Can I Travel to Mexico in 2021?

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As the latest COVID variant dashes many travel hopes, travelers are asking, “Can I travel to Mexico?”

This gets asked a lot on travel forums and here at Mexican Insurance Store.

The short answer is, Yes.  Now with a ‘short answer’ qualifier, there’s got to be more explanation.

Your instincts are correct.

What’s Going On?

In non-mumbo-jumbo speak, If you’re an American Citizen or Permanent Resident, you can travel back and forth into Mexico and the USA.

The official US travel restrictions are found on the US State Department Website.

The current restrictions apply to non-citizens and those without documented permanent residency.  While Mexico does not restrict travel, the USA will restrict travel into the USA.  Naturally, this is because of COVID-19.  Let’s discuss some scenarios and take a quick quiz.

  1. A British Citizen wants to Fly into Mexico and then into the USA. Is the Brit restricted from entry into the USA?
  2. A US Citizen wants to drive into Mexico and then drive back to the US a week later.  Are there any restrictions?
  3. A Mexican Citizen wants to drive into the USA to visit family and return to Mexico a week later.  Are there any restrictions?
  4. A US Permanent Resident wishes to fly to Cancun for a weeklong Caribbean vacation.  Are there any restrictions?
  5. A Canadian living part-time in Mexico wants to drive up through the USA back into Canada. Are there any restrictions?

Find the Answers Below

Regardless of whether you decide to travel now or wait until later, be cool.  Be respectful and follow any health protocols in place.  Stay prepared with a stash of masks.  Also, please be patient while your destination tries to accommodate you.

Now for the answers:1 Yes.  2 No. 3 Yes. 4 No. 5 Yes.

There are always exceptions, but by and large, travel into the US is restricted.

So that’s the long answer to, “Can I Travel to Mexico?”

This means…  Grab your bikini or trunks and head to Mexico to enjoy some sun and fun.  Be cool, tip well, and be grateful!

Just make sure you have your US Passport and quality Mexican car insurance.

Enjoy Mexico (When you can’t be there because of COVID-19)


What Car, RV, Or Motorcycle Do I Bring Into Mexico?

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What Car, RV, Or Motorcycle Do I Bring Into Mexico? High-Quality Mexican Car Insurance

One of the most frequent questions asked by travelers is, “What car, RV, or motorcycle do I bring into Mexico?” Unfortunately, for many infrequent or first-time travelers to Mexico, the obvious is not clear. Moreover, many offerings of well-intentioned advice border on preposterous.

First things first. If the person offering an ‘expert’ opinion doesn’t travel to Mexico, ignore them. People who watch too much TV think they are experts in everything. Sadly, most opinions formed from news and TV shows are false. Instead, these pontifications are rooted in prejudice and misinformation. Whether it’s politics, viruses, or travel safety, count on this fact.

What does this mean? It means that most of what people think they know about Mexico is rubbish. Only trust opinions from people who are not crazy and travel to Mexico often.

Cars That Shouldn’t Go to Mexico

Many popular cars, RVs, and motorcycles in the United States make little to no sense in Mexico. Because it’s easier to begin with the ‘don’ts,’ let’s start with a big one.

Leave your EV vehicles in the US. The simple reason is that there are almost no charging stations outside of Mexico City. Also, if you run into problems on the road, mechanics and spare parts are impossible to find.

Having no charging stations is the same reason to leave hybrid cars in the USA. Since hybrids are not common in Mexico, there are no mechanics or spare parts. In addition, few Mexicans are willing to pay the hefty premium of a hybrid for ‘virtue-signaling.’

Travelers must not bring salvage-title vehicles into Mexico. If your vehicle title or registration says ‘Salvage’ on it, you can not get a TVIP. The TVIP is a Temporary Import Permit to drive your non-Mexico plated vehicle in Mexico legally. Outside of Baja California and the Hassle-Free Zone in Sonora, a TVIP is necessary to drive your vehicle through Mexico.

It would be best if you left exotic cars back in the USA. Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and others are fascinating cars. Unfortunately, they are sold mostly in Mexico City. Like in the US, they are flashy and project wealth. As a traveler in Mexico, this is NOT what you want to display.

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This car was sure beautiful when it was new. Photo: Alex Simpson

What about my 1986 Olds Cutlass?

Finally, we often hear from people who want to use some junker well over 20 years old to travel Mexico. Bringing junkers comes from a false perception that Mexicans don’t buy or drive newer cars.

A near-end-of-life car is a bad idea for several reasons. Mexico has vast stretches without mobile service. Mexico is also prone to extreme weather. Hermosillo is the hottest city in North America, on average. Conversely, many parts of Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, and other states encounter snow and ice. Insuring older cars is also problematic. If your vehicle is over 15 to 20 years old, you can only get liability only insurance. Sure, you’ll cover the other person. But, unfortunately, you’ll be left with nothing in the event of a collision.

Your vehicle must be in excellent running shape with good tires and interior climate control.

