pelo.retrovisor Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
Car Wash (El Pollo)

Good carwash to get a undercarriage scrub. Have a ramp to put the car in the air for some high pressure undercarriage wash, clean salt, sand and mud from Baja.

Lavamatic Panchita

Good - but expensive - laundromat option in Ensenada. Tried other 2 in town and they were not accepting self-service due to covid-19 (and they were not nice).
75 pesos per small machine and 28 pesos for 10 min of dryer (told it's not one of the cheap options).
Clean place, older machines but all working.

4x4 crux

Both descriptions below accurate. Believe low gearing is mandatory going UP, unless you really want to push your vehicle and risk breaking something, tons of loose rocks and uneven ground, so you will want to crawl upwards in Low.

The views are stunning.

Aquamatic

Self-service laundry american laundromat style. Machines in good working order, wifi and parking space (height restriction of ~2.40 / 8ft)!!! Also lenght restricted to about 5.5m, but you could just leave the back hanging in the street.

Miradores Cañón del Sumidero

This is closed due to the pandemic. Still closed even though all the other museums, ruins, etc in Chiapas are open. Also, don't be misled by tour operators in San Cristobal - you could "schedule" a tour with them, but we asked at the entrance to the Canon and he told us is been closed since March with no schedule to re-open.

It was a toll with police officers

Regular toll. No issues
(and I need to add more characters)

Corrupted municipal and state police officers

Got stopped here. They were set down not paying any attention to the cars passing by, then one of them saw us (gringo car) and jumped out and rushed to the cones to waive us down.
Asked where we coming and going and asked for documents. He said we were over the speed limits on the bumps pre-police stop (which he said it is 10km/h) but we were just glued to the car in front of us and same speed as them. My wife was also not wearing seatbelt because she was stepping out of the vehicle to show him the trunk (as they always ask) and he pointed that. After giving us a little speech and saying in Mexico he needs to hold the drivers license for the fine and etc, he just told us he wouldn't keep us pinned and let us go. So yeah, beware here, they will just make something up.

Casa de los Venados

Couldn't believe this wasn't on iOverlander yet. This is a private house that is exposed as a museum of mexican art and culture. Both the owners are collectors and they have A LOT of mexican culture artifacts. The house is huge and is just amazing. There is a suggested donation of 100 pesos, all this goes to charity (and there is a lot of certificates showing so), and the owner stopped by during our tour to talk to us. Great place to stop by learn a bit about Mexico.

Coco Ha

Great place right on the beach. Clean toilets (flush with bucket). She would clean the toilet from the sand every morning! We paid 100 pp, no extra charges. Her son can rent you snorkel and kayak to paddle to the coral reefs. They also sell fresh fish!

Jardin de Venus

Great place to spend a few nights in Bacalar. Great view of the lake, perfect swimming spot and quiet at night. Clean fully functional toilets and Olga is very nice with good English if you need it.
Open after the pandemic hype, and Bacalar restaurants as well.

Jamba Maya

Not here after the pandemic. Went looking for it and there are no food trucks, just an empty house.

Mango y Chile

Great food and healthy. Their stuff is made with care and you take notice on every bite. Don't agree with the expensive side comment, priced just as other Mexican restaurants. If you want to compare to the taco stand on the street, that's apples to oranges.

Purificafora “La Guadalupana”

Still there and fully functional. Used the 24hrs tap on the outside and it was easy. Coins only but it gives change. Garrafon for 8 pesos.

Maya Bell Campground

As reported previously. Still nice and clean and fully operational after the pandemic hype.
They sell tickets for the ruins at the museum which is a 5 min walk, then you need to go to main entrance which is ~1km steep uphill. We took the coletivo for 10 pesos, walked back from ruins.

Military Checkpoint

Few questions and asked to check our trunk with camping gear. No issues. Professional.

