victor.zavaleta Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
January 11th, 2021 Rancho la Bellota

Wonderful place to stay and hike the trails within the property. Raul and caroline and their staff are wonderful and humble. We stayed there 3 nights and had the place to ourselves to enjoy. Alberto, the caretaker is a also a great person to chat with. They all made us feel very welcomed.

October 17th, 2020 Parking within fenced lot

Great, open flat lot design for parking for those going to tent camp in front of church. Free parking, close to city center about a 10 min walk. No amenities, but public restrooms and hotels offering showers nearby. Bathrooms are 5 pesos and showers are 35 p . Felt save here. Stayed one night

October 17th, 2020 Pemex gas station on toll road M40D

Stayed one night as i made my way north. Safe place with security guard all night. Free to stay and use bathroom. Has coffee shop with wifi. It is a bit loud with truck engines running.

April 24th, 2020 Talisman, Chiapas, Mexico to El Carmen, San Marcos, Guatemala

Guatemala to Mexico border crossing experience Talisman/El Carmen Border that started on Friday, April 24, 2020 and Ended the next day with support from our Embassies.
Guatemala side:
- At this time, it was against the law for Guatemalan officials to PREVENT you from crossing into Mexico.
- Immigration official made it difficult to cross, as he was constantly stating that Mexico will not allow you to cross over and once you have been stamped out, Guatemala will not allow you to come back in.
- Once we understood the risk, we decided to proceed in crossing and completely exit Guatemala
- Make sure that your vehicle permit is NOT expired. If it is expired, you will need to pay a fine. El Carmen border crossing will NOT process fines at this time according to officials there. You will need to do this at Tacum Uman crossing but will need to call in advance to confirm
- Other than that, pretty straight forward
- We requested to walk across and get information from Mexico side before officially exiting Guatemala. This was denied to us, but next day we met a French backpacker that was granted permission to do so.
-Make sure to convert your Quetzales in the Guatemala side - on that day we all received different exchange rates. it varied from 2.2, 2.3, 2.35 pesos per quetzal. Google showed 3.24 pesos per quetzal for that day.
Mexico side:
Our caravan of 3 vehicles (3 USA citizens, 1 UK and 1 German with dog) was approached by an un-uniformed individual that seem to express a lot of knowledge about the situation in Mexico. His message in summary: The Mexican Aduana (immigration) will give you all the paper work needed to get into the country. However, the local towns people have created a road block preventing you from getting through. If you do get your paper work, and the towns people do not let you through, you will not be able to stay in aduana property and will need to be stamped out of Mexico and be forced to stay on the bridge between Mexico and Guatemala. He recommended to first ask for permission from the local leaders to see if they can grant us access before starting any paperwork. We agreed, after speaking with Aduana officials that also told us the same message. Word got around fast and instead of us going there, the towns people had sent 3 local leaders to hear our case. We addressed our situation from a humanitarian point to which they did understood but still held their grounds from preventing us from crossing. Apparently, there was a corona case in that town a couple of weeks back and the locals feel that the government is not doing enough to prevent the spread and are taking matters into their own hands.
Upon returning back to our vehicles, the original guy that approached us reconfirmed that we will not be getting through and that we should be pushing our embassies to work with the Guatemalan officials to allow us back into Guatemala. By this time, it was past 4pm and we would not be able to complete our entry into Mexico as Banjercito is open from 8am to 4pm for any payments needed for tourist visa and Vehicle permits.
There is also a law that you do NOT need a vehicle permit to go within 20 miles of the border freely. You can also request a 7 day tourist visa (free of charge).This option was not offered to us at this time, and the only option they gave us was to stay the night on the bridge between the Mexican Aduana and Guatemala border (which is still Mexico).

