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Author: Subject: Nogales - San Carlos / Guymas

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[*] posted on 10-13-2016 at 02:24 PM
Nogales - San Carlos / Guymas

Can anyone advise on the safety of driving TJ to San Carlos / Guymas (non Baja, on the mainland). Roadblocks, kidnapping, dirty police,l narco violence? I live in Baja del Norte, I've driven to Baja CA del Sur without issues. Also do I need to do something to drive my car on the mainland side (my MX car insurance is for all MX via Baja Bound).
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[*] posted on 10-13-2016 at 03:19 PM

Been years since I did the drive south to Guaymas / San Carlos, but it's a 4-lane freeway (of sorts) all the way from Nogales to Guaymas, and also a 'hassle-free zone' with no roadblocks or checkpoints.... or at least it wasn't then. Driving through Hermosillo can be a bit tricky, but follow the signs. The whole drive is a piece of cake.

A few miles south of Nogales is a big complex for getting all your paperwork together; you'll need your registration, passport, vehicle ownership papers and insurance (I believe you can buy insurance there too) . There are kiosks for getting several copies made of your papers, and then on to the registration desks; can't remember all the 'rules' but everything can be accomplished with one stop. Large parking lot for cars and RV's. I think your Baja auto insurance is good for the northern Mexican Riviera States as well; i'd check on that with your carrier to be certain. There are some additional fees, but nothing that will break the bank.

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David K
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[*] posted on 10-13-2016 at 04:00 PM

Is not Guaymas and San Carlos in the "Sonora Free Zone", so no TIP (Temp. Import Permit) needed (unless you go south of there)? SlyOnce stated he has insurance for ALL of Mexico, not just Northwest states, which is still covered with a Northwest only policy.

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[*] posted on 10-13-2016 at 04:06 PM

The option I would look into is taking Mex 2 across to San Luis, then south to Mex 15D. I have not driven that stretch of ground since 99, so I would be asking the same questions right now.

The road I really wanted to drive then was south and east from Puerto Penasco, but I did not have the right doucuments on that trip, so I turned back west and drove through your neighbor hood!

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[*] posted on 10-14-2016 at 03:19 PM

David K is correct. If only going to San Carlos no car import needed. Easy stop at km26 to get whatever you need. (Can't miss it!!)
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[*] posted on 12-26-2016 at 12:17 AM

Be aware that the temporary vehicle importation which you will need to get if driving outside of the Free Zones will cost you from $200-$400 depending on the age of your vehicle. Charged to your credit card and refunded to your credit card after you stop on the way out to turn in your importation sticker. They will also give you a paper when you drive out, which you should hang onto in case you don't receive the refund and as proof that you removed the vehicle from the country within the 180 day limit. (make sure to stop and do this, don't just drive out). If crossing at Nogales, the stop for this is not at the border, but 21K south of Nogales.
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[*] posted on 12-26-2016 at 06:10 AM

Unless you really want to drive the relatively new road that goes around the top of the Sea of Cortez, (mostly hwys 5 to 4 to 40) if I was leaving from TJ to head to San Carlos, I would stay on US highways till either Gila Bend (and cross at Lukeville) or Nogales, AZ and cross there. As mentioned by others, no vehicle permits are needed until south of Guaymas. Tourist permits available on both routes.

There are pockets of construction on both of the recommended routes that force you into single lanes in each direction. Be vigilant for, well, there's no other words for it, CRAZY flockING LOCALS trying to save a few minutes and endangering themselves and others. Gruesome deaths every day on these routes. This includes even some CRAZY flockING big rigs. Choose your passing areas carefully (technically illegal to pass in the 2 lane areas, but how long is your patience when doing 40mph behind a slow truck for a half hour)? And leave space between you and the vehicle in front of you for these CRAZY flockING LOCALS to get back into traffic, ESPECIALLY THE CRAZY FLOCKING BIG RIG DRIVERS. You dont want a head on next to you. Concede to stupidity, in this case, and hope their lesson comes later.

I would not do the stretch of Hwy 2 between San Luis RC and Sonoyta. Very remote area, through known illegal crossing areas, though I understand the road is good (though some construction there, too.)

Hwy 40 south of Estacion Coahuilla is somewhat interesting (the "new" highway) but spends quite a bit of time away from the Sea, so not as scenic I as expected. You eventually hook up with hwy 2 that heads to Caborca and on to Santa Anna and Hwy 15D.

I have driven from San Carlos to SF twice, in the winter and it is near impossible to make this route (which is 15 to 2 to 40 and then around to 5) in daylight. I have always stopped in Puerto Penasco. But I am pretty much a 60-65mph driver on the "freeway" sections. Towns, and their topes, rob you of minutes constantly.

If you were going to try and drive it in one day from TJ, I would leave at something like 4am to try and make it in daylight on these short winter days. And I would go through Nogales. It truly is divided, multilane highway virtually the entire way except the construction zones and through the city of Hermosillo. Even in HMO it is multilane, just not divided. But you do have some traffic signals to deal with.
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