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alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

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alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by coffeeguy on Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:11 pm

As we're now living in the desert southwest NOB (and love the rainy season in the highlands of Mexico best in any case) we'd like to spend some or most of the summer as our Mexico time. The problem, as pretty much everyone knows by now, is that demand for rentals at Lakeside year-round means that summer sublets and such (and the idea of a low season altogether) seem to have gone the way of the dodo bird.

So my question for the many savvy Mexico travelers here is where would you recommend spending extended time other than Lakeside? My sense is that San Miguel is even more over-run and crazy. Guanajuato seems like a possibility, Pátzcuaro is appealing albeit the rains are often truly torrential, Oaxaca maybe but I know July there is out due to the Gueleguetza driving up prices and reducing lodging options (not to mention the perennial blocqueos). Any other places to check out much appreciated!

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by gringal on Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:50 pm

Here's an really off beat thought: Pozos, about 40 minute drive from San Miguel. Used to be a big silver mining town, but turned into more of a deserted "ghost town". In recent years, it's become more "artsy" and has a couple of hotels. A friend of mine bought a house there some years ago and it's regularly rented out through Craig's list. There are others. It's extremely cold during the winter, but mild in the summer. Fascinating place to explore, and the madness of SanMiguel is handy for getting in some good dining and other action.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:25 pm

Baja. Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe - the Napa Valley of Mexico. Beach, hiking, fabulous wine and seafood. If you do check it out, please report back.
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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by coffeeguy on Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:16 pm

Thank you wise friends for these great suggestions!

I'd seen Mineral de Pozos profiled in John Schermer's "Into the Heart of Mexico" (a great read, BTW) and figured that meant it was already thoroughly over-run. Maybe not, given its small size.

Northern Baja sounds worthwhile Trailrunner- thanks for encouraging me to check it out. Prices in Todos Santos and even La Paz were about double mainland ones years ago but I do keep hearing that further north is a bit more reasonable as long as you don't get within super-easy driving distance of San Diego. Will report for sure if we go.

Thanks again!

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by ferret on Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:24 pm

How about Zacatecas?
Pozos is very small and without an activity to occupy your time would be beyond boring imho. Also, there was a problem with arsenic in the water... it is, after all, a defunct mining town.
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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by CanuckBob on Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:23 am

Queretaro??

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by coffeeguy on Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:20 am

Zacatecas is a great idea! Have been through there a few times driving to and from Lakeside from Colorado and New Mexico but never spent extended time. Very cold in winter so perfect in summer and lots of interest in the area.

Querétaro is another good suggestion. I guess I've been put off by its million+ size but if one could find a rental near the historic center it could be really worthwhile. And yes ferret I suspect you're right about Pozos - nice for a few days to a week for some hiking and kicking around but pretty boring after that. Another place that comes to mind far removed from any of the above is San Cristobal de las Casas, Rainy season there must be really torrential but as I know from my visits there during my coffee buying days if you wait for good weather to visit the place you'll never get there. Very Happy Still maybe the most beautiful colonial city I've ever seen though and the depth of culture in Chiapas is amazing.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by CanuckBob on Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:38 am

Brigitte can tell you all about San Cristobol as she lives there half the year. It's nice to visit but not a place I would want to spend more than a week or so. Crazy weather, crazy political problems, unsafe to venture outside the city, etc.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by Trailrunner on Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:14 am

There is a place I'd move to in a second - were it not for the oppressive jungle heat - and that is Xilitla or the surrounding villages in the Huasteca Potosina. If you can handle that I'd say go!

There are little to no expat communities but the local people are wonderful and so is their culture, food, and music.

If you lived to be 100 you could swim in a different waterfall, hike a different trail, raft a different river, explore a different cave, or discover new river pools every day without ever going to the same place twice.

IF you can handle being constantly soaked in sweat!

Back to northern Baja for a second, friend of mine moved there from here and reported mild weather year 'round, much like San Diego, and being able to pop across the border to shop at Trader Joe's! Hmmmm.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by brigitte on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:04 am

How about Antigua, Guatemala?j The weather  is wonderful, the city is like San Cristobal reviewed by San Miguel , the countryside is beautiful .

