We arrived in Mazatlan late on January 29th, 2017 with our two cats, Garfield and Babylonia. We’d driven first from Tijuana to Hermosillo the first day and then from Hermosillo to Mazatlan where we spent the night in an AirBnB vacation rental in a gated community. Mazatlan is a city that’s overflowing with expats. The climate seems perfect, but the social aspects of living in a city overrun with foreigners might make for a less-than-ideal experience (but maybe not, who knows?). There are tons of white tourists in Mazatlan who are on adventures-of-a-lifetime, complete with Indiana Jones hats, a strong send of urgency and impatience, and khaki shorts.
Today, Garfield cried for a little while when we put him in his carrier. Usually, for the first hour, until she digests her “sleepy treat” Babylonia is the one making noise. They both liked the vacation rental we stayed in in Mazatlan. There were lots of “catty corners” a little niches in the townhouse.
The roads between Mazatlan and Guanajuato are mountainous and sometimes winding, but good. There are a LOT of tolls and they’re quite a bit more expensive in this area than in the northern parts of Mexico between Tijuana and Mazatlan. Driving in Guadalajara was challenging for John. He said, “It’s not for novices.” It was comparable to driving in Chicago, but with a lot more bicycles, pedestrians, and unexpected things on the side of the road. Otherwise though Guadalajara felt relatively safe and clean.
The drive between Mazatlan and Guanajuato was not unlike driving in parts of the United States so I don’t have a lot of juicy details to share about it. There were plenty of places with restrooms available. The roads were in good shape overall. There were convenience stores and restaurants to stop at for food. So I’m including information below about toll fees. Be sure to take out cash at the ATM before you leave Mazatlan. Take out enough to buy gas, pay for the tolls, and a little extra.
About 70 to 80 miles outside of Guanajuato, there was a large crowd of people doing a pilgrimage to somewhere. There were groups of tents set up in various places in this area and a lot of people walking together alongside the road. I’m not sure if this is something that goes on all the time or if we just happened to be in the right place at the right time. The Cristo Rey del Cubilete statue is on a hill just 15 km outside of the city of Guanajuato. It is second in size only to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (which is one of the 7 Wonders of the World).
Mazatlan to Tepic, Mexico Tolls = 522 Pesos
About 20-30 minutes outside of Mazatlan was the first toll booth = 44 Pesos
Toll #2 = 108 Pesos
Toll #3 =210 Pesos
Caseta Ruiz Toll =100 Pesos
Toll #5 = 60 Pesos
Tepic to Guadalajara Tolls = 861 Pesos
Toll #1 = 123 Pesos
Toll #2 = 145 Pesos
Toll #3 = 115 Pesos
Toll #4 = 57 Pesos
Toll #5 = 132 Pesos
Toll #6 = 156 Pesos
Guanajuato State Toll = 133
Guanajuato City Entrance Toll = 29 Pesos
Notes on Driving in Mexico: Tijuna to Hermosillo
Crossing the Tijuana Border (video)
Somewhere Near Sonoyta (video)
Driving from Obregon to Mazatlan (video)
RVing in Mexico (video)