Travel

TRAVEL

Sol Mexico News Travel Section features a different Mexican destination every issue. If you would like to share an article or blog, write us co/ editor@ontheroadin.com You can find other articles about Mexican destinations here

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Chacchoben

Chacchoben Mayan “The Place of Red Corn”

Chacchoben is 165 KMs south of Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It is located in bush/jungle not far from the main highway 186, the north / south corridor from Cancun to Chetumal on the Caribbean coast.

Chacchoben is 165 KMs south of Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It is located in bush/jungle not far from the main highway 186, the north / south corridor from Cancun to Chetumal on the Caribbean coast.

HISTORICAL NOTES

DATES

Timeline Graph

200 BC – first inhabitants lived in small villages near the water. Population grew.

700 AD – Cultural peak. Most of the construction of buildings and temples.

1942 – Mayan Serviliano Cohuo settles on property and raises family near the ruins.

1972 – Dr. Peter Harrison, American Archeologist, made the first exploration and maps and reported Chacchoben ruins to the Mexican Government after a fluke spotting of the site from a helicopter.

1978 – Serviliano Cohuo, was designated honorary guard of Chacchoben and was granted the right to stay at the site1994 – Chacchoben restoration project under INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) started. Complexes identified as Group I-A and Group I-B were excavated and restored.

2002 – Opened to the public.

LOCATION & DESCRIPTION

Geographic Location

Chacchoben is 165 KMs south of Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It is located in bush/jungle not far from the main highway 186, the north / south corridor from Cancun to Chetumal on the Caribbean coast.

Map

Map Chacchoben

Entrance

MAJOR GROUPINGS & STRUCTURE DESCRIPTIONS

There is a circular path that leads you to the restored temples and other buildings. There is continued research in the site and you may see ongoing work.
Note that INAH has set up palapa to prevent erosion and degradation from the natural elements.

The surrounding area has an abundant wildlife such as armadillo, deer, gray fox, peccary and spider monkey.  Often you can hear howler monkeys at the site. Larger canines live deeper in the jungle

Edifice 24 is a medium to large stepped pyramid with a central stairway leading to the top. There are three separate levels and the top level with the remains of a temple. At the back of the temple you can see some of the original plaster.

Edifice 24 is a medium to large stepped pyramid with a central stairway leading to the top. There are three separate levels and the top level with the remains of a temple.
At the back of the temple you can see some of the original plaster.

Edifice 24

Edifice 24 is a medium to large stepped pyramid with a central stairway leading to the top. There are three separate levels and the top level with the remains of a temple.

At the back of the temple you can see some of the original plaster.

Plaza B Las Vias

Gran Plaza

Gran Basamerete

Los gemelos

Las Vasijas

Temple 1

HOURS

Open Daily from 8 am to 5 pm.

Admission 2013 46 pesos. Free on Sundays for nationals and Mexican residents.

Allow at least 2 hours, especially if you like to climb and take pictures.

RECOMMENDATIONS

You can stroll safely undisturbed throughout the site – often you will be the only ones there.  Take good shoes as there is plenty of walking and climbing- and a fair amount memory and batteries for your photographs.

As this is site is in a somewhat remote jungle area, take water and insect repellant. There are no restaurants or food vendors.

Dress according to the season you are visiting.

You can stroll safely undisturbed throughout the site – often you will be the only ones there. Take good shoes as there is plenty of walking and climbing- and a fair amount memory and batteries for your photographs.

You can stroll safely undisturbed throughout the site – often you will be the only ones there. Take good shoes as there is plenty of walking and climbing- and a fair amount memory and batteries for your photographs.

GETTING THERE

GPS – N19.00.02 W88.13.57

Bus:

Take a bus to Limones or Pedro Santos and then a private Taxi to the site – approximately 200 pesos. Ask the taxi driver to return.

Tours

Tours and tour buses go frequently to Chacchoben and can be arranged on the internet. Often tour buses pick people up from the Costa Maya cruise terminal or Majahual.

Drive from Cancun:

Take Highway 307 and drive south past Tulum and Felipe Carrillo Puerto. Take the first right after KM 71 towards the ruins. Takes approximately 3.5 hours

Drive from Chetumal:

Take Highway 307 North to KM 170. Turn Left towards the ruins.

