How’s this for a first blog post? Welcome!
I just took a client in the metalworking sector to visit several buyers in the Queretaro and San Luis Potosi automotive clusters. We had some good visits, but the takeaway for me was that it’s a lot slower driving in the rainy season, especially in Mexico City. The rainy season goes from the end of May to November, and it at times causes roads to flood. There’s really no shame in slowing down, and most people do.
Fortunately we had the radio broadcast of Mexico beating Croatia in the World Cup so the time went by relatively quickly, but we did indeed take nearly four hours to get to Queretaro from the Mexico City airport, normally a 2.5-hour drive. That was partially because of lunchtime traffic related back-up in Mexico City, and partially because of flood-related back-up in Queretaro, and admittedly, partially because it’s not always obvious where you need to exit the highway to get to where you’re going.
Which brings me to another tip: Central Mexican highways are accessed by lateral roads (also known as access roads, service roads, frontage roads, or parallel roads), similar to Texas highways. You don’t see as many cloverleaves here. Exiting on a lateral, if your destination is on the other side of the road, you will exit, follow the lateral a ways forward, and then make a U-turn (a «retorno») under an overpass to double back. If you’re not sure where to get off but know you’re close, you might as well just get off to avoid overshooting. The lateral road follows the highway, so as long as you get off before your turn-off, you shouldn’t miss it.
Also, Google maps is helpful as back-up, but don’t follow it blindly. It is often wrong, so definitely cross-reference it with something else. Don’t bother with street address searches if you’re going to an industrial park. Just ask someone how to get to the industrial park or find a map on the park’s website.
Also, Google doesn’t distinguish dirt roads from paved ones, though some rental car satellite services do. Even on the outskirts of urban areas, you may be better off sticking to highways, as smaller roads often don’t connect to the highway where you want them to. Oh, and if you have a choice between a toll road and a free highway, take the toll road.