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Driving roads to PV from Ajijic


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Has anyone used both routes to PV, via Mascota or via Compostela?

Any recommendation, safety, best scenery, gaz stations ?

Thank you!

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Search this board, it has been reviewed many times.

Essentially, Compostela if you prefer good roads and are OK with tolls until hitting 200.

Mascota if you don't mind "less good" mountain roads, blind curves, lots of braking, and prefer no tolls.

IMHO, Compostela is the way to go.

Edit / addition:

Going the Compostela route, you also have the opportunity to check out all the beaches from Guayabitos down to PV, there are many nice places to stop for gas, lunch, and a beach walk or swim.

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Some consider the “work“ preferable to the boredom and expense of an autopista; especially those who grew up driving in mountains, even on ice and snow. Flatlanders always seem to prefer the flat and straight routes, which is understandable, and a difference that does not warrant argument. Different strokes, and all that.

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Both highways work well. Which to use depends on what you want to do. The Toll road through Compostela is the fastest and most direct. It is best for getting to PV fast.

The Mascota road takes longer but is very pretty and remoter than the Compostela route. Not much in the way of stopping places or gas stations along the way. This is the best way to go for a leisurely drive to the beach if you don't mind tacking on a couple hours to the trip. Bring a picnic basket and a roll of toilet paper and you'll be fine.

Just bear in mind that the recent violence we have read about occurred near San Sebastien, far enough out of the way but it wouldn't hurt to remain vigilant until this dust settles. For this reason it may be better to go the more heavily traveled route through Compostela, but its a "who knows" situation really. I wouldn't let it stop your travel plans. Just follow the golden rule of no nighttime travel, including dawn and dusk.

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Some consider the “work“ preferable to the boredom and expense of an autopista; especially those who grew up driving in mountains, even on ice and snow. Flatlanders always seem to prefer the flat and straight routes, which is understandable, and a difference that does not warrant argument. Different strokes, and all that.

I enjoy driving the "twisties" and even more riding them on my BMW moto. But there are a lot of people around with very little practice on steep and winding mountain grades which the Mascota route has in spades shortly after you leave Mascota. And there's a lot of rough pavement on this road too. Just be aware of that before you go that way and as RV suggests, plan on making a day of it. This is not a good road to be in a hurry on.

By the end of next year, the new PV cuota when combined with the new outer periferico cuota should make short and easy work of getting to PV.

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If you're going to San Pancho (San Francisco), Nayarit you wouldn't want to consider the Mascota route. It's a long way back from PV through Bucerias into the 2 lane mountain road doubling back to the north.

We just returned from Guayabitos and the drive was about 4 hours. It's probably 30 minutes further down 200 to Sayulita so a little less to San Pancho.

Have you ever been there? The beach is not on a protected bay like PV, Guayabitos or Chacala. The waves can be crushing. Pretty town but the one time we stopped to check it out there wasn't a soul in the water.

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We just returned from Guayabitos and the drive was about 4 hours. It's probably 30 minutes further down 200 to Sayulita so a little less to San Pancho.

Have you ever been there? The beach is not on a protected bay like PV, Guayabitos or Chacala. The waves can be crushing. Pretty town but the one time we stopped to check it out there wasn't a soul in the water.

That's pretty accurate. I go to San Pancho a couple of times a year and it generally takes me about 4.5 to 5 hours via the cuota route. And that's with a couple of quick stops for bathroom, OXXO, or whatever. The other route is fun and scenic (and without tolls) but you have to be willing to spend more time driving it, especially if you're going to San Pancho instead of Puerto Vallarta.

I grew up on the beach in Southern California and the ocean in San Pancho totally depends on conditions on any given day. Sometimes there are lots of people in the water, sometimes only a few surfers, and sometimes - wisely - nobody. The south end of the beach is better protected and calmer, but the water is never as tranquil as more enclosed, protected beaches.

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Ajijc to Puerto Vallarta

Funny but Google maps only gives two options, the quickest being :-

Ajijic to Puerto Vallarta via Ameca,Mascota 4hr 49min distance 322km

If you force it to route via Compostela

Ajijic to Puerto Vallarta via Compostela 5hr 26min distance 383km

Can Google be wrong!?

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"Can Google be wrong!?" Is a pigs butt pork?

I've driven both those routes over the years... the Mascota route 3 times one-way, each way..... as well as the Compostela route maybe 10 times. I'm used to driving a lot and also in the mountains so the Mascota route doesn't bother me. But it just wears me out to drive that route. IMO, there is no way to actually drive that route faster than Compostela unless you want to speed a lot on narrow 2-lane country roads or driving a BMW moto.

Also Google has no way to judge how many topes there are.... and there are a lot.... nor accurately judge the time through a Mexican town, and there are several. Another clue it to 'blow the Google map route up'.... and look at all those curves.

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I've done the Mascota route 3 times, toll once. The time it took me was identical, ajijic - PV 4hrs 40 minutes. Although the toll road allows you to go fast initially, you end upon a twisting turning single carriageway and usually stuck behind a truck. Usually the Mascota road has less traffic than the toll, actually more opportunities to overtake ( save for when on the toll, multi carriageway otherwise difficult overtaking), you are going way north to come back down. The road via Mascota breaks down as follows, Ajijic via Jocotepec single and dual carriageway. Turn off to villa corona, two lanes good road, actually until Ameca pretty good road. After Ameca road remains two lanes for a while then goes down to single lane, the bends start about 20 miles after Ameca, lovely mountain views, some places to overtake. Get to Mascota large Pemex and toilets as you enter town ( some others before this point). After Ameca, some serious bends as you come down the mountains, risk of mountain rubble on road, but passable unless serious rains. The bends in this area are quite bad as you are going downhill too but not unmanageable at all, just slows you down a bit. Once through the bends you end up going through a series of one donkey towns each with its own set of topes. You can get up speed in between but the topes keep coming. But you come out of it much nearer PV and it takes the same time as the toll, without paying 330 pesos or so.

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