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Route: Villahermosa to Veracruz Through the Tuxtla Mountains
Date: January 23, 2001
Logged By: Mike and Terri Church
Vehicle: 19-foot Class B Van

Note: This drive is very long. It is possible to break the drive at several places, especially Catemaco. See Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for campground suggestions. If you are really in a hurry you can follow the toll road around the Tuxtla Mountains. You would leave the logged route at Mile xxxx.

000.0 Miles (000.0 Km) -- This log begins at the western edge of Villahermosa where the Periférico goes under Mex 180. There are a Sam's Club and a Carrefour store just north of the highway at this overpass. The road is a four-lane divided highway.

000.2 Miles (000.3 Km)
-- Bridge over Rio Mezcalapa.

001.3 Miles (002.1 Km) -- Km 164 Marker.

002.6 Miles (4.2 Km) -- Pemex #4686 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. It's a large station with a store.

003.4 Miles (005.5 Km) -- Through town of La Gloria.

004.1 Miles (006.6 Km) -- Through town of Lazaro Cardenas

010.9 Miles (017.6 Km) -- Cutoff left for Reforma. We continue straight.

020.4 Miles (032.9 Km) -- Bridge over river.

020.7 Miles (033.4 Km) -- Highway 187 cutoffs to left and right, we continue straight. We are entering the outskirts of Cardenas. The best way to drive through is to remain on the highway which has lots of room.

025.7 Miles (041.5 Km) -- Pemex #3492 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. It is large with lots of truck parking.

026.6 Miles (042.9 Km) -- Pemex # 4760 on the left. It has magna, premium, and diesel and lots of truck parking.

026.9 Miles (043.4 Km) -- Laterals signed for Cardenas and Comalcalco go right. Left (the main highway) is signed for Agua Dulce. We go left.

027.6 Miles (044.5 Km) -- Pemex #1045 Is on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. Access is only from the lateral, there is no truck parking.

028.6 Miles (046.1 Km) -- Out of Cardenas.

038.4 Miles (061.9 Km) -- Libre cutoff to the right. The cutoff road curves and passes over us as it goes off to the left. We remain on the main highway which become a toll road (although not signed a one). This is probably a mistake, the toll road is uncompleted and most trucks are taking the free road. It follows pretty much the same route and since the terrain is flat the trucks move along pretty well.

056.5 Miles (091.1 Km) -- Cutoff for Coatzalcoalcos Libre. This is an exit for the free road. There is probably a toll for this exit.

056.6 Miles (091.3 Km) -- Toll booth. Rates: auto - 45 pesos; 2, 3, or 4 axles - 85 pesos, 5 axles - 120 pesos.

068.2 Miles (110.0 Km) -- Desvacion (detour). We are routed onto the free road. Work is under way to continue the toll road westward.

069.2 Miles (111.6 Km) -- Km 51 marker.

072.5 Miles (116.9 Km) -- Cutoff to La Venta to the right. We continue straight.

075.0 Miles (121.0 Km) -- Puente Tonala.

075.2 Miles (121.3 Km) -- State line, leaving Tabasco, entering Veracruz.

076.6 Miles (123.5 Km) -- Km 39 marker.

078.0 Miles (125.8 Km) -- Pemex #3318 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. This station has 2 restaurants, a small store, and some truck parking.

078.2 Miles (126.1 Km) -- Cutoff to Las Choapas to the left. Work is being done to four-lane the highway through here.

079.2 Miles (127.7 Km) -- Cutoff to Agua Dulce to the right.

079.8 Miles (128.7 Km) -- Km 34 marker and road becomes four lanes.

091.6 Miles (147.7 Km) -- Road splits. To the left is the free road, to the right the toll road which is signed for Acayucan. We go right taking the toll road. Most trucks also go right.

095.0 Miles (153.2 Km) -- Exit for Nanchital. We don't take it.

095.0 Miles (153.2 Km) -- Toll booth. Rates: auto - 11 pesos; 2 or 3 axles - 22 pesos; 4 or 5 axles - 40 pesos. This is a relatively inexpensive toll for the miles driven, that's why the trucks follow this route, so should you.

102.3 Miles (165.0 Km) -- Huge suspension bridge over the Rio Coatzalcoalcos. The bridge is called the Puente Coatzalcoalcos II.

