Curious what everyone’s thoughts are on driving all the way through Mexico on into Central America. Moving my life down south, and shipping all of my stuff is $$$$, so I am toying with alternatives. Definitely not excited by the safety concerns in rural areas of MX.

  1. I have driven this route twice. Take the southern route (gray) shown on the map. When crossing into Mexico, cross early in the morning and head at least 200 miles south before stopping for the night. Plan plenty of hours for border crossings. Learn some Spanish, it helps. Good luck.

  2. Exactly this. Cross the border area during the day when commerce (and smuggled drugs) need to move undisturbed for everyone’s benefit. Don’t be in the area of the border at night where some cartels have even established curfews, warning of violence they’ll inflict on people they see out at night. If you get stuck, just get a hotel and wait it out. All good

  3. This is good advice at all borders. Find somewhere to hunker down for the night within an hour of the border, cross in the morning and then get as far away as you can. All of the bullshit I ever dealt with in Mexico and Central America while making this drive was at or near a border.

  4. Your route, especially through Tamuliapas and Nuevo Laredo, leaves much to be desired. Other than Monterrey, most of northeast Mexico is not somewhere to linger.

  5. This is the way. I would suggest doing some research on sites such as Borderland Beat, INEGI, SESNSP data, etc. Cartel roadblocks and hijackings are easy money. You can also look at US State Department travel advisories that will highlight the highways with the highest risk.

  6. This!! Driven through Mexico more times than I can count, and suggest taking advantage of the places around. It’s worth it. Would also suggest OP stop in Chetumal, Quintana Roo to see some amazing Mayan ruins and Bacalar for beautiful coves before crossing over to Belize. I would highly suggest taking a route that allows these stops. Not too sure about the Central America side. Just dont drive at night and dont be stupid, you should be fine. Learn a little spanish of you dont already speak it.

  7. What is a good route from the us-Mexico border to points south? The urban routes are all rough whether it’s matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, El Paso… I went matamoros to Tampico in 2005 and it was ok. Is McAllen/Reynosa a better crossing? They all seem pretty dicey right now.

  8. Some years ago I was on a roadtrip from Tuxtla Guttiérez to Comitán in Chiapas, Mexico. We kinda missed the exit to the main highway that would have taken us to Comitán in 3 hours. Ended up in travelling through a really rural parts of Chiapas for 6 hours.

  9. Duuuudeee, the same thing happened to us in 2009! They didn’t take down their old highway sign and wound up going through an old 1-2 lane mountain road through Zapatista territory and going over 2 planks where water corroded the road. Craziest most beautiful trip I will never do again. Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one. 👍🏼

  10. I liked driving through Chiapas and Tabasco. I didn't feel unsafe at any time down there. Rural people are always kind and usually helpful when you get lost. Although you're driving through literal jungles, it can be unnerving. My only thought was just steering clear of any migrate caravans, but I didn't think narcos were a problem in the southern part of Mexico.

  11. This is precisely the part of Mexico I want to visit most! Been to other places as a kid - grew up in LA so went often enough. But moved to Europe and feel a bit empty inside that my kids don’t know Mexico - the people or culture - in the same way I do. Planning a trip to go see family in LA and then head south. 🤞

  12. The main cargo is my dog, and myself… all the objects are replaceable. It’s a mid size, white SUV 4wd, and that seems to be very attractive down south

  13. I would recommend taking the alternate route. Driving through the NE of Honduras to the South would be a pain and it would take way longer to do so, because roads are in very bad shape.

  14. Few years back I would've tell you that you're mad, but brother was just there with an RV and Caucasian wife and made it back and forth as south as Chiapas.

  15. I went from Canada - Costa Rica on a motorcycle, no problems at all with roads or anything! Also did the Arctic - argentina on the same bike, highly recommend the bottom route without tolls through El Salvador :)

  16. Arctic to Argentina sounds hella fun! It has always been my dream to experience all this different climates in one roadtrip. I made a promise to one day do a trip to Iceland in its peak mid-Winter time of the year (the ones with no sunrise), and then the week after head to Cancun or something for some swimming in the Caribbean. Just to experience the two extremes in one vacation. If only I have the money tho lol.

