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

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During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of us in the USA and Canada are desperate to enjoy Mexico. We’re suffering from significant withdrawals.

We long to travel to Mexico and share in its many riches. From culture, community, food and as at least one person put it, Tequila, we are all longing to return to Mexico.

What can we do now?

With travel restrictions in place, both locally and abroad, it’s difficult to plan a trip anywhere, yet alone, south of the border. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to enjoy ‘Mexico’ and be at our best when we can return.

Mexican Insurance Store is committed to providing real, honest, and authentic information about Mexico. We’ve hired the best travel writers to craft stories that are both entertaining and informative.

Some of those stories end up here on our blog page. The big feature-length articles end up on our external page called, “Tips, Secrets, and Practical Advice for Traveling Mexico.”

On that site we commissioned an award-winning story called, “Eight Ways to Experience Mexico When You Can’t Be in Mexico.”

There, you can discover the many ways you can enjoy the best of Mexican Culture and prepare to have the best experience of your life, when you return to Mexico.

Whether it’s an illness, injury, finances, or COVID-19, there are many ways to still enjoy Mexico.


Mexico’s Most Beautiful Roads

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Travel Smart and Safe with Mexican Insurance Store.

La Cascada de Basaseachi – Photo by Jim Foreman

Story by Seguros Mapfre (Translated and expanded by Jim Foreman)

While vising these spectacular roads in Mexico, it’s easy to agree with the saying, “The important thing is the trip, not the destination.”

Enjoying these amazing roads is easy. The trick is to fuel up, pack light, and include some water bottles and snacks. Above all, don’t forget your camera, because the views will captivate you.

Scenic Road Mex-1 Tijuana-Ensenada
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Mex 1 Scenic Road Photo – Ensenada.Travel

Scenic Road Mex-1 Tijuana-Ensenada

Baja California makes both Americans and Mexicans fall in love with this beautiful coastline. For those who can’t make it up to California’s Big Sur, the Scenic Road will leave you equally wowed! The Rosarito viewpoint and the Todos los Santos Bay are worthy stops. They feature views that will amaze and inspire you. Mex-1 deserves this proud distinction and you’ll see why, as you drive safely through the North of the country.

El Espinazo del Diablo – Photo by Jim Foreman

El Espinazo del Diablo – Mex 40 (Libre) Durango-Mazatlán

Stretching between Mazatlan and Durango, Mex-40 (Libre) is a must-travel road. Be sure not to confuse this road with the new parallel cuota road (Mex-40D). Mex 40 (Libre) offers you the spectacle of the Sierra Madre Occidental range. Enjoy breathtaking canyons, mountains, slopes, and the viewpoint of at the ‘Espinazo del Diablo’ (Pictured). Before you go, fill up with gas in Durango, El Salto, Villa Union, or Mazatlan. There aren’t any gas stations for a very long stretch. This road is not recommended for RVs. The narrow twists and turns will be maddening. It’s best on a motorcycle or sports car. There are those who even travel it by bicycle. Those exciting hours travel that connect Durango with Mazatlán will give you incredible views and wonderful memories.

Photo by: Miguel Rivera Chilango.com

CDMX-Toluca Mex-15 (Libre) Via La Marquesa

Anyone who has gone for a green or purple corn quesadilla knows exactly what we are talking about. This short run features lush landscapes of leafy pine trees and light mist, even in summer. Both the Libre and the adjacent Cuota are very popular with motorcycles and sportcars. The roads are twisty, but the view is certainly worth it.

Of course, the most important thing is that you travel protected. In Mexico, it’s mandatory that you have at least auto liability insurance. Unless you only travel with liability only at home you probably want Full-Coverage. We offer multiple options best suits your needs. Especially if you go out on road trips, a top pick is Mapfre Elite. This coverage includes road assistance, medical expenses for the occupants, legal assistance and other advantages.

Travel Smart and Safe with Mexican Insurance Store protection.


Exposing Fake Travel Stories About Mexico

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When you need the best Mexican insurance for cars, you’ll find it here at Mexican Insurance Store.

Instagram influencer’s fake travel pics revealed when followers notice the exact same cloud pattern in all of her snaps

By Jim Foreman

Let’s say someone types “Travel Mexico” into their favorite search engine.  Go ahead, try it.  A slew of stories and articles will come up. Now, try to determine which ones are accurate and genuine information from people who travel there.  That’s the thing.  Most people who are writing these stories don’t actually go to Mexico. Most of these stories are imagined, made up, or fake.

Bored Panda recently featured another story about fake influencers.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret.  Most ‘journalism’ you read is complete caca-del-toro.  One person will write a story about a topic that wasn’t covered in a while.  Then, seemingly overnight, over a dozen stories will pop up. Curiously, they all echo the same original story in that particular writer’s own words.  Is it any more accurate?  Nope!

Faking it is the currency of the social media world, it’s even how influencers get their start. -Bored Panda

What’s crazy is now there are twelve stories about Mexico travel all based on one account.  That original story writer hadn’t even been to Mexico.  He or she just happened to glom onto a local Mexican story on their social media feed.

The worst are the ones who fake their travel adventures. That Instagram influencer or Facebook wanderlust warrior isn’t what you think. They are probably clever people simply looking to make money. This is nothing new. Since the dawn of journalism, this practice has been ongoing.

Discover more about this young travel influencer in this story in the Sun.

The Argentinian travel blogger says she couldn’t understand why jokes and insults had been taken so far on social media Credit: tupisaravia/Instagram

You, however, see through this inadvertent deception and want to know what’s genuinely happening in Mexico from people who are there, boots on the ground.

We do too!

How can we combat all the false, inaccurate, ridiculous, and worthless information? Mexican Insurance Store commissioned a series of stories meant to de-bunk the mostly lousy and unreliable information out there.  Unlike most other sources, these stories and articles are real.

