Dancing with the Devil: Climbing Baja’s High Point

The attempt of Picacho Del Diablo is not a summit to be undertaken lightly. The map shows a 13 km trail, so you practically have to figure 13 hours of route finding. But first, after just 30 minutes or so of hiking from the east side trailhead, you come to the most ingenious cow excluding device known to geologic engineering. There is a little 2 foot waterfall into a turquoise blue pool about 3 feet deep. Yes, it’s only five […]

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Carl’s Travel Light Packing Suggestions

An envelope says "par avion"

      Editor’s note: For additional recent musings on packing, click here. Suggested Items: o Strong, comfortable running or walking shoes, with non-skid soles o Several pairs of sock. We prefer cotton. o Two pairs of slacks (denim is too heavy) o Women: dress or skirt (easily washed and packed) o Two shirts or blouses (long- or short-sleeved but modest) o Sweater, lightweight o Jacket (lightweight) or windbreaker o Rain jacket or compact umbrella (rainy season) o T-shirt or […]

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Armchair Travel: Best of the Visual Internets

Women at Cabaret Kursal in Havana, circa 1950

    Games up. It’s official. I’ve surveyed my budget, checked it twice, counted my pennies, and gnashed my teeth. No Mexico for me this year. This will be the sixth winter in my life that I have been reduced to languishing in the Pacific Northwest. I know I shouldn’t complain. But writing and editing for a Mexico travel site is a particularly tortuous way to spend the winter when one is addicted to real travel. Since I’m not allowed […]

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In Tequila News…

experience tequila

Forbes reports that tequila could be a good choice for people who want to drink AND lose weight. The study was conducted on mice. For a minute I was excited to imagine mice wearing tiny sombreros and drinking tiny tragos of Herradura, but then the author dashed my dreams: “Agavins, derived from the agave plant that’s used to make tequila, were found in mouse studies to trigger insulin production and lower blood sugar, as well as help obese mice lose […]

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No More Pemex?

Mexican gas station

Starting in 2017, foreign gas companies will be allowed to sell their gas in Mexico, which will break Pemex’s decades-long government monopoly on gas. (Mexico kicked out foreign oil companies in 1938.) Naturally, The Wall Street Journal puts a positive spin on this development and argues that it will be good for Pemex and good for Mexico. Meanwhile, in an opinion piece for Aljazeera, John Ackerman alleges that the change in policy is a Faustian bargain with the Obama administration. […]

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11 Spanish Words That Don’t Transalate to English

Mexican bingo cards on wall

My daily thoughts are peppered with Spanish words because sometimes Spanish just says it better. You can translate these words to English but they end up as phrases or weakened by qualifications. Andale pues! Cabron—Literally means a male goat and is sometimes translated as “cuckold.” That said, this word is widely used and can range from a playful greeting among friends “Hey Cabron!,” (like “Hey Fucker!”) to an insult akin to “asshole.” Chingar—Typically translating as “fuck” but meaning much more […]

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Where’s My Tacos?

A man cuts meat at a Mexico City taqueria.

Just stumbled across “36 Hours in Mexico City” from The New York Times. I enjoy this series and this installment is not half bad. The suggestions are predictably heavy on Colonia Roma and Condesa, but props to the grey lady for at least suggesting that visitors eat at a market, in this case Mercado de Medellín. That said, this is the only market on the itinerary, which seems crazy to me. Also, there’s no mention of The National Museum of […]

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Shopping Oaxaca Markets: Beyond the Tame

Chiles at Oaxaca market.

editor’s note: Our friends Billy and Kaki Burruss sent this dispatch from their annual trip to Oaxaca. For a little taste of Mexican shopping, venture beyond the tourist shops and head south of the Zocolo into the heart of commercial Oaxaca. In just a few blocks you”ll find the excitement and busy bustle of the Mexican shopper. Unlike our department store shopping, here the shops are squeezed together, each offering a different product. You´ll find shoe shops, fragrance shops (where […]

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Letter from a Reader: 40 Years in Mexico

PeoplesGuideMexico14Cover (2)

David writes: Hello Felisa Churpa Rosa Rogers, At the People’s Guide website I found your name with the invitation to share Mexico stories et cetera.  I mainly just wanted to thank Carl Franz and his companions for opening up a world to which I probably would never have had to courage to visit without first getting familiar with The People’s Guide to Mexico.  In Dec. 1974, I was in Ocean Beach San Diego CA and stumbled into a bookstore where […]

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