By Lori Hartmann
At five years old I made my first of many trips to Mexico. There are so many places to explore and favorite memories!
Nuevo Laredo MX, 150 miles south of San Antonio Texas. A border town I would frequent often as a child. The Cadillac Bar, a landmark, opened in 1926. They kept a saddle on display that once belonged to Pancho Villa. I remember sitting on that saddle many times over my childhood.
Horsetail Falls – Another childhood favorite – Cola de Caballo. Fifty miles south of Monterrey MX in The Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, full of canyons and other natural wonders. We traveled by donkey up to the amazingly beautiful falls.
Copper Canyon Train in the Northern Sierra Madres.
As a young adult, I traveled by bus to Chihuahua. There were no tourist trains through the canyons then. We started the 650 km journey in Los Mochis in the last train car sitting on crates of Coke. There were many stops for the locals and their animals. We were eventually able to move up to real seats and enjoy the thrilling ride along the cliffs. The scenery is AMAZING! There are approximately 40 bridges and 80 tunnels. I saw a man who could be a Guinness World Record holder. His feet were wider than they were long. Most likely had never worn shoes in his life!
Continuing by bus to Mazatlán, we found a campground on the beach. At that time, early 1970’s, you could only buy COLD cervezas at a restaurant or bar. We pooled our money with other campers and ordered an ice-cold keg from the Corona factory every morning!
Cozumel MX. My husband to be and I stayed at the San Miguel Hotel on the town square before it was closed to traffic and the tourist vendors took over. There was no cruise port or crowds! We enjoyed a “Shore-Learn to Dive” one day dive instruction. Next day we went out on a dive boat. The coral reefs were magnificent. Swim throughs brought us to different elevations…one time coming out the side of a wall. I stayed calm and enjoyed the dive!
Isla Mujeras is a lot of fun to visit, good food, beaches and entertainment. MUSA, The Underwater Museum of Art is a shallow dive and a sight to see.
Holbox is a lovely undeveloped island but growing fast. Visit cenote Hoyo Negro Yalahau, a freshwater lagoon fed by springs and set in lush shrub-jungle.
Still looking for “THE” spot to retire, we turned to Belize. Fortunately, I met a lovely Canadian lady there who told me about Huatulco. We checked it out and fell in love. The warm welcoming locals, the beautiful beaches and coral reefs, the birds and wildlife, waterfalls and mountains! The food is outstanding, great restaurants, and fresh fruits, veggies and seafood. We are very happily retired in the BEST PLACE EVER – Huatulco!