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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El Codo's Bag of Tricks for Getting the Best Gas Mileage

'87 Dodge van parked in palm grove.

editor’s note:  We don’t call him “El Codo” for nothing. Some of the more lax members of the People’s Guide staff may not go to such rigorous efforts to save a dime. But maybe that’s why we can’t afford to drive to Mexico this year and are forced to fly, like amateurs! El Codo says: No matter how you figure it, a gallon of regular gasoline in México costs the equivalent of three dollars and thirty five cents, and stops […]

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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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Book Review: Western Mexico: A Traveler's Treasury

From the shores of Lake Patzcuaro to the cloud forest of Manatatlán to the mines of Zacatecas, Western Mexico: A Traveler’s Treasury takes the armchair traveler on a tour of western Mexico’s treasures, many of them little known. The author, geographer Tony Burton, gets off the beaten path time and time again, and provides detailed historical and cultural information about towns that many guidebook authors only mention in passing: La Barca, San Juan de los Lagos, Tamazula, and Lagos de Moreno, […]

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Best of Mexican and Central American Balnearios

Van camping.

  A popular institution in Mexico and Central America, balnearios, or thermal springs, range from undeveloped pools to fancy spa resorts to elaborate water parks that are packed with screaming kids on the weekends but make ideal camp spots during off hours. Many balnearios feature attached hotels, bungalows, or camp areas. Not all balnearios allow camping, but many will allow you to camp (for a fee) even if camping is not on their main menu. El Codo just sent me […]

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2013 Road Trip Page

Girl on Mexican beach with palm tree.

Lorena has been pestering me to set this up, so I have, inevitably, acquiesced.  You can now read every dispatches from our recent adventures here.

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Is your Vehicle Illegal in Mexico?

Image of roll of red tape.

  I have received a number of questions, including a panicked message from my sainted mother, regarding the new vehicle importation laws for ex-pats. After developing a near migraine headache trying to unravel the information myself, I turned to Solomon Freimuth at mymexicanlawyer.com for advice. He very kindly wrote a post on the subject, wherein he outlines what the new importation regulations mean for foreign residents in Mexico. Incidentally, his site is a great resource for legal questions regarding living […]

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The Return of Noticias

  It’s been awhile, but I’m gonna start cranking these out again . . . at lest that’s what I’m telling myself. Policias – The governor of the state of Mexico has ordered 12 municipalities around Mexico City to stop issuing traffic tickets until they comply with a law passed last year that prohibits male traffic cops from issuing traffic tickets in that state.  Some are skeptical it will have the intended effect of reducing corruption in the long term, […]

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The Trip in Full

'87 Dodge van parked in palm grove.

So we made it. 6,500 miles in an ’87 Dodge van. We camped off-road in Chihuahua. We got lost at night on the back roads of Oaxaca. We drove through states, such as Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, that are known as hot spots in the narco wars. According to one study, we drove through three of the top twenty most violent cities in the world (by murder rate):  Acapulco, Torreon, and Culiacan.                                                                                                                            photo by Gina Dilello We rode the subways […]

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