Guanajuato City – Mexico’s Richest City

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Blank stares are the most frequent response when mentioning Guanajuato City to Americans and Canadians visiting Mexico.

Photo: Erik Tellez

Guanajuato City – Mexico’s Richest City

For Real!  The reasons are easy to place.  It’s not Mexico City or a beach destination.  Guanajuato City has no Mayan Pyramids or Aztec Ruins.

What Guanajuato does have is a phenomenally rich, nearly 500-year history in a perfectly preserved colonial city.

Guanajuato is often compared to Toledo in Castilla-La Mancha, España.  This is a very fair comparison.  Let’s say you magically appeared in either Toledo, España or Guanajuato, you would have difficulty telling them apart.  Both are historical, set on a hill, and are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Here’s a hint: Toledo has more tourist shops and a river surrounding three sides of the city.  In Guanajuato, engineers re-routed the river deep underground.

Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, España (Photo: Des Mc Carthy)

While Toledo’s history predates medieval times, Guanajuato’s colonial beginnings date back to the 1540s, when the Spanish found gold.  During the pre-Hispanic period, Aztecs also mention the region for its gold and silver.  The name Guanajuato comes from indigenous Purépecha people meaning Frog Hill.

By the 18th century, Guanajuato was the richest and most opulent city in New Spain.  The silver, sent to Spain aboard galleons, funded the Spanish government for decades.  For over 250 Years, mines in Guanajuato produced over 30% of the world’s silver.

Why you should visit Guanajuato

One could go on and on about the history of the city and its importance in the Mexican Revolution.  Let’s focus on why you should visit the city on your next trip to Mexico.

Guanajuato is best enjoyed on foot.  Day or night, the city is safe and alive with people enjoying dining, music, theatre, and even spontaneous callejoneadas.  Roughly translated means alleyway party.

Guanajuato is a major university town.  Students from all over the world study at Universidad Guanajuato.  It’s easily recognizable by its distinctive stair steps.

A callejeando in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico during the International Cervantino Festival.

The University also helped create its strong connection to Miguel de Cervantes, writer of Don Quixote.  Since then, Guanajuato holds an annual International Festival of Cervantes during the last three weeks of October.  Don’t miss The festival since it draws performers and visitors from all over the world.  Though Miguel de Cervantes never visited Guanajuato, a world-class museum bears his name and is worth visiting.

Speaking of museums, one must visit several museums in the city.  Museo de Mumias (Mummy Museum) features naturally preserved mummies on display.

Strolling through Guanajuato City

A Mexican version of Romeo and Juliet played out at the ‘Callejón del Beso‘ or alley of the kiss.  The players in Mexico are named Doña Carmen and Don Luis.  The story is very romantic until the father stabs his daughter, Carmen.  This happens because he discovers Luis secretly meets with her despite his demands that she doesn’t.  As life was draining from her, Luis held and kissed the hand of Carmen.  The third step from the bottom has a legend.  Kiss your partner on this step, conveniently painted red.  Doing so guarantees you both seven years of happiness together.  What happens after seven years?  Just make sure to revisit Guanajuato before the time is up.

One of Mexico’s most important people was born in Guanajuato. Mexico’s most famous artist, Diego Rivera called Guanajuato home for many years.  Today, you can visit the “Museo Casa Diego Rivera” and see several paintings on display.  There are even sketches from Frida Khalo, his on-again, off-again wife.

The Teatro Juarez is a grand fine arts palace named after Mexican President Benito Juarez.  Juarez is considered by many to be Mexico’s greatest president.

The Alhóndiga de Granaditas is also a must-see.  It’s the site of the first battle of Mexican Independence.  Originally built to store a year’s grain supply for the city, it later housed the silver before transport to Spain.

Mine tours are also available in and around the city.  They are worth a visit and help set the stage for a historical understanding of the city.

If Baroque architecture is your fancy, you’ll see plenty of it in Guanajuato City.  The Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato features this style.  So does the Casa Real de Ensaye and the Templo de Valenciano.

When to visit Guanajuato City

Guanajuato City is enjoyable all year long.  Its high elevation keeps it temperate and pleasant, even in summer.  If you can make it in October for the Cervantino Festival, then the magic is unleashed in grand fashion.

