Tuesday 5 November 2019

Our Mexico Trip costs

As promised, I will give you a little breakdown of the costs we have incurred to get from the USA border to Mexico.  I am not including food or fuel but rather the extra costs of the trip.  There are lots of things that have to be purchased to legally travel in Mexico either online before hand or right at the border.

Rather than me type out all of the information, here is a picture of Sue's journal of costs.  I will explain each one further down.  Please be aware that some of the numbers are exact and some are a little bit of an educated guess.  Sometimes we don't write down every little detail, so take with a grain of salt.

So about 3 weeks before we left Canada we went online to obtain all the necessary document that we could in advance.  Doing the Insurance before hand online is a piece of cake, but after doing the rest online and then seeing what is involved in getting the same documents from Mexican authorities at the border, I would recommend just doing it there.  It only saves you about an hour at the border but adds years to your life doing the online version.

First step was to obtain Mexican Auto Insurance.  You have to buy Mexican Insurance because no Canadian insurance covers travel into Mexico.  We used Lewis and Lewis Insurance because they are recommended by Mexican Travellers.  Bill Bell is also a worth broker who many people use and one of the perks from him is that he will give you a trip journal with all of the recommended roads and stops along the way.   We will probably use him next time..  Because of the fact that our Jeep is not worth a lot, we opted to only put Liability Insurance on it, but insured the Motor Home for its full value.  Our insurance was very comparable to what we pay for insurance in Manitoba.  Because our Manitoba insurance is void down here, once we get home we can send proof to our Manitoba Insurance showing how long we were in Mexico and we will get all of our Manitoba premium back for that time period which will reduce the overall cost.

Shown in Canadian dollars
So after the insurance which you have to have before you can get some of the next documents.  Next to apply for was the Mexican Visa or FMM.  This is where you tell them how long you are staying and where and for what purpose.  This is the document you have to present to the official at the Mexican border.   Of course there is a cost for this as well!! $38.74 Canadian for each of us.After you are successful doing the online application and paying, you can print it out online.

Canadian Dollars

Next thing to get was our Temporary Import Permit (TIP).  This permit allows you to bring a vehicle into Mexico for the same amount of time as what you are allowed on your Tourist Visa.  In our case we were allowed to be here for 182 day.  This permit is a sticker and has to be applied to the windshield of each vehicle you are bringing in.  In the case of a Recreational Vehicle the TIP is good for 10 years but there is a trick to that.  When we leave Mexico, we "MUST" turn in our plastic sticker before going back the to USA.  The Motorhome is an exception because it is for 10 years.  However if you are planning on selling the MH or not returning to Mexico you have a problem because the TIP sticker "MUST" be physically brought back to Mexico to remove the Mexican hold on the vehicle.  So it is best to turn it in when you leave and just get a new one next trip.  Saves a lot of driving if you sell it!!!  The cost of the TIP was $72.34 for the MH and the Jeep was $72.34 with an additional $300.00 refundable deposit for the Jeep.  They really don't want you leaving your vehicle behind in Mexico do they.  The reason the journal shows a blank spot is because we can't find anywhere that we were charged for the Jeep but they did send us a TIP sticker for it.  Oh well!!!  This sticker is shipped to you from Mexico to Canada before you leave so you have to do this well in advance.  And they don't really tell you when it is coming or how it is being shipped unless you really bug them via email.  Ours arrived about a week before we left.

So once we got across the Mexican border we stayed on the Cuota or toll road.  15D was our main road to be on for the majority of the way.  For the most part these toll roads are concrete 4 lane roads much the same as the Trans Canada Highway in Canada.  The same as in Canada there are areas of the road that is less than desireable to drive on and some construction but for moving along quickly, these are the roads to take.  We spent just a little under $200.00 Canadian for the whole trip.  Some toll booths are shut down but the local Mexicans quickly take them over and ask for donations!! Why not??  I'm wondering if I could set up on the Trans Canada back home and stop traffic and ask for donations??   They even have a warning cone on a string which they put in the road and won't remove it until you pay a donation.  I love their way of thinking.

