12/2/10

I scored you a discount with Alaska Air, to help ease your way onto an airplane next spring. Alaska Air is offering all of our guests a 7% discount on flights from any US (except Hawaii) city and Canada to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo (Airport Code: ZIH), if you use this code:  - ECCMB2018 - between March 15, 2011 through March 28, 2011.

To use your Discount Code, go online to [http://www.alaskaair.com/default2.aspx?s_tnt=19802:1:0 ] alaskaair.com and input the Discount Code when searching for flights.  The discount will be applied to any flights meeting the contract parameters.

Unfortunately, Spring Break Blackout Dates of; March 18 - 20, 2011 and March 25 – 27, 2011 will apply to us, throwing a tiny little hitch in our gitalong. The system will still allow you to book these peak travel dates, however, the discount must not be applied to any blackout dates selected for travel.
    
Please do let me know if you end up using the discount code - if 40 or more people do, we get a free ticket - woohoo!

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We will be staying in Barra de Potosi, Mexico:

you will be here

The closest airport is Zihuatanejo (ZIH), just 15 minutes away down a dirt road or alternately by the Acapulco Highway to Los Achotes and then to the Playa Blanca Road.

Alaska Airlines, United, Aeromexico, and many other airlines fly into Zihuatanejo (Airport code: ZIH) every day.

EAST COAST GUESTS:
If you are coming from the East Coast, it is best to fly Continental Airlines, which will take you to Houston, and then on a smaller carrier directly into the Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa airport. Jim and Susan try to avoid a stopover in Mexico City as you’ll have to retrieve your baggage and go through customs then replace your luggage on the next flight. As customs and luggage are at opposite sides of the airport, it is not unusual to miss your connection if you have less than two hours between flights. In addition, it is much easier to go through customs at Zihuatanejo.

Hopefully you will have dressed strategically, so that you can remove layers of clothing while on board. It will be hot when you get out and are crowded into the immigration line.

The MorrosIf you have a window seat, as you begin your landing, look out and notice your approach over the morros ( the rocky mounds in the sea just off the coast of Barra de Potosi) . These morros will become your gauge for where you are on the beach or in the sea, over the next few days.

Once you land in Zihuatanejo, you'll step out onto the tarmac into the bright, hot sunshine! The friendly flight attendant on the plane will have given you an immigration paper. Fill it out on BOTH sides and pass easily through immigration. (Somebody is always pulled out of line for omitting the back side). Tuck the visitors visa that they give you into your passport, as you will need it upon departure.

Note: You might want to get some pesos here from the ATM or casa de cambio - see details on that in the Safety & Other Boring Stuff section.

if you don't have a rental car and have told us your date, time and airline, one of us will be waiting for you at the curb. Now's a good time to wave that save the date around so that you and other wedding guests can recognize you and we know you're one of us. Send an e-mail to info@katandjoseph.com with you flight/date/time information if you didn't send it to us on the RSVP postcard attached to your wedding invitation.

For more independent sorts, here are options on how to get to your accommodations from the airport:
1.) There will be a handful of taxi drivers waiting at the curb by the airport. They will charge $50 US to drive you down the road to your hotel.
2.) You can rent a car via Priceline or other car rental place for about $50/day. You must buy the overpriced insurance in Mexico. Your credit card or regular auto policy will not cover you in Mexico. The car rental places are 10 feet in front of you as you come through the glass doors.
3.) Your host may be arranging to pick you up at the airport
pasajera4.) You can do it my favorite way. Step outside of the airport, say no and smile nicely to the taxi drivers. Walk across the parking lot. There is a little beer stand at the end of a dirt road. Buy yourself a nice cold beer and a Coke for the little ones. ( Just do it...Mexican Coke uses real sugar rather than HFCS so it is sort of like health food!) Within 30 minutes, a truck will pull up with benches in the back. Tell the driver the name of your accommodation. He will be shuttling back and forth between Barra de Potosi and the end of this road and will drop you off at your place. Give the driver 10 pesos per person. (That's 81 cents, American. See the Safety & Practical Stuff Section for Mexican money tips and information.)
5.) You could also do a mix of options. Walk away from the curb and waiting taxis of the airport and head down the paved road, staying on the right. You will pass on your left the little beer stand and dirt road presented in option 3. Soon a taxi will pull up to you and ask if you want a ride. ( The taxi system is quirky, as only certain taxis can pick up passengers at the airport, but any taxi can drop people off there. Hence, there are a lot of empty taxis leaving the airport who can offer you a ride once you leave airport property for a lot less than the aforementioned $50.00. I like to get a ride to Los Achotes for 30 or 40 pesos, then get out at the Barra de Potosi road and get a beer or Coke from one of the little stores there. A pasajera truck will be waiting or arrive soon. They will accept your 10 pesos per person and take you to your destination.

On Returning Home: IT WILL BE MANGO SEASON WHEN YOU ARE IN MEXICO!!! This means that upon departure from ZIH, one might be tempted to load their suitcase with armloads of ripe juicy delicious mangos. A person might want to bring home a taste of Mexico with that almost full bottle of tequila they didn’t finish the night before. It is kind of a bummer when they open your baggage at the airport and have to sort through your dirty underwear pulling out mango after mango, making a mountain of them on the table. Then you have to shed a tear and give up all your visions of mango smoothies at home. If, however your flight is delayed, they will give you all the mangos and tequila to consume in the airport as you wait for your departure. It is truly amazing how many of these glorious fruits & shots of cactus juice can be consumed in that last hour in Mexico. Just sayin’ ... it’s been done.

 

Getting Around

Once you are settled in, there is a truck that drives up and down the road from your accomodation to Barra and up to Los Achotes, the village at the end of the road which connects to the highway that takes you to Zihuatanejo. Kat's idea of fun is hanging out in the back of pick up trucks and on Mexican buses, and so, of course, she recommends that you spend some time in the back of a pick up truck with some locals. It is also always lovely to walk down the beach to the village, where you can buy food, drinks, bug spray, sun screen, etc.

Taxis are plentiful and hungry, so you can always splurge on a cab if you don't want to walk or take the bus. Taxi rides to Zihuatanejo cost about $25.

When going to Zihua, the truck drops you in Los Achotes. You will cross the road to where a bus will pick you up. Bus rides are a real adventure. Notice how the drivers customize their rigs with names such as El Diablo & Fast and Furious (actually I believe that one is Fast and Furios) and Lost. They add decals and fringed curtains that virtually cover the front window. They are really good at weaving between cows and pedestrians and oncoming traffic too. Fun! Might want to adopt a saint before your bus adventure.

We're going to try to arrange a jalopy for you that will take you to Zihuatanejo, up and down the road between accomodations, our place, our parent's place and the village as well as do beer and water delivery. Kat is going to talk to the taxi mafia during her next recon trip in February and will keep you posted on how that goes.

 

 

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