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  #1  
Old 5 Sep 2011
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Question Mexico, locations off the beaten path?

My trip is taking me through Mexico starting in October (from the USA). I've been reading the various threads on Mexico & safety, but would like some feedback related to my own style of travel I haven't found answers to yet. I have no clue of my route through Mexico yet, but some of the locations that are likely are the Copper Canyon area, Palenque, Chichen Itza, and possibly Mexico City.

I have the typical list of famous locations I want to visit, but between them I tend to wander more or less randomly and mostly away from big cities. Is it safe to explore interesting looking side roads (paved and dirt)? Or should I ask around first?

I've been camping almost every night through the USA and Canada. I don't expect to camp quite so often through Mexico, but expect I will still do so a good portion of the time. Are official campgrounds typically safe? I get the impression wild camping is mostly not a good idea, is this true? I don't wild/stealth camp often, but it has come up in the past...

Any other tips/suggestions would be appreciated (but yes I am reading all the threads I can find on the subject).

Thanks,

David
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Old 5 Sep 2011
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I camped at least around Creel, and it was just fine. I am not sure about some of the other locations, but it seems to be similar to camping in the U.S. to me. Just some common sense.
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Old 6 Sep 2011
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Hi David,

Amazon.com: Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping: Explore Mexico and Belize With Your Rv or Tent (9780965296861): Mike Church, Terri Church: Books

Not much published in the way of Mexican camping other than the above book and some books that cater to RV snowbird travelers which have limited value for you. I haven't camped much in Mexico since cheap hotels have showers and a secure place to park the bike. Mexico doesn't have a camping culture and infrastructure like the US and Canada. I ride a small bike and try to blend in, but if I had a big flash bike that stood out, I would think twice about solo camping in Mexico.

I slept next to my bike under a freeway overpass late one night out in the middle of nowhere north of Guadalajara. And on the beach in Baja, but always where others were camping down the beach. By the time you get to southern Mexico, it is possible to stay in a cheap hotel with secure parking for 10-15 dollars a night, so I went that route most of the time.

If I spoke Spanish, I would have asked permission to camp out in the boonies on peoples land. But my language skills are weak and after riding all day, a cheap place with a shower nearly always won out.

Others may have better advice.

Cheers,
John Downs
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Old 6 Sep 2011
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Camp it up...

Hey mate,
I just rode up through Mexico, over 2 weeks though, as I was running out of time to catch a plane in the states. I headed from Guatemala at the El Ceibo crossing. I skipped Chitchen Itza, Cancun etc and headed up the guts of Mexico, skipping Mexico city and Guadalajara. I visited some old colonial cities and then hitup Copper Canyon as well.

The entire time in Mexico though I never paid for accommodation. I was lucky to meet a fellow biker in San Miguel de Allende and crashed at his place for 2 nights but the rest I entirely camped, from North to South. I didn't camp close to the border to USA though.

You will find people will be very warning to you, asking "tienes pistola" (gotta gun?), and will warn you off wild camping. I find a BEAUTIFUL place to camp on the river in Rodeo, Mexico but was told it was dangerous to camp. I never had a problem camping, but mostly camped in cattle paddocks (after asking), restaurants I'd eaten at and recreational sites (mostly in the south).

I also broke down with a melted wiring loom in northern Mexico, beside the road for 5 hours. A rolled back down the road to a guy who'd just broken down as well, he offered me a , fuses, duct tape and pretty much offered me a gun. For five hours I worked away until when I thought it was repaired the main fuse blew again. So I stuck out my thumb and the 2nd vehicle that passed me (first was a van, so no good) was a pickup and 3 fellas gave me a lift 15km back to town where a local mechanic let me camp out behind his workshop and work into the night on my bike.

Mexico, can be dangerous. Be sensible, heed the warnings, read the news and government updates on the country. Although, like most places is hyped up by media and people who haven't been there. It was a beautiful country with beautiful people, and I had no bad experiences there (or I could've just been lucky). Camp mate, have fun, but stay sensible and trust your gut. Contact me for any direct questions you may have!!

Good luck!
Rossy.
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Old 6 Sep 2011
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Othalan, PM me and I can forward you pictures and routes for at least 5 really good rides that are off the beaten path here in Veracruz. Skip the well known touristy sites and hit the less visited but much more spectacular ones for archeology.
Let me know if you are interested and I will help you out. I live here and visit the places and ride each of the routes at least once a month.
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Old 6 Sep 2011
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Thanks for the feedback on camping. I'll take a look for that book and ask around when I get there, to camp on people's land. My Spanish is not so good, but I'll manage somehow.
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