Nueva Alianza

Recently re-opened after the pandemic. Negotiated directly with a boatman for 1200 pesos ride to the ruins. Camped in the parking lot of Nueva Allianza for 200 pesos - Escudo Jaguar was totally shutdown - because wife wanted showers, but boatman said we could easily and safely camp in the main square for free.
Also paid 30 pp to enter the town.
Update: Showers were cold! We didn't care because it was hot and humid, but good to note.

Military Checkpoint

This is an official military checkpoint. Professional with a few questions and on we were.

Hiking trails. Sandero El Perol

As described. Well marked trail and very pleasant. Took us 1h30 each way, with lots of stopping.

Pemex

Still here. Gas and Diesel. Clean bathrooms.

No name purificadora

Still not painted but fully functional. 15 pesos for 27l.

Military Checkpoint

Few questios and waved through.
No issues in the whole road from Laguna Montebello.

Cabañas Paraiso Tziscao

As described and open now in Oct20 after most of the hype of the pandemic. We paid 50 pesos per person.
Showers are warm and good toilets with TP - no seat cover tho.
Took a tuktuk to the trailhead and back for 60 pesos.

military check point - just waved us through

Same as per last reports. Professional and on our way we went.

Protests

We tried passing by on Monday and the protest was back in motion (pun intended). Complete shutdown of the highway with no one allowed to pass (trucks, taxis, locals or foreigners). Some kids on a motorcycle came by asking money to show people the way and the followed them with some locals. We had to pay 3-4 times to people because we were going through "their property" (20-50 pesos each), in the end we paid about 200-250 pesos. There loads of people taking the detour in both directions so from that perspective it was safe. But I would be wary to go on it on a 4x2 van. There lots of local 4x2 cars, but we had to help one get unstuck from the mud, so drive with care if you have a 4x2 and goes this route. Also, lots of tree scratches on the paint (overlanding at its heart).
Have attached a map of the detour just for reference, don't try to follow unless with locals - took us about 1h30/2h with stopping to unstuck a local.

Rancho Viejo - teotihuacan pyramides

Great place to stay about a 30min walk to the pyramids (straight line walking basically).
open during the pandemic and great infrastructure
Hot showers and large open area grass area to camp.
Mild highway noise way in the background, birds take the foreground.
Locked gates during the whole day and Omar and Julia are great hosts.

Le Petit T-Park

Sent them a whatsapp message to check if there are open and they replied that due to COVID the Government does not allow them to receive people. Seems like the only place open in Oaxaca area during this time is the San Agustin camping, 18km north of Oaxaca City.

EcoClean

Traditional laundromat (ie. self service). Though you can also ask the ladies to wash for you. New machines, clean, friendly service and wifi. There is parking on this main street but also has many side streets for parking.
Open during covid-19.

Framex Automotriz

Had a fair experience taking my truck at this place. Went in for a swap of hoses for the Steering Reservoir and had all the parts. They did the swap and flushed the fluid (at my request), but then they charged me another 300 pesos (not included in the initial quote) to wash the engine bay... their justification was that the swap caused fluid to run all over the engine bay and they had to wash. Ok, but 1. Thats not my fault and 2. If you know that's what will happen (I took it to a shop EXACTLY because I didn't wanted to mess with the potential fluid spill), they include in the quote. They also overfilled the PS Reservoir, but that's an easy "fix", just drained out. In a nutshell, the shop is clean, the attendees seem good, but they overcharged for a wash and overfilled the fluid.

El Chiflon

Overnight camping at the lower parking lot. The upper parking lot is on a hill and impossible to camp unless you like to sleep tilted. Open during CONVID.

Sima de las Cotorras

Great place to visit, camp and see the parrots. We paid 150per person for camping (price included entrance which is 30pp). Camping with toilets and cold showers (bathrooms at the restaurant are way better). Great friendly staff. There is rappel, zipline and edge walk (didn't try any) and climbing if you like it. Open during CONVID but better to call ahead. Will put the number down.


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