Wednesday, February 25, 2015

VISITING THE UNITED STATES CONSULATE IN NUEVO VALLARTA: Closing a Real Estate Transaction in the U.S. While Living in Mexico


Documents Notarized at the United States Consulate

     In 2014 we decided to sell our home, our cars, and most of our belongings and move into our motorhome. We were going to become full-time RVers. We held several garage sales and posted many Craig's List ads to whittle down our stuff. We crammed every important item we thought we would need in the next year into our 32 foot motorhome and loaded our bicycles on the back. We decided not to tow a car which we had always used
Our Motorhome at Puerto Vallarta Trailer Park
as a "trailer" to hold our boogie boards, beach chairs, and other toys. We decided to get serious about this "minimalist lifestyle". We packed our few remaining precious treasures, photo albums, and favorite furniture that we couldn't bear to get rid of into a storage unit. By Fall our home had not yet sold, but we were itching to leave the cold weather and head south.        
     We left the United States, crossing the border into Mexico in December 2014, hoping our home in Oregon would sell soon, but still not sure of the logistics of closing a home sale in the U.S. while we were living in Mexico for the winter. We thought that if our home sold while we were in Mexico, we would have to fly
Not Where I Would Expect the U.S. Consulate to Be
back to the United States to sign the closing documents.  We budgeted the $2000 we thought it would cost for airline tickets, lodging, and transportation to and from a Title Company in the U.S. We dreaded having to spend the money and time away from Mexico if we had to fly back to the U.S., but knew it would be worth it to free ourselves from the last tie to our "stuff" in Oregon.
     The more we talked to Canadians and Americans about this while living in Mexico, the more we heard that we should be able to sign the documents before a Notary Public at the United States Consulate and ship the notarized
Entrance -- Not Very Impressive
documents to the Title Company in the U.S.
So we began the research to see if this was possible. The whole process seemed like it would be a real challenge to accomplish in the timely manner that the closing process requires. After lots of homework, we found out that it was not only possible, but we were successful. The Notarial Service at U.S. Consular Agencies is just one of the many services provided to U.S. citizens while in foreign countries. Shipping something home from Mexico seemed like the riskiest step since we had not had the best luck with shipping companies in Mexico in the past.

     Here are the steps we took to close the sale of our home in Oregon while living in Mexico:
(Between Sight-Seeing in Puerto Vallarta)
  1. When we were told by the Title Company in Oregon that the closing papers would be e-mailed to us soon, we "moved" our motorhome to the Puerto Vallarta Trailer Park to live there for a week. This was conveniently located for riding the bus
    to Nuevo Vallarta, and turned out to be a very pleasant RV Park.
  2. We checked the website for the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Vallarta at . The hours that the Notarial Service was available only 11:00AM to 12:30PM Monday through Thursday, a very limited time-frame. 
  3. Since we don't own a car, we took a trial run on the bus to Nuevo Vallarta to find the US Consular Agency at Paradise Mall, a cost of 120 peso (about $8.25 U.S.D.) round-trip. Because the Notarial hours were so limited and time was crucial once we
    Very Limited Hours of Operation!
    received the documents, we wanted to know exactly where the Consulate was located. If we missed the 1 1/2 hour window of time for the Notary, we would have to return the next day. We found Paradise Mall, we found the U.S. Consulate, and we had an ice cream cone at the Mall to celebrate! (Then we went sight-seeing in P.V.)
  4. The title company emailed the closing documents to us and informed us they should be printed on legal-size paper. We had our printer with us but no legal-size paper! We walked the three blocks to Office Depot in Puerto Vallarta and purchased a ream of the proper paper. We didn't want a single glitch in this plan. 
  5. We printed the documents using our printer at our motorhome, signed and initialed every place that didn't require a notary. Just to be certain we did everything correctly, we scanned these pages into the computer and emailed them to the Title Company Officer to check our accuracy.
  6. The Day of Signing: We caught the bus in Puerto Vallarta at 8:30 AM, leaving several hours early in case of any delays in the typically one hour bus ride (cost of another $8.25 U.S.D. round-trip). We had the documents, our passports, and plenty of cash in U.S. Dollars to pay the Notary. We arrived at 9:30 AM and decided to check in at the Consulate even though the Notary service starts at 11:00AM. We were in luck!
    Los Muertos Pier in Puerto Vallarta
    The Notary was there and took care of us right away. The cost was $50 U.S.D. for each of the three signatures that she notarized plus $2 U.S.D. for copies of our passports. 
  7. We decided to ship the documents FedEx from a major shipping center we had spotted when the bus turned from Hwy 200 toward Nuevo Vallarta. The agent was very professional and we felt confident that our documents would really make to the Title Company in Oregon. He collected 550 pesos (about $38 U.S.D.) from us, gave us a Tracking Number, and assured us that the package would arrive in Medford, Oregon in three days. (Then we did some more sight-seeing in P.V.)
  8. The documents arrived at the Title Company in Medford, Oregon three days later!
  9. The sale of our home in Oregon has closed! We are full-time RVers and
    Sunset From the Puerto Vallarta Malecon 
    free of encumbrances!
  10. The cost to close the sale of our home in the United States from Mexico was about $206.50 U.S.D.($16.50 for buses, $152 for the Notary, plus $38 for FedEx), well worth it to avoid flying to the United States. We not only saved almost $2000 U.S.D., we avoided the culture shock we would have experienced by flying to the U.S. and back to Mexico in a period of a few days. It had taken us two months to transition to the Mexican way of life, mellow and laid-back, and we preferred to remain that way for the entire six months that our Tourist Permit allows us to stay in Mexico.  (We went sight-seeing to celebrate the closing of our real estate transaction while in Mexico--another beautiful sunset)
Another Beautiful Puerto Vallarta Sunset
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Monday, February 23, 2015