Send the junkers where they belong… The junkyard.

Carefully Consider These Cars

Luxury cars like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi are much more common throughout Mexico. Still, parts and services are limited to big cities.

As one who has traveled many parts of Mexico in a Mercedes C 350, this next part comes from experience.

Every window washer in cities will target you like a generous patron. Have Ten Peso coins available to hand out regularly. No matter what you answer, military checkpoints will nearly always search your car. It’s rarely more than a few minutes’ delay, but it’s still annoying.

While you’re not a target for theft, crooked cops in small towns may see you as an easy shake-down.

high-quality Mexican car insurance
The Tesla Model S is a great car, but not for Mexico.

The Best Cars for Mexico

The best car to travel through Mexico is fairly easy. Start with this simple test. If I were traveling across the USA, what would be the best car or truck to take? You want a late model car that is fuel-efficient, sturdy, and has reliable air conditioning. In addition, it’s important that it’s well serviced and that the tires are in excellent shape.

Now, certain cars are much more popular in Mexico. Popular cars also come with benefits. There are plenty of parts and mechanics, should you need them. More importantly, you don’t stand out like a rich target. Popular cars and trucks include late-model Chevy Silverados, Ford F-150 trucks, Ford Explorers, and small crossovers. The Nissan Versa, Frontier (NP300), and Sentra are very popular. Toyota RAV-4 and Yaris are very common. Volkswagen’s Jetta (Vento) and Tiguan, along with the Kia Rio, are also seen everywhere.

The Nissan Versa is the best-selling car in Mexico. What Car, RV, Or Motorcycle Do I Bring Into Mexico? High-Quality Mexican Car Insurance

 

The Best RVs to Take to Mexico

RVs are very popular amongst Americans in Baja California and parts of Sonora. That said, if you don’t have a support vehicle, you will find it quite difficult to get through many towns. Consider for a moment the cost of an RV. New RVs start at $130,000 USD. A pre-owned late-model RV costs upwards of USD 70,000. Add fuel, maintenance, and overnight fees to that, and the seeming bargain isn’t much of a bargain.

Also, consider who you’ll be surrounded with at the RV Campground. Because Mexican’s don’t RV, you are surrounded by Gringos. RVs are an obvious sign of rich travelers. Since you’re an easy mark, those that prey on travelers know exactly where you are. This is true anywhere in the world.

Parking your RV at the water’s edge is awesome in Mulege.

RV Alternatives

Alternatively, drive down in a sensible car and stay in hotels along the way. Rent an apartment in one or several cities during your stay. You’ll enjoy the benefits of immersion in the local culture. In addition, you’ll be able to go into town to buy food easily. Finally, you’ll have a much richer stay for a fraction of the cost of bringing an RV. With a car, one can go to nearby towns and attractions with no difficulty.

For many, traveling to Mexico is not about the rich culture. Rather, it’s about good winter weather and seemingly lower costs. If these are your only criteria, you are probably far better served in Florida.

For some, the RV lifestyle is unbeatable. More power to you! There are campgrounds and RV parks serving Gringos throughout Mexico. RV’s are common in Baja California and Sonora until San Carlos/Guaymas. Beyond that, RVs become much more scarce.

One must ask if you embrace the Mexican culture, aren’t you better off being among locals? Either way, Mexicans are glad you’re there, and your visit does support low-end jobs.

At over USD 1M, the Outback-5100 is way too much for anything besides showing off to friends.

Motorcycles

The topic is, “What car, RV, or motorcycle do I bring into Mexico?” We spent all this time talking about Cars, Trucks, and RVs. What about Motorcycles?

In Mexico, you’ll see small-displacement motorcycles throughout cities and towns. These are typically 200cc or less.

Big Bikes are owned and ridden by Mexican Doctors, Lawyers, and Business Owners. In addition, premium brands like BMW, Ducati, and Harley-Davidson are common.

Large bikes are more and more common. BMW and Harley-Davidson have a strong dealer network throughout Mexico. Ducati and KTM are making huge strides in bigger cities. Honda Goldwing and Africa Twins are also popular, but much less so. Triumph is trying to gain a foothold in Mexico. So far, dealers are in major cities like GDL and CDMX.

One will see Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki dealers throughout Mexico, focusing primarily on the small sub-200cc bikes. Parts and techs for the larger bikes are scarce. Also, consider that in Mexico, doctors, lawyers, and business owners ride big bikes. They earn respect on the road. Status is important. They want premium brands. When riding into Mexico, consider the condition of some roadways. Having more suspension travel for errant potholes and topes is important. Adventure-style bikes are best. The BMW GS series, KTM 990, 1190, 1290 series, and Ducati Multistrada suit Mexico very well. The new Harley-Davidson Pan American is also perfect for Mexico.

It’s wise to keep the show bikes and fringe brands in the US. For example, MV Agusta and Aprilla make sexy bikes but lack support in Mexico.

