Honest opinion, please.

by albuschhoff@gmail.com, Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:11 (41 days ago)

I am always skeptical about scary stories about travel destinations, they are usually way overblown. At the same time I am in my seventies and hope to visit Mexico for at least another 15 or 20 years. We have made a yearly trek to to Playa La Ropa for many years and have reservations to do so again in February. If I have to delay the trip I will, but I am anxious to leave some money at my favorite hotel, restaurants etc. From a visitor's point of view, how are people faring in Zihuatanejo during the pandemic?

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Honest opinion, please.

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Sunday, October 18, 2020, 19:41 (41 days ago) @ albuschhoff@gmail.com

We live her forever. We are very happy we are here instead of the US or other countries.

We have given up public transportation, read combi's for now, but wave to them several times a day and look forward to the time that we can use them again.

We take a taxi when appropriate.

We can't imagine any other place that we would feel as "safe" as we do here.

Please come visit our paradise. Use common sense protections, masks, sanitizer, all the rest and realize that everyone here is afraid of dying and are being even more careful than you are being.

We eat out at least four times a week and can't believe the level of protection.

It's a personal call.

Honest opinion, please.

by Casa Juan @, Sunday, October 18, 2020, 21:33 (41 days ago) @ Talley Ho

I have only been back in Zihua for 7 days and live in a hillside colonia(Las Mesas) so my experiences with level of virus protections practiced in Zihua will vary from others. My comments are based only on what I personally observed and may not be statistically accurate.

In the Las Mesas Colonia mask wearing appears to be optional even for those on combis, rare to see someone walking wearing a mask.

Mexican Tourists to me appear to be the large group to stand out publicly in not wearing masks, this is based on what I observed on Sat 10/17 at the bus turnaround near the end of Benito Juarez, at the Eco Market near the museum, and today 10/18 at the far end of La Ropa where the tour buses park. I went to Rossy's late in the afternoon around 5 pm and I was one of a few wearing a mask.

Maybe I just observed a bad weekend?

Earlier on Saturday 10/17, at the central market, I would guess mask wearing is at the 75% for staff, customers not so much. Many people with double chins like me seem to be sporting wearing a mask so it holds up their double chin, but leaving their nose fully exposed

I am sure most higher end tourist destinations will have staff that are fully masked/protected and one can select their cab drivers to suit their needs. In my humble and unscientific opinion, it would not take much to get the bus tour operators on board with requiring passengers wear masks when they exit and enter onto a bus. For many, once the mask is on, they will maybe just leave it on.

Trying to stay positive.

Honest opinion, please.

by Amiga de Montreal @, Monday, October 19, 2020, 09:54 (41 days ago) @ Casa Juan

We are scheduled to travel to Zihua in January and stay there for a month. I would like to know about the availability of supplies in Mega Soriana and Sam’s for things that we cannot buy at the market (canned goods, soap, cleaning products,etc?

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Honest opinion, please.

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, October 19, 2020, 10:00 (41 days ago) @ Amiga de Montreal

We are scheduled to travel to Zihua in January and stay there for a month. I would like to know about the availability of supplies in Mega Soriana and Sam’s for things that we cannot buy at the market (canned goods, soap, cleaning products,etc?

Please see their websites listed in my directory. Stores here are all well stocked.

Shopping in Zihuatanejo

Honestly

by Zihuateco, Monday, October 19, 2020, 12:04 (41 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Been here just over a week, we have no regrets or concerns. Hope to return in February.

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Honest opinion, please. Difficult decision...

by Roberto!, Monday, October 19, 2020, 18:18 (40 days ago) @ Talley Ho

After much deliberation we, unfortunately, won’t be visiting Zihuatanejo this fall. We’ve been fortunate that in the past 23 consecutive years we’ve had the opportunity to spend quality time in our favorite vacationing spot.

Alas, not this year for a multitude of reasons attributed to the pandemic. Because of our ages, it puts us right in the crosshairs of the virus. Other considerations which weighed in our decision were the ongoing changes and misgivings regarding the method of virus transmission, confusing masking/no mask uncertainties by a variety of spokespersons, airline schedule changes, shifting border restrictions/regulations (especially when returning to Canada) and whether safety protocols can be or are enforced throughout our journey to, during and return from Zihuatanejo.

