Mexico, Central & S. America


peter

New member
We went down in our '79 Westfalia to Mexico in '92. We had just bought it for $3k. Did a few repairs,and stocked up on a few parts. Between jobs and houses, we stored our stuff and took off.

I can't write all about it now, but it was PRIMO the whole time. No major screw-ups or bandito or federales problems (the customs back into the US is where they make you feel like a criminal, but that went ok too). We went down Baja, ferry to Mazatlan, down the west coast, in to Oaxaca, down across Istmos to Campeche and Yucatan, (skipped Cancun), (2 week Private beach layover-stiff sand!) down Quintana Roo to Chetumal. over to Palenque and San Cristobal (Semana Santa layover) Up and cross the istmus again, up the east coast (no Mexico City for us this time) and into Brownsville. The rest of the trip took us through the southwest and up to San Juan Islands etc....

Some breakdowns in the States and met some nice mechanics. Minor stuff really.

We are starting on our second Westfalia, an '88. But what a trip Hans the WonderVan took us on in Mexico!, the first of many.

Do it, you'll like it. Great driving (challenging at times but often empty roads) Great country, great history and wonderful people. Get the "People's Guide" and Read it.

Peter

[This message was edited by Capt. Mike on March 30, 2003 at 08:31 AM.]
 

thomasvandyke

New member
Just daydreaming here about a trip to Tierra del Fuego. All the info I can find says the only part of PAH uncompleted is in Panama. Anyone know how you'd get around that? Maybe put the Westy on a train? Ferry? Anyone done this trip?
 
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Potato

New member
Tom, go to vanagon.com and read the dispatches from the crew that did that very trip about 2 years ago. The word nightmare comes to mind.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same locale.

Susan M. Hall Junior Member posted July 01, 2001 08:59 PM

I am a 60 year old retiree who is always open to travel adventures, and I am on my 2nd Westy and love it! Have an 89 and last year put in a new VW reman engine and lots of other new stuff so that I wouldn't have to worry--took my little pooch and a friend and we spent over 2 months traveling in Mexico--went from Brownsville TX south to Vera Cruz , then around the Yucatan peninsula, south to Belize, then across through Palenque, thru the Isthmus to Puerto Angel--then up the coast to Topolobampo, took the ferry over to La Paz, then up the Baja--great trip. Places I would really recommend: Campeche, the big market in Merida, camping on Isla Mujeres (NOT Cancun!),the campground right by Palenque ruins, Melaque/San Patricio on the west coast--go there on St. Patrick's Day--they celebrate it for l0 days, and the people there are great! On Baja, nothing beats camping dry on Conception Bay-- Stop at Guerrero Negro and go out in a boat to pet the whales in Scammon's Lagoon--
Study some Spanish before you go--I went to school in Mexico, then came home and left for my trip--only in the tourist places do they speak English--Two women and a pup and we didn't have one negative experience in over two months! Avoid caravans of Americans like the plague--35' motorhomes--23 or 24 at a time, all pulling into a camping area, buying up all the water, ice, etc. --they are the new ugly americans there--get to know the Mexicans--they are wonderful people Have fun--we did!!! ednamae and friends ednamae@willapabay.org


Susan M. Hall Junior Member posted July 01, 2001 04:59 PM

Westy and love it! Have an 89 and last year put in a new VW reman engine and lots of other new stuff so that I wouldn't have to worry--took my little pooch and a friend and we spent over 2 months traveling in Mexico--went from Brownsville TX south to Vera Cruz , then around the Yucatan peninsula, south to Belize, then across through Palenque, thru the Isthmus to Puerto Angel--then up the coast to Topolobampo, took the ferry over to La Paz, then up the Baja--great trip. Places I would really recommend: Campeche, the big market in Merida, camping on Isla Mujeres (NOT Cancun!),the campground right by Palenque ruins, Melaque/San Patricio on the west coast--go there on St. Patrick's Day--they celebrate it for l0 days, and the people there are great! On Baja, nothing beats camping dry on Conception Bay-- Stop at Guerrero Negro and go out in a boat to pet the whales in Scammon's Lagoon--
Study some Spanish before you go--I went to school in Mexico, then came home and left for my trip--only in the tourist places do they speak English--Two women and a pup and we didn't have one negative experience in over two months! Avoid caravans of Americans like the plague--35' motorhomes--23 or 24 at a time, all pulling into a camping area, buying up all the water, ice, etc. --they are the new ugly americans there--get to know the Mexicans--they are wonderful people Have fun--we did!!! ednamae and friends ednamae@willapabay.org

