Puerto Penasco / Rocky Point : Travel Information
BEFORE YOU GO
FOOD THAT YOU CAN BRING (FOR PERSONAL USE)
ITEMS YOU CAN BRING BACK TO THE U.S.
ITEMS NOT ALLOWED BACK IN THE U.S.
Mexico Offers a wide variety of Hotels & Condominiums. Almost every price range is available from the modest to the luxurious. You will find that Holidays and Fiesta times are always booked far in advance if you are traveling to a popular resort area.
Proof of Citizenship
Everyone must have proof of citizenship: Birth Certificate or Passport (Voter registration cards may be accepted) and picture ID. Even children must have proof of citizenship. Unless you are traveling to a "Free Zone". The Border Towns are usually "Free Zones" and certain designated towns farther in, are in some cases, "Free Zones" also. Such as the town of Puerto PeÃƒÂ±asco (Rocky Point)
If you are traveling in Mexico you will need a car permit unless you are traveling in the State of Sonora. The program "Sonora Only" excludes the State of Sonora in the need for a permit. The popular town of Puerto PeÃƒÂ±asco (Rocky Point) is in the State of Sonora, where it is NOT REQUIRED to have a permit. Outside of Sonora all other destinations need:
1) A Vehicle Title or Registration.
2) A valid driver's license with the same photo & name as on Title
3) A credit card in the same name as on the Title. Discover cards and Debit cards are not accepted.
4) The fee for the permit is about $15 and must be charged on the credit card. Checks or cash are not accepted for this fee. If your vehicle is financed, you must have a notarized letter of permission from the lien holder. If you do not have a credit card you can still enter Mexico by posting a bond. No borrowed vehicles or credit cards.
The best way to go is to fill up before crossing (less "grit" on this side of the border.) If you have to get gas and, it is Unleaded gas you want, then get (Magna Sin).
Premium unleaded is becoming more available, mostly in the larger cities. Diesel fuel is also available (Diesel).
FOOD & DRINK
Mexico's food (comida) can be one of the greatest pleasures when visiting this wonderful country. Lunch is the main meal of the day (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.). From the smallest out of the way restaurant to the fancy gourmet restaurant, most take pride in the quality and freshness of their meals. Take a tip from us though, stay away from raw vegetables and salads ("If it's not cooked, don't eat it!")
The water served in a restaurant is generally ok, the water out of the tap at a condo, hotel, or taco stand is equal to 12 rolls of toilet paper and a box of penicillin.
(toll free number In Mexico only 91-800-903-0092)
Green Angels are a fantastic free service provided by the Mexican Ministry of Tourism. They are bilingual mechanics that patrol the main highways and provide emergency road service and first aid.
They operate in the morning & afternoon hours, and will repair your vehicles for minor emergency breakdown problems. The only cost to you is the parts. Just open your hood up all the way to signal them! If you do need their service, we suggest a tip, these guys really do care and are definitely Angels.
Of course Spanish is the official language in Mexico, yet English is widely understood. The best way to win hearts is to attempt the Spanish language. Mexican people welcome any attempt you make to speak their language.
Mexico has 2 daily English newspapers. The Mexico City Times and The News. They both have the latest U.S. and world news. (Available usually in the larger cities).
Mexico is improving their highways more and more every day. If its a toll road, it is called "Cuota", and "Libre" means no toll. Most of the roads are in good condition, however, there is less shoulder and you may encounter a few potholes here and there. The road to Rocky Point (Puerto PeÃƒÂ±asco) is done very well with no potholes and large shoulders. All the Speed limits are in Kilometers, the best way to know how fast to go is to "go with the flow of traffic."
Mexico is one of the best countries in the world to purchase hand-crafted items. Almost every town from North to South specializes in a particular type of craft. Everything from baskets to hand crafted silver is available. There is a certain limit of goods, foods, and liquor that is allowed back into the U.S. to go to the most updated information click on the U.S. Customs Site to see the exact ruling. Last we checked there is no duty on purchases made in Mexico. U.S. Customs permits you to bring back merchandise worth $400 U.S. dollars in retail value per person duty-free per month. if it is for your own use, for your immediate family, or for gifts to friends. Anyone over 21 can bring back 1 quart of liquor every 30 days.
Road Conditions in Mexico
Generally the highway conditions are pretty good. Some things that you might want to watch out for are occasional potholes and animals crossing the road. For sure you can expect a variety of dramatic turns (sometimes very sharp) and the same goes with the dips in the road. If you are traveling on a "Cuota" Highway ("toll" Highway) the conditions will slick and smooth sailing. Some regular highways are actually pretty good, such as the road to Puerto PeÃƒÂ±asco (Rocky Point), Hermosillo, and even Ensanada is not too bad.
Watch loose for gravel, and low areas during flash floods. If you are traveling a long distance choose designated drivers for each part of your trip (Designated driver would want to get adequate sleep and food. Don't forget to take brakes, staying alert is real important when driving on any trips, and especially in Mexico.
Night driving if it has to be done , needs to be done with caution, farm animals in the road or slow moving vehicles sometimes with out taillights are often on roadway. Driving in the night time is more dangerous than most think, with 3 times the fatality rate than during daylight. Driving is about 90% visual which makes it much harder to see objects on the road (Mexico has a lot of objects on the road). We suggest considerably slowing your speed, make sure you are not fatigued, and definitely be alert. It's better to arrive late than not at all.
10 Ways to Guard against Identity Theft When Traveling
It's easy to become a victim of identity theft while traveling, whether for work or for pleasure. So, follow these tips to protect yourself when away from home.
1. Let your credit-card company know if you'll be traveling (especially if you're leaving the country). Financial institutions' fraud departments are becoming more vigilant about any unusual activity on your card, which can be a great way to detect a problem. But if you're away from home when the bank calls to verify the charges, you could end up with a frozen account while you're out of town. Avoid the hassles and notify your bank before you leave home.
2. Don't automatically call back the phone number that claims to be from the bank. If you get a phone call or e-mail about suspicious activity on your card, don't automatically call back the number on the message -- that's a common ploy by identity thieves to capture personal information. Call the customer service number on the back of your credit card instead. If the call was legitimate, they'll be able to connect you to the appropriate department.
3. Secure your mail while you're gone. Have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your mail every day, or stop your mail at the post office if you'll be gone for a while. Your mail can be a treasure trove for criminals -- containing your credit-card numbers as well as personal information that could lead to identity theft. "There's no greater magnet for burglars than a mailbox that is overflowing with mail," says Adam Levin of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911. And don't announce the dates of your travel on your Facebook page. That's like issuing an open-invitation to thieves.
4. Weed out your wallet. Tourist destinations are often a haven for pickpockets, so go through your wallet and take out unneeded credit cards and personal information before you leave. Don't carry your Social Security number in your wallet, and only take the credit cards that you need. Make copies of all of your important documents, such as your passport, driver's license, health insurance card and tickets, so you'll have access to the information if your wallet is stolen, says Levin. Leave the copies with a trusted family member or scan them into an encrypted file on your computer. Also keep a list of contact numbers for your credit-card company and bank with you, so it will be easy to call if your wallet is stolen or you have any trouble with your account.
5. Be wary of generic ATMs. Banks have been reporting an increase in ATM-skimming incidents. This is when thieves install a card reader in an ATM to capture your account information and PIN number, so they can steal from your account. Levin recommends sticking with bank ATMs at a branch to be safe. "There's a greater level of security," he says.
6. Check your accounts regularly for suspicious activity. "Spend a few minutes online every day looking at your bank and credit-card accounts, and make sure every transaction is yours," says Levin. This is a good idea all the time, but it's particularly important when you're out of town and might miss a call from your bank about suspicious activity. Some banks offer a service that will notify you by text message or e-mail whenever a transaction above a certain size is made on your card.
7. Be careful with hotel computers. Don't access your accounts or personal information on public hotel computers, which could have software that logs keystrokes and records your passwords and account numbers. And be very careful when using an unsecure wireless network, too.
8. Don't leave personal information lying around in your hotel room. Keep your credit cards and other important information with you or lock them up in the hotel safe, says Levin, and leave your checkbook in a safe place at home, if possible. Safeguard your laptop computer, too, especially if it has account information that is not encrypted.
9. During long absences, freeze your credit. If you'll be traveling for a long time and won't be able to check your accounts regularly for suspicious activity, consider putting a freeze on your credit report. A freeze prevents potential lenders from accessing your credit report without your authorization, which can prevent identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name. You can still make charges to your current cards without unfreezing your account. It generally costs $10 at each credit bureau to freeze the account and $10 to unfreeze it. For this precaution to be effective, you must freeze your credit report at all three credit bureaus. Contact Equifax.com, TransUnion.com and Experian.com individually.
10. Be vigilant after you return home. Identity thieves are known for their patience, and it can take them a long time to pounce. Check your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com for any suspicious activity -- you can get one free copy of your report from each of the three credit bureaus every 12 months, and you can stagger your requests so you can see one copy every four months. This is a good move for everyone to do, even if they haven't left home in a while.
By: Kimberly Lankford, www.kiplinger.com
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