Is Mexico Safe?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Arte, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. shotty_co

    shotty_co Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Colorado Springs,CO
    Thinking about a run down to Batopilias and back in late Oct/early Nov.

    Curious what the vibe is like lately?
  2. currenv

    currenv Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    223
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI and San Miguel de Allende MX
    In SMA use the ATM at the BanBajuo on the glorieta. It's the cheapest in town - 25 0esos I think.

    Vinnie
    JRWooden and Oddfellow like this.
  3. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,117
    Ten percent seems rather high for such a charge , but that may be related to the amount of money you withdraw . I think currenv's example is in realistic range .
    The ATM fee is usually a FIXED number , i.e. the price does not vary according to the amount of money you extract . On top of that your home bank may impose its fee .
    So if you were to extract 7000 pesos then a 25 peso fee is a negligible value.If You were to extract 100 pesos to tip a valet parking attendant for not having crashed your Lamborghini it works out to 25%.Your home bank fee might bump it up to 100%
    These fees are all relative . If you don't use your credit card much the supposed "no fee "cards that do charge a monthly fee are not a bargain at all . Do you really spend 180 dollars per year on ATM fees ?

    Exchange rates will wander up or down from day to day
    What is " exchange rate skimming "? Don't confuse bank's business practices with some sort of nefarious cartel crime.Which bank fee is costing you more - the Mexican bank or your Home bank ? They are in business to make money and they will charge fees willy nilly as they can think up . I stick with a couple of cards that charge NO annual fee and use them as little as possible if the TRANSACTION will entail a fee.
    The amount I need to pay to get my supply of Pesos or US dollars is considered as part of the normal cost of travel .
    chilejack likes this.
  4. Animo

    Animo Been n00b awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,678
    Location:
    Playa del Carmen
    Bank's atm's have the lowest withdrawal fees. Each bank has its own fee, but even then, they have different fees according to the bank's location. They vary from 25p to 35p per transaction. The atm's inside the bank are the safest to use, during business hours.

    Atm's in the "middle of the street" charge up to 100p per transaction, if not more. OXXO's atm's are also very expensive and will allow only minimal transactions. Those are great to use if one likes their card cloned.

    I use HSBC atm's exclusively. They always give me a very favourable usd/peso conversion rate and they allow up to 18,000p withdraws at one time with the same 32p fee per transaction.

    My bank, on the other hand, charges me 80p on top of that for the same international transaction, placing me right back to a 100p+ per transaction. Needles to say, I don't go around withdrawing 1,000p at one time.
    going south and princess jamaica like this.
  5. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin' Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2016
    Oddometer:
    5,791
    Location:
    Seattle & Phoenix
    I’m going to do a whole thread on this later (eyelid plastic surgery), but I just wanted to throw out that I just saw a cardiologist in Guadalajara. We chatted a bit, he filled out a form on me, checked my lungs, palpated my abdomen, took my BP, ran an EKG, and I walked out paying $35USD.

    No medical assistants, no fancy offices.

    Discussed medical education in Mexico for doctors. He said it’s a lot of work to get to where he got, but unlike the US, it’s fairly easy to become a generic MD because there isn’t a heavy weed-out process early on like in the US system.
    randypower likes this.
  6. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,751
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    Fidelity manages some money for me. I'll apply for the card. Thanks.
  7. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,947
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    Thanks guys!

    The ATM "fee" was I think about $60 pesos - so ~$3 USD
    I'm really more worried about getting the most attractive exchange rate,
    but don't see a good way to figure out what ATM system will give the most favorable rate.

    Charging directly to my credit card gets me ~19.5 pesos to the dollar
    everything else gets me somewhere between 18.55 and 16.5
    I'll review the fine print on my cards - I have a Chase and Fidelity CC, and a PayPal Debit.

    I'm not going to loose TOO much sleep over it ;-)
    Davidprej likes this.
  8. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,947
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    By the way ... if you want to hit the back-road up to RdC there is a nice little hotel very close by.
    Hotel Catorce Capital - just off route 6 in Estación Catorce If you stay there do NOT get freaked out by the route your GPS will probably take you into the hotel.
    It's a little weird but the hotel complex is nice.
    The doors open to the outside (Motel style) we parked right in front of our room.
    It was clean and nice, typical of hotels for the area.
    The manager, named Miguel, was as nice he could be to us.
    He did not speak English but that is not an expectation of mine in small town hotels ;-)
    cost was ~$34USD for two people / 2 beds ... larger rooms are available.
    In season the have a nice pool
  9. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,751
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    Sjoerd,