Efren "High Tens" the Front Row in Class

An Energetic Workout in a Pleasant Studio

     I was so glad to find that one of my favorite Zumba Instructors in Mexico, Efren Muñoz, is now giving Zumba classes at Shanti Studio in Puerto Vallarta (PV, as the resident expats call it). 
     Last year I attended Efren's class at the J&B Dancing Club in PV and looked forward to returning. But the doorman at the J&B Dancing Club said there was no Zumba class there this year. So, I checked the website to search for classes in Puerto Vallarta and found the Efren teaches Zumba classes this year at Shanti Studio in the morning and at the park at the Unidad Deportiva Infonavit- CTM on M. Pérez Treviño in the evening. 
Efren Points to Indicate a Direction Change
     Efren has a real knack for teaching Zumba dance steps. He demonstrates new moves in a slower speed as the music begins, then after a few repetitions, just as I start to get the hang of mimicking him, he doubles the pace and everyone in class matches his pace. When Efren wants to signal a step change, he claps his hands sharply to get our attention, then points in the direction we should watch; it may be a change from starting on the right foot to starting on the left, or a change from forward motion to backward, or simply time to add a turn to the routine. His instructions were so easy to
 Hardwood Floor and Natural Light at Shanti Studio
follow, though he rarely spoke a word once the dancing started. I may have been dancing one repetition behind him at times, but who cares! It was great exercise and great fun! If I couldn't match his sexy Latin moves like shaking his shoulders or swinging his hips, at least I gave it my best try, then sometimes laughed at myself. The smiling and laughing that results from learning to do Zumba is just part of the health benefit.

     Shanti Studio is only a mile from where we were staying at the Trailer Park
Entrance to Shanti Studio at Peninsula Plaza
Puerto Vallarta so I rode the bus to class. I remembered that the best way to find Shanti Studio is to watch for the Peninsula Plaza sign at the entrance to the mall, then go up the escalator to the second floor. The Shanti Studio sign over the door makes it easy to find.

