One of the things we love about Mexico is that you don't need a car. It's relatively easy in most places to get where you want to go using collectivos and buses.
It's not always fast though...you have to have some patience, and you might have to do some walking. But you can get there!
44 kms (28 miles) from "El Arco" to "Ixtapan del Oro" in Mexico State.
We walked to El Arco, about 10 minutes away, and stood to wait for a collectivo going to Donato Guerra. Usually they are plentiful, but this time we had to wait a few minutes. Eventually one came along and with two empty seats. Collectivo (shared) taxis in this area are usually Nissan Sentra cars. Five seats, but they often will squeeze three in the front and four in the back. You can't be shy about meeting your fellow passengers!
It cost 60 pesos ($5.00 CAD) for the two of us to get to Donato Guerra where we stood to wait for another collectivo that would take us to Ixtapan de Oro.
The locals don't often see gringos in this area, especially ones who take the local transport. Lots of smiles and stares, and most everybody says hello. It's customary to say buenos dias (good morning) or buenas tardes (good afternoon) when you get in a collectivo or minibus. Friendly people.
One collectivo was waiting empty and eventually a couple of ladies came and got in, and then the driver waived us over. I guess he didn't want to go to Ixtapan del Oro with just us, so he waited until he had other passengers to drop along the way.
It cost 80 pesos ($6.64 CAD) for the two of us for the second leg of the trip. We arrived at the town of Ixtapan del Oro just before lunch so we decided to get something to eat before walking to the waterfall. Popped into the first little place we saw along the main drag. Just a basic eatery, seating for maybe 8 people, and we were the only ones there. There were a couple of young women making fresh tortillas, and another older lady who came over to tell us what was available. No written menus and she spoke fairly quickly, but we got it all and we both ended up ordering Bistek a la Mexicana... beef, Mexican style.
As soon as we finished ordering, she walked across the street to the butcher to get the meat!
Our food arrived...spicey beef, with tomatoes and peppers, then sides of beans and rice, with freshly made tortillas. We had water with us, so didn't order anything to drink. Delicious! Exactly what we had wanted.
We had been sat right beside the sidewalk, and everybody who walked by smiled and said hello. Even the four state policemen who walked by.
Lunch was 40 pesos ($3.32 CAD) each. We love Mexico.
From there, we walked by the pretty town plaza and asked a couple of ladies which direction to the waterfalls. They pointed the way, and off we went.
Signs on the wall, but they are a little faded!
This corner might be a little tough for an RV.
We're always on the lookout for suitable spots to bring the motorhome. That first turn would be tight, and we might have to get out to trim some branches, but Sherman could make it! I wouldn't bring anything bigger or taller down this road though.
After that first turn the road would be fine for a motorhome of Sherman's size.
Scenery along the way.
Ruth beside the little river.
We came across a sign that advertised event salon and camping, so we walked in to have a look. Again, we think Sherman could get in there. Spoke to the caretaker, and he said that it would be fine. He didn't know the price though, and said the owner wasn't around but he had the phone number.
Entrance at GPS 19.273648, -100.254676
Even a nice swimming pool to use. We might come back here with Sherman another year!
Further along the road, a nice level boondocking spot.
And eventually, after a nearly 4 km (2.8 mile) walk, we arrived at the park. We were a bit surprised actually...we weren't expecting this to be a state park. We thought it was simply a waterfall. There's another small parking area, and I'm sure that you could overnight there as well. Again, I wouldn't bring in anything larger than Sherman, and even he would have to brush some low hanging branches out of the way, but I'm sure he would make it. A smaller class B would be ideal though.
The upper parking area. I wouldn't come on a weekend or holiday though!
Walk in entrance to the park. It's called Parque El Salto.
They have camping in the park, but only suitable for tents.
We paid the 20 pesos ($1.65 CAD) each entrance fee, and in we went. There are a couple of small swimming pools near the entrance, and then a walking trail beside the river that leads to the waterfall.
The waterfall was stunning! We had only brought the small pocket camera with us, so the pictures aren't great. Wish I had brought the other camera!
They say the falls are 70 meters (230 feet). Again, you can't see the top of them because they have carved a gouge through the rock where they originate. Look at Ruth at the bottom!
View from another angle.
We walked along an uphill path to get to the picnic and tent camping area...
Looking back at Ruth coming up the path.
Ruth, at the picnic and tent camping area. You can see the level platforms they have built for the tents.
It was after 3:00pm by this point, so we figured we had better start heading back on the 4 kms (2.8 mile) walk back to town. What a nice spot. Really like the area and the town of Ixtapan del Oro. Many people don't realize that there are state parks in Mexico. They aren't usually as developed as most state parks in the US., and they're often not RV friendly. But if you can get to them, they're worth visiting.
Walking back, there was this nice white horse tied up by the side of the road.
Good thing we left when we did. It took us a while to get a collectivo heading back to Donato Guerra, and then we had to wait there as well. Then, back at El Arco, we got out early and walked a different route back to where we are parked at the marina to see if would be easier to take Sherman out that way when we leave here tomorrow. And it will be, so it was worth the half hour walk.
5:45pm by the time we arrived back at Sherman! What a great day we had. Probably walked about 12 kms. A little pricey because we spent 280 pesos ($23.25 CAD) on transportation, but it was worth it.
Today, we're heading into Valle de Bravo one last time, and I want to change Sherman's engine oil. We'll get things ready to go for a 9:00am departure tomorrow.
Best price ever on BBQ gloves...
And on sale today in Canada, this is a cool product...