Explore for yourself accurate and straightforward information about traveling through Mexico. 

Go to our award-winning in-depth articles about travel in Mexico. Each story is written by a verified traveler and vetted by locals living in Mexico.

Tips, Secrets, and Practical Advice For Traveling Mexico by Mexican Insurance Store.

Discover the real deal about traveling by car, truck, RV, or motorcycle through Mexico. When you need the best Mexican insurance for cars, you’ll find it here at Mexican Insurance Store.


Mexico – So Much More Than Beaches

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Sponsored by Mexican Insurance Store’s A++ Rated Mexican Car Insurance.

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Really! There are amazing places in Mexico that are not beaches!

Story by Jim Foreman

When someone mentions Mexico, the first vision that comes to mind for most people is the incredible beaches. 

It’s true!  Mexico has some of the planet’s best and most idyllic beaches.  From the “Air-Conditioned” sand of Cancun to the perfect year-round weather of Ensenada, it takes no effort to imagine your favorite.

Hanging out on the beach in Cancun
hanging out at the beach in Cancun

Curiously, many travelers to Mexico don’t know much about the country beyond these desirable beach destinations.

So, you may ask, “OK, where else should I go in Mexico?”  The answer largely depends on what you like to do.

Off-Road Antics

Each year, more land in the USA is restricted for off highway use.  Misguided policies driven by feelings rather than facts or reality have led to closures of many popular US-based off highway trails. 

Fortunately, Baja California has many thousands of square miles of off-highway trails and places to roam.  Whether one is a casual explorer or a die hard rock crawler, the entire length of Baja, both north and south, is your playground. 

Off Road in Baja Mexico
A dirt road through the middle of Baja, Mexico.

You can follow the trail of either the Baja 1000 or Baja 500 or base yourself in a town for day-trips.  It doesn’t matter if you’re on a dirtbike, quad, SxS, adventure bike, 4×4 truck, or desert racer, there is something for you.

Some favorite destinations for off-road travel include San Felipe, San Quentin (Old Mill), El Rosario (Mama Espinoza’s), Cataviña, Camalu, San Ignacio, or any of the dozens of destinations that off-roaders call heaven.

If your idea of Off Road is hiking or mountain biking, “Parque Nacional Constitucion de 1857” due east of Ensenada is a wonderful destination.  A little further south “Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Martir” offers stunning landscapes and spectacular vistas.

Regardless of how you adventure, Baja is safe, fun, pristine, and open.

Flexible, strong, and affordable A++ Rated Mexican car insurance for domestic Mexico travel.

Start your amazing adventure right! Quote, buy & print from anywhere in the world. Just like you want a reliable vehicle to take you on your Mexico road trip, you want reliable Mexican car insurance from Mexican Insurance Store because you never know when you may need it, and U.S. and Canadian car insurance is invalid in Mexico. We email your certificate along with important details about your coverage.

Visit New Spain’s Colonial Cities

Many people based out in the western United States think places dating back to the 1800s is old.  In Mexico, many cities date to the early 1600s and even earlier.  This is due to Spain colonizing Mexico.  Visiting one of these wonderfully preserved colonial cities is like taking a visit to Spain.

Cityscape of Guanajuato Mexico
Cityscape of Guanajuato city during the blue hour with the famous orange Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato, Mexico.
Guanajuato

Founded in 1559, the city of Guanajuato was New Spain’s second most important city.  Today, it is notable for its beauty, history, universities, culture, and Don Quixote.  Though Miguel Cervantes never crossed the Atlantic to the new world, he would have felt right at home in Guanajuato.  Guanajuato is often and accurately compared to the city of Toledo in Spain.  Cervantes is widely celebrated in Guanajuato.  There is even a three-week Festival Internacional Cervantino celebrated throughout most of October.  Guanajuato is also Mexico’s most acclaimed artist, Diego Rivera’s birthplace. 

Guanajuato is very walkable with sights and history around every corner.  Spend several days in Guanajuato.  No matter how long you stay, it won’t be enough.

Zacatecas

Another delightful city to visit is Zacatecas.  Capped with a natural feature called La Bufa, this historic mining town is delightful and fun-filled.  Zacatecas was a key silver mining city of New Spain.  Today, one should visit sections of the Roman-style aqueduct, and Mexico’s first bull-fighting ring.  Although it is no longer used to host bullfights, it still keeps is history and usefulness for important public and private functions.

Zacatecas and the incredible beaches.
Aerial view of Zacatecas with the Bullring and Viaduct

At the top of La Bufa is a spectacular view of the city along with a giant statue of Poncho Villa.  A convent sits at the top along with the boarding location for the Teleferrico.  The Teleferrico is a cable car that runs from the top of La Bufa to the city center and the mining museum.

Mexican Car Insurance, Zacatecas Callejoneadas - making its way through the Centro.
A Callenjoneadas making its way through the Zacatecas Centro. Photo by: Jim Foreman

Zacatecas also features a unique and wonderful celebration known as Callejoneadas.  Originated by students is a picturesque folk event, held in the streets by local students. The Callejoneadas are a walking parade during the evening lead by a loud and festive band.  People join in the parade with little clay cups to enjoy a shot of cheap mescal along the way. These parades end at different locations throughout the Centro.  Sometimes a private event, but more often it’s in one of the many plazas with music, food, and drinks on hand.  These traditional parades happen Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, every week. 

Queretaro City Viaduct at night - Mexican Insurance Store
Cityscape of Queretaro city at night with its famous Viaduct
Queretaro

Queretaro makes up a trifecta of spectacular colonial cities.  Most people unfamiliar with the pronunciation get the name wrong.  It’s pronounced Keh-REH-tarrow.  Always look for the accent mark. 

Queretaro is Mexico’s second richest city, following Monterrey.  Officially known as Santiago de Queretaro, the city serves as the gateway to the Sierra Gorda mountains.   It’s also home to many of the top universities in Mexico.  This means Queredtaro is loaded with culture, beauty, and history.  A favorite place for locals and visitors alike is the Plaza de Armas.  Many of the best restaurants and bars are located here.

During the day, a stroll through the many city gardens offers a safe tree-covered break from a day’s activities.

Mexico has dozens of awesome colonial cities.  Highlighted here are three of the best examples.

Pre-Historic Wonders

Chichen Itza - one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico
Chichen Itza, one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico.

Mexico is also home to many pre-colonial and pre-historic wonders.  Most people know that Mexico was the home to the mighty Aztec and Mayan peoples.  Beyond these two nations, hundreds of indigenous cultures thrived in Mexico.  We know this from the countless ruins left to us and those being discovered all the time. 

Mayan Archeology
Palenque - Temples of the Cross Group at Mayan ruins
Temples of the Cross Group at Mayan ruins of Palenque – Chiapas, Mexico

Forunately, many of these sights are easy and rewarding to experience.  Most visitors can quickly name the Mayan pyramid of Chichen Itza in Yucatan.  The peninsula is also home to many sites including Tulum, on the coast.  Lesser known sites including Coba, Palenque, Calakmul, Edzna, and Ek Balam also are worth visiting.  Many people wrongly believe Mayans to be wiped out.  Though the empire is long gone, there are over seven million people who live by the traditions and speak the Mayan language.  These sites can be easily reached by car or a tour group.  For the more popular sites, going on your own is much better than arriving in hordes with dozens of other coach busses full of visitors.

Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan
Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Teotihuacan is the biggest pre-Columbian archaeological site in North America.
Aztec Archeology

If Aztec history is more to your liking, look no further than Mexico City.  The Capitol is built on top of the ruins that once formed part of the principal Aztec city, Tenochtitlan.  The ruins are easily accessible and must be visited.  Templo Mayor is found adjacent to the zocalo in the Capitol and is a notable visit.  Just outside of Mexico City you can experience Teotihuacan. It’s the largest pre-Columbian site in North America. Tenayuca, located in San Bartolo, also shouldn’t be missed.  Discovered in 1925, the name translates to Walled Place

Though much smaller, another important Aztec destination is Tepozteco, located in Morelos.  The site features a temple dedicated to the god of Pulque.  Pulque, you might ask, is an alcoholic drink made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant.  The drink features a milky unfiltered consistency with a taste of sour yeast and is making a surprising comeback in many parts of Mexico.

Guachimontones - Round pyramids in Teuchitlan Jalisco
Guachimontones – Round pyramids in Teuchitlan Jalisco Mexico

If you’re looking for a site off the beaten path, visit Los Guachimontones about 25 miles due east of Guadalajara.  These pyramids are unique as they are round.  Except for a small pyramid in Mexico City, these are the only known round pyramids in the world.  This site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has wonderful interpreters who offer insight and a glimpse into the life of those living here two thousand years ago.

Destinations Aplenty

Regardless of whether you choose an off-road, colonial, archeological, or a beach trip, Mexico remains a phenomenally rich destination.  It is very easy to travel on your own by driving, so long as you adhere to sensible safety guidelines and purchase quality Mexican car insurance.   Some simple rules include not traveling at night or straying off into unknown regions without an invitation or recommendation.  Travel with respect and an open mind.  Keep all this in mind, and you’re bound to have a rewarding and memorable experience. 

Sponsored by Mexican Insurance Store’s A++ Rated Mexican Car Insurance policies. All of these destinations are easily reachable with your car, truck, or motorcycle.  It’s easy and straightforward to drive your vehicle in Mexico.  Just don’t forget to review the many benefits of Mexican car insurance from Mexican Insurance Store.com.

 Jim Foreman - AuthenticMotoTours.com

Jim Foreman is the owner and operator of Authentic Moto Travels. He leads groups of riders throughout all of Mexico on Motorcycles. Annually, Jim travels over 20,000Km throughout Mexico. Jim also writes travel articles for numerous magazines and online publications throughout the world.


When Things Go Wrong – Filing a Mexico Insurance Policy Claim

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You’ve had an accident or collision. Now what?

How to best handle a collision in Mexico and let your Mexico insurance policy help you.

Mexico insurance policyStory by Jim Foreman

“Everybody thinks they have great insurance until they file a claim.” –Anonymous

You are driving along in town on your way to the market. As you are stopped at a red light, a car slams into your rear bumper because the driver was texting instead of paying attention to the road.
What you do next will have a significant impact on how your day is going to go.

If your first reaction is to call 066 or 911 to summon the authorities, you are making a grave mistake. Your first call should be to your insurance company’s new claim phone number on your Mexico insurance policy to immediately send an adjuster to your location. Before you embark on your journey, you should add your Mexico insurance policy claim reporting phone number into your phone’s address book.  Also, cut out and keep the insurance ID card in your wallet. If you don’t have insurance, then you should consider getting an insurance quote before traveling.

Mexico has a different legal system than the USA or Canada. Unlike back home, the fault of an accident is assigned right then and there by a responding officer. Unless you have a video DVR that can be played back to the officer that shows up, you are likely going to be deemed at fault.

Fortunately, unless you bought your Mexico insurance policy through your home (US or Canadian) provider, all claim and incident details will remain in Mexico and will not result in a rate increase back home. If you did buy your coverage from your home auto insurance provider, you will likely see a rate increase, as it will be reported back to them.

Why will you be considered ‘At-Fault’? You ask. There are a couple of factors at play that you need to be aware of. The first is that, no matter what your financial situation, being a Gringo, you are automatically considered rich. Next, unless you or a passenger has a good command of Spanish, it may be the other person’s story of how you backed into her that is used to determine the fault.