Summary

There is no bad time to go to Guanajuato but there certainly is the ‘Best’ time to go.  Guanajuato is about a day and a half south of Mc Allen, Tx.  Alternatively, if you fly into CDMX, it’s a four-hour car drive from Mexico City.

Learn more about Guanajuato and discover opportunities to learn Spanish at the same time with Spanish and Go.  Jim and May are a Gringo/Mexican couple. Join them as they explore beautiful destinations, share travel tips, and teach you Spanish.


Summer Travel in Mexico – 5 Great Destinations

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Summer Travel in Mexico? Are you sane?

Summer travel in Mexico is often overlooked by regular visitors to Mexico.  This is especially true for beach destinations. Since Baja California, Sonora, and Chihuahua are mostly desert, one could find themselves in seriously challenging temperatures. Imagine traveling to Phoenix, Arizona for a summertime holiday.

Beaches are obviously at sea level making these destinations incredibly hot and humid. Because of that, most people find Mexican beaches miserable during these months. Add to that, Mexico’s rainy and hurricane seasons begin in summer. There’s a good reason cruise ships relocate their Caribbean fleet to the Mediterranian during this time.

So, does that mean summer travel to Mexico is just plain nuts? That largely depends on you.
True Mexico aficionados know that nearly all of Mexico’s beach cities are too hot and sticky to enjoy. That doesn’t mean the rest of Mexico is also uncomfortably hot.

A huge surprise to most people visiting is that a large part of Mexico is higher than 6000′ in elevation. This makes for warm but enjoyable summers in many major cities and destinations.

Mexico regions above 6000' elevation in white - MexicanInsuranceStore.com

The area in white is over 6000′ in elevation making summertime warm but enjoyable.

5 Great Summer Destinations

Enjoy these incredible destinations throughout the year.  Especially in summer.  These selected picks represent only some of the opportunities to enjoy Mexico without the tourist crowds or prices.

1. Ensenada

Surfer enjoying Ensenada, BC

Ensenada is a world-renowned surfer destination. Photo: Mark Harpur

Ensenada is Mexico’s equivalent of San Diego, California.  Being only 60 miles apart, it makes perfect sense.  Sure, there’s no Sea World, Zoo, or Aircraft Carrier.  Still, Mexicans (and visitors)  regularly come to spend time in this near-perfect corner of the world.

Ensenada has a lot going for it.  It’s ideally situated on the map to match San Diego’s year-round perfect weather.  Ensenada is also among Mexico’s most educated cities, along with being one of Mexico’s wealthier cities.  People in their 20’s and 30’s make up a significant percentage of the city’s population. Since 2012, Ensenada has transformed far beyond the weekend party destination for nearby Californians.

Ensenada is home to a vibrant Carnaval celebration and annual Beer Fest.  The culture in Ensenada is quite rich, especially outside the ‘tourist zone.’  One simply can’t ignore the incredible beaches, restaurants, breweries, bars, nightlife, and the nearby wine region.

Port of Ensenada.

Most of the beaches are found south of the Marina.  They are all excellent to enjoy sun and beach activities.  Notable dining includes Sano’s Steakhouse and Mr. Pampa’s Brazilian Churrascaria.  Of course, don’t forget the excellent fish tacos at the fish market behind Starbucks Coffee.

Agua Mala and Transpeninsular are two highly awarded breweries a beer lover must visit.  Nightlife is incredible in Ensenada and is quite diverse.  From Lucky Irish Pub and Beergarden to the classics like Hussong’s Cantina, you’re sure to find your vibe in no time.

When not sleeping in or enjoying the nightlife, take a short trip to the wine region.  There are dozens of incredible wineries including Casa FRIDA, and Encuentro.

For travelers, probably the best thing is that all of this is that costs are typically one-third that of San Diego in the summer.

2. Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon - MexicanInsuranceStore.com

Copper Canyon (Photo Jim Foreman)

Chihuahua is Mexico’s largest state by size and home to the incredible Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre).

Bigger than Grand Canyon in Arizona, Copper Canyon is quite different in a number of ways.  Visitors are able to have fun at Copper Canyon.  Because it’s so big, there are dozens of groups of indigenous people living within the Copper Canyon.  They typically wear bright-colored clothing.  Do stop and see if they have anything to sell.

