Lonely Planet Mexico, #16 or #17.

Old Jun 2nd, 2024, 04:54 PM
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Lonely Planet Mexico, #16 or #17.

I’ve always found Lonely Planet guidebooks the ones I prefer to have along with me. I was vaguely aware that the company had been sold but had no idea, until I borrowed the latest “Mexico” from the library, how truly useless the new editions have become.

So, the one I have is #15, 2016. The latest useless edition is #18, 2023. The company apparently changed hands in 2020. So I’m trying to determine whether #17, 2022 is the original format or whether the latest one will be #16, 2018. My primary complaint about the latest is there are few accommodation & restaurants recommended & those that are mentioned lack both addresses & prices. Those were the recommendations I valued most.

So if anyone has #17, 2022 , dark blue cover with guitar-playing Dia de Muertos figure on the cover, would you check for me if it has the lists of hotels & restaurants with addresses & prices for each town/city. I’d so appreciate it.

One thing I’ve noticed is used copies of that edition are pretty expensive, so I’m thinking I’m not the only one on the hunt for the last decent edition.

Thanks, y’all, for any help.
Joanna
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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 12:07 AM
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Coincidentally I am in the process of trying to nail down our itinerary for Oct/Nove this year and also have the LP #15 Edition and have been looking at replacing with a newer edition. On seeing your post I downloaded a free sample of the eBook from Apple Books. I liked the format of the parts that I could check out; the specimen itineraries had clearlysbeen updates and there was a lot more in depth detail re Dia del los Muertos , food, activity ideas etc. It didn't get as far as accommodation recs for individual locations so I couldn't check whether locations and prices were included.

The ebook did include the physical address for place of interest plus a really useful link to GoogleMaps location (presumably not in the physical book). From the limited amount could see, I think I preferred this format but whether it includes the detail on hotel addresses I couldn't say, but that would not be a deal breaker for me as I use booking.com or similar to both search and book accommodation with the occasional direct booking. I could be wrong but I suspect for the vast majority of guide books, the research is done online rather than on the ground.

Unfortunately I am not going to be anywhere near a bookshop in the coming weeks , otherwise I would seek out the physical book.

I would check out the e book either on Apple or another online store and see what you think.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 09:13 AM
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As mentioned, Iíve seen the newest edition (#18, 2023), brought it home from the library & it failed my criteria & that of many online reviewers. I, too, use booking.com & other sites, of course, but like to have the book as an additional quick resource.

Hotel websites are another omission &, yes, I can do a search for all the missing information but far fewer are mentioned, only as many as will fit in a strip across the bottom of the page. Itís always been the ďnuts & boltsĒ information in LP guides that has served me on the road when I wanted information at hand. Those days are over apparently.

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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 12:30 PM
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I'm not going to contradict the OPs particular observations on the most recent Lonely Planet guidebook for Mexico, but I can't help but come to the company's defense, for I've generally found their guidebooks quite useful, at least for the places I've visited. I haven't used a lot of them; mainly for three countries, but those guidebooks tended to have a good deal of accurate and useful detail -- for example, while some guidebooks will tell you only that there are buses that go from A to B, the Lonely Planet books I've used cited the times they departed, the places in A they departed from, the places in B where they arrived, and the estimated length of the trip. Also, I've found their judgments generally to be reliable: when they said a certain hotel was friendly, or a certain neighborhood was dodgy, I found that they were usually right. In addition, their coverage was extensive (they covered nearly all of those less-touristed towns that I focus on), and their maps were clear and well-annotated.
I'll admit that my most recent Lonely Planet guidebook is Peru, 2016, so I can't comment on the most recent editions. The internet has probably reduced the urgency for published lodging and restaurant lists, but if the more recent Lonely Planet books otherwise adhere to the standards I listed above, I would not give up on them yet.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 12:33 PM
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Missing LP Thorntree

I'm missing the Lonely Planet Thorntree more and more, just because of this kind of missing info. Surely seems someone would be trying to fill that gap, after LP shut down.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 01:04 PM
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Faedus, you seem to have missed my point entirely. I absolutely agree with you that LP guides have been the best for decades when it came to nitty gritty information & itís why I bought them for dozens of places all over the world where I traveled sometimes for 6 months at a time. My criticism is reserved for the latest, those put out by the new owners of the company. Iíve gathered from a number of discussions that the books are no longer researched on the ground which is how they were able to provide such in-depth information, but by writers sitting at their computers finding the same information any of us can find at home. Colorful photographs do not make up for shoddy writing.