Discover the 15 Biggest Rookie Mistakes Travelers Make in Mexico

Now, If you wisely called your insurance provider, an adjuster will arrive on site. About 95% of any hassle disappears immediately. They will listen to what you have to say and work with the authorities to get your side of the story, front and center. Additionally, they will confirm to the authorities that you have an active policy and do not need to be placed in jail until you make full restitution.

THROWN IN JAIL??? WHAT? Yes, in Mexico if you are involved in a collision and deemed at fault, you will be forced to make immediate restitution based on an amount estimated by the authorities. If you do not have up to $300,000USD in cash with you, you will be jailed until you or your family pays the restitution to the assigned victim. Think of this when some idiot tries to say you don’t need a Mexico insurance policy.

If you disagree with the officer’s verdict, you will be placed in jail pending a hearing before a judge within about 24 hours. You will be able to plead your case and see if the verdict changes. Usually not.
With the adjuster on site, you will be given automatic bail to not have to go to jail, and you will have an advocate on your side trying to look out for your and ultimately the insurance company’s interests.

Starting The Right Way

First things first, you have to buy a quality policy that will actually cover you in the event of a collision or damage to your vehicle. Not all insurance providers are the same. If you are shopping for the cheapest policy, you will inevitably get exactly what you pay for. Coverage will be minimal if any at all, and you will be screwed six ways until Sunday.

Chubb A++ CoverageWhen purchasing your coverage, a reputable broker will never offer or sell these near-worthless policies. Stick with a policy from Chubb, Mapfre, or HDI. Between them, it’s this writer’s opinion that Chubb is best and offers more useful benefits.

Buying a Mexico Insurance Policy

When entering the details for your quote and ultimately your policy, be entirely truthful. Indicate any lienholder, and make sure to accurately indicate if you have a full-coverage policy at home. Yes, it matters.

Surprisingly, people always ask if they should buy liability only or get full coverage. This is quickly answered by the policy one keeps at home. If your home policy is full coverage, then get full coverage in Mexico. This is especially true if you have a lienholder. If you have an older vehicle and are okay walking away from it if it’s totaled then purchase liability only.

Next, use KBB or NADA Guides to determine the value of your car, truck, RV, or motorcycle. Whatever the highest retail amount is listed, that’s what you should enter as the value for your vehicle. This is the same scale that the insurer will use to determine the value of your vehicle if it needs to be totaled.

Look carefully at all the policy offerings. Unless you are staying in country for an extended period such as winter or have a second home there, you will probably want to repair your vehicle back in the United States. Compare the towing coverage, and most importantly, the labor rate limits. Each program is different.  This can mean a considerable difference in possible out of pocket expenses.

Once you’ve determined the level of coverage you are comfortable with, purchase the policy.
When you do, print out two copies and save the .pdf file on your phone (iBooks or Documents Folder). One hard copy should be kept in your glove compartment, the other should be held with you, probably folded in your luggage or with other important papers.

As mentioned earlier, enter the phone number to file a claim in your phone address book along with the policy number in the ‘notes’ section.

How to dial in Mexico

How to dial in Mexico

Dialing a number is a little different in Mexico so make sure you are familiar with this process. Try to call the number to report a claim, when you are in Mexico. It’s best to know you have it correctly when your calm and relaxed rather than when you’re in the middle of a crash scene and nervous.

Few people think of these things until they are in the middle of a difficult situation. Hopefully, you will never need to use the insurance, but if you do, your use of it will be a huge factor in the ease or frustration in getting help.

After the Incident

After the insurance adjuster confirms to the authorities you have proper insurance and the scene is cleared, you have the option to take your vehicle to a nearby repair facility, or to take your vehicle back to the United States. Your decision may be based on how far south you are.

$1000 USD tow coverage will pay to have your vehicle towed to the border from as far south as Mexico City or Guadalajara. It won’t be immediate, but it will eventually get there. There are many highly reputable body shops South of the Border. If you are near a big or capital city, consider having your vehicle repaired there. If you are driving a unique vehicle, parts will take much longer to get. It may be best to transport it back to the states. This is something you can work out calmly with your insurance company.

If you elect to have the vehicle worked on in the USA, Chubb can handle the claim from Mexico, or you can opt for a Third Party Administrator (TPA) in the USA to finalize the claim and payouts. If you use Mapfre, your claim will be transitioned to the US-based office for handling. Be patient and work with them, much like you would when dealing with a US claim.

In most cases, the money for the repair will be quickly wired or sent out via check quite quickly. Usually, this happens within two to three weeks.

When Things Go Wrong - Filing a Claim

When Things Go Wrong – Filing a Claim

Additional Hints

If you have full coverage and have damage caused by vandalism or without another party such as sideswiping a wall or backing into a stationary pole, wait until you are in a bigger city to file a claim and have an adjuster come out.

For minor damage, it will go a lot faster and be much more pleasant if you can wait.  Call from a bigger city to have the adjuster come out, even if it’s a couple of days later.

In rural areas, it may take 4-6 hours for the adjuster to show up for your claim.  Collisions in bigger towns with multiple parties involved takes priority.

When calling to file a claim, you may have to call a phone number with an automated menu in Spanish. Mapfre, in particular, does this. You may need to ask a native Spanish speaker for help or practice understanding which number to press to get to auto claims. If you understand the numbers 1-10 in Spanish, you should be mostly there. When someone does answer, kindly ask, “Habla usted Inglés?” Usually, they will have someone who can work with you and understand English. Spellings will be much more difficult.  Ask if you can email or use WhatsApp to send the names and spellings. Nearly all Mexicans use WhatsApp for communication as doing so doesn’t go against data usage with most Mexican mobile plans.

