Zipping Down the Coast

Zipping Down the West Coast

Nogales to PV

Dorothy Bell makes recommendations on Facebook for those that want to fast track Nogales to PV

We don’t like to do this. Normally we like to smell the roses. However if you are quickly zipping down to PV or Riviera Nayarit, I suggest the following:


1) Have all your papers and correct documents ready for immigration and vehicle permits.

2) Get your insurance online. Get a quote from us click here We offer great quality insurance at a reasonable price. You can buy it just before you leave.

3) Buy a Guia Roji Road atlas before you cross over the border. It is the best map for Mexico.

4) Have pesos for the trip down. You need gas, tolls, hotel and food,

5) Have a cooler on hand so you can buy drinks and snacks for travel. While we love eating in restaurants along the way, but if you do not know the town or city you could spend a lot of time searching for a restaurant. It will also take up valuable daylight time to get served. You will want to have a breakfast and lunch for your first day and purchase breakfast and lunch for day 2 in Navojoa or Mochis.

6) Be ready to cross the border early. Take the truck crossing – Mariposa crossing – as it is easy – takes RVs and has way less confusing traffic. It is open at 6 am.

Day One

You must drive through the border and at KM 21 you will have to present your documents and get your permits. The army bank, Banacerito is open 24 hours a day to process vehicle permits. When in doubt, drive on the “D” roads or toll roads. Stay on HWY 15 or 15D.

Once you have left the Immigration office you will bypass Magdalena, then drive through Santa Ana where you will continue down highway 15 towards Hermosillo. Hermosillo is 277 kms from Nogales.

Watch carefully in Hermosillo and head towards Guaymas and HWY 15 and 15D.

When you approach San Carlos/Guaymas continue and take the bypass toll around the cities. San Carlos/Guaymas is a good place to stop if you have difficulties or need something desperately. It takes about an hour to enter and then exit to purchase something so move on and bypass if at all possible.

Continue 132 more kms to CD Obregon. There is a Walmart to the right just as you enter the city where you can get supplies (ie sandwich fixings) beverages, and use the ATM if needed. We suggest you stock up for a breakfast and lunch for the following day. You must drive through CD Obregon. It is not too congested but be cautious as there is a turn.

Continue to Navojoa. This is a congested town. If you are driving an RV or big truck you must watch carefully for a detour to the left for truck traffic. Make your way through the small city. At the other end there is a large supermarket that you can purchase stuff or load up with supplies. Continue to Los Mochis. You will cross a state border and usually at borders there will be a military stop…. Continue to Los Mochis. Many of our readers recommend the Zar Hotel – right on the Highway. Apparently they have a good restaurant for your dinner. They do NOT take pets.

If you have an RV, be careful to take any route designated for trucks. If you need park for the night, there are a number of hotel on the highway with large parking lots. The one that start with an S….has very cheap rooms that you could stay in or stay in your rig in the Parking lot. If you just need a Motel, the Best Western is always ok but pricer than other motels.

This trip will likely have taken 11 hours – nearly 500 miles or so after you left immigration. Rest as tomorrow you are getting up early.

Day 2

Preparation: have your breakfast in your cooler. Also lunch as there are No supermarkets enroute that will be open until Mazatlán. Get up early. It is often foggy in this farming area and there is often tractors and farm equipment just south of Mochis.

Drive Hwy 15 through farmland etc. and prepare to turn to HWY 15D just before Culiacan. Get on the toll and zip down towards Mazatlán. Be cautious. Mazatlán is having some construction so there may be detours. Head for Tepic and Puerto Vallarta. You will pass supermarkets for supplies and cash. Head south and stay on the toll highway towards Tepic. Do not pass go.

Once you have crossed the state line into Nayarit there is a choice. Stay on the Highway to Tepic OR head towards San Blas and take a different route. I suggest that if you have a car – take the San Blas route. If you have an RV and are driving from July to December, take the Tepic Route. (The San Blas Route gets overgrown after rainy season and can scratch your RV). If you go through the San Blas Route, take the Hwy 54 towards San Blas but turn off when you see the signs for PV. Head towards Las Varas.

(If you take the Tepic route drive straight to the city and then turn when signed to go to Puerto Vallarta. Beware that RV’s and trucks must drive in the laterals when you see them. Laterals are the slow frontage roads on some city streets.

The stretch of Highway from Tepic to Compostela to Las Varas is windy and narrow and sometimes steep.. There are not many places to pull over.

From las Varas to PV is easy-peasey. You will be passing through town after town, pueblo after pueblo of the Riviera Nayarit. Like pearls on a necklace, each one is beautiful and distinctive. Drive carefully and defensively.

From Los Mochis to PV will take another 10 or 11 hours.

If you are interested in breaking this up so you have one other stop we suggest driving day one to Navajoa. Stay in the Best Western (it does Take Pets.) If an RV stay in San Carlos. Day two drive to Mazatlan. Day 3 to PV.

If you want a much much more detailed set of instructions go here The App you want is the Noagales to PV Road Log.


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