General Question

earthduzt's avatar

Would this trip be a death wish?

Asked by earthduzt (3218points) September 20th, 2010

So I’ve been thinking about doing this for a few years now, my plan is to drive to Panama from the state I live in (Texas). With all the stuff going on on the borders, I’m sure it would’ve been quite doable a few years ago, but not sure about it now. I have family that live in Panama and was thinking of doing this next summer for 3 months. Would this be way too much now? Am I asking to be kidnapped or even worse killed? If I can make it past the border would the rest be pretty smooth sailing?

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9 Answers

Nullo's avatar

I’d wait a few years more. That’s not been a safe trip for a fair while.

katalac88's avatar

I’m not sure… but here’s a few swebsite I found you may want to check out. Also don’t forget about our US Government’s information: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4787.html
http://www.yourpanama.com/drive-to-panama.html
http://www.limestonemedia.com/southbound.html

If you are traveling anywhere near Mexico BAD IDEA. Bad, bad idea. It’s extremely dangerous right now; I have a lot of friends who have family and friends there and visit there often… bad idea.

But good luck either way. :)

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

I would a little while longer til everything cools down.

kevbo's avatar

A coworker of mine drove with his buddy who was moving to Costa Rica. This was 8 or so years ago. They had to get off the road well before dark to avoid getting robbed by bandits. They often had to pay bribes/tributes to border crossing officials, and they had to keep a lookout on their vehicles at border crossings, because people would otherwise stash drugs on their vehicle to get the drugs across the borders. Inevitably, there’d be a military/police checkpoint a mile or two on the other side of the border that were probably ready to find the planted drugs. It was not a relaxing trip, but he felt good about surviving it.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Be sure to get Osacar Padilla Insurance.

bob_'s avatar

Some Mexican roads are very dangerous. I wouldn’t do it if I were you.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Bring a heater. that is to say, pack a rod.

rts486's avatar

I recommend not doing it. Its more than just a long road trip like one would do in the States. There are a lot more dangers than what you’ll find in the States. I spent some time in Central America and saw what happens to young Americas who wanted just go backpacking like they did in Europe or Thailand. It they were luck they were only robbed and beaten. If you don’t care about yourself, think of all the money your family is going to have to sacrifice to pay your ransom.

lilikoi's avatar

I don’t think getting in to Mexico from the U.S. is a problem – it’s coming back that I think would be the bigger hassle.

Honestly, I’ve wanted to do the same thing for a while. I would NOT want to do it alone. I would NOT want to do it if I wasn’t fluent in Spanish. I was about to go to CA and had planned on completely bypassing Mexico due to the travel warnings and drug action right now. Doesn’t sound like it’s the best time for Mexico right now.

That said, people have driven this in the past. I’ve heard the road conditions vary, but are better than they once were, and you have to watch out for the massive ‘speedbumps’ conveniently placed in the middle of nowhere, but right before a roadside mechanic shop. Got a real kick out of hearing that. I’ve also heard you want to make sure your papers are in order and that you have copies of your important documents or spare IDs and what not to show cops as you may not get them back.

You should check out the Lonely Planet’s forum as people have discussed this there.

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