May 26, 2012
Page 3 Travel and Travel Buddies
Mummies and other Guanajuato Photography by Bill and Dot Bell click here
From Facebook On The Road in Mexico
Dorothy Bell makes recommendations on Facebook for those that want to fast track Nogales to PV
Nogales to PV - Zipping Down the Coast
We don’t like to do this. Normally we like to smell the roses. However if you are quickly zipping down to PV or Riviera Nayarit, I suggest the following:
1) Have all your papers and correct documents ready for immigration and vehicle permits.
2) Get your insurance online. Get a quote from usclick here We offer great quality insurance at a reasonable price. You can buy it just before you leave.
3) Buy a Guia Roji Road atlas before you cross over the border. It is the best map for Mexico.
4) Have pesos for the trip down. You need gas, tolls, hotel and food,
5) Have a cooler on hand so you can buy drinks and snacks for travel. While we love eating in restaurants along the way, but if you do not know the town or city you could spend a lot of time searching for a restaurant. It will also take up valuable daylight time to get served. You will want to have a breakfast and lunch for your first day and purchase breakfast and lunch for day 2 in Navojoa or Mochis.
6) Be ready to cross the border early. Take the truck crossing - Mariposa crossing – as it is easy - takes RVs and has way less confusing traffic. It is open at 6 am.
For more go to the complete article on Page 3 Travel and Travel Buddies
You must drive
through here and at KM 21 you will have to present
your documents and get your permits. The army bank,
Banacerito is open 24 hours a day to process vehicle
Once you have left the Immigration office you will bypass Magdalena, then drive through Santa Ana where you will continue down highway 15 towards Hermosillo. Hermosillo is 277 kms from Nogales.
There is some construction in Hermosillo so watch carefully and head towards Guaymas and HWY 15 and 15D.
When you approach
San Carlos/Guayamas continue and take the bypass
toll around the cities. San Carlos/Guaymas is a good
place to stop if you have difficulties or need
something desparately. It takes about an hour to
enter and then exit to purchase something so move on
and bypass if at all possible.
If you have an RV there is an RV Park – such as it is – to the right as you enter town.
This trip will
likely have taken 11 hours – nearly 500 miles or so
after you left immigration. Rest as tomorrow you are
getting up early.
your breakfast in your cooler. Also lunch as there
is No supermarkets enroute that will be open until
Drive Hwy 15
through farmland etc and prepare to turn to HWY 15D
just before Ciullican. Get on the toll and zip down
Once you have
crossed the state line into Nayarit there is a
choice. Stay on the Highway to Tepic OR head towards
San Blas and take a different route. I suggest that
if you have a car – take the San Blas route. If you
have an RV and are driving from July to December,
take the Tepic Route. (The San Blas Route gets
overgrown after rainy season and can scratch your
(If you take the Tepic route drive straight to the city and then turn when signed to go to Puerto Vallarta. Beware that RV’s and trucks must drive in the laterals when you see them. Laterals are the slow frontage roads on some city streets.
The stretch of Highway from Tepic to Compostela to Las Varas is windy and narrow and sometimes steep.. There are not many places to pull over.
From las Varas to PV is easy peasey. You will be passing through town after town, pueblo after pueblo of the Riviera Nayarit. Like pearls on a necklace, each one is beautiful and distinctive. Drive carefully and defensively.
From Los Mochis to PV will take another 10 or 11 hours.
If you are interested in breaking this up so you have one other stop we suggest driving day one to Navajoa. Stay in the Best Western (it does Take Pets.) If an RV stay in San Carlos. Day two drive to Mazatlan. Day 3 to PV.
If you want a much much more detailed set of instructions go here
Advice to the Traveler going to Mexico Via the US
Question: Hi we are heading to Puerto Vallarta from Vancouver Canada, first time driving. How safe is it to drive? and which highway is best to take?
Answer: Safe. We think
it is pretty safe driving through the US. But here
are a few tips.
Ensure you have medical insurance. It is really not
that safe to travel through the US without it.
Medical situations can destroy you financially. Be
prepared and carry some extra insurance to ensure
your are protected.
Big Cities and dangerous Hot Spots.
Boondocking. Boondocking or camping outside of RV
Parks can be dangerous unless you know the
territory. Do not boondock unless you know the area
or you see others doing so. While many sleep at rest
stops there have been problems with this in the
past. Hijackings etc.
Be aware that average Americans are allowed to have
guns not just the police.
Do not flash your money. Don't wear expensive
jewelry. Lock your motel doors.
Know the currency. Do not take out a fist full of
dollars and tell the gas station attendant to take
what is owed and expect complete honesty.
Do not get stinking drunk and behave in a manner
that you wouldn't back home. I.e. walk down the
street with a beer in your hand. Expect that the
police will pick you up. What happens in the US does
not stay in the US.
Be careful of the food. Too much fast food is not
good for you.
Do not get too much sun too quickly. Many tourists
get very sick from too much sun, too much rich food
and too much partying too quickly and then blame the
food or water for their stomach problems. Try to
ease into your vacation.
America has its own laws. Be respectful of that and
do not complain that it is not like back home. They
are not ignorant, less sophisticated or backward.