As mentioned earlier, the key to having a positive experience in a difficult situation is to have quality Mexico Insurance policy from a reputable source. All of the providers offered up by Mexican Insurance Store are top rated and high quality (A to A++ Rated).

To see your options and compare coverages, start by clicking the orange “Get A Quote” button on the upper right of this page.

About the Author

Jim Foreman has traveled well over 75,000 miles in Mexico. Often, Jim goes by motorcycle but also travels extensively on four wheels.
Jim also runs a motorcycle travel company taking riders South of the Border..

Jim has filed personal claims with both Chubb and Mapfre for minor damage to his vehicles. Both were handled quickly and professionally. In most cases, with far less hassle than when filing a US-based claim.

Filing A Claim ©2018 Mexican Insurance Store.


Estimating Travel Time In Mexico

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3 Fantastic Tips To Enjoy Traveling Through Mexico.
Provided By Mexican Insurance Store’s A+ Rated Mexico Car Insurance

 

Story by Jim Foreman

This happens a lot. Something heading to Mexico for the first time asks an innocent question, for example: “I live in Dallas TX and would like to visit San Miguel de Allende, hopefully by making it across early in the morning and crossing again by the end of the day. Which crossing should I take: Laredo or Mc Allen?” According to Google Maps the distances are minimal, 706 vs. 756 miles.

706 miles in one day across the US isn’t an easy ask: You’re looking at 12 hours minimum even if gas and restroom breaks are limited.

With this in mind, pulling off such a challenging trek in an unfamiliar place should be enough for you to question why you would need to travel such a long distance in a single day.

The US and Canada have reputable highway infrastructures. You can travel between 70-90 MPH using the cruise control and reasonably predict your time on the road. Across the border, the same estimates don’t apply.

In spite of this, many in the US crossing the border Mexico for the first time will overplan their vacation, and of course this begins with folks overestimating the time they plan to spend on the road. Furthermore many Americans will meticulously plan their trips down to the tiniest detail, in addition to this being unfeasible, such planning can have adverse effects, for example, driving at night, a big no-no.

Despite that, most first-time travelers grossly overestimate the distance they can travel in thei

For some reason, people who have not driven outside of the USA or Canada don’t believe traveling can be any different than what they’re used to, back at home. Furthermore, many Gringos, mistakenly believe that because doing something is fine at home, such as driving at night, that it’s okay in other countries.

For seasoned overland travelers, estimating travel time will probably seem second nature. Still, one can glean some useful car driving tips and techniques here.

Best A+ Rated Mexico car insurance for travel within the Republic.

Quote, buy & print from your home. You want reliable Mexico car insurance from Mexican Insurance Store because you never know when you could have an accident and U.S. car insurance is invalid inside the Republic. We email your Mexico car insurance policy to you in 5 minutes along with other important documents for faster service.

Tip #1

Mexican Insurance Store Time Estimates

Mexican Insurance Store Time Estimates

Travel time estimates in South of the border should be multiplied by at least 1.5. This means if it ordinarily takes 2 hours to get somewhere in the USA, it’ll take 3 hours South of the Border.

We’ll simplify it, in a moment. First off, Mexico like nearly all of the rest of the world uses kilometers for distance. One kilometer is roughly .6 miles. For gross estimating, 3 Km is close to 2 miles. (1.8 is closer, but we’re keeping it simple.)

Curiously, there are 1.6 kilometers in 1 mile. Here’s where it is simple. For time estimates, merely treat the kilometers as miles, and you’ll be traveling smart and safe with a reasonable prediction of how long it takes to get somewhere.

Tip #2

Driving in Mexico is Fun

Don’t be in such a rush. It may be Bingo Night in San Miguel de Allende, but consider breaking your trip up over two or three days. The worst thing you can do is to act like everything is a rush. It’s not! Slow down. Take it easy. Stay a night in Monterrey. Stay another night in Zacatecas or San Luis Potosi.

Traveling like a white-knuckled zombie on the toll roads, recreating a version of the ‘Cannonball Run’ is foolish on dozens of levels.

There are lovely destinations that may not be precisely on the fastest route. Check them out.

There are also 111 Pueblos Magicos in the Republic that are well worth a visit.

Tip #3

Relax and enjoy the journey to your destination

Relax and enjoy the journey to your destination

Don’t make hotel reservations in advance unless you’re traveling during Christmas or Semana Santa. Reservations lock you into a destination and a schedule. Reservations also lead sensible people to do daft things, to not lose the reservation.

Embrace the Mexican culture and allow your mind and personage to be free. Set off without an exact schedule. Arrive when you arrive and enjoy this amazing country.

Estimating Travel Time

Mexican Insurance is required.

Guanajuato is one of those places people need to slow down and enjoy life. Just remember Mexican Insurance is required.

The worst thing an American or Canadian can do, when traveling, is to act like a frantic American or Canadian. Chill out. Relax and enjoy the life you claim to want. That means not making neurotic up-to-the-minute plans and letting yourself be embraced by Mexico and its amazing culture.

If you’re good traveling 300 miles a day back home, expect to travel 300 kilometers. If you prefer 500 miles per day, expect no more than 500 kilometers a day.

All things considered, traveling South of the border is easy and should be part of the fun.  Just make sure you have your passport, tourist visa, TVIP (if required for your route), high-quality Mexican Insurance Store Mexico Insurance for cars and a good attitude.

Provided By Mexican Insurance Store’s A+ Rated Mexico Car Insurance


Preparing Your Vehicle For A Mexico Road Trip

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Preparing Your Vehicle For a Mexico Road Trip

How to Enhance Your Mexico Visit with Mexican Insurance Store Mexican Insurance news, reviews, and rate information

Story By Jim Foreman

Preparing your vehicle for a long road trip in Mexico is typically quite similar to preparing it for a trip within the USA or Canada.

Though there are many similarities, there are also some different realities that require some particular attention.

