directions for northern bypass route around DF from west to east
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Nov 3, 2012 12:58 PM Last Post By: tiredandretired
Oct 15, 2012 10:17 AM
directions for northern bypass route around DF from west to eastWe will be leaving the butterfly sanctuaries (Angangueo) and heading east to Cordoba. Last year we traveled south of DF through Toluca (our second time through Toluca and we vowed never to go there again) and looped way south and then back up through Cuernavaca (a construction nightmare) and into Puebla. This year we're hoping to bypass DF to the north looping up toward Tula and then back down on the new Arco Norte through Puebla to Cordoba. Paloma, the lady in my GPS, says it's going to be easy. We don't entirely trust her, however. It looks like we'll go from 15D to 57D to 40D and then onto 150D. Has anyone done this? Is the route apparent as we barrel along the cuota? Are the intersections clearly marked? We really don't want to get sucked into DF as we're driving a diesel truck with a small camper and we really don't like city driving. Thanks so much.
Oct 15, 2012 10:44 AM
1You need to get to Atlacomulco and find the start of the Arco Norte. Once you are on there it's one road all the way to San Martin (only 15 minutes from Puebla) and once you come off there it's all fairly obvious. Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you get on it. Tolls cost 348 pesos.
So the only tricky bit is finding the entry point to this road but it SHOULD be well-marked although I've never done it. You can see the road under construction on Google Street Views but I can assure you that the road IS open now!
Oct 15, 2012 10:53 AM
2Thanks Queretaro. Getting to Atlacomulco should be easy. All the directions I've found begin in Queretaro (for people traveling south from the States) so that put me half way around the loop already. If we can get on the Arco Norte in Atlacomulco we should just be able to cruise to Puebla------though I never really count on that. Getting around DF is the hardest part of our trip every year. I hope this is the solution. As for the tolls, in places like this they are worth every penny.
Thanks so much.
Oct 15, 2012 11:41 AM
3#2: It really is easy. You get a card when you enter the Arco Norte and pay when you leave so there are no intermediate stops where you have to hand over money. So it is quick with no real possibility of delays. However there are no services either - hence the advice to make sure you have enough gas before you get on it (and make sure you won't require a bathroom en route!!).
Oct 15, 2012 3:06 PM
4Thanks for the advice. I've experienced an agonizing distance between bathrooms on the autopista before. I'll keep that in mind. I'm assuming the Arco Norte is outside the "hoy no curcula" rules so we won't have to worry about that.
I'll try and post our experience here after our trip. Of course, that won't be until January. I like to get my ducks in a row early, I guess. Thanks again.
Que la vaya bien.
Oct 22, 2012 9:24 PM
5Actually, there is a Pemex a few miles north of the south end of Arco Norte. It has been in operation for at least a year, because we used it in October 2011.
And, a few weeks ago during my annual trip to the States, I observed construction about an equal distance from 57. They were building exit and entrance lanes on both sides of the highway, and a large pad on both sides. My GUESS is there will be a Pemex there when they are done. I am guessing, because that is exactly where there should be a Pemex.
The Federal highway patrol do have powerful Dodge Charger Interceptors and they do stop people for speeding on Arco Norte. Last year, I didn't see them. This year there were several of them and they had people stopped, I presume for high speed.
At one point, they did have a general stop for all cars, and you either got waved on or checked. With foreign plates they wanted to see all my papers. He questioned my import permit, which had an expiration date of June 2012. It is no longer an automatic extension with your FM3. I showed him the stamped letter added by Puebla Aduanas, which said it was extended to my new FM-3 expiration.
He read it slowly and carefully, then gave it back to me, and waved it on. He obviously was not up to speed on the neww import rules, either.
Edited by: tiredandretired
Oct 22, 2012 9:30 PM
I have not been west of 57, but if the eastern side is typical, the only exceptions would be road repairs. The highway went in fast, and they are going back and working on problems as they find them. Also,, there are reduced speed limits at busy exits and entrances. Otherwise, yes, should be a straight trip. Just follow the posted limits and should be okay.
Oct 22, 2012 9:32 PM
7Also, on busy days, such as just before Day of the Dead, or other holidays where many people are traveling, that toll booth between Arco Norte and Puebla can back up half an hour or more, whereas a few minutes would be typical in everyday situations.
Oct 26, 2012 9:45 AM
Oct 29, 2012 1:58 PM
9This weekend we came back from one month in the US. I note the Arco Norte signs are changed from last year. This year, it doesn't say Cuota Tula very clearly, but does say Puebla Cuota. Sigh.
Last year, most of the km marker signs were missing. This year, they were all there, and the frontage road was a short distance after km90. Exit right, pass through an underpass, and loop right at the Puebla Cuota signs for the card dispenser.
Also, the construction which I guessed was for two new Pemex stations, both sides, has advanced, and looks more clearly to be gas station pads with entrance and exit ramps. Maybe 15 miles east of Hwy 57.
And, there is one more place between the known Pemex station near Puebla, and the I am guessing future station, where there is construction which would seem to be a gas station. Time will tell.
On Arco Norte, one unpleasant incident. At one point, a large handsome dog gracefully ran onto the roadway from the west, my side, very gracefully ran across my two lanes, very gracefully ran across the median, and very gracefully committed suicide in front of a small car doing around 100 kmh. My wife screamed with horror as you can imagine. It was not a pleasant sight.
Nov 3, 2012 7:28 AM
10Your advice for exiting to the frontage road and going to the Puebla Cuota signs for the card dispenser would apply to vehicles coming from the north, correct? We will be coming from the west and accessing the Arco Norte at Atlacomulco, so those instructions would not apply to us, I assume. And I also assume that the Arco Norte ends at Puebla, where we would follow signs to Veracruz and Cordoba since that is the way we will be going.
Sorry about the dog. Life is tough on the streets. I'm glad I wasn't there.
Nov 3, 2012 8:01 AM
11#10: You are correct except the Arco Norte doesn't end at Puebla - it ends at Saint Martin where you will join the main Mexico City-Puebla autopista. There are plenty of signs to Puebla so you can't really go wrong.
Nov 3, 2012 12:51 PM
12The Arco Norte ends a very short distance north of the Mexico-Vera Cruz cuota, some distance west of Puebla. Keep on straight after you pay for using Arco Norte, exit left per signs on to that Mexico-Vera Cruz cuota, and carefully drive east through Puebla, and you will end up in Orizaba, Cordoba, Vera Cruz.
You cannot miss the cuota mentioned. You could turn right to Mexico, I suppose, the sort of error I might make. But, the only choices are right or left if you keep on straight after paying to the end.
You do pass a possible exit east to Tlaxcala, but that will be obvious.
You do not need many signs once you get on that cuota, except to make sure you do not exit if you do not need to. The cuota has Pemex from time to time, and eating places, without exiting completely. That is, they front on the cuota as you are used to.
Traffic in Puebla is intense. Be patient and do not try to zip back and forth between lanes if things slow down. Changing lanes is your danger time.
That is correct about the west entrance, if you enter Arco Norte at its west end, you just motor on past the Hwy 57 junction without stopping. I do not write about the west section because I have never been there.
Nov 3, 2012 12:58 PM
13There will be a toll booth not far east of entering the Mexico-Vera Cruz cuota, and another one east a ways of Puebla, at Amozoc. Then, one as you approach the mountains. I cannot remember another one before Fortin, west of Cordoba after you cross the mountains.
You will climb from the 7200 feet level at Puebla, to a bit over 8000 feet, then you will drop a mile or so in 17 miles down to the level of Orizaba, Cordoba. Very scenic drop. Several tunnels. The cuota going east in the mountain area is much different from the return, and the two roadways are at times far apart, they even cross each other in one area.
If you encounter heavy fog when dropping down, put on all your external lights and drive the posted limit for neblina, and you should be okay. Do not rush things in fog. Be ready to stop if there is a wreck in the fog.
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