     Shanti Studio is one of my favorite places in Mexico to attend Zumba class. The Zumba room has nicely polished hardwood floors for easy, smooth dancing that is gently on the knees and hips. Large windows in the studio let in natural light and show off the view of the mountains surrounding Puerto Vallarta. The room is cool and comfortable when I was there for the 10:15 AM class. It is a very pleasant setting for a healthy Zumba workout.
Shanti Studio is at the Peninsula Plaza
      Efren's class schedule is currently:  
Unidad Deportiva Infonavit- CTM: Monday through Thursday at 7:30PM to 8:20PM
Shanti Studio: Tuesday and Thursday at 8:15 AM and Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:15 AM.      Shanti Studio is located at 2485 Boulevard Francisco Medina Ascencio, Zona Hotele, Plaza Peninsula Local C17, Puerto Vallarta. Contact Efren to verify his class schedule at Efren Munoz at . Verify the Zumba and other class schedule at Shanti Studio by calling 01-322-224-8170 or online at Shanti Studio Class Schedule .

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Friday, February 20, 2015

TELCEL INTERNET AND PHONE IN MEXICO: One Trip to the Telcel Store in Mazatlán, Another to Telcel in Puerto Vallarta

Jon's First Stop at Telcel Mazatlán 

Staying in Touch with Family and Friends While Living in Mexico

     Having Internet service that works with a usable speed is one of our biggest challenges while we live in Mexico. In many of the RV Parks that we stay in, the internet is provided but is unreliable or slow. Some days the internet service doesn't work at all or it is so overloaded by RVers uploading photos and downloading movies, making Skype phone calls, doing Online Banking, and viewing YouTube videos and internet TV that it comes to a standstill. 
     Our solution beginning last season was to have our own portable back-up internet service with us. Jon set up our internet hotspot using the Mexican internet and phone company, Telcel, and an AT&T MiFi Hotspot "unlocked" device he purchased online while in the U.S. A year ago, we visited Telcel in Mazatlán and purchased a Sim Card, a portable memory chip to use in the MiFi for internet access. After a phone call to the manufacturer of the AT&T MiFi to get help setting up the hotspot unit so it would work with the Telcel Sim Card, we had internet in most remote areas of Mexico, as long as there was cell service. We had great internet service on most little beaches and in mountain towns that we visited. We were able to stay
Telcel Christmas Tree  in January
in touch with our family and friends with e-mail, Facebook, and Skype phone calls!

