From: Guadalajara to Uruapan via Mex 15
Date: December 6, 2000
Logged By: Mike and Terri Church
Vehicle: 19-foot Class B Van
Note: This is a beautiful drive on two-lane roads along the southern shore of Lake Chapala and then through the volcanic cones of Michoacán. Some of these roads are extremely narrow, 9-foot lanes. Busses and trucks travel them so they can handle bigger rigs but it is important to be extremely careful if you are driving a wide-body RV. In our van we averaged 30 mph on this route.
000.0 Miles (000.0 Km) -- This drive begins on the southern outskirts of Guadalajara where the Mex 54 to Colima leaves the ring road or Periférico. Follow Mex 54 following signs to Colima. This is a 4-lane divided highway with laterals for some distance. As in most cities in Mexico if there are laterals you are supposed to use them if you are in a big rig (or any rig with duals on the rear). Here the rule seems to be largely ignored, but you may draw police attention if you do the same.
000.6 Miles (001.0 Km) -- Pemex #5437 on the right.
001.9 Miles (003.1 Km) -- Gigante supermarket on the right.
003.4 Miles (005.5 Km) -- Pemex #3532 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. Very large but without much truck parking.
009.6 Miles (015.5 Km) -- Pemex #3188 on both sides with magna, premium and diesel. Both are large but do not have much truck parking.
013.7 Miles (022.1 Km) -- Pemex #5789 on the left, no access from the right lanes. It has magna, premium, and diesel. This is a small station.
016.0 Miles (025.8 Km) -- Cutoff for Morelia on right. Take this exit. This is the beginning of Mex 15. The road crosses back over the highway and bears off to the east. You are now on a paved two-lane road that is narrow. Watch your mirrors and slow down.
019.2 Miles (031.0 Km) -- Small village of El Molino.
025.0 Miles (040.3 Km) -- Pemex #1629 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. This is a small station but it has good access for big rigs.
029.2 Miles (047.1 Km) -- Cutoff to the right to Jocotepec. This is also the road along the north shore of Lake Chapala. For big rigs there is another route farther east along the Guadalajara ring road that is preferable since this route runs you some distance through the crowded streets of Jocotepec, even if you use the heavy truck route. Don't take the cutoff, continue straight ahead.
029.3 Miles (047.3 Km) -- Pemex #1589 on left with magna, premium, and diesel. This is a small station with good access.
040.4 Miles (065.2 Km) -- Entering town of San Luis Soyatlán with a population of 2,890. You drive on the city streets, cars are parked on the right leaving only the oncoming left lane open. There isn't a lot of traffic so it isn't much of a problem.
041.1 Miles (066.3 Km) -- Town square on the left, church on the right.
041.4 Miles (066.8 Km) -- Out of town.
049.9 Miles (080.5 Km) -- Cutoff for Mazamitla to the right.
059.8 Miles (096.5 Km) -- Through town of Tizapän, lots of room but watch for topes. Pemex #5416 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. Large station without much truck parking.
064.6 Miles (104.2 Km) -- The highway is running along the hillside above the south shore of the lake. You can watch the fishermen working along the shore.
068.2 Miles (110.0 Km) -- State line, leaving Jalisco and entering Michoacán.
072.5 Miles (116.9 Km) -- Cutoff right to Petatlan. We can see the village on a small hill above the water, we need to explore it some day.
085.4 Miles (137.7 Km) -- Entering Sahuayo de Morelos. Road becomes a four lane divided boulevard. Pemex #1086 with magna, premium, and diesel on the left. It's big with only tolerable access.
086.5 Miles (139.5 Km) -- Pemex #1085 on the left. It has magna, premium and diesel and better access than the last one, but not from our lane.
087.9 Miles (141.8 Km) -- Gigante supermarket the right. Lots of room to park.
088.5 Miles (142.7 Km) -- Pemex #4287 on the left. It has magna, premium, and diesel. It's not very big but has the best access of the three we see in this town. It doesn't have any truck parking.
088.6 Miles (142.9 Km) -- Out of town but the road continues to be a low-speed two-lane boulevard.
089.2 Miles (143.9 Km) -- Pemex on the right under construction.
090.8 Miles (146.5 Km) -- Glorieta (traffic circle). Heavy traffic goes left to avoid downtown Jiquilpan de Juárez on a truck bypass. We go straight, but only because we were confused. Meet you on the far side of town.
091.2 Miles (147.1 Km) -- Central town square to the right. We're in heavy traffic on a two-lane road. Actually, there is plenty of room for us and there's lots to see. Big rigs should take the bypass, however.
092.3 Miles (148.9 Km) -- We're out of town and the bypass traffic rejoins us from the left.
For the next 30 miles there is one small town after another. Many have craft items for sale from shops along the side of the road. All have wide shoulders and pose no driving problems other than the ever-present topes. We won't list them all.
099.1 Miles (159.8 Km) -- A Y, we go left. Pemex #4563 is at the intersection. It's a large station.
102.4 Miles (165.2 Km) -- Pemex #1092 on the right, it has magna and diesel and is small.
115.3 Miles (186.0 Km) -- Pemex #3682 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. It's a medium-sized station with good access.
123.1 Miles (198.5 Km) -- Straight for Zamora, right for the bypass around town. We go right. The road is wider and has shoulders for a change. Watch out along this bypass. It appears to be fairly new and crosses several highways going directly in to town. They are not marked well and it wasn't easy to tell who had the right-of-way. Exercise caution.
130.7 Miles (210.8 Km) -- Road T's, left is Zamora and right is Morelia. We go right. The road is a little better (perhaps a foot wider) than the portion along the south shore of Lake Chapala. It's still a low-speed two-lane road although not all the drivers seems to know it.
135.7 Miles (218.9 Km) -- Through town of Tangancicuaro. Pemex #1095 with magna, premium, and diesel on the right. Pemex # 1087, also with magna, premium, and diesel on the left. The road through is no problem.
143.2 Miles (231.0 Km) -- Through town of Chilchota. Lots of brightly-colored pottery for sale. Pemex #3167 on right with magna, premium, and diesel. It's medium-sized with good access.
149.6 Miles (241.3 Km) -- Intersection. Straight is Mex 15 on to Morelia. Right is Mex 37 to Uruapan and on to the Pacific Coast near Playa Azul. We go right. From here it is 72 kilometers to Uruapan, the markers count up.
165.8 Miles (267.4 Km) -- Through the village of Cheran, the specialty here appears to be wood furniture. The road goes right through the streets of town, enough room but take it easy.
168.0 Miles (271.0 Km) -- At the outskirts of Cheran, Pemex #0991 to the right with magna, premium, and diesel. It also has a mini-super.
171.9 Miles (277.3 Km) -- Through the town of Aranza. More wood furniture products. On town streets but plenty of room.
173.6 Miles (280.0 Km) -- Road bypasses most of Paracho, this town specializes in musical instruments like guitars.
174.8 Miles (281.9 Km) -- Pemex #0994 on the right with magna and diesel, medium-sized with good access.
184.5 Miles (297.6 Km) -- Through small village of Capácuaro, lots of simple wood furniture in shops along the street.
186.8 Miles (301.3 Km) -- Cutoff to the right to Angahuan and the volcano Paracutín. That's the one that suddenly erupted in the farmer's field in 1943.
189.8 Miles (306.1 Km) -- Pemex #5234 to the right. It has showers and truck parking and is right at the Km 64 marker.
193.3 Miles (311.8 Km) -- Pemex #5489 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. It has good access and a little truck parking.
We're in Uruapan! See our book Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for information about camping in the Uruapan area.
Copyright © 2001 Mike and Terri Church