Planet Bell Links: Mexico Off The Beaten Path

Links, Mexico, Travel Tips

Mexico Off the beaten path map

Today, (October 7, 2015), I leave for Mexico. While researching my trip, I had a difficult time finding travel blogs or articles about destinations off the beaten path. The internet is full of stuff about beaches and tours, all-inclusive resorts and cruises.

After some scouring, I found some excellent blogs and articles that have helped me in my planning. Since I am such a nice guy, and since my readers are super cool and way too good for a regular Mexican vacation, I am going to share those links here so next time you go to Mexico, you don’t have to research as much as I did.

Mexico Off-The-Beaten-Path Links

Oaxaca and the Guelaguetza Festival

Alison and Don, one of my favorite travel blogging couples, have a series of posts about Oaxaca, Monte Alban and the Guelaguetza Festival that feature excellent photos and great stories. I realize that Oaxaca isn’t exactly off the beaten path, but how many of you have heard of the Guelaguetza Festival or Monte Alban? Don’t feel bad, I hadn’t either.

Mexico Part 7: The Espectaculo Guelaguetza Festival

Mexico Part 8: Oaxaca and the Guelaguetza Festival – Dance ’til you drop

Monte Alban and the Villages Around Oaxaca

Pueblos Mancomunados

Kate from Wandering Not Lost has an interesting post about the Pueblos Mancomunados in the highlands near Oaxaca. The villages have built hiking trials, bunk houses and offer tours to the area. Locals volunteer for a year as guides in order to help support the communities. It is a great example of sustainable tourism that benefits the local communities. Check out her interesting post here:

Pueblos Mancomunados – Authentic Ecotourism in the Mountains of Oaxaca


Tim Leffel of the Cheapest Destinations Blog has a great post about Cuetzalan, an idyllic colonial village with few tourists.

“It’s a strange feeling when you get to a destination that seems perfect for backpackers and there are none of them there. After a few days in Cuetzalan, a Pueblo Magico in the northern part of Puebla state in Mexico, I had the rare feeling I’d gotten somewhere before the crowds, that I’ve discovered that elusive place that really deserves the over-used cliches like “hidden gem.” Cuetzalan is no secret to Mexican tourists, but it sure seems to be with foreign ones.”

Batopilas and Urique

When I tell people I’m starting the trip at the Copper Canyon, very few of them know what I’m talking about. In northwest Mexico exists a canyon network that is deeper and larger than the U.S. Grand Canyon.

I knew about the famous train that travels across the rim of the canyon, but I didn’t realize you could go to villages in the bottom. Here are two posts (with harrowing tales of the bus ride) from Barbara at Hole in the Donut about trips to the villages of Batopilas and Urique. She has 15 total posts on the Copper Canyon – it is one of the best resources on the internet about the area.


This place is truly off the beaten path, well sort of. There is no mention of it in Lonely Planet or Rough Guides, but it is clearly visited by many Mexicans based on the Trip Advisor reviews. Its lack of popularity by foreigners may be a result of drug violence a few years ago that has since subsided.

Here is a post on Mexico Escondido and another on, both of which are in Spanish. The photos will need no translation.


Source: Mexico Escondido

Off-The-Beaten-Path Lightning Round

San Juan ChamalaThe Most Amazing Church I’ve Ever Seen and Can’t Show You, by Wandering Earl

ValladolidA City of Yucatan Cool, by the NY Times

Mineral de Pozos – A Ghost Town Comes Alive as an Artist Colony, by the Chicago Tribune

Mineral de Chico – Mountain town outside of Mexico city with outdoor sports and relaxed, colonial vibe

Real de Catorce, A Little Mountain Town with Real Big Charm, by Adventure Jo blog

Campeche – a colorful village on the Yucatan Peninsula with forts, cathedrals and nearby Mayan ruins. 

San Pancho – Our temporary home in San Pancho, by the Never Ending Footsteps blog

Tlacotalpan – A polychromatic colonial village on the Gulf Coast visited by no one

Lagos de Montebello, by Anita’s Wanderings blog

Izamal From Izamal to Txkobob (Yes, Tixkobob) by Wandering Earl

Hopefully these links will be useful if you are planning a trip to Mexico someday or just want to do some armchair traveling.

If you have links to your blog posts or know of any other must see destinations in Mexico. please share in the comments section.

