Friday, June 9, 2023

RV Travel in Mexico: A Different Landscape

If you take a road trip through Mexico, which I highly recommend, you will find yourself in some wonderful places. You can research the best towns and cities, book hotels downtown, wander hidden markets, and experience amazing meals. A Mexican road trip is a curated experience, albeit you are doing the curating. A Mexico RV trip is a different experience.

This is because of the cost of real estate and the fact modern Mexico is over 500 years old. One of the joys of visiting the country is finding colonial era buildings and town squares that haven't changed much for hundreds of years, a lot longer than the existence of the United States. There is certainly no room for an RV park in the center of town, or even anywhere nearby. RV travel in Mexico is therefore pushed to the margins.

On the margins is also a fine place to be. We tend to be about 30 miles outside of any given area we would like to visit. It's not like we're out in the countryside, although urban Mexicans consider it so. We're often in small towns with regular people living ordinary lives that don't revolve around the tourism industry. 

Sometimes the small towns we stay in don't even have RV parks, and we're parked in a public space, like a public square. I don't want to call this "real" Mexico, as every expression is authentic, but it's a more ordinary Mexico. If you have preconceptions of what Mexico is about or ideas about the people, you'll probably find them challenged in these small towns and neighborhoods. 

We use these small towns as base camps to see magical villages, literally pueblos magicos. But we actually spend more time walking around and enjoying the small towns than the more magical ones or the big cities. It's not better or worse than road trip travel to the center of traditional culture, it's just different. It took me a while to stop focusing on what was missing and realize what there was to gain. 

I should mention small town Mexico through the lens of RV parks might be all you'll see on such a journey. It's because I can detach my truck and take it into the magic towns that we're allowed to have the best of both worlds. That would seem like a requirement to me, to have a vehicle towing your RV or a "toad" as they're called, pulled behind it. 

Dry camping at a park in the town of Mascota

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