Discussion in 'Cancun Info' started by hardrocktampa, Apr 7, 2010.
How did it go?
This is interesting as we were talking about driving my motorhome from Canada this year... we'll see what the replies are - it may be one helluva booze cruise next year!!!
sounds like fun and one hell of a gas bill as well, but you will see a lot!!!!!
Some day when I retire my goal will be to be like you...artytime:
What, 35 years old?
We'll be driving to Cancun from Texas around June 26th. I'm interested to hear some suggestions or tips on anyone’s past experiences....good or bad!
Utah to Cancun 2010
I did the trip in Feb 2010. Myself, my brother in law and my dogs n cats. My husband had moved to Cancun a few months prior to start working and get us a place to live. His brother was kind enough to do the trip with me so my husband could stay in Cancun for work. Now the border is definitely a little scary we went in though Texas into Matomoros. There are a lot of people everywhere near the border and according the the news and the people on the US side of he border a lot of crimes and murders due to druglords are happening. We crossed into Mexico got our documents for my vehicle, and our visas and hauled ass out of Matomoros.. We figured there was no use spending time there. Now when you drive into Mexico it's call a vehicle import you will have to pay a $30 US dollar fee on a credit or debit card that matches the name on the title of the car. You will also have to leave a deposit of about $400 at the border or leave your card on file incase you don't cross the border back to the US before your visa expires. Your visa and vehicle importation last for 180 days. If you plan to stay longer you must renew everything or the deposit will be forfeited or your card charged approx 1/4 of the value of the vehicle.
Now the full trip through Mexico was mostly pleasent there is a lot of great scenery, friendly people, and good food, but please do expect to be bothered at most every checkpoint you come to. Most will just ask why your driving through that part of Mexico, you explain your destination and that you have no fruit, vegetables, or plants of any kind and that will be that, but other times they may ask you to get out of your vehicle and they'll do a quick inspection. With the many checkpoints you will come across no bags were ever searched, and our trunk was opened up once and my animals were never questioned. However in Tampico Mexico we did run into some trouble. Tampico was a town the highway your driving on goes directly into and you lose all sense of direction and are hoping for a sign to get back on the highway... We never found that sign... After driving around a good while doing many turn arounds we encountered the Policia. Now don't get me wrong most Policia are not like this but the two men we encountered made things scary. We were told to show documentation for the imported vehicle we were driving, they wanted passports, drivers license, visas, car insurance, even documents on my pets. Everything checked out we had crossed the border just the day before. The cops were not satisfied after talking with them explaining for the third time why were were in Tampico they decided to throw at us that we are in the wrong part of town and are not allowed here. We of course knew this was crap and proceeded with talking to them which shortly turned into arguing.. They had not given my brother in law his drivers license back. He wanted it and wanted directions to the highway. The cops then said no I will not take you to the highway you will follow us to the station where we will be cited. Here's where the scary part comes in. We follow the cops for a good 10 minutes until arriving at the jailhouse. Which at midnight looked just like a house I was getting more nervous by the moment. They escorted him from the car into the building. I felt like crying while waiting hoping that they won't come back without him and take me inside too.. All the while I am keeping in mind we did nothing wrong so how can this be so complicated. I then started*planning my fancy getaway while waiting.Finally I see my brother in law approaching my car without the police. He comes to the window and says "hurry give me $1,000 Pesos before they see we have more money." I gave him the money and he walked back to the building. Another 15 minutes pass and he comes back and we drive away. He says the policia wanted $3,000 US dollars to not put us in jail and of we paid they would take us to the highway. My brother in law argued with them the entire time and was able to convince them we only had $2,500 pesos left for our trip to Cancun so we couldn't spare more and they accepted that. He told the cops to throw him in jail many times knowing we had done nothing wrong and all they would talk about is money. This incidence ended up being what we now call our hundred dollar one time use GPS because as promised they took us to the highway. Which I doubt we could have ever found on our own.
Now don't let my story discourage you it was a completly random occurrance I have done the trip from Utah to Puerto Vallarta Mexico many times without an issue. So I highly doubt doing this trip again would bring such an event to occur.
Now before I forget the streets throughout Mexico can be very rough at times and low speeds will be required, we found that for the most part all the roads along the coast that are toll roads are kept up nicely anything that is not a toll road you can expect a lot of potholes and a lot of truckers on a one lane highway. So we do reccommend using the toll roads. When you are getting close to cancun probably your last 4-5 hours there will be 3 toll roads that are priced at $200 Pesos up to $350 Pesos. Other than that the other tolls throughout Mexico were reasonable, they were anywhere from $15 Pesos to $80 Pesos. So keep in mind the last roads are pricey and none of the booths accept anything other than cash.
If you decide to do the drive it will take you approx 2-5 days from the border to Cancun depending upon the amount of driving each day. Always keep your gas tank full and remember in Mexico they do pump your gas for you and wash your windows. A tip is expected whether the windows are cleaned or not. $5 Pesos to $20 Pesos is acceptable depending on the service level. The service will range from a fill up all the way to washing all windows and checking your fluids and oil.*Oh yes and I also forgot to mention the gas from Utah to Cancun costed me $400 in my chevy 4 cylinder car with my luggage on the roof. Not bad in my opinion.
