How do you establish a foot hold in another country? - Page 2
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Thread: How do you establish a foot hold in another country?

  1. #11
    Senior Member kcowan's Avatar
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    The greater PV area offers something for everyone. It extends from Rincon de Guayabitos to Barra de Navidad. Served by the airport. I have been going there every year since 1996. I have stayed in every place except Barra de Navidad but a good friend moved his sailboat from Marina Vallarta to Barra 10 years ago.

    Like many others have said, there is something for everyone. Your question is comparable to asking where you should go in the GTA and the answer is "It depends!"

    Do you speak Spanish? How well?
    What is your budget?
    Do you wish to explore or just find a chillout place?
    Are you adventurous or do you like familiar things?
    Is it for full-time or just seasonal?
    Do you tolerate redneck Americans and/or gay people?
    Are you looking for ocean or just heat?

    This is a starter set that you need to answer in order to get quality responses.
    We have owned for 10 years and spend 6 months here every year.


  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eder View Post
    I would drive down if you have a month...carretera de peaje highways are better than Canada's.Bucerias is a dump...skip it. Sayalita is cool if you like the surfing lifestyle including various herbs to enjoy. Nuevo is for a nice club med thing,downtown PV is very cool and at the south end is a large fruitcake scene...further south are many remote hotels on private beaches etc. Go to Barra de Navidad at least 1 week. You need a car! Or rent one but it costs like $30 US/day...don't pay the $30 upcharge for special insurance lol....wear your seatbelt you'll get stopped every time as a tourist. Bring your own bike...ones down here are heavy steel 1990 jobs. Street food is primo...always eat there...shrimp on a stick with a lime is better than any restaurant in Canada. Always only eat Mexican food...no pizza,no hamburguesas. Book a few days near where you want to explore...do it Nov,early Dec,March or April...cheap. Airport to anywhere is pretty cheap taxi...anywhere to airport taxi is even cheaper. Buses go everywhere, we use them all the time...like 15 pesos.
    I don't know if you have verified the validity of your personal auto insurance (liability) and collision in Mexico or not, but I have found my auto insurance is not valid outside Canada or US. This includes cc coverage of rental card for collision. Therefore we will not in any way expose ourselves and our assets to this kind of risk, same as I would not travel without appropriate travel medical insurance. YMMV

    The optional country of origin rental car insurance to eliminate this risk is of relatively low cost considering the potential outcome.

    Anecdotally I have found few people that are aware of this potential risk and take appropriate action.

  3. #13
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    RBull...all rental cars in Mexico are rented with required liability,its the law down here. The gringo scam is to say that 5 million liability is required in Jalisico (province) which is BS but most newbies pay it. If you want collision etc that should be no more than $5/day extra...I dont bother.

    Another gringo scam is the Turista police to ticket you for no registration on your rental car...this is more BS...keep the rental agencies phone number in case you get shook down with this, the rental agreement is your registration.

    I will say though that in all the driving I have done in Mexico only the Bucerious area and CD Constitution on the Baja are regular gringo traffic traps.

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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBull View Post
    I don't know if you have verified the validity of your personal auto insurance (liability) and collision in Mexico or not, but I have found my auto insurance is not valid outside Canada or US. This includes cc coverage of rental card for collision. Therefore we will not in any way expose ourselves and our assets to this kind of risk, same as I would not travel without appropriate travel medical insurance. YMMV

    The optional country of origin rental car insurance to eliminate this risk is of relatively low cost considering the potential outcome.

    Anecdotally I have found few people that are aware of this potential risk and take appropriate action.
    I my first post to this thread, I mentioned taking the road less travelled. When I lived in southern California, I drove into Mexico frequently and explored the backroads and places most tourists never saw. But, as you say, my California car insurance was not valid there. I used to buy insurance to cover the trip. There were places close to the Mexico border at Tijuana where you could stop and purchase insurance to cover you once you entered Mexico.

    Another thing, we used to keep a car used just for Mexico trips. A bit of a beater, but in good mechanical condition. The places we used to go were not places you would not want to show up in a flashy, expensive car.

  6. #15
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    My car is a diesel 2006 VW Jetta Wagon. It's in great shape but the guys I work with ask me when I'm going to replace it. Amusingly, I just got it about a year ago. It replaces a 2001 Golf TDI that we drove around the continent for 6 years and sold for what we paid for it, when the station wagon opportunity came up. It's a $4500 car, although it's in perfect condition and has heated leather, sunroof, and all that stuff.

    Would that be a beater in Mexico? From what I can tell from watching YouTube videos, it wouldn't stand out for it's opulence but it would be far from the worst car on the road.

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB16 View Post
    Sure but where?

    In PV, it appears wealthy folks go to Amapas and Conchas Chinas. The "value" folks seem to go north, toward Bucerias and maybe even Sayaluta.

    We won't have a car so I'm concerned about our ability to explore Bucerias or Sayaluta. I know there is a bus but it probably only runs once or twice per day.

    I'm interested in getting a bike and riding the hills. Perhaps I could pick up a mountain bike from Walmart or CostCo and just leave it when I go. We're both interested in walking around and perhaps some snorkelling. We like street food but I'm concerned about the less frequented carts and potentially picking up something nasty.

    Do we book 5 days of hotel and then wing it? Do we book hotel for the whole time, since we haven't been in decades? Do we not book hotel at all and look for something when we get there?

