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From: Tehuantepec to Tuxtla Gutierrez
Date: December 30, 2000
Logged By: Mike and Terri Church
Vehicle: 19-foot Class B Van

Note: On this log we take an unnecessary (for most people) side trip to Arriaga to check a campground. Most folks would drive direct on Mex 190 and save themselves about 16 miles. Only about 37 miles of that direct route are not covered on this log.

A note to RVers: Extremely strong winds, often in excess of 50 mph, are common near La Ventosa Junction. They begin just outside Tehuantepec. Normally the winds come from the north. You would be well-advised to secure your awnings (all of them) by wrapping them with duct tape or something similar and securing them so that they can not be deployed by the wind. The awnings on the upwind side (left in this case) are particularly vulnerable, don't forget the window awnings. Once an awning gets loose in wind like it can do considerable damage to your rig.

000.0 Miles (000.0 Km) -- At the junction of Mex 190 from Oaxaca and Mex 200 from Puerto Escondido. This junction is located in Tehuantepec. We will drive northeast on Mex 185.

000.1 Miles (000.2 Km) -- Pemex #0901 is in the middle of the intersection. It has magna, premium, and diesel.

000.6 Miles (001.0 Km) -- Bridge over river.

000.9 Miles (001.5 Km) -- Main entrance to town to the right.

001.2 Miles (001.9 Km) -- Cross over railroad tracks on Puente Pimintel.

002.3 Miles (003.7 Km) -- Road right to Mexixtequilla.

015.8 Miles (025.5 Km) -- Pemex #5673 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. It has some truck parking.

016.1 Miles (026.0 Km) -- Enter Juchitan. Plenty of room to drive, wide shoulders.

017.0 Miles (027.4 Km) -- Pemex #0896 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. Fair access but no truck parking.

026.0 Miles (041.9 Km) -- La Ventosa Junction. Left is Mex 185 which goes north to cross the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to the Atlantic side. Right is Mex 200 and Mex 190 to Guatemala and Chiapas. We'll go right. There is a huge Pemex here with lots of truck parking.

035.3 Miles (056.9 Km) -- Windmills to the left. They are locked in a fixed position today because of the wind which seems to be gusting to about 40 mph. We see one truck on its side in the ditch with police and a tow truck in attendance.

049.4 Miles (079.7 Km) -- Pass through the town of Niltepec, population 3,500. Most of the town is to the left, the road is not crowded and has wide shoulders. The wind velocity seems to be decreasing.

067.9 Miles (109.5 Km) -- Pemex #5670 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. It has some truck parking.

068.1 Miles (109.8 Km) -- Highway passes though Zanatepec, population 9,000. Most of the town is off to the left and the road through has lots of room.

075.5 Miles (121.8 Km) --  The countryside has been flat but is becoming rolling hills and much greener.

081.9 Miles (132.1 Km) -- Enter town of Tapanatepec, population 5,400. Trucks are parking on the shoulders but there is plenty of room to pass through.

082.8 Miles (133.5 Km) -- Pemex #0903 on the left with magna and diesel. Good access but no truck parking.

083.4 Miles (134.5 Km) -- Junction. Mex 200 to Guatemala goes right. We turn right. If you are bound for Tuxtla you will probably want to continue straight and not follow the next portion of this log. We'll rejoin you in 37 miles which will be Mile 141.5 of this log.

    This new road (Mex 200) is wider, it has fog lines and shoulders. The surface is good.

097.2 Miles (156.8 Km) -- Cross railroad tracks.

099.5 Miles (160.5 Km) -- Leave state of Oaxaca, enter the state of Chiapas.

109.3 Miles (176.3 Km) -- Pemex #5847 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. This station has good access but no truck parking.

110.3 Miles (177.9 Km) -- Enter Arriaga. For Arriaga campground see Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping.

112.1 Miles (180.8 Km) -- Pemex #0336 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. The road to Guatemala (Mex 200) goes to the right here. We continue straight following signs for Tuxtla.

    The road soon leaves town and begins climbing. It has lots of hairpin curves and a steep grade. We watch for busses and trucks coming down because they must swing wide to make the turns. Very scenic.

123.0 Miles (198.4 Km) -- Top of the hill. The road narrows somewhat, it has been very wide as we climb the hill.

125.0 Miles (201.6 Km) -- Enter the town of Julian Grajales. Mostly it is away from the road to the right.

141.5 Miles (228.2 Km) -- Junction with Mex 180 from Tehuantepec to Tuxtla. We to right and rejoin those who did not choose to visit Arriaga with us.

145.4 Miles (234.5 Km) -- Pass through the town of Lazaro Cardenas, two topes.

152.0 Miles (245.2 Km) -- Entering the large town of Cintalapa, population 59,600.

153.8 Miles (248.1 Km)
-- Pemex #0338 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. Leaving town.

159.1 Miles (256.6 Km) -- Pemex #5526 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. It has good access and a bit lot next door and a sign that says free parking for trucks.

164.5 Miles (265.3 Km) -- Puente Rogelio Anza with water in the rio under this bridge. After the bridge we start climbing again.

168.5 Miles (271.8 Km) -- At the top of the hill.

181.3 Miles (292.4 Km) -- Intersection, left for Ocozocoautla, right for Tuxtla. This is the beginning of the Ocozocoautla ring road, we go right to drive around the city. See Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for information about camping in Ocozocoautla.

181.8 Miles (293.2 Km) -- Pemex #0345 on the left, it has magna and diesel, easy access, and lots of truck parking.

182.6 Miles (294.5 Km)
-- Intersection, left for Tuxtla, left is Ocozocoautla, right is Villaflores, straight is Tuxtla. We go straight.

187.0 Miles (301.6 Km) -- Intersection, left for Tuxtla and airport, right for Berriozabal. We go left.

187.1 Miles (301.8 Km) -- Road goes left, this is the east entrance to Ocozocoautla, we are at the end of the ring road.

187.2 Miles (301.9 Km) -- Road to the airport on the left.

188.9 Miles (304.7 Km) -- Under a major road. This is apparently a toll road under construction, access roads are blocked. We think this road is intended to go north and eventually connect with the east-west toll road near Villahermosa. Won't that be nice?

195.4 Miles (315.2 Km) -- Pemex #0355 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. OK access, not great.

197.6 Miles (318.7 Km) -- Welcome to Tuxtla Gutierrez sign above the road, the population of the city is 446,600. The road becomes a four-lane divided boulevard.

197.7 Miles (318.9 Km) -- Traffic circle.

198.3 Miles (319.8 Km) -- Pemex #5662 on the right. It has magna and premium and is small with poor access.

200.1 Miles (322.7 Km) -- Airport to the right.

201.2 Miles (324.5 Km) -- Pemex #4850 on the left, poor access. Also a mall with supermarket and VIP's on the right and a Sam's Club on the left.

201.4 Miles (324.8 Km) -- Traffic Circle. Libramiento Sur goes right, Pemex #354 on the far right corner.

See our book Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for information about Tuxtla campgrounds.


Copyright 2001 Mike and Terri Church

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