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Driving from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala to Brownsville, Texas
in 38 hours driving time!! - January 2000

How to import your car into Guatemala - Information here!

Hi everyone!

Well we have made it back to the United States!  We are living in Alameda, CA working on and promoting Tourism to Guatemala.  If any of you would like to talk to us or are interested in taking a trip to Guatemala please do not hesitate to call or email.  Or if any of you can help us get the "GOOD" word out about travel to Guatemala we want to hear from you!

Believe it or Not we drove from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala to Brownsville, TX  in 38 hours! 

Here is how you to can make this trip too!!!

As if anyone would be as CRAZY as Marylu, Kain and I!

We left Quetzaltenango at 5am on Jan 14th, 2000.  We were at the El Carmen border crossing by about 7:15am and of course it did not open until 8am.  So we waited.   We were driving our 1993 Jeep Cherokee that had been sitting in the garage for the last 2 years.  We had started it often and even driven it a little bit over the 2 years, but the real problem was we had not registered it in Guatemala.  So our papers said we brought the car in the country in 1998 and now 2 years later are taking the car out but the car still had US Plates.

We were not sure how this was going to play at the border.    We had called Adjuna (Customs) in Guatemala City and gotten assurances that there would only be a small fine, $100 or so. We were prepared to pay $100 or even a little more if needed.

When the border opened Marylu went inside the offices and worked her magic.  I am not sure what she said  but when she came out, she all the paperwork and $50 change!!!  There is nothing better than to be married to a strong Guatemala woman, especially while traveling in Guatemala!

Once we past the fumigation station we crossed the border and were on our way. 

About 20 miles up the road on the north side of Tapachula there was a Transmigrante station.  You must buy a transit stamp for your windshield.  This allows you to drive thru Mexico.  Cost $20 US.

We were determined to get to Oaxaca on our first day.  So we did not stop much, mainly to fill up the car and eat.  There were plenty of places to do both.  We drove the free road from Tapachula to Arriaga.  From Arriaga we continued on to Tehuantepe through La Ventosa an extreme high wind area, could be a bit dangerous for RVs.   From here it is a "straight shot" to Oaxaca.  We arrived in Oaxaca at about 8:15. We stayed at in a small hotel on the south side of Oaxaca cost $32.00 US.  Total time: 15 hours.

The next morning we were up early and on the road by 6am.  Tampico was our next stop by way of Mexico City.  We jumped on the Toll road outside Oaxaca and cruised all the way to Mexico City.  The road was in GREAT shape with call boxes for emergencies and passing lanes when needed.  VERY NICE!  As we entered Mexico D.F. we got a little lost but quickly found our way to the Toll road bypass and headed for Pachuca.  In Pachuca the Toll road ends and you climb into the mountains.  This was the hardest part of the trip.  Curvy roads, with a little rain mixed in. 

We pushed forward, as there are not alot hotels between Pachuca and Tampico.  We arrived in Tampico at around 9pm.  We stopped at the first "decent" hotel we saw.  Again no name for you but it is one of the first hotels on the left as you enter Tampico from the south.  King size bed, cable TV, HOT shower,   $28.00
Total time 15 hours.

The next day we knew we were only about 8 hour from the Brownsville border so we took our time and stopped in a small town to pay our tourist fee $16/person.  You must pay it BEFORE you leave Mexico.  The town had a nice Central Park with swings and slides for kids.  Kain was getting rather sick of the car by this point!  We reached the border around 3:30.
Total time: 8 hours

This trip was quick and to the point.  I do not recommend this to those of you who want to see the beauties of Mexico.  But for those of you afraid to fly, you no longer have an excuse to not visit Guatemala!!!

Happy Travels,

Tom Lingenfelter

Mexican Tourist Road Atlas

Travel Insurance. Simple & Flexible.