For regular South of the border travelers most of this information is well known, but for new travelers or those visiting overland for the first time, the information presented can mean the difference between a great trip and a miserable one.

How to Enhance Your Visit with Mexican Insurance Store news, reviews, and rate information

7 7 Simple Preparation Tips For Your Vehicle

1. Make sure your car, RV, or motorcycle is in excellent functioning order. If you suspect that anything is awry, take it to a Honda auto repair shop. On the road, potentially in the middle of nowhere isn’t a smart place to have a timing belt break. Unless you’re particularly mechanically inclined, it may be worth the visit to your dealership to have them run a full safety check and have a technician thoroughly look over your particular vehicle. A factory service tech is preferred as they are keenly familiar with typical problems on all models and can check those out. Taking it to a dealership will also check for any factory recalls, campaigns, and advisories free of charge to you.

2. Make sure your tires have lots of tread and not close to the wear bar. Roads in Mexico will grind down your tires much faster than typical US-based roads. If you are driving a vehicle more exotic, it may take some time to get a replacement tire or set of tires.

3. Have a basic toolkit for your vehicle. Specifically include sockets, wrenches, Allen keys, and any other specialty tools your car may likely need, for a repair. No need to go overkill and tow a Snap-On tool chest. A simple, compact toolkit will work fine. Make sure it’s SAE or Metric based on the brand of your car.

A little maintanence and preparation goes a long way on long trips.

4. If your battery is over two years old, get it load tested and possibly replaced. They don’t last forever and getting stuck with a dead one is entirely preventable.  This can be done for free at many chain auto parts stores throughout the USA and Canada.

5. If you are close to an oil change, get it. Also if you are close to the recommended time to replace brake pads, brake fluid, transmission fluid, or coolant, do it.  Finding the correct filters, gaskets, or brake pads may delay you by a couple of days. It’s best to get it done before your journey.

6. Get your shocks and suspension evaluated. This essential element is something few consider. Proper suspension can mean the difference between confidently traveling a narrow mountain road and white-knuckling the steering wheel the entire time. If your vehicle is over four years old or has over 70,000 miles, get your suspension checked by a reliable technician. It’s relatively inexpensive to replace or rebuild shocks. The difference can be night and day. The car, RV or motorcycle will feel like it was when brand new.

7. Carry a T-handle tire plug kit and a 12v air compressor. The Slime brand repair kit with the rope-like plugs work very well. Typically, avoid the canisters with the sealant. It makes replacing the tire a mess and will likely incur an additional charge and lots of scorn from the shop. If you’ve never used a tire plug kit, ask a tire shop or your dealership if you can try it on a worn tire mounted on a rim. Usually, a tech will be delighted to instruct you on how to do it.

Summary

The key is to make sure your car is in top shape and can handle the additional stresses of high heat, altitude, heavy load, and occasional rough roads. Additionally, if something small happens, it’s best to know how to do simple repairs like check oil levels, fill coolant reservoirs, check tire pressure, and change a tire. On some cars, checking oil, coolant levels, and tire pressure is as simple as doing a systems check on your dash.

Specifically For Cars

Most everything is covered for cars by the general checklist above. The big thing to be mindful of is if you have exotic tires. Exotic means anything for a luxury car or specialty rims. If you do, and your tires usually take a day or two to get in the USA, you may want to carry a spare, if you have the room. Tire punctures are somewhat common. If you drive a Honda, Nissan or Toyota, Ford or Chevy with standard tires, you’ll have no problems finding new tires South of the Border.

Specifically for RVs

RV’s can be a bit tricky. There are a lot of parts that work independently to provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience. If you transport potable water, make sure you top off in the US.

Give your RV an end to end shakedown to make sure all is functioning as it should. Not only does this re-familiarize you with all of the functions of the RV, but it also will help confirm everything is working correctly and within specifications.

If you have an iffy part, buy its replacement in the US and carry it. RV parts are typically hard to get as Mexicans don’t usually own RVs.

Specifically for Motorcycles

Make sure your chain and sprockets, if your bike uses them, is not worn.

Since Motorcycle tires wear much faster than car and truck tires, make sure they are at 80% tread or better. Mexican roads eat up moto tires. Expect half the typical life you get out of them in the USA.

Big bikes are quite rare in Mexico, and if you are in need of a part along the way, it may be several weeks before you will get it.

If you’re going to need an oil change along your journey, it’s probably best to buy the oil filter for your bike ahead of time. Good motorcycle oil is available in moto shops. Perhaps not your favorite brand, but it’s good, nonetheless.

Conclusion

Taking your late model vehicle is not a problem. Mexicans own new and very nice cars, trucks and motorcycles. Don’t choose a rickety or worn out vehicle with the false assumption it will make you less noticeable.  This fools wisdom has left countless Gringos stuck and vulnerable on the roadside.

If you do have problems along the way, you’ll be glad you researched and chose Mexican Insurance Store. All of their Mexican insuurance policies include roadside assistance and will help you in your time of need.

Preparing Your Vehicle For a Mexico Road Trip. How to Improve Your Mexico Visit with Mexican Insurance Store Mexican Insurance News, Reviews, and Rate Information.


Queretaro – A City of History, Prosperity, and Wonder

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Querétaro – A City of History, Prosperity, and Wonder

Discover Mexico with Mexican Insurance Store

Story by Jim Foreman

Querétaro is a dynamic and modern city steeped in history and culture.  It’s well worth a visit and perhaps even more.

Querétaro or officially Santiago de Queretaro is a city founded in 1531. While not as old as many European cities, Querétaro has fared among the best in the new world or New Spain, as it was once known.

600+ page books detailing the history, significance, and vital role Querétaro played and plays today are available to enjoy. They are not boring.

Querétaro is one of those cities in Mexico that deserves to be a destination, all its own.

