Lonely Planet Mexico - 13th Edition - Available Early-September
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Sep 17, 2012 12:44 PM Last Post By: lake_wobegon
Aug 6, 2012 11:20 AM
Lonely Planet Mexico - 13th Edition - Available Early-SeptemberI've been purchasing newly released editions of the Lonely Planet Mexico guide for many years. The guide is updated every two years. The 13th Edition will be released early next month.
So, I've been planning to pre-order this new edition. I noted, however, that the guide seems to be smaller (less pages). 48 fewer pages. And fewer maps. 116 instead of 163. The 48 fewer pages of print seem to have been replaced by 48 additional pages of color photographs. Maybe there's been a reclassification of what's in print and what's appearing as photos. But If there is less information overall and 47 fewer maps that's a negative, for me. At one point in time they weren't very good. But in recent years they've become much better.
Even though I've traveled extensively throughout much of the country, I still find the Lonely Planet Mexico guides helpful and a good resource. I'm considering purchasing the e-book version of the guide this time, though (I've ordered specific chapters in the past). It would be the first time for me to do that. The books have grown to about 2 lb. in weight and since I travel with an iPad and/or laptop computer now it might be best to just download the new version. Although, I've enjoyed keeping all of my edition copies and frequently referring-back to something that may be in one but not the other.
Aug 6, 2012 2:09 PM
1I`ve found the maps to be the best part of the lonelyplanet guides. And the photos to be the least important, since they aren´t really keyed to the text. It`s disappointing to hear that they`ve replaced maps with photos. On my current trip in Mexico I`ve only referred to my guidebook once (this morning, to read my handwritten notes in the margins about hotels in Miahuatlan). If you´re already carrying a small computer, then no need to carry a paper guidebook too, just buy the e-book or a portion of it.
Aug 6, 2012 5:45 PM
Aug 7, 2012 1:57 PM
3I have another thought on the subject of maps. I was thinking of getting a GPS for use while hiking here in Mexico, but found no topographic maps of Mexico for sale on Garmin's (a popular manufacturer of devices) website. I visited INEGI (the state agency responsible for mapping Mexico) here in Oaxaca city, in Col Reforma, and if I understood correctly, they will sell 1 to 50,000 scale topographic paper maps for 60 MXN each, and will provide electronic files of the same maps (in TIFF or GIF format) for free if you want to load them in your computer or memory card, but only available at their office, not online.
Aug 7, 2012 10:35 PM
4Garmen has some Mexico maps. Bici maps, or some such name, has the INEGI maps as well. For use with GPS. I frequently travel to off the beaten path areas and do so with the INEGI paper maps which I purchase in the INEGI map center in the Metro Insurgentes Glorieta in Mexico City. I've also started traveling with the Microsoft Streets & Trips software with GPS locator.
Aug 8, 2012 2:37 AM
Aug 9, 2012 8:23 PM
6I did go ahead and purchase the e-version of the guidebook. I'm working on an itinerary for a trip which will likely take me to San Luis Potosi, Zacatacas, Aguascalientes, Guadalajara and Mexico City ... in September. What I'm seeing in the new version of the guide for the first three stops (and some information on other possible destinations) is disappointing. I've had the sense before ... and I have it even more strongly now ... that the contributors to the guide aren't experienced travelers nor do they enjoy travel.
Aug 10, 2012 1:39 AM
7After all these years of travel in Mexico, L_W, you should write your own guidebook. ;-)
Aug 10, 2012 7:24 AM
8"the contributors to the guide aren't experienced travelers nor do they enjoy travel."
The two I've met were pretty focused on getting the information they needed and then getting on to the next destination to do the same. They seemed to have plenty of experience, but they did seem somewhat in need of a vacation and a chance to relax.
Sep 17, 2012 12:44 PM
9The print edition of the guide is being distributed by LP by direct mail to fulfill orders, I returned from my just-finished travel in Mexico and my copy was waiting for me. It should be in bookstores within the month.
Overall, I have to say the guide is attractive and includes a lot of information regarding the most popular/promoted destinations. Particularly the "attractions." It's strong asset(s) is the general information about Mexico, the language section and helpful hints. I think it somewhat glosses-over the war and security issues, but, after all, LP is engaged in the business of promoting Mexico and it's best-selling guide to the country (2 million guides sold each edition for a number of years now, if I'm not mistaken). The guide has weakened it's focus on hotels and restaurants over the years and maybe that's understandable considering how many places open/close or frequently change prices, etc. The focus seems to be on higher-end lodging/food. But there's a sprinkling of lower-priced options. I've always looked at the guide as just that ... a "guide" which will lead me in the right direction at which point I'll be confronted with several or more acceptable choices for whatever I'm looking for.
But rather than "lead" LP seems to follow the herd ... with this Mexico guide. It seems to me the editors are stuck in a rut from which they're either not interested in changing course or they've taken the easy way out by promoting 'same old/same old.'
Generally, I think this is still the best guide to Mexico for persons unfamiliar with the country. If many of the people posting here would consult the guide we wouldn't see so many of the repetitive, easy-to-answer questions.
I'll probably prefer to carry-along a guide book rather than rely on the electronic version ... because, for me, it's suits my style of travel. I continue to find the LP Mexico guide good resource material ... even though I criticize some aspects of it.
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