Preparing Your Vehicle For A Mexico Road Trip

Conclusions

Traveling through Mexico by land is very fun and rewarding. Whether by car, truck, RV, or Motorcycle, there’s something for everyone. By now, you should know the answer to “What car, RV, or motorcycle do I bring into Mexico?”

Dismiss those who talk from their backsides. Instead, decide what vehicle you’ll take based on answers to common questions.

  1. What vehicle would I take to travel across the USA? Is it reliable, comfortable, and supported should there be any problem?
  2. Am I taking an RV to save money or because I love the RV lifestyle? Often traveling by RV is significantly more expensive than renting an apartment in the city or cities you wish to stay in.
  3. Am I advertising that I’m a rich traveler in my chosen vehicle? Am I OK with this?

Regardless of how or what you choose to travel in or on, you must have high-quality Mexican Car Insurance. The best and most affordable policies are found at Mexican Insurance Store. Get coverage that’s there when you need it. What Car, RV, Or Motorcycle Do I Bring Into Mexico? High-Quality Mexican Car Insurance

 


Travel Mexico – Baja California Sur

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Everybody loves to visit Baja California Sur. Despite being one of Mexico’s most sparsely populated states, Baja California Sur (BCS for short) is packed with one-of-a-kind features.

BCS features Mexico’s longest coastline at 2230 KM (1385 Miles). That’s over 22% of the entire coastline of Mexico. Finally, BCS boasts the most islands in Mexico.

That’s the hard data. Beyond that, BCS is really cool.

Do you love nightlife, nature, surf, sport fishing, camping, relaxation, or incredible tan lines? Who doesn’t? You’re in luck because BCS has you covered. So, starting from the north at Guerrero Negro to the tip of Land’s End, let’s take a trip south.

Guerrero Negro

If you’re here, you really need to have a tourist visa obtained at one of the border crossings or in Ensenada. Right at the border is a military base that occasionally checks to see if you have your paperwork.

As you cross the state line, you see the Halfway Inn and the town of Guerrero Negro. Guerrero Negro is named for the American whaling ship that operated in the nearby bay for several years. Guerrero Negro is a perfect place to spend a night on the way south for salt and gray whales.

The Gray Whales come to the nearby lagoon to give birth and raise their young before returning north in the spring. During this time, make a point to go and see the whales. The locally owned and operated pangas get you right up to the whales. The whales come right up to the boats, often bumping them. Most of the time, they’re so close you can pet them and make friends. Being so close to these magnificent creatures brings about a deep connection with them. Don’t miss it for anything. Book your trip at the Halfway Inn, Malarrimo Hotel, or wherever you decide to stay.

Gray Whales come right up to the boats.

If you’re looking for a nice dinner, the Malarrimo is the best restaurant in town. Besides great food, they feature many artifacts from the town’s darker history as a whaling town.

Santa Rosalia

South of Guerrero Negro on the Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula is the town of Santa Rosalia (rosa-LEE-ah). It’s notable for three things. Ok, four if you count a big gas station.

First, on the list, look for a unique steel prefabricated church a couple of blocks from the main road. It’s well worth visiting. It’s the Iglesia Santa Barbara. Gustave Eiffel designed the building in 1884. If the name rings a bell, it’s the same person who designed and built the famed Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, and the Statue of Liberty. The 1889 Exposition Universelle of Paris featured many modern advances in construction, including this church.

Iglesia Santa Barbara in Santa Rosalia, BCS

Across from the big gas station, on the main road in, is the hulking behemoth of a long-abandoned mining foundry. You’re welcome to wander around but do so at your own risk.

Finally, Santa Rosalia is the port for the smaller ferry crossing between Baja California and the mainland. As of November 2020, a newer and bigger ship makes the 8-hour voyage between Santa Rosalia and Guaymas, Sonora, more comfortable. To make a reservation, you’ll have to call or show up at the ticket office in person. +52 1 622-222-0204

Mulege

Imagine that idyllic situation where you are camping right on the beach with water lapping a few feet from your tent or vehicle. That’s Mulege (Moo-La-Hay). The oasis town itself is tiny, but the coastline is exquisite.

Remote camping on Playa El Coyote, Baja California Sur, Mexico

A curious fact is that nearly all the palm trees in Los Angeles, California, have their origins in Mulege.

Loreto

When you visit Baja California Sur, you have to travel through Loreto. Loreto is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable cities in BCS. Loreto features a picturesque Mediterranean-like marina and white sand beaches like that of the Caribbean. Hotels range from luxurious Hotel La Misión de Loreto to pleasantly affordable like the Hotel Plaza Loreto. Both are within walking distance of the marina and the civic plaza. The civic plaza features the best features of Mexico. Fabulous dining, coffee, and entertainment, and activities. Wonderfully absent are the annoying barkers, hucksters, and hustlers. Loreto is a classy town that is very safe, walkable, and memorable.

It’s the perfect place to spend a night or plan a restful vacation.

