Route: Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara
Date: February 2, 2002
Logged By: Mike and Terri Church
Vehicle: 30-foot Class C with towed pickup
Note: This route follows the two-lane coastal highway north to Compestela, then the two lane toll highway eastward to connect with Mex 15 Libre at Chapalilla, then Mex 15 Libre eastward to Guadalajara. From Compestela it is easier but more expensive to follow the toll highway Mex 15 D, the tolls on this road are detailed in the following road log which follows that highway as we return toward Tepic about a week later.
000.0 Miles (000.0 Km) -- The route begins at the intersection in Las Varas where we met Mex 200 on the prior road lot. This was Mile 39.6 on that log. Mex 200 at this point is a two-lane paved highway. The turn is easily located by watching for Pemex #2384 about a block to the south on Mex. 200.
001.0 Miles (001.6 Km) -- Leaving Las Varas.
001.6 Miles (002.6 Km) -- Pass through the village of La Cuata.
002.6 Miles (004.2 Km) -- New Pemex under construction on the right.
003.0 Miles (004.8 Km) -- Pass through the village of Las Piedras
004.9 Miles (007.9 Km) -- The road begins to climb fairly steeply, it has many curves and requires caution in a larger rig.
009.9 Miles (016.0 Km) -- Pass through the village of Mesillas.
018.9 Miles (030.5 Km) -- We finally reach the top of the hill.
020.3 Miles (032.7 Km) -- Cutoff right for Guadalajara Cuota. We turn right and pull over to let all of the cars that have built up behind pass. The highway is paved two-lane in good condition and with shoulders.
020.5 Miles (033.1 Km) -- Road sign says Guadalajara 213 Km.
020.6 Miles (033.2 Km) -- Km 35 marker. These Km markers count down to Chapalilla.
021.8 Miles (035.2 Km) -- Cutoff right for Compostela. This cutoff curves over our highway and goes off to the left.
021.9 Miles (035.3 Km) -- Pemex #2379 on the right with Magna, Premium, and diesel. There is good access for big rigs but no truck parking.
022.7 Miles (036.6 Km) -- Toll booth. Rates: auto – 28 pesos, 2 axles – 55 pesos, 3 axles – 55 pesos, 4 axles – 112 pesos, 5 axles – 112 pesos. We pay 83 pesos, the rate for a car and a two-axle vehicle.
023.4 Miles (037.7 Km) -- We spot the first field of agave cactus, used for making Tequila, on the right.
026.8 Miles (043.2 Km) -- Cutoff right for Milpilas.
031.7 Miles (051.1 Km) -- Cutoff right for San Pedro Lagunillas to right, the cutoff road curves back over ours and goes off to the left.
034.7 Miles (056.0 Km) -- Cutoff left for San Pedro Lagunillas.
038.7 Miles (062.4 Km) -- Cutoff to Guasimas to the right.
041.4 Miles (066.8 Km) -- Km 1 marker.
041.7 Miles (067.3 Km) -- Road splits. Straight is for Tepic, right is for Guadalajara. We go right.
041.9 Miles (067.6 Km) -- Enter Chapalilla. The road through this town has wide shoulders with many parked trucks but no real congestion.
042.2 Miles (068.1 Km) -- Pemex #3164 on the left with Magna, Premium, and diesel. It has good access for big rigs and no truck parking.
042.3 Miles (068.2 Km) -- Leaving Chapalilla.
042.8 Miles (069.0 Km) -- Cutoff left to access the toll Mex 15. We continue straight on the free road. We pass through the small town of Torreon, no congestion.
043.7 Miles (070.5 Km) -- Pass through the small town of El Ahualamo, no congestion.
044.0 Miles (071.0 Km) -- Pass through the village of Santa Isabel, little parking room but many vendor stalls, no real congestion.
049.9 Miles (080.5 Km) -- Highway enters a lava field. This lava flowed from Volcan El Ceboruco up the hill to the left.
057.0 Miles (091.9 Km) -- Pass through the small town of Ahuacatlán. No congestion.
057.1 Miles (092.1 Km) -- Pemex #2376 on the right with Magna, Premium, and diesel. It has great access for big rigs and truck parking out front.
058.6 Miles (094.5 Km) -- Cutoff left for the Mex 15 toll road and for Jala.
061.7 Miles (099.5 Km) -- Enter town of Mexpan. There are wide shoulders for truck parking, no real congestion.
063.4 Miles (102.3 Km) -- Enter city of Ixtlán del Rio with a population of 32,000. On the outskirts there are wide shoulders with trucks parked.
064.2 Miles (103.5 Km) -- Pemex #2383 on the left with Magna, Premium, and diesel. Very good access for big rigs, no truck parking.
064.3 Miles (103.7 Km) -- Cutoff left for Mex 15D toll road. After the cutoff the road narrows a bit and there are curbs and sidewalks. There is some congestion with the occasional bus or double-parked vehicle to pull around. No problems.
