Archive for the ‘Jalisco Mexico summer 2008’ Category

The Adventure Begins

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Today is the big day, we hit the road on our driving adventure into Mexico. We loaded up most of our stuff into the truck the day before so we didn’t have to wake up too early so at about 9am we left the house to pick up Marcela. There are 2 vehicles in our caravan through Mexico (my F150 and a Dodge caravan). There are 5 of us traveling in my truck. My wife, my 2 kids, my sister-in-law Marcela, and myself.

Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

As previously mentioned, the next travel destination for OFF ROAD FUN is Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, Mexico. Since I’m not an expert, you can go to the wikipedia page on Cuidad Guzman to learn more about the city itself. 

As a side note…after the trip I still won’t be an expert but I’ll definately have lots of photos, information, and experiences to share with you.

Driving Through Mexico Can Cost You…AKA “Toll Booths”

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Do your homework. Finding the best roads usually means having to pay tolls…many of them. Just be aware that the booth workers are not always the most honest people and some of them will try to over charge you or short change you so the more you know before you go the better. Charges vary, depending on the route, and how long the stretch of road is to the next major town or turn off. Tolls are best paid with cash, – some booths are starting to accept credit and debit cards, but not all – so make sure you have pesos with you when you travel by car on toll roads to ensure you don’t get caught out. Some will take USD but will be very inconsistent with the exchange rate. Information about toll roads , distance and costs between any two points in the country can be found (in spanish) at Traza Tu Ruta.

Make sure you keep the receipt you get at each toll booth. This is your “insurance certificate”. If you are involved in an accident you will need this receipt or you may be liable to for road repair and maintenance charges.

Routes which have toll roads connecting the destinations, also have a free alternative road. When you’re driving in Mexico, watch the signs and follow the route for the road type you want to use. Here is a list of the key words to look out for:

LIBRE = Free Road. Free roads are less well maintained, single carriageways that will take you longer to travel across. However, to see some of the ‘off the beaten track’ places, you’ll need to avoid Toll Roads, as they often double as “by-passes” (see term below). It’s recommended that you don’t take the free roads after dark.

CUOTA = Toll Road. Follow this sign if you want to take the toll road to the destination you are traveling to. Note that the highway numbers are often the same, so you can be on the right highway number, heading in the right direction, but on a free (slower) road than you’d like to be. For toll roads, follow the signs that read “CUOTA”.

LIBRAMIENTO = Bypass. Sometimes, major free roads that connect big towns and cities will give you an option to take the “Libramiento” route. This is like a toll road (and sometimes it’s part of the toll road) which, for a fee, will enable you to by-pass the smaller town city if you don’t want to go there, saving you time, and perhaps the hassle of getting lost. Libramientos work in the same way as toll roads.

Driving your car into Mexico?

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

If you plan on taking your car into Mexico you will need to get a permit to temporarily import your vehicle into Mexico. There are several ways to accomplish this. You can do it at the border when crossing, you can go to select Mexican consulates, or you can do it online at the Banjercito web site.

Some of the documentation they require (must bring the original and a set of copies):

  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • certificate of vehicle ownership (if financed, notorized approval to temporarily export the vehicle to Mexico)
  • auto insurance for the dates you will be in Mexico
  • current vehicle registration
  • photo ID
  • A credit card (IE Visa,MC) or up to $400 USD cash deposit
  • and of course there is a fee $29 to $59 USD (each method has a different price)

After all this is done you will get a permit with a sticker that you attach to your windshield while in Mexico. Before you leave Mexico you are obligated to present your vehicle to the Banjercito office at the border crossing to get your deposit back.

New Trip In The Planning Stages

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Hello all. I just wanted to let you know that I’m in the planning stages of my next trip. This trip will be to Jalisco Mexico. This will be a road trip so for the next few months I will be detailing all the preperation needed to make this journey. Since this site is all about family travel, I will definately include all the extra steps involved for a family of four. I have two small children ages 3 and 6 and none of us have ever attempted such a long drive. I have talked to someone that has experience driving to the state of Jalisco Mexico and they usually make it in 2 days which includes stopping for the night at about the half way point.

some of the things I will be covering in upcoming installments include route planning, getting passports, vehicle maintenance/preperation, lodging, itenirary, and of course back up plans for anything that can go wrong.

 If you have any suggestions please leave comments. If you have a story you would like to share, please email it to me at and I will post it on the site so we can all learn from your experiences.