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Mexico from Tucson

Washington, DC
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Mexico from Tucson

I'm interested in taking a trip from Tucson down to see copper canyon in Mexico and possibly continuing on as far as Mazatlan or so. I understand the border towns in mexico have become dangerous, but I do speak spanish which makes me a bit less concerned. Regardless, I would not be spending any time more than I have to there. So I have several questions: 1) Are the border towns a serious issue if you're just passing through? 2) How bad/slow are roads along this route? 3) Are there rental car companies in Tucson that permit travel in mexico? That permit returning the car in Mexico?

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Mexico from Tucson

Renting a car in the USA and taking it into Mexico is not encouraged. You need to buy a separate insurance policy, even if you drive your own car. I'd advise that you look into flying into Mexico and renting a car there.

Marina, California
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2. Re: Mexico from Tucson

> 1) Are the border towns a serious issue if you're just passing through?

It's a bit overblown. Walking around is a bit disconcerting but, with transferring buses, you don't really need to even walk.

> 2) How bad/slow are roads along this route?

The road to Alamos (near Copper Canyon and full of Americans) is in good shape.

> 3) Are there rental car companies in Tucson that permit travel in mexico? That permit returning the car in Mexico?

Like RedRox says, it's not a great idea to drive a rental car into Mexico. Also, very few companies actually permit their cars being driven into Mexico. None of the larger, well-known companies do. It's a big liability. But you will absolutely not find an agency that would let you drop it on the other side of the border.

For driving off of the tourist path (where you're going), you also have to purchase a special permit at the border. I believe that runs about $25.

Just take a bus. If you really feel that you need a car down there, take a bus to Nogales or Hermosillo and rent a car there. But I would strongly encourage you to take the bus to Chihuahua (or Los Mochis, but that's more complicated), then take the historic, scenic railroad (or a bus, if you must) into Copper Canyon. It's just easier.

Another alternative is to take a bus to Alamos, which is relatively close to the west side of Copper Canyon, and is close to one of the stops for the railroad into the canyon.

hth

tucson az
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3. Re: Mexico from Tucson

For Copper Canyon advice go to the Copper Canyon forum in the Northern Mexico forum. Look for davidmg in there and ask him about solo travel in the canyon. The canyon is a safe area.

You cannot easily or safely drive to the Copper Canyon from Alamos. The roads through the mountains to Temoris are mostly unpaved, dangerous, narrow, very winding and not well marked. I know people who have made this trip, and it's a day-long risky adventure. There are is no gas, no service and no towns until you get in the canyon, and no help available if there are problems. This is also an unsafe area full of drug trafficking. A rental car is simply out of the question for this trip, and you can't turn it back in Mexico in any case.

If you rented a car in Mexico, you could drive to Los Mochis but I do not know what the policies are in turning in a car down there. Driving in the canyon is possible, but again those roads are narrow and winding and slow, and a truck or SUV is best. It is best to get to El Fuerte or Los Mochis and take the train. You can get on and off the train up through the canyon. There are good accommodations in several towns. Once you get all the way up to Creel, it is best to continue to the capital Chihuahua to return. Either bus or train goes there. This is the cold season and almost winter in the upper reaches of the canyon. The last part to Creel is above 7000' and gets cold.

You can take a bus from Tucson to Los Mochis and take the El Chepe train into the canyon. The first class Mexican bus line Tufesa operates in the Southwest and into Mexico and can take you all the way to Los Mochis. The bus or flying to Los Mochis are the best way to get there. Getting to Mazatlan after going up the canyon would mean coming back down to Los Mochis by train or continuing to Chihuahua and flying from there.

BTW, the larger car rental firms do rent cars to go into Mexico, but they must be brought back to the US. But not for your trip.

4. Re: Mexico from Tucson

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tucson az
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5. Re: Mexico from Tucson

Another comment about Alamos. It is not considered a portal to the canyon. Alamos itself is remote. There is no transportation from there to Copper Canyon which is even more remote.

Sorry, it is davidgmg who handles most of the Copper Canyon advice. Typo.

If you get a bus in Tucson, you don't have to transfer buses in Nogales on Tufesa. They go all the way to Guadalajara. The bus stops at the border in Nogales Mexico to allow passengers to obtain required tourist permits, but you continue on the same bus.

seattle
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6. Re: Mexico from Tucson

I've always started my Copper Canyon trips in Tucson. I do it as a tour guide but some people choose to do it independently. Most like to start from El Fuerte as its a very scenic town and an easy start to a trip to Divisadero or Creel. Los Mochis is the start of the rail line but a major city and not as historic as El Fuerte. While you can drive its not advisable. When driving your not really spending any time in Nogales, your just simply driving thru. Its not like Juarez on the Tx side. If you need more info please post on the Copper Canyon forum and you will get more help.

Washington, DC
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7. Re: Mexico from Tucson

Thanks for your help everybody... I'm thinking I might take the bus to take the copper canyon train and rent a car after that if at all. Thanks again!

8. Re: Mexico from Tucson

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