First things first. Most Norte Americanos mispronounce the name of the city. For the unfamiliar, most try to say it, Care-A-Tear-Oh. In Spanish always look for the accent mark to determine the pronunciation. It’s pronounced Que-RE-tah-row. It’s a fun word to say quickly, and a proper pronunciation will earn you heaps of respect by locals.

The city of Queretaro is located right in the middle of Mexico. From the Laredo, TX border, it’s about 920 Km (570 Miles) due south. It’s only 67Km southeast of San Miguel de Allende. At only 220 Km to the southeast is Mexico City. Guadalajara is only 350 Km due west.

Querétaro also serves as the gateway for the Sierra Gorda mountain range and the charming Pueblos Magicos of Bernal and Xilitla. Xilitla, in particular, features Las Pozas and the Jardin de Surrealist Edward James. Wineries, Mountains, and Mining all make up the surrounding region.

Mexican Insurance Store is the one-stop site to compare seven quality policies and choose the best one for you and your budget. Mexican Insurance Store is the #1 provider of Mexican Insurance in the 3rd most populous metropolitan area in California.

What to Expect in Queretaro

When arriving in Querétaro, a couple of things are immediately evident. It’s a very clean city. The next thing one usually notices is that there are lush green trees everywhere. Additionally, the city is very well laid out with different sections of town taking on unique personalies

. There’s the historic centro, the older colorful housing, the high-tech section, the university area and the manufacturing district.

Splitting the town right down the middle is the ancient aqueduct.

Plaza de Independencia draws a wide group of people ©Jim Foreman

The attitude in Querétaro is vibrant and intelligent with a lot of people in their 20’s and 30’s. Families and seniors stroll in the large shaded park in the center during the day. It’s closed and gated shut at night.

Querétaro has the second highest median income in Mexico, right behind Monterrey. Many major corporations base their Latin American operations in Querétaro including Bombardier Aerospace, Kellogg’s, Samsung Electronics, Daewoo, Colgate-Palmolive, Harman International Industries, General Electric, Michelin, Siemens Mexico, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Scania, Hitachi, Dow Chemical, Bose, and ThyssenKrupp, among others.

Crime is also ranked the lowest in all of Mexico amongst cities this size.

Plaza de Independencia at night © Jim Foreman

What To Do in Queretaro

Dining in Querétaro is a singularly wonderful experience. Head to the Plaza de Independencia in the centro to find the best restaurants. In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s the heart of the culinary scene. Of course, with the high student population, there are also a large number of inexpensive cafés and restaurants to serve the budget conscious.

If museums are your passion, you’re in luck. The Museo de Arte is housed in a spectacular example of Baroque style. Once the former monastery of San Agustin, it contains one of the best collections of colonial art. The galleries are divided by painting style.

The Museo de la Ciudad highlights the city and region’s history dating long before the New Spain Colonial era to the modern day.

Driving in Querétaro is fairly easy, but not advisable for large vehicles. Parking is also a bit of a challenge throughout most of Querétaro. It’s best to leave your vehicle at the hotel or a carpark on the outskirts of town and use a cab or a Ridesharing app to get to places in town.

At 1,820 m (5,970 ft) elevation, Querétaro enjoys perfect mild temperatures year-round.  During the winter months, Querétaro will dip into below 20ºC (68ºF) but most of the time it’s around 25ºC (77ºF).

Whether it’s a day trip from one a nearby town, or a destination, Querétaro has something for everyone.

Querétaro represents the best of Mexico.

Traveling overland in Mexico is fun and easy. All one needs is their passport, visa, TVIP and Mexican Insurance. Savvy buyers choose Mexican Insurance Store for the best options, value, and service.

Discover Mexico with Mexican Insurance Store Information and Travel Guides. Review 7 Best Mexican Insurance Store Quotes To Save Time, Frustration, And Money.

Driving along side the aqueduct. ©Jim Foreman

A couple at the Plaza de Independencia ©Jim Foreman

Sunset in Queretaro ©Jim Foreman


Ensenada – Carnaval Celebration and Beer Fest

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Ensenada Mexico – Carnaval Celebration and Beer Fest

Mexican Insurance Store Travel News and Information

Written by Jim Foreman

When most Americans and Canadians think about traveling to Mexico, destinations such as San Miguel de Allende, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and other popular places come to mind.

These are all great locations and worthy of a visit.

For people living in Southern California, a weekend visit to Ensenada is closer and much more accessible than a visit to nearby Las Vegas.  For most visitors, it’s also a lot more fun.

Ensenada is a seaside port city about 70 miles south of San Diego, CA. The city is surrounded by mountain ranges and features year-round perfect weather 350 days a year.

Ensenada is also the gateway to the world famous Baja California Wine Region which has been gaining renown in world wine markets. The Ruta del Vino begins minutes north of Ensenada.

Though Ensenada features a commercial airport offering flights several times a week, the most common method for travelers to visit Ensenada is by Cruise ship, twice a week and by driving their car.

Mexican Insurance Store is one of the largest and most reputable providers of quality Mexico Insurance policies in California. Located North Of San Diego, they write Mexico insurance policies nationwide including Canada.

Several major events are happening in February and March in Ensenada that will bring a significant number of people to the city from all over Mexico and the world.

2017’s Queen of the Carnaval Yazmín Adriana Figueroa

Carnaval

The first event is the celebration of Carnaval. Carnaval, often called Mardi Gras, in the US, is the weeklong celebration of all things before the Catholic period of Lent.

For non-Catholics, Lent marks a period of 40 days where one gives up something they enjoy in a show of faith and repentance.

Carnaval in Ensenada is celebrated with parades, fireworks, concerts, meals, parties, and a festive atmosphere throughout the week with the crescendo happening on Friday through Tuesday. On Tuesday at 11:59 pm everything comes to an abrupt end.

