Best of Mexico in Pictures: Mazatlan

Rich in parking lot of Hotel Bel Mar.

       Rich in parking lot of Hotel Belmar                                                    Mazatlan, Mexico I wrote a long post about my poetic and undying love for the Hotel Belmar, located at Paseo Olas Altas 166 Sur, in the old part of Mazatlan. Unfortunately, I somehow lost it. So pictures will  have to suffice for the moment. Let me just say that if you like quirky, creepy, old, cheap hotels, this is your place. Supposedly Mazatlan’s oldest hotel, the place weeps fading grandeur. Our room […]

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Camping and Accommodations in Oaxaca

A van parked in a hotel courtyard in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Oaxaca –Accommodations and Camping We arrived in town just after sunset and embarked on a monumental wild goose chase for the Oaxaca Trailer park. I’d looked it up online, but the last known reference was from 2009, and the author seemed doubtful as to whether the place would exist as a camping spot much longer. We couldn’t find it, and after much teeth gnashing we headed downtown in search of a cheap hotel. We ended up staying at El Atrio, […]

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Saints in the City

Emo kids carry statues of San Judas de Tadeo, or St. Jude

I am sitting on a rock hard bed at the Hotel Isabel, in a high-ceilinged room with pink and grey walls. I first came to the Isabel when I was only 23, and I still put up with the rock hard beds because the hotel is clean and has just the right mix of actual beauty (twenty-foot-high ceilings in this room), crazy Mexican aesthetics (a gorgeous Colonial lobby painted bright orange and bright blue; pastel furniture that’s straight out of […]

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La Noche de los Mariachis

When Churpa and I walked into the bar at the Hotel Isabel, the only available seating was at a table in the corner. The bar itself was fully occupied by Mexican businessmen nursing Cuba Libres; their ties loosened with their tongues and their coats slung across the backs of their chairs. Hearty pats on the back and deep, raucous laughter made me regret not practicing more Spanish in the three years since my last visit to Mexico. Churpa’s grin at […]

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Road Notes: Janos, Gomez Palacio Bypass, and Chihuahua Libre Highways

Driving from Ciudad Jimenez.

If, on the off chance, you are looking for a hotel room in Janos, Chihuahua, the “RR” hotel is clean and friendly, though extremely funky and rudimentary. For 180 pesos a night for two (14.60 USD) a night, you can’t complain… I concede defeat…El Codo is correct…The coffee at the OXXO mini marts is not bad…I think his exact word was “good”. I’m sticking with “not bad”, but it’s definitely better than gas station coffee in the U.S. I try […]

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Hotels in San Sebastian, Mascota & Talpa?

Dear Carl & Lorena, Just read your info on your trip to San Sebastian, Mascota & Talpa. We have been to Mascota (by bus) & loved it. This February are planning on going to all 3 places. Could you please tell us what Hotel you stayed at in Talpa? Thanks & happy New year, Emma Brooks Carl replies:  Hello Emma Lorena and I haven’t stayed in a hotel in Talpa — and even if we had, I doubt that I’d […]

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Psst! There is something I DON’T Like About Mexico.

editor’s note: People’s Guide correspondent Jeff O’Brien sent us the following piece with many guilty caveats. “Do you think it’s too negative?” he asked, adding, “I feel bad saying anything bad about Mexico.” It’s OK, Jeff. We all feel your pain. Psst!  There is something I DON’T  Like About Mexico. It’s easy to tell people why I love Mexico.  The reasons come so fast and easy and are so oft repeated they have become clichés.  Answers easily given without any […]

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Ghosts at the Hotel Isabel: Saludos de John Ross

The pretty teenage receptionist at the front desk of the Hotel Isabel is miffed that I don’t have a  reservation and we spend the next 20 minutes negotiating my room, wake-up call, and tomorrow’s 5 AM taxi to the airport, all of which entails filling out paperwork in triplicate, as per the Mexican custom. “The electricity is out and so is the water,” she mentions blandly as she hands me my room key.  “The elevator and television and Internet don’t […]

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