Enjoy your trip. Cancun is gorgeous.
Feel free to write me with any questions at: Yellowsubmarie@live.com
Not sure why you would want to make that drive, nor how long you plan to have your car here. The best bet from Tampa, IMHO, would be to ship the car from Pt Everglades, hop a cheap Jet Blue or Spirit flight from FLL-CUN, pick up your car in Pto Morelos after getting your Temporary Import Permit in Pto. Juarez (Cancun) close to the boats to Isla Mujeres.
I have shipped cars here twice from there, that I drove down from Orlando. Something like a Ford Explorer would be around $900 or so. Something like a Ford Escort under $800. Price is based on volume and not value. www.hydeshipping.com Your US insurance will not be valid in Mexico. You can get short term and long term policies at www.mexicanautoinsurance.com. I have used them for several years and they paid off a total loss after Hurricane Wilma chewed up my car and spit it out.
I would hesitate to make that drive due to potential incidents with the police in Mexico, as was described above. Someone posted on another forum recently something not much different in Matamoros, that happened after an 8 am or so border crossing.
The driving time alone from Tampa would be about 60 hours if I remember my calculations from long ago. You would put thousands of miles on your car just getting it here and back. You could break down anywhere along the line and if in Mexico you run the risk of expensive parts that have to be shipped in from God knows where. Many times I have brought in parts for myself and friends and they have done the same for me and for others.
Good luck. Have been to HRC-Tampa many times, maybe 10 in 2009. Don't recognize your Facebook pix or name but will probably run into you next trip, which I have no idea when it would be. At the $1/$2 No Limit Hold 'Em tables.
I've also been contemplating making this "road trip of a lifetime" from Dallas to Cancun sometime this summer.
Only problems I can see so far are the fact that I'd have to make it a solo trip and I'd be driving one of two vehicles. Either a '09 Cadillac SRX or a '03 Honda S2000. While either would be a great ride for the trip I think that either one would make me a mark for the policia problems mentioned above. And being a non-spanish speaking grengo might complicate things a little further.
I'd really love to do the drive, see some of the sights along the way and explore the ruins all over the Yucatan. I just don't want to deal with the hassle of paying off corrupt cops the whole way. Any further thoughts on how to avoid these kind of problems while driving through Mexico?
there on a nightly basis, good luck at the tables, see ya there sometime!!!
never plan on doing this drive, was just curious as to peoples experiences.....
I've done the drive. I did it from Ontario (Toronto area) to Playa in February/ March 2008 (with Jez from Dallas to Playa).
I don't have a huge amount of time to post details right now (but will later)- however, I can say we didn't need to pay anyone off. Having Jez with me, made a world of difference (Spanish speaking, had done the drive before, etc).
It was a L O N G ride, but a huge amount of fun. There were some really helpful things that many posters on here (and Jez) knew ahead of time to advise me of that made life easier.
I mentioned this once to an insurance friend as a joke (it's 2600 Km from here). She mentioned that some vehicle insurance is void if you travel into Mexico.
I've never confirmed this but it's something to check out.
Lemonhead.. The drive is amazing you go through so many great places!! The best advice I can give is drive during the day ONLY! the problems I have had in Mexico are always at night time, and after I did my long drive from Utah this February everything I talked to about it said the same thing.. Drive only during the day and you wont have any issues!
We did from Mo. no problems at all.
What about that rock Trina? Je je. I think that counted as a problem.
Hello everyone. We just wanted to send a thanks to CancunCare and all the memers of the forum. We arrived in Cancun on July 1st after driving down from Texas. We have been reading this forum for about the last year and have been taking a lot of notes. Everyone's comments helped us tremendously on our drive to Cancun.
For the most part our trip went very well. We did get pulled over in Matamoros about 10 minutes after crossing the border. I was supposedly speeding although we were in bumper to bumper traffic. I kept telling the police to write me the ticket and I would go to the station to pay. After 5 or so mins, they gave me my license and told me to leave. Si senor!
For the rest of the drive we did not have any bad encounters with the police. We took the toll roads and bypasses whenever possible, bypassing Tampico and Poza Rica. We did get flagged aside at just about every military checkpoint, but they were all friendly. They asked a few questions and every now and then asked to look the bed of the truck, but never questioned us having 2 dogs. At one stop they did want to look into our coolers, but they asked politely and were very respectful.
Thanks again to Steve for running a great site and for all the CancunCare members. You're postings have helped us out a ton! We'll be in Cancun until October and we look forward to exploring this beautiful city.
Check out our blog if you'd like to read more about our adventurous drive from Texas to Cancun... Travel Blog: Cancun Bound!
Welcome to Cancun, Nevets, hope you enjoy it!
P.S., love the way you handled the police. Good for you!
Welcome to Cancun.
Really enjoyed reading your blog, what a great adventure so far. I'm sure it's just the start of many more