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Andi

Traveling to Ajijic from Arizona

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Sorry, one more thing.  Large dog beds were really expansive but at Walmart we found an upholstered yoga mat (?) with 2" foam. When it's folded in half it's 4" thick and the perfect size for a dog bed and it was super cheap.  

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Andi,

We lived 7n San Carlos, Sonora for 9 years, been in Ajijic for 10 years. We made the trip from SC to Nogales 5 or 6 times a year. It takes approximately 5 1/2 hours from Tucson to Guaymas/San Carlos. You should make copies of everything as it is difficult and time consuming to try and make copies at permit facilities. You will of course need a little more time since it is your first time. We would agree with other posts, leave Nogales very early in the morning, handle your car permit etc., the drive to Guaymas, not Hermosillo. There are many hotels before you drive in to Guaymas that are pet friendly. Smaller, less modern I would assume would be sufficient for you and your dog for the night.  March starts to get warm and air conditioning is needed during the day around Guaymas. We suggest that you get food where you stop for gas. All of the Pemex stations have little quick stores and small food places. You can pull up in front of them after you get gas. That way, it will be quick, windows not rolled down very far. Actually you can take your dog with you inside all of these places at the gas stations. No need to make an extra stop, wait for food preparation, worry about your dog etc. Also at most of the toll syops there are small places to get food quickly, again with your car in plain sight. We never stopped anywhere other than gas stations or toll booths for bsthrooms or food, no need.  When you settle on a hotel, you can always get a better meal with your dog secure in the room. Remember to not leave your purse unattended, top zipped or snapped always (just be prudent like you probably are in Tucson).  It is an easy drive here from AZ. Oh by the way, we moved permanence to MX from Cave Creek/Carefree AZ.  Hope this helps.

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Two things..... sorry, in my previous post I said Holiday Inn in Navajoa but I meant Best Western. 

You don't need to make copies of documents anymore. You can do all your paperwork on-line and other than getting your passport stamped, drive right on through

 

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If you stop at an Oxxo (like 7/11) for food I would just bring your dog in. By the time anyone possibly says anything you will be out of there. Learn to say "it's too hot in the car for my dog" in Spanish. I don't think anyone will say anything. Any restaurant with outside setting will probably be ok with having you bring your dog. 

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Thank you, thank you all so much for the fantastic detailed information! You're a wonderful, helpful group. Just read the posts; I have not been on this site for days now because I'm so time stressed to the point of distraction!! Trying to sell off everything I have. It's so depressing and difficult. I fear I won't make the deadline of the end of the month when my lease is up.

Bummer to learn dog beds are expensive and they don't sound too great while I'm giving away beautiful Lands End large dog beds:(  Shipping costs to Mexico are unreal, I have no choice. Surely there must be some way to safely ship relatively small boxes of shoes and clothes to Mexico. Has anyone tried it? I'm a difficult fit, tall with a long waist. I really want to keep my clothes.

If anyone knows of a long term rental with no stairs, off street parking with some private outdoor space and pool access that allows a totally quiet well mannered large dog please advise. Again, I appreciate such great advice I'd be lost without it.

 

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Hi Andi:  We have a very very large service german shepherd and now a little street dog.  Every 3 months for the past 3 years we have had to make the trip to texas.  We have never once been asked to show our papers regarding the dogs.  Not even the mexican one when entering the U.S.  But of course we could in the future.  We have stayed many times in the No Tell hotels which some are very very nice.  We pull in far enough away from the office go in and pay then pull into the garage.  Some people have even seen our dogs but have not said anything.  Yes, Mexico is a little more challanging traveling with dogs but like the above post mentioned, things are changing.

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2 hours ago, sputnik said:

Hi Andi:  We have a very very large service german shepherd and now a little street dog.  Every 3 months for the past 3 years we have had to make the trip to texas.  We have never once been asked to show our papers regarding the dogs.  Not even the mexican one when entering the U.S.  But of course we could in the future.  We have stayed many times in the No Tell hotels which some are very very nice.  We pull in far enough away from the office go in and pay then pull into the garage.  Some people have even seen our dogs but have not said anything.  Yes, Mexico is a little more challanging traveling with dogs but like the above post mentioned, things are changing.

You probably didn't notice that "Andi" originally posted this inquiry over a year ago and was last heard of in February. Seems to already be in Ajijic...

 

 

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start early every morning, i did this trip at the speed limit. took about 10 hours a day. i have a friend who did less time but was speeding

by starting early you will arrive in daylight at your daily destination

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On 9/10/2016 at 11:46 AM, hensley said:

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.

I know these posts are a few years old and hope someone sees it. I’m making that trip from Tucson to Lake Chapala, single woman with a dog. Don’t speak Spanish though I’ll learn what I need to since I’m driving. Would love to hear from you, Thanks, Mary.  mwoods1052@gmail.com

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Has anyone done this trip recently?  I am considering driving from Green Valley, AZ to Lake Chapala, Mexico in March of this year (2019)  I am a single female and will be traveling in a Caravan.  Is it safe?  Anything I should know?