We quickly worked with the USA, German and British embassies to see what options we had that evening and again the next morning.
The night crew allowed us to use the bathrooms until 9 pm. They also said they would re-open the bathrooms to us the next morning by 8am and allowed us to walk to the Oxxo convenient store nearby.
The next day, the morning security crew was just the opposite. They behaved as if we had done something wrong and prevented us from using the bathrooms. They told us to ask the Guatemalan’s to let us use their bathrooms instead and told us that the bathrooms will not be open for our use. Eventually we received word from the British Embassy that we would be getting a vehicle escort from local authorities and to be ready to go as they would be there within 30 min and to not do anything until they arrived.
Once they arrived the council informed us that we are ready to go and that everything is taken care off and we should get going. He was very much in a hurry. I mentioned that we did not have any proper documentation and if we were to be stopped, it would be much more difficult for us to get home. This is when we started the paper work with Aduana/Banjercito.
Tourist Visa/immigration came first. Originally they wanted to give a 7 day visa to transit home. I immediately told them that this would be violated as the UK/German tourist had a flight on May 15. I also mentioned that those driving to the USA would encounter any additional roadblocks or car problems we would easily violate the visa. I told them that we had no problems to pay the 525 pesos for the 180 day visa and they accepted. You can make this payment at Banjercito with Cash or Credit card. This process was pretty straight forward. The ladies from immigration had more empathy for our case (but NOT initially).
Now came the vehicle permits. The lady at Banjercito seemed to just make our lives worst and not willing to work with us at all.
In summary, you will need copies of
1. Passport (picture/info side)
2. Title (front and back)
3. FMM ( she insisted that the stamp date needed to be visible - which is hard to see in the copy)
If you ask nicely, the Immigration ladies will make a copy for you. I highly recommend that you either go over the date with an erasable ink or pencil ) If you ask for too many copies, they will not do this. Please come prepared to this border crossing)
4. Drivers license (Front and back)

There is a pharmacy that offers copy services on the same side of the OXXO just across the street (1 peso/copy). I recommend you bring all copies ahead of time except for the FMM.
FYI, there are departments within the border crossing process that do not work with each other.
You will need to get your vehicle fumigated and it costs 95 pesos and they only accept cash.
To be clear, this was a HORRIBLE experience in which they went out of their way to make matters worst given we were already in a very stressful situation. I would avoid this border crossing, but if you proceed - come prepared with copies etc..

January 29th, 2020 Aqua pura

7 pesos to fill up a 20l garrafon. Clean place and great fast service. Right in front of the ruins.

January 28th, 2020 Cocina Doña Tati

The other location is no longer accurate. Doña tati and Salvador are great people! Very happy and enjoy talking to their guests. They dont speak English but if you are able to speak in spanish, you will really enjoy your time here as they are very knowledgeable about the area. The seafood is fresh and very affordable. Salvador offered to take me on his boat to check his nets. They even allowed me to camp on their lot and use the bathrooms

December 15th, 2019 Glamping Xpu-Ha

Decent place! Gets busy on weekends. Parking is not beach facing but close to it. I paid 150. I was solo. Not sure if its per car or person. Has good wifi and showers/bathrooms with seats. A bit pricey restaurant/bar. I datued here 3 nights. Place on the other street is an actual rv spot but charges 350 per vehicle with no electric!

December 10th, 2019 Hotel del Viajero - Pemex

Safe place. Was charge 45 per night and 25 for hot showers. Great stop off the highway. Fast wifi

November 20th, 2019 Overlander Beach Campsite “Don Taco”.

Stayed here for almost 2 weeks. The hosts, Frans and Ama are wonderful people. They keep a clean and organize place here in front of the beach. The bathrooms are clean, the shower is cool which feels good do to the warm climate and the community kitchen is great. Wifi is provided as well. What more can you ask for??

November 11th, 2019 Posada del Tigre

El Tigre, Hector, is a great guy and enjoys having tourist. He is a kind man and willing to make your stay comfortable. The location is great and quiet. Great swimming and fishing if you get the opportunity. Hector will take you out spear fishing if you ask him. I enjoyed my time there and recommend this spot for your visit to the lagoon

November 4th, 2019 Overlander Oasis

I enjoyed my time at OO with Calvin and Leanne. They are wonderful hosts. The bathrooms were very clean and had hot showers. I felt save in their lot and in the area in general. Calvin is very knowledgable about many things that relate to your rig and I was able to get some ideas about possible mods for my vehicle from him. I would say the space has more shade than sunlight, so don't depend too much on solar if you plan to be there long term. They do have electrical outlets for an additional fee. I was here for almost 6 night I believe. Great place to meet other overlanders as well. It is a bit out of Centro Oaxaca, but with the inexpensive bus ride or biking, it wasn't a big deal to get there from here. Would recommend this place.

