Be sure to get plenty of cash or effectivo before leaving Hermosillo on this stretch of highway. You’ll need the cash for gas and toll fees. The highways are more rough and less maintained between Hermosillo and Los Mochis (though there is road construction going on so they may be improved soon). This slows the driving down considerably.
I’ve included the cost of the tolls that I was able to get (there were protestors at some of the toll booths and I didn’t get the cost of those) on our drive. Be sure to pull out more than this amount of cash, most of the toll booths don’t take plastic. The roads between Hermosillo and Los Mochis were poor, but still drivable with good tires. The people were nice, but there were a few areas that looked a little sketchy, not unlike the United States except that we’re white and so we might stand out a little more if we stop.
I took videos of important parts of our journey (see “related posts” below) to show the roads and some of our other experiences to make driving in Mexico more accessible to other people. We drove from Tijuana to Guanajuato, Mexico on January 29, 2017 with our Prius and our two cats, Garfield and Babylonia.
Hermosillo to Obregon Mexico on Highway 15: Tolls = 46 Pesos + 71 Pesos + 71 Pesos (117 Pesos TOTAL)
- The roads were under construction for all of this distance to Guaymas.
- Near Guaymas, we got stuck in traffic for about 30 minutes while police and military worked to clean up a major car accident.
- The Plaza de Cobro No. 151 Guaymas Toll was 64 Pesos.
- All of the brigdes along the Highway are marked, “Puente de________”.
- There’s more litter along the road than there was on the highways between Hermosillo to Tijuana.
- In the “Hassle Free Zone” there’s no temporary vehicle permit needed for foreign vehicles. Somewhere beyond Guaymas, we left the “Hassle Free Zone” and entered the area where we needed the vehicle permit that we got when crossing the border in Tijuana.
- Some of the smaller towns before Obregon along this stretch of highway look much poorer. They were safe enough during the day, but I wouldn’t stay in them overnight without learning more about them.
- Lomo de Guamochil Toll Booth = 71 Pesos
Obregon to Los Mochis: Tolls = 71 Pesos + 67 Pesos (138 Pesos TOTAL)
- About 45 minutes outside of Obregon, there was a police car parked in the median and two policemen with a man down on all four’s in front of his car.
- Obra #148 Toll Booth (just outside the city of Navajoa, Mexico) = 71 Pesos
- We went to an OXXO somewh There between Obregon and Los Mochis and I got some hot water in a paper cup. The clerk wanted to just give it to me, but she had to charge me for the cup…she felt bad. And my Spanish was so rusty that I couldn’t explain that it was not a big deal. But it was a nice interaction nonetheless.
- Toll = 67 Pesos
- There’s an RV Park in Los Mochis, apparently.
- In the cities between Hermosillo and Los Mochis, there were a lot of men/boys with plastic water bottles spraying car windshields and “cleaning them” for a tip of course. A tip of about $1-$2 USD is about the right amount for a tip, otherwise, if you give them more, they stand at the window and beg still until the light changes.
Los Mochis to Mazatlan, Mexico: Tolls = 22 Pesos + 64 Pesos + 30 Pesos
- This is an agricultural area that looks a LOT like Nebraska. It looks like they raise palm trees, corn, garbanzo beans, oranges, and soy beans in this area. There was a La Costeña Plant on this part of the drive.
- Interestingly, though (to the best of my knowledge), Monsato does not sell GMO corn to farmers here, lots of corporate farms are growing seed crops to sell, probably in the U.S. We saw the following seed corn brands growing corn in this area: ProAgro, Quimagro, NovaSem, Aspros, Dekalb, Dow, Pioneer, and Semilla. Also, we saw advertising for Vamex fertilizer and Kelpro fertilizer.
- Guasave was a city filled with Corporate America! There was a Home Depot, Case IH, Burger King, McDonald’s, AutoZone, and Kubota store that we saw just as we were driving through. These businesses probably cater to the Americans employed to work for the corporate seed farms, if I was gonna to guess. We wondered, Will Trump put a sanction on Mexican Ag Farms that grow seed crops for U.S. fields? Will he instigate a Banana Ban?
- The roads are much better in this area, but there are a lot more tolls, one after another, it seems…
- Toll near Guasave = 22 Pesos
- Toll = 64 Pesos
- Toll just beyond the Mazatlan/Culiacan fork in the road = 30 Pesos
- Toll = 130 Pesos
- Mazatlan Toll Booth (just outside of the city) = 116 Pesos (this toll booth took credit/debit cards)
- There were a lot of mopeds on the roads at night near Mazatlan, which was dangerous because it was hard to see them. Sometimes they lacked tail lights.
- There was an RV Park in Mazatlan: Maralvillas RV Park and Resorts.
In summary, the roads between Hermosillo and Mazatlan were variable. For the first half of the trip from Hermosillo to Los Mochis, the roads were somewhat shitty (but still drivable…just make sure your tires can handle some bumps and lots of small potholes). Between Los Mochis and Mazatlan, the roads were much better and the scenery changed. We also saw RVer’s from Canada making their way south along this route.
Driving in Mexico: Is it really dangerous?
Notes on Driving in Mexico: Tijuna to Hermosillo
Crossing the Tijuana Border (video)
Driving from Tijuana to Hermosillo, Mexico (video)
Somewhere Near Sonoyta (video)
Arriving by Car in Hermosillo at Night (video)
Notes on Driving in Mexico: Hermosillo to Mazatlan
Driving in Mexico: Driving from Hermosillo to Obregon (video)
Driving from Obregon to Mazatlan (video)
Notes on Driving in Mexico: Mazatlan to Guanajuato, Mexico
Driving in Mexico: Entering Guanajuato State (video)
Driving in Mexico: Guanajuato State – Part I (video)
Driving in Mexico: Guanajuato State – Part II (video)
Time Warp While Driving Along Highway 15 in Mexico (video)
RVing in Mexico (video)
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