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Old 9 Jun 2021
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Guatemala / Arizona
Posts: 10
Mexico--Completed 32 day joy ride North to South/ April 2021/ Info for itinerary

In March/ April of this year (2021), I completed a long, meandering, solo ride through Mexico. From Tucson, AZ to Antigua, Guatemala. It was another leg on my stop & start quest to solo RTW on my small, but reliable, Honda 250.

Absolutely loved Mexico and the people there! It's well worth a visit, a ride through, to say the least.

Security, the federales etc,* I had no trouble at all.* Didn't get stopped once at over 50 checkpoints along the way.* * The country and everyone in it--including the bad guys who are heavily invested in it--simply don't want to touch or damage the tourism industry in any way. Here's more info about that: **https://worldview.stratfor.com/artic...erican-tourist)

Lots of bargains available and rates/ prices are at historic lows--especially in non-resort areas-- as restaurants & hotels seek to ramp up post-pandemic business.

I rode a Honda CRF250L with a larger seat (seat concept) and 3.1 gallon fuel tank. Worked well for me and kept me within the speed limits which is a smart way to avoid getting pulled over.

My motorcycle was from the USA. I had no trouble getting the permit for Mexico, although it did take a couple of f hours. (You get it at the border, don't need to do anything in advance.) Cost: $55 plus $400 deposit that is refunded to you when you leave Mexico. I did buy the required Mexican motorcycle insurance ahead of time online from thesse guys:*https://www.mexinsurance.com/motorcycle-insurance/*You can also get it at the border checkpoint (at least when I was there.)

I stuck mostly to the big toll highways which were all in excellent condition. Frequent rest stops, wide shoulders, good signage, and even, in most places, free emergency road side assistance. The side road journeys I took (will see them in the itinerary below), mainly crossing the mountain passes, were dream rides with lots of switchbacks and grand vistas and again, roads in excellent condition.

Lonely Planet Mexico was my Bible for where to stay, best places to eat, visit. I usually skip guidebooks but there were just too many choices, too little time. Lonely Planet's recommendations are detailed, accurate, and quickly point you to the best restaurant, hotel, tour, activity, etc. choices. It's a bit more geared towards those looking for more adventure so it won't spoil you either.

My average daily budget was very roughly around $80... typically $30 to $45 for hotel, $25 for food, $20 gas&tolls. You could knock off $30 if you don't mind dorm stays, more street food. Even more if you skip the toll roads. These days I seek comfort. With this daily budget, I was able to stay in nice, quiet, clean places and eat well and stay healthy.

A meandering North to South trail, roughly:
Tucson to Pacific Coast...
to Copper Canyon where spent a few days...
down Pacific Coast to Mazatlan...
turned left (east) and crossed mountains to Durango...
rode for a few days south through Central Mexico...
jagged over to the Atlantic coast/ Veracrusz), rode a couple of days south... took a few days to cross back thru Oaxaca to the Pacific (west)...
then inland again and southward to Chiapas...
crossed over to Guatemala and on to Antigua

34 days...* * * 3228 miles
Overnighted in 22 cities
Coasts visited: * Sea of Cortez/ Pacific/ Atlantic
Mountain ranges traversed:
Sierra Madre del Occidental
* "* "* * del Oriental
* "* "* * del Sur
And specifically: *
* "* "* * de Oaxaca
*" * "* * de Chiapas * *

--Google Map of my trip:*https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/ed...9999&z=5*(List of cities visited below)

-- Magic Towns (Pueblos Magicos) The choices on where to travel in Mexico are overwhelming. One way to begin to narrow them down is to focus on a list of 120 or so towns that Mexico has designated as "Magic Towns". Therse are usually smaller towns that have great cultural/ historic/ scenic appeal. They're typcially not the more known ones--eg Cancun--as the ideas is to guide and enlighten the visitor to places they might miss, skip, due to them being less familiar.
Here's a map I did of all the Magic towns in Mexico, with the descriptions of them copied from the government site:*https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/ed...101.722914&z=5

Note: Just because a city does not appear as a Magic City doesn't mean it's not worth visiting. For example, San Miguel de Allende. Again, this is a list of lesser known (for the most part) recommendations of places to visit to complement the more familiar places.