 

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1 hour ago, dotcalm said:

Has anyone done this trip recently?  I am considering driving from Green Valley, AZ to Lake Chapala, Mexico in March of this year (2019)  I am a single female and will be traveling in a Caravan.  Is it safe?  Anything I should know?

 

Short answer is yes it's safe. 10's of thousands of folks travel the tool roads every month. You'll hear of the occasional trouble spot in Mexico... just this weekend but FAR from your path.... but then nothing for weeks or months.

Drive the toll roads... which from Green Valley you will do anyway.... only in the daylight (cow/horses and bad drivers, not outlaws!). Stop well before sunset. Plenty of gas stations but don't drive it dry. Tolls will be fairy high ($150?) for that distance. Get a bunch of pesos in Green Valley or better yet in Nogales at a casa de cambio out around I19 and Miriposa Rd. shopping center. Use the Miriposa border crossing and not 'thru' Nogales proper. If driving a US plated vehicle you'll need to get a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) at the border or onlines and of course Mexican Insurance plus of course a Tourist Visa, both good for up to 180 days.

March is around the end of snowbird season so you should be able to get a rental easier. March begins the hottest season Lakeside, will be dry until June 10th when the rainy season starts....but it mainly rains at night!

Otherwise... enjoy your trip!

 

 

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Thanks so much for this information, Rick!  I am thinking that I might drive along the Texas/Mexico border and enter Mexico at Brownsville....then make my way to Puerto Morales (during day-light hours)...what do you think?

Can I get the TIP, mexican insurance, and Tourist visa ahead of time...or do these have to be done at the border?

 

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There has been a lot of really serious cartel trouble in Brownsville/Matamoros.  It's dangerous and being a newbie you may not know what to look out for.  Like, near the border, don't stop for anyone or anything, even the police.  You never know when someone will rob you.  That's why there are police caravan to escort tourist through the border area to at least 50-100 miles past.  Just cross at Mariposa near Nogales and come down that way.  It's safer.

 

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Puerto Morales... as in the Yucatan?  Your destination seems to have changed from Lakeside to there?

IF you are really going to the Yucatan, I would cross at Laredo Tx and stay on the toll roads (cuotas) all the way. Will cost you an arm and a leg but that, IMO, is your only realistic route. Crossing at Laredo and not Nogales will keep you in the US for much longer and with known amenities. 

The TIP and Tourist Card and Mexican insurance can all be purchased online prior to leaving your current address in the US. Order the TIP and Tourist card at least 10 days prior leaving that address to ensure it being delivered. The insurance can be obtained 'immediately..... say from Lewis and Lewis. 

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29 minutes ago, Yo1 said:

There has been a lot of really serious cartel trouble in Brownsville/Matamoros.  It's dangerous and being a newbie you may not know what to look out for.  Like, near the border, don't stop for anyone or anything, even the police.  You never know when someone will rob you.  

 

Yo1, advising people to carte blanc not stop for the police is, IMO, bad advice. I know what your intentions are in recommending that but it's just not a reasonable thing to tell folks to do. YMMV.

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1 hour ago, RickS said:

Yo1, advising people to carte blanc not stop for the police is, IMO, bad advice. I know what your intentions are in recommending that but it's just not a reasonable thing to tell folks to do. YMMV.

So very true, and then go on to say that there are police caravans to escort you through.    :017:

I guess you have to join the police caravans on the fly while they are moving.   :D

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2 hours ago, RickS said:

Yo1, advising people to carte blanc not stop for the police is, IMO, bad advice. I know what your intentions are in recommending that but it's just not a reasonable thing to tell folks to do. YMMV.

Then YOU  stop when a cop car wants you to in that area.  You have more courage than I do.

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1 hour ago, slainte39 said:

So very true, and then go on to say that there are police caravans to escort you through.    :017:

I guess you have to join the police caravans on the fly while they are moving.   :D

I don't know where they start from on the US side but at 7 AM they start from the state police barracks in Ciudad Victoria and caravan to the "Y" where 101 meets 97 north of San Fernando.  Then the cops from the border take over and escort the cars to the border.  The C. Victoria cops take the US cars to C. Victoria.

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yo1 are you telling us that the police told you  to stop and you did not?? You have to be insane not to stop for the police as you put yourself in danger of being shot. I travel a lot every year going south and even in iffy areas I stop for the police , the army the immigration period.. 

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Must have a really fast car and can outrun them.  (head shaking)

And Mexican Police come to the US side to start a caravan???  Why are the "caravan police" any different or better than the others, (whoever they are)???

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have safe trip, 

start early every morning,  it took me three days to get to Ajijic driving a speed limit, leaving border Nogales ,arrived Ajijic about 4 pm in 3 days.

git caught in traffic one ended up driving in dark to my hotel.

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