Mexico – So Much More Than Beaches

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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. Unfortunately, misguided policies driven by feelings rather than facts or reality have led to the 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. So 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 dirt bike, 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.  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 by Mexican Insurance for domestic Mexico travel.

Start your amazing adventure right! Quote, buy & print from anywhere in the world. Because you want a reliable vehicle to take you on your Mexico road trip, you want reliable Mexican car insurance from Mexican Insurance because you never know when you may need it. 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 are old. However, in Mexico, many cities date to the early 1600s and even earlier.  These older buildings are due to Spain colonizing Mexico. Therefore, 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.

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.


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 its 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 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

Fortunately, 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, over seven million people live by the traditions and speak the Mayan language.  These sites can be easily reached by car or a tour group.  Going on your own is much better than arriving in hordes with dozens of other coach buses full of visitors for the more popular sites.

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

Whether you choose an off-road, colonial, archeological, or beach trip, Mexico remains a vibrant destination.   It is straightforward 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 to drive your vehicle in Mexico.  Just don’t forget to review the many benefits of Mexican car insurance from Mexican Insurance

Rio Tampaon and Tamul waterfalls in the Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
 Jim Foreman -

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.

Filing a Mexico Insurance Claim When Things Go Wrong

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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 you can playback to the officer that shows up, you will likely 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 would 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 you are automatically considered rich, no matter 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 not to have to avoid going 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 indicate if you have a full-coverage policy at home accurately. 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 a 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 the 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 Mexico insurance policy 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), and to open it, you can use software like Soda PDF which is great for this. You should keep one hard copy in your glove compartment, and you should hold the other 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 slightly 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 be 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 of 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.

USD 1000 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 using your policy to have 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 take priority.

When calling to file a claim, you may have to call a phone number with an automated menu in Spanish. Mapfre policies, in particular, do 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 coverage 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 coverage, 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. The insurers handled both 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 and Mexican Insurance Store Mexico Insurance for cars

Story by Jim Foreman

This happens a lot. Someone 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 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 their

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 Mexican Insurance Store Mexico insurance for cars for travel within the Republic.

Quote, buy & print from your home. You want reliable protection 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 Mexican Insurance Store Mexico Insurance for cars 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 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 the 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.

Map of Mexico

Preparing For a Road Trip to Mexico

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Preparing Your Vehicle For a Mexico Road Trip

Preparing for a road trip to Mexico is much more than what you’re going to pack.  Your vehicle needs prep work, too.  Prepping 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.

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 before your trip

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.


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

Almost 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

RVs 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, are 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.


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.

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).

Mexican Insurance StoreWhether 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.

Review 7 Best Mexican Insurance Store Quotes To Save Time, Frustration, And Money.


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Driving along side the aqueduct. ©Jim Foreman


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A couple at the Plaza de Independencia ©Jim Foreman


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Sunset in Queretaro ©Jim Foreman

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Ensenada – Carnaval Celebration and Beer Fest

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Carnaval in Ensenada

Written by Jim Foreman

When American and Canadian travelers think about heading to Mexico, the choices are bountiful. For example, destinations like San Miguel de Allende, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas come to mind. These are all great locations worthy of a visit.

For people living in Southern California, a weekend visit to Ensenada is closer and more accessible than 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.

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Ensenada is also the gateway to the world famous Baja California Wine Region. A serious up and comer, the Ruta del Vino begins minutes north of Ensenada.

Ensenada features a commercial airport, however the most common method for travelers to visit is by car.

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Several major events are happening in February and March, for instance there’s Carnival. Above all these events bring massive crowds to the city from all over Mexico and the world.

Beer Fest

2017’s Queen of the Carnaval Yazmín Adriana Figueroa




The first event is the celebration of Carnaval. In other words, this is the weeklong celebration of all things before the Catholic period of Lent.

For non-Catholics, Lent is a 40 day period where you give something up to show faith and repentance.

Carnaval in Ensenada is an amazing event celebrated with parades, fireworks, concerts, meals, parties, and more.  There’s a festive atmosphere throughout the week, and the crescendo occurs Friday through Tuesday. After that, the celebration abruptly ends at midnight. Carnival features parties throughout Mexico with sizable celebrations in Mazatlán, Cozumel, and Veracruz.

If you plan on going to Ensenada for Carnaval, hurry. For instance, all the hotels room sell out early, so secure a room quickly.

Ensenada Beer Fest


Ensenada Beer Fest

The second major event 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.

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

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

Above all, this event draws a classy crowd of mid 20’s to late 40’s Mexicans. Similarly, there’s no egos 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 social media presence. However, don’t be discouraged. The events are going to be awesome and worth the trip.

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Scenic Highway Mex 1 Heading South

Getting to Ensenada is super easy by car, you just have to 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.

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Timisoara: Group of dancers from Mexico in traditional costume present at the international folk festival “International Festival of hearts” organized by the City Hall.