 

la penita rv

Culiacán Sinaloa

 

Culiancanmap Culiacán Sinaloa

CuliacancoaPalace of Snakes”

Or

“Those who adore the crooked God Coltzin”

“Culiacán is the capital and largest city in the State of Sinaloa and sits inland in the middle of the state. It is a the center of the agriculture business on the west coast of Mexico and one of the most important bread boxes for the country. Culiacán is the birthplace of the Sinaloa Cartel and the economy has been fueled by the underground economy through illegal drug activities.”

Location – Culiacán is located in the center on the state of Sinaloa – in the Pacific North western side of the country. It sits in the valley where the Tamazula and Humaya rivers meet to form the Culiacán River

Weather – Semi arid Climate. Summers are hot and humid. Winters are mild.

 

 

Weather forecast for Culiacan
Sunday
weather in Culiacan on Sunday
Mostly Sunny

Max  35°C
Min  24°C
Monday
weather in Culiacan on Monday
Storm

Max  33°C
Min  26°C
Tuesday
weather in Culiacan on Tuesday
Storm

Max  32°C
Min  26°C
Wednesday
weather in Culiacan on Wednesday
Storm

Max  31°C
Min  25°C
Thursday
weather in Culiacan on Thursday
Storm

Max  31°C
Min  24°C
 

 

Weather Today in Culiacan

 

January average Highs 27.5C  (81.5F) Lows 10.6C  (51.1F)

July average Highs 42.5C  (108.5F) Lows 35.4C  (95.7F)

Rainiest Months are July (145.3 mm  (5.72 inches) August 191.6 mm  (7.543 inches) and September 129.3 mm  (5.091 inches)

Population – 860,000

Elevation – 55 M

Founded – 1531

Medical – Hospitals, Clinics, Doctors, Dentists, Specialists.

Money – Numerous Banks, ATMs

Airport – Bachigualato International Airport or the International Airport Culiacán Federal. Domestic, International, Military. It is the eleventh most important airport of the country by number of passengers

Industry – Culiacán produces 32% of Sinaloa’s economy through mainly agriculture.  

History:

Since 628 the location was home to small Indian groups. In 1531  Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán founded the city and named it San Miguel de Culiacán. It was also instrumental to numerous other expeditions including Francisco Vásquez de Coronado who started his journey here to settle the south western states in the US.

The state and this area attracted European migrants and it remained a peaceful pleasant town. When the dams were built in the mid 1900’s, agriculture boomed and Culiacán experienced rapid growth. Agriculture remains the areas main industry.

In the late 1950s, Culiacán developed an underground economy based on drugs. The gangs have grown and Culiacán has maintained the dubious reputation as the birthplace to the Sinaloa Cartel. The original families remain head of the existing cartel.

Festivals

Things to See and Do:

Walk Centro – Start on Calle Rosales and visit the plaza and Cathedral

Regional History Museum in the “Parque Constitución”

Botanical Garden

Centro de Ciencias de Sinaloa – an interesting science museum that has on display the 5th largest meteorite in the world.

Parks

Ernesto Millán Escalante Park – pools, attractions, an artificial lake, gardens, sports courts, the long water slide, an open air theatre Constitución Civic Center – Culiacán Library, the Culiacán Zoo, Dancing Fountains, sports courts, running Las Riveras Park – Pedal boats and a zip line across the river, bike paths.

Shopping

Culiacán is known for its large and modern shopping centers

Culiancanmap1Accommodation:

HOTELS

Culiacan Hotels
RV PARKS NEARBY

Culiacan

Hotel Los Tres Rios

Jardines La Rinconada Balneario

Celestino

Villa Celeste – Celestino, Sinaloa

Villas Tourtugas, Celestino, Gasca

Punta San Miguel RV Park – Celestino Gasca, Sinaloa

Celestino RV Resort – Celestino, Sinaloa

Directions:

Culiacán is easily accessible from Mexico Highway 15 south of Los Mochis and North of Mazatlan

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See More Articles About Mexico

 

 

Planning & Info For Mexico

 Bill and I have been driving to Mexico for years now. Or website “On the Road In ” ontheroadin.com was started about 20 years ageo. The following is information we gleened along the way to help yo plan and prepare a successful road trip in Mexico.

Planning & Information

All the information you need to assist you in planning a successful road trip through Mexico:Documents & Crossing the Border, Driving in Mexico, Routes and Driving Distances, Security Issues, Medical, Favorite Recipes, Museums, News, Calendar and a whole lot more.

