Gringos Guide To Driving Mexico, Central America & Costa Rica
Nogales, Mexican - Guaymas & San Carlos

Nogales, Mexican – Guaymas & San Carlos

MILES: 261

Nogales, Mexican - Guaymas & San Carlos

Head south toward Hermosillo and either stay the night in Hermosillo or keep driving to San Carlos. Hermosillo is hot and dry, and it is located in the beautiful desert of Senora. However, this is the State’s capital and pushes close to one million residents, so you might want to keep moving south if you aren’t into large cities.

Guaymas is a good stopping point for the first night. There are camping facilities in San Carlos and plenty of hotels in Guaymas. San Carlos is much smaller than Guaymas and more aesthetically appealing. It is located about 5k before Guaymas.

As you enter San Carlos, you can see several campsites and trailer parks on both sides of the road with shower facilities and hookups for RVs. Don’t forget your bug juice, the mosquitoes in San Carlos are the size of hummingbirds. In the previous section, daytime driving only is recommended.

Because of all the time I lost during the Aduana fiasco in Nogales, I decided to take some time up and drive at night. Yes, I broke the first rule of driving in Mexico on the first night of my trip across the border—perhaps I was fortunate to learn my lesson early. While driving through the coastal town of Guaymas, at approximately 3:00 am, I was pulled over by three policemen that suggested I had run a stop sign. I knew I was in trouble when I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a nice new Chevrolet pickup with police lights and three smiling faces.

If the police have ever pulled you over in Mexico, you know that most police cars are several decades old and look as if the policemen push-started the vehicle to get to work. Albeit, when I saw this new truck, I figured I would be the next contributor to that month’s truck payment. ‘Infraction Senor, please show me your documents.’ Though I objected and refuted the point that I had run the stop sign, I wasn’t about to argue with three men with guns on an empty street at 3:00 am in Mexico.

They were quite suggestive that since I had made an error, the Commander, driving, of course, must be compensated for the infraction. The Natural Law Of Propina strikes for the third time in 12 hours. I went to my special reserves for this payment—girly magazines for everyone.

Hotel & Eats

There are a lot of friendly hotels in San Carlos. Still, if you are looking for one at a convenient location near the city proper and the beach, you should not miss out on Casa Magdalena Bed and Breakfast embodied with a quaint homie hacienda vibe. It already comes with free Wi-Fi, parking, breakfast, and a serene quiet environment near excellent sightseeing facilities.

Learned Lessons

Don’t forget to purchase bug repellent if you plan camping anywhere along the coast. If you drive through Guaymas at night, look for the Chevy police truck and expect a friendly visit with the local welcoming committee.

Special Directions

You may either stay in San Carlos or Guaymas. San Carlos is about 5k off the main highway before you reach Guaymas. The road splits about 10k outside Guaymas, well-marked with a large sign pointing at San Carlos.

Next Section of Drive

Guaymas – Obregon

Guaymas – Obregon