Monday, February 13, 2006

Are you Experienced?

If you are planning to travel to Mexico, is probably the most helpful website you will find. It was conceived and is mostly written by a young British gentleman by the name of Matt Harrup. What's most unique and valuable about this website is Matt himself. He grew up in Mexico and only recently relocated back to Great Britain. He still has various siblings and friends living in Mexico and travels to Mexico a few times a year. He knows a lot about the country and knows how to find out what he doesn't know. And he understands what English-speakers want and need to know about Mexico before and during their travels.

His intention with this website is to organize information about Mexico based on the kind of experience you want to have when you get there. As he knows, Mexico is a vast and varied country that offers more than one person can possibly see in a lifetime. His website allows you to explore the country and make some decisions about where you want to go *before* you buy your ticket. Or if you've been to a place in Mexico that you enjoyed, the website allows you to find similar places based on characteristics such as beach, big cities, archaeological sites, nature & adventure, etc. without knowing specific names before you get started.

The website has many hidden tools for choosing your Mexican vacation. If you are interested in a spa vacation, the website helps you understand how to choose a spa, how spas are priced in Mexico and then directs you to the SpaQuest service to compare specific spas in Mexico. There are currency conversion tools, tutorials on types of insurance available when going to Mexico, tips on traveling with children and a collection of over 2000 photos of different parts of Mexico. Matt also publishes a free monthly newsletter that you can sign up for on the website.

The advantage of this website is that it is written by someone who really knows the territory. He has organized a comprehensive treasure trove of information in ways that make it easy to access, and he's kept the website simple and clean and easy on the eye. There are some holes in the travel guides...they seem to be missing a lot in the way of restaurant recommendations, for instance...but it is amazingly comprehensive, considering the ground it is covering.

The website won the Silver Lense Award in April 2005 for the best travel website about Mexico written outside of the country. I think it deserved it....see what you think.

1 comment:

Carl Franz said...

After reading your review I went to the Mexperience web site to check his information on the Copper Canyon, an area I know very well. I was disappointed by what I found -- his comment that it is difficult to take a bus to Los Mochis is very hard to swallow. He also says it is possible to take a bus across the Sierra Madre, more or less following the route of the train. This may be true 50 years from now, but it certainly isn't possible today. Frankly, I found this site to be unexciting and too much like a collection of travel agency brochures.