Driving to Mexico?

Driving down to Mazatlan may seem like a long and dangerous task, but it is surprisingly easy if you are armed with a little information. Our family of 4 drove down from Edmonton, Alberta, many times, and it was all trouble-free.

Now, driving from Edmonton, Alberta, to Mazatlan, Mexico, is a distance of 2714 miles, using the
shortest route. We drove an average of 15 hours a day, between 2 drivers, and did go over the speed limit, but not more than 5 miles over, and we made it to Mazatlan in 3 days. The total cost of fuel was around $400-475 US. Add your hotel rooms, 3 nights at $80 is $240, and you have a total of around $700, which is a lot less than airfare of $500/ person.

Crossing the border into Mexico, we were surprised to find that the roads were just as good as in the US. You will have to take the toll roads, marked “Cuota”, and the total of all tolls to Mazatlan are about $50. They only accept cash, so make sure you have pesos or dollars on hand, or you will be turned back.
The highways are smooth, two lanes or more, and you will find yourself speeding at 70 MPH with no problems. The only place where you will find rough roads are through some towns, but you will be back on Highway 15 before you know it.

You will have to buy Mexican auto insurance, as your policy will not cover you while in Mexico. There are many insurance brokers on the U.S. side of the border, but Sanborn’s is one of the best. They have offices on almost any border town, or you can buy the insurance online, before you take your trip. This will be one less stop on your way to Mexico. http://www.sanbornsinsurance.com

Crossing the border into Mexico is very easy, and you may not even know that you are in Mexico. Up to 20 kilometers south of the border is the Free Trade Zone, and there are virtually no restrictions. Leaving this zone, you will be stopped and required to complete some paperwork and pay some fees to enter Mexico. You will be required to register your vehicle, declare any imports, and pay any duties.

Here is a link to a website with more detailed information on driving into Mexico. http://www.mexonline.com/drivemex.htm

You can also use this handy map and information produced by the Pacific Pearl, Mazatlan’s premiere monthly magazine for tourists and English speaking residents. The Pacific Pearl benefits both tourists and residents, as it provides reliable information for us, and promotes businesses in Mazatlan that have been proven to be trustworthy that many American and Canadian expatriates use every day.

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