Best guidebook for Mexico?!
Replies: 37 - Last Post: Sep 26, 2013 1:08 PM Last Post By: lake_wobegon
Oct 9, 2012 2:28 PM
Best guidebook for Mexico?!I want to do a little research before I rely completely on forum suggestions.
Usually I get LONELY PLANET books but recently I have been finding a lot of other brands are better.
Oct 9, 2012 2:43 PM
1I find Rough Guides and Footprint to be reliable for Latin America generally, though I haven't used either for Mexico (recently enough to comment usefully).
Let's Go has much better coverage than a lot of people seem to think, but of course they tend to emphasize the things young, budget travelers will find interesting. As a young budget traveler that works great for me, but might not for other people. And of course, that's not to confuse "young budget traveler" with "LP Gringo Trail herd-follower," since Let's Go will generally steer you away from foam parties and towards more relevant ways to enjoy your trip. I've used several of their Mexico guides and found them very good (and usually pretty funny).
Oct 9, 2012 3:10 PM
Oct 9, 2012 3:12 PM
3This is thread on guidebooks from last year
You'll find there that I prefer Rough most -- but I like LP too. LP may not be as budget as it used to be but it (at least, my last 2008 edition) still describes places that are not found in other books. I know at least two magnificent areas in Mexico which basically are not visited by gringos that are not in Rough, leave alone Let's Go but are written about in LP. Let's Go is not my favorite as they put budget at the top of the corner - often at the expense of things I don't want to miss. Footprint is OK but as I mention in the thread above, its maps are the worst.
I'd suggest to buy Rough and once you know the area you want to visit, buy a related PDF chapter from LP that you can view on your laptop or kindle or similar -- if buying both books is not an option.
Oct 9, 2012 3:48 PM
4Good question guy123. All guidebooks are not the same. Before answering I qualify answers with this: From research to printing a printed guidebook will be a year or more out fo date before it leaves the printing press. Also, even th ebest guidebook can't iclude allthe budget hotels, out-of-the way beaches, excellent restaurants, etc, BUT a good guidebook is just htat - a guide. You'll find the good stuff when you arrive (another reason not to rush through places). We've gotten to the point that we don't make reservations in Mexico anymore (except for particularly high seasons like Christmas) since we ALWAYS find better deals on the ground when we arrive.
OK, for overall guide - Lonely Planet
luxury acocmodations and such - Frommers
Adventure guide: Rough Guide or Moon Guide
Oct 9, 2012 4:16 PM
Oct 9, 2012 5:32 PM
Oct 10, 2012 8:14 AM
7Cool - I was planning on running by Barnes and Noble - just figured a few ideas of what to look for would be nice since you can't really research them too well while standing there. They all just look like guide books when your at the store - you have to delve deeper (and travel to the country) to figure out if they we're good.
I will try ROUGH and LONELY PLANET.
P.S. I want a book that is going to give us more of the OFF THE GRID spots. We don't like being in resorts, touristy areas, etc -- we love our trips because we are usually the only people on the beach and don't see other "gringos" for days on end. We love taking trips to little places with no roads and small family owned bed and breakfasts. That is the type of book we are hoping for. We want to see beaches, mayan ruins, jungle, and the culture of mexico while being safe and having fun.
Oct 10, 2012 8:46 AM
Oct 10, 2012 11:19 AM
Oct 10, 2012 11:30 AM
10Ah yes, interesting. It's surprising that others would miss those, but just goes to show how deep the country is – it's easy for entire regions to be overlooked.
I was thrown off at first because LP lists the Huasteca in its own chapter in the Central Gulf Coast section, instead of SLP where I was looking for it, but it makes sense as it a spot which crosses several boundaries. Looking forward to getting out there soon.
Oct 10, 2012 11:55 AM
11#10, message me when you go - maybe, we'll meet up. We may or may not be there in November with my wife and daughter. We'll be in Pachuca state (Tolantongo canyon) and I want to take 85 or 105 up but my better half says we've already been to Xilitla so let's go East to Northern Puebla (all those places that Chris0daniel and p0gue mentioned.) We only have till start of January and want to spend time in Oaxaca and Chiapas so the Central Mexico after the Canyon is sort of unclear.
#7 - well, let me put it like this re your p.s. A good independent traveler guidebook will direct you away from tour-bus/all-inclusive/mass-tourism "ghettos." But it won't by itself bring you to the places where no gringo been before. If the beach is in the book, it's not undiscovered anymore. If B&B exists in the village, the region receives gringo (or rich chilangos, which may be worse, depends on your point of view) guests. If you state that you want to see Mayan ruins (as say, oppose to sites of lesser known ancient cultures), you need to realize that every new age follower wants to get there too. Perhaps, a good guidebook will suggest you to go to Ek-Balam and Calakmul in addition to Chichen Izta but it's not like you'll be all alone at any of those.
If meeting other back-packers and independent travelers along the way of your travels, take LP and Rough and enjoy. I had done this for years and had been pretty satisfied. If you want to be "the first white person in this part of the jungles", the book is just a start. You'll need to make you research from there.
Edited by: alterigor
Oct 10, 2012 1:42 PM
12Besides LP, People's Guide to Mexico is also great. It is not like other travel guides that list hotels, etc. Instead it gives you advice on how to find the best places yourself. It is also very entertaining to read.
Oct 10, 2012 2:28 PM
13"We want to see beaches, mayan ruins, jungle, and the culture of mexico while being safe and having fun."
Chiapas. It has it all. From one end of the state to the other. Mayan ruins. Jungle. Culture (it's own, and that of Guatemala-in-Mexico). Desolite beaches where it's unlikely you'll encounter another feared gringo
Though I don't think it's what you need/want for this particular trip, I'll give another shout-out to Carl Franz and Lorena Havens' "The Peoples Guide to Mexico."
Oct 10, 2012 5:15 PM
14I just got my new Lonely Planet Mexico guidebook, 13th edition. It is huge. Almost twice as thick as I was expecting. I love it, although the turquoise sub-headings will take some getting use to. Printed on all recycled paper.
Lots of maps, special sections, a section of Mayan Ruins alone, looks awesome. The pictures are not near as bold and bright due to the recycled paper, but all in all, I am loving it.
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