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Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

Edmonds, Washington
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Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

OK, side note from other post.

My Husband and I were in the Tulum area in April, we got a rental car and logged over 500 miles just driving and seeing the ruins and country.

We were apprehensive at first but quickly overcame that fear.

How is driving in this area?

(p.s) I might invite him if he can get away from work! (only if we can drive! LOL

Just seeing the ruins and towns in the area, maybe an over night in a smaller town. I can do my homework about safety but I want to ask YOU!

While were at it, where would you drive to sight see?

Thanks again!

Sunseeeker

Trail, Canada
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1. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

We rent cars on almost all of our Mexican vacations , especially in Akumal and Tulum but hardly ever in Zihua . I recall you researching the Cancun car rental places and so I won't go through all the general warnings except getting all the insurances offered . I can also add that while dishonest cops can be found in many Mexican areas the frequency of these reports is far greater near Cancun than Zihua . To be fair this may be because far fewer people feel the need to rent cars .

I wish I could recommend a rental provider in Zihua but none stand out , except in negative ways , and I don't know of any with clear insurance options available on line to compare relative costs and deductibles and maximums . Often small independent renters are the best and maybe someone will suggest one for you .

For people wanting to explore on their own a rental for a day or two might be enough . A streamlined tactic might start by returning to the airport on public transit so you can return the car when you fly out . There is a nice but bumpy drive to the ocean from the airport and then along Playa Blanca to the little village of Barra de Potosi for a sightseeing trip on dirt beach road and returning by the highway route .

Playa Larga is another option just back toward town from the airport . There may still be riding stables there .

We have checked out the area by car a few times but don't feel the need these days unlike Tulum where it is nearly a requirement for us .

Cabs are cheap and plentiful and most things are in walking distance in town .

Queretaro City...
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2. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

"Just seeing the ruins and towns in the area, maybe an over night in a smaller town." You won't find many places near Zihua meeting these criteria. There are no ruins of any note (if any at all) and no towns worth visiting within 3 hours drive (unless you count beach villages such as Barra or Troncones). So maybe just rent for 2-3 days but don't go wandering off inland without a plan!

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
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3. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

There are ruins (a work in progress) at La Chole, near Petatlan- see the thread about "tours" for some info on that. If you go in your own vehicle, there are guides at the site, for a small fee. You might want to drive to Patzcuaro and area (about 3 1/2 hours inland- a very scenic drive) and visit the little towns around the lake, like Tzintzuntzan and Quiroga, as well as Patzcuaro itself. This is a delightful 2 day trip (1 overnight). And if you would like to see a bigger colonial city, Morelia is only another 45 minute drive from there. There are quotas (toll roads) 98% of the way- so the driving is very pleasant.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
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4. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

Might want to keep in mind the travelers advisories from both Canada and the USA...about being out of the resort area in the state of Guerrero. Certainly nothing I would do. Take a guide if you want to go to see the ruins...

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g153445-c145791/Ixtap…

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
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5. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

I didn't read the entire thing, because so much of it is repetitive for the past 2 or more years. However, there are a few little problems with this information. For example, where it says "the cities of Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, and Ixtapa. In those cities, you should exercise caution and stay within tourist areas."- it says "tourist areas"- it does not say not to leave the resort. The ruins near Petatlan are certainly within what most of us would call the "tourist area". The original poster was referring to driving their rental car, but there are several options for guides to take folks to the ruins if driving themselves is not what they have in mind.

As well, this article says: "If traveling by land, use toll highway 200 between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa." Well...highway 200 is NOT a toll highway for one thing; and there is no other route except highway 200 between Aca and Zihua.

Warnings such as these should certainly be read, but they also need to be kept in perspective. Most of what this article describes is near border areas which are FAR from the Zihua area. Many folks travel to and from Zihua and the Petatlan area daily. Our nephew, for one, does this trip every day to attend the university just past Petatlan. Barra de Potosi is a little less than half way to Petatlan from Zihua. It is important to bear in mind these distances and how well travelled is this area. That being said, I certainly would not veer off mex 200 onto some tiny gravel road, anymore than I would do that sort of thing anywhere else.

