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Ensenada – Carnaval Celebration and Beer Fest

 

Carnaval in Ensenada

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.

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

Carnaval

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 Fest

The 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 are 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.

Mexican Insurance Store Carnaval in Ensenada Carnaval in Ensenada Beer Fest Beer Fest Mexican Insurance Store Mexican Insurance Store Mexican Insurance Store Mexican Insurance StoreMexican Insurance Store


Travel Insurance for Mexico

Travel insurance for Mexico is a common topic in online discussion groups.  It’s no wonder why people ask us about health coverage quite often.

There are three different categories of travelers to Mexico. That means there are typically three different approaches to health coverage.

Vacation Traveler

Vacation travelers are those who usually fly or take a cruise ship to Mexico. Trips last one to two-weeks long. They may happen once or twice a year.

For most vacation travelers, travel insurance for Mexico is the way to go. Because it’s travel insurance, it covers a wide range of mishaps. Lost luggage, delays, missed flights, and medical emergencies, are all covered.

Many seasoned travelers choose InsureMyTrip.com to select the right amount of coverage. InsureMyTrip.com is an easy source for coverage. Several dozen companies and offerings are available there. It’s fast, easy, and reliable.

Climbing Cerro Tetakawi in San Carlos, Sonora

 

Overland Traveler

The overland traveler is someone who travels into Mexico by car, RV, or motorcycle. Visits to Mexico are typically more than a week or two. Return visits also happen fairly often.

For overlanders, several companies stand out as best bets for coverage. First on the list is WorldNomads.com. AIG Travelguard and Allianz are also top-tier options.

World Nomads is for more adventure-oriented traveling. Two grades of coverage are offered by World Nomads. The Standard plan covers common outdoor activities. For those a bit more extreme in their pursuits, there’s the Explorer plan. The Explorer plan covers most extreme activities. These include cave diving, free diving, parachuting, SCUBA, and white-water rafting. World Nomads makes it very easy to choose the right plan for your itinerary.

AIG Travel Guard is also a top-rated product. Travel Guard also covers a broad range of plans covering a multitude of activities. There are relatively few exclusions.

Allianz features a broad selection of travel insurance plans and deserves its excellent reputation.

It’s wise to compare and contrast health insurance coverage, duration, and cost. Some plans are a better value at six months.

All of these plans cover medical issues that arise during the trip. None of them will cover ongoing medical treatment or pre-existing conditions. For example, coverage includes a broken leg while hiking. If you have diabetes and require insulin, you’re on your own.

Temporary or Permanent Residents

Long-term visitors and permanent residents have several choices for health coverage. For most people, international health insurance is the way to go. It’s an excellent option for people working abroad or that travel a lot.

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

Both offerings are quite comprehensive. Since personal health insurance requirements are unique, it’s important to carefully read the details. Shop both to see which one suits you and your situation best.

Other Options

Medical expenses in Mexico are surprisingly low for top-quality care. Many Mexican doctors receive training in the USA. They offer modern and high-quality healthcare. Because of this, many visitors embrace medical tourism. This includes cosmetic surgery, dental work, or other elective procedures. People come to Mexico for excellent treatment at a fraction of the cost back home.

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

Because of the low cost, many people simply elect to keep a credit card with $1000 USD on standby for coverage. For most illnesses or issues, it’s easiest to pay cash and solve it quickly and without hassle.

Exotic options also exist such as MedJet Assist.  MedJet Assist covers repatriation if you become injured or hospitalized internationally. Coverage actually begins 150 miles or more from home. They earned an excellent reputation over their many years of operation.

A final option for those with citizenship or permanent residency is Seguro Popular. Seguro Popular is Mexico’s state-sponsored healthcare system. The quality of care varies across the country. Clinics in bigger or capital cities are usually acceptable. Rural clinics or typically quite spotty. This is because of limited locations and doctors. Another reality is that rationing occurs, especially during a health crisis or emergency.

