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The People's Guide To Mexico

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Letters: The Best of Mexico

The Best of Mexico & Central America
Part 1

Area by Area Index

BajaChapalaChiapasCopper CanyonGuadalajaraMazatlanMexico CityOaxacaPacific CoastPuerto VallartaSan BlasSan Miguel de AllendeYucatanBelizeGuatemalaThe MayaMore Places

In this section, we feature interesting articles, travel reports and personal experiences from people who live and travel in Mexico & Central America. We welcome your own contributions to these pages.

Camping on the Pacific Coast of Michoacan

After spending some four years living and traveling up and down the rugged and beautiful coast of Michoacan I have formed some opinions about travel and camping safety....My advice is to not camp alone on a seemingly deserted beach.... (more) by David Eidell (Published 4-08)

Aconchi Hot Springs Revisited

.... The springs are there and the water is great. The unfortunate thing is it was overcrowded and trash was everywhere. We were there on January 3 so the holiday could be a factor....We cannot recommend the drive there enough though.... (more), Buck

Oaxaca: Safe? Nov 29, 06

The problem with writing in the "now" is that it so quickly becomes "then". The situation in Oaxaca has become much more uncomfortable in recent days. Most of our "snowbird" friends have canceled their visits for this year. Sad as it is for me to say so, at this time (November 29) I can no longer urge anyone to come here. Stan Gotlieb

Avoid Oaxaca For The Next Few Months (Nov 06)

If you’ll be a first-time visitor to Oacaca and expect to see the city/area made famous by travel brochures and travel guides - you do not want to visit now.....avoid Oaxaca like the plague for the next few months until the violence/disruptions subside... (more) by Bill Masterson

Stan Gottlieb's article about the violence in Oaxaca "Well, at least no tourists have been attacked" was a bit off center. He could have better described things as being, "A bit uncomfortable for tourism, but because no tourists have been attacked it serves to show that once the dispute has been resolved, things should quickly return to normal in the city of Oaxaca".... (more) by David "El Codo" Eidell

•Oaxaca for Christmas? Is it Safe?

Today (November 3, 06), there are few tourists in the city of Oaxaca. They have been scared away by the massive propaganda put out by the main-stream press: anxiety, disaster, and fear sell newspapers and encourage viewers to buy mouthwash.

The actual story is somewhat different. Yes, there are federal troops, pro-government hit squads, and confrontations at various points around the city. Yes, the buses have stopped running, temporarily. Yes, people are getting killed, injured, arrested, disappeared and tortured. But no tourists have been involved... (more) by Stan Gotlieb, editor Oaxaca Essays & Online Newsletter

•Yucatan and the States

After a summer of waking early every morning to catch the employee bus to my job at Xcaret on the Yucatan Peninsula, I should have had no trouble waking early this morning. After all, today was the day I was supposed to catch an eleven-thirty flight back to the United States. But as it turned out, I had slept late and might have slept straight through the day had not a gust of wind slammed back the shutters over my window and rattled me awake. I rose with a start, suddenly aware of the bind I was in. I packed hurriedly, threw my bag over my shoulder, and rushed out to the coastal highway. Once there, all I could do was wait.... (more) by Cameron Ellis

•¿Is It Safe to Drive in Baja? ¿Banditos?

Perhaps the best way to describe Mexico1, the transpeninsular highway is to say that many solo grandmother types drive small to medium size RV's annually to a winter's perch on a beach. Sadly, the days of banditos, highway robbery and ambushes have seem to have gone the way of the dodo.... (more) questions answered by David "El Codo" Eidell

•San Blas: One Month After Hurricane Kenna

•Hurricane Kenna Index Page

•Mazatlan: Costs, Housing, Work

•Mazatlan: Retirement, Attractions, Costs, Medical & Dental Care

Boca Paila, Quintana Roo: Cabañas Las Conchita

On the way to Cancun with a plane full of graduating high school seniors, we felt as out of place as Yanni fans at a Limp Bizkit concert. Fortunately our final destination was not one of the mega-resorts in Cancun where the high schoolers were going.... (more) by Deborah Shepard-McCague

Mexico City: Is It Safe?

As the bus pulled into the Terminal del Norte, we made our final preparations for Mexico City.
"Weapons on auto?" I said.
"Check," said my wife Nancy.
"Camouflage paint?"
"Check, dad," said Hannah, my 10-year-old, putting a last black streak on her cheek.
"Money belts secured?"
"Check," I answered myself.

With that, the bus ground to a halt and in a moment we were standing on the tarmac at the Terminal del Norte in the gathering darkness..... (more) by Jim Jamieson

Huatulco: Boat Cruise Warning

If you're planning a boat cruise in Huatulco, make sure you get ALL the details before handing over the pesos. This obvious, though often overlooked guideline is likely true for any resort in Mexico, but we learned the hard way in Huatulco.... (more) by Jim Jamieson

The Copper Canyon : Cheap & Easy (Trip Report)

We took the bus from El Paso across the border to Juarez.... At the border, we received verbal assurance from the bus driver that he would wait for us as we did the paperwork. We came back outside to find our packs on the ground, no bus. On the bus we had left two small bags of relative importance. ALWAYS STAY WITH ALL YOUR BELONGINGS.... (more) by Sheri Lynn

Hotels & Restaurants between Oaxaca and Puerto Angel

There are now decent hotels and restaurants between Oaxaca and Puerto Angel. Generally what you want to do when you are on the road from Oaxaca to the coast is GET TO THE COAST. But, should circumstances arise, flat tires, late starts, etc. there are a couple of options for places to stay that are worth considering.... (more) by Eric Mindling