Abide by the speed limits for example and do not
complain if you get a ticket for speeding if you are
Generally speaking Americans are kind, honest and
generous people. Have fun.
These are just of the few of my safety tips for
travel from Canada to Puerto Vallarta. If I were you
I would travel to Nogales and avoid LA. Drive down
Highway 15 south of Mazatlan and veer off at San
Blas and then south to PV.
Follow the rules above for the US while in Mexico and you should have a fun time.
Puerto Vallarta Malecon
Mayan Wooden Masks: Historical Beauty
© Tara A. Spears
Mexico’s creative traditional folk art is a true celebration of rich color and vibrant beauty. Each of Mexico’s 31 states offers unique talented artists producing a seemingly limitless collection of stunning and whimsical hand crafted art. Of all the different art forms, the hand carved wooden masks best reflect the Mexican culture and pride of the indigenous people. Carved wooden masks that portray the devil, ancient deities, jungle animals, or immortalize deceased individuals were regularly used in religious and cultural dances, as well as during war. The left photo is an example of a Mayan ceremonial mask. Mayan masks had a wide variety of uses, and the importance of the masks dictated how intricate the designs on various masks were. The abundant availability of carved masks at the tiaguis-open markets- make these a great collector’s item.
Ancient Tradition: The Mayan people inhabited the Yucatan Peninsula from 2500 BC to 1550 AD. The basic principles of the Mayan religion were adapted from the Olmec and Teotihuacan people, prior to the seventh century AD. The Mayans viewed the natural world, along with all that was a part of it, as a continuation of the sky-world above and the underworld below. The jaguar was believed to be a gatekeeper to the afterlife. According to Jeeni Criscenzo, “The ancient Maya had a complex pantheon of deities whom they worshipped and offered human sacrifices. Rulers were believed to be descendants of the gods and their blood was the ideal sacrifice, either through personal bloodletting or the sacrifice of captives of royal blood.” The deities are common figures on the wooded masks, particularly the warrior masks.
The antique masks also contain the faces of people. We know that some masks were used in wedding ceremonies, and there were masks made to commemorate many births and deaths. Not all Mayan masks were for such profound purposes, however. The Mayan's also used masks for entertainment as well. The uses of masks by the Mayan people were as varied as the style of the masks themselves.
Santo Domingo Museum is filled with the history of Oaxaca and Mexico Click here to look inside
Internet While You Travel Mexico
Internet while you travel is not usually a problem. There is an assortment of opportunities to go online.
a) Hotels & RV Parks
Hotels in Mexico are certainly offering internet to their customers. Generally speaking any 3 star hotel and above will offer it. Unfortunately, No-tell-motels do not. They figure you are in their establishment for something other than Internet.
Destination RV Parks are likely to offer internet too. We try to list internet services when we list RV Parks. If a RV Park has upgraded and offers internet, let us know so we can tell others.
Driving In Mexico
By David Simmonds
I have driven tens-of-thousands of miles in Mexico and the worse thing I can remember happening was having a mango jump off the flatbed of an oncoming produce truck near Mazatlán, smashing out the left headlight in my old VW van and spraying mango pieces and juice from head to huarache, where I sat in the driver’s seat. I thought I’d been shot by a deranged sniper until I figured it all out. And another time I blew an engine (another VW van, naturally) in the Sonoran desert on my return trip on a 100 degree summer day when few cars were on the road (this was years ago, before toll roads), only to be rescued by a pickup truck full of missionaries who rope-towed me to the Arizona border, almost making a believer of me.
Customs Allowances into Mexico via Land and Air
DO NOT BRING EITHER GUNS OR DRUGS INTO MEXICO. Mucho problema! Don't try it - think about it or even toy with the idea. If caught you most likely will end up in prison for a very long time.
You are allowed to bring into Mexico:
a) 2 cartons of cigarettes or 50 cigars or a kilo of tobacco (2.2lbs)
b) 3 liters of wine or hard liquor
c) 12 rolls of film
d) a computer
e) 2 cameras - photo, movie or other
If traveling by air you are allowed a $300 customs allowance in addition to the above. If traveling by land you are only allowed $50.
Be reasonable and don't bring in quantities of anything that might look like you are planning to resell them. You really don't have to load up on food anymore as there are enough Supermercados with a good supply and variety of food.
When you cross most borders you will be asked to push a button or your car will automatically trigger one. If your light is green you will continue to pass through. If you hit a red signal your luggage and vehicle will be searched. Additionally if you look suspicious or a guard has the desire - you can be searched regardless of the light.
Customs Allowance into the US
US citizens are allowed to bring home from Mexico:
a) $800 US in purchases duty free. .
b) 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 2 kilos (4.4lbs) of tobacco
c) 1 liter of alcohol - wine or spirits
Customs Allowance into Canada
Canadian citizens are allowed to bring home:
a) after 24 hours $50 CAN in purchases duty free; after 48 hours - $300 CAN duty free; or after 7 days - $750 duty free.
b) 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 1 kilos of chewing tobacco
c) 1.5 liter of alcohol - wine or spirits
Don't forget to turn in your Car decal before leaving the country!