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.

 


8 Tips For Off-Road Traveling in Mexico

Off-Road Traveling in Mexico

8 Important Tips For Fun and Great Times when Off-Road traveling in Mexico

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Off-Pavement in Chihuahua

 

Story and Photos by Jim Foreman

More and more areas in the United States are being cut off from off-highway use by misguided politicians and an increasingly ignorant electorate. Because of that, more Americans are discovering or rediscovering Mexico as an exciting and wonderful place to get some dirt or sand under your wheels.

It makes no difference what style of adventure suits you. You may be into Jeep trails, taking out quads and dirtbikes, or bringing the fancy ATV like the popular Razor. You may just want to take your 4×4 pickup. There’s something for everyone in Mexico.

Let’s Get Started

Regions such as Baja California and Sonora including the north area surrounding Rocky Point are excellent places to head off-pavement.

Off-Pavement and Off-Road traveling are very alive and well in many parts of the country. It doesn’t matter if world-televised events like the Baja 1000 inspired you or it’s only a fun weekend with friends. It’s essential that one doesn’t let the spirit of fun and thrills get in front of common sense and respect for nature and others.

Follow these 8 important tips for off-road traveling in Mexico.

1. When crossing the border, make sure the vehicles are titled or registered in someone’s name that is also along for the trip. Back in the 1980’s many vehicle thieves were headed straight south without hindrance. The US and Mexican governments agreed to have random vehicles stopped when crossing south to verify the registration or title. A color photocopy or printout of the registration or title is almost always fine.

2. Know that outside of the populated areas, you probably have no mobile phone service. If using GPS, make sure everyone has the coordinates for the basecamp or hotel. Someone in the group needs to act as a leader and know where to find the nearest medical facilities.

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A spectacular unique view of Copper Canyon

 

3. Before you begin riding, make sure to stock up on water and have a general idea of the terrain. The most prominent medical issue for off-roaders is dehydration. Once you become dehydrated, something much worse is imminent. If you begin to feel it, it’s too late. Therefore, drink water or Electrolit and relax for a while, in the shade.

Pro Tip: Mexican insurance is required for any on-road or off-road travel on Mexican roads.

4. You should only travel during daylight hours, no matter how many lumens your lightbar puts out. Also, have a plan to end the riding long before sunset so you can transition to great food, drinks, stories, and friendship. Animals, as well as illicit activity, are much more active at night.

5. If you’re unfamiliar with the area you plan to travel or explore, ask others who have been there recently. This may seem obvious, but a lot of people end up in an uncomfortable situation because they don’t heed this simple advice.

Baja California Off-Roading
The infamous Coco’s Corner in Baja California

 

6. Be careful that you are not invading someone’s private property without permission. Again, this should be obvious, but more so on the mainland, there are a lot of extensive ranches that are private property. Landowners don’t know who you are and what your intentions are. Find out and ask permission, if necessary, before trouble finds you.

Don’t forget to use your head

7. If you come across a situation that doesn’t seem right, turn around quickly and get out of there. Don’t be too curious and know when to get away from a potentially negative situation.

Tom enjoying the sea around Mulegé

 

8. I would travel with some beer and water on ice. Don’t drink until you are done riding for the day. Instead, keep it, along with water, for when you get stuck somewhere or need help. Few things will make someone happier to help you than an ice-cold beer in their hand.

Additional Advice

Beyond these tips is a necessary understanding. Above all, if someone gets seriously injured, it’s really up to you to get that person to medical facilities. No helicopter will be hovering overhead in 30 minutes, or ever. Therefore, having someone along with some basic first aid or Wilderness EMT training is very wise.

As far as Mexico insurance goes, If you’re insuring a truck, jeep, or street-legal motorcycle, understand what’s covered and what’s not. For example, if you’re off in the dunes and end up damaging your vehicle or someone else’s, you’re not covered. Few, if any insurers will underwrite your coverage as a result. 

