The Barnes & Noble Review
Mexico in Mind
Maybe you're thinking "Mexico" right about now.
If you are, and if you're also thinking "beach," then The Complete Idiot's Travel Guide to Mexico's Beach Resorts by Edie Jarolim would be a good book to have.
Yes, I know. I hate the title of this series, too. But it is an indisputable fact that these are marvelous books. Each one of them crams in a staggering amount of information in an easy-to-use format, in a style that's light and amusing, and in a tone that doesn't I hate to say this treat you like an idiot.
Even if you're devoted to sun and fun Mexico-style and a veteran who calls Puerto Vallarta "P.V.," I think this guide, among the many available, would be a good thing to study pretty thoroughly. It covers all the right spots: Cancún, Cozumel, Acapulco, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Los Cabos.
For starters, its hotel and restaurant recommendations are based on those of the Frommer guides, so you're off on the right foot. Then you get the special Idiot's Guide features. For example, restaurants for each place are sorted out by price, style, location, and every which way from domingo. Kid-friendly places are clearly flagged. And if you're suffering from burrito burnout, it tells you where to get a pizza or a waffle when you really need one. Plus, it has assorted sidebars, like the one for Cancún labeled "Most Likely to Have to be Carried Home From." It also has excellent large, clear maps.
The "Yo, Gringo!" boxes provide useful tips and reminders,aswell as advice on rip-offs, romantic spots, where to try if you're really stuck without a room, and everything else from golf to gazpacho.
Let's not kid ourselves. We all know that many of these resorts are more like a Disneyesque "Mexico-land" than Mexico. You may not care about that as your friends carry you home, but the next day you'll be glad they had this book's nifty map to help them find the way.
Alan Ryan, barnesandnoble.com