La Paz

La Paz is a wonderful destination and deserves as much attention as Los Cabos/Cabo San Lucas. As the Capital City of BCS, it has many features that make it a desirable destination. Situated on the Sea of Cortez, La Paz offers excellent dining, shopping, beaches, and resorts. La Paz also hosts the primary terminal for the Baja Ferries. These run between Baja and the mainland. The ferry terminal in Pichilinque is only a couple of minutes out of town. That’s also where you can catch a boat to take you to swim with the whale sharks. Yes, swim with sharks!

Whale Sharks are the world’s largest fish. At up to 19m (5 stories), they are massive in size. Fortunately, they’re harmless to humans. In addition to the whale sharks, you can also swim with sea turtles and other vivid marine life at Mexico prices.

Seaside resorts in La Paz are plentiful and are all excellent values. Costabaja Resort & Spa and Club El Morro are two of the best.

From La Paz, find isolated beaches to the north, east, and south. These beaches are wonderful. You’d enjoy the entire beach to yourself and even get to decide if you want tan lines or not.

Nearby La Paz is Todo Santos which features the ‘Hotel California.’ Though in dispute, the owners play an endless music playlist of versions of ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles. Arguably, the greatest song about a brothel ever written.

There’s so much to do in and near LA Paz.

Los Cabos/Cabo San Lucas

Los Cabos is the main International Airport travelers fly to from the USA. From there, it’s a short hop to Cabo San Lucas.

Cabo San Lucas is busy, fun, and very commercial. That can be good or not so good, depending on your outlook and what you hope to get from your stay.

For example, Everything in Cabo San Lucas is in English, and most prices are in US Dollars. This makes it easy for travelers, but it also means you’re paying a lot more than you probably would elsewhere. Cabo San Lucas is also the only location of BCS’s Costco. Curiously, you get one of the best views on the land of the famed ‘Land’s End’ point from the Costco parking lot.

One of the most exciting and fun ways to get close to Land’s End and ‘El Arco’ is by taking a pirate cruise to the famed natural formation. Many movies, including the original ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ feature El Arco. If you’re wondering, Spanish galleons would stop at Cabo San Lucas to resupply on their return trip from the Philippines to Spain. The ‘Golden Age of Piracy‘ largely centered in the Caribbean and the Eastern seaboard of the United States. That said, well-documented events of pirates, privateers, and their activities took place in these waters.

Nowadays, it’s not pirates (real ones) patrolling the waters but sport fishing charters and cruise ships. Some of the greatest sport fishing in the world happens out of Cabo San Lucas.

Sure one can fly or hop on a cruise ship to Cabo San Lucas, but you’ll be missing out on so much color, fun, and adventure. If possible, take 4 days from San Diego, California, to reach Cabo San Lucas.

Wrap up

There are a million great reasons to visit Baja California Sur. People like you drive cars and RVs and ride their motorcycles down the peninsula. You can too. No matter what you’re in the mood for, when you visit Baja California Sur, you’re going to have a great time!

Mexican Insurance Store.com has new lower rates and special discounts if you only travel to Baja, California. However, not all Mexican Insurance is the same. Make sure you get a policy that will cover you if you ever need to file a claim. It’s as easy as Shop, Buy, and Print.

Jim Foreman is the author of the story. He owns and operates Authentic Moto Travels. Jim extensively travels all over Mexico and loves the people, culture, freedom, and spirit of adventure found in Mexico.


Travel Mexico – Chihuahua

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Chihuahua on chair - MexicanInsuranceStore.com
Photo: Tamara Bellis – This is what most people think of when they hear ‘Chihuahua.’

When someone suggests you visit Chihuahua, do you immediately think of the dog breed? But, unfortunately, for many Americans, that’s exactly what happens.

Chihuahua is Mexico’s largest state. It’s due south of New Mexico and half of Texas. Though it doesn’t have any seaside beaches, it is home to the Copper Canyon. For those who truly love Mexico, Chihuahua is a magical state.

Copper Canyon (Las Barrancas del Cobre)

Ask any American what North America’s largest canyon is? Most people will confidently say, “Grand Canyon” in Arizona. That’s incorrect. North America’s largest canyon is Copper Canyon in Chihuahua.

Copper Canyon Panorama
Panorama of Copper Canyon from the Visitor’s Center in Divisadero.

Copper Canyon is quite different from Grand Canyon in many ways. Most noticeably, Copper Canyon is very green. There are many similarities too. Both have passenger trains traveling alongside the canyon. They also share over 2000 years of Native American and Pre-Hispanic history. Grand Canyon and Copper Canyon have ‘Gateway Cities.’ They are Flagstaff in Arizona and Creel in Chihuahua, respectively. Finally, both canyons feature a wonderful visitor’s center.

