the alert for the speed trap in this first section!

As you come to the end of the Corta Cuota at Villa Arriaga, that is where you pick up the new toll road direct to Lagos de Moreno. You will go around a sort of elevated circle, the exit to the new road is on top of this circle. It may not be properly signed but if you look to your left you can easily see the new road. The toll is 90 pesos. If you miss this exit, turn around after you leave the circle and exit onto it from the right hand. You do NOT want to use the old road, it is a dangerous wreck with very bad pavement much of the way.

From there, everything should be obvious. As you exit the new road just on the edge of Lagos de Moreno, you will see a not so well marked sign directing you to go right to go to GDL. That is the Lagos bypass. A crappy road but far better than going through town. It loops around and as you are curving back towards Mex 80 on the far side of Lagos, you come to this somewhat confusing big intersection that requires you to cross and angle sort of to the left to stay on the bypass. Watch out fo this one the traffic from your hard left and soft right does NOT stop. Cross carefully. When you get back to 80, there's a grungy sign directing you to turn right off the bypass onto the GDL road. There's a big Pemex to your right on this corner and this is a very big intersection that most of the traffic will turn right at.

From there, it is Mex 80 to GDL. As you come up on the GDL toll road, be in your right lane.

You'll go about 28 klicks and come to a right hand exit for the cuota to GDL. Take it. Then follow signs to GDL airport and Chapala. The first section of this road is really congested, be very careful! There is a way to bypass all this but it is a bit tricky. Here, we all call it the GDL bypass. If you use it, here is how it works. BTW, you can see these roads on Google Maps.

BEFORE you come to the third toll booth on the GDL highway, there is an exit for Zapotlanejo. It is a LEFT HAND exit that is a bit tricky. Get in the left lane and exit to the left on a sort of retorno. IMMEDIATELY, you must cross the three lanes you see and get in the right lane to exit to Zapotlanejo. Go about a mile and a half, you'll pass a shopping area with its own exit, ignore this, take the SECOND exit. DO NOT MISS THIS EXIT, IT IS A PAIN IN THE BUTT TO GET TURNED AROUND. Now you will be paralleling the toll road. You will go through a small built up area with a couple of topes and a light, then the road opens up into four lane divided. You go quite a ways before coming to another built up area where there is a traffic light. Get into the RIGHT lane before the light, follow the exit just past it to Tepic and the airport. You go around a retorno where there is construction, just keep bearing to the LEFT until you have reversed direction. Take this road until you come to the end, you must go a short distance towards GDL before coming to an overhead retorno so stay in the right lane and take the retorno and now you'll be headed back south towards Chapala and the airport. Close to the mountains, the road splits, the right is signposted to Chapala, take that. As you approach town after going down the backside of the mountain, there is a sign pointing to Ajijic. If that is where you are going, take that. It brings you out between San Antonio and Ajijic with a WalMart right in front of you.

Thank You Thank You

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On 3/25/2013 at 10:44 PM, red river valley said:

I've been making this trip from Texas to Ajijic & have never stopped for anything..............I sail through, have FM3, was never told to stop & get any form, coming or going...................

With Temp/Perm/FM2/FM3 when you leave the country you fill out a tourist form and they stamp it at immigration and give you a part of the form which you turn back in at immigration when you come back.  They use this form to track us when we leave the country.  Same procedure for airplane.

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