Though the region is vast there are five popular places to visit within the canyon.  The Parque Aventura del Barrancas del Cobre is equivalent to the South Rim Visitors Center of Grand Canyon.  Unlike Grand Canyon, you can take one of two amazing zipline adventures. the Ziprider over 1.5 miles into the canyon.  The Circuito de Siete Tirolesas is a series of 7 zip lines crisscrossing the canyon.  There’s even a glass-bottom cafe that allows you to dine while looking below.

Nearby the adventure park is Hotel Mirador and Hotel Mansion Tamahumara.  Both feature spectacular views into Copper Canyon right from your hotel room.

Creel is a Pueblo Magico that is the biggest town and gateway to Copper Canyon.  Think of it like Flagstaff, AZ to Grand Canyon.  There are several hotels, nightlife, and interesting sights to see.  Notable must-sees include Lago de Arareco and la Cueva de Doña Petra.

Also Visit…

On the northern tip of Copper Canyon is la Cascada de Basaseachic.  It’s a spectacular view and easy to visit. A favorite off-grid lodging destination is Rancho San Lorenzo Basaseachi.  It’s a phenomenal and memorable way to experience the natural beauty of Mexico.

A look down the streets of Batopilas, Chihuahua.

Finally, a trip to Batopilas should be on any adventurer’s shortlist.  A high-clearance vehicle is advised as the roadway is often subject to rockslides and detours.  The roadway down is one of the most beautiful in the world and worth the extra effort.

In Batopilas, there are several hotels and including Hotel Juanitas, Hotel Mary, and Hotel Casa Real de Minas de Acanasaina.  A popular dining establishment is Restaurant Carolina.  Take the time to visit this incredible land.

3. Zacatecas

Scouts in Zacatecas Centro

Scouts enjoying a walk through Centro Zacatecas (Photo: Jim Foreman)

Zacatecas is a jewel of a city that shines brightly.  There are so many reasons to spend several days or a week in this historic colonial city.

Zacatecas dates back to the days of New Spain.  Spain heavily relied on natural resources, namely silver, to keep its kingdom and government afloat.  Zacatecas was one of those cities with its rich silver mines.

Mexico’s first bullring is now used for events at the Hotel Quintas Real Zacatecas

Today, Zacatecas features Mexico’s oldest bullfighting ring.  Don’t worry, it’s now used only for events such as weddings and corporate events.  Nearby runs Zacatecas’ Roman-style aqueducts with their beautiful arches.  The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Crowning the city is the Cerro de la Bufa.  It looks like a giant wave bursting out from the hilltop.
At night, it’s lit up and makes for a very romantic evening.

There are cable cars that go from the city center to the top of the mountain.  There’s also a roadway that’s easily reachable.

While there make sure to join a Callejoneadas.  These are spontaneous alleyway traveling parties that feature large groups of revelers dancing and partying through town to ad-hoc bands and drums.  Part of the tradition is to be served cheap mezcal punch from jugs known as heribertas.  Partygoers carry jarritos or ‘little jars’ to be served the hooch.

Zacatecas has so much to offer including great restaurants like Garufa, an exquisite Argentinian Steakhouse.  The MILK Brewpub also serves up great food and beer in a patio setting.

For hotels, they range from quaint, to historic, and modern.  Featuring the previously mentioned bullring is the Hotel Quinta Real.  It’s the hotel to stay at in Zacatecas if you have the chance.

Are you still thinking summer travel in Mexico is silly?

4. Morelia

The Catedral de Morelia marks the center of this great city. (Photo: Jezael Melgoza)

Just four hours west of Mexico City is another Unesco World Heritage SiteMorelia, Michoacan is a capital city known for its pink stone buildings and Baroque architecture.  It’s commonly known and Mexico’s best-kept secret.

Here, you’ll find history, culture, incredible architecture, and remarkably warm people.  Morelia is a very walkable city.  Centered around the Cathedral de Morelia, one could spend days admiring the architecture and details of the city.

Michoacan is a large state that has endured its share of violence and bad press.  the mountain region bordering Guerrero remains a hot zone most travelers should avoid.  Morelia, however, has escaped such violence and remains tranquil and enjoyable for Mexicans and visitors.

There are a number of hotels in the Morelia Centro.  Consider staying at Hotel Casa Grande or the Hotel de la Soledad.  Both are about 100m from the cathedral and in the heart of the city.