     This season, the unlocked AT&T MiFi Hotspot with last year's Sim Card would not work, even when Jon spent 399 pesos (about $28.00 U.S.) on Telcels website to add 3 GB of data to it! Thus began our education on this year's Telcel system for Sim Cards. As I've always said, the one constant in Mexico is change. Telcel's policies are no exception. Here are the steps we took and what we learned this year to activate the MiFi Hotspot:
  1. Mazatlán Centro Telcel Store to Buy a New Sim Card for Our AT&T Hotspot: We took the Sabalo Centro bus in Mazatlán to an official Telcel store in Centro to find out why our Sim Card would not work. We were told that because we had not used that Sim Card for six months, it was void. We were also told that that policy has now changed, of course, so that Sim Cards
    Sabalo Centro "Tourist" Bus to the Telcel Store
    become inactive after eight months. At this Telcel store, we were told that we had to purchase a new Sim Card. So Jon went to a second line, the Cashier and paid 149 pesos (about $10.25 U.S.) for the new Sim Card.
  2. Ensuring that the AT&T Hotspot Worked with the New Sim Card Before Leaving the  Mazatlán Centro Telcel Store: Jon returned to the first Telcel counter and the helpful associate agreed to put the Sim Card (chip) into the AT&T Hotspot Device, turn it on, and allow us time to test it with our iPad and Samsung tablet to be sure we had internet access. Success! It worked!
  3. Discovering that Our New Sim Card Worked in our Unlocked GSM Phone (Global
    Mazatlán Centro Telcel Store
    System for Mobile Communications Network) Also:
    Before we left, we decided to ask this helpful Telcel associate if the same Sim Card would work in our GSM Phone. She said that it would and she transferred the portable memory chip into the phone, turned it on, and showed us that it appeared to be working. She went one step further for us by obtaining an online password for us for our Telcel account so we could add internet time using Telcel's website. Our GSM phone is a basic model and cannot receive text messages, so she used a Telcel phone to receive the text message for our password and gave the information to us. This young woman went above and beyond in her customer service and was very patient with Jon's slow but accurate Spanish communication (he had written out his questions ahead of time using to translate).
  4. Discovering that After We Activated the New Sim Card for Use in Our GSM Phone, that Sim Card would no Longer Work in Our Unlocked AT&T HotSpot!: Jon first realized that to use the GSM phone with the new Sim Card, he had to call Telcel with the GSM phone to activate the Sim Card/GSM phone. The GSM phone worked. He put the Sim Card (chip) back in the unlocked AT&T Hotspot and the Hotspot did not work any longer! From our experience, it appears that the Sim Card must be activated as a phone chip OR a data chip, not both. 
  5. Puerto Vallarta Centro Telcel Store to Purchase Another Sim Card, This
    Puerto Vallarta Centro (Downtown) Telcel Store
    One For Data Only:  
    We stayed at the Puerto Vallarta Trailer Park, a very nice RV Park with only one drawback--there is no internet in the Park. We had to get our unlocked AT&T MiFi Hotspot going again! So, we took a bus ride to the Puerto Vallarta Centro official Telcel store to purchase a second Sim Card for 149 pesos ($10.25 U.S), this one exclusively for the Hotspot. After testing that our Hotspot worked, we also purchased 3 GB of Data for 399 pesos (about $27.50 U.S.) which expire in 30 days. We were back in touch with family and friends!
  6. Another Lesson We Are Learning: It appears that it is best to NOT add more data to the Sim card until all data time has run out. Recently Jon purchased another 3 GB of Data on Telcel's website using his Debit Card. The charge continues to show as "Pending" on his bank account and the Data has not been added to his Telcel account after several days. At this point, we assume the additional 3 GB of Data will be added when we have used up our existing Data. 
  7. One More Hard Lesson: When adding time using Telcel's website, a rejection
    Puerto Vallarta Centro Telcel Store--A Busy Place
    message stating that the Visa charge failed is not usually true. After two attempts with the same Visa Card, both generating notices that "Purchases Did Not Go Through; Try Later", Jon found that the Visa Card had actually been charged both times.  We are still waiting to use up the original 3GB of Data to see if the 2 blocks of Data he was charged for actually gets added to the Sim Card as it does not show yet show on his account on Telcel's website.
  8. Oh, Another Thing We Later Found Out...Our Sim Card from last year that didn't work so we threw it really just needed to be reactivated at an official Telcel store. When a Sim Card has not been used for a long period of time, it needs to be checked at an Official Telcel store to be sure it is still activated, and have them reactivate it if necessary. It is best to do this before purchasing a packet of Internet Data or Cell Phone Time.
          Overall, we have had good results using Telcel to stay connected with our family and friends while we live in Mexico. These frustrations and lessons learned are worth the trouble so that we can live in this beautiful country six months each year and communicate with others in the United States. We know there are changes coming with the new relationship between AT&T and Telcel, and hopefully they will improve this internet and phone service between the United States and Mexico.  We would love to receive comments and information about this or other systems that work for internet while RVing in Mexico and the United States.
Terry and Jon Turrell Live in Mexico Six Months Each Year
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

LA PEÑITA DE JALTEMBA, NAYARIT: Three RV Parks in this Small Town

Entrance to Sol Tierra RV Park


     We discovered a third RV Park in La Peñita this year. Sol Tierra RV Park (meaning Sun-Earth) is a well-built and well-maintained Park in the middle of a residential neighborhood. When we arrived at this beautiful entrance, we could see immediately that someone had put some real care into creating it. The pretty sign on the wall toward the street says "Un Lugar en el Sol" meaning "A Place in the Sun". 
     When we drove through the massive gate into the Park, we knew that the
Our Southwind at Sol Tierra RV Park
same care had been given to each detail inside as was evident on the outer wall. 
Sol Tierra, a fairly new RV Park built in 2009, was constructed to American Standards with very good utility hook-ups, space for slides, and room for full extension of the awning without hitting a palm tree. Most of the campground in the RV Park is stamped colored concrete for a patio feel, well-planned with a slight slope to allow rainwater to drain to the street. Palm trees, the variety that does not produce coconuts, had been planted between each RV site when the park was built so the trees were mature and pretty, giving a little shade without the danger of a coconut falling on our heads or rigs
Clean, Refreshing Pool at Sol Tierra
     There were 14 sites in the park, some with tile-roofed palapas for shade. Each site has its own restroom with a toilet and shower, nicely tiled and with hot water. There is a pretty little swimming pool in the back, surrounded by a small lawn. The “Happy Hour” seating area next to the pool, surrounded by potted palms and covered by a shade tent, is the afternoon gathering area for socializing. The laundry room has a washer and dryer, each with a plastic container on top to deposit 20 pesos (about $1.40 U.S.)per load of laundry, an honor system. The weekly rate for our site without a palapa cover was 1755 pesos (about $120 U.S.), a very good price. Monthly rates are discounted further. The managers are very friendly and speak English and French. Additional information may be obtained at . 

