When we re-entered Mexico on the mainland, we crossed at the tiny and simple border of Sonoyta and headed straight to San Carlos. Having visited much of Sonoroa last year, our main goal was mainly to get further south relatively quickly. After Puerto Vallarta, we continued at our typical tortuga pace!
Totonaka RV ~ San Carlos, Sonora
Last year we stayed in San Carlos before heading to the Copper Canyon. We had spooted Totonaka RV and thought, what a great spot to camp. And so here we were, back in town. Totonaka has some great features; across the street from the beach, great pickleball court, small pool, hot showers, hook ups, etc and also offers a small store and hotel rooms. $24/night
Jardines la Rinconada Balneario ~ Culican, Sinaloa
Water park and rental casitas,this unique campspot is off most overlanders radar but shouldn’t be. Only a couple of miles off Mexico 15, there are numerous pools, BBQ pavilions, grassy areas, and, in season, the water park and a couple of restaurants. Situated serenely on the lake, water sports abound with amazing birdlife. $17/night
Mar Rosa RV ~ Mazatlan, Sinaloa
A well-known favorite in Mazatlan, Mar Rosa is on a gorgeous beach, walking distance to all of the shops and restaurants in the Zona Dorada (but a cab ride to the more interesting sights of Old Town). Lots of trees for some shade. The prices start at 300MX along the roadside wall, and work up to 570MX in the front row with ocean views. We chose the middle area for the best shade in the heat of late April. Hot showers, full hookups. Only a couple of blocks from Juanitas restaurant… amazingly cheap and good tortas and taco. $24/night
Sayulita Trailer Park ~ Sayulita, Nayarit
Gorgeous little place right in Sayulita, on the beach. Most of the campground seemed to have trailers permanently in spots, even throughout the summer when the owners were gone, so not a lot of open spaces for those just passing through. Hot showers, library with a tv, laundry, great beach, walking distance to everything in Sayulita. $24/night
Malecon Uno apartment rental ~ Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
Ok, this is not a campsite, but since we spent three months here it had to be added to the accommodation list. We found the apartment on Airbnb and the owners gave over a 70% discount for a three month stay in low season. With two bedrooms, one bath, and an entire wall opening up from the living room to the deck, it gave a great open-air feel. The deck featured a partial ocean view, and the location, right on the malecon, two blocks from the main plaza/ cathedral and three blocks from the Rio Cuale and bridge to old town was fantastic. It was noisy, as Mexico often is, but a small price to pay for the location and price. Our monthly rate turned out to be $33/night (and we were paying another $2.60/day to store the truck/camper north of town at Bodegas Vallarta). In the end, the owners turned out to be crap and we were happy to be on our way.Roca Azul ~ Lake Chapala
We had such high hopes. Our itchy feet from staying too long in PV, and in attempt to escape the heat and humidity of the tropics in summer, had us fleeing to the hills. The reviews sounded pretty good, so we set our sights on Lake Chapala. Roca Azul, like so many places we’ve been, COULD be great. It is part water park, part sporting complex, part campground. And yet… it’s just not. The campground is okay, one set of bathrooms is ok, and the grounds are decently kept. But the other bathroom/shower building is in terrible shape, the pools both need to be retiled, the entertainment building has multiple issues. The staff was friendly enough, and the full time residents (all American/ Canadian) are nice.. but overall it just did nothing for us and expensive at 300MX/night.
Parque Adventura La Ceja~ Tapalpa
La Ceja did not disappoint. Although no parasailers were in attendance when we were there, the views of the entire valley from the perch at La Ceja made the windy drive up worth it. The friendly owners speak English, lots of friendly resident dogs lounge around, and although we had hoped to try out the pizza we had heard about, the restaurant is closed on Monday. A few friendly travelers were staying in the cabanas next door so we had the place to ourselves. 50MX each, a bargain. Clean bathrooms and hot showers plus wi-fi.
Centro Turistico de Angahuan~ Angahuan
Basically dry camping at the Tourist center for tours to the volcano and half buried church. Friendly staff, okay bathrooms, and pretty setting among the trees. We parked near one of the covered BBQ areas and would have had a very peaceful night if not for the fighting dogs much of the night. Many of the villagers wear traditional dress and with the cowboys, horses, and scenic village, it is a fantastic stop. We did not take the time/ spend the money to do the full day to the volcano but did enjoy the 1 1/2 hour or so roundtrip hike to the half buried church. 100mx per night.
Villa Patzcuaro RV Park & Hotel ~ Patzcuaro
Beautiful little camp and hotel right in Patzcuaro. Walking distance to the boats to the island and the scenic downtown. Super clean facilities. Huge grassy area with hookups, lovely little pool, cabana with fireplace, seating and book exchange. Clean bathrooms and showers, although just 1 shower/ toilet per men & women so perhaps lucky we’re the only ones here. 240mx/night.
San Miguel RV & Tennis Park ~ San Miguel de Allende
Another clean, well kept little campground, walking distance to a great Pueblo Magico town. Yes, SMA is gringo land. But, wow… what a beautiful place. We intended to stay 3 nights, and ended up staying 10 (in part because we were waiting for a new air bag from the US). Clean bathrooms with super hot showers, grassy lawn for camping, and a small building/ book exchange that was great for hanging out in during the typical rainy afternoons. An artisan bakery one block to the left. A deluxe cheese store one block to the right. And a 10 minute walk to The Beer Company and a variety of great restaurants plus a beautiful park. 280mx/night but 7th night free.