  17. Hi, I live in Guatemala, we travel through Mexico for vacation last year and everything went well, as many advise you before, if possible don’t drive at night. My only concern would be Nicaraguan borders because they are asking for a lot of requirements to go through their country, but the country is really safe when you are traveling through. Other than that I think you would be ok. I will be more worried about the the traffic going through Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, because we have caotic driving skills and tremendous amounts of motorcycles and too many cars and not enough highways. It is a beautiful trip, and those comments about expensive dressing and shoes I will be not worried about. Of course if you have a diamond rolex and drive with your arm outside the car anything could happened here and everywhere, in my country Guatemala, you have to be careful with the cellphones as many pick pockets still them to sell them again. But please don’t think is a rule, it could happen but in my 55 years living here, driving a Q5 Audi wearing LV bags and I have never been robbed. (Sorry for my poor English) hope I was a little help for you

  18. I live in Panama, and many of the expats I know have done this drive (slightly different route through Mexico maybe), with no major issues. Yes border crossings can be a pain in the ass, especially if you have pets. But I doubt these other super negative commenters are speaking from experience, nor friend's experiences. Don't drive at night, if it can be avoided.

  19. I have family from that area. Don’t assume people are just talking off the cuff. I have worked with people from El Salvador and Panama. I was told not to wear anything that looked even slightly expensive. No jewelry or expensive shoes. Anything that makes you stand out from everyone else will make you a target.

  20. Nice knowing you lol my wife’s family lives in Tamaulipas. Cartel central, and kidnappings are a given especially driving around at night. Don’t drive out there with a white truck. Those get targeted the list.

  21. I did it in the 90's at it was super slow and relaxed. We paid some "tolls" that were questionable, but security was not even close to the top of our concerns. Logistics were the first problem. There was a lack of ATM's, credit cards weren't used, and we just plain ole dealt with bullshit like fallen trees across the road and a lack of direction, maps sucked. If I did it now I'd have a sat phone with GPS and a really well put together car that looks like shit. I'd camouflage my entire life for that month.

  22. I’ve lived in Mexico for the last few years and drove around all over. You’ll be completely fine, but the commenter saying cross in the morning and drive 200 miles south before stopping was speaking wisely. Border area is sketchy known for assaults so just clear it quickly. Also the highway through Monterrey to CDMX is much safer regardless of your thoughts on risk. And is plenty beautiful. Go south to Oaxaca City and you’ll have a pleasant road trip through Mexico.

  23. In San Diego many sailers go missing in Tijuana. Military banned sailers and officers from visiting Tijuana. I am sure some sneak over but I wouldn't.

  24. I avoided the issue of having to move all my stuff with me by selling everything and just ended up taking my clothes. Start over at the new place and just re-purchase stuff with the money you made from selling. This may only work if the move is permanent. Just fly there. Save yourself the hassle.

  25. I’m from Mexico. Our toll highways are actually pretty good and safe with a lot of military presence, which is a good thing here. The biggest danger is crossing the border. The Reynosa highway is your best bet. It has the most traffic and the most military presence. It’s unclear from the screenshot which one you chose, but don’t cross through Matamoros. Reynosa is better. Aside from that the route you chose looks a bit iffy. After crossing the border on Reynosa you need to head to Monterrey. From there head to San Luis Potosí and then to Mexico City. From there you can choose to go the quickest way through Puebla and then Veracruz which is what you chose. The highways there are pretty good and fast.

  26. Is the border crossing near Tenosique that OP is proposing even viable? When I did this I was headed to Xela so I crossed Tapachula and it was pretty easy. It seems like that crossing or at Ciudad Cuahtemoc would be a better bet.

  27. The US ain’t that safe for everyone. On our NJ to CA trip we stopped in a random small town in Kansas for coffee. We were practically run out of town with just dirty looks alone. I’m Asian, my gf is white.

  28. Why wouldn’t you take an airplane? Some of the roads in Mexico are really bad that’s not to mention if you go through somewhere unsafe. I was just in Mexico for a week and everyone is overreacting about how unsafe it is but I would probably avoid driving through the entire Country if I could help it…

  29. Not all Mexico is to be feared, it's more about what parts of the country you are driving through. in many regions of mexico, driving at night through rural or remote areas is very much not recommended, as roadblocks leading to robbery and kidnapping are common.

  30. I've never had trouble in Mexico. The route you've chosen is relatively safe, have you been to Portland, LA, or Detroit? It appears as if you'll be going through Merida which has an interesting background. It's neutral territory for cartels as they all wanted a place their collective families would be safe. Take precaution, use your head, you'll be fine. Or, you could sell your car and buy another much cheaper when you get to your destination.

  31. You’re going to need money to pay off fake tolls, but you should also figure out a good hiding spot in your vehicle for your money.

  32. One day pack is all you need. Leave everything else behind. Mexico roads can be in far better shape than the USA. The tolls are high. Be prepared. Also speed bumps are many.

  33. In my opinion as someone who has traveled extensively. I would be more worried about Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua vs Mexico. Stay on major highways. Try to travel during day. Use full service fuel stations if possible and share your location constantly with someone. Also arrange for regular check-in calls to someone along the way.