Little Rigs RV Park--A Small Park on the Beach

Sweet Pool at Little Rigs RV Park
     We stayed at the Little Rigs RV Park last year and found it to be very enjoyable, situated on the beach, with a nice breeze blowing gently into the RV sites. It is located within walking distance of downtown La Peñita de Jaltemba. Though not recommended for rigs over 30 feet, in early 2014 we decided to see if we could squeeze our 32 foot Class A Southwind into a site near the gate. We loved the beachfront location, the beautiful swimming pool, and the garden feel with grass, flowers, and palm trees everywhere. There was a sweet little swimming pool that the owners kept very clean and was naturally warmed to about 84 degrees (F), a great place for an afternoon dip and a chat with the other campers. Brian and
Sunset and Beach at Little Rigs RV Park
Carole Francoeur are the friendly owners and managers of Little Rigs RV Park and they keep the property clean and well maintained. They speak both English and French. Their home is on the property, surrounded by pretty gardens and grass planted on the sand to keep the dust and dirt to a minimum. The palapa next to the beach was the gathering place at happy hour to watch the sunset. Everyone we met there was very friendly, and we added this to our list of places to return to next winter. Located at: Privada Cabo San Lucas #1, La Penita de Jaltemba. Phone: Mexico-(322)107-0083, Canada-(250)652-1768. Email: 

La Peñita Trailer Park

     La Peñita Trailer Park is a large and popular RV Park up on a hill above the beach. We stayed there years ago when it was the only RV Park in La Peñita. Our best memory of our time there was the fun water volleyball game in the large swimming pool. This community has many planned social activities. It is located about a mile north of town so it is necessary to drive or take a bus or taxi to town. For more information see their website at .

Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015



Shaking Zumba Toning Sticks
     When Penny told me that her Zumba Toning class started at 7:50 in the morning, I said, "That's awfully early! I'm not really a morning person..." and then I heard myself whining. (Excuse Number 31 not to go to Zumba class)
    After I attended Penny's Zumba Toning class, I realized that this was a very invigorating way to start the day. The walk to the park in the cool morning air was refreshing. When I arrived at the basketball court where class is held, I was surprised at how many people had gathered this early in the morning in the shade of the park's trees to tone their muscles. Once the Latin music started and Penny rallied us to begin stretching and stepping to the music, I felt my muscles loosening and warming and I was glad I had come. Then we picked up our weights to begin strengthening exercises,  and I noticed that several of us had Zumba Toning Sticks, purchased from Zumba® Fitness. Others were using water bottles filled with sand or other make-shift weights. The Zumba Toning Sticks are available in 1 pound weights with green knobs on each end and in 2.5 pound weights with purple knobs on each end. They contain beads inside that create a rattling sound like a maraca when you shake them, a reminder to tense your muscles as you give them a little shake at the end of a move. 
My 2.5 lb. Zumba Toning Sticks
     I had purchased my 2.5 pound weights from Zumba® Fitness while we were in the United States and brought them with me to Mexico. I thought that they might be too light-weight, but they turned out to be plenty heavy enough for 40 to 60 minutes of Zumba Toning. Shaking a purple maraca-like set of weights while working out seemed silly to me at first, but now I see that the sound effect motivates me to tense my muscles and focus on toning, giving me a better workout.
    After 40 minutes of Zumba Toning, Penny greeted another 20 or so people who joined the group on the basketball court and she started to lead us enthusiastically in a Zumba Gold class. Zumba Toning was a good warm-up. I felt more energetic than usual when we started the Salsa, Cha-Cha, Cumbia, and other Latin dance moves in the Zumba Gold class. Quite a few of the women wore short wrap skirts covered with spangles that make a pleasant tinkling sound and shimmered in the sunlight when they shook their hips just right. The rhythm of the spangles tinkling to the beat of the Latin music seems to help the dancer focus on the movement of the hips during Zumba. I may have to get myself one of those spangle skirts someday...
        As I felt my energy levels flagging after an hour and forty minutes of Zumba, I wondered where Penny gets all of her energy and endurance! After class, I asked her how, at the age of 72, she can teach these two classes back-to-back three days each week. She just smiled and said, "And I'm going to play golf this afternoon." I went home and took a nap for an hour. Penny is amazing to me! She is a real inspiration to me and many others in Mazatlán.
Spangle Skirts Help You Shake Your Hips
     Penny Fuller teaches Zumba Toning and Zumba Gold in the park at the corner of Atún and Mojarra Streets in Mazatlán's Golden Zone. Zumba Toning begins at 7:50 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the high season. Zumba Gold classes start at 8:30 AM following Zumba Toning. To verify class schedules or to contact Penny, go to