Adventure Park Thrills – Divisadero

Copper Canyon features several attractions and opportunities that are impossible at Grand Canyon. For example, have you ever wondered what it would be like to zip-line into a canyon? Find out at Copper Canyon. Copper Canyon offers one of the world’s longest zip-lines. There are actually two lines in parallel. This way, you and a friend or partner can ride together. The zip line runs over 1.5 miles deep into the canyon.

If you love zip lines and eagle-eye views of the canyon, there’s another series of seven zip lines one can enjoy. Both runs are found at the Parque Aventura Barrancas del Cobre.

Some may desire the same views at a slower pace. Because of this, guests can ride the cable cars down into the canyon. Either way, the view is breathtaking, and the experience is unforgettable. These attractions alone make a visit to Chihuahua worthwhile.

The Zip Rider at Copper Cayon is the second-longest Zip Line in the world.

Thrill-seekers and adventurers also hike, mountain bike, climb, and raft in the canyon below.

There are so many activities to enjoy in Copper Canyon. To enjoy it all, one should plan to stay overnight. Several hotels along the canyon rim are available. They are wonderful in ways that can’t compare in the USA. No one should miss the sunset and sunrise over Cooper Canyon.

El Chepe (Chihuahua Pacifica Railroad)

El Chepe through the Copper Canyon

If one can’t miss an activity in Mexico, it’s a train ride aboard El Chepe. The route takes you through some incredible places. El Fuerte is the birthplace of Zorro. Bahuichivo dates back to 1680. There you’ll find a beautiful mission, wineries, and activities like birding and horseback riding. It’s also the mouth of the magnificent Cascada de Basaseachi. Of course, no visit to Chihuahua would be complete without a run on El Chepe.

Divisadero is the location of the Parque Aventura and Visitor’s Center for Copper Canyon. Creel, a Pueblo Magico, is a charming town with a rich pre-Hispanic Raramuri culture. Nearby, you can visit the valleys of the frogs (ranas), monks (monjes), and mushrooms (hongos). These are named because they resemble rock formations. While there, also visit the San Ignacio Mission and Arareko Lake.

Considered on par with the trains through Switzerland, El Chepe is a wonder of beauty and engineering. Find out more and book your trip soon with El Chepe.

El Chepe is a passenger train service from Los Mochis (Topolobampo), Sinaloa to Creel, Chihuahua.

Cascadas de Basaseachic

Have you ever wondered where to find the most beautiful place on Earth? In the northwest corner of Copper Canyon, you’ll find Las Cascadas del Basaseachic. The photo below is unmodified. This region features Mexico’s tallest and second tallest waterfalls. The waterfall in the photo is the second tallest. Getting to this perfect vista point is easy. Modern trails are built that allow even elderly visitors to enjoy the sights and sounds.

Since some want more adventure, there are several more intense hiking trails. If you plan properly, you can hike to the bottom and back up in a day. However, reaching the tallest waterfall requires a rugged multi-hour hike.

Overnight accommodations are available nearby, but we strongly recommend Rancho San Lorenzo Basaseachi. The off-the-grid cabins present a perfect opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds nearby.

Visit Chihuahua

The City of Chihuahua is much more than the capital. It serves as a crossroad between the rich history of Mexico and its bright and modern future.

Whether it’s shopping, fine dining, recreation, or adventure, Chihuahua delivers! Chihuahua is an excellent base. Everywhere one looks, opportunity and pleasure capture the eye.

Remember, if you drive, you should only buy the best quality Mexican auto insurance. Anything less may leave you responsible for thousands or worse.

Enjoy a stroll through streets draped with umbrellas or visit one of the finest museums of revolutionary legend, Pancho Villa. Most visitors are quick to point out how nice Chihuahua is compared to expectations.

Restaurants to enjoy include La Mansión, El Poeta and Los Cinco Panes. If you’re craving international cuisine, Chihuahua is your happy place. A favorite is Garufa. It’s probably the best Argentinian restaurant outside of Argentina.

Hotels are plentiful and reasonably priced. Use your favorite booking app to find one in your preferred location and budget.

Chihuahua makes good use of its size and offers up wonderful places to enjoy when you visit Mexico. Visit Chihuahua.

See for yourself. Save time, money, and frustration by comparing the industry’s best-rated policies for 2021. Unlike policies sold in neighborhood malls or close to the border, our top-ranked Mexican auto insurance companies are rated (A++, A+, and A) by the top independent credit rating services like Bests and S&P for their stability and ability to pay claims.

We save you money because our fees are 45% – 70% lower than Mexican auto insurance policies sold at the border, and we pass the savings on to you.


Travel Mexico – Sonora

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Many people drive through Mexico annually. Sadly for most, Sonora is often considered a pass-through state on the way to their final destination. Sitting directly below Arizona, Sonora is Mexico’s second-biggest state after Chihuahua. For those looking to do more than pass through Sonora, the rewards are fantastic.

Most Mexicans think of Sonora as nothing but a desert. The same is true for Americans with Arizona. It’s easy to think this because the Sonoran Desert covers about half of the state. Just like in Arizona, half of Sonora is in high elevation. It’s not unusual for the eastern parts of Sonora to see snow in the winter months.