Posted by

Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~

34 thoughts on “Planet Bell Links: Mexico Off The Beaten Path”

  1. I just can’t get over the amount of pre-planning (or researching) you do for a trip. I admire your ability to do that, because I lack the patience these days. And this is a very cool post on other people’s posts. And just so you know, in my upcoming (as soon as I finish it) post, I mention your expertise on “stuff” in India that you are so famous for. I don’t see Yelapa on your map–only reachable by boat, on the coast just north of Puerto Vallarta. It was very cool…and off the beaten path…when I was there. And just north of Manzanillo, there’s a cool fishing village–Barra de Navidad.

    • it’s amazing you should mention Barra de Navidad. We’ve been to Barra de Navidad, for a day trip, and as the stopping off point for travelling to other places in Mexico when we were living in the tiny fishing village of La Manzanilla for four months. La Manzanilla is a little north of Barra de Navidad.

      • Yeah, I like La Manzanilla also. For two years (in the 80’s), I lived in Manzanillo…just down the coast from these two villages. I miss Mexico!

    • I really like to read about places and see how feasible it is to get there, but once we are on the road, we are usually flexible and spontaneous. I feel like I’ve really gotten to know a few countries that I didn’t end up going to though.

      If we have a chance, I ‘ll check out those places you mentioned. Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve never hear of Yelapa – it might be just what we are looking for.

      • Yeah, I hear you on knowing stuff before you go. Always a good idea. Actually, I used to do that (not quite as thoroughly as you I don’t think), but somehow got away from it.
        Yelapa: a small bay, formerly used by pirates (they say) and smugglers. Not much there, but some cool homes, and even cooler people (misfits, trust-funders, loaners). A tourist boat gets you there for a day trip, or a fisherman. If you can book a place before you go, that’s best. Houses are limited, out-doorsy, Bali-style places. There is a small hotel. I’m getting homesick for Mexico.

    • Thanks for the link. We are planning to go to the colonial highland villages and those look really cool. I like to read about places and learn about them in advance.

  2. Thanks Jeff for the mention. I hope others find it useful/interesting. We also spent 4 months in La Manzanilla, a small fishing village north of Manzanillo which is off the beaten path and definitely a perfect place to chill when you really need a break from travelling.
    Looking forward to delving into some of the other links here. Thanks for your research!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing these information! I bookmark your post for future reference. I may re-visit Mexico in the future and looking forward to your travel stories. Safe trip and trust you will have great time!

      • I was visiting Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Chetumal. The last one because we have to cross to Belize 🙂

        BTW, I think your yahoo account being hacked, I received an email from you saying that you lost your bags in the Philippines and need financial help..Just to let you, and please enjoy your time while you are in Mexico! I am on traveling myself but will visit your posts on Mexico when time permits 🙂

  4. Lael says:

    Gracias for the wealth of information! Mexico is going to be our (Hubs and I) first stop on our trip and I was finding the same issue. I can’t wait to show him your post and get busy planning and dreaming!

      • Lael says:

        Not for some time, unfortunately. We’re planning on selling everything off and making a year (or so)out of travelling. I’ll add Chihuahua to my research list!

  5. Marilyn says:

    Looking forward to following your journey in Mexico. Sounds fantastic. I hope you and Kristi have a safe travels and have fun.

  6. J.T. Hendrix says:

    I am so excited to dig into this post further, following the links you’ve provided, Jeff. Vivo Mexico! Stoked you are trekking through a beautiful country and are about to explore a new perspective on the country.

    My mom is from estado Sonora. I’ve yet to visit there myself, but the village she grew up in was confiscated by the government and used for irrigation purposes sometime in the 1960’s–I think I remember that time frame correctly. There is a lake where Suaqui once was home to generations of families (like my grandparents families).

    There is a festival every year, El Regresar de Suaqui. I will get you some info. Sounds like a trek you would be interested in for sure!

      • J.T. Hendrix says:

        Jeff, my apologies. Still have yet to gather proper resources for you about Suaqui. And, yes, I do plan to visit in the future–hopefully nearer future! I’ve always wanted to make a short documentary about the village, in fact. Such is a timing thing, however.

  7. This is an awesome summary Jeff! Must be hours and hours of research behind it. Thanks for sharing it!

  8. Sounds like a great plan, Jeff! Looking forward to what you discover. Hope you and Kristi have a blast! Watch out for the salsa verde in the market – it took us down. 🙂 ~Terri

    • I’ll keep an eye out for the salsa verde – thanks for the tip! The food here is awesome, and hot. I am not sure if I can eat it all 2 months though!

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