The People's Guide To Mexico

Book Reviews

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Book Reviews of

DrivingRV & CampingAdventuresNatural Mexico

Recommended Reading Bookshelves:

The Maya
Mexico City
Healthy Living in Mexico
Copper Canyon & Northern Mexico
Speaking Spanish
Gulf of Mexico
Live & Retire in Mexico
¡Viva Mexico!
Highlands: & Chapala
RV & Camping
For the armchair traveler
Natural Mexico
Introduction to Our Favorite Mexico Books
For Out-of-Print Books try Powell's in Portland
Click on 'Covers' and 'Order' links to Order Books from



•How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot

By John Muir. In the early seventies, we met John and Eve Muir while camping on a remote Mexican beach. John had a parrot named “Hey Man!” on his shoulder and a stack of self-published “Idiot Guides” in his VW van. “Take this,” he said, giving us a copy. “You’ll need it.” John was right; if you’re driving a VW to Mexico, his classic do-it-yourself guide to repair and maintenance is as indispensable as a spare tire and a road map, if only to check what that mechanic is doing. Order How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive

•Mexico West Book: A Road and Recreation Guide to Today’s West Coast of Mexico

by Tom Miller and Carol Hoffman, 1991, Baja Trail Publications. Tom Miller explored Baja and western Mexico for decades, sharing his expertise and discoveries with a prolific output of books, newspaper columns and magazine articles. Shortly before his death, Tom told me, “I haven’t had to wear shoes to work since ’73.” Mexico West Book is a detailed milepost style log of highways, back roads and beaches from northwestern Mexico to the Guatemala border. Tom’s personal observations on everything from fishing and Mexican food to camping (and restaurants), history (and taco stands) and even coconut oil production, add a very personal flavor to this book. Order Mexico West Book from Powell's in Portland

See Travel Clubs: DISCOVER BAJA Travel Club Club Vagabundos del Mar

RV & Camping

Traveler's Guide To Mexican Camping: Explore Mexico with your RV or Tent

In the second part of the book Mike and Terry's work shines. Nearly 250 campgrounds are listed and identified throughout Mexico and Baja California. Most listings include address and telephone number, but more importantly, all campground listings include map sketches of campground locations. Many campground listings have accompanying side-trip recommendations.... (more) Order the Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping

The People’s Guide to Camping, Backpacking & Boating in Mexico

By Carl Franz and Lorena Havens, 1981, John Muir Publications, and The People’s Guide to RV Camping in Mexico by Carl Franz and Steve Rogers, edited by Lorena Havens, 1989. Both of our earlier books on camping are out of print, but copies can sometimes be found in used bookstores. One of these days we hope to post excerpts from both books on this website. Order our out-of-print books from Powell's in Portland

The People's Guide to RV Camping

By Carl Franz, Steve Rogers & Lorena Havens Order The People's Guide to RV Camping from Powell's in Portland

RVing in Mexico, Central America and Panama

By John and Liz Plaxton, 1995, $18.95, PO Box 21104, Kelowna, B.C., V1Y 9N8 Canada. A self-published account of a long RV trip through Latin America with many useful suggestions and insights. Order RVing in Mexico from Powell's in Portland


Mexico Trails: Your Adventure Guide to 43 Short Hikes and Walking Trails in Mexico, by Gerry Recksiedler

I am always happy when I see it: a campsite in the middle of the desert, the loan gringo living in an obscure Oaxacan village, even the relatively common sighting of the adventurous gourmand hunkered in a market fonda. Each glimpse is proof that Mex-trippers continue the tradition I grew up in: exploring the riches hidden in the shadows ….. going metaphorically or literally off road in a foreign country is daunting and not always wise, unless you have some idea of where you are and what you are doing…. (more) Review by Felisa Churpa Rosa Rogers. Order Mexico Trails...

•Bicycling Mexico

Bicycling Mexico turns out to be a really entertaining travel book, whether you are interested in tackling a rigorous trip or just as an “on the road” kind of travelogue. The authors are very through in listing gear and clothes to bring, as well as what to expect in the way of traffic.... (Full Review by Christina Cannon) Order Bicycling Mexico

Backcountry Mexico: A Traveler's Guide and Phrase Book

By Bob Burleson and David H. Riskind, 1986, University of Texas Press. Much of this book is down-to-earth Spanish-English vocabularies and sample conversations, making it both a self-contained dictionary and language guide. There are brief but useful discussions of driving, health, hiking, canoeing and mule trekking. Anyone interested in life and travel in Mexico's backcountry or colloquial, everyday Spanish will enjoy this book. Order Backcountry Mexico from Powell's in Portland

A Hiker’s Guide to Mexico’s Natural History

By Jim Conrad, 1995, The Mountaineers. Order A Hiker’s Guide to Mexico’s Natural History from Powell's in Portland

Natural Mexico

•Mexico: Adventures in Nature

Ron Mader, publisher of the award winning website on eco travel and environmental issues in Mexico and Latin America, is also the author of Mexico: Adventures in Nature. Explore Mexico's parks and protected areas and learn about Mexico's nascent ecotourism boom! This new guidebook sheds light on both tourism services and environmental issues in Mexico. Order Mexico: Adventures in Nature...

•A Handbook of Mexican Roadside Flora

Shortly after tearing my hair out over a mysterious but common plant in western Chihuahua, I was mercifully given a copy of Mexican Roadside Flora by Mary Lou Wilcox, a botanist and natural history book dealer. As Mary Lou noted, my tantrum over a dusty specimen.... (Full Review) (out of print ) Order a used copy from Powell's in Portland or

•Field Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Central America

By L. Irby Davis, U of Texas Press. Lorena's favorite! Order Birds of Mexico and Central America or from Powell's in Portland...

•On the Road to Tetlama: Mexican Adventures of a Wandering Naturalist

By Jim Conrad, 1991, Walker Publishing Co. A quiet, introspective account of the author's solo journey. Order On the Road to Tetlama from Powell's in Portland...

•Gathering the Desert

by Gary Nabhan, Paul Mirocha (Illustrator), 1985, The University of Arizona Press. Nabhan's talent for nature writing puts all of his books high on my "favorites" list. Order Gathering the Desert...

Handbook of Indian Foods and Fibers of Arid America

By Ebeling, 1986, University of California Press. If you're interested in the life of pre-Columbian Americans, this ponderous tome is well worth reading. Order Handbook of Indian Foods and Fibers of Arid America from Powell's in Portland...

Index to Reviews of our Favorite Mexico Books

•1) Guides, People & Places: Mexico General • Mexico City • Copper CanyonBajaGulf of Mexico • Highlands • Oaxaca
•2) Guides, People & Places of the Mayan World • Yucatan • The Maya • Guatemala • Belize
•3) Live & RetireWomen
•4) Driving • RV & Camping • Adventures • Natural Mexico
•5) Food • Healthy Living • Shopping • Speaking Spanish
•6) Viva Mexico • History • Armchair Travelers • Novels

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he People's Guide to Mexico
13th edition
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©1972-2011 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens