Newsletter # 16 March 23, 2021
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Covid 19 updates
First of all, we fully expect all our caravans to start running as of November this year
We are still not advising travel into Mexico at this time. Even if you are vaccinated, hospitals in some areas down there are still under stress, so receiving medical help for non Covid conditions could be tough.
The US/Canadian border is still closed up like a drum and will likely remain that way until summer at least. The US/Mexico border is as leaky as a sieve. However, there is no guarantee Canadians will be allowed entry back into the US to transit home. I have heard accounts of those who have been blocked and those who have been allowed across. Texas crossings are your worst bet, Nogales is your best. Regardless, you may be asked for proof of a PVR test within the previous 72 hours.
Vaccinations are proceeding in Mexico although it is a bit inconsistent. Mexico does have the advantage in that it has approved more vaccines (Astrozenica, CanSino & Sputnik) than is the case in the US or Canada. Regardless, vaccination will likely complete in both the US and Canada prior to Mexico. We anticipate enough in Mexico will be vaccinated by year end, that transmission rates are low and down to an acceptable risk level. We expect all of our customers will have been vaccinated. Those who object will have to sign a separate release form.
We are proud that, unlike some of our competitors, we chose not to place our customers at risk by running caravans while Covid was still an issue. We place our customers safety first.
There have been some changes around Nogales with regards to accessing the Mariposa Truck Crossing. I have not checked these out myself, just be aware of them. The changes are to do with the exit off I-19.
The Desert Diamond Casino used by many the evening before crossing (I-19 Exit 80), is currently unavailable due to Covid 19. They expect it to reopen in Fall as they return to normal operations.
I believe that ULSD (DUBA in Mexico) is now available everywhere. It is not marked on most pumps, however. DEF is not widely available, but you may find it in Autozone outlets.
Caravanas de Mexico is the current contractor for Airstream Club Caravans. Please note you must be an Airstream Club member. You will find information on these on their web site at https://www.airstreamclub.org . The rules and regulations and policies are a blend of the Airstream Club and ours.
Please note that once inside Mexico you are subject to our rules, plus any imposed by the club. Please note that club trips do qualify you for future discounts on regular trips. The reverse is not the case. Deposits are transferable in either direction.
This upcoming season we have 2 Airstream Caravans leaving in Spring, one is a Colonial / West Coast loop including Copper Canyon (3 Gems) and the other is a Baja / Northern Mainland trip using the Ferry (you pay fare yourself). both include Copper Canyon. (Road, Sea and Rail). Both trips intercept the Mazatlan Carnival. At time of writing, both trips had some vacancies. Both are approximately 60 days long.
Changes to previous customer discounts
These changes apply starting with the 2022/2023 Season.
New discount rates are 5% if you have taken a trip of under 40 days, 10% if you have taken a longer one (or 2 shorter ones). They do not apply to Airstream trips.
Caravanas de Mexico has the highest repeat rate in the industry. We have 8 repeat customers for the 2021/2022 Season.
ATM's in Mexico
From our RV Caravan orientation guide:
1) Always use an ATM inside a Bank when possible. Try to use ones in fairly busy areas otherwise, avoid street kiosks
2) Always cover your hand when entering pin
3) Consider downloading the “ATM Card Skimmer” app to your cell. It is in the play store. This will detect if there is an illegal Blue tooth device added to the ATM transmitting your information to a nearby receiver.
4) Mexican bank rate fees range from about 20 Pesos up to over 100 depending on bank.
5) Avoid using credit union cards in Banco Azteca machines. If you have to use one, try it out with a $20 withdrawal first. I have had these machines debit my account twice, with no money dispensed, when using a credit union card
6) Check your bank statement online after you withdraw, when you can. USE A VPN
7) Consider a separate ATM card on an account with little funds, and just transfer enough into it, online, prior to using the card each time.
8) If the ATM does not look right, examine it for possible overlay keypads
9) Always have 2 cards on different banks, so you are not stuck if one gets eaten or disabled.
10) Watch THIS VIDEO
Truck permit hassles
The issue with 3/4 ton trucks and up is still happening at some crossings.If you have one of these, I suggest you pre-arm yourself with the documents found at https://www.mexicocaravans.com/border.html and consider using Nogales where the issue is less of a problem.
Permit stickers are now gone, and you will receive a letter of permission to carry in the vehicle. Those with heavier trucks are usually advised to try and get the permit on line. https://www.banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos/ (You can switch this page to English)
In addition to the 2 aforementioned Airstream trips, we are running several others this upcoming season
1) 90 day Yucatan - Full wait list started
2) 35 Day November Baja - almost full
3) 36 Day Jan Baja - 3/4 full
4) 31 Day January Copper Canyon/Mazatlan
5) Feb. Baja if Jan is full, and demand is there
6) Approximate 60 day colonial (will run if demand is there), it would be an extension of trip #4
Here are links to tentative itineraries.
Documents may also be available for the Airstream trips, please contact [email protected] for the 3 Gems trip, or [email protected] for the Road, Sea and Rail trip. I am not sure what their policy is with regards to distributing those.
We are taking bookings for the 2022/2023 season.. No deposit required for those at this time.
There are 2 spots left on the 2024 Yucatan/Solar ellipse trip. A $400 US deposit is required for that. See https://www.mexicocaravans.com/eclipse.html This trip ends at Mazatlan and you may pick out of 2 or 3 options to go back to the border from there with other groups.
For trips in the next 2 seasons go to our booking page at https://mexicocaravans.com/book.html
We draw our Wagon Masters from previous cutomers or those with experience as a Wagon Master elsewhere, Mexico or not. If this interests you, send an email to [email protected] with a copy to [email protected]
Next newsletter should be ready this summer.
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