Daily itinerary (travel days start with an elipsis... / rest days, where I stayed at a city, have none)
Day* * * * * Place
21 Tucson to Nogales (fixed papers)
22 ... * to Hermosillo
23 .... * to Guaymas
24 .... * to El Fuerte (parked mbike here and took train into Copper Canyon)
25 ... * to Copper Canyon via train... *stayed in Cerocahui
26 Cerocahui (w daytrips to Gallego, overlooking Urrique)
27 ... * Back to El Fuerte, picked up mbike
28 ... * Culiacan
29 ... * Mazatlan
30 ... * Durango
31 ... * Zacatecas
1 .Zacatecas
2 ... * Guanajuato
3 Guanajuato
4 ... * San Miguel de Allende * (Via Dolores de Hidalgo)
5* * San Miguel de Allende
6* ... * Mineral del Chico
7 ... * Cholula
8 Cholula
9 ... * Veracruz
10 ... * Tlacotalpan
11 Tlacotalpan
12 ... * Textupec
13 ... * Oaxaca
14 Oaxaca
15 ....Mazunte
16 Mazunte
17 ....* Juchitan
18*... * San Cristobal
19 San Cristobal
20 San Cristobal
21 ... * Comitan
22. Crosss over at border La Mesilla
Ride to Huehuetenango, Guatemala
23 ... * Antigua, Guatemala.

For the most part, I was happy with the route I followed. However, here are a couple of changes I would have made in retrospect.
1. Taken the highway from Arizona to Creel at the North eastern side of Copper Canyon... And then traversed the Canyon to the Pacific (and then continued on as before.) Note: this takes you onto 2 or 3 days worth of good dirt roads and riding through very remote regions. Need to bring extra gas. Check the security situation ahead of time as this is a more remote region.

2. Skipped the visit to Mineral del Chico (April 6th) and headed straight for Northern Veracruz in order to have more time and a longer ride along the Atlantic coast.

I hope the above helps someone with their Mexican Adventure. I've gotten so much good advice/ help from HUBB that I wanted to contribute back some.

I'll check back on a weekly basis to this thread to try to answer questions. Unfortunately, super slammed so can't do that more frequently.

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Old 9 Jun 2021
brclarke's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 812
Thank you for your detailed report. It's been about 14 years since I did any riding in Mexico, and I have been wondering what it's like more recently...

- I note you make no mention of COVID-19 anywhere. Did you have any issues with regards to the pandemic?
- Did you leave the CRF in Antigua to continue on at a later date?
Bruce Clarke - 2020 Yamaha XV250

Last edited by brclarke; 10 Jun 2021 at 01:40.
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Old 11 Jun 2021
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New on the HUBB
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Guatemala / Arizona
Posts: 10
- I note you make no mention of COVID-19 anywhere. Did you have any issues with regards to the pandemic?
- Did you leave the CRF in Antigua to continue on at a later date?

I did leave the CRF in Guatemala as I plan to continue riding south. Soon, if all goes well, i'll continue to Panama, than ship or air freight the CRF to Colombia and continue onward. I'm still working out that itinerary.

I didn't have any issues with Covid. They didn't even ask me for a test result at the border crossing over from the USA. I did need one to get into Guatemala, done within the past 72 hours. I never had any problems getting into hotels, restaurants, shops etc... They are super diligent about checking temperature etc., but as long as you're not sick, you're OK.

I wouldn't go without a vaccine though. Covid rates are still skyhigh, some of the highest in the world. And if you get Covid when you're in Mexico, it could put you into a difficult spot as you're the least priority as an international (at least as far as I know.)
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Old 13 Jun 2021
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 418
Thanks for the RR
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Old 10 Jul 2021
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thanks for the report!
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