Mexico in the Midwest

Mexico is not only in Mexico. Of course Mexico was always in the Southwest: a disgruntled hombre in a cantina in Hermosillo made that clear to me 30 years ago when it looked like the situation following the Alamo was going to be my fault solamente. But now - right here in my native Iowa, where everyone was always an 'merican right back to when God invented the world (circa 1848), everyone is not an 'merican anymore. The People's Guide to Mexico can now be a handy reference for life here in the heartland.... (more) by Tom Gibbs

Eric in Oaxaca

I first came to Oaxaca eight years ago as a wide eyed student of pottery and Spanish while working on my B.A. at Humboldt State U. in California. I didn't know where the heck Oaxaca was nor could I pronounce it (wah-HA-ka), but didn't care I knew it was in Mexico, I knew I hadn't been there. I was doing studio art, and having just recently muddied my hands for the first time in the ceramics studio, I was an avid and fervant convert to the clayway. I have always been partial to that which is raw, basic, utilitarian and beautiful for it. Pottery hit that place in me immediately. I went to Oaxaca ignorant of what I would find, only vaguely aware that there was some pottery there. So I designed my project around that. I proposed to look at a potter, how she lived in breif, and how she made a pot.... (more) by Eric Mindling

There Is Another Side To Chiapas!

I stumbled into your site almost by accident. I'd like to say the presentation and easiness is surprising and welcoming. The content, though, I found to be interesting yet offensive in ways. In particular Luis Barton's impression of our area. It leads readers to believe that Chiapas and rural Mexico are highly dangerous, unhealthy and precarious areas, unsuitable for living let alone traveling. I don't mean to say that the Mexico described by Barton is nonexistent. Yet, I do feel the need to point out that there also IS another Mexico.... (more) Letter from Robert Rivas-Bastedas

San Cristobal de las Casas: What About Living There?

Living in San Cristobal is a great experience. The city is truly a jewel. It's peaceful and offers all modern conveniences. It's relatively well connected and will be even more in the near future with two new roads under construction (Tuxtla-San Cristobal and Tuxtla-Mexico City)..... There are plenty of schools. In particular there is a grade school that warmly welcomes foreign children. Middle and upper education is offered through the government education system and at least a dozen private institutions. San Cristobal has historically been an educational and cultural center. (more) by Robert Rivas-Bastedas

•Why are Carl and Lorena Living in Ajijic?

After reading your book, it is obvious that you are a true expert on expatriate living in Mexico. From that vantage point, it comes as a minor surprise that you live in Ajijic, But, I respect your perspective on living in Mexico, so my question is: In your opinion, is the Lakeside area the best locale for expatriates who are not averse to immersion in an authentic Mexican cultural experience? Carl Responds.... (more)


For several years my wife and I had been talking about wanting to visit Cuba before the end of Castro's regime. She was particularly interested in experiencing Socialist Cuba now -- before the inevitable changes that will follow Castro's demise (he's 73 and won't last forever). However, I was somewhat leery of the idea.... (more) by Peter

•Cuba: Links & Books

•Visiting San Miguel de Allende

I finally walked into my boss and said i need a two month leave. i am heading down to San Miguel to take spanish and art and have no place to stay as yet....also, i was thinking i really really need to mellow out and maybe i'd find a yoga retreat somewhere down ....i want to e-mail people at the cyber cafe kind of places.... (more)

•History as Commodity, in San Miguel de Allende

Imagine my fascination with the half-millennium of New World history laid like a blanket over the eons of lost civilizations that constitute the past of the cities and hamlets of the central Mexican plateau. In 1981, many of the elderly residents of San Miguel de Allende’s thermal-watered outskirts spoke only Otomi, and history and mystery continue to sell Mexico to tourists.... (more) by Sareda Milosz

•Aconchi Hotsprings

Once you are in Aconchi, there is a dirt road that is very passable. There is an old sign pointing out the dirt road, it is one block north of the sign pointing out the church on the main highway in Aconchi, closer to the north end of town. The dirt road goes off to the west. About 4 miles down this road you get to the beautiful & well-maintained hot springs.... (more) by Patt Riese

•Oaxaca Handbook

Most guidebooks on Mexico devote 10, maybe 20 pages to Oaxaca.... I’ve always been left hungry for more.... Well, my hunger has finally been satisfied. In the Oaxaca Handbook. Bruce Whipperman offers a complete menu of not just the valley of Oaxaca, but the entire state.Whipperman has a special interest in outdoor activities and ecological tourism. He emphasizes hiking in Oaxaca’s national parks and other natural attractions. He enthusiastically writes of people working to improve the ecology of the places where they live.... (more) by P.G. Meier

•Belize: Visit, Live, Retire, Virtual exploraton

•Belize Retirement Guide: How to Live in a Tropical Paradise on $450 a Month

Sometime in the 1980's, Bill and Claire Gray pulled the plug and escaped from California to the Central American country of Belize. You can probably guess the rest: Fleeing the land of smog and gridlock, they were soon hiding out on the beach, lapping up the sunshine, tropical fruits and seafood, living like royalty on a peasant's budget.... (more) review by Carl Franz

Continued with more "Best of Mexico"

The Copper Canyon
The Best of Baja
The Best Of Chiapas
Guatemala & The Ruta Maya
Mexico Itineraries & Road Reports

©1972-2008 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens