Mexico Travel Guide

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Was This 'Hidden Beach' Near Puerto Vallarta Formed by Government Bombing?

Where: Las Marietas Islands, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco , Mexico
December 16, 2013 at 10:15 AM | by | Comments (2)

When we mentioned the Marieta Islands in our basic overview of Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas last week, a reader chimed in to say that its "Hidden Beach" -- aka the incredible scene you see in the photos in this post -- formed when the Mexican government used the island as a bombing range in the first half of the 20th century. Well, we did some research and guess what? It could be true!

The Marieta Islands were formed by volcanic activity and were never inhabited, prompting the Mexican military to use it as a place to test bombs. The explosions are rumored to have created the islands' caverns and rock formations, the most dramatic in the form of Hidden Beach. But, because the islands were never inhabited, there's really no documentation or official eyewitness account that confirms what was already there and what was a result of the bombings and explosions (if anyone knows otherwise, please let us know!).

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Breaking Down Banderas Bay: A Guide to Help You Understand the Coastline of Puerto Vallarta

December 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM | by | Comments (4)

Yesterday, we told you why you should be making plans to visit Puerto Vallarta this time next year. Now, you need to understand the layout of the region to fully appreciate the amount of opportunities you will have within a short distance.

For the sake of this discussion, we'll consider the city itself, including the Zona Hotelera (north side), El Centro (center city), and the Zona Romantica (south side), as one point on the map (although we may break it down further in a later post). You can see that Puerto Vallarta is located pretty much in the center of the Banderas Bay, which, by the way, is huge - 62 miles of coastline in total that stretches from Punta Mita in the north down to Yelapa in the south. Using the city as a center point, let's split the region in two and take a closer look.

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Why the First Week in December is the Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta

December 10, 2013 at 10:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

So much of what you are able to experience of a destination comes down to the timing of your visit, and we picked the perfect week to be in Mexico as cities across the country celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The festival is in remembrance of when the Virgin Mary left her image imprinted upon a cloth as a way of revealing herself and her identity to a Mexican peasant back in 1531 (the cloth in question is currently housed at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in México City, where one of the larger fiestas takes place).

Across the country, Mexican Catholics participate in parades that symbolize pilgrimages, making the journey from their homes to the church on foot as an offering to the Virgin Mary. Although religious tourism isn't exactly our thing, we are very pleased to be in town during this time because of all the other things that come along with it.

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Wish You Were Here: Perched High Above Puerto Vallarta

December 9, 2013 at 1:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Puerto Vallarta sits in the center of the Bahía de Banderas, a 62-mile bay that runs from Punta Mita in the north down south to Cape Corrientes. The view you see from the photo is taken from the southern-most part of Vallarta looking north towards the center of town. In the distance, you can see the coast curve around to the left towards Punta Mita.

Many travelers who visit the area for the first time tend to stay put in Puerto Vallarta proper, but the city's location on the bay means that there are plenty of opportunities for day trips, from small villages such as Mismaloya and Boca de Tomatlan to surf towns like Bucerias and Sayulita.

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Can One Airport Straddle a Border Between Two Countries? Tijuana Thinks It's Possible.

Where: Mexico
September 9, 2013 at 9:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

A new international bridge is just around the corner, as the airport down in Tijuana has a plan to connect arriving passengers right into Mexico or the United States.

The plan—called Gateway to Las Californias—is made up of a 525-foot-long bridge that will connect the city’s A.L. Rodríguez International Airport directly with a US Customs station right on the other side of the border. You’d land in Mexico, get your stuff, and then walk over the bridge and arrive in the United States—assuming your visit with the customs and border protection officers goes well

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Why Veracruz, Mexico Will Have a Place on 'Hot Spot' Lists for 2014

September 3, 2013 at 12:42 PM | by | Comments (2)

Anyone who has actually been to Mexico in the past few years knows the majority of the places are safe, filled with friendly people, and packed with a hell of a lot of culture. But the country sure has a knack for splitting the room down the middle, doesn’t it? There’s incorrect information on safety spread by those who've never visited the country, and those that aren’t afraid to visit are sometimes scared off by the fact that the most prominent destinations in the country, Cancun and Cabo, tend to be a bit touristy.

This Jaunted contributor is doing his best to help with the former—to squash the idea that a trip to Mexico is synonymous with imminent death—but the Internet certainly isn’t doing us any favors. A quick Google search for "Mexico safety" reveals a mess of news articles about kidnappings and murders, but a search for "United States safety" reveals only the websites for U.S. safety commissions. Considering that Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans, D.C., Atlanta, Philly, Chicago, Cleveland, and Miami all have higher murder rates than Mexico City and Mexico on a whole, the results of the search seem...strange?

New Orleans has the highest murder rate in the States and more than triple that of Mexico, yet a million or so people go to Mardi Gras every year. Go figure.

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AeroMexico Says '¡Hola!' to Their First Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Where: Mexico
August 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM | by | Comment (1)

After far too many months of Instagram posts that aren't very exciting, AeroMexico has begun to use the photography social media site to brag about their newest bird. In fact, the Mexican airline is not only snapping pics of a 787 Dreamliner of which they've just taken delivery, but are letting the cameras roll with some 'Instavids', and we can't be happier.

A few weeks ago, the airline began getting its followers excited with a countdown to the delivery date of the new Boeing aircraft, using the hashtag, #AMBoeing787. A week before AeroMexico took the keys to their (big) baby, their account was active with a few videos. A cool one showed off the 787 getting painted in time-lapse, while another offered a peek at it pulling out of the hangar and taking to the skies.

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Popocatepetl, Popocatepetl Go Away and Spread Your Ash Another Day

Where: Mexico
July 8, 2013 at 10:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

Oh heck—here we go with another big ash problem. This time it’s some volcanic activity down in Mexico that’s creating the problems, as Popocatepetl is the one messing up the atmosphere this time. This sucker is kind of half way between spots like Mexico City and Puebla, so if you have flights in or out of the area just be aware.

The delays and cancellations were all over the place last week, as carriers like Delta, United, American Airlines, and US Airways all had to mess with their schedules to accommodate the stuff up in the skies. At one point there were around 40 flights cancelled on just one day, so Popocatepetl is certainly less than friendly.

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A First-Timer's Guide to Mexico City: Taking On Teotihuacan

March 22, 2013 at 3:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

We don't hear too much about Mexico City these days, even though it's a totally doable flight and an easy trip from most major US Cities. So this week we're changing that, and clueing you in to the must-dos for a first timer's trip to La Ciudad de los Palacios (The City of Palaces), AKA Mexico City.

Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza are probably the two most famous pre-Hispanic historic sites within easy tourist reach in Mexico. While Chichen Itza is over on the Yucatan Peninsula and more accessible via Cancun, Teotihuacan is just north of Mexico City and therefore perfect for a day trip. You can rent a car and/or hire a driver to get you there, but there are also several reputable tour companies that can do the trick for you.

Wayak Tours, which operates out of the Mundo Joven Catedral hostel just off of the Zocalo, is a good one. In addition to Teotihuacan, they’ll take you to Tenochtitlan as well as the Basilica de Guadalupe, where the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared to the Spanish.

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A First-Timer's Guide to Mexico City: Get Lost in Chapultepec

March 21, 2013 at 12:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

We don't hear too much about Mexico City these days, even though it's a totally doable flight and an easy trip from most major US Cities. So this week we're changing that, and clueing you in to the must-dos for a first timer's trip to La Ciudad de los Palacios (The City of Palaces), AKA Mexico City.

Mexico City has an embarrassment of riches. The city’s just so grande and so full of museums, ruins, churches, and the like that even tackling one neighborhood at a time may not be enough. Chapultepec Park, which spans almost 1,700 acres, is the largest city park in the Western hemisphere. You can easily spend a whole day in and around this e, which is reason enough to give yourself more than just a few days in Mexico City.

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A First-Timer's Guide to Mexico City: On the Canals of Xochimilco

March 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

We don't hear too much about Mexico City these days, even though it's a totally doable flight and an easy trip from most major US Cities. So this week we're changing that, and clueing you in to the must-dos for a first timer's trip to La Ciudad de los Palacios (The City of Palaces), AKA Mexico City.

Mexico City is dotted with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but we want to talk about Xochimilco, one of the last remaining remnants from when Mexico City was an island. This district of canals is a popular place for locals to hang out on weekends and, naturally, the way to see the canals of Xochimilco is by boat.

The traditional small, brightly colored boats of Xochimilco all bear the names of women (Brenda, Rosita, Carolina) and can be rented by the hour. Adding to the female-friendly vibe is the fact that women are traditionally given rose corsages when they board. While on the water, other boats glide by and hawk their wares, selling everything from spicy corn on the cob to silver jewelry to beer and soda. If you’re interested, simply signal and the boat will attach itself to yours long enough for the purchase to be finalized.

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A First-Timer's Guide to Mexico City: From Zona Rosa to Roma

March 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM | by | Comments (0)

We don't hear too much about Mexico City these days, even though it's a totally doable flight and an easy trip from most major US Cities. So this week we're changing that, and clueing you in to the must-dos for a first timer's trip to La Ciudad de los Palacios (The City of Palaces), AKA Mexico City.

Zona Rosa isn’t the neighborhood most representative of Mexico City, but it’s safe and a great place to be a tourist. This upscale area is convenient from the airport (you can get there for about 200 pesos, or less than $20, by taxi) and has all the basics a visitor needs: pharmacies, ATMs, and stuff that’s open late.

Though Zona Rosa deservedly gets the rep of being all foreign restaurants and overpriced internet cafes, there’s also some excellent scenery nearby. El Angel de la Independencia (Angel of Independence) is a large, beautiful sculpture located in a traffic circle on the busy Paseo de la Reforma. On weekends, it’s not unusual for ice cream vendors to set up shop near El Angel or for marathon runners to pass by on their morning route. If you ever get lost, El Angel is such a recognizable landmark that almost anyone in Mexico City will be able to point you in the right direction. Also nearby is the statue of Diana the Huntress, who is said to be pointing her arrow “toward infinity.”

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