October 28th, 2019 Piedra de Agua

Free to camp in your car on the parking lot. Bathrooms are also free but not the showers. Came in at night and alejandro the night guardb is a friendly person. Safe spot on your way to oaxaca city. Friendly dog - la negra. Is the area pet :)

October 20th, 2019 Grutas Tolantongo

Nice place to visit for a couple of days. Avoid the weekend if possble even on low season. Weekdays are great. Paid 150 per night per person. And a 1 time fee of 20 p for parking. No grocery store in the premise only restaurants and a small abbarote that sells dry goods. Come prepared!

October 16th, 2019 Casa Caracol

Great place with many surreal art on its premises. Luis, manages the property is a very kind man. I was there during low season and said it would be ok to park and sleep in my car. I get to use all the facilities in the property for 100p per night per person. Met a lot of other tourist and ended staying here 4 nights. Short walk to james edward and a bit longer walk to downtown xilitla not too bad actually. Great vibe here! Recommend it

October 13th, 2019 Sótano de las Golondrinas

Free to park on the strip of flat area between restaurant and road. Was charged for a hot shower-25p. Had dinner here for 60 pesos. Nice lady that checked me in. Not very busy this time of year.

October 10th, 2019 Campamento Puente de Dios

Only camper here! Was charged 110 pesos for camping and includes bathrooms and showers. Showers were warm as it was a hot day. If cooler, showers would be too. You you get a 15p discount for staying here when you enter the park. Lots of trees for shade and some sunny spots too. Need to leave by 3 pm otherwise you will be charged another day

October 10th, 2019 Lavandería La Unica

Economical laundry. You drop it off. Hours m-sat 9am-3pm but she closes from 12-1:30pm

October 9th, 2019 Rincon de Luna

Ok to enter when gates are closed. Javier or the groundskeeper Santos would collect when they return. Both are nice, friendly people. I was charges 130 p. 100p for the vehicle and 30 p per person. Wifi works but sometimes is slow. Had the place all to myself. Great spot to catch up with my writing, pictures,emails etc!! The twon of Jabalí is a short bike ride away and you can get groceries and various meats as there are a couple of butchers in town. Laundry services is available in town as well. Ll my laundry cost 84 pesos (1 person)

October 4th, 2019 Campamento sauces

Nice lot with mango and other fruit trees. Chickens roaming around the lot. Across a street from the river with river views. Was told 50p including bathrooms and showers but when i was paying the next morning i was told 200 p. In the end i was charged for 50 p and 20 p showers so 70 p. I dislike when people do this and i told the man of this. Up the street it is 60 p includes showers and bathroom. Make sure to be extra clear about what it includes. He works for the owner and when the owner came back is when the price changed. Maybe ask to speak to the owner is always best!

October 2nd, 2019 Cascada El Chuveje

This place is beautiful! I camped inside the gated area but not at the falls. Rigs cant make it to the falls as on a narrow trail gives way to get to the falls. With a tent you can camp near the falls. With a rig you park near in a lot inside the park, but a nice walk to see the falls. Trail to the left of the river takes you to the base if the falls. On the right to a platform for observation. You can jump the fence to access the pool at the falls too! Paid 40 for entrance fee and 40 for camping! No showers available yet, but they are currently being built! A dip in the pool at the falls is refreshing, i found this pool to have less silt when walking on the pool floor.

October 1st, 2019 hotel campsite

I was charged 100 pesos to camp in their lot! Bathrooms from the hotel are included but was told that showers are an extra 25 p! There is no light in the bathrooms at night and they lock them at 23:00. Bring your own lights at night. I started my hike to the puente de dios around 9 am and no one was around to charge or “guide” me. I had hiking shoes but there is a part in the beginning that required to walk in the river which is extremely clean/clear. This is actually drinking water according to the locals. I did.ll not see any algae on the rocks in the river. I changed to my crocs and did the rest of the hike in my crocs. Bring water shoes and shorts as you will get wet! Totally worth it

September 26th, 2019 Morrill RV Park

I was charged 120 p for a single person with car. Although i had asked about what others were paying-90 per person he said that is only for 2 or more people. The location is great for overlanding. Dogs do not stop barking!! Bathrooms are clean and showers are hot! Stayed 3 nights. Bring ear plugs

