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Texas To Yucatan Routes Compared

Mike at the wheel

Gulf Coast or Interior Route?

You've got to go through Texas to get to the Yucatan. That's bad enough. But then you have to decide between three routes to get through Mexico.

The Gulf Coast route, while scenic, is not a contender in 2020. Throughout the state, the Cartels control pockets of territory. They are best avoided.

That leaves McAllen, TX or Laredo, TX.

McAllen, TX (Reynosa) to Monterrey to Yucatan via Puebla

Except for the 140 miles on a toll road between Reynosa and Monterrey, this is the same route as the one from Laredo, TX. It's just as safe and if you are coming from Houston or points east, it is closer.

Laredo to Yucatan via Puebla

This is the most popular route to the Yucatan Peninsula. It is also considered the "safest." It is toll road all the way except for a few hours between Matehuala and the bypass of the city of San Luis Potosi and a couple of other spots. There are just enough RV parks and pet-friendly hotels to make it attractive. There are very interesting hot springs, waterfalls, a luxury hotel/spa on the way, but most people just drive straight through. Their loss. But if you want to see the country, I will be happy to share my knowledge with you.

Reynosa, Los Indios or Matamoros to Yucatan

These routes differ only for the first couple of hours. After that, they all go down the Gulf Coast of Mexico all the way to Chetumal. They meet up with the Laredo route outside Veracruz. Some consider them less safe than the Laredo route. There is some truth to that. I do not update those roadlogs for the time being. They are half-price for that reason.

These routes are mostly three-lane roads and free. There is always about 100 kilometers of bad road somewhere. Buku RV parks, hotels. Pleasant Gulf drive. Great seafood.

Firstly - please don't ask, "How many hours drive is it to Merida, Cancun, Guatemala?" You might as well ask how many hours is it to the moon. While the distance to the moon changes and the mileage to Merida et al does not, you've got to start thinking about driving in Mexico with a different perspective. Well, you don't have to do anything. But I assume since you are here, you wouldn't mind learning a bit about how not to think like a gringo.

Think of driving from Laredo to Cancun as a journey, not a forced march. Yeah, I know Internet mapping programs will tell you it takes X hours to get anywhere, don't do that in Mexico. For one thing, you should not drive at night - even with the toll roads. There are still cars without tail lights, lots of drunks on the road and occasional uneven road surfaces. Plus - you miss all the scenery.