    There are several CC's out there that don't require paying any fees in order to access your money. I have the Schwab debit card and apparently Fidelity
    offers its clients a MasterCard with no fees. That will be my next card. Everyone is free to continue paying fees if they so wish but they are no longer a necessary
    "cost of travel". Unless, of course, you can't get one of these cards in Canada in which case you're stuck paying fees.
  10. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,947
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    @SkizzMan :
    I probably didn't do well in my "rant" ... the actual itemized FEE was not so big for ATM ... just a few bucks,
    but the embedded exchange rate (not really clearly disclosed anywhere) was that only 17.50 pesos/dollar.

    When I charge a purchase to my card directly gas/food/whatever the exchange-rate when I back figure it by looking at the actual bill in pesos and then the amount that has shown up on my card in USD comes out to a much better rate of ~19.5 pesos/dollar
    so I was really more annoyed by the 2 peso/dollar shortfall in the conversion rate ....

    but ... I have lots of beer ... :drink
    Davidprej and SkizzMan like this.
  11. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,751
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    @JRWooden

    Yeh, the less-than-clear exchange rate is annoying at times. I’ve been told that when an ATM offers to provide a kind of “auto calculation” of the exchange rate to decline it in favor of my bank’s rate. This is a window on some ATM’s just prior to completing your withdrawal request.
  12. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,947
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    Wow....................... I've made fair number of ATM withdrawals and never gotten that window... that I recall anyway ;-) :pynd

    I'll be looking for it more carefully in the future - thanks!
  13. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,184
    Location:
    West Texas/Rico
  14. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    345
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Jan-Feb I did 8000 miles on my Royal Enfield Himalyan in Mexico. I understand the Versys is a direct competitor to it. I think you should take the trip.
    As to the spoons and tubes... I carried them (but luckily didn’t need them) since I had lots of off-road plans. Mexico is a country with lots of smaller motorcycles in use, so there are small mc shops everywhere. Getting replacement tires and tubes as well as assistance is not a problem.
    Go... Have a great trip!
    CaseyJones and princess jamaica like this.
  15. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,450
    Location:
    Austin, Texas, USA
    Thanks to contributors to this thread, I sought some Bacanora and found it at a local package store, on sale.

    Magnificent. Mil gracias. Agradesco a todos.
    95Monster likes this.
  16. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,964
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    Try some still side
  17. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,947
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    Real de Catorce question/warning:
    Yeah ... so when I was there last the ogarrio tunnel was closed to motorized traffic due to a bicycle race.
    I ran into another traveler today that found the same thing due to a religous event and ended up staying in town two extra days
    as they were not comfortable taking the "back way" down. So ... it may happen often enough to be worth checking on if you are planning a trip.

    I could not find a town website that posted tunnel closings ... if anybody knows of one maybe you could post it?
    Davidprej likes this.
  18. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Lost
    I did a full Latin America ride a few years ago and the scariest road I rode on that trip was the west entrance to Real de Catorce. That includes all those narrow windy dirt roads in the Andes with much steeper and deeper drop-offs. The thing about the RdC road is that I think I must have been cobblestone road centuries ago that has never been maintained, so all the rain has washed away the dirt between the stones. So in effect you're riding up a steep, windy pitch on cantalope-size stones that are unevenly spaced. I remember it was impossible to stay balanced unless you were moving at a good clip, but because it curved so much and there was always the threat of Jeep tours coming done the single-lane road, you were inclined to go slowly ad cautiously. That was the dilema: gun it and hope nothing gets in your way, or tip-toe over large stones and fall over 300 times.

    Also, as is true to human nature, I'm sure I remember it as much hard than it actually was. In another five years I recall the same ride with pumas prowling above and a pit of rattlesnakes below. :D
    elgerol, knight, VTbeemer and 3 others like this.
  19. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,947
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    I think I saw a puma or two :thumb
    but I'm not 100% sure as I couldn't take my eyes off the road for very long :photog
    Yeah ... I thought it was quite a challenge as well... and opt-ed for the fast-first-gear-attack option
    I had to get by a number of Jeeps as well... it was a nice sunny day at the tour folks were BUSY....

    No naps, but I damn near had to change underwear on one blind-corner-Jeep incident....
    I was beeping my horn on the corners but ... we were both moving pretty fast and whew... close...
    infinityjellyd and Motorius like this.
  20. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,751
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    Regular updates on such events can be found here
    MAXVERT and JRWooden like this.