It still all comes down to knowing where you are, knowing what is going on in that area, staying in well travelled places, being aware of your surroundings, not flashing money, etc....all the common sense things that should apply to everyone, everywhere, all the time.

Ixtapa, Mexico
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6. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

But Linda the US government forbids the consular staff in Acapulco from driving to Zihuatanejo for safety,

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
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7. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

Linda...here is the information that you apparently did not read...It is state by state...has nothing AT ALL do with border states...this is for Guerrero.

And as Don said...when USA government employees are not allowed to drive that highway...but you will have to in order to get help in Acapulco...as there is NO Canadian or USA Embassy/Consular in Ixtapa or zihuatanejo anymore. I am shocked that you have not read up on this important information.

Guerrero: Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco and Zihuatanejo are major cities/travel destinations in Guerrero - Defer non-essential travel to the northwestern and southern portions of the state (the area west and south of the town of Arcelia on the border with Estado de Mexico in the north and west and south of the town of Tlapa near the border with Oaxaca), except for the cities of Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, and Ixtapa. In those cities, you should exercise caution and stay within tourist areas. You should also exercise caution and travel only during daylight hours on toll highway ("cuota") 95D between Mexico City and Acapulco. Use the toll road towards the Playa Diamante area and avoid the highway running through the city of Acapulco for travel to and from Acapulco. In Acapulco, defer non-essential travel to areas further than 2 blocks inland of the Costera Miguel Aleman Boulevard, which parallels the popular beach areas. Lodging for USG personnel is limited to the "Hotel Zone" of Acapulco, beginning from the Hotel Avalon Excalibur Acapulco in the north and going south through Puerto Marquez including the Playa Diamante area. Any activity outside the Hotel Zone for USG personnel is limited to the coastal area from La Quebrada to the beginning of the Hotel Zone and only during daylight hours. In general, the popular tourist area of Diamante, just south of the city, has been less affected by violence. Flying into the coastal cities in southern Guerrero remains the preferred method of travel. You should defer non-essential travel by land between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, travel to Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa only by air, and exercise caution while in Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa. If traveling by land, use toll highway 200 between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa. You should also exercise caution in the northern region of Guerrero (the area north of the town of Arcelia on the border with Estado de Mexico in the north and north and east of the town of Tlapa near the border with Oaxaca). The state of Guerrero was the most violent state in Mexico through the first 10 months of 2013, with 1,718 homicides and 205 reported cases of kidnapping, according to the Mexican Secretariado Ejecutivo Nacional de Seguridad Publica. Self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks, and although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable.

BC
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8. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

I always wonder why the Canadian government does not issue warnings about going to places like Chicago. Much more dangerous than Michoacan and Guerrero. I've only spent a few days in Chicago, but saw a man shot right in front of us. I've spent plenty of time in Mexico without seeing one even remotely violent confrontation, not even any arguments.

And......I was outside of a tourist area in Guerrero in May. The most horrific thing was that I bought 750 grams of delicious fudge and we ate it all.

Queretaro City...
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9. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

The government warning is hilarious - it has obviously been hacked by someone with a dark sense of humor. It bears no relation to the reality of tourism in the area.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
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10. Re: Driving in the area.......Safety warnings/issues ?

Actually Judy, I DID read this part, and yes it does talk about Guerrero, but it also only mentions for Zihua to stay within the tourist areas, and to use mex 200 which is NOT a toll road as it says. Those are the 2 points that I mentioned. No need to be "shocked" about anything I read or don't read- which really is moot since I did in fact read this section...2 years ago! I won't repeat, but DITTO to my last 2 paragraphs in my previous post.

And too bad for the US consulate folks who won't get to stop in Santa Rosa for a great breakfast and lovely chat with the owners of the little fonda.

All this because I mentioned a different perspective! That many folks do travel between Zihua and Aca- daily for school or work, or just whenever they need to or wish to...for medical appointments, to go to one of the consulates, to renew a passport, or just to shop or do whatever...myself included. We go to Aca at least 4-5 times every season....and also take the same mex 200 to the cuota to go to Mexico City. The key word there is "cuota"- a real toll road..and which is recommended in the same article. Given the great condition of the cuotas, generally speaking, I don't know why anyone, especially tourist or foreigner, would be on any other road. This would not be within what I would label as "common sense".