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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The Palapa Files: Home Sweet Tilapia Pond

Chito's campground, Tenacatita

And then we went from partying on the piazza of a pseudo-Moorish palace to camping in the dirt in a defunct tilapia farm. The tilapia farm in question is located behind Chito’s restaurant, about a kilometer from Tenacatita beach, on the coast of Jalisco. Since the failure of the tilapia venture, Chito has been busy building a campground on the site, replete with palapas, a volleyball court, and supposedly showers, though we never exactly saw that dream materialize. I shouldn’t […]

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Ojo de La Barranca: Gateway to Adventure

Lonely Planet’s first reports from Copper Canyon centered around Creel, and despite decades of tourism most visitors still begin there journey there. Unfortunately, if they arrive in Creel from the coast by train, they’ve already passed the canyon! So instead of backtracking, they go to the bottom of the canyon by bus to Batopilas. Que barbaro! More information would allow visitors to get off the train in Bahuichivo, and get to Urique much quicker than the 2 day connection to […]

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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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Pointers for Using an ATM Card in Mexico

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

Notify your bank well in advance of your travel plans. It is common for a bank to freeze a bank account if withdrawals start occurring in a foreign country. In México an ATM is called Cajero Automatico (automatic cashier). Some small town banks do not have a Cajero Automatico. Look for the sign. Small towns frequently have too few banks and too few Cajero Automatico machines to serve customers. Long lines and emptied machines are common. Plan accordingly. Mondays, Fridays, […]

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Is there any Point in Taking Traveler's Checks to Mexico?

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

A reader writes: Hi Planning a trip to MX. Last time in CanCun had a devil of a time cashing traveler’s checks. No credit card. Do most accept debit card from US banks? What about prepaid or reloadable debit cards with Visa logo? S   editor responds:   Dear S, I feel your pain about trying to cash traveler’s checks in Mexico. It’s difficult to find anyone who will do it anymore, and I gave up on the enterprise about […]

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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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Baja Roads, Towns, and Beaches: El Codo's Baja Travel Update

The coast of Baja.

The Baja California peninsula is more convenient to visit than ever. To many PG travelers the most important question is: “Can I still camp there on the beaches, safely?” With the exception of the northern Pacific coast beaches, (Tijuana to El Rosario) the answer is an unqualified “Yes!” More than a thousand miles of wide-open beaches await the wilderness camper.  Baja Car Permits and Tourist Cards If you want to venture much beyond Ensenada or stay longer than 72 hours […]

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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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