Documents & Crossing the Border

Driving in Mexico

Routes and Driving Distances

Security Issues

Medical

Miscellaneous Info

Museums

News About Mexico

 

Caution: ATM Scams

by Tara A. Spears

atm Thieves always work overtime during the holiday season, and this year they have target local ATM machines. Since many of the residents are retired expats with foreign bank accounts and regular monthly deposits, this group is a gold mine for would be thieves. To avoid having your account depleted, take the time to follow a few safety steps. The methods used by criminals to gain entry to your money accounts include hacking into bank databases, phishing scams and unsolicited emails, the breaching of retailer computer systems and card skimming devices placed on ATMs.

Skimming Defined: In general, skimming occurs when ID thieves secretly install special equipment in credit card readers either at the ATM, gas pump machine or any other card swiping device to capture the personal information on your card each time you swipe.

The reader makes two copies of your credit or debit card information: one to process the transaction and one to later download the information to the ID thieves. There’s sometimes a hidden camera to record your pin, as well. There have been instances, too, where your information gets transmitted wirelessly to thieves. On average ID thieves rake in $30,000 per skimming incident, according to ADT Security Solutions.

Closely study the following pictures of a safe machine and one that is tampered with:

atm2What kinds of scams are out there?

Skimming typically involves the use of a hidden cameras (top) to record customers’ PINs, and phony keypads (right) placed over real keypads to record keystrokes.

According to the fraud department of the American Banking Association, there are currently four main types of electronic theft occurring worldwide:

Fraudsters make counterfeit ATM cards by using a skimmer, which is a card-swipe device that reads the information on a consumer’s ATM card. Scammers take a blank card and encode all the information from an ATM card when they swipe immediately after the machine’s last transaction. The skimmer catches the PIN (personal identification number) through a small camera mounted on the ATM. The consumer is unaware they’ve been scammed because the ATM card has not been stolen and still works at other machines.

The “Lebanese Loop” is another popular ATM scam. Scammers insert a portable steel loop into an ATM card slot. The scammer usually approaches the victim while at the machine, and poses as the person next in line. Victims are advised to enter their PINs three times and then hit cancel to get the machine to accept the cards. The scammer is able to memorize the PIN for future use and the machine keeps the card because of the excessive number of attempts to enter the correct PIN. Victims leave in frustration because they couldn’t get any money and they’ve lost their card. Once the loop is taken out of the ATM the scammer has the card and the PIN number for future transactions. This is a relatively new scam that many experts believe will be short-lived due to fast technology upgrades.

In some situations, criminal hackers are able to capture account information by using WiFI scanners and cracking programs to download transaction data when the systems fail to be protected by high-level encryption software. Thus far, those I talked to in the area who were scammed have been Mexican and American- I’ve read that Canadian banks have a better, safer encoding magnetic strip on their cards-perhaps it’s true.

Bandit machines. These ATM machines look like the real thing but are not owned/connected to an actual bank or financial institution. The criminals place them near legitimate machines, place an ‘out-of-order’ sign on the real machine which channels customers to the bogus machine. The bandit machine will not give you money, but is there to record your personal information for the thieves to be able to access your account.

Phishing scams and unsolicited emails

Phishing is probably the easiest method for criminals to get into your account and is a widespread fraud technique. Some of the scams are quite clever but they all rely on poor judgment by the recipient to be effective.

Never click a link in an email to go to your bank, credit union, financial investment institution, eBay account or anywhere else to log in if it’s related to your finances. Always go to these websites directly from your bookmark or by typing in the address yourself. If even that worries you then give the bank a call and ask them for information. Following this simple rule will protect you from getting “phished” by a criminal. Every time you delete- it’s even better to ‘spam’- an email requesting that you click a link to enter your credentials on a banking website foils a phishing scam.

Guidelines to avoid ATM fraud:

Keep a low monthly limit on your cards

Keep your PIN in a safe place and don’t tell it to anyone

Watch out you are not observed when entering your PIN

Don’t keep your PIN in your wallet

Don’t be distracted or helped by persons near ATM

After the completed transaction make sure the card you are holding is yours and has not been swapped

If many ATM machines are out of order in your local area, they might have been intentionally damaged to direct you to the single one who is working

Use Trusted ATM locations. Your bank’s indoor ATM is a safe bet, since it’s usually guarded with a security officer or camera. It’s much more difficult for ID thieves to compromise an indoor bank ATM than say, a random ATM on the street corner outside a convenient store.

If your card gets lost, stuck in an ATM machine or stolen cancel it and report to your bank or police as soon as possible

Check to see if anything has changed on your machine!

Learn to spot scams. Call the customer service number on the back of your card if you suspect a fraud attempt.

atm3Shield the keypad and your card number from view when entering your PIN into an ATM. Some brazen thieves will use binoculars to steal account information and then create counterfeit cards. Ask questions if a store clerk swipes your card using two different machines; one of them could have been a card reader used to copy your account information.

If your card is denied, use another machine. Skimmers aren’t efficient and may need you to punch in your pin more than once in order to fully record your information. If you get asked more than once to submit your information, cancel the transaction and move to a different machine. If possible, notify a bank rep of the difficulty with the machine.

Check Your Card’s Activity Regularly. While we can’t always prevent ID theft, we can be proactive in limiting the damage. Check your card’s activity online daily to make sure the transactions are, in fact, legitimate. Notify any suspicious activity to your bank as soon as possible.

If you still think that skimming and card fraud is something that couldn’t happen to you, read these facts as reported in USA TODAY: Avivah Litan, fraud analyst at Gartner, a research firm, estimates that fraud involving debit cards, PINs and point-of-sale equipment has surged 400% over the past five years. One tactic, she says, has been “flash attacks”: Using the stolen information, gangs create thousands of counterfeit debit cards and then dispatch cronies to at least 100 ATM machines in several cities at once. Each withdraws a small dollar amount from several accounts to avoid fraud-detection software, adding up to tens of thousands of dollars in losses.

Until recently, skimming equipment was relatively crude and clunky, attached to card-readers with double-stick foam tape and relying on small cameras to record hands punching in PINs. Newer devices include equipment that fits inside card readers, pinhead-sized cameras and well-crafted attachments that sit snugly on top of ATM card readers and PIN pads, looking just like the real equipment. Bluetooth technology allows the fake card reader and PIN pad to talk to each other, and data drives or wireless technology can make downloading of stolen information quick and easy.

atm4Fraud criminals also are targeting bigger players: Whereas most of the fraud in previous years took place at independent ATMs or at retail points of sale, fraud at bank-owned ATMs made up more than 80% of the breaches in the first six months of this year, says Fair Isaac, which provides fraud-detection software. “If it’s done correctly you would not notice that anything looks amiss,” Krebs says. In a traditional skimming scam, thieves place a card-skimming device into the card insertion slot. The skimmer can steal account information stored on the magnetic strip on back of the card when it is dipped into the machine. The new twist? Clear plastic overlays also are placed on top of the PIN pad to capture personal identification numbers. Also, some skimmers can text the stolen bank account information and PINs directly to the scammer so that person never has to return to the scene of the crime. I was horrified to learn that scammers don’t have to be in the area to hack- they can be sitting anywhere in the world!

By being aware of the potential fraud, you can take precautionary steps to prevent becoming an electronic victim.

martinMartin’s Property Management assist you!Telephone: 327 274 2723    cell: 322 146 1666     Email: martintorrespaga@yahoo.com.mx     English Spoken  Martin’s Upholstery Shop, Calle Bahia de Jaltemba #16a, Los Ayalas   Open every day but Sunday

 

Calakmul

Calakmul (Kalakmul) Campeche

Calakmul, Mayan Ruins Deep in the Jungles of Campeche

Calakmul, Mayan Ruins Deep in the Jungles of Campeche

“City of the Two Adjacent Pyramids”

Maya (ca – two, lak – adjacent, mul – artificial hill or pyramid)

Also Known as Ox Te’ Tuun (Three Stones) and also Chiik Naab (No known meaning)

Named by botanist Cyrus L. Lundell who 1931discovered the Maya city of Calakmul

HISTORICAL NOTES

DATES

Timeline Graph

Specific Dates

600 BC – Beginning occupation

514 – Earliest inscribed date. Calakmul is a powerful city in the Petan. It is the central power fo outlying towns and villages.

537 – King Cu-Ix appears in Yaxchilan lintel
546 – King Cu-Ix appears on Stelae at Naranjo. Calakamul is courting favor with other cities and cementing strategic relationships in the Petan area. Calakamul and alies surround Tikal

550 – begins the period of building structures for next 150 years

561- King Sky Witness installs ruler at Los Alacranes. Also overlord of Caracol

562 – Sky Witness defeats the great city of Tikal. Sacrifices King Wak Chan K’awiil

572 – Death of Sky Witness

695 AD – King Jaguar-Paw of Calakmul was defeated by Ah-Cacaw of Tikal

810 – Recorded history stops

850 – Continued occupation

1450 – 1550 – Largely abandoned. Used as a ceremonial site.

LOCATION & DESCRIPTION

Geographic location

LOCATION & DESCRIPTION

Calakmul is a large Maya archaeological site in Campeche Mexico deep in the jungles of the Petén Basin. It is remote; 60 kms from Highway 186 (the highway between Campeche and Chetumal) and 35 kms from the Guatamalan border. The vegetation is lush and because it is in such a remote location, there is an exciting array of wildlife both getting to and at the archeological site. There are over 230 species of birds.

The site is thick with jungle and relatively flat.

Map

 

Entrance

Parking, tickets, publications, first aid and caretaker.

Satellite phone, information and interpretive signs.

MAJOR GROUPINGS & STRUCTURE DESCRIPTIONS

Deep in the jungle of Campeche

Deep in the jungle of Campeche

HOURS

Open Daily from 8 am to 5 pm.

There is a watchman at the gate who will charge you the standard fee & extra for video cameras.

Admission 2013 48pesos. Free on Sundays for nationals and Mexican residents.

Allow at least 4 hours, especially if you like to climb. More if you like to read each plaque and take pictures.)

RECOMMENDATIONS

Take good shoes as there is plenty of climbing- and a fair amount memory and batteries for your photographs. We recommend you stay on the designated paths as you can easily get lost in the dense bush jungle.

As this is site is in a remote jungle area, take water and insect repellant. The mosquitos can be vicious. There are no restaurants or food vendors.

Dress according to the season you are visiting. Rain can advance quickly)

Calakmul

Calakmul, Mayan Ruins Deep in the Jungles of Campeche

Calakmul, Mayan Ruins Deep in the Jungles of Campeche

GETTING THERE

GPS – N18.105.392 W89.810.829

Busses

Many buses go to Xpujil. Once there take a taxi to the site. For 900 pesos 2 ways. The driver waits for you.

Tours

There are a few tours on the internet.

Drive from Villahermosa:

Take Highway 186 to Escárcega and then East to KM 156. Turn right at signs for Calakmul. 458 KMs – 6.5 hours.

From Campeche:

Drive Highway 180 South to Champotón. Turn to Highway 261 to Escárcega. Turn on Highway 186 towards Chetumal and drive to KM 156. Turn right at signs for Calakmul. 458 KMs – 6.5 hours.

304 KMs – Approximately 4.5 to 5 hours

 

 

Buy your Vehicle Insurance from Someone You Can Trust….Not a neon sign at the side of the highway

Get a free quote for Mexico Car Insurance

Many people buy their vehicle insurance just before they enter Mexico. And while it might work for them, it could mean a major problem if they get into an accident. Who was that agent?

Bill and Dorothy Bell are known experts in Mexico. You have probably visited one of their acclaimed websites or heard them on radio or in the news. They are folks you can trust for solid advice and have been for 25 years. 

Where in Mexico Are You Going

When you are planning your trip to Mexico, don’t forget to purchase the Bell’s famous Road Logs. These widely acclaimed guides are like having a well travelled friend guide you as you drive down the road. Part travel log and part commentary, you will enjoy your trip just that much more.   For a second time, we are offering the Road Log free with the purchase of our vehicle insurance. Get a quote and purchase your insurance and then write us. We will email you the latest copy of the Road Log.  

On The Road in the Baja with Bill and Dorothy Bell Teotihuacán AND Monte Alban Onsite Guides Welcome to the Mexico Archeology  Onsite Guides app for your tablet! “You are going to have one of Mexico’s most exciting experiences. Walking down the “Avenue of the Dead,” you can almost feel the ancient civilization that once built and occupied this city.

You can imagine the colors and sounds of this sophisticated culture that dominated the America’s long before Columbus or Cortez set foot on this continent. Imagine, explore and have fun The Teotihuacán Onsite Guide is meant for people who want to experience more information about this mysterious city.

We wrote it for people who want more information instead of aimlessly walking from building to building and temple to temple. We built this guide to help you plan, prepare and experience one of Mexico’s most fascinating ancient ruins: Teotihuacán. While you may be able to get internet with your tablet at the site, it will be too slow and cumbersome to work efficiently.

Some of the information is scattered on the web while other sources are still in journal and book form. This App combines the best information and allows you to download it and later access it onsite when you need it. There are chapters that give advice before you go.

Read though them and determine what works for you and the people you will be traveling with. Then take your tablet with you and read about Teotihuacán’s important structures and pyramids as you walk the site. And you can access the information quickly and efficiently on your tablet.”  Introduction from the Teotihuacan guide Buy your $3.99 guides by clicking here