For dining, La Conspiracion de 1809 features fine international dining with a full bar. Restaurant Los Mirasoles is set in a romantic hacienda serving up delicious colonial and Mexican food.  Both are within a block of the cathedral.

Morelia also features a great zoo and in the late fall monarch butterflies.  Morelia is an ideal city to visit for summer travel in Mexico.

5. CDMX (Mexico City)

CDMX Zocalo Photo: Bhargava Marripati

Mexico City (CDMX) is a world city like Paris, Tokyo, Madrid, NYC, Shanghai, and London.  The population of CDMX is nearly 22m people but it doesn’t feel as crowded as other cities this size.

At 7300ft elevation, summers rarely top 90℉ with an average summertime temperature of 75℉.

No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in CDMX (except maybe a beach).

The James Bond film, Spectre, and the 2018 Academy Award Winning film ‘Roma’ directed by Alfonso Cuaron both feature CDMX.  The 2004 Denzel Washington film, ‘Man on Fire’ and ‘Romeo + Juliet’ featuring Leonardo DiCaprio made CDMX their backdrop.

Like other film capitals, CDMX features modern conveniences, historic locations,  and high-quality talent.

Beyond films, CDMX is also home to everything from pre-hispanic Aztec ruins to modern skyscrapers.

When one visits CDMX it’s easy to forget one is in Mexico.

The Soumaya museum on Boulevard Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Photo: Mana5280

With a city as big as CDMX, it’s impossible to list all the great hotels, dining, and activities.  Needless to say, no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it with incredible vibrancy in Mexico City.

CDMX serves as proof that summer travel to Mexico is awesome, so long as you know where to visit.

Story by Jim Foreman


Realistic Actual Cash Value For Your Mexican Insurance Policy

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At Mexican Insurance Store, customers often ask what “Actual Cash Value” to put on your policy.  How do you find out?

Let’s learn how to best navigate current used car values

This is tricky since most used car values have jumped, sometimes exceeding their original price, in recent months.

Used car at dealership

Photo: Obi Onyeador

 

OK, Let’s explain a little.  When purchasing a full-coverage policy, one of the most critical questions determining your rate and coverage is ‘Actual Cash Value.’  It’s vital to get this right.  Make the value too high, and you can overpay for your policy.  If you put too low of a value, It may hurt you.  If the vehicle gets totaled, the policy will max out at the entered value.

So, how do you choose the correct Actual Cash Value For Your Mexican Insurance Policy?

Traditionally, the source the insurance companies use to determine the value of your car is Kelley Blue Book.

The team at Kelley Blue Book works very hard to keep the car values listed up to date.  Even then, late model pre-owned cars are still selling for drastically more than KBB right now.

Reputable publications, including Motor Trend and the Miami Herald covered the currently used care price phenomenon.

So, What do you do?

Lazy insurance brokers will say, use KBB, and that’s it.  Not here.  The policy stipulates ‘Actual Cash Value.’  While KBB is a starting point, it’s not the end of the line.  Let’s say you have a 2018 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 TRD Double Cab in excellent condition.  KBB lists the private party range between $37,142 and $40,103.  Dealer prices are also available.  They are the most reliable.

No Now, go to a website that lists used cars from name-brand dealers (These are dealers associated with a new car brand such as Toyota, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, etc.).  Don’t use the values at the independent lots as these have less credibility in the eyes of an insurance company.

There are a number of places to find this out.  Car Gurus (below), Auto Trader, or a dealer’s website works.  Use the same year, model, and features.

Now, before you enter $47,000 as the value, make sure that there are several models listed at similar prices.  If a reasonable person would conclude that the car on offer is very similar to the care you have insured, the value will hold in the event of a payout.

There is a pitfall with this method.  Let’s say the value comes down to normal levels during your policy’s duration.  If your vehicle is totaled, you may not get the full value your policy is insured for.

Naturally, if your policy duration is relatively short (less than 30 days), you have nothing to worry about.  Go with the higher amount.  If you are buying a 6-month or 1-year policy, it’s better to go with the high private-party or dealer value on KBB.

There you have it.

No matter what, enjoy your trip through Mexico and rely on us to take good care of you.


Can I Travel to Mexico in 2022

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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 from Mexican Insurance Store.

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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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 working air condition and heat.

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 service is 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 For a Road Trip to Mexico

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 co

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.


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