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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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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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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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 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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Crossing the Border at Douglas/Agua Prieta

  We prefer smaller borders like Douglas/Agua Prieta because the lines are shorter.  This particular border is fairly easy to deal with: lanes are well marked and this time only one car was ahead of us in line. We were stopped by U.S. Customs on the gringo side and enjoyed the usual interrogation from a suspicious customs agent with textbook level attention to grooming and uniform. He peered into our packed ’87 Dodge van with apparent incomprehension. I wasn’t sure […]

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Rental Cars in Mexico

January 24, 2012 | 1 Comment by Churpa Writing about cars yesterday reminded me of another tidbit dredged from Lorena’s infamous and swamp-like inbox: fellow travel writer Ben Starr sent us a tip regarding Advantage, a rental service that allows cars from select locations in California, Arizona, and Texas to cross the border into Mexico. Purchase of a $25 dollar (per day) Mexican insurance policy is mandatory, and the car must be returned to its original U.S. location.We have not […]

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Pink Slips and License Plates

Rachel writes: My husband and I live in La Paz. We are in the process of getting our FM3’s but in the meantime we’re just here on a tourist visa. I have purchased a new truck and trailer in Chicago and am planning on bringing it down to Mexico, stopping to pick up a kit car of my husbands in Texas. We were told that the plates would take 2 weeks to arrive and they have not come yet. We […]

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