Driving into Mexico
Driving to Mexico is fairly easy. From the East Coast Canada or US to Nuevo Vallarta you can cross at the Laredo Border (Read more about Travel Adventures to Mexico - Memorandal), West or Central through Nogalis. Once you pass the "Nothing to Declare" lane, you have to get a permit for your car. This consists of paying an entry fee per person, running around gettings various stamps and photocopies made and finally getting a sticker that goes on your front windows, just below your rear view mirror.
You then drive several kilometers (12 miles from the border), you pass the checkpoint. You will be faced with a red or green light. Green means you can proceed, red means you will have to get inspected.
Most highways offer either a toll road (cuota) or free road. both have been done, toll roads are by far the better of the two. Not only do you not get stuck behind a slow moving truck for miles on end, you actually have a shoulder in case of emergencies. Driving on the free roads, you have to pass through little villages, which slows you down with Topes and various live animals, dead animals and some security checkpoints. Pay the tolls...you will zoom through Mexico and still get a great view of the countryside.
TIP: If the driver in front of you puts on his left blinker, it's a sign that it's safe to pass. Now...don't go putting your left blinker to signal the person behind you to pass! Why? You guessed it...they will also try to pass you!
Drive during the day, stay off the roads if at all possible during the night. For one thing, it's harder to see the topes in the dark and hitting one at 70 km an hour will give your suspension a killer blow! You also have to deal with animals who have an unhealthy desire to hang out on pavement in the dark. Add the possibility of drunk drivers and you see why taking a hotel might be a good plan.
Driving to Mexico is a great way to experience the scenery and enjoy the various terrains Mexico has to offer. You can get great Mexican maps for your GPS unit that will guide you through the large towns and make sure you stay on course.
Drive safe, see you in Nuevo Vallarta!