    I was reading a review of a B&B type place that was going for $60 per night on the web. Several of the reviews said to not book because you can show up and the sign shows $15 per night.

    How easy will it be to get from the airport to Ampas? I'm guessing we would take a cab and pay gringo rates? That wouldn't be a big problem but I enjoy a good value as much as anyone. lol!
    I would rent an apartment for at least a month before making any permanent move. That way you will find out how easy it is to do grocery shopping, travel around, do the things that a person living in the place does, rather than the things a vacationer does.
    I don't know much about Mexico, we spend our winters in the DR.

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB16 View Post
    My car is a diesel 2006 VW Jetta Wagon. It's in great shape but the guys I work with ask me when I'm going to replace it. Amusingly, I just got it about a year ago. It replaces a 2001 Golf TDI that we drove around the continent for 6 years and sold for what we paid for it, when the station wagon opportunity came up. It's a $4500 car, although it's in perfect condition and has heated leather, sunroof, and all that stuff.

    Would that be a beater in Mexico? From what I can tell from watching YouTube videos, it wouldn't stand out for it's opulence but it would be far from the worst car on the road.
    The period when I was driving around in Mexico was mostly the years 1996-98 and a few times after that, the last being in about 2002. My few trips there since have involved flying into Mexico and have not involved driving, except a bit with others. Your Jetta would, I think, be a high-end beater, if we can say. It should not stand out and, valued at $4,500, is not a car you need lose sleep over if it gets stolen or damaged. That's why we went there with a beater. Just not a car to worry about.

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
    The greater PV area offers something for everyone. It extends from Rincon de Guayabitos to Barra de Navidad. Served by the airport. I have been going there every year since 1996. I have stayed in every place except Barra de Navidad but a good friend moved his sailboat from Marina Vallarta to Barra 10 years ago.

    Like many others have said, there is something for everyone. Your question is comparable to asking where you should go in the GTA and the answer is "It depends!"

    Do you speak Spanish? How well?
    What is your budget?
    Do you wish to explore or just find a chillout place?
    Are you adventurous or do you like familiar things?
    Is it for full-time or just seasonal?
    Do you tolerate redneck Americans and/or gay people?
    Are you looking for ocean or just heat?

    This is a starter set that you need to answer in order to get quality responses.
    We have owned for 10 years and spend 6 months here every year.
    My Spanish sucks pene but my wife was born in Mexico City and is fluent. She left when she was very young. She tells me she speaks with a thick accent but she sounds just like the crazy Spanish chicks with 3 inch fingernails at the salon to me, when they get chattering.

    Budget is a harder question. While we could afford quite a bit, I don't see why we would go to rural Mexico and spend the same amount we could spend in Purtugal, Spain, or Italy. I would like to get away with about $5000 CDN for 3~4 weeks. In future, we would want to keep it under about $4K CDN per month, based on a 5 month stay. I'm hoping we could do it for $3K CDN.

    I think we could do Italy pretty nicely for about $7.5K CDN per month, based on a 4 month trip, so hopefully Mexico would be well under that or we might as well go to Italy.

    Yes, we wish to explore. We'd like to meet locals and we would like to meet expats but more important to meet locals. Chilling on a beach is good but I can't stand it for more than a couple of days in a row.

    We like adventure but my wife can't do zip lines, or anything too physical. ... but the more we see, the better.

    We hope it would be seasonal but that would depend on the cost and how much we enjoy it. This trip would be reconnaissance for an annual snowbird lifestyle that would start in the winter of 2018/2019.

    I have no plan to ever buy in Mexico, or anywhere outside of Canada, but I'm not fixed on that position. If I fall in love with another country, I might consider moving there one day. For now, we are just renters and explorers.

    Almost all of my friends are redneck Americans. I like them a lot but they can get tiresome, particularly when they explain to me how Obama ruined their wheel bearings. Gay people are no problem but I wouldn't want to room above a gay bar with loud dance music any more than I'd want to room above a rave. I need it quiet enough to sleep at night (12am to 8am) but road noise or music in the distance is fine. If I can hear my watch chain vibrate on the night stand from the beat of the music, it's a bit loud.

    We want ocean. We like to swim and snorkel. Also, we love beaches. We don't need the entire time to be on the ocean but it would be fine if it was.

    We are not flashy people. I do have a nice camera but would probably leave it at home. Also, I don't drink. My wife drinks occasionally. I think I've seen her drink about 5 times in the 9 years that I've known her. We don't mind going to a bar or hanging out with drunks but we aren't big drinkers ourselves.

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaberwock View Post
    I would rent an apartment for at least a month before making any permanent move. That way you will find out how easy it is to do grocery shopping, travel around, do the things that a person living in the place does, rather than the things a vacationer does.
    I don't know much about Mexico, we spend our winters in the DR.
    That's exactly what we want. We want to buy groceries, cook, and go to the places the locals do. We don't want to be in a tourist cocoon.

  11. #20
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    Tom, if I was you I would stick to the Baja initially...its one long beach, not too many club meds....mostly locals. Maybe buy a motorhome or class C of some kind to tour on. Theres an incredible number of camping spots . No disco or zip lines till you hit the end at Cabo which is completely forgettable. You may want to join a Baja caravan...cost maybe $1200 for a few weeks of being shown around then back across the border...like a Mexican wading pool to get your feet wet. After that you'll know the ropes & branch out from there. We used Baja Winters many years ago was well worth it!
    http://www.bajawinters.com/


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