Saint Good Adventure

San Judas de Tadeo

  As usual on a border crossing day, I woke up with a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement at the thought of Mexico and dread at the thought of dealing with customs agents and paperwork. From my late father I inherited a phobia of police officers and other government officials, which means that I work myself up into a state every time we need to cross an international border. As it turned out, my sense of foreboding was not […]

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Should I Bribe a Mexican Cop?

Mexican police badge, DF.

editor’s note: I recently mentioned getting pulled over by cops in Acapulco. Dan wrote  wanting to know more, and I think he raises some interesting questions about bribery in modern Mexico. Dan writes: In regards to your interaction with the cops in Acapulco, a few questions: 1. Was this federal police or local police? 2. Where were you stopped, was it on the main touristy road, Costiera Miguel Aleman? 3. What did they ask from you? 4. What’s an appropriate […]

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Informative Travel Blogs–Baja to El Salvador

My friend Cornelius pointed me in the direction of his friends Matt and Emily, who are currently traveling through Central America. Their blogs have neat pictures and detailed information that could be of use to anyone interested in riding a motorcycle in Mexico, couchsurfing, crossing Latin American borders, finding cheap, reasonably safe accommodations in San Salvador and bussing across Central America. Sigh…

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Can I Rent a Car in Mexico and Drive to Panama?

  Just received this missive from a reader: Hi.  I can’t find any useful information about the logistics of renting a car in Mexico (Cancun), and driving it south to Panama.  Is it possible?  What papers would I need (other than passport)?  Please help! I’m not in the habit of renting cars in Mexico, and I’ve never driven as far south as Panama. Anyone got anything on this?

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Aduana Updates Merchandise Allowances

Mexican border at agua prieta.

El Codo just alerted me to the following updates to the Mexico entry allowances. “Duty-free allowance is a tax exemption granted by the Mexican Government to a national or foreign passenger for certain merchandise he is bringing in Mexico. Passengers entering Mexico by land are allowed to import merchandise additional to their baggage for up to $300.00 USD.* Persons that reside in the north border are allowed to import merchandise for up to $150.00 USD.* During holiday periods –Easter, Summer, […]

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The Temporary Import Permit Tempest

By Captain Elizabeth Shanahan Owner SG Boat Works Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico   A number of published news reports about the temporary import permit audit performed at twelve Mexican marinas by the Mexican IRS earlier this month have unnecessarily upset boat owners and disrupted normal business dealings in the marine industry. But the facts don’t support any hysteria. “Don’t worry about your boats,” Tere Grossman, spokesperson for the Mexican Marinas Association says. “I expect the liens to be lifted in […]

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Mexican Government Seizes Yachts?

  Associated Press reporters Mark Stevenson and Amy Taxin describe a recent sting operation on eight Mexican marinas. According to the AP, tax agents and marines descended to seize yachts that were lacking a necessary permit: “After inspecting more than 1,600 vessels in late November, the Mexican government’s Treasury Department announced it had initiated seizure orders against 338 boats it accused of lacking a $70 permit. The office says it has four months to decide whether to release the boards […]

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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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Crossing the Border to Mexico: Requirements for Minors

As I’ve written before, Mexico is an ideal country for family travel. Luckily, kids are also easier to import than dogs, cats, or God forbid, tropical birds. To get a passport, minors under the age of 14 must show proof both of citizenship and proof of relationship to the applying parent(s) or guardian(s). You will find the various applications and forms you will need at To get a Mexican tourist card, both parents’ written notarized consent is required if […]

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Taking a Dog or Cat to Mexico

Rich walks a dog in San Miguel's Parque Juarez.

“To take a dog or cat into Mexico or Guatemala, you must have a veterinarian’s certificate stating that the animal is in good health and has been properly inoculated, including against rabies, within the past six months.”—The People’s Guide to Mexico, 14th edition You can include more than one pet on the same certificate, which should be recent (within 15 days) and should  also list your home address and the address of your primary destination in Mexico. When you cross […]

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