Morrill Trailer Park ~ Guanajuato
Guanajuato. An overlander fabled place of color. Yes, we managed to maneuver our tall rig along the narrow streets and steep climbs. Somehow, in spite of all instructions, we managed to go an alternate way so, at least, weren’t approaching camp the wrong way on a one-way lane! I must admit to not being as enamored with the place as many of our friends. No hot water because they chose not to refill the gas, but worst of all, on the first night as we were the only campers there, our sleep was constantly interrupted. Not just by the locals either dropping their cars or heading out to work, but by groups of men seemingly just wandering around the campground. Nothing was taken or disturbed, but it was eerily reminiscent of our time at Sweetwater in San Diego. The 2nd night, friends had arrived and it was a quieter evening. Lovely views from camp. Nice walk to town, albeit a steep climb on the return. 130mx/night. They wanted to charge us extra for Aspen but I just said no.
San Juan del Lago ~ Lake Cuitzeo
Perhaps one of the most interesting places we have ever stayed. The Church’s book stopped by during early construction and then we saw on ioverlander there was a visitor in January. So, to break up the drive from Chapala to Teotihuacan we checked it out. The owner, Arturo, is a dreamer. He has spent a lot of time and a lot of money working on creating his dream campground. with 21 enormous spaces, a large bathroom block, camp kitchen, restaurant, etc. Amazing views over the lake. The cons, however, also exist. The road in, via very narrow streets, along a dirt track, and up a very steep hill make it a tough go for some. The bathroom block is co-ed, with separate toilet and showers, but all in one large building. Art’s enthusiasm is catching, but this has been a 10year project already, and I am sad to say that in another 10 years I’m not sure things will be fully complete. Having said that, he is a lovely tour guide, taking us into the pueblo magico of Cuitzeo to his favorite breakfast spot, to visit an artist friend, and to the sulfur hot springs. He has a big vision. I hope he makes it work.Art is offering a FREE WEEK to any traveler who wants to see his project for themselves.
Teotihuacan Trailer Park ~ Teotihuacan
Even with the noise of urban, city life, we ended up staying for three nights. The large, grassy park, run by super friendly Mina, is easy. Easy to get to the ruins, easy to hang out, easy to wander to town to restock. The far bathrooms leave much to be desired, but near the main house were cleaned regularly with hot water showers. 270mx/night
Trailer Park Las Americas~ Cholula
We headed to Chulula with the intention of visiting the church sitting on the hidden pyramid. We never actually made it there. After a long and tiring drive in, and the decision to depart the next day, we headed out the “five blocks” per the owner to see it, and quickly realized it was a bit further. We took a picture from afar and headed back to camp to take off. However, decent facilities, large, grassy field, hookups. 240mx/night.
A much needed alternative to the ever popular Overlander Oasis. Calvin & Leanne are legends, and run a fantastic place. However, OO is small and not dog friendly since sweet Morena doesn’t like to share her space with other pups. The campground in town closed and so, Oaxaca campground is it. It’s about 1 year old and still in progress. The hookups are in, and 1 bathroom/shower stall is good to go, with a 2nd, and needed, bathroom block soon under construction. We didn’t meet the Canadian owners because they only spend 6months a year here, but Bob & Tamara, the managers are super friendly and want happy guests. Location is good.. about 3 miles from Overlander Oasis/ Santa Maria del Tule, and nearby all of the artisan villages/ Mitla, etc. Walking to laundry, a couple of small tiendas, a great produce stand, and transport into Oaxaca. 200mx/night with hook-ups and the 7th night free.
Hierve de Aqua ~ Oaxaca State
A natural wonder, mineral pools forming infinity pools looking over an amazing valley. During the day it’s mass chaos with hundreds of day trippers, cliffside restaurants pouring enormous micheladas, and people everywhere. After 6pm it’s nearly deserted and you can have the pools to yourself, enjoy the gorgeous views, and revel in the peace and quiet. 10mx pp toll coming in…. which we suspect is simply an enterprising local. 25mx pp to enter the park, 40mx pp to camp. Bathrooms are 3mx but they only charged us that until about 8pm, then even though someone is there “guarding?” them, they never asked for money.
Cocoloco Surf Camp ~ Conception Bamba
We ended up here for 1 night on the way to Chiapas. Shockingly hot at 102 degrees (especially after 55degrees that morning at Hierve de Aqua). Leo runs a great camp, clean bathrooms (toilets flushable by water bucket), showers useable also by water bucket, nice communal area with hammocks, restaurant on-site. They no longer allow guests to use Wi-Fi, even though they seemed to have it. About a 10min walk to a surf beach. Restaurant breakfast was decent, although a bit spendy. Very friendly. 50mx pp to camp.
La Hacienda Hotel parking lot ~ Tuxtla Gutierrez
We were just looking for a one night stay on our way to San Cristobal and needed internet. La Hacienda fit the bill. Lush foliage, a mini pool, nice staff, walking distance to anything you could want and Domino’s delivery while streaming Master Chef suited us just perfectly. The only oddity is the bathrooms. I think the showers are just meant for rinsing off before the pool as it is 3 showerheads in a row with no doors/ wall/ shower curtains. We used them, great hot water, figuring most guests (of which there were few) were just using the bathrooms in their rooms. A little spendy at 240mx.
San Nicholas RV Park ~ San Cristobal de las Casas
Love this place. The town is amazing, the campground lush, with grass and shade. Nice bathrooms with wonderful showers, communal kitchen, and best of all a communal palapa complete with wood burning rock fireplace. Walking distance to downtown, friendly staff. We did have to pay extra for Aspen. Total 220mx / night.
Hotel River ~ Paso Hondo
A slightly chintzy, although clean, little hotel just a couple of miles from the Guatemala border. A/C, free parking, etc. A bit spendy at 350mx but a convenient spot for a night before the border crossing.
While we are surely not done with Mexico, we are in Guatemala for a couple of months. And I think the Yucatan will surely deserve it’s own list right?