  34. Travel during Holidays, Mexican government creates Caravan escorted by Military personnel, that take you south away from the border. These caravans are designed to “Welcome Home” all of the people working in the US that are bringing gifts and just wanting to spend the Holidays back home.

  35. The entire Veracruz-Tabasco route is expensive as hell, only from Coatzacoalcos-Huimanguillo is like 2000 pesos and 8 hours for a normally 2 hour route, it’s also almost impossible to drive, roads are hellish and I got my stuff stolen on this route just a month ago

  36. I’ve done this by motorcycle and was fine. Don’t let people here scare you. Don’t drive too flashy of a car or have expensive things in plain view. The most you might deal with is petty theft. Safest route is through Monterrey then through Mexico City.

  37. Except a motorcycle vs moving all your belongings with you in the vehicle is different. Sell everything you don’t need to save on shipping cost

  38. Becareful driving through central america, especially nicaragua and honduras. My family is from those areas, there are alot of cartels at the border posing as police. They will take your things, shoot you,if you have a female with you make sure she carries pads so they think shes on her period they get grossed out by that. My cousins were driving through from el Salvador and their grand ma got shot, the young one had all the jewelry so they didnt check him. I honestly wouldn't advise driving through. Better to sell your things and buy new stuff when you arrive.

  39. You can contract a company in Ciudad Juárez to send it called Castores you maybe able to cross it over your self to Juarez from El Paso Tx. They can ship into Guatemala.

  40. I drove to the Yucatan and back a few years ago, and it was some of the best fun I've had in my entire life. I wouldn't do it alone, because that makes you even more of a target. Stick to the toll roads (the cuotas), they're expensive, but better maintained and far more frequently patrolled. Don't drive at night, and avoid that route along the Gulf coast. Monterrey south to Puebla is much safer. Beware the topes, speed bumps; they are EVERYWHERE, and if you hit them too fast, you'll blow a tire (or worse). You'll need insurance (seperate for each country), and you should study all the regulations carefully. Knowing some basic Spanish is mission critical.

  41. It seems like a good option, but my dad has been stopped by the police and the cartel dressed as police multiple times. They asked for bribes and they don’t care about your life. It’s easier to fly and put your belongings on a container ship.

  42. Mexico is the least of your worries. You’re driving though fucking Honduras my guy! Look up the murder rate before you drive through it with a vehicle full of your prized possessions lol

  43. I drove all the way from the Midwest to Panama in 2005. I took the gulf route to the isthmus of a tehuantapec, cut over the pacific then stuck to the pacific side through to Panama. Western Guatemala is slow going but other than that the roads are fine.

  44. Isn’t the point of starting over Starting over?!?! Aquire new things, self preservation is about traveling lite and reinventing yourself 👍🏽♥️

  45. Costa Rica is All fun, but then to get back. Move the the Rio Grande Valley and stay American . I housed Canadian travelers doing the same journey. They were eventually convinced to fly. If you think US has recession issues. These people have been in recession for generations. It's survival by all means and you might be a means Be safe my friends have a great time f you go. just giving out data. I once smuggled myself into Mexico Along a canal

  46. I wouldn’t for safety sake. Sell everything and fly in. It will be a lot less expensive to purchase things there. Remember Nicaragua is a Communist military regime. People are taken to go fight with their militias. And tourists/ Americans are targeted for kidnapping and worse.

  47. A lot of people do choose to sell everything and buy down at their destination country. Especially since parts for certain vehicles can't be found in some of Central Am. As far as Nicaragua, I have spent about a year and a half there in the last 7 years, Daniel Ortega is a douchebag, but it isn't as bad as you seem to think it is, depending on where you spend your time there, as it is with many other countries. But anything can happen anywhere, so I guess you never know!

  48. You'd be crazy to even think about driving... do you watch the news just recently a guy got kidnapped in cancun and they cut his foot off and left him on the side of the road to die the cops didn't even help him

  49. My parents helped someone move to Mexico. My father drove the truck and about every 300 miles they were stopped and had to pay bribes to continue on. The police were saying that they were bringing the things down to sell and that was not permitted.

  50. Don’t even think about it. Being caught with a gun, or even a single loose bullet in your vehicle, will get you a prison sentence in Mexico.

  51. Mexico is okay, Cartels and you probably know that they will not mess with Americans or the US military will have a free pass to enter Mexico's territory to do some "freedom". You'll be okay in Mexico as long as you don't look for trouble as for all the way down south... I don't really recommend going all the way there. As long as you live in a tourist state you'll be okay. Pro tip: don't go showing off you have materials or money; just tell everyone you have debts and barely buy fast food.