It was heartening to read some folks flew with Alaska on # 224 out of LAX and we were impressed with the safety protocols reported in place. However, Alaska wasn’t going to be our carrier this year and schedule changes to our flights required additional waiting times which added to our risk of exposure. The prospect of having to wear a N95 mask for portions of nearly 16 hours during our flight and transiting time until we reached our destination in Zihuatanejo was more than we wanted to deal with too.

We look forward to visiting Zihuatanejo in the future. In the meantime, reading about the adventures from those who are and will be visiting Zihuatanejo will have to substitute for our not being there and we look forward to reading their positive reports.

Thanks and best wishes to ZihuaRob for his constant updates and to the many posters on the message board who have supplied us with a considerable amount of information.

Nos vemos el año que viene!

Roberto!

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Honest opinion, please.

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, October 19, 2020, 09:11 (41 days ago) @ albuschhoff@gmail.com

I am always skeptical about scary stories about travel destinations, they are usually way overblown. At the same time I am in my seventies and hope to visit Mexico for at least another 15 or 20 years. We have made a yearly trek to to Playa La Ropa for many years and have reservations to do so again in February. If I have to delay the trip I will, but I am anxious to leave some money at my favorite hotel, restaurants etc. From a visitor's point of view, how are people faring in Zihuatanejo during the pandemic?

Please see my daily Covid-19 reports. Look for the posts by me with ZIH in the subject.

Honest opinion, please.

by Tom in WI @, Monday, October 19, 2020, 21:00 (40 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

We have been to I/Z for the past fourteen years, first as weekly visitors, and then, since retirement, for up to three months at a time. We would certainly like to return again this January, but are very reluctant to make the move.

The protocols sound at least as strict as in Wisconsin, and probably better. Our condo is reserved in Ixtapa, and can be rolled over if we do not make our trip. The flights are available and are priced lower than normal.

The major hold-up on the decision is the problem that would be faced should we fall sick with Covid. If the airlines, in our case, Sun Country, require testing in order to board for the return trip, we would face a dire situation by being ill in Mexico, with medical facilities below what may be required, and no insurance to cover Covid. That's where we're at right now, probably avoiding those undesirable possibilities, and looking at other options in the US. NOT happy about 2020!!

Honest opinion, please.

by BL @, Monday, October 19, 2020, 22:05 (40 days ago) @ Tom in WI

We have been to I/Z for the past fourteen years, first as weekly visitors, and then, since retirement, for up to three months at a time. We would certainly like to return again this January, but are very reluctant to make the move.

The protocols sound at least as strict as in Wisconsin, and probably better. Our condo is reserved in Ixtapa, and can be rolled over if we do not make our trip. The flights are available and are priced lower than normal.

The major hold-up on the decision is the problem that would be faced should we fall sick with Covid. If the airlines, in our case, Sun Country, require testing in order to board for the return trip, we would face a dire situation by being ill in Mexico, with medical facilities below what may be required, and no insurance to cover Covid. That's where we're at right now, probably avoiding those undesirable possibilities, and looking at other options in the US. NOT happy about 2020!!

Just to be clear: you would board a plane *knowing* you have Covid? I hope I am mis reading. If this pandemic has taught me anything is that we all need each other to be safe and healthy.

Hope you have a nice week.

Honest opinion, please.

by Tom in WI @, Monday, October 19, 2020, 22:46 (40 days ago) @ BL

Well no, we certainly would not attempt to change our flight home and board the plane if we had tested positive for Covid. What I’m saying is, if we felt any type of illness symptoms at this point in time, the airline protocols are in place now to keep anyone with even a slight fever off the flight. This is certainly different than a “normal” situation where the airlines did no such testing. We want to be in Ixtapa. We just don’t want to be sick and stranded there with no insurance companies offering medical evacuations for Covid-positive people, and no way to return home with most any other type of illness.

Honest opinion, please.

by BL @, Monday, October 19, 2020, 23:15 (40 days ago) @ Tom in WI

Got it! Thanks for the clarification.

It’s a strange time and I am sure you will make the right decision for you and your family.

Take good care, and if you can’t make it go Ixtapa we’ll make sure it’s as awesome as you always find it on your next trip.

Warmest regards!

