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Route: Emerald Coast to Tampico
Date: January 25, 2001
Logged By: Mike and Terri Church
Vehicle: 19-foot Class B Van

Note: The route from the Emerald Coast north to Tampico is usually the worst stretch of road between Cancún and the border. There is no reasonable way to avoid it short of following a route through the interior of the country. When the route reaches Tampico it follows the truck route around the city.

000.0 Miles (000.0 Km) -- This route begins at the southern edge of the town of Monte Gordo, heart of the Emerald Coast.

    The road is excellent with wide shoulders.

003.4 Miles (005.5 Km) -- Km 83 marker.

005.0 Miles (008.1 Km) -- Pemex #0747 on the left with magna and diesel.

005.9 Miles (009.5 Km) -- Pass through the town of Flores Magon.

007.8 Miles (012.6 Km) -- Pass through the town of La Guadalupe

019.7 Miles (031.8 Km) -- Puente Tecolula and toll booth. Rates: autos - 16 pesos, 2,3, and 4 axle busses and 2 and 3 axle trucks - 29 pesos, 4 and 5 axle trucks - 59 pesos.

    North of the bridge the road is still good but those wide shoulders have disappeared.

021.3 Miles (034.4 Km) -- Pemex #2865 on the left with magna and diesel.

036.3 Miles (058.5 Km) -- Cutoff to Papantla to the left. We continue straight.

037.0 Miles (059.7 Km) -- Pemex #4014 on the right, it has magna, premium, and diesel. This is a large station with good big rig access, it has some truck parking.

046.7 Miles (075.3 Km) -- Entering the outskirts of Poza Rica.

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

047.5 Miles (076.6 Km) -- Divided highway starts with six lanes.

047.8 Miles (077.1 Km) -- Pemex #2600 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. Poor access for big rigs.

050.5 Miles (081.5 Km) -- Plaza Civica 18 de Marzo on the right.

050.7 Miles (081.8 Km) -- Pemex #0762 with magna, premium, and diesel on the right. It is small with poor big rig access.

050.9 Miles (082.1 Km) -- Cutoff to the left to El Tajin archeological site. This is Blvd. Ruiz Cortines.

051.7 Miles (083.4 Km) -- Pemex with magna and no number on the left.

051.7 Miles (083.4 Km) -- Big shopping center on the left with a Chedraui supermarket.

052.3 Miles (084.4 Km) -- Cross bridge. Leaving Poza Rica.

052.5 Miles (084.7 Km) -- Road comes to a T. Left is Mex 130, right is Mex 180 to Tuxpan and points north. We turn to the right.

    Pemex #0745 in to the left as we turn right. It has magna, premium, and diesel and good access for big rigs.

    The road we turn on is under construction for a short distance and is a rough four-lane divided highway.

053.6 Miles (086.5 Km) -- Road becomes two lanes.

053.7 Miles (086.6 Km) -- Puente Totolapa.

    From here to Tampico the road is pretty much the same. It is a two-lane paved road, usually with little in the way of shoulders. There is a lot of truck traffic, much of it probably overloaded, and the road shows the wear. There are few potholes but lots of places where ruts have been pressed into the blacktop making it uneven. Big rigs will often have to slow to 30 to 35 mph.

055.8 Miles (090.0 Km)
-- Airport cutoff to the right.

061.3 Miles (098.9 Km) -- Mex 132D to Tuxpan cutoff to the right. We continue straight.

062.9 Miles (101.5 Km) -- Pemex #3548 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. It's large with showers but no truck parking.

064.5 Miles (104.0 Km) -- Y with Alamo to the left and Tuxpan to the right. We go left to follow the main road.

075.9 Miles (122.4 Km) -- Pass through the town of Buenos Aires. Lots of oranges, bananas, and pineapples for sale along the side of the road.

085.8 Miles (138.4 Km) -- Big bridge, Puente J.L. Portillo, and a toll booth. Rates: autos - 6 pesos, bus or truck with 2,3, or 4 axles - 12 pesos, truck with 5 axles - 25 pesos. After the bridge we pass through the town of Chapopote.

088.9 Miles (143.4 Km) -- Pemex #4131 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. It has good access for big rigs and a little truck parking.