September 23rd, 2019 Hotel Medrano

Short walk to downtown. Was charged 400p but negotiated 200p as i was traveling alone. Fast wifi at parking location, clean bathrooms and showers and access to the pool! Security person george is friendly not sure if he speaks english but wad very informative and helpful. Maintanance person Raul eas helpful in helping me fix some stuff with my rig! Great fruit trees in the park

September 20th, 2019 Commercial Parking Lot

Stayed here for 6 nights! I found this to be ideal as it is almost smack center to the zona rosa and the downtown. Its also close to colonia america which is a cool little hipster area of Guadalajara! There is a lot to see within walking distance. I felt safe here. Manuel is mainly here every day and is very helpful if you speak spanish. Raul comes every now and then and is a great guy to chat with as well. I would stay here again if traveling by camper. Bathrooms get cleaned in the morning but bring your own paper. Wifi is fast if you are closer to the entrance/office. I would not recommend this area for wild street camping! Safer in the lot

September 17th, 2019 La munederia

Great traditional breakfast place near the secured lot camping. Delicious meals also offers coffee and fast wifi. Prices are reasonable

September 11th, 2019 Parque Acuático El Salitre

I had the place all to myself.I stayed 2 nights. I did not use the water slides/park area so i can't comment on them. I did use the natural thermal pools near the river, both the outside and inside ones. I enjoyed the outside pool the best. The water was the right temp for me. It was clear, but it does have fish poo at the bottom. It's actually a pretty cool place to snorkel if you have it. I found about 12 fish living in the hot temp waters. They say its ok to shower in there with shampoo/soad as the top water does exit the pool constantly, but i told the owner that it is not safe for the enviroment. The bathrooms were getting upgraded while i was there, but still functional. I did not understand why the restrooms were open all night for campers, but the showers close at 7pm?? Other than that, the previous posts is still valid except for the price has increased from 80p per person to 100p for campers. I did enjoy my stay and thought 100p was worth it. I recommened. Bring your own food as their store has very limited items and priced higher.

September 7th, 2019 Los tankes

Local small bar that makes great micheladas! The owner,Magali, makes them herself. They are called tankes. Great little place to hang out. They enjoy talking to overlanders.

September 1st, 2019 Venno

Originally, i had no intentions of staying here as i was just passing by from Durango to Parque Los Organos. I came into Vicente Guerrero to stop for purified water and stock up on supplies. This town does have everything you need from car parts to just about anything can be found here. When i arrived it was already late for me to continue as i do not drive when it's getting dark. I had decided to eat dinner and look for a spot to crash. While eating, i met some of the workers that informed me of a mt. biking group that goes out daily ( he noticed my mt. bike on the back of my rig). I showed interest and as he was about to show me where the group would meet the next morning we ran into Venno. Venno was a member of that group. He is a friendly, kind and honest individual who has studied in the US and speaks perfect english. Venno offered me a secured place to park my car in his family's lot. I felt safe there while also having access to a bathroom and hot showers including fast wifi. What ended up being a "pass by" trip through Vicente Guerrero turned out to be a 1.5 weeks "vacation" as Venno had introduced me to his group of friends that kindly invited me to join them on many trips with the bike and hiking through nearby pueblos including Nombre de Dios and Parque Organos. His group of friends and Family are warm, caring and treated me like i was a part of them. They also enjoy the outdoors very much. If you do plan to stay here, please be courteous and treat them with respect and keep the place clean. Venno is very informative about the many Pueblos nearby. If he does not know something he knows someone that will. I would not say this area is big rig friendly.

August 29th, 2019 A-pu-ra

These guys are super nice! Its 12 pesos a garrafon. Its not noticeable from the outside but they also have a wood working area and i have been having a drawer that had drooped on one end causing the bottom of the rail to scrape the bottom. I showed it to eduardo goes by lalo and he offered his shop and garage to help me fix it. We chatted for a couple of hours and would not take a payment. They are big time mt. Bikers and im sure would take you out on the local trails. These guys are just genuinely good people!

August 25th, 2019 Ranch de John Wayne

Nice, simple location have a choice to camp by the mountains and river close to the falls or by the broken down set. Armando (the grandson of the armando that helped out JW) is friendly. Charge me 150 for one person. Its quiet by the mountains options for hiking biking or horseback.