South to the Tropic of Cancer, that is my Mexico. My travels have been by train, plane, bus, bicycle, and this year by motorcycle. In the past I’ve traveled every year or two, but this time it was four years since my last trip.
News in the US and Mexican papers was a concern to everyone, myself included. Cruise ships cut back their ports of call. Talk with other travelers concerned me. Was travel safe?
But finally, after much thinking, I decided to go. People say you should travel the in daylight and with groups. I was alone, but I did stick to traveling in the daylight. My plan was to go down the Baja peninsula, which has been called the trouble free region, then arrive at La Paz and cross by ferry to Mazatlan on mainland Mexico.
Traveling in Baja is rewarding because of so many beautiful views and different kinds of terrain. But the highway has a lot of road construction and many curves as well as mountainous terrain. The two lane highway is not built for high speed as the lanes are narrow and there is no median. I was somewhat fit for the trip, but after the first day I saw it was better to keep the miles short and make frequent rest stops.
Destination reached. La Paz and straight to the ferry. After two weeks of vacation in the tropical climate, it was time to come home. The recurring question was – is it safe to travel by highway 15 through Sinaloa and Sonora?
I started out on the highway to Culiacan thinking, “Here I go and who knows what to expect.” What I found was a four lane highway with a center divider and shoulder with fast moving traffic, big rig trucks and buses. This made me feel better because I had been uneasy about tales of road crime. A busy highway seemed like a safe highway.
Then I came to the first toll booth of many. The presence of Federal police was reassuring. I felt even better about my safety. (In past years, toll booths were the sites for incidents; they are all protected now, all the way to Hermosillo and Caborca.)
I bypassed the cities of Los Mochis, Culiacan and Guaymas in Sonora, but went into Cuidad Obregon and Hemosillo. There is some traffic congestion there.
Another improvement is highway 2 from Sonoyta to San Luis Rio Colorado. There used to be lots of vados, or creek beds, which were the cause for some car accidents because of poor line of sight. The vados have been replaced with bridges which give better visibility of oncoming traffic.
To sum it up, according to my recent motorcycle trip, it is quite safe to travel highway 15 through Mexico. Enjoy yourself with an easy mind.