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The People's Guide To Mexico

Letters: The Best of Mexico
The Copper Canyon
Best of Mexico Index: part 1

Best of Mexico
& Central America

Index, page 2


But the best thing I found in Nexpa was myself. My mother had died a year earlier and I had not been myself since. In Nexpa I found the patients that had been escaping me. I again found the "time" to marvel at life. It began with the waves, watching them break smoothly, over and over again, from left to right.... (more) by Patt Riese

•Oaxaca: I've Changed My Mind

It had been two years since my last visit and I was interested to see what had changed, for better, or for worse. I arrived in town by second-class bus from the East. The first noticeable, and significant, change I observed was the increased military presence in the state of Oaxaca and at the entrance to the city. The Mexican government says that the military is engaged in "drug interdiction." People I spoke with on the bus called it government intimidation.... (more) by Bill Masterson

The Copper Canyon

After more than 30 years of traveling and writing about Mexico, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked, “Carl, what are your favorite places?” My usual response is a truthful but somewhat evasive, “Wherever I happen to be at the moment.” (If you hear an echo here, “Wherever You Go... There You Are” is the subtitle of my first book, The People’s Guide To Mexico.)

If pressed for specifics, however, I have to confess that certain places in Mexico of exceptional beauty and interest do come to mind. Among my “personal favorites,” none rates higher than the Copper Canyon, a territory of deeply eroded canyons and remote mesas in the northwestern Sierra Madre.

•Living In Zamora

My wife is working teaching English at a campus of Univa here in Zamora. She finds the college age kids a delight, and we have been made to feel very welcome by the people we meet. Zamora is not on the gringo trail and that's just fine with us.... (more) by Pat and Gaby

•Oaxaca in the Summer?

We are looking seriously at coming to Mexico for a month next July. Would you have any suggestions re places to take Nancy and Hannah? We will probably spend between one and two of the four weeks in San Miguel. Keep in mind that Nancy has never been to Mexico, but has travelled a lot and Hannah will be 10 and a half.... (more) from Jim Jamieson

•Oaxaca Tips & Sidetrips

This excellent, highly detailed letter from Suzanne Strauss & Scott K. Kennedy is a mini-guidebook to the best of Oaxaca City and environs. Their letter is also a model for the kind of information we love to publish on this website. Please read it and be inspired to contribute your own travel reports and personal experiences!.... (more)

•Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Dan's cup of coffee is still the best in town, if not the state, and the mango croissants are still to die for. With the addition of a dinner restaurant next door, where we had a magnificent dorado platter for 29 pesos, Dan now has an all-day eatery. We did duck into town for one of Herman's fish platters, but at 25 pesos it probably doesn't represent a better deal than Dan's.... (more) by Stan Gottlieb

A Letter From Baja

The water was phosphorescent and swimming at night was like swimming in liquid light. Floating in the water looking up at the stars (and the comet!) I said to Bill - "Tell me again why I’m going back to Tucson?".... (more) by Joan Parker

Searching for Cave Dwellings in the Copper Canyon:

"An hour later I was close to 8,000 feet - but closer yet to needing a hot lunch and a long nap. In local parlance I was faldeano or 'skirting' the flank of another, even higher mesa. I had already made two fruitless attempts..." (more) by Carl Franz

•Chiapas, The Hard Way

A uniformed agent got on the bus and asked to see our papers... In incoherent Spanish I told the agent that I lost all my papers: my passport; my money; my plane tickets; everything!... Would I be arrested? Would I be penniless on the street at night in Villahermosa?..... (more) by Louis Barton

•Nogales to Lake Chapala

Lorena and I have finally returned to Mexico and are living on the shore of Lake Chapala, the country’s largest lake, about 45 minutes by freeway from Guadalajara. This region has long been a magnet for gringo “snowbirds” and expatriates, and thousands of Americans and Canadians live here, either year ‘round or part-time. It is easy to understand why: the quick access to Guadalajara (a city of millions), moderate elevation, near-idyllic climate, and the beautiful lake make a rather irresistable combination.... (more) by Carl Franz

•San Carlos Bay

San Carlos has seen some changes since our first visit some centuries ago, but then what place hasn’t? The good news is that it is still an outrageously beautiful coast, with many empty beaches and countless places to free camp. I’ve even found good campsites between the big hotels and a couple of prime beach front lots available for immediate squatting..... (more) By Carl Franz

•The Ruta Maya

The boundaries of the proposed Ruta Maya embrace several million contemporary Mayans, thousands of greater and lesser archaeological sites and untold acres of relatively pristine jungles, forests, wetlands and wildlife habitat. As an additional attraction, the Ruta Maya includes several international airports and is surprisingly easy and inexpensive to reach.... (more) by Carl Franz

•Living in San Cristobal

I moved with my partner to live in San Cristobal de Las Casas, in the state of Chiapas, in February of 1997. Although we had never visited this area of Mexico, we chose San Cristobal, after much research. It fit the list of things we were looking for in a place to spend our two year sabbatical. It had a somewhat intact indigenous culture, moderate highland climate and possibilities for volunteering that would provide meaningful ‘work’.... (more) by Sage Mountainfire

•Cheaper in Paradise

“It’s Mexico Or Die!” Though burdened by an emaciated wallet, I was determined to feel warm sand between my toes, if only for a couple of weeks..... (more) by David “Cheapskate” Eidell


One of the big spectacles of the fair is the voladores, or flyers, who dress in brilliantly colored traditional costumes, climb up a 150 foot pole, tie their ankles to ropes wound around the pole and then jump off, “flying” gracefully around and around as the ropes unwind until they reach the ground. As the voladores ""fly," another performer balances at the top of the pole and plays haunting tunes on his wooden flute..... (more) By Flo Ariessohn

•Impressions of Mexico: Chiapas

Having been totally unprepared for bandits, the car windows were rolled down and the doors were unlocked. I hurriedly started rolling up windows and locking doors. I asked the guy on the passenger side what he wanted; "your billfold", was his reply..... (more) by Louis Barton

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

©1972-2004 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens