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

Nogales, Mexico – Guaymas & San Carlos

DRIVING TIME: 4.41 hours
MILES: 263

Nogales, Mexican - Guaymas & San Carlos

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 5 km before Guaymas.

As you enter San Carlos, there are 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. The following is a description of my nighttime escapade, and I provide it as an example of why you should not drive at night:

Because of all the time I had lost during the Aduana fiasco in Nogales, I decided to make 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 Señor, 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.

Learned Lessons

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

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.

Special Directions

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

Next Section of Drive

Guaymas – Obregon

Guaymas – Obregon