Carnival is also celebrated throughout Mexico with sizable celebrations in Mazatlán, Cozumel, and Veracruz.

If you plan on going to Ensenada for Carnaval, this year, please book your hotel early as the entire city gets booked up quickly.

Ensenada Beerr Fest

Ensenada Beer Fest

The second major event in Ensenada is the Ensenada Beer Fest. Coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, the city hosts one of the premier beer-related events in all of Mexico.

Over 100 cervezarias (breweries) from all over Mexico come to the beautiful museum grounds of the Teatro Cultural Riviera De Ensenada to celebrate the golden elixir.

The event takes place on Friday and Saturday with conferences held Wednesday and Thursday to discuss making beer.

This event draws a classy crowd of mid 20’s to late 40’s Mexicans with no ego or pretentious attitudes found in similar festivals in the US.

Again, Hotels book up pretty quickly so make your travel arrangements rapidly.

Events in Mexico rarely have a strong internet presence.  The best you’ll often do is get a Facebook event page.  Don’t be discouraged.  The events are going to be awesome and worth the trip.

Scenic Highway Mex 1 leading down to Ensenada

Getting to Ensenada is super easy by car. Simple cross the border at Tijuana or Tecate. From Tijuana, the Scenic Mex 1 is a spectacular seaside drive that matches some of the best parts of CA-1 at Big Sur in Central California.

Just remember to bring your passport and your Mexico Insurance policies with you on your trip.

Mexican Insurance Store Travel News and Information


Health Insurance for Travelers in Mexico

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Health Insurance for Travelers in Mexico

Important Information from Mexican Insurance Store

Mexican Insurance Store

Story by Jim Foreman

Health coverage and health insurance are complicated enough in the United States. Recent federal legislation has only made the waters ever muddier.

Health insurance coverage, while traveling or living abroad, is one of those topics we get asked about quite often.

There are three different categories of travelers or visitors to Mexico, and as such there are typically three different approaches to health coverage.

Vacation Traveler

Vacation travelers are often summed up by those who fly or take a cruise ship into Mexico. Typically the duration of the visit is between one and two weeks.   The general need is in the event one gets hurt, sick, or has some catastrophe befall the trip.

Typically, a vacation traveler takes only one of these trips a year.

For annual vacation travelers, typical travel insurance is a great idea. It covers lost luggage, delays, missed flights, medical emergencies, and in many cases repatriation. Most experienced travelers would use a brokerage like InsureMyTrip.com to select the right amount of coverage and duration to match the trip, this page will give you all the details. 

InsureMyTrip.com is a reputable source representing several dozen companies and offerings. It’s fast, easy, and reliable.

Climbing Cerro Tetakawi in San Carlos, Sonora

Overland Traveler

The overland traveler is someone who travels into Mexico overland either by car, RV, or motorcycle. Visits to Mexico are typically more than a week or two and return visits to Mexico or away from home happen fairly often.

For regular travelers, several companies stand out as best bets for coverage. The first is WorldNomads.com. Second is AIG Travelguard, and finally, Allianz makes up the trifecta of high quality underwriters.

World Nomads is a top pick for those who are doing more adventure-oriented activities during their travels. There are two grades of coverage. The Standard plan covers most common activities. For those who like a bit more extreme in their choices, the Explorer plan includes coverage for most of them including cave diving, free-diving, parachuting, SCUBA, and white-water rafting. World Nomads makes it very easy to choose the right plan for your choice of activities.

AIG Travel Guard is a top rated product that covers a broad range of plans covering a multitude of activities, with relatively few exclusions.

Allianz equally has a broader selection of travel insurance plans and has earned an excellent reputation.

It’s wise to compare and contrast health insurance coverage, duration, and cost. Some plans are better priced at six months while others offer more value at one year.

All of them will cover you for medical issues that arise during the trip. None of them will cover ongoing medical treatment or pre-existing conditions. For example, if you break your leg while hiking, you’re covered. If you have diabetes and require insulin or require normal heart medication, you are going to need to provide that yourself.

Temporary or Permanent Residents

Long-term temporary or permanent residents have several choices for International Health Insurance. Much like a stateside HMO, your health is covered outside of the US. This is an excellent option for people working abroad on contracts or deciding to retire.

The best options for worldwide health insurance coverage come from AXA PPP International and Allianz Care.

Both offerings are quite comprehensive, but since personal health insurance requirements are individual, it’s important to read carefully all the details.

Shop both to see which one suits you and your needs best.

Other Options

Medical expenses in Mexico are surprisingly inexpensive for top quality care. Many Mexican doctors are trained in the USA and offer modern and quality healthcare. This fact is not lost on most people who elect to participate in medical tourism.

Whether it’s cosmetic surgery, dental work or other elective procedures, many travelers have been coming to Mexico to get excellent treatment at a fraction of the cost in the USA.

It’s best not to rely on traditional Mexican remedies, exclusively

As such, many people elect to simply keep a credit card with $1000 USD on standby to cover even the most severe hospitalizations. For most illnesses, it’s easiest to pay cash and solve it quickly and without hassle.

Exotic options also exist such as MedJet Assist.  MedJet Assist promises, if you become hospitalized internationally or domestically, 150 miles or more from home, Medjet will arrange medical transportation to a home-country hospital of your choice for inpatient care.

A final option is the Mexico Social Security health scheme.  For those on limited fixed incomes and have permanent residency, they are eligible to participate in Mexico’s State-sponsored health insurance called Seguro Popular. The quality of care is very spotty, at best with most citing substandard results. Locations and doctors are limited and services are sometimes rationed.

Information from Mexican Insurance Store

Mexican Insurance Store .com offers quality car, RV, and motorcycle insurance. We’re not affiliated with any of the above-recommended companies. These companies, in turn, don’t offer car insurance.

 


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