099.3 Miles (160.2 Km) -- Road comes to a Y. Left is Temporal and Panuea, right is Tampico and Tuxpan. We go right.

100.6 Miles (162.3 Km) -- Road comes to a Y. Tuxpan to the right, Tampico left. We go left.

100.9 Miles (162.7 Km) -- Sign says Tampico 145 km.

101.5 Miles (163.7 Km) -- Pass through the town of Alazan.

110.2 Miles (177.7 Km) -- Pemex #2353 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. OK big rig access.

110.2 Miles (177.7 Km) -- Pass through the town of Cero Azul. Ten topes.

114.3 Miles (184.4 Km) -- Pass through the town of Zaragoza.

120.6 Miles (194.5 Km) -- Pemex #4962 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. It is small but there is decent big rig access, trucks are parked along the road in front of a hotel next door.

124.5 Miles (200.8 Km) -- Enter town of Naranjos, population 19,389.

126.0 Miles (203.2 Km) -- Pemex #2808 with magna, premium, and diesel.

126.4 Miles (203.9 Km) -- Puente Naranjos.

126.8 Miles (204.5 Km) -- Pemex #5608 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. Good access for big rigs.

137.0 Miles (221.0 Km) -- New Pemex under construction.

153.0 Miles (246.8 Km) -- Entering town of Ozulama, main part of town is off the highway.

153.3 Miles (247.3 Km) -- Pemex 2350 with magna, premium, and diesel on the right. Good access for large rigs.

154.1 Miles (248.5 Km) -- Pemex #5019 on the left with magna, premium and diesel. There is room for a truck or two to park.

174.6 Miles (281.6 Km)
-- Pass through the town of Llanos de Bustos.

154.1 Miles (248.5 Km) -- Pemex #3159 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. There is good access for big rigs, trucks park out front.

191.4 Miles (308.7 Km) -- Km 186 marker. Cutoff left for Ciudad Valles. We are approacing Tampico and heavy traffic is not allowed to travel through the city. The left marked here is an entrance to a bypass road, but heavy traffic is not allowed on it either. Heavy traffic must use the route that follows. The road is a four-lane freeway.

192.9 Miles (311.1 Km) -- Pemex #3926 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel. Heavy traffic must turn left here and make a U-turn. This route was not marked when we used it, but all the trucks were using it. We make a U-turn at the Pemex and head back south.

193.0 Miles (311.3 Km) -- First road to the right after the U-turn at the Pemex. We turn right here.

193.6 Miles (312.3 Km) -- Road comes to a Y. Turn right. Road is very rough.

193.9 Miles (312.7 Km) -- Pemex #5575 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel.

194.7 Miles (314.0 Km) -- Road comes to a Y. Take the left fork and cross the bridge.

194.9 Miles (314.4 Km) -- At the end of the bridge you are passing through the town of Anahuac.

201.0 Miles (324.2 Km) -- Toll booth. Rates: autos - 5 pesos, 2 axles - 8 pesos, 3 axles - 11 pesos, 4 axles - 15 pesos, 5 axles - 19 pesos.

202.0 Miles (325.8 Km)
-- Cross bridge.

202.7 Miles (326.9 Km) -- Level crossing of railroad tracks. Immediately after the tracks the road comes to a T. Left is Ciudad Valles on Mex 70. We go right to continue around the bypass route.

204.6 Miles (330.0 Km) -- Pemex #5152 on the left with magna, premium and diesel. It is big with excellent big rig access, it has a large parking lot for trucks.

205.5 Miles (331.5 Km) -- Pemex #2871 on the right with magna, premium, and diesel. It has excellent access for trucks and a large truck parking lot.

205.7 Miles (331.8 Km) -- Cross bridge, Puente Moralillo II.

206.3 Miles (332.7 Km) -- Intersection. Go left. This puts you on the a nice toll ring road. Kilometer markers begin counting up from 0. The road is called the Libramiento Poniente Tampico.

209.7 Miles (338.2 Km) -- Toll booth at the Km 6 marker. Rates: autos - 20 pesos, busses and trucks with 2,3, or 4 axles - 32 pesos, trucks with 5 axles - 52 pesos.

215.7 Miles (347.9 Km) -- Road comes to a T. To the right is downtown Tampico, to the left is Ciudad Victoria. The intersection is marked by a large fishing boat that has been permanently mounted alongside the road.

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


Copyright © 2001 Mike and Terri Church

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