Here is some more information you may find useful. We'll do our best to keep this accurate but prices and schedules may change without notice.
The peso has remained strong against the dollar all year even amid devaluation rumors. Banamex, located in Melaque, is the only bank in the immediate area is open from 9:00 to 3:00. Cash and traveler's checks have a $300US limit. Your passport or tourist papers are required to exchange checks. There are two ATM machines in the foyer that are open 24hrs. These machines aren't always reliable so it's best not to wait until you're out of pesos to withdraw funds. Transactions are paid in pesos only.
There are several money exchange places in the area. Their rates are usually a little less than the bank's but they don't usually have much a wait. Many hotels and restaurants will change your money but it's a good idea to ask first.
U.S. dollars are more accepted than Canadian.
Another thing to be careful of are bills that are torn or have anything written on them. For some odd reason many places will not except them so make sure you don't receive them also.
The International airport in Manzanillo serves the area. AeroCalifornia has daily flights from Los Angeles, Alaska Airlines has flights twice weekly until November when they will offer 5 flights a week. America West offers 2 weekly flights beginning in November. It's a 20 minute cab ride from the airport to Barra or Melaque.
Some people choose to fly to Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara and continue on by bus.There are more flights and fares on this route. During the high season charter companies run regular flights to Manzanillo.
You can travel just about anywhere in Mexico by bus. There is an extensive network of bus lines and terminals throughout the country. The major cities are hubs for regional carriers that then again offer service to smaller cities and towns. Generally there is first and second class service with a few companies like ETN that have less seating and more amenities.
First class buses are usually newer and roomier and make only a few scheduled stops along its route. Second class buses will stop at all small towns and villages and pull over along the road to pick up passengers. This link lists the bus companies and schedules
for this area.
For the most part bus travel is safe but certain precautions should be taken. Keep your belongings in sight inside the terminal. NEVER accept anything to drink from other passengers. It may contain some form of sleep-inducing agent and upon awakening you may be missing your valuables.
Driving to Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country. Canadian or U.S. drivers will notice a big difference driving here. Paying a little more attention to the other drivers is a good idea. Livestock grazing along the roadside present an additional hazard.
In the last 12 years Mexico has invested heavily in highway construction and there are excellent toll roads between most major cities. While these are somewhat expensive they are far safer. The price of the toll also includes accident insurance so you'll have extra coverage.
Insurance is best obtained on the American side of the border, Sanborns being the best known. In accidents the police will detain uninsured motorists until all financial responsibilities are met or a bond is posted.
Vehicle permits are obtained at the border at the same time you receive your tourist permit. A valid drivers and vehicle title are needed. In case of a financed vehicle where you don't posses the title, a notarized letter from the lien holder is required. A fee of $12, which must be made with a credit card, is charged. The vehicle must leave Mexico before the permit, which has a maximum of 180 days,expires.
Pemex is the only gasoline dealer in the country. These are privately owned franchises awarded by the state owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos. All gasoline is unleaded and sold by the liter. Prices in pesos as of 9/1/00 were: Magna $5.15 liter, Premium $5.77 liter. Prices are raised 1% the first day of each month at least until 12/1/2000.
Pay phones are found throughout the area, most using pre-paid calling cards. These can be purchased in most small stores and shops in 30,50 or 100 peso amounts. These are fine for calls within the country but don't last very long on international calls.
Calls within the towns covered in this site are all local.To call outside the area you must dial 01 + area code + number for a total of 10 digits. Some areas still have 5 digit numbers so they'll use a 3 digit area code. Places with 7 digit numbers use a 1 digit area code.