108.8 Miles (175.5 Km) -- Sign says 27 Km to Coatzalcoalcos.

108.9 Miles (175.6 Km) -- Exit for Minatitlan. We do not take it.

109.3 Miles (176.3 Km) -- Exit for aeropuerto.

111.9 Miles (180.5 Km) -- Pemex #5405 with magna, premium, and diesel on the right. It has good access and some truck parking.

112.2 Miles (181.0 Km) -- Road splits. Cuota (toll road) to the left, Libre (free road) to the right. We go left. Many people take the free road here when they are headed for the Tuxtla Mountains and Catemaco as we are today. We have not driven this portion of the free road, however, and do not know how suitable for RVs it is. We'll take the toll road and get off in 24.6 miles and will have to pay a toll. The toll road continues all the way to Mexico City with a branch to Veracruz. That is the quick but expensive route to Veracruz.

127.6 Miles (205.8 Km) -- Bridge over railroad tracks. This section of the toll road is in poor condition, there is lots of road work going on and much more is needed.

136.8 Miles (220.6 Km) -- Toll booth. Rates: auto - 42 pesos; 2, 3, or 4 axles - 64 pesos, 5 axles - 88 pesos. We exit the toll road here and follow signs for Acayucan. It you want to follow the toll road all the way to Veracruz or Mexico City you should not exit.

136.9 Miles (220.8 Km) -- Cutoff left for Sayula and Mex 185 south across the isthmus to Tehuantepec. We road we are on is two-lane and not is very good condition.

137.1 Miles (221.1 Km) -- Km marker 67.

137.8 Miles (222.3 Km) -- Pemex #4982 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. It has good access and lots of truck parking.

138.8 Miles (223.9 Km) -- Cutoff left for Acayucan Centro, straight is signed for Coatzalcoalcos. We go left to drive through town, large rigs should not do this. Instead they should continue straight to an intersection and take the road that is probably signed for Veracruz, San Andres Tuxtla, or Catemaco. This log rejoins that road on the far side of town.

139.3 Miles (224.7 Km) -- Entering Acayucan. The road winds through town on road not suitable for rigs over about 20 feet long. Follow signs for Veracruz and you will eventually turn left and head out of town.

141.2 Miles (227.7 Km) -- The road we are on comes to a T. Veracruz is signed to the left. We go left. Now we are on the main highway toward Veracruz and Catemaco, we have rejoined the big rigs that left us at Mile 138.8 of the log.

141.3 Miles (227.9 Km) -- Km 225 marker. The road is in good condition. It is a paved two-lane road with no shoulders.

141.5 Miles (228.2 Km) -- Pemex #2767 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. It has showers and a restaurant and a little truck parking.

147.7 Miles (238.2 Km) -- Pass through a small unnamed town with multiple small topes.

151.2 Miles (243.9 Km) -- Through Colonia Hidalgo, multiple small topes.

153.1 Miles (246.9 Km) -- Through village of Vista Hermosa, no topes at all.

161.0 Miles (259.7 Km) -- Through town of Corral Nuevo, population 4,350, two topes.

162.0 Miles (261.3 Km) -- Tobacco and sugar cane fields along the road.

165.5 Miles (266.9 Km) -- Cutoff to Hueyapan to the right. Multiple topes. We continue straight.

166.6 Miles (268.7 Km) -- Enter town of Juan Diaz Covarrubias, population 7,500. No congestion problems on the road through town.

166.9 Miles (269.2 Km) -- Pemex #1016 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. It is small but has adequate access.

167.2 Miles (269.7 Km) -- Cross the Puente Covarrubias and pass out of town.

175.0 Miles (282.3 Km) -- Through village of Los Mangos, five topes.

179.1 Miles (288.9 Km) -- Through village of Santa Rosa.

182.1 Miles (293.7 Km) -- Through town of Zapapan de Cabaña.

184.4 Miles (297.4 Km) -- Lago Catemaco in view in the distance.

189.6 Miles (305.8 Km) -- 1 Km 147, entering town of Catemaco. The road runs outside the town so there are no congestion or clearance problems. See Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for information about camping in Catemaco, an interesting little lakeside town.

190.0 Miles (306.5 Km) -- Puente Catemaco.

190.7 Miles (307.6 Km) -- Pemex #2584 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel.

191.0 Miles (308.1 Km) -- Exit right for the main entrance to the town of Catemaco.

191.1 Miles (308.2 Km) -- Catemaco entrance for traffic coming from the other direction. Also Pemex #5348.

193.7 Miles (312.4 Km) -- Tobacco drying sheds on the left.

194.8 Miles (314.2 Km) -- Through town of Sihuapan. Five topes.

195.0 Miles (314.5 Km) -- Cutoff to the left for Salto Eyipantla (scenic waterfall).

196.0 Miles (316.1 Km) -- Enter the city of San Andrés Tuxtla.

196.9 Miles (317.6 Km) -- Road forms a Y. Straight goes into central San Andrés Tuxtla, right is to Veracruz, we go right.

198.0 Miles (319.4 Km) -- Pemex #1026 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. It is small with poor access.

198.8 Miles (320.6 Km) -- Cutoff left for central San Andrés Tuxtla.

199.5 Miles (321.8 Km) -- Leave San Andrés Tuxtla, start a long down grade.

206.0 Miles (332.3 Km) -- Enter town of Santiago Tuxtla. There are sidewalks and the road is wide with no clearance problems.

207.3 Miles (334.4 Km) -- Pemex #1004 to the left, it has magna, premium, and diesel and is small but with good access.

207.5 Miles (334.7 Km) -- Cutoff left for Mex 179 to Villa Isla.

208.1 Miles (335.6 Km) -- Out of the town of Santiago Tuxtla.

220.4 Miles (355.5 Km) -- Road levels, out of the mountains.

223.5 Miles (360.5 Km) -- Pemex #4017 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. Good access, no truck parking.

224.6 Miles (362.3 Km) -- Entering town of Angel R Cabada. Road has wide shoulders, lots of trucks parked there but lots of room to drive through.

225.1 Miles (363.1 Km) -- Cutoff left to zona centro.

225.9 Miles (364.4 Km) -- Leaving town.

228.5 Miles (368.5 Km) -- Through village of Santa Teresa.

229.9 Miles (370.8 Km) -- Entering town of Lerdo de Tejada. The route has wide streets with sidewalks, no clearance problems.

230.1 Miles (371.1 Km) -- Pemex #1019 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. Small but with decent access.

231.7 Miles (373.7 Km) -- Out of Lerdo de Tejada.

241.4 Miles (389.4 Km) -- Cutoff for Mex 175 to Tlacotalpan to the left.

From here the road is running through low dune-like hills between the ocean on the right and estuaries on the left.

243.8 Miles (393.2 Km) -- Through the town of Buena Vista.

250.0 Miles (403.2 Km) -- Toll bridge Puente Alvarado. Toll rates: autos - 16 pesos; 2 and 3 axles - 29 pesos; 4 and 5 axles - 59 pesos. Here you find a twist in the toll rates that will interest people in 5th wheels. The extra axle rate for trailers is different for autos and for heavy vehicles. It is 8 pesos for autos and 15 for heavy vehicles (those with duals). That means that the typical fifth wheel with two axles on the trailer pays 24 pesos if the pickup doesn't have duals and 59 pesos if it does. This pricing scheme is common on east coast bridges and is becoming more common on other toll roads.

250.7 Miles (404.4 Km) -- After crossing the bridge we enter the town of Alvarado, population 33,000. Actually, the highway runs alongside the town, there is limited access.

251.6 Miles (405.8 Km) -- Pemex #1008 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. OK access, no truck parking.

265.6 Miles (428.4 Km) -- Through the town of Salinas. From here the road pulls away from the ocean, the estuaries on the left are gone.

276.6 Miles (446.1 Km) -- Enter town of La Laguna.

277.4 Miles (447.4 Km) -- Pemex #5127 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. Good access, very little truck parking.

277.8 Miles (448.1 Km) -- Leaving town. Pineapples are being sold by vendors along the side of the highway.

281.4 Miles (453.9 Km) -- Level crossing of railroad tracks.

281.5 Miles (454.0 Km) -- Major intersection. Right to Veracruz, left for Cordoba and Mex 150, straight ahead for Xalapa and the Veracruz bypass route. See the following lot for this route north.

See our book Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for information about camping in Veracruz.
 



Copyright © 2001 Mike and Terri Church

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