Honest opinion, please.

by Tom in WI @, Monday, October 19, 2020, 23:32 (40 days ago) @ BL

Thank-you! We’ll get back there for more awesomeness just as soon as we can!!

Honest opinion, please.

by blazian @, San Diego, Monday, October 19, 2020, 21:06 (40 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

I just came back after a year being away. It was only supposed to be 5 days but I extended it for another month. Coming from San Diego, the security precautions here are better then back home. Granted the tour bus groups are about 50/50, some bus loads are all masked up other not at all. Fishing capitans and deckhands all wear mask. Fishing is great btw, nonstop casting for Barrilets and hooked a 20 lb yelllowfin as well, just icing on the cake. Not to many people wearing masks on the Paseo, not too really worried about that since there is a ocean breeze. Once you go toward the centro mercado are, most local vendors are masked up. Recently seperated from my wife of 24 yrs, first vaca bymyself and loving it. Staying at Casa Arullo for the 5 weeks couldnt be happier! I believe Rob knows the house I'm staying at. It's a beautiful place.

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Honest opinion, please.

by Sandy feet, Seattle, Monday, October 19, 2020, 21:43 (40 days ago) @ blazian

Gorgeous place. Lucky man! :vivamexico:

Honest opinion, please.

by Padrino ⌂ @, San Diego, California USA, Monday, October 19, 2020, 23:13 (40 days ago) @ blazian

I just came back after a year being away. It was only supposed to be 5 days but I extended it for another month. Coming from San Diego, the security precautions here are better then back home.

May I ask if you flew from San Diego or from Tijuana? I have heard a few conflicting reports about the Tijuana airport and crowds. That is the only part of the trip that scares Yours Truly. I usually fly Volaris and at the gate to the airplane, the situation is usually chaos with people six inches from one another in all directions. I am not worried about the Zihua airport nor when I am in Zihuatanejo. (Although I fear that my favorite combi ride from the airport to downtown Zihua may have to be replaced with a taxi ride. Combis are so much more fun!)

Thank you for any and all information!

Honest opinion, please.

by blazian @, San Diego, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 05:49 (40 days ago) @ Padrino

I always take the Volaris flight from Tijuana to Zihua direct. Tickets are really cheap, as low as $150 r/t bare bones no check in bag. I fly with rods and reels and an Inflatable Sup so cost a little mnore for sports equipment. Flight is leaves at 3:15 am, so the airport at that time is not so bad. You do bunch up a little at aduana/customs but people are following the sana distancia/ social distancing. They also check your temperature at security. You are correct about people getting a little close during boarding but everyone is wearing masks, You could always board last like I do, so I can be lazy and not stand in line and avoid squsihing together. Once on board, capacity was prolly 70%. I seemed like they spaced people out unless they were same family or group. I personally had the row to myself. Deboarding was easy, luggage always a shitshow but just be patient and stand back. Since its a domestic flight, no immigration or customs, just pick up luggage and walk out the door! Hope this helps anyone concerned about flying or mexico in general. Also, can someone tell me how to posts pics? thanks Salud!!!!

Honest opinion, please.

by Padrino ⌂ @, San Diego, California USA, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 11:20 (40 days ago) @ blazian

Thank you so much, Blazian! I am very familiar with the flight you described and have used it many times. Have you heard of the v.pass program? It started about 1 1/2 years ago, I think. I joined up last October and first used it in November. You pay $600 pesos per month automatically. You then get one round-trip ticket to anywhere Volaris flies in Mexico for the price of the taxes and airport fees. It is such a sweet deal! I used it every month starting in November until February of 2020. I already had my ticket for Zihua for the last week in March. The week before I was to leave was when the border was closed to "non-essential" travel. I was seriously considering simply sneaking across the border into TJ to go anyway. However, I was both worried about the virus and very importantly, losing my SENTRI pass when I returned as the U.S. border agents could clearly see that I had gone for recreational travel and I did not want to lie about when I left as it would have been after the border restrictions were imposed. (Note: Never lie to the border agents. They can make your life miserable!) Since then, Volaris has been hitting me up for $600 pesos each month and I have been afraid to go, now mostly because of the virus. However, I am seriously contemplating a November trip to Zihua.

