I noted a few posts back that this is a fantastic time to go to Mexico. The peso has dropped 20 percent against the dollar and with airlines having trouble filling their planes and fuel costs coming down, there are plenty of ongoing sales on flights.

For most tourists who go to Mexico though, it doesn’t seem all that cheap. The reason is, they go to Americanized resort areas where the gringos outnumber the locals. Everything is in dollars at the hotels—including the pricey excursion tours—and the restaurants are priced for norte americanos in free-spending vacation mode.

mexico beach resortsWhich spots are those? Well you can find them pretty easily on this screen shot from the Señor Frog’s locater map. If you haven’t ever set eyes on a Señor Frog’s outlet or see one of their god-awful ugly t-shirts, count  yourself lucky. Basically it’s a chain of bars dishing out overpriced margaritas to sunburned middle-aged tourists trying to “not act their age” as the marketing slogan goes.

If you see their logo when you are strolling down the street, you know you are in the land of short vacations and U.S. prices, not in the real Mexico. If you are a traveler on a budget, get on the next bus out.

The only place on that map missing a red dot is Los Cabos. Maybe they don’t like frogs. The others are where you would think though: Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa, Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen. If you want to really benefit from the lower prices south of the border, scout around for other options. If you’re not already an experienced world traveler, you might want to start with Traveler’s Tool Kit: Mexico and Central America.