Driving Instructions from Laredo Texas to Lake Chapala
This is a detailed 22 point driving instruction guide from Laredo Texas all the way to Lake Chapala Mexico. This driving guide has been put together by Kevin Paulini from Ajijic Legal and Immigration services. Kevin has personally done this drive over 15 times and is part of the AccessLakeChapala.com team. Kevin is also our Immigration and Legal specialist. To contact and email Kevin, you can use the form included at the bottom of this guide or call him directly at:
766-4777 or 766-4888
From Outside Mexico:
Driving Guide From Laredo Texas to Chapala Mexico (Updated 2013)
The start of this drive to GDL starts at the end of the I-35. There are a few traffic lights and then you enter the border area. Here your vehicle will be photographed by the US as you are leaving, then you will pay the $2 toll to cross the international bridge into Mexico.
At the end of the bridge you will have one of two options to choose from, “I Declare” and “Have Nothing to Declare”. No matter which you choose you will end up at the same point more or less. I reset my odometer at the point you get the “Red Light” “Green Light” which either you get stopped and checked by customs or you continue into Mexico. Once you are past these lights you will turn left and follow that road for about 1 km to a traffic light, which is the bypass around Nuevo Laredo.
*If you need to visit with Immigration or get a Temporary Importation Permit for your car, turn left at this light and follow the road back down under the bridge to the building on the left (right is the river). Inside that large building is where you will find Immigration and the car permit people. Once you are done there, return up the road to the traffic light and go left onto that road. At that point your odometer should read about 3 km’s. Follow this bypass until you reach the highway south the Monterrey which is the next traffic light which will be at the 14.5 Km mark.
Once again reset your odometer to 0.0.
*If you do not need Immigration or the Car Permit office, merge right and follow the bypass around to the highway south to Monterrey which is the next traffic light which will be at the 12.5 km mark.
Once again reset your odometer to 0.0.
0.0 km – 0.0 mph Highway overpass. Here you will turn left and start heading south on HWY 85. This road is a little on the rough side, so take it easy.
17.5 km – 10.9 mph Customs and Immigration check point. Another “Red Light” “Green Light” stop. Be ready with Car permit, Immigration papers, and any product declarations you may have made at the border.
65.0 km – 40.4 mph Merge left to the Cuota road to Monterrey.
110.7 km – 68.8 mph Toll 205 pesos
189.4 km – 117.7 mph You will be passing through a small town here with an airport on the right and several Pemex stations on the left. Turn right here for the Cuota road around Monterrey. The signs will indicate Saltillo.
211.8 km – 131.6 mph Toll 130 pesos
227.0 km – 141.1 mph Keep right for the Cuota road to Saltillo
228.0 km – 141.7 mph Toll 45 pesos
255.8 km – 158.9 mph Exit right which will curl down to the free road to Saltillo
262.3 km – 163.0 mph Keep left and exit to Matehuala. This is the bypass around Saltillo
272.1 km – 169.1 mph Toll 35 pesos
315.6 km – 196.1 mph Toll 55 pesos
507.0 km – 315.0 mph Start of bypass around Matehuala – Matahuala is the mid-way point at around 6 hours. Good place to stay if you do not wish to make the drive in one shot, this town pretty much divides the trip in half. There are also 2 good motels to choose from (Casa Inn and La Palmao) and one is pet friendly. Also good food is to be had here. If you choose this option just be careful of the mileage as it will vary from simply going around, but it shouldn’t be much.
512.0 km – 318.1 mph Toll 20 pesos
521.2 km – 323.9 mph Rejoin main highway through Matehuala
676.1 km – 420.1 mph Be sure to go left here. One of the first signs indicating Guadalajara (GDL)
698.0 km – 433.7 mph Toll 53 pesos
708.3 km – 440.1 mph Left for 57 to GDL, don’t go right, right goes into San Luis Potosi
710.4 km – 441.4 mph Stay right to Lagos de Moreno and GDL
For the next 4 km’s there is going to be a huge Customs (Aduanas) Depot and the speed limit is only 60 km’s per hour here, and the State Police love to hang around here and nab speeders during this really slow speed limit. So be watchful here for them.
739.7 km – 459.6 mph Toll 118 pesos
786.5 km – 488.7 mph Follow around ¾’s for HWY 80, but be careful here, there is a signage mistake. There are two ways to Lagos de Moreno ¾’s the way around, one turns to the right which is the free road which has the correct sign, and one goes straight onto the new excellent toll road. You want the straight through which is signed for Querétaro. Once on this Cuota road for a few kilometers you will see Lagos de Moreno and GDL signs.
847.1 km – 526.4 mph Toll 90 pesos
865.9 km – 538.0 mph Stay right for the right turn to GDL at stop sign
868.3 km – 539.5 mph Rough series of speed bumps
873.0 km – 542.5 mph Intersection straight through to GDL
873.4 km – 542.7 mph Another rough series of speed bumps
874.8 km – 543.6 mph Rough RR
879.0 km – 546.2 mph Turn right – Pemex on corner which is a good place to get gas before GDL
907.9 km – 564.1 mph Follow right to GDL Cuota
935.6 km – 581.4 mph Toll 128 pesos
983.2 km – 610.9 mph Toll 108 pesos
1027.2 km – 638.3 mph Toll 50 pesos
1045.4 km – 649.6 mph Exit right, follow signs for Hampton Inn. Keep left after exit, right goes to Tlaquepaque.
1046.9 km – 650.1 mph Exit right onto last clover leaf to HWY south to airport and Lake Chapala
You are pretty much Home free now.
This toll road will take you to the outer part of GUADALAJARA. After about 2 hours down the HWY, after passing the third toll booth, you will go onto a bridge that curves to the left. After that you will see several signs that say “CHAPALA”. Make sure to stay in your right hand lane and follow the CHAPALA signs.
You will also be seeing signs that say “CHAPALA” and “AEROPUERTO”, follow both, once you pass the airport on your right hand side, you have about 45 more kilometers to get to Lake Chapala.
To download or print these driving instruction in PDF format click here
By, Kevin Paulini
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