Improve Your Mexico Adventure: Eight Tips

Girl walks down Mexican street.

1. Get off the beaten path. Even if you plan on spending your entire vacation in a tourist hot spot like Puerto Vallarta or Mazatlan, it’s easy enough to step off the tourist trail and experience authentic Mexico. Ask a cab driver to take you to his favorite taqueria, or just keep walking until Señor Frog recedes into the distance. 2. Pack a few nicer items of clothing. Mexico is a dressy country. When you’re invited to a fiesta or […]

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Historical Photo of the Week: On the Road with Steve Rogers

family in van

Our friend Tia just sent me this stellar photo. This pretty much sums up my childhood growing up in a van down by the river. This particular van was named Zebu, after the white humped back cows you sometimes see along Mexican roadsides. I (the toothy child) am sitting on my bed, an oblong plywood box that doubled as a storage compartment. Note the sweet roof rack, the sacred cooler in the foreground, the lucky “God’s eye” hanging from the […]

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Birding Hikes in the Copper Canyon?

Michael Huckaby hikes the Copper Canyon.

Erin writes: I’m a gal traveling solo (with dog) and plan on spending 1.5 weeks in the Barrancas del Cobre region and am looking for advice. I have a truck and a safe place to keep it in Baltopilas and Creel. I am an avid birder and naturalist and am looking for some birdy multiday and day hikes. Do you have any insight as to good spots for eared quetzal or military macaws? I just finished reading the PG and […]

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San Pancho Sunset

San Pancho, Nayarit:  Last week I was crumbling cheese for spaghetti and looked out the kitchen window.  The beach is on the open ocean and the surf is too rough for swimming.   But San Pancho was a very friendly town, and we all had a great time visiting with friends and listening to music.

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Rio Lagartos Flamingos

One of my favorite places when traveling in the Yucatan was Rio Lagartos, famous for its colony of Pink Flamingos It’s been many years since we’ve visited there, (now the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve), but at that time, it was wonderfully funky.  And the lagoons held the most amazing birds and wildlife. This morning, an email from Cornell Lab of Ornithology lead me to a video on the banding and release of baby flamingos in Rio Lagartos. I first saw the […]

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Seven Common Misconceptions about Tequila and Mezcal

A pile of agave cores, ready to be roasted for mezcal.

Tequila and mezcal are made from “cactus juice.” Agave is not a cactus, but rather a member of the botanical order Asparagales, which includes asparagus and narcissus. (Native to the New World, the genus Agave is exceedingly diverse, with well over 100 varieties in Mexico alone.) Mezcal is a type of Tequila. If you want to get down to brass tacks (and I think you do), Tequila is a variation on mezcal, or distilled agave spirits. Mexican laws about the […]

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Back in the Big Enchilada: I Try a New Hotel

editor’s note: This post is by Tina Rosa, a veteran travel writer and adventurer who now lives in San Miguel de Allende, Gto. She is the co-author of “22 Days in Mexico” and “The Shopper’s Guide to Mexico.” She blogs at Open Salon. Since my beloved Hotel Isabel Catolica upped its prices, I decided to give another abode a try. I like the historic district so cruised the net and settled upon Hotel El Salvador on Republica del Salvador, a […]

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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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Folk Art Car

                  Two Huichol families—the Bautistas from Jalisco and the Ortiz from Nayarit—spent 9,000 hours adhering more than two million beads to the exterior of a 1990 Volkswagen Beetle. The car is called the Vochol. Yes, that’s a combination of “Vocho” a and “Huichol.” Though I’m pretty sure the guy in the Smithsonian video is wrong when he says that “vocho” is a Huichol word! note: images courtesy of Museo de Arte Popular

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Wotta ride this will be…

A bridge spans an amazingly deep canyon.

(if we can afford the cuotas)   The Baluarte Bridge, which crosses a canyon deep enough to fit the Chrysler building. As the Associated Press reports, the long-awaited Durango-Mazatlan Highway is slated to be complete this August.  

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