A few notes about the v.pass program. You must use a Mexican bank account. I am lucky to have gotten a BBVA (nee Bancomer) account many years ago. I do not have one of the Mexican resident visas yet. (It was on the list of things to do when the virus hit. I gotta' get on it as I have an address now in Rosarito to use.) My understanding is that it is much harder to get a Mexican bank account now without one of the two different types of Mexican resident visas. Pooh. Also, the round-trip ticket is only point-to-point. No connection flights are included.

For those who can take advantage of this program, it is a really sweet deal. I flew to Puerto Vallarta twice, once for around $65 and other time for $70. I flew to Zihua twice, once for $57 and the other for $67. (Not sure why the airport fees and taxes bounce up and down. The difference in prices can't be just because of the dollar-peso fluctuations at the end of 2019 / beginning of 2020.)

Okay, let's see if I can embed a picture ... aha! Easy! Do you see the small button on the right labeled [Image]? Choose that button and the system will ask for a URL. Copy 'n' paste the URL with your image and voila! Now let's see if I can do it ...

[image]

Ah, I guess you should reduce the size of your photo before you post it, huh? Anywho, this is my favorite photo of Zihua as it is the view from my favorite room at my favorite hotel at my favorite beach in my favorite beach city of Mexico. There I was, in paradise, working on my bi-annual professional development credits for my insurance licenses. Could not think of a better place!

Honest opinion, please.

by Ironwood @, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 19:10 (39 days ago) @ Padrino

My understanding is that it is much harder to get a Mexican bank account now without one of the two different types of Mexican resident visas.


I don't have any Mexican resident visas, but was able to open an account at Intercam Bank in Zihua last Feb/March.

(Now, if I could just figure out how to transfer money into that Intercam Bank account from here in Canada.....but that's another story)

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Honest opinion, please.

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 19:19 (39 days ago) @ Ironwood

Do your homework, Intercam is not legally a "bank." Be informed.

Honest opinion, please.

by Ironwood @, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 20:34 (39 days ago) @ Talley Ho

Do your homework, Intercam is not legally a "bank." Be informed.

I have no idea what this means. Perhaps it's all in the name: "Intercam Bank".
They have ATMs, their cards can be used at other ATMs....and others have insisted they have no problem transferring funds from Canadian banks to their Intercam Bank accounts. That's the problem I have, but then again, I haven't pursued it with much enthusiasm, because I believe there wouldn't be much - if any - savings on currency exchange rates between Intercam Bank and my usual Zihua Scotiabank.

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Honest opinion, please.

by mexicoman @, Zihuatanejo, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 07:21 (39 days ago) @ Ironwood

Do your homework, Intercam is not legally a "bank." Be informed.


I have no idea what this means. Perhaps it's all in the name: "Intercam Bank".
They have ATMs, their cards can be used at other ATMs....and others have insisted they have no problem transferring funds from Canadian banks to their Intercam Bank accounts. That's the problem I have, but then again, I haven't pursued it with much enthusiasm, because I believe there wouldn't be much - if any - savings on currency exchange rates between Intercam Bank and my usual Zihua Scotiabank.

TransferWise.com can't be beat.

Honest opinion, please.

by Padrino ⌂ @, San Diego, California USA, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 22:22 (38 days ago) @ mexicoman

TransferWise.com can't be beat.

Well, MexicoMan, I took a look-see and on a US$1,000 transfer, as of 21-Oct-2020, you would wind up with an extra $244 pesos over Xoom. Not bad. Next time, I will try TransferWise.com and see what happens. Thanks for the tip.

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Honest opinion, please.

by mosesk @, Ojai, CA, USA, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 13:57 (39 days ago) @ Talley Ho

Do your homework, Intercam is not legally a "bank." Be informed.

Could you elaborate on that?
Since Intercam holds my fideicomiso as well as I have an account there as well as a CD.

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Honest opinion, please.

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 14:17 (39 days ago) @ mosesk

The homework I did was a number of years ago, and we didn't feel good about it.

It isn't FDIC insured, however it's not in the US so that makes sense. It has interestingly low limits on their ATM cards.

When the big scandal hit the non bank in San Miguel de Allende a few years ago, Intercam was said at the time to be a very similarly set up financial institution.