Off-Road and Off Payment

Now, off-Road and off-pavement are two different things. You will discover many roads and even some federal highways that have unpaved portions. If it’s a road one can find on a map, you are covered, if you have full coverage. If your vehicle becomes disabled in a remote area or primitive road, you’ll need to find someone with a truck to help you get it into a town so your tow service included with your insurance can help you. Use the AAA standard logic. If you’re a member of AAA ask yourself, would they come here to retrieve my disabled vehicle if this were in the US? If not, you are responsible for getting it to a place they will be able to load it up and transport it.

Off-roading is fun and more than rewarding. Do it safely and with a hefty dose of good sense.

Remember, if your vehicle is traveling on the Mexican streets, you must have proper coverage. Mexican Insurance Store has the best Mexico insurance to protect you and your vehicle in Mexico.

Great Times In The Dirt
Sometimes Pavement isn’t so bad

 

Off-Road Traveling in Mexico
A more difficult road leading into Batopilas, Chih

Deciding Which Mobile Phone Service Is Best In Mexico

Deciding which Mobile service in Mexico is best to use is often complicated.

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Typically we’re asked 10-15 times a week about mobile service in Mexico.

We know it’s an important topic and one with answers that have changed, sometimes drastically, in the past few years.

Today, there are several answers, largely based on how long or how often you plan to be in Mexico.

Please follow this link to learn this important information. This article is quite BIG and important so we posted it on our Blogspot Site.

Always remember to have the best protection when driving in Mexico.  Make sure it’s from Mexican Insurance Store.


New Year Celebrations Mexico Style

New Year Celebrations Mexico Style

New Year is a time of celebration around the world, but in Mexico, the New Year’s Eve celebrations are truly special. Here are some of the ways that Mexicans celebrate the arrival of the New Year

Fireworks: Celebrations Mexico Style

Just like in other parts of the world, fireworks are a popular way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Mexico. Many cities and towns will have official fireworks displays, but it’s also common for people to set off their own fireworks in their backyards or in the streets.

Eating 12 grapes:

Just like in other parts of the world, fireworks are a popular way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Mexico. Many cities and towns will have official fireworks displays, but it’s also common for people to set off their own fireworks in their backyards or in the streets.

Sweeping the House:

Some Mexicans believe that sweeping the house on New Year’s Eve will sweep away any bad luck from the previous year and make room for good luck in the new year.

Making noise:

Making noise at New year celebration Mexico

Mexicans love to make noise on New Year’s Eve, as it’s believed to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck. It’s common to use noisemakers, bells, or even pots and pans to make noise at midnight.

Making noise:

Just like in other parts of the world, champagne is a popular drink for New Year’s Eve in Mexico. It’s common to toast the new year with a glass of champagne at midnight.

Whether you're in Mexico or elsewhere, New Year's Eve is a time to celebrate new beginnings and look forward to the future. So, grab your grapes, put on your red underwear, and make some noise as you ring in the new year Mexican style!

Celebrating Christmas in Mexico by Mexican Insurance Store

Tired of the overdone and overcommercialized Christmas celebration each year?  Mexico may be your best destination.

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Christmas Celebrations at the Zocalo in Mexico City

Story by Jim Foreman

Growing up in the USA, it was common to hear Jose Feliciano’s Christmas hit, ‘Feliz Navidad’ as part of the usual lineup of music, during the holidays.

Right now, you’re probably hearing that song’s melody in your head.

Beyond that, few Americans and Canadians truly understand the Christmas traditions in Mexico and how they are quite different from celebrations back home.

Of course, with an ever-increasing ex-pat population in certain regions, and the globalization of holidays, many Mexicans are melding and celebrating with a ‘Gringo’ edge. That’s OK. American’s have also adopted several Mexican traditions including the Spanish greeting and the Poinsettia plant as a symbol of the festive season.

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Being in Mexico during the Christmas season is magical.

