Dancing with the Devil: Climbing Baja’s High Point

Picacho del Diablo

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 thirteen hours of route finding. But first, after just thirty 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 two foot waterfall into a turquoise blue pool about three feet deep. Yes, it’s only five feet, […]

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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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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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Is Mazatlan's Ocean Palace Under Contruction?

  A reader writes: Last time I was in Mazatalan (2/2012) the Ocean Palace was under construction/remodel. I can’t seem to find any info on the project to see if it is complete.  Can you help? Thx   Churpa responds: Trip Advisor reviews as recent as August indicate that one wing of the resort was still under construction at that point. But our Mazatlan contacts inform us that it’s now done. Another reader recommends calling 6699130666 or 18003527690 to confirm.

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Food Tourism in Mexico?

A bin of Mole Negro mix in a Oaxaca market

I recently received the following note from a reader who is planning a week-long trip to Mexico for his dad’s 70th birthday. Daniel writes: My brothers and I want to take our Dad to Mexico this December or January–Oaxaca and Mexico City maybe. My Dad is a chef and so we were thinking there might be a guide that could show us the best food experiences with the most appropriate accommodations etc. My Dad has been cooking Mexican for years […]

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Baja Under Martial Law

Hurricane odile spinning over Baja.

  We are happy to hear from El Codo, who is alive and well if somewhat battered. He’s still without running water and his car was damaged in the storm. He writes: “President EPN said live on (someone else’s) TV that Odile is the worst hurricane ever to strike Mexico. Cabo San Lucas is out of the tourist business for two months absolute minimum and that estimate may be pie in the sky. Martial law, state of emergency. Only military […]

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Mexico City News

Was just lurking over at Tony Burton’s always excellent Geo-Mexico, where I found two interesting pieces of Mexico City News: The Big Enchilada is annexing 5500 hectares of land to expand Benito Juárez International Airport, which is operating at near capacity. The giant spider-shaped addition will be designed by Fernando Romero, a son-in-law of Carlos Slim. Peña Nieto says the new six runway airport will cost about $9.16 billion and Forbes predicts one of Slim’s companies will get the contract […]

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Monarch Butterfly Decline

  The news is full of the problems being caused by climate change, but hearing about the decline of the Monarchs is especially disturbing to me. Although we never took the time to stop and visit the Monarch preserve in the state of Michoacan, I have always felt a kinship with these beautiful butterflies as we all headed south for the winter.  I hope there will always be Monarchs returning to Mexico, but they are now in grave danger. It’s […]

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Letter from a Reader: Easy Walks in Oaxaca's Sierra Norte?

Couple stands in front of agave on hike in Oaxaca mountains.

A reader writes: I hope this is not too detailed a question, but I have not found information elsewhere so I thought I would give you a try. My husband and I are visiting Oaxaca  and had looked forward to visiting the villages and enjoying the natural beauty of the Sierra Norte for a few days. Unfortunately, my husband is recovering from a pulled muscle. He is fine to walk around, explore villages, (sit on a bench and enjoy a […]

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