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Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

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Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

We are flying into Guadalajara on Thursday, and renting a car for the drive to Puerto Vallarta. Any safety concerns we need to be aware of? Any advise for the trip?

Thank you.

Puerto Vallarta...
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1. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

Take the toll road, about 4 1/2 hours, otherwise, no problem, have a nice ride :)

Puerto Vallarta...
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2. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

The following site (see below) tells you the tolls for the trip. Obviously you just put in Jalisco, Guadalajara as your origin and Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta as your destination. It is about 300 pesos, but this will help you to have your money ready. Please note that you must pay in pesos. They do not accept US dollars or credit cards and there are no bank machines around. If you print this out, you won't be fumbling for change.

Also, if some people at the first toll booth want to sell you a pass, buy one as even for one trip it will pay for your tolls and you just sail through without having to fumble for said change. It is called a IAVE pass. Good luck!

…sct.gob.mx/sibuac_internet/ControllerUI…

Edited: 10 February 2014, 02:54
Scottsdale, AZ
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3. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

A few years ago I drove the "back way" through Talpa and Mascota. Unbelievable scenery and there are places where you would never believe that you were in Mexico. A long and tedious drive however, but worth doing if you are not in a hurry.

Puerto Vallarta...
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4. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

I agree with Randy that the road through Mascota is a beautiful drive, but it can be a nightmare if it is your first time. For one thing, there are tons of speed bumps, not all of them marked and, unlike in Canada or the US, they aren't always the fair kind, i.e., you don't have to be going extra fast to scrape your vehicle's undercarriage. To me, anyway, the drive through Mascota is most fun and rewarding in a higher clearance vehicle. But, for sure, it's worth doing at some point. But some people prefer it even in a sedan because....

The toll road isn't the cat's meow either. Only app. half of it is toll and the rest is winding two-lane highway where you can very well end up driving app. 30 km behind a slow-moving transport vehicle at a very slow speed because it is mountanous (between Compostela and Las Varas and it is the truck route. After that it straightens out and it's pretty good straight through to Vallarta even though it is still winding two lane much of the way. Just past Sayulita the road becomes four lane again.

Edited: 10 February 2014, 04:09
Dallas, Texas
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5. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

I would suggest if possible to leave Guadalajara by 2 pm in order to be out of the mountains before dark, it will make for a more comfortable drive.

Fredericksburg...
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6. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

What road do you take from Mascota to Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta...
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7. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

There's only one road - route 90

Fredericksburg...
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8. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

Thanks ... I was hoping I could go directly west through the mountains from Mascota to Puerto Vallarta, but guess the only way for an inexperienced traveler such as me in that area is to backtrack on Hwy 90 toward Nuevo Vallarta and then jump on Hwy 200 to PV.

Puerto Vallarta
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9. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

On the toll roads, when you pay the toll, they include insurance. My friend coming back from GDL to PV got into a major accident. Luckily the insurance (from the toll) paid for her ambulance and hospital stay, medicine, etc. in Tepic.

Puerto Vallarta...
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10. Re: Driving - Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta

Yes I completely agree. The drive via Mascota / Talpa is a great scenery but if you care about safety taking the toll is probably the best way. Having the toll insurance cover for any accidents its peace in mind. Also keep in mind that if you are driving in the rainy season there are more road blocks in the Mascota / Talpa road then if you come from the Toll road.