Largely gone is the over-commercialization of the season. Instead, visitors will see a celebration more rooted in tradition.

Mexico’s Christmas or Navidad celebrations largely originated in Spain. Given Mexico’s diverse culture and pre-Hispanic cultures, many of those traditions have morphed or evolved in a uniquely Mexican way.

Of course, as the many regions of Mexico are unique, so are the flavors of those celebrations.

Christmas is celebrated in Mexico from December 12th to January 6th. There is a crescendo of the celebrations on Christmas Eve, December 24th. This dates back to Europe, long before Christmas was ever introduced to the ‘new world.’

Now, you math wizards are probably just now figuring out where the ’12 Days of Christmas’ originates.

Mexican Insurance Store has the best Mexican insurance policy available for driving in Mexico.

In Mexico, the Christmas season starts with nativity scenes placed in public and private displays. It’s nearly impossible to find a home without one in place. Nativity displays can be simple or elaborate.  Some are small, sitting on a shelf or table, while others are life sized, occupying a whole room or display outdoors.

Also beginning December 12th, children gather each night to do the Posada procession (Posada means Inn or Hotel in Spanish). They carry a candle and clay figurines of Mary and Joseph from home to home, singing songs. The songs are mostly relating to Mary and Joseph seeking a place to stay.

The children are told, ‘there is no room,’ at each place.  The final Posada welcomes the people in, and the party begins in earnest. A figure of the baby Jesus is placed in a manger.  That home is host to food, games, and often fireworks. Piñatas are one of the most common games played.

This goes on, each night until Christmas Eve (Noche Buena).

Afterwards, people go to a midnight mass and usually celebrate with more fireworks.

As a visitor, you can watch and enjoy the celebrations from any town centro as that will be where the focus of the holidays are typically happening.

Nacimiento or a Nativity scene is the dominant decoration in celebrating Christmas. Of course, Christmas Trees are becoming more and more popular throughout Mexico, too.

In some northern Mexican states, children are taught the tradition of Santa Claus. While this phenomenon is slowly growing in Mexico, it’s still not the dominant celebration.

December 28th, marks “Los Santos Inocentes” (Day of the Innocent Saints). Originating in Spain and Portugal, it’s celebrated much like Americans celebrate April Fool’s Day.   Despite the playful nature, it has a very grim undertone. This is regarded as the day King Herrod had all Male babies under a year old killed in the desire to keep his reign from what was prophesied to him about a new ‘King’ being born.

For much of Mexico, January 6th (the Epiphany) is when children receive gifts. This is a representation of when the three Wise Men arrived, bearing gifts. If there was a Gringo style ‘Santa Claus” celebration with gift-giving on Christmas Day, candies and small treats are given to the kids. Otherwise, this is the day when all of their good deeds for the year earn them their gifts.  In Mexico, Children are told that the gifts the receive came from either Santo Clós or El Niñito Dios (Baby Jesus).

Rosca de Reyes with the figure of Baby Jesus

It’s also a common tradition to eat Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Cake) on January 6th. A small figure of baby Jesus gets baked into the cake.

Whoever gets the figure in their piece of cake becomes the honorary godparent of Jesus that year.

Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria in Veracruz

February 2nd wraps up a final Christmas celebration. It’s the Virgen de la Candelaria (Virgin of the candles). Other countries call it the ‘Candlemass.’

Whether or not you celebrate Christ’s birthday or consider yourself faithful, it’s a season of good cheer, wonderful traditions, and celebrations. Join in and be a part of the Mexican culture.

Many Americans and Canadians are drawn to Mexico’s warmth during the holiday season. Getting to Mexico in your car is very easy. If it’s your first time, you can find out the details of what you need to bring and what to expect. Make sure to check Mexican insurance policy rates before leaving. It’s easy to quote, buy, and print quality coverage at Mexican Insurance Store.

Consider the best Mexican insurance policy available for driving in Mexico.

Happy family enjoying Christmas dinner with sparklers at home