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Travis

No, really....best driving route to San Miguel de Allende from here?

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I asked in a recent thread about the best driving route between San MIguel de Allende and Chapala, best being defined as easiest/fastest/least potential for traffic congestion. Three people answered with three different routes!

Mainecoons went toward Lagos de Moreno, and cut over on the Leon toll road, then onto Guanajuato City, and further to San Miguel (with two options on that section).

More Liana suggested taking the cuota all the way toward Morelia, exiting there, but heading north toward Salamanca (on the new toll road, then cutting east toward Celaya, then heading north to San Miguel.

And Bisbee Gal, who drove it last month, recommended the same cuota toward Morelia initially, but exiting at La Piedad, and taking a new L.P. bypass, then heading to Irapuato, Celaya and up to SMA. She wrote this:

"Take the road to Ocotlan then get on the cuota towards La Piedad. There is a new semi-bypass around La Piedad; it wasn't that well marked as it was just being finished, but it saves you going through La Piedad. Then look for signs to Irapuato, which you will also skirt. You'll exit the cuota in Celaya, then continue on to SMA. It's a pleasant and easy drive. We don't speed and it takes us 4 hours 15 minutes on average."

Since I've driven most of the first two routes (to and from Guanajuato City), I'm inclined to take the route Bisbee Gal outlines. At least it includes some new asphalt. :) And it sounds easy and quick, 4 hours 15 minutes seems unbeatable. Anybody else want to weigh in on the topic? Or alternatively, I'd especially appreciate any clues on how to identify the new, poorly signed La Piedad semi-bypass which I have a feeling is the key to the easy and quick part.

Thanks!

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Just let your Garmin tell you how to get there.

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Upon re-reading my original directions, I realize that I may have mischaracterized the description of the "new bypass." There is a new "sort of bypass" on the return route, but the "bypass" towards San Miguel is an existing one, and fairly well marked.

Here's the way we went:

Take the Guad/Chapala highway to the exit toward Ocotlan/La Barca (rt 35).

At Ocotlan go north to the cuota (15D) and go East toward Morelia/Mexico.

At the Zamora interchange go North toward Irapuato/La Piedad

When you get near La Piedad, look for a sign pointing to the Left indicating Irapuato and a few other destinations. Take this road to the Left which may seem counterintuitive, especially because the road is small, full of potholes, and looks like it is going nowhere.

After a while this road will swing back to the East, and you will hit a major intersection. Take a Right and you will be heading South back toward La Piedad. I don't remember exactly, but after 3-4 long blocks look for signs indicating a Left towards Irapuato and other destinations, maybe Penjamo, Salamanca, etc.

Take this Left and you will soon cross a small toll bridge. Shortly you will cross under an industrial looking overpass (remember this for the return trip) and hit another major intersection (this is the other main road back to La Piedad) where you take a Left towards the same destinations.

Before long it will turn into a cuota.

The rest of the way is well marked cuota, you skirt Irapuato, then there are 2 highways East, take the second, (15D), where the Irapuato bypass ends and go north to SMA at Celaya.

The return trip is just the reverse until you approach La Piedad. Before you get to the intersection at the industrial looking overpass look for a sign to Guad, etc on the right. This will take you down the "new bypass", which is just a newly paved existing neighborhood road that will end the toll bridge road, where you take a Right. If you miss this sign, make sure you take a Right at the overpass intersection.

The trip before our last, we missed the first sign and Guad had been painted over at the overpass intersection, so we didn't take it and we ended up spending nearly an hour getting thru La Piedad because of construction.

After the toll bridge you will hit the same intersection you came thru on the way to SMA. There will be 2 signs for Guad, Take the Right, (the Left will take you back thru La Piedad). 3-4 long blocks and look for a Left to Guad. This is the same crappy old bypass road you took on the way up.

Just follow the signs to Zamora, 15D cuota, etc. (make sure to follow signs to Guad/ cuota, there are other back roads that go to Guad)When you hit the cuota go Right and just reverse the first leg of the trip.

These details may make the trip sound complicated, but it's not!

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Fantastic! Thank you so much for the explicit details Bisbee Gal. Much appreciated. Fortunately, there are two of us in the car, so one can be a co-pilot for the swing around La Piedad. The rest of it sounds super easy. (And yes, written directions always sound more complicated than they are.) Still, it does sound like there are some opportunities for semi-punishing wrong turns, so I really appreciate your efforts to make it clear.

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We have driven every route there is, to and from SMA to Ajijic. We moved to SMA from Ajijic but have a house to maintain in Ajijic so we return for a week or so quite often.

On Sundays, which is pretty much truck free, we go to Ocotlán from Ajijic then jog over to the tollroad then exit it to La Piedad, then to Penjamo, then towards Irapuato but bypassing it, then taking the tollroad bypassing Salamanca on 45D east, then bypassing Celaya to the north, and on to SMA.

Other days we go to Ocotlán then jog over to the tollroad and take it to Morelia then north across the lake to the same tollroad 45D. It's costs more and is farther but you can drive 90mph so the trip time is about the same. GPS often makes nasty mistakes so we use it but always check a detail paper map as well for any unknown trips in Mexico.

Hint: Stop at Lake Taco in Ajijic and get the Marlin Tacos to go. We don't get very far without a taco snack from them, then finish them all off just before Morelia.

Steve

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I prefer Maincoon's route and have driven it many many times. It is hassle free. Four hours door (La Nueva Posada) to door (Atascadero, SMA) every time. The back way over the mountains from Guanajuato is interesting but takes more time. After exiting the toll road at Guanajuato, keep to your right and follow the signs for SMA.

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Drove the route through La Piedad yesterday and it was 5 hours door-to-door from our place in Ajijic to house rental in SMA with about 30 minutes in stops for gas and lunch, plus a couple of minor wrong turns, quickly corrected. Bisbee Gal's directions were a great help. Thanks!

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