Iíve just ordered #17 online used after scouring local sources where I hoped to find a copy so I could verify the content. Iíll report back after it arrives. Iím hoping they were too lazy just after the purchase of the company to ruin the 2022 edition before it came out. Iíll let you know. If it, too, is no good I guess Iím done for as the only other one newer than the one I have is 2018, too old & also pre-Covid.

Pelon2, there are lots of travelers lamenting the demise of Thorn Tree with you. While searching for guidebook information I saw mention of a Thorn Tree rescue operation that was said to be better than nothing. You might try a search for it to see whatís up.

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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 03:40 PM
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@ Pelon2: I quite agree about the regrettable demise of the ThornTree -- a great forum, appealing generally to more curious, independent travellers, the sort I feel more comfortable advising. (If you want to know the relative merits of a heavily-touristed city's Ritz and Intercontinental hotels, I'm not going to be of much use.)
@ MmePerdu: Maybe not "entirely." It wasn't totally clear whether your comments were aimed at LP generally or just at a particular book for a particular year. In any case I stated clearly the limitations of my own opinions, which I offered only because I like to give credit where it is due, and wanted to warn readers not to be put off too quickly to a guidebook series that I had always found to be pretty good. But if the "gatherings" you presented in your latest note are true -- and only if they are -- then perhaps some rethinking about the series might be in order.

Last edited by Faedus; Jun 3rd, 2024 at 03:44 PM.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 10:49 PM
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MmePerdu,

My comments above re the e book sample I downloaded related to edition #17 not 18#
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Old Jun 4th, 2024, 08:46 AM
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FWIW, I've alwyas enjoyed Lonely Planet guidebooks, and find them very similar in depth of coverage to those of The Rough Guiide and Moon. You might want to take a look at them.
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Old Jun 4th, 2024, 09:12 AM
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Thanks, kja, I’ll have a look. I know Moon has one for just Oaxaca, the place I know best & hope to stay for a while next year. I’ve requested my library’s copy so will see it soon. I have used both Rough & Moon guides on occasion but got the habit of using LP so now’s definitely the time to diversify.

I’ll report back in a week or 2 on whether #17 makes the grade from my pov.

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Old Jun 4th, 2024, 04:39 PM
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Had no idea about the change in LP. In my recent decluttering mission, I just gave away (put on giveaway shelf in my building) about 20 of the old ones, thinking that I would replace them with newer versions as necessary.

So are you all saying that the newer Lp guides are not worth the paper they are written on??

Oh, dear, bring back Tony and Maureen and the "yellow bible!!" (Yes, dating myself...wish I still had that one, along with the original black Moon Indonesia guide!!)

What a loss.
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Old Jun 4th, 2024, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy
. . . So are you all saying that the newer Lp guides are not worth the paper they are written on??

What a loss.
Well, thatís what Iím saying. No one here has actually agreed with me yet but no one else seems to have had a good look at the latest editions. Granted, my opinion is based on a sample of 1 book but I have to assume that all the latest produced according to the new publisherís template will be the same. The general theme of online reviews Iíve been reading is dismay.

What a loss, indeed!

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Old Jun 5th, 2024, 09:19 PM
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I'm not surprised that people have been disappointed with LP's new guidebooks, following that company's disastrous ownership change. I previously learned a lot from LP's Mexico forum. And. expecting that forum to continue to exist, I foolishly stored many of my own trip reports there. Closing down that lively forum, which had no equivalent elsewhere on the Internet, was, I think, a cynical betrayal by the new owners of some of LP's most committed consumers. In response to that forum closure, I've decided to never, ever, purchase another LP guide about any country!

I still own LP's 2010 Mexico guide, the 12th edition, but made little use of it when planning my most recent Mexico sojourn, from Oct. 2023 to March 2024. Instead, while planning that trip I used pertinent sections of Moon's state-level Oaxaca guide to identify some slightly off-the-beaten path destinations to visit. Separately, for places to visit outside of Oaxaca State, I relied entirely on Internet research. I did that research before visiting Mexico City, several small towns in Hidalgo State, Puebla's capital city, Puebla's Sierra Norte, the City of Queretaro, a monarch butterfly reserve, and the town of Xichu in Guanajuato State.

I find it helpful to google Trip Advisor's discussions of "Attractions" associated with particular destinations. To locate appropriately priced, favorably reviewed hotels I use Google Maps. To find restaurants I usually just look around after arriving at a particular place. I no longer expect any guidebook's information about hotels to necessarily be current or accurate, nor do I anticipate that particular attractions, no matter how prominently they are featured in books and websites, to necessarily be open when I visit a place.

Last edited by chrisdaniel0933; Jun 5th, 2024 at 09:22 PM.
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Old Jun 7th, 2024, 08:21 PM
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Have you looked at Moon Handbooks? They are very good for the Pacific side of Mexico. I was on Thorn Tree but have never used Lonely Planet books. For an online forum I use Trip Advisor now.
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Old Jun 8th, 2024, 06:00 PM
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One of, if not my favorite resource over the years, has been Mexico Desconocido. The print magazine used to be available at Mega/Comer and I'd buy it every month. Now I believe it's only available in digital format. The 'Escapadas' section has options to allow you to drill down according to Pueblos Magicos, Estados, Viajes por Carretera, etc. Lots of recommendations for more 'off the beaten path' destinations. As an example, there's an entire section dedicated to Xichķ, the tiny isolated town in Guanajuato Chris Daniel mentioned. I don't recall ever seeing Xichķ in any guidebook, but I could be mistaken. It's target audience are Mexican National tourists, so it's entirely in Spanish. As an example, a few years back Orizaba, Veracruz was voted by readers as their favorite Pueblo MŠgico. Orizaba is easy enough to get to from Puebla, but sees few foreign tourists.
https://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/
https://escapadas.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/

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Old Jun 8th, 2024, 08:48 PM
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BaldOne--I learned about Xichu from Spanish language web sites. That town is located in Guanajuato's northeastern corner, in the Sierra Gorda. It's accessible from Queretaro, via San Luis de la Paz where I changed buses. I went to Xichu at the end of December last year in order to be present for their New Year's Eve folk music festival.

In addition to 'Mexico Desconocido', I enjoy watching off-the-beaten path destination films posted on You Tube by Jorge de Leon. He's a very talented Mexican videographer. I especially like the video that he made last year about Agua Caliente, Chiapas. That tiny, remote community north of Tapachula should not be confused with northern Mexico's better-known state and city called Aguascalientes. Inspired by Jorge de Leon's video, I am looking forward to spending several days in Agua Caliente, Chiapas, next December. Chris Daniel

Last edited by chrisdaniel0933; Jun 8th, 2024 at 08:52 PM.
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Old Jun 10th, 2024, 01:03 PM
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I'm back to report that my used Lonely Planet Mexico #17 has arrived &, hallelujah, it is the last edition still in the beloved format of former owners, Tony & Maureen. Still with the full measure of recommended sleeping & eating places that includes websites, addresses & prices with the organization I'm familiar with & presumably updates done by writers who actually visit the locations. There's a concept.

While not perfectly up-to-date it's only a year off the new owners' latest (useless from my pov) edition & we all know we never get completely current information in guidebooks anyway. I paid $15 for it from an online seller in pretty good shape. I recommend that anyone who'd like a REAL Lonely Planet guide for Mexico, get thee to a website near you & find a #17. You won't be sorry.




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