064.8 Miles (104.5 Km) -- The central town square is on the left.
065.4 Miles (105.5 Km) -- Leaving Ixtlán del Rio.
066.7 Miles (107.6 Km) -- Archeological zone on the left.
070.0 Miles (112.9 Km) -- Pass over Mex 15 toll road. No access here.
074.6 Miles (120.2 Km) -- Leave the state of Nayarit and enter the state of Jalisco.
074.6 Miles (120.3 Km) -- We suddenly find ourselves at the top of a very long winding hill. This is the beginning of a region of barrancas or valleys that extend almost to Magdalena. The many very slow trucks on the road make the next 18 miles very slow going and very dangerous if you do much passing. Plan on about an hour to get through the barrancas unless you want to risk life and limb.
080.1 Miles (129.2 Km) -- At the bottom of that first hill. We won’t detail the rest of them in this log but the route climbs and descends several times.
086.2 Miles (139.0 Km) -- Pass through the small town of El Saucillo.
092.6 Miles (149.4 Km) -- Out of the barrancas.
096.8 Miles (156.1 Km) -- Town of La Quemada is off to the right with some businesses along the highway.
101.6 Miles (163.9 Km) -- Entering the city of Magdalena, population 26,448. The road through town has sidewalks with vehicles parallel parked and is a little congested but trucks and busses pass with no problem.
102.5 Miles (165.2 Km) -- Pemex #1595 on the left with Magna, premium and diesel. Access is OK, there is no truck parking.
102.9 Miles (166.0 Km) -- Reach the town square. The road goes around the square counter-clockwise so go straight to the far side, turn left, and then turn right to remain on the main highway.
103.3 Miles (166.6 Km) -- The sidewalks end.
104.5 Miles (168.5 Km) -- Cutoff to the right to reach the Mex 15 toll road. We continue straight. After the cutoff we are out of town.
113.9 Miles (183.7 Km) -- Enter the town of Tequila, population 51,229. The route bypasses central Tequila so it is not congested. There are many shops selling Tequila along the highway.
115.0 Miles (185.5 Km) -- Pemex #1622 on the right. It has Magna, premium, and diesel. Access for big rigs is OK, there is no truck parking.
115.2 Miles (185.8 Km) -- Cutoff right for toll Mex 15.
115.9 Miles (186.9 Km) -- Leaving the outskirts of Tequila.
116.8 Miles (188.4 Km) -- Pemex #6186 on the right with Magna, premium, and diesel. The stalls are perpendicular to the highway, access is poor for big rigs, no truck parking.
119.6 Miles (192.9 Km) -- Level crossing of railroad track.
121.7 Miles (196.3 Km) -- Enter the town of Amatitán, population 17,915. The road through town is uncongested, there are wide paved shoulders for parking.
122.2 Miles (197.1 Km) -- Pemex #1558 on the left with Magna, premium, and diesel. Access for big rigs is poor and there is no truck parking.
122.8 Miles (198.1 Km) -- Leaving the town of Amatitán.
123.1 Miles (198.5 Km) -- A truck is off the road to the right. It’s an old Dina and has tipped on it’s side, looks like it was going too fast to make the turn. It’s load of tomatillas has spilled. The rear bumper reads “Amigo del Noche”.
126.1 Miles (203.4 Km) -- Level crossing of railroad tracks.
126.6 Miles (204.1 Km) -- Our highway passes under the toll road. No access to the toll road here.
127.4 Miles (205.5 Km) -- Pemex #5571 on the left with Magna, Premium, and diesel. It’s a big now one with excellent access for big rigs and some truck parking.
127.5 Miles (205.6 Km) -- Enter the town of Arenal with a population of 20,724. No congestion, wide semi-paved shoulders allow trucks to park off the road.
127.7 Miles (206.0 Km) -- Pemex #5492 on the right with Magna, premium, and diesel. It has fair access for big rigs and no truck parking.
128.2 Miles (206.8 Km) -- Leaving Arenal.
134.1 Miles (216.3 Km) -- Level crossing of railroad tracks. Just beyond is a cutoff to the right for Mex 70 to Ameca and Mascota.
134.5 Miles (216.9 Km) -- The highway becomes four lanes as Mex 70 eastbound traffic merges in from the right. A sign says Guadalajara 28 km, we pass the Km 25 marker.
136.6 Miles (220.3 Km) -- Mex 15 toll road traffic merges in from the right. From here to Guadalajara there is no toll road.
138.9 Miles (224.0 Km) -- Pemex #1624 on the left with Magna, premium, and diesel. Access is OK for big rigs headed westward but access from our lanes is difficult.
141.5 Miles (228.2 Km) -- Pemex #4391 on the left with Magna, premium, and diesel. Good for westbound traffic only, access from eastbound is difficult. Access for big diesel rigs is good, gas stalls are perpendicular to highway so maneuvering room for big gas rigs is poor. No truck parking.
144.1 Miles (232.4 Km) -- Sign says entering Guadalajara, population of 2,243,900. Must be a very old sign.
144.3 Miles (232.7 Km) -- Pemex #3057 on the left with Magna, premium, and diesel. Poor access for big rigs.
144.9 Miles (233.7 Km) -- At the Guadalajara Libramiento. Right for Colima, Ajijic and Lake Chapala.
See our book Traveler’s Guide to Mexican Camping for information about campgrounds in this area.
Copyright © 2002 Rolling Homes Press Inc.