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Traveling to Ajijic from Arizona

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I shall be driving alone with my dog from Tucson, Az to Ajijic. Has anyone recently made this trip crossing the border at Nogales? I would like to know what cities, (and hotels) are safe to stop at along the way. US State Department and Trip Advisor post danger warnings that make me very nervous. Any information you may have on the route down would be appreciated.  Ann

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21 minutes ago, Ann Dirks said:

I shall be driving alone with my dog from Tucson, Az to Ajijic. Has anyone recently made this trip crossing the border at Nogales? I would like to know what cities, (and hotels) are safe to stop at along the way. US State Department and Trip Advisor post danger warnings that make me very nervous. Any information you may have on the route down would be appreciated.  Ann

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Thank you Wide Sky for suggesting searching the forum. I'm new to this site; now finding what a fantastic resource it will be for my transition. Don't belong to face book so I'll stick to this site. Your help is highly appreciated.

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Ann I have perfect driving directions if you send me a message and your e-mail address, we go up every year or so. You don't even need a map, we don't bring one.

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Use the Mariposa crossing (4-lane going out a little west from "within" Nogales) rather than the 'downtown' crossing. You can't miss it. Gets you right back onto cuota 15 to continue south. . Due to 'traveling with a pet', I can't help you with motels.....

 

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Suggest you buy a Garmin for your trip.... It was most useful when we were looking for our hotels on the way down...We over-nighted in Hermisillo and Mazatlan... We booked both on line. Be aware that the Hermisillo  Hampton Inn advertises as it is pet friendly.. We got there at night and they would not accept our pet reservation... They did direct us to a hotel that did but I would not recommend this hotel... If you book on line, I suggest a call to the hotel to verify pet acceptance...  

 

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If you can make it to Culiacan, about 12 hours from Tucson, the Hotel Paraiso on Calle Independencia does accept pets and is a very nice place, with a restaurant and secure parking inside, with a guard.  About 18 months ago, it was $450 MN per night.

Hermosillo would be a shorter drive for the first day, then maybe Mazatlan the second night.

Enjoy the trip.  It is simple, as it is 15D all the way to Guadalajara, then just follow the signs for the Aeropuerto, then on to Chapala as you pass the airport.

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Thank you all for your replies to my post last fall. I became frightened by the postings on dogs being poisoned, the campaign rhetoric against Mexico and decided not to go to Mexico. Even though the political fallout is worse now, I regained momentum to emigrate to Mexico although I admit I'm nervous about driving down alone plus very upset by the seemingly hostile environment for dogs.

I leave by car March 2nd from Tucson with my large service dog. Hensley If you can still share with me your recommendations on where to stay on the way and any other travel pearls you've gained in your travels, I'd be most grateful. I have reservations for 3/5 at Nueva La Posada in Ajijic.

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Good luck with your trip. I think you will be surprised at how much the culture towards dogs has changed in Mexico. There are still some ignorant and dumb people that are hostile. But there are many people that care about their dogs, and everyday there is a better environment towards pets.

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Andi......made this exact trip last month with my 2 dogs. Have done it before. Stay at the Best Western Hotel Del Rio in Navojoa. They are dog friendly and safe. They have a decent restaurant on the property. Most places in Mexico do not recognize service dogs unless they are seeing eye dogs so I don't think you can bring yours into the restaurant. However, you can sit outside with him/her. 

2nd night we stay at the Aguamarine Hotel in Mazatlan. It is across the street from the beach and is dog friendly. They charge 500p cash deposit (you get it back). Tell them your dog is a service dog and they waive their regular 250p charge. You will have to show some kind of proof...an ID, vest or something. If you don't have proof they will charge you 250p (not refundable). This is the only place I have found in Mazatlan that takes dogs. There are fish restaurants right across the street on the beach. We brought our dogs. You don't see the restaurants unles you are standing on the malecon as they are below street level.

Mazatlan is a good stopping place. There isn't much else after Mazatlan. Also, be sure to fill up with gas before leaving Mazatlan as it will be a very long time before you find a gas station. 

Bring lots of snacks as there really isn't anywhere to stop to eat besides Oxxo (like 7/11). 

https://www.bestwestern.com/content/best-western/en_US/booking-path/hotel-details.70111.html

http://www.aguamarina.com/en/completo.php

Cross at Mariposa truck crossing in Nogales early in the a.m. We even got the red light and they just had us open the back of our car, then told us to have a nice day. Didn't care about seeing our dogs papers, but you should have them just in case.  Stay on the Cuota (toll road) and you will be fine. You will be here soon and both of you will love it here.