Unlike Arizona, Sonora features over 500 miles of coastline on the Sea of Cortez. Beach towns including Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco), San Carlos, and Bahia de Kino are very popular with Mexicans and Americans, alike.

Nogales, south of Tucson, is Mexico’s biggest entry point into Sonora. Sonoyta, Agua Prieta, Sasabe, Naco, and San Luis make up the other entry points.

Nogales Sonora - Mexican Insurance Store

Nogales

Unlike Tijuana and other major entry points, Nogales is a delightful city with lots of charm and flavor. Nogales doesn’t feel like a typical border town. Upon entry into Nogales from the downtown crossing, one’s senses are filled with the vibrant sights, smells, and sounds of Mexico.

If you’re stopping in Nogales, there are some excellent dining options to set you in the right mood. Sonora is well known for some of the best steaks and seafood in Mexico. Nogales is your first opportunity to experience this.

For Dining, some favorites among prosperous locals include El Marcos Restaurant and Mariscos Los Arbolitos. Both are across the street from the mall.

If you’re looking to stay the night, four great choices await. In the north, by the border, Hotel Fray Marcos de Niza is a great stay. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is adjacent to the Mall in the center of town. To the south, City Express and Hotel Plaza next door are comfortable stays.

Girls enjoying Rocky Point - MexicanInsuranceStore.com
Visitors from Phoenix enjoying a weekend in Rocky Point

Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco)

For those who live in Phoenix or Tucson, Rocky Point is the closest beach. Filled with miles of soft sand, calm warm seas, and hotels for every budget, Rocky Point is a sure winner.

Ordinarily, it would be appropriate to call it by its Spanish name, but this time, it’s really Rocky Point. Since 1826, the section was written in red, ‘Rocky Point’ on sea maps. In the late 1930s, the town was renamed Puerto Peñasco. Still, many Mexicans and nearly all visiting Americans call it Rocky Point.

Pro Tip: When traveling through Sonora, make sure to buy and carry extra water. staying hydrated is very important in the desert.

Rocky Point still serves local fishermen, but tourism dominates the economy. Great hotels, dining, and activities all await you in Rocky Point. A favorite among wealthier Mexican travelers is Playa Bonita just west of the main town.

At the top of el Cerro de la Campana - MexicanInsuranceStore.com
American Motorcyclists at the top of El Cerro de la Campaña overlooking Hermosillo.

Hermosillo

Hermosillo should not be missed when you drive through Mexico. Since Hermosillo is the capital of Sonora, it’s a prosperous city. Enjoy exquisite dining, shopping, and hotels throughout the city. Near the center of town, the tall peak with all the TV and radio towers is El Cerro de la Campaña. Take a drive up the cobblestone roadway to the top for a bird’s eye view of this remarkable city. Sunsets from here are also incredible.

Starbucks Coffee in Hermosillo - Mexican Insurance Store
Starbucks Coffee in Hermosillo adjacent to El Reloj de Gaston

Hermosillo has Sonora’s only Starbucks Coffee stores for those that need their addiction filled. Yes, you can get your “nonfat, iced skinny mocha with light ice, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle” in Hermosillo. Sadly, prices equal and sometimes exceed what they are in the USA.

Dining in Sonora is a treat. If you’re looking for a fast authentic meal, there are several Taqueria ‘El Chino’ locations to serve you. These are an institution in Hermosillo and a local’s favorite. If seafood is your calling, Mariscos Las Palmas serves up fresh seafood in an upscale setting. For fine dining, Palominos and Sonora Steak must be on the top of your list.

Pro Tip: Please remember to slow way down in Hermosillo. Cops in the city like a peaceful town and are pretty strict with traffic enforcement.

Tetakawi overlooking San Carlos - MexicanInsuranceStore.com
Tetakawi overlooking San Carlos

Guaymas – San Carlos

The cities of Guaymas and San Carlos are separate cities right next to each other. Guaymas is a nice Mexican port city. San Carlos is a resort-friendly town with the best beaches and beachfront hotels. San Carlos is also overshadowed by the magnificent Tetakawi mountain. The peak looks like a scorpion ready to strike.

Shopping and urban city amenities are widely available in Guaymas. Guaymas also features one of Sonora’s best steakhouses, El Oeste at the Armida Hotel.

El Oeste Steakhouse in Guaymas, Sonora - Mexican Insurance Store
Available ‘cortes’ or cuts on offer at El Oeste Steakhouse at the Hotel Armida in Guaymas, Sonora

San Carlos features Tortuga’s Restaurant near the Marina. Owned by a French Expat, this restaurant is a favorite among prosperous locals for the world-class dining and atmosphere.

Regardless of which town you stay in, you’re bound to have an excellent experience.