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE PURCHASED MY BOOK: Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico

Please Tell Your Friends About my eBook Now Available on

     “Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico”, the book, has been available for Kindles, iPads, iPhones, Android phones and tablets for over a month now. Thank you to everyone who has purchased it. If you haven't read it yet, you can take a "Look inside" at HEALTHY LIVING AND TRAVELING IN MEXICO on
     If you found my book helpful or interesting, please give it a rating with little yellow stars at REVIEW THE BOOK . It will go a long way in helping me with additional sales. Now that I have taken the scary step of quitting my day job, my book sales are my only income. Every $2.98 royalty check is very exciting to me!
     Please tell your friends about the book. Even if they don’t have a Kindle, iPad, or other mobile device, they can download the Kindle App onto their computer to read the book. They can “Look Inside” the book on at (click this link): "Look Inside" HEALTHY LIVING AND TRAVELING IN MEXICO
     Most of all, I hope that my book helps you decide to add Mexico to your travel plans. My goal in writing this book was to help others see Mexico for the beautiful place that it is, to realize that the Mexican people are kind and peaceful, the scenery is amazing, the weather in the winter is outstanding, the food is excellent, and the adventure and exercise opportunities are endless. After 20 years of traveling and living in Mexico, we still love returning for 6 months each year. I hope you will enjoy Mexico, too.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015



     I found these statistics interesting, so I thought you might, also. It is fun to see what topics and which Mexican cities interest others the most. I am always searching for the next interesting subject. Will it be a restaurant, a Zumba class, surfing, live music, a jungle walk, whale-watching....? There is never a shortage of topics to learn about while living in Mexico. Maybe it will be our first trip to the American Consulate next week...that should be interesting!
     Thank you to all who viewed and commented!
Mazatlán and San Carlos were Popular Cities

Most Viewings were From United States, Mexico, & Canada
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Monday, February 2, 2015

RV PARK LIVING IN MAZATLÁN: Some Closing, Some Improving

We Enjoy Mar Rosa RV Park--Living on the Beach!   

Beautiful Sunset From Mar Rosa RV Park -- Unique Every Day
     We return to Mar Rosa RV Park each year, even though it is the most expensive in Mazatlán. It is hard to beat the beachfront location in the Golden Zone, close to restaurants, banks, shopping, and the bus stop. But, the Mar Rosa property is reportedly for sale and who knows how soon it will be replaced with a towering condominium. This year San Bartolo Trailer Park is closed and homes are being built on that property. In addition, Trailer Park California is closed. We decided it was time to evaluate the remaining RV Parks in Mazatlán since Mar Rosa's time as a beachfront campground may soon be over. We may have to choose between the other five Parks when we return in May. They are listed below with brief descriptions.
     This year we are evaluating Mexican cities and RV Parks for the place that we will retire. Factors that become important to us for long-term residence are:
    *Location that is close to restaurants, banking, shopping, Centro and health care
    *Ocean & Beach View and Access
    *Internet speed
    *Monthly Rates
    *Friendliness of neighbors and owners/managers
    *Laundry facilities or pickup & delivery
    *Water, Electricity, and Sewer services acceptable
    *Bus and taxi service
    *Zumba and other exercise nearby
    *Live Music and other entertainment nearby

