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The Ruins at Palenque

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Palenque is one of the many Mayan cities in Mexico. It was a center for government, commerce and life in the 7th century. Palenque was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site almost 30 years ago, and it’s an incredibly place to visit. The Temple of the Inscriptions was built in the late 670s as a tomb for Janaab Pakal, who…

Mainland, Mexico: Camp Site List

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We spent a five months in Mexico, and the majority of it was all camping. This is a big list of places where we stayed on the main land — maybe too big! You can also check out our Baja Camp Site List to see all the places we stayed in Baja. We’ll try to help get these organized on…

The Riviera Maya- Our last stop in Mexico

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Along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico lies some of the most beautiful white sand beaches you will find anywhere. The only problem is that they are far from undiscovered. In fact, most of this lovely coast has been taken over by fancy resorts and all inclusive hotels, making this area one of the most expensive places…

The Yucatan- Cenote adventures

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Visiting cenotes is a must if you have time why you are exploring the Yucatan peninsula. They come in all shapes and sizes, from large open air cenotes, to dark underground caves (my personal favorite).
A cenote is a natural sink hole in limestone that gets filled by fresh rain water through underground aquifers. Because the water is rain water…

Uxmal- Ruta Puuc

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After Palenque and Yaxchilan done in close succession, we were not sure if we were going to visit any more Mayan ruins while in Mexico. We had visited Tulum, Chichen Itza and Coba during past trips and thought we had seen the best of the best. We were wrong! Uxmal, another UNESCO World Heritage site along the 41 kilometer Ruta…

Top 5: Best beaches in Baja, Mexico

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As we’re nearly ready to leave Mexico and cross the border into Belize, we’ve been reminiscing about our favorite beaches in Mexico.  Turns out, there are a lot.  So let’s just cover our favorite beaches in Baja.
What makes a great beach for us?  Well, we love to swim, so if the surf is too big, this can make it…

Campeche- You had me at pirates…..

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Before this trip I had never heard of Campeche. But in prep for the PanAm I have been cutting out articles for years from my favorite travel magazines as inspiration for this trip. I read one while we were in Palenque on this pastel UNESCO World Heritage site that talked about a walled city and pirates. You had me at…

Chiapas Part 4- Palenque

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Before we started this trip and even during it (even after we had spent three weeks in hot spot Michoacan!) I was worried about driving through Chiapas. Fear is a funny thing, it can take on a life of its own. We had read about a couple that ran into some trouble in Chiapas about seven months ago, and only…

Chiapas Part 3- Ruta Lacandona, Las Nubes and Yaxchilan

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Las Nubes
This is a place that without your own vehicle it would be rather difficult to get to. It is tucked away off dirt roads in the Reserva Biosfera Monte Azul, but totally worth the trek to get to it. It was steamy hot here, around 90 with intense humidity. As we hiked along the river and through the…

Chiapas Part 2- Ruta Lacandona, waterfalls and lakes

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After a week in and out of the XP sick bay, I was getting totally stir crazy and wanted desperately to move on even though I was not fully recovered.  I am a really stubborn person, and I convinced Sam (who did not get as sick as I did and was mostly recovered) that I was ready for more adventures.…

Chiapas Part 1- Canyons of trash and a crazy carnival

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Canon del Sumidero
I am torn about this place. It was really beautiful and we took the boat ride through the canyon and visited all the five miradors (overlooks) in the national park. The problem is the river is FULL of trash, mostly plastic bottles. Islands of trash. So much trash in places the boats had to zig zag to…

The Oaxaca beaches- A Goldilocks tale

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One thing I am learning after traveling for over seven months, take all advice, from the Lonely Planet guide books, to other travelers tales of paradise or hell, with a grain of salt and an open mind. Because everyone has different perspectives on places. Also, places can change daily with the weather or with crowds, you just never know what…

The villages around Oaxaca

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There are so many great places to explore around Oaxaca, and we just got to some of them while my Mom was visiting. However, if you have the time the villages are definitely worth exploring to get a sense of how the fifteen plus indigenous groups that inhabit this area live.
Teotitlan del Valle
This Zapotec village 17 miles from…

How To: Getting Water in Mexico Part 2

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I wanted to quickly update my original post on getting water in Mexico.  Although water purification centers seemed to be everywhere in Baja, we’ve had a bit more difficulty finding them on the main land.  It’s not that they don’t exist, it’s just that the towns on the mainland are bigger and more crowded.  In addition, many of the purification…

Oaxaca- The food post

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I was not sure if I was going to do another food post after Mexico City, but I got a lot of great feedback (apparently I am not the only person obsessed with good food), so I thought I have to do one for the most famous food city in Mexico, Oaxaca.
I first learned about Oaxacan food from Rick…

Oaxaca city with Mom

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My parents had both be planning on visiting us in Oaxaca for nine days, but unfortunately my Dad had to cancel because of the death of his Mom, so it was us solo with my Mom. For the last few months we have been sending things to my parents house we need for the XP and our trip. My poor…

Around Oaxaca- Monte Albán and Hierve el Agua

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Hierve el Agua
About and hour outside of Oaxaca is Hierve el Agua which means the water boils in Spanish. It is a groups of “waterfalls” that has been created by calcium carbonate building up over time as the water trickles over the cliffs. It is in a stunning location and is a unique natural wonder. If you are driving…

I Can’t Belize We Left Mexico

Read the original post and follow Desk To Glory's overland adventures on their website: Desk to Glory | Escape the 9-5 | Desk to Glory | Escape the 9-5.


