Monday, August 29, 2011

Starting to plan our 2011-12 Winter in Mexico

See Map 1
I have been reading about all the drug violence in Mexico and comparing with my own central city of Cleveland, OH. They both sound bad, so we just won’t go near where the problems are.
Over the past three winters that we traveled to Mexico we ended up in the Yucatan. Xpu-Ha is not far from Cancun and has the whitest beaches in all of Mexico. We had previously moved up and down the West coast of Mexico but never found beaches as nice as those on the Caribbean side.
The campground is small but we have found friends here that also are planning on returning again this year. Claude & Mags and Gerry & Ann from Ontario. Reed & Elaine from NM, Pat & Mike from CO. Still there from last year is Vera & Dierck from Germany. So our plan is to return and again fly back home for a long holiday vacation over Christmas and New Years with our family and hometown friends.
We are looking into camping again at La Pesca in the state of Tamaulipas. This state is where all the drug violence is but La Pesca is a sleepy little beach down guarded by a Mexican Navy Base. I figured if we made an early morning drive from Los Indios at the border that we could get there safely. From there to Ciudad Valles should not have any problems that I have heard of,
We usually tour around on our way down or back home. I thought it might be fun to head to the mountains near Ciudad Valles and camp along the Rio Micos river on our way down. Here is a photo of when I paddled the Rio Micos 11 years ago.

It’s in an area called La Huasteca Potosina.  However the fall is more rainy than the spring and some of the rivers could be in flood, so a last minute decision will have to be made,
I looked at an alternate route entering Mexico west of Laredo at Columbia. This route consists of more turnpike driving but is more than 100 mi longer and has tolls of $70. We have gone this way several times and it is not as pretty a drive as the easterly route. It also passes the outskirts of Monterey which is where a lot of the violence has been occurring. However, I believe the fact that you are on a turnpike should make it more safe.
After an our stay near the Rio Micos it is an easy one day drive to the Emerald Coast bypassing Tampico. This is a good thing since the police there are always seeking bribes from RV’ers for trumped up traffic violations.
If any of my RV friends have any comments or updated information about my proposed route please feel free to add comments here or in the Shoutbox on the left. As I get more information our plans could change.


  1. Hello there. We are planning a trip down to the Yucatan this fall. We are a family of three (my wife , our two year old and I) and we live in BC Canada. We just found your blog today. We plan on traveling to Texas then down the gulf coast on highway 180 entering at Brownsville. We had originally planned on traveling to Florida but I have always wanted to go to the Yucatan but my wife is a bit nervous. I just changed our travel plans this week, so we are doing some research.I believe that I have my wife on board :-) Derek

  2. Best crossing in that area is at Los Indios, a short drive from Harlingen on a limited access highway. The roads south from there thjrough Valle Hermosa are good. Lots of Topes in town.
    See my map
    When do you plan on crossing into Mexico?

  3. Thanks! Well not sure of the timeline yet - we have a lot of ground to cover before then. We figure probably early December because we want to avoid the Christmas rush and don't want to wait until January. We would expect to stay 2 1/2 months or so in Mexico. Your site looks like it will be invaluable to us! Hope you don't mind us questioning you every so often. Have you been to this place?

    We have a budget we need to stick to and so also need to find some not so expensive places to stay. Would you mind telling me how much it is a night at Xpu-Ha?

    Where is the ATM in Valle Hermosa. Have you ever lost your bank card at a ATM machine in Mexico? I read that on a site.

    We don't have a credit card - is that a problem getting a tourist card and car permit?

    ha ha - sorry - I know this info maybe out there some where but really like you site!

  4. We have stayed closer to Bacalar a few times but never at that camground.
    Xpu-Ha has two campgrounds. Bonanza is one driveway South of La Playa. The tents and small vans tend to stay there since it has more shade and is less expensive. Prices are negotiable about 150 to 250 pesos per night depending on you length of stay.
    You need a credit card for your vehicle permit but you can pay cash. Cash for tourist card.
    I use ATM at Bancomer Bank which is 1/2 block to east at first major intersection. I think a Scotia bank is 1/2 block South on main road.
    You should carry two ATM cards because you could lose or damage a card, The Scotia ATM's do not suck in your card. You just scan them.


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