  52. i’ve been road tripping around mexico for the last month and have ran into few problems, mostly just shitty roads, lots of toll booths and a couple of check stops but once i pull out my phone and start recording they just wave us through. don’t drive at night and use common sense. do your research and plan your stops and you should be fine :)

  53. Dude stop doing that with your phone you’re gonna wind up dead. Do not take this advice with the phone people.

  54. You’re basically driving through cartel land the whole day. Welcome to the jungle baby - you’re gonna diiiiiiiiiiiie

  55. Be ready to have a lot of cash money for them bribes down in Honduras and Nicaragua. Guatemala won’t be that bad except if its around raining season, traffic will be unbearable. Also our all our highways and mayor roads are shit. If you are very…. Umm American looking, you should watch out in certain areas of central america. Crime is a bit bad.

  56. It would be a great road trip honestly, but as some of the posts here suggest you gotta watch out in some areas because crime can/is pretty bad. Is you don't want to ship your things to the final destination, you can always just sell everything you own and then re purchase everything when you get there since your US dollars have more buying power just about anywhere you go in south America. I'd do extensive research on the cities you'd be driving through so you can plan better where it would be best to stop hotels and such. Also don't wear anything flashy like gold chains or watches, even smart watches and your smart phone can be too noticable by some people in certain areas.

  57. Forget about Mexico u are going thru el Salvador hhh, yeah just sell your stuff or kre p it somewhere the stuff u don't want to sell

  58. Currently work with 33 LatinAm areas. Advice stay to the main areas, Mexico shouldn’t be a concern it’s the other areas that are risky due to economic conditions. Take some cash and work mainly on credit! I always tell people if your not looking for drugs or prostitutes you will be find unless it’s actually your time. It’s a great experience with amazing hospitable people, enjoy your time and stick to a schedule!!

  59. How often do people who aren’t involved in cartel business get caught in cartel business? If you just travel through and mind your own, do cartels really even mess with you?

  60. Cartels are huge and not everyone involved in them is some rich drug lord. Lots of low level poor people who will gladly rob a white American they see driving by just because they can

  61. Sounds like a fun adventure, didn’t read all the comments but I would only take items I really need and buy the rest at my destination. Planning might be the hardest part, like where do you sleep each night and know you are safe. If you do this please update us on the progress, maybe live videos or daily vlogs. What kind of car were you planning on driving??

  62. You should be fine in that route in Mexico, just travel during the day, and keep on the toll roads also you can rest in the toll spots they usually have national guard there

  63. Have you researched the itemization of belongings you must declare at each border crossing and the fees and inspections they entail?

  64. Legally? Not that much, now you will have to pay a ton of people with guns saying they are military on your way there, that i am not sure how much it would, it depends on how much money they think you have or see you have, talking from personal experience

  65. Having made this drive the only place I had to deal with crooked military was in Honduras right before Nicaragua. The Mexican military checkpoints I came across northwest of Mexico City were professional.

  66. The chance of you surviving is 50/50 and the chance of you making there with anything left but the shirt on your back, if that, is 0.0000000001%

  67. Northern Mexico, Nicaragua, and some parts of Guatemala/Honduras are very unsafe places for a single, inexperienced American to be traveling.

  68. I am rooting for you. I hope you stay safe and aware. There are good and bad people. Find some like minded souls along the way, safety in numbers. There has been good advice given here. I’ve been to Latin Am, like South American, and Southern Mexico. One piece of advice I’d give you, is trust your gut. Have fun.

  69. As most people have said, do the majority of driving during the day and cross borders during the day. Use the Overlander app to avoid the bad routes in Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. Learn some Spanish. Always bring valuables/electronics into your hotel instead of leaving in the vehicle.

  70. I have a friend that was born and raised with n Mexico. She said that drive would be a hard no! Safety issues!

  71. I have driven in Mexico multiple times to Cancun. I do not recommend driving ANYWHERE AT NIGHT always stop and stay somewhere before nightfall. I have had multiple bad experiences driving at night with local police. Cab drivers tend to contact police to get them on your tail. Is very risky at night.

  72. The fact you are asking here tells me your guy is saying spend the money to ship your things , it’s cheaper then jeopardizing your safety. I just feel you will Be a large target. Safe travel

  73. better you should lie down in front of a speeding locomotive in the Houston area,you will get the SAME RESULTS...,plus also saving on fuel and time (sigh)

  74. Driving through Mexico then Guatemala and hoping to make it alive will be like the Warriors fighting to get back to Coney Island after the Cyrus shooting.

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