Yes, we did it.  Funny blog post name about Belize:  Check!  We spent 4 months in Mexico and, although we loved it, were ready to explore some new territory.
As soon as Ash’s parents were on a flight back home we blasted out of the Yucatan ASAP.  It was time to get on with our regularly scheduled adventure.  Our last…

The Oliver Family Visits the Yucatan

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After leaving the jungle in Palenque we started on the long trip to Playa del Carmen.  We had a few days before Ash’s parents were flying in and meeting us there, so we hopped in the truck and headed to the Gulf of Mexico side of the peninsula.  After an 8 hour driving day to Chichen-Itza (where we camped in…

Cholula- Hot sauce, pyramids and murals

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Let me start this out by saying we never found any hot sauce stores in Cholula (one of our favorite brands of Mexican hot sauce in the states). How are they not capitalizing on this? I need to teach some sales courses at the university….
We stopped in Cholula to break up our very long drive to Oaxaca from Mexico…

Mexico City Part 2- The sites

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Mexico City has a really bad wrap, the department of tourism needs to work on some rebranding. Most people think of it as a place that is crime ridden and polluted, where you get kidnapped in taxis and choke on car exhaust. We found it very safe, clean and really charming. There was a heavy police presence in the touristy…

Palenque – Welcome to the Jungle

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We stopped at a great little campground (Rancho Camping San Nicolas) in San Cristobal de Las Casas where we met Shannon and Josh from The Next Adventures and Wilson, Sarah, and Ace who we have been meeting throughout different parts of mainland Mexico.  San Cristobal de Las Casas was our last little colonial town in Mexico with a really cool…

Oaxaca and the Pueblos Mancommunados

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Our plan after Mexico City was to head to the colonial town of Puebla to try the famous mole poblano and then continue on to hike the dormant volcano Ixtaccihuatl.  En route to Puebla we made a last minute decision to skip it because we were citied out and needed some nature ASAP.  Ash’s nasal passages were blocked up with…

Mexico City part 1- The food post

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I think Mexico City gets a bad wrap. In my opinion it is a wonderful city on par with Buenas Aires and Barcelona. It is not the crime ridden, smog filled, dangerous city many people outside of Mexico think of. I wanted to do a post that gave people a different perspective. We blew up our daily budget, but have…

The Devil got a new Backbone – Espinazo del Diablo

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Between Mazatlan on the west coast of mainland Mexico and Durango, which lies east of the Sierra Madre Mountains, there is a famous road known by locals and internationally as the Devil’s Backbone. Local legend says that when the Archangel Michael threw the devil from heaven and he landed here on earth, his backbone formed the rugged ridgeline of the…

Mexico City – I Want to Ride My Bicycle

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After our trip to the amazing pyramids in Teotihuacan, we parked the truck at the RV park and hopped on a bus bound for Mexico City. The bus ride was about 45 minutes into town, and from there the metro took us to the Centro Historico of one of the largest cities in the world.
We had heard stories about…

Teotihuacan- Pyramids with friends

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After Hidalgo we headed down to DF or Distrito Federal to visit Mexico City and our first major ruins of Teotihuacan. We arrived at the campground in the late afternoon and had our first internet in over ten days. As I opened my email I found out really sad news, that my 97 year old Grandma Janet, who has been a…

This ain’t my first Rodeo…

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But it is my first time at the local town of that name….and my first time going through Hidalgo del Parral and Durango too.
From Guachochi I head east toward Hidalgo del Parral. It’s the next bigger town on the map and the place where we turn south again on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Madres and head toward…

Hidalgo- Basalt and the the birth of Fútbol

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Driving through Mexico we never know what we will get. It is one of the many things I love about this country. It is so amazingly diverse. We left the dry, cactus filled desert around the hot springs and within a few hours we were in the pine forested mountains above Mexico City. This part of Hidalgo is beautiful, and…

Barranca de Cobre – Copper Canyon

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Copper Canyon is a place that many adventure riders talk about, but seemed too far off the map to me until now. So I’m happy to be able to go off the map literally and get to see it. The National Geographic map I bought in Arizona has so far shown straight roads where there are miles and miles of…