Be legal when you drive through Mexico. If you haven’t gotten your Temporary Vehicle Import Permit (TVIP), Empalme is your last chance. South of Empalme, you must have a TVIP to drive your non-Mexico plated vehicle in the country. Look for ‘Only Sonora’ on Google Maps,

Alamos Sonora Centro - MexicanInsuranceStore.com
Alamos Sonora

Alamos

Leaving Guaymas – San Carlos, you’ll next come to Ciudad Obregon. Because Obregon is an industrial town it takes a while to get through. It’s best circumvented with the new bypass road.

Continuing south Navajoa comes next. Navajoa is a decent place to stay, but if you can, head east to the historic town of Alamos. Alamos is one of Mexico’s 111 Pueblos Magicos and well worth a visit.

Once in the town center, it’s immediately apparent where this town gets its charm. Walk the plaza and enjoy the many restaurants, shops, and street vendors of this town dating back to 1685.

The Hotel Álamos Bonito Resort Centro Historico is a wonderful place to dine or stay. Make sure to walk around and enjoy this historic town.

The next big town south is Los Mochis located just south of the state line in Sinaloa.

There are many other towns and pueblos worth visiting in Sonora. Bahia de Kino is Hermosillo’s beach due west of the city. Enjoy the oldest part of Sonora along the Rio Sonora. The trail offers breathtaking scenery including the former capital of Sonora, Arizpe. Banamichi is also notable. Banamichi features the wonderful Hotel Los Arcos de Sonora. To get there, veer east at Imuris toward Cananea and then south. Eventually, you’ll come back to Hermosillo.

When you drive through Mexico, don’t make it a bombing run. Take an extra day or two to discover the many unpretentious riches one can experience in Sonora.

The best part about Sonora is that it’s just an hour south of Tucson and yet, a world apart. Make sure you have your passports, Tourist visas, and top-rated car insurance for Mexico. Mexican Insurance Store has new lower rates starting February 2021.


2021 Travel in Mexico

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Is 2021 the best year to travel to Mexico? Find out below.

For most people who often travel, 2020 was an understandably tricky year. In the opening of 2021, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa remain primarily closed to travel. However, Mexico has its act together and warmly welcomes responsible visitors.

What does this mean?

Many parts of Mexico are open for business.  Now is the best time to make 2021 travel plans to Mexico. Mexico, like the USA, created health guidelines on a state-by-state basis.  Unlike many parts of the USA, Mexico’s health guidelines and policies are sensible, responsible, and present a logical means to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While most risky activities are curtailed, there’s still much beauty, fun, food, sun, and culture to enjoy in Mexico.

Great deals and no crowds make it an excellent time to visit right now!

Stay safe in 2021 while you travel in Mexico.

For many, this is common sense and decency, yet some still don’t get it.  Remember, you are a visitor to their country.  It doesn’t matter what you believe, think, or support.  Please be a good traveler and follow their established safety protocol.  Simply put, Wear a face mask, wash your hands, use the hand sanitizer offered, and keep a safe distance from others.  Most importantly, don’t be an a**.

Best Mexican Destinations for 2021

Since many places in Mexico are ready and able to handle visitors safely, we highlight some of the best. Therefore, this is not an exhaustive list but rather a highlight of fantastic key destinations ready and open for your visit.

Ensenada, Baja California

About an hour’s drive south of San Diego, California, is Ensenada.  Between its wine region to the north and excellent restaurants in and around the City, Ensenada is a phenomenal weekend destination.

Hussong’s Cantina Ensenada, BC

Ensenada has a wonderfully walkable downtown with many fun places to explore.   Downtown is fabulous, whether the legendary Hussong’s Cantina or delicious fish tacos at the fish market.  A few minutes north, you’ll find exquisite dining at one of the many world-class wineries.

Where to stay in Ensenada.  Most regular visitors have their favorite destinations. However, consider the new Holiday Inn Express in Downtown Ensenada if you’re looking for something nice. It’s pretty luxurious, affordable, and puts you in the heart of all the action.

Where to eat in Ensenada.

If you’re hungry and love meat, there’s no better place than Pampa’s Brazilian Churrascaria. It’s a few minutes walking south of Downtown.

Ensenada also boasts some phenomenal breweries that rival much of what we find in the USA.  AguaMala is a local’s secret that serves up some incredible beers and outstanding appetizers to go with it.

Los Cabos/La Paz, Baja California Sur

Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas) and La Paz are about 90 minutes apart. They are both easily reached with a 2 ½ hour flight from many US destinations into Los Cabos. Phoenix and Los Angeles are easy non-stop hubs.

If sportfishing and resort weekends are your idea of relaxing vacations, Cabo is your destination.  While quite ‘gringofied’ in both price and amenities, right now is a time for steep bargains in hotel accommodations.

La Paz offers a more laid-back and authentic Mexican destination with phenomenal food, beaches, and unique activities, including swimming with whale sharks.

