January 26 to February 1, 2009
February 1, 2009 - Parked at Punta Perula, Jalisco
This has been a very busy week for us. On Monday we reached the coast at San Blas, on Wednesday we moved south to La Peñita de Jaltemba, and today we moved south again to Punta Perula. During the week we visited 30 RV parks - this area has the highest concentration of RV parks in all of Mexico. The upside - once we finish Melaque and the coast up to Perula we'll be able to slow the pace.
Early in the season (in December) there was a lot of concern that RVing in Mexico would really be down this year. News of the drug-related violence in Mexico, particularly along the border, was one factor. The other was the worldwide financial crisis. Would RVers be willing to spend the money to head south for Mexico?
It turns out that the worries were pretty much unfounded. We're finding campgrounds full or almost full in the sweet spot - the coasts north of Puerto Vallarta and Melaque. We're estimating that RVing is down a bit, RVer visits here appear to be at about 95% of what they were last year. The decent campgrounds are full. The traditional overflow campgrounds, those that aren't quite up to par, are the ones that are coming up a little short on occupancy.
One important factor is probably the declining peso. For US RVers it's a huge benefit. At 14 pesos per dollar prices are down about 25 percent this year. Canadians are finding prices down just a bit since the Canadian dollar has been declining in value, but not as fast as the peso.
The doomsayers are already saying that RVing will be down next year. Guess they have a better crystal ball than we do. If they're right it means the campgrounds will be less full than this year - and it will be even easier to find that perfect spot overlooking the beach!