Mar Rosa RV Park: Located on the beach in the Golden Zone next to the The Palms Resort. It is within easy walking distance (or a bus-ride) of restaurants, banks, grocery stores, live music, and the Historic District. The manager, Maleno, is very friendly and they have 24 hour security. Several bus lines run along the street in front, Sabalo Cerritos, and the buses stop in front of the RV Park every few minutes. Utility hookups are very good quality. Zumba classes with Penny are just a few blocks away (Click to view Zumba Mexico Blog-Zumba with Penny in Mazatlan ). Laundry gets picked up by a local laundry service, washed, neatly folded and returned in one day. Rates vary by row with beachfront being the most expensive. Last year we enjoyed the front row view. This year we stayed in the second row, still in view of the ocean, but saving us a significant amount on rent. Weekly rate was $3910 pesos ($270 U.S.) including very good internet. This comes to $1160 U.S. per month. Monthly discounts of about 9 percent are given if staying three months or longer. Email: Phone: 52-669-913-6187
Front Row of Mar Rosa RV Park
San Fernando RV Park: Located 2 blocks in from the beach near the Golden Zone. It was nearly full when we visited this month since San Bartolo RV Park is now closed. It is close to many restaurants, banks, shopping, and two blocks from the bus stop. There are laundry facilities and a small swimming pool. The rates are $25 U.S. per day, $155 U.S. per week, and $550 per month. The internet rate is $30 U.S. (one time charge). Email: Phone: 52-669-914-0173

Trailer Park Las Jaibas: Located on Av. Sábalo-Cerritos about 1.2 miles south of the Mazatlán Playas Junction, on the side of the street opposite the beach. There is only a small sign, Google Maps doesn't list it, and it is difficult to spot, so here are the GPS coordinates: 23.28529N, 106.47055W. When we visited this week, it was about one-third full and the residents were friendly to us. There is a new small pool and laundry machines. The weekly rate for rigs up to 34 feet is $150 U.S. and includes internet. The daily rate is $30 U.S. and the monthly rate is $460 U.S. Email: Phone: 52-669-988-1374
Trailer Park Las Jaibas Has Pretty Bougainvilleas
Mar-A-Villas RV Park: Located on beachfront property about 4.5 miles north of Mar Rosa RV Park, though none of the sites are on the beach. $450 U.S. per month, $420 U.S. per month if you pay up front. This small park was nearly full when we visited this year and has a loyal following of Canadians and Americans who have been coming for years. $100 U.S. deposit is required to reserve a site for next season. There is no email or phone contact information. A personal visit with Alredo Tirado, Owner at the park is the only way to make a reservation.

Punta Cerritos RV Park: Located on a hilltop overlooking the ocean at the end of Av. Sábalo-Cerritos. It is a new, modern Park intended to be for long-term residents and many RVs are already surrounded by small structures such as stone walls, tiled patios, and outdoor kitchens. There are a few restaurants and some shopping in the area. The buses stop nearby. It is the furthest RV Park from Mazatlán Centro, about a 45 minute bus ride. The weekly rate is 180 U.S. and monthly rate is $650 U.S. Discounts are given for yearly rental, with rates varying between $3500 and $5000 per year. Email:  When I emailed them, the manager replied promptly and courteously. 

