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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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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Stone Soup? Sarah Borealis on Oaxacan Cuisine

Oaxacan stone soup

Visual historian Sarah Borealis talks about culinary tradition, eating in Oaxacan markets, and her new documentary “The Path of Stone Soup,” which explores the culinary heritage of Oaxaca’s Chinantla region. As Borealis explains,Chinantla’s specialty is a freshwater seafood soup “cooked to perfection using red hot stones.” I was interested to learn that the dish is traditionally prepared by men. The 24-minute documentary is the work of an international team that includes Borealis, director Arturo Juarez Aguilar, and César Gachupin de […]

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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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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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Mushroom Season in the Sierras.

San Juanito, Chihuahua, Feria del Hongos 2013

While It’s Monsoon Season in the Desert, It’s Mushroom Season in the Sierras. Rain! The water of life! Dry throat-parching dust turns to luscious greasy mud. People who have been lethargic all summer come alive and start to smile. Struggling plants that look like weeds become towering corn plants with fat fuzzy ears as big as your forearm. Tenuous little blue flowers on slithering stringy vines bring forth a bonanza of beans. And underground a quiet revolution is brewing. Overnight, […]

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Good Brands of Dog Food in Mexico? A Glossary of Terms

Carl and Lorena’s beloved Poco A reader writes: Hello Carl Could you please provide me with the names of some of the better quality dog foods. I can’t read Spanish (yet) Thanks Lois editor’s note: Carl is lurking in his northern lair, so I turned to PG correspondent El Codo for some investigative reporting. El Codo: Northern Mexico, the Baja California peninsula, and larger cities are more prosperous and a person is more likely to find expensive dogs, and therefore […]

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Oaxaca Attractions

Check out Viator.com for Oaxaca travel recommendations written by an, ahem, renowned Mexico expert. Also of possible interest: the three day itinerary and an overview of Oaxaca cuisine. I’m impressed by the company’s dedication to finding writers who have actually recently visited the locations in question.

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Cost of Living: Food

Chiles at Oaxaca market.

  I meant to keep better track of our grocery expenses on this last trip. Alas, that info got lost as we scrambled to assemble drifts of cuota receipts and illegible notes scrawled on napkins. But luckily Michele Kinnon is on the ball. I prefer to do my shopping at the mercado or in small tiendas, but Kinnon is right: the big supermarkets such as Soriana can be a hell of a deal, especially when you avoid the fancy cheese […]

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Online Chile Source

A pile of dried chiles from Oaxaca.

Want to heat up your spring? Carl and Lorena just sent me their favorite online shopping site for chiles. You’ll be in good hands–these people are not new to the game: Pendery’s World of Chiles and Spices (great name!) dates back to 1870.    

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