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To hensley....if you could send your driving directions to margaritanna123@gmail.com it would be wonderful!

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Thank you Nacho OE, I feel better the dog issue is improving.

Joyfull........Oh that information really helps, I appreciate the information on hotels.

If I need to stop in Hermosillo, do you have a recommendation on lodging?

Is it safe to leave you dog in the car or outside a restaurant while you run in for a take out or use the toilet at a rest stop? Is dog theft an issue?

 

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Oh dear, I hoped it would still be cool out. So if your dog can't go inside, what do you do with your dog if you need to go to the toilet or get food? I'm traveling alone so no one to hold the dog if I leave for a moment.

Andi

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For a bathroom, take you leashed dog with you.  For a quick stop otherwise, park in the shade with the windows down a bit and hurry.  Your large dog won't be stolen.

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Great news, I can take my dog on lead into the restroom at a rest stop in Mexico. That's a relief because that's exactly what I do driving cross country in the USA. Thank you!

Andi

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We do the exact same drive each year with our 50 lb Australian Shepherd and so far it's a non event. We either spend the the night in Nogales AZ and cross first thing in the morning and overnight in Navajoa and Mazatlan or we leave early from Apache Junction and overnight in Hermosillo, Los mochis and San Blas. Both are good options and we've stayed in secure pet-friendly hotels. 

Make sure to arrange your import docs online before you leave. It saves a TON of time!

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Your reassurance is appreciated. Do you have a dog friendly hotel recommendation for these cities?

Is it easy to find a good dog bed for a very large dog in the Lakeside area?

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You are not going to want to go to San Blas if your destination is Ajijic......

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Yes, you can find good dog beds for all sizes of dogs .... However they cost more than in the States and sometimes it is difficult to find one that the outside comes off to wash.  Maybe you might bring one with and you dog could be all comfy on the way?

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  • Andi, We drive from Green Valley to Navojoa and the Best Western there is a good choice .As you enter the town it is on your right. There are many hotels along the main street but I do not know about pets.
  • Just to let you know that there are no rest areas like in US so your best bet for bathroom break is either the gas station or the toll booths, most have some snacks. Also, you will have to have enough pesos to pay for tolls and gas, Mexico is still  mainly cash society. The drive is pretty straight forward. Stay on the 15D and follow the signs to the next bigger town (Mazatlán, Tepic, Guadalajara) The roads are good. You might go through a military check stop so do not be alarmed. That highway seems to have a big military presence (Which is good). Smile a lot. Also, be mindful of your car's gas consumption  because from Mazatlán south you will not see very many gas stations .  
  • La Nueva Posada is a wonderful place to stay in Ajijic. I did not know that they allow dogs in there.( I have never seen one.)
  •  Have a safe trip .

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Rick S is right, San Blas is a little out of the way and adds an hour to the trip but for us the great dog-friendly hotel is worth it. The hotel has large rooms, an on-site restaurant and a huge grassy area to walk our dog. There's a dog friendly hotel in Tepic but it's downtown - which in itself can add an hour getting in and out - and we're not sure we can get into the interior parking courtyard with our car-top storage carrier. You might also like to go a little further each day than we do but we like to be off the road by 3:00 and we also like to time it so we arrive at out destination around noon. We had a poor experience once with a rental on VRBO but by the time we arrived it was too late to start looking for an alternative. By arriving early we have time to look around if we have to and time to make a grocery/wine run. 

 

Here are the hotels we've stayed at on various trips. I recommend you look at each hotel's website and also look at Trip Advisor and then make up your mind. All of these are dog friendly and have safe, secure parking;

Hermosillo                     Hotel Colonial                       Very nice, modern, large business hotel similar to a Red Lion

Guaymas                      Hotel Armida                         Same as above but getting old - what we call a faded beauty

Navajoa                        Holiday Inn                            As above, a nice hotel but the rooms are definitely showing their age

Los Mochis                  Hotel Ibis                                A new ultra-modern business hotel but the rooms are VERY small

                                      Hotel Posada Los Olivos     An older budget hotel but super cheap and for us, better than the Ibis

Mazitlan                       Mariana Beach Hotel and Apartments   An absolute dump! We'd never stay here again. Going back                                                                                                           we were able to book into the Hotel Aguamarina which                                                                                                                     we believe will be much better

San Blas                     Hotel Garza Canela              A beautiful, large resort hotel - lovely grounds but the rooms are showing                                                                                       their age - another faded beauty   

 

I hope this all helps

Cheers!

 

 

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