Tres Amigos RV Park: Located on Stone Island, on the south side of the Mazatlán port. It is relatively easy to take a water taxi to the ferry dock on the city side and then a taxi to Centro for restaurants, banks, shopping, and health care. Tres Amigos is a fairly new beachfront Park on a shallow bay with mellow waves. Driving in to the park is the biggest drawback as it is down an eight mile long, very rough gravel road. The front row next to the beach is reserved a year in advance and there is a waiting list to get a front row site. Rates are posted on their website at but may not have been updated this year. According to visitors who had stayed there, the monthly rate was about $450 U.S. per month for the back row and about $600 per month for a beach-front site. I emailed them but did not receive a reply. Email: . Phone: 52-669-914-1444.
Tres Amigos RV Park Front Row on Stone Island Mazatlan
     Most RVers return to the same RV park each year. Everyone has their favorite for different reasons. Sometimes it is just because that is where their friends stay. For us, as long as Mar Rosa RV Park is open, we will return to it. Who knows what next year will bring...
We Like "Living" on the Second Row at Mar Rosa RV Park Just Fine
   For more information on Mazatlán, see my eBook now available at "HEALTHY LIVING AND TRAVELING IN MEXICO" eBook on

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

CULINARY MARKET IN MAZATLÁN: Hector's Bistro, La Krema Cafe, Markets for Seafood, Organic Produce, & Bread

Specialty Foods & Bistros in the Historic District of Mazatlán

The Culinary Market (Mercado Culinario)
     A trip to the Culinary Market in Mazatlán  was a real treat. Our intended destination was the newly opened Hector's Bistro for lunch in the Historic District. We were having trouble finding Hector's and didn't even realize we had walked by it twice. There are no bold signs shouting that we had arrived at a real jewel in this neighborhood. 

    Luckily, as we circled the block, we saw the subtle but attractive sign on the window of the bakery inside: Mercado Culinario (Culinary Market). We discovered that there is much more hidden inside this restored colonial building than Hector's Bistro. We found that we had to duck into one of the doorways and poke around the interior to discover the colorful, organized merchant stands offering specialty foods. 
Fresh Organic Produce Stand

     The fruit and vegetables in the little Fresh Organic Produce stand were so pretty that I couldn't resist buying a few things. I found the fresh mushrooms I needed for my Crock-Pot Pot Roast (see article about Henderson's Meat Market) and a few other items that are difficult to find in Mexico, displayed in an inviting manner (dates lightly covered to keep the dust off, fresh berries with no flies buzzing around them, shiny red onions with the dirty outer skin removed). 
Flash-Frozen Vacuum-Packed Fish & Other Seafood
     We were excited to find salmon at this tienda (small store), flash frozen and beautifully packaged. The price was excellent so we purchased two fillets. The young man who helped us with our questions about the seafood was running the kitchen at La Krema, as well, a busy sidewalk cafe in the Culinary Market, but he managed to remain friendly and helpful. He let us know that as soon as he finished cooking breakfast and making a specialty coffee drink for his customer at La Krema cafe, he would be right over to help us and the others gathering around the freezer full of scallops, tuna, squid, swordfish, and other seafood, all labeled with their MercaMar brand name. He cheerfully rang up our purchase, helped us pack our salmon into the cooler we had brought with us, and gave us two recipes for preparing our salmon, as he thanked us for shopping with him. That's service that will keep the gringos coming back often!
Hector's Bistro in the Culinary Market
     We finished our shopping with a purchase of fresh whole grain bread at the bakery and then settled into Hector's Bistro for a delicious lunch. Jon had a Reuben Sandwich that was large enough that we could have shared it, but we didn't. I had a refreshing salad with grilled chicken, goat cheese, roasted green beans, and various other fresh vegetables and nuts. We enjoyed the atmosphere in Hector's and appreciated the decor that included the original old ceiling beams, new wall textures and colors to compliment the beams, rustic metal light fixtures, and interesting artwork throughout. The service was very good, the waiter friendly and English-speaking. We plan to return to the Culinary Market and next time we will try Hector's for dinner.

    Hector's Bistro and the Culinary Market are located at the corner of Mariano Escobeda and Heriberto Frias, one block from the Plaza Machado in the Historic District. They are also conveniently located one block from Angel Flores where we caught the Sabalo Centro bus back home to the Mar Rosa RV Park in the Golden Zone. 
     This fun day of shopping and lunch in the Historic
District of Mazatlán definitely qualified as "Healthy Living in Mexico". 
     To read more about living and traveling in Mexico, take a look at my eBook now available on worldwide for Kindles and Kindle Apps: