Travel Tips & Adventures

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San Felipe, Mexico – Staying and Sightseeing

San Felipe travel can be whatever you want it to be – A laid back vacation, a longer stay, a spring break, a retirement haven.  At an orientation we attended for potential homebuyers in San Felipe, they said, “You go to Florida to die, Mexico to live.”

Beach at sunrise

Beach at sunrise

Although I stayed only one full day, it was a very full day with visits to shops, a nightclub (Rockadile), the beach, spacious condos, palatial houses, and well-landscaped common areas and golf course. They actually use shells as ground cover!  Also, roads in the new El Dorado Ranch housing are hard-tamped down caliche, not asphalt, which cuts down on heat retention and is more environmentally friendly.

The mercado

The mercado

One strong memory is walking to the malecon (the boardwalk) and the aroma of vendor’s shrimp wafting tantalizingly in the air from a block away.

San Felipe International Airport

San Felipe International Airport

We also were shown the airport, the hospital (not large, but at least there is one with a 7-bed trauma center), shops to buy everyday items and seafood fresh from the sea that day.

San Felipe - the beach

San Felipe - the beach

And, the strongest memory was the beach.  It was sooo relaxing just walking on the shore.  That’s what I would have liked to pack up and take home with me.

If you are planning to stay more than 180 days, you’ll need a Mexican visa, but otherwise, you’re welcome to stay.

We stayed in a hotel that didn’t make us want to spend another night (not up to American standards of cleanliness and furnishings), but I understand that at least one new hotel has been built since our visit that is lovely and more modernized.

I would recommend checking into renting a home.  Every house we saw in El Dorado Ranch was gorgeous and had a great view!

Another great view

Another great view

Some culture shocks

Don’t expect to get your mail in a big hurry.  It is delivered to Calexico and shuttled daily to San Felipe.  But that daily is not the daily you expect from the USPO.

Cash is the preferred method of payment.  The dollar is currently worth almost 13 pesos, a better exchange rate than we had during our visit.

Be prepared to spend time at the border when you head north to the USA.  We were on a bus. Everyone had to get off, walk through customs and wait to have passports reviewed.  It took a while for everyone to pass muster.  Kind of undoes the relaxation that had set in on the trip!  Now, we were tense at having to be scrutinized at the US border crossing.

Travel is always a broadening experience.  New people, sights and experiences!

And, hopefully, you don’t spend the post- travel time regretting your eating if the trip really was a “broadening experience.”

NOTE: Mexico is working hard to overcome some negative stereotypes.   Everyone we saw was friendly and some of the scenery was spectacular.  Ah, the beach!  Also, San Felipe gets very busy with students during traditional Spring Break.  If you want a peaceful experience, choose another time to visit San Felipe.

Travel with us later this week and for the next several blogs on a trip on the railroad – Verde Canyon Railroad, a cowboy dinner theater (Blazin’ M), and spooky Jerome.  A visit to Verde Valley  - Arizona.

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