Friday, June 24, 2005

Los Pinos

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The Facilities

Address: Boulevard Tepic Xalisco #150, Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico.
Telephone: (011-52) 311-210-2728
Facilities: 24 long back-in spaces with shade trees and full utilities (15 amp electric outlets---a few 30 amp, water faucets, drainage), plenty of room to maneuver for big rigs.
Rates: The maximum rate is $15.00 US. Tent spaces are $4.00 US. Vans are $7.00 US. Discounts are available for longer stays.

1. Los Pinos RV Park is open for business all year round. The gates may be closed after 9:00pm, but there is a ringer. If the manager (Jose) is not there, guests are welcome to make themselves at home and settle accounts when he arrives the next day.
2. Email is better than calling because the manager speaks very little English but can forward emails to an English-speaking friend for translation.
3. There are no longer any motel rooms available for rent. They have been leased to trustworthy and friendly local families, some of which have children, lending a family atmosphere to the campground and providing some opportunity for travelers to actually meet some "real" Mexicans.
4. The campground now offers more than just hookups. As I write to you, they are installing high-speed cable internet access. It remains to be seen just how many RV sites will actually have access to the service however, because of possible signal degradation. There is a local "club deportivo" (Sports Club) in Tepic that is offering daily passes to Los Pinos guests for $20 pesos. The club has swimming, tennis, volleyball, exercise room, sauna, etc.---all for less than two dollars a day. With advance notice, The manager is able to arrange for tour guides to several interesting nearby attractions, including the picturesque lake of Santa Maria De Oro, which is located in the caldera of an extinct volcano. For the more adventuresome, there are extreme excursions available, including edge-of-the-cliff horseback rides, bungee jumping, motorcycle rides etc. (all at your own risk and expense.) Excursions can be arranged to the town of Tequila, where guests can over-indulge in samples of the national beverage of Mexico without worrying about having to drive home. Other excursions available upon request.
5. Local schools rent the campground for their recreation period, one hour a day, Monday through Friday, throughout the school year. I find that it is nice to have the kids, from 10 to 20 at a time, at the campgrounds as another opportunity to get a glimpse of everyday life here, but some may prefer a more quiet experience and will need to reserve via email or telephone so the manager can ask the schools to use another facilty during their stay.