Now our friends Kevin and Ruth cringe at the thought of travelling this way in Mexico.  They do lots of back country Mexican travels and lead lots of caravans through true Mexico and they write a blog every day with their travels called "Travel with Kevin and Ruth".  If you want to see true Mexican travel check out their blog because they are just preparing to embark on a 3 month caravan through Mexico.  They take lots of really great pictures and tell you the real stories of Mexico.  If you want to join one of their caravans you could contact them for cost and availability.

We are including our overnight camping fees.  These were prearranged secure camping areas.  The Los Mochis one was a fenced gated truck lot but all the others were RV Parks.  Nothing special but close to the ocean and full hook ups.  Once again in Canadian dollars.

And finally here is what we will pay per month to be at the La Penita RV Park.  Its shown in US dollars but the conversion of the day says $675.00 Canadian.  This is so unlike us to be doing this but hey, you don't know if you don't try.   One day we will want to settle down so a little practice is ok.  We are loving the people here already.  Ironically most people here are from Canada and we have made a few connections already.  A lady whose mother and dad we used to know in Rivers is here.  And another couple who know a guy who used to work for me.  And another couple from Stonewall who know a guy who I used to work for tearing down grain elevators!!  Such a small world. And the park is not even 1/4 full yet so we will find more I'm sure.

Although I am not posting our fuel costs to get here, you could figure it out if you like.  Our average miles per Canadian gallon is 8.5 so using the average cost of 21.50 peso's per liter you can come up with a cost.   Ha Ha, how are you doing with that!!!!  I will help you a little bit.  Diesel is about $1.48 per liter Canadian.

So this is not a frugal trip by any means.  We are paying gringo prices and knew that going in.  If there is any savings it will be in the grocery stores and restaurants.  Down here you can eat out quite cheap.  Sue had a wonderful lobster supper with 2 Pina Colada's and for less than $25.00 Cnd.  Average meal cost with a drink is around $10.00.  You can buy more stuff than you can carry in the grocery store for $20.00.   A large glass of fresh squeezed orange juice for a buck.  And seafood is cheap here right off the boats.  We are absolutely enjoying ourselves although getting used to sun every day with temps around 33C is taking its toll on us.  Sometimes it is humid and that is when we just stay in the pool for hours.  I know nobody is feeling sorry for us lol.  They tell us it will cool down significantly in a couple weeks so we will hang around and see what its like.  

So for anyone considering Mexico, DO IT!!!  Research the stories you hear and find out the truth.  Most of the bad that is happening does not affect our kind but rather involves people who are playing with the sex and drug trades.  We are keeping our noses clean and are not feeling one bit anxious.  The Mexican people as a whole are a loving caring people.  They can be a little aggressive when it comes to money but what the heck.  You gotta make a dollar.  I think we as Americans and Canadians are a little intimidated by that aggression and view it as bad.  I assure you that they mean no harm by it, but they do know a sucker when they see one.   We have fun with it and usually pay too much!!!

I will try to keep everyone up to speed on our adventure, and when it cools a bit we will be taking some adventures out into the Mexico around us.  Should be some fun things to see and do.


  1. Thanks Lorne for the detailed update. So one could purchase the TIP at the border?

    1. you generally have to drive about 20 kms south of the border to get your TIP

  2. Thanks for the information! Don't think we are ready to jump in the rig and drive down but interesting nonetheless.

  3. Thanks for the shout out! Yes, we cross the border with our group a week from Sunday. Oh, and it's a four and a half month trip this year. Last year's was four months and everybody said it wasn't long enough!

  4. I should have re-read your schedule!! Will you be close to us at any time? I mean to within Jeep driving distance?

    1. No, I don't believe that we will be this year.

  5. Great information, Lorne. Thank you. I'll keep the info just in case. You never know down the road. My sister and hubby enjoyed Mexico with friends for 3 months last winter and are likely returning for a bit this winter. They gave us a quick run down of pricing and it sounded way out of our reach. Yours is more detailed and helpful. :)
    Enjoy your stay!

    1. Glad it might help someone because when you first start researching it is a big job figuring it out.

  6. Your blog is great and very informative. Just out of curiosity, did you also have to pay to be in the caravan?


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