Swim with Whale Sharks in La Paz, BCS

 

Because of the current situation, there are beautiful deals up for grabs in Los Cabos.  The resorts are offering deep discounts on their stays.  La Paz is less dependant on tourism. Therefore, La Paz provides a more authentic destination for spending time in this beautiful country.

ME Cabo is a wonderful destination for those traveling without kids. However, if the whole family is coming, one of the best values in luxury is Tesoro Los Cabos.

You’ll find Downtown Cabo riddled with dining opportunities. So enjoy a walk and decide on what suits your palate.

La Paz, BCS

You have many options.  In Downtown, One La Paz is an excellent value and location.  On the beach, Hyatt Place is a perfect place to stay.  Both offer huge discounts and provide top-notch amenities and comfort.

Dining in La Paz is a foodie’s treat.  Go Downtown, and you’ll find your tastebuds dancing with lively and delicious flavors from every corner of the world.

Most people fly into Los Cabos, but it’s an enjoyable and safe road trip driving down from California.  Make 2021 the year of travel adventure and drive to your favorite destination in Mexico. Since travel takes longer than in the US, plan 3-4 days from Tijuana, depending on your pace. Make sure to stop and experience the Gray whales in Guerrero Negro while you’re at it.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s Pacific Crown Jewel.  Your 2021 Mexico travel plans should include this incredible destination. The City features something to satisfy nearly every taste. First, there are the high-end resorts on the north end of the City. Then, cross the river to the south, and you’re in old-town Vallarta.  Both are drastically different yet equally delightful.

Naturally, now is a sweet time to visit Vallarta.  The City was spared the worst of the health crisis and was the first to set up common-sense standards to keep guests and locals safe.

Like Los Cabos, most people fly into Puerto Vallarta.  If you’re a bit adventurous and don’t mind spending a few extra days in Mexico, consider driving down from Tucson. It’s about three days south of Tucson and enjoyable. In addition, you’re only 90 minutes from Tequila, Jalisco, and about three hours from Guadalajara.

Vallarta has the most impressive Malecón (mal-eh-CONE) or boardwalk in all of Mexico.  It teems with local artists, sand sculptors, whimsical statues, and phenomenal restaurants and night entertainment.  Find live music at every turn, along with miles of exquisite beaches.

One of Puerto Vallarta’s best secrets for accommodations is Hacienda Alemana in the old section of town.  This lovely boutique hotel is perfect for couples and those looking for a Euro/Mexican hybrid experience.

Xel-Ha Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo

Riviera Maya (Cancun), Quintana Roo

Mexico’s so-called Riviera Maya is one of the best ways to experience the Caribbean Sea with the warmth and familiarity of Mexico.  From Cancun to Tulum, this whole strip of Mexico is one unique resort after another. It’s hard to go wrong when choosing a place to stay.  Even now, many Americans are booking extended stays to ‘work’ from Cancun. Often these stays are for a month or more.  It sure beats the nonsense and weather back home.

Many beautiful resorts offer deep discounts all up and down the coast. There’s something for everyone on offer.  Travel as a couple, family, or solo. Since the start of 2020, there’s never been a better time to score a great deal in this beautiful region.

What to do in the Riveria Maya

As for activities, there are nearly as many to enjoy as there are resorts.  Some favorites include Rio Secreto, a vast underground river with many stalactites and stalagmites to ponder.  Another fun all-day venture is Xel-Ha  (Shell-HA).  Because Xel-Ha is a naturally formed water park, it’s much more authentic.  There, guests enjoy cliff diving, snorkeling, tubing, and crystal blue waters of the Caribbean.  If fine dining is on your list, one must go to ALUX.  (uh-LOOSH) It’s an excellent restaurant set in a naturally formed cave over 10,000 years old.

https://youtu.be/4bNsTT-67Q0

Of course, explore cenotes (sey-NO-tays). Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza and Coba are also a ‘Must-See!’ Don’t forget the only Mayan seaside ruin, Tulum.

Airlines also offer great prices because getting to Cancun or the Riviera Maya is typically done by flying into Cancun.  Many Americans are discovering the joy of driving down over four days from Texas. It’s best to take the inland route through Monterrey. Stay inland to past Veracruz.  Then head to Puebla, Merida, and Cancun.

Since the Riviera Maya is a resort destination, there are some fantastic places to stay and enjoy.  Many of the region’s best destinations are between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.  Find a property that matches your interests.  Whether it’s family-friendly, adults-only, or even clothing-optional, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong in this region of the world.

Summary

Let’s begin 2021 with some great and respectful travel. Mexico remains open for business to responsible and cooperative travelers who adhere to health and social safety protocols. So pack some extra patience and prepare to be rewarded with destinations guaranteed to leave a remarkable lasting impression.

If you choose to drive to your destination in Mexico, be sure to get your tourist visa and TVIP for your car, if outside of Baja.  Finally, make sure you check out the high-quality Mexican auto insurance policies from Mexican Insurance Store .com.

Mexican car insurance at MexicanInsuranceStore.com & city tips


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