The Real Deal With the Dollar/Peso Exchange Rate

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

With the Mexican peso over 15 to 1, the U.S. dollar purchases 18% more pesos today than it did a year and a half ago. In theory, this means a person should be able to purchase 18% more today than they did back then. In the sixties and the seventies that would have been true, but not today. Today merchants and hotel owners have cellular phones with WiFi access, and in a matter of minutes they can access the official […]

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Cost of Living Update: Baja

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

How much will it cost me to live/travel in Mexico? This query has been making our top 10 FAQ for over forty years. Sadly, the answer has changed significantly since 1972, when the first edition of The People’s Guide to Mexico hit the shelves. But take heart! We can’t complain too much with a peso/dollar exchange rate of 15.  Keep in mind that the prices below are for Baja. The mainland, barring major tourist traps, should be a little cheaper. […]

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Slow Travel, Mexican Style

  Every day we ride out to the beach. We bring a cooler bag filled with ice, water, tangerines, and six whorehouse coronas*. We bring our books.We bring sarongs and floppy hats and sunglasses and sunscreen.  The road to the beach is hot, even in morning, and we wobble over potholes, past tangled bougainvillaea that trails along the guardrail. We pass abandoned houses, shady in the palm grove. At the beach, we walk two miles to the very end. There, […]

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Top Five Mexican Cities for Hangout Travel

Churpa sits in lamplight in La Condesa.

In 1999, when I was 20 years old, I flew into Mexico City with my friend Abigail. Between the two of us, we carried $1000 in cash. Our plan? Travel from Mexico City to the Yucatan, spend a month hitting all the major sites of interest and then return to Mexico City. Our budget was based on very vague calculations on my part: I’d spent the previous winter camping on a beach on the Pacific coast, and it’d cost me […]

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Best Ride from Mexico City to SMA?

First class Mexican bus.

  A reader writes: I’m flying into Mexico City August 1st and going to San Miguel de Allende. I’ve found two different ways of getting there and wondered if there might be a better one or which of the two is the best. There’s a bus from the airport to Queretero and a cab from there to SMA. Or, I could take a cab to to Central Norte Bus Station and catch a bus direct to SMA. I was also […]

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Letter from a Reader: Monte Alban Guide?

  S writes: I am departing for Oaxaca in March. I would like to hire the charming guide you had in Oaxaca to show us around.  Can you please send me  Señor Diez contact information?  I would love to have such a local “ruin ” be our guide. I am just starting to travel and I wonder what a proper amount for a day of guiding is?  If you could suggest it would be helpful. Kaki answers: Our guide’s name […]

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Preparing Your Vehicle for a Trip to Mexico and Other Notes on Mexican Car Parts

Peter Aschwanden's famous drawing of an exploded VW bug

“Say, I have this 1995 Volkswagen bus, with 140,000 miles on it and I was thinking of taking it to México on a long trip. If it were yours, what would you look out for, or inspect carefully?” “Hmm, that’s a lot of miles. Has the alternator been replaced? Then there’s the water pump and hoses, and then —-” You’ll usually get an earful of information. Some folks don’t want to hear it. They’d rather plug their ears, cross their […]

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El Codo's Baja Cost of Traveling Update

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

How much will it cost you to travel in Baja? In Baja, prices are similar to those found in northern mainland México along tourist corridors. A cheapest “feel-every-spring-in-the-bed” single hotel room will cost around 250 pesos ($19.00 USD). In general, groceries are more expensive than they are in the USA. Mexican staples remain inexpensive, but in tourist enclaves expect prices to be higher. In Cabo San Lucas you’ll find ten dollar hamburgers and 2-star hotel rooms priced like they’ve grown […]

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Flashback Mexico Travel Journals 1992-2013

Dec 31-Jan 10, 1992  Tenacatita, Jalisco (age 13) We traveled through the dessert (which was kind of boring) and then we crossed the border. We then drove down to visit our friends the Huichols. Guillermo had just left for the sierra! Too bad. We had an OK time with the Huichols and I once again tried tortilla making and failed. I can do it with a press, but patting it out by hand is beyond me. (Mine always are full […]

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