Here is what their website says, "Headquartered in Mexico City, Intercam Grupo Financiero is an integrated group of financial services companies which include Intercam Banco (a commercial bank) Intercam Casa de Bolsa (a Mexican broker dealer member of the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores) and Intercam Fondos, (a mutual fund administrator)."

I could easily be wrong, but I'm not doing any more homework today, and not choosing to use them.

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Honest opinion, please.

by mosesk @, Ojai, CA, USA, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 14:23 (39 days ago) @ Talley Ho

The homework I did was a number of years ago, and we didn't feel good about it.

It isn't FDIC insured, however it's not in the US so that makes sense. It has interestingly low limits on their ATM cards.

When the big scandal hit the non bank in San Miguel de Allende a few years ago, Intercam was said at the time to be a very similarly set up financial institution.

Here is what their website says, "Headquartered in Mexico City, Intercam Grupo Financiero is an integrated group of financial services companies which include Intercam Banco (a commercial bank) Intercam Casa de Bolsa (a Mexican broker dealer member of the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores) and Intercam Fondos, (a mutual fund administrator)."

I could easily be wrong, but I'm not doing any more homework today, and not choosing to use them.

They seem to be the "new kid on the block".
I chose them because my condo builder had account set up there AND they had a staff that spoke English.
You are right about low ATM limits and a few other odd things I have encountered in my banking with them.
But in general their service has been good and responsive.

Honest opinion, please.

by Rigamarta, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 14:32 (39 days ago) @ Talley Ho

Intercam Banco Internacional, Inc. is an International Financial Entity organized in accordance with the provisions of Act No.

It is a true "bank" owned by International Financial Entity group.

Honest opinion, please.

by Ironwood @, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 18:12 (38 days ago) @ Rigamarta

Intercam Banco Internacional, Inc. is an International Financial Entity organized in accordance with the provisions of Act No.

It is a true "bank" owned by International Financial Entity group.

Thank you. For the couple of hundred dollars I might ever have deposited with Intercam Bank, I'll take my chances.
Over at their branch near the theaters, the office is business-like, the staff efficient and some are bilingual, the air conditioner's cold, the seats are comfortable, they have an ATM and issue proper cards, etc...and they e-mail me my account status every month.
Not a bank? If it walks like a duck......

Honest opinion, please.

by Padrino ⌂ @, San Diego, California USA, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 00:31 (39 days ago) @ Ironwood

(Now, if I could just figure out how to transfer money into that Intercam Bank account from here in Canada.....but that's another story)

Have you tried Xoom? I can transfer from my San Diego credit union to my BBVA (nee Bancomer) account and get a pretty darned good rate. Sometimes the Casas de Cambio at the Tijuana border give you a better rate. When that happens, I go to credit union, take out a goodly amount, run down to San Ysidro and convert the dollars to pesos, and then run across the border to deposit the money in BBVA. On $500, you might only save $10 but then I get to go to one of my favorite TJ restaurants for a free lunch! (Have not done this in many months because of Covid. Stupid microbe!)

Call me lucky? Honest opinion, please.

by Casa Juan @, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 16:55 (38 days ago) @ Padrino

I have used Intercam for 8 years to transfer funds to build with in Mexico, still doing so currently though on a reduced scale due to a reduced income. The wire transfers go from my bank in Alaska to a Citibank account Intercam has in NYC. Intercam started charging $10 USD on wire transfers last year. Otherwise the service has been great and the exchange is not bad. FWIW when the sh-t really hits the fan FDIC won't mean much.

Honest opinion, please.

by Sydney @, Zihuatanejo Mexico, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 16:20 (38 days ago) @ Ironwood

Ironwood, talk to Ana at Intercam. She can help you with that. She is wonderful.

Specifics Please

by CHWine, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 21:37 (39 days ago) @ albuschhoff@gmail.com

We are booked for mid January and are wondering if the following are serving:
Los Braceros
Rufus
Adelitas
Arryun
Sirena Gorda
Bananas
Casa Vieja
Rossy's
La Perla
Bistro del Mar

Thanks.

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Specifics Please

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 21:40 (39 days ago) @ CHWine

Yes they are.

Las Adelitas has moved to Playa la Ropa as of two weeks ago and are in the old Sixtinos location, across the street from Jungle Pizza. We have already eaten there three times.