Chiapas is now the safest state i the union past Yucatan.. so you are in more danger in Jalisco or Zacatecas or Guanajuato not to mention Vera Cruz..if you are an indigenous or a politician..I am not sure about those groups but for the other people they are sfaer than in all the other states.. It does not say much about the security in Mexico in general.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by Carry Bean on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:24 am

John Garvin (Sonia’s husband) is always touting Cuernavaca as ideal. The weather is supposed to be much like here. I wouldn’t know personally.
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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by Trailrunner on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:38 am

We lived in Cuernavaca for awhile in the 80's. . .it is very nice. They call it the land of eternal spring and the weather is much like here. Good food, culture, history, and shopping but apart from that not much to do.

I've heard it's dangerous now.
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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by CHILLIN on Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:03 pm

Coffeguy - there are still lots of short term rentals in Chapala Haciendas and other outlying areas. I can think of six vacant houses right now. They typically ask 800 to 1,000 U.S. per month for six month terms. It all depends on if you have a car, and if you are in a rental which is also for sale. Seems like many people are trying to cash out while the U.S. $ is high. Others want to sell because they don't want to invite their heirs to go through a Mexican Mess. It is all subject to negotiation, and many people are asking for over market value. The house right next door to us passed from father to son, now embroiled in a Mexican Mess. He brought some housesitters in, who thought they would be there six months, looks like now it will be a year. The only thing they have to pay for is gaz.
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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by coffeeguy on Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:54 pm

Good thoughts all around- thanks!

Cuernavaca would indeed be worth a visit. As for safety - I wouldn't be afraid to live in Pátzcuaro which is thoroughly narco-run so other places (except for, say, Ciudad Juarez) don't really scare me any more than Lakeside. Keep a low profile, realize there's no rule of law anywhere but also no depth to the inherent goodness of the Mexican people and one generally does just fine.

Antigua is a good idea. It's interesting because I had it in my mind that the rainy season there was much more torrential than at Lakeside but that's not the case.

As for rentals, we'd only be looking for about 3 months (June-August or July-September) and are done with driving down so that does limit our options. We'll look into dogsitting/housesitting possibilities and stay flexible.

Thanks again to all for the great suggestions.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by brigitte on Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:12 pm

Narco run places are not always the most dangerous.. the bad places are when several groups are fighting it out.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by MexicoPete on Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:24 pm

coffeeguy, you mentioned Antigua. I only know the very nice city of Antigua in Guatemala, which has many expats, an "American Legion", and more, to include several internationally known language schools.

Is that where you are talking about? It is a good choice. It is close to the capital and airport.
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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by brigitte on Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:06 pm

yes that is the Antigua we are talking about.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by Rosa Venus on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:17 pm

Do you want a city or a town? The rest is throwing darts.
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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by CHILLIN on Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:29 pm

If you are air travelling, and other countries are an option, the Medellin, Colombia would only be a couple hours flight time than Guadalajara. The weather there is similar to our rainy season here - but all year round. They also just elected a new conservative President. Plus - Coffee, Caribbean former pirate ports, and abundant things to see and do.

http://discovercolombia.com/medellin/weather-in-medellin/
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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by dcampbell757 on Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:25 pm

I will also recommend Medellin, Colombia. The weather is milder than here by a few degrees.
The food, people, and selection of diverse neighborhoods are fantastic.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by CanuckBob on Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:38 pm

brigitte wrote:Narco run places are not  always the most dangerous.. the bad places are when several groups are fighting it out.

Or when the narcos aren't making enough peddling drugs and start extorting, kidnapping, hijacking and robbing the locals.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by cerebrozo on Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:06 am

No mention of Mérida? Other than brutal summer heat, can anyone here relate other factors, positive and negative, to consider?
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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by CanuckBob on Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:24 am

The OP is looking for a place for the summer months. Merida is too hot as you pointed out.

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by brigitte on Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:53 am

Merida or Campeche in the summer are places to go away from..not visit..

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Re: alternative sunbird locations in Mexico

Post by majortom on Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:45 am

I second Zacatecas. I would also consider Bernal. It's small but nice and near enough to Queretaro if you have a car.

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