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Driving to Belize through Mexico from Los Angeles

Hi all,

I am planning a trip to visit friends in Belize, either this fall or next spring. I am in Los Angeles and would like to drive there with my dog, but I keep getting told as a single woman (not that it matters but I'm a 32 year old lesbian) I should not do it. I have started looking for travel partners, but I am still being told that it is too dangerous to drive through Mexico, even if I had a male companion with me. From my research, it seems people have extremely different experiences. Either everything goes fine, or they have near-death experiences from being shot at by cartels. I still cannot decide whether I should fly or drive, but I would prefer to drive. From what I gather it is this -

Pros: It would be nice to not have to buy two plane tickets (one for my dog), it would be preparation for my trip in Belize (friends are camping there for a year), and it would be an adventure.

Cons: I could die (from what people are telling me, not what I think but I also don't want to be ignorant).

Any advice?

Thanks in advance.

monicasun :

Hi all,

I am planning a trip to visit friends in Belize, either this fall or next spring. I am in Los Angeles and would like to drive there with my dog, but I keep getting told as a single woman (not that it matters but I'm a 32 year old lesbian) I should not do it. I have started looking for travel partners, but I am still being told that it is too dangerous to drive through Mexico, even if I had a male companion with me. From my research, it seems people have extremely different experiences. Either everything goes fine, or they have near-death experiences from being shot at by cartels. I still cannot decide whether I should fly or drive, but I would prefer to drive. From what I gather it is this -

Pros: It would be nice to not have to buy two plane tickets (one for my dog), it would be preparation for my trip in Belize (friends are camping there for a year), and it would be an adventure.

Cons: I could die (from what people are telling me, not what I think but I also don't want to be ignorant).

Any advice?

Thanks in advance.

monicasun;
I must admit up front that I have no experience with driving through Mexico. However I have seen several threads here on the forum of others that have. I don't recall any horrific stories but lots of procedural warnings to heed. I would recommend in addition to the advice you receive in this thead, try using the search tool at the top of the page, you will find previous threads where other have shared their experience.

I Hope this helps.

Our good friends from Australia who we met just north of Mexico City bought a book about traveling through Central and South America called, "Don't Go There, You'll Die." Tongue in cheek, but that's pretty much what you'll hear all along your journey.

We drove through Mexico from California (via the crossing in Nogales, AZ) in October/November of last year with our 4 dogs in an old RV towing an old pickup behind us. We took our time and spent 2 months in Mexico. The people and officials in Mexico are wonderfully welcoming and we never once felt unsafe. The roads are awful, but the people are great. Smiles, waves & helpful.

That being said, I don't think it's a good idea to travel anywhere by yourself (LA, as well). Besides, it's nice to have someone to share the adventure with.

We took the west coast down just past Guadalajara, then crossed inland over to Veracruz on the east coast, then down and into Belize. You can recap our trip here: catobelize.blogspot.mx. If we had it to do over again, we would avoid every big city we could. Mexico State/Mexico City was the worst so if you could go a little further south before crossing to the east coast, I would recommend that.

Have fun and don't die ;) .

Thank you Bill!

And thank you CAtoBZ, I will be reading your blog!!!

You will always find naysayers, but I've always found Mexico to be lovely, other than border towns. Having a travel partner is a huge bonus. One of you speaking decent Spanish is an extra huge bonus. Like Bill said, search the forum. Loads of people have made the drive. I've only done it on the bus (Brownsville, TX to Belize city).

Thank you! I have read others' experiences on taking the route and it seemed okay. Just started doubting the safety due to all the naysayers!

Not very many people die traveling to Belize at the hands of bandits, Haven't done the trip by car but am likely to at some point in thee future. If one listens to all the doom and gloom put forth one would never  even dare to cross the street.  Actually I can't think of any stories of folks being killed en route to Belize, but then again I haven't been searching for that sort of info. I have heard of a couple parking up for the night staying in a hotel and returning to an empty parking space. But that was about 17 years ago so not often then.

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