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Old 22 Oct 2012
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Maps for mexico & central america

what are the best maps to buy for mexico & central america where do i buy them
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Old 22 Oct 2012
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We've just brought these but yet to reach the countries so not sure how good they are but look ok over the hostel coffee table in Colombia

Central America - Maps, Travel Books, Guides and Travel Information - Stanfords - Stanfords Website

Mexico - Maps, Travel Books, Guides and Travel Information - Stanfords - Stanfords Website

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Old 22 Oct 2012
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For Mexico I very strongly recommend Guia Roji. They have them at gas stations in Mexico. You'll normally find the ones for the states near the gas station or the big mapbook for the entire country. I believe they can also be ordered online. ITMB's maps are a reasonable second choice.

For Central America I used ITMB exclusively. I found them to be reasonably good, albeit not entirely accurate at times. But then no map ever is entirely accurate.

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Old 22 Oct 2012
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The Roji is fine for Mexico if you are going to be on well traveled cuota roads or if you are going to be on well traveled state roads. Remember, it has some real big errors if you are doing any serious riding.

A lot of tourists use the Roji, but there are other options that are better, the Roji is usually used because it is the easiest to buy and usually the only map of Mexico they have ever used, maybe apart from an AAA map.
Mapasindependencia are not too bad, even the Quimera is just as good as a Roji and a little cheaper.
You can download some very good aviation maps for free online. These cover a wide swath of Latin America and not just Mexico. They are large files, with a lot more accuracy than the Roji will ever dream of having.

Start here:


Using the google maps etc... is ok, but like any other source, it won't give you an idea of the condition of the road which is very important. That you will get by simply asking locals.
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Old 22 Oct 2012
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Reise Know-How is the best up-to-date paper maps for Central America. Way better than ITMB, IMO. Reise Know-How Verlag online

You can try to find from a local distributor, (McGiggle posted a link) but new maps are released almost every year and distributors rarely have the lastest version. Also, there is a pretty big markup. If you have the time, order direct from Reise in Germany.

Guia Roji is excellent for Mexico, but as MikeMike said, it's not so awesome for off the beaten track places. We used OSM maps via MapSource for that.
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Old 11 Nov 2012
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if you need one quick and your in the states, the large book shops should sell the international travel maps www.itmb.com i got one in New Mexico that covers all the central american countries and one for mexico, cost about $13 USD each. Detailled enough to show all the major and minor roads which I mainly took.
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Old 12 Nov 2012
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Thanks i did buy those maps there is not much for route numbers good detail thought thanks
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Old 16 Nov 2012
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cool, dont know if they have the same well sigh posted routes as they do in the states from where i travelled in CAM and mexico, cant remember if i ever saw a route number. just mostly a big green sign with the name of the town ahead and how many kms to it (if the town is even sign pósted, as signage is generally bad or completely non existent in a lot of areas). I mostly just asked people on the side of the road and they pointed me in generally the right directions. I ve recently been through those countries, so feel free to send us a message if you have any other qúestions about the countries

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Old 17 Nov 2012
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Mexico has a well organized system of applying number identification signs along the FEDERAL highways. The signs are shield shaped, black on white saying stuff like MEXICO 15, They are usually spaced regularly along the federal highways , each 5km on the majors. They also have distance markers indicating the km from some reference place like a capital city or an important town or a state boundary. You will see a km marker on your side of the road each two km because odd numbers and even numbers are each on their own side of the road. As a result as you travel along you will see your km numbers steadily increasing or decreasing.
Make it a habit to read the signs and the km markers as you proceed so that you have a reference as to distance travelled or if you have a breakdown and need to give specifics of location,
or are counting down to an empty tank to the next possible filling station.
The GREEN with WHITE signs are directional signs , giving the names and of towns , arrows and distances to those points.
Mexican state highways also have been numbered in similar pattern but are not a s stringent in being shown. Numbers may change in capricious manner.
In Central America numbers are also given to highways , similar signs on the national roads. There are CA numbers for several major through-highways and RN = Ruta Nacional and Departmental numbers
In Guatemala the distance markers on ALL highways all count the km to a zero point in Guatemala City. But if you switch highways in the highlands you may suddenly see totally different km values because the two roads may be counting along different routes from the divide
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Old 18 Nov 2012
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When we lived in Guatemala we had the Guia Roji for Mexico, not the map but the map book, about $100 that's pesos not dollars!! I used the ITBM maps for the other countries. When asking directions I usually asked several folks and went with the majority vote!!
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