SweetPea Junior Member posted May 12, 2002 12:09 PM

Roadtrips in Mexico

I've also done roadtrips in Mexico with a girlfriend and my daughter - two women and a child - we had a BLAST and felt totally safe. Interestingly enough, I totally believe it was my (then 3 year old) daughter's presence that kept us safe - we were "mothers" and therefore, respectable, in the Latin culture. Also took a honeymoon roadtrip - the starter went out in our bus and we had to pushstart it everywhere we went - our fondest memories!! There is just nowhere as wonderful for a roadtrip as Mexico!
 

abercorn

New member
camping in mexico

I am planning a trip to mexico with the family this winter and am frustrated with the info available on camp sites in mexico. They all seem to be catering to big rv's. Any suggetions for someone who doesnt need to plug in or dump?
thanks
 

garypeebles

New member
Paco's trip to Tierra Del Fuego, 2009-2010

Paco our 88 Westy with a new motor, tranny, and hoses/radiator, and suspension. Just got home from a great trip to the Fin Del Mundo, on Tierra del Fuego. We spent 9 months and had a great time... NOT A NIGHTMARE. A wonderful dream that I have been thinking of for over 40 years. Actually the best times my wife and I had were when we broke down. We had a number of issues mechanically, water in gas tank from expansion tanks seals broke, starter selunoid/brushes, Alternator-voltage reg/inside capacitors, and of course we ruined 6 rubber boots, and replaced 4-CV joints, replaced 4 tires and redid the brakes twice. That is it.. Oh,I ruined the oxygen sensor by backing into something, that was fixed in Colombia. All the above problems were fixed by mechanics in cities that we were in for cheep... WOW. No trouble with my new Go Westy engine, and a TNT reconditioned autotranny. We drove approximately 22,000 miles and of that approx1,500 mile of RIPIO/gravel.
We met some great people down there. Bumped into a couple of Westy travelers from the North, but mostly from EUrope. This is our web site if you are interested in our journal: mytripjournal.com/peeble_panamericanroadtrip
Just a note, had a great time with the Westy group in Buenos Aries. We stored our Van in Uruguay to return this next January 2011 for another 5 or so months to see some of the stuff we missed in Chile, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. We found a shipping agent to return our Van via Chile direct to either Huston, Tx or Long Beach, Ca. We would be happy to help other overlanders.
happy trails,
Gary Peebles
 

garypeebles

New member
Our Westy, Paco in Tierra Del Fuego

We have just returned from 9 months on the road with our 88 Westy. We drove it down to the END of the World, and spend 5 months in Argentina. Drove approx 22,000 miles (1,500+ of RIPIO/gravle) Had many expected mechanical problems, all fixable with great mechanics charging almost nothing. What a great experience. Our travel website is: mytripjournal.com/peebles_panamericanroadtrip
We left the van in Uruguay to return in January 2011 to see some stuff that we missed. Brazil, Bolivia, and some of Chile. Will ship the van home from Chile to either Long Beach, Ca. or Huston, TX. Will be glad to help any overlanders that are interested.
happy trails,
Gary Peebles
 

garypeebles

New member
Camping in Mexico

camping in Mexico is a breeze. All the sites we went to on our two trips in 2008 and 2009 were cheep and if you didn't want hookups then you didn't pay for them. We found that Gringos were far and few, the campgrounds were not full and they were happy to have us there. Get a Church and Church campbook to locate sites all over Mexico.
Gary Peebles
 

James Conlin

New member
tom, god hates a coward- good luck- if you wait for my kids to get out of college , i will drive down with you as my 87 and the wife will be retiring on cinder blocks in brazil
 

garypeebles

New member
Tierra Del Fuego,not a nightmare

We just finished a trip down to El Fin Del Mundo (on Tierra Del Fuego). Left our 88 Westy down in Uruguay to return this next January 2011. We spent 9 months traveling and 5 of those months were in Argentina. Sure there were some mechanical problems but the mechanics down here are geniuses. We drove 30,000 miles with a new 2.2L GoWesty engine, and newly rebuilt tranny. What a great trip. NOT A NIGHTMARE.
 

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