Alamos, Sonora, Mexico Fly-In
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When:
Fri November 1 - Tue November 5
Where:
Hacienda De Los Santos Resort and Spa
Molina Galeana 8, Centro
85760 Alamos, Sonora

Del Amo Flyers Fly-in to Alamos, Sonora, Mexico (v2)
Friday, November 1 - Tuesday, November 5, 2019
alamos

Lovely Alamos Adventure – Flying, Culture, Music, Food, Margaritas and You! 
Please join fellow DAFers on our November fly-in to the beautiful colonial town of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico which is located on the mainland 640nm miles South East of KTOA and about 48 nm east of the Sea of Cortez. Tom and Patti LaGrelius are thrilled to plan this special trip! They conducted a Mexico flight briefing in August. If you missed it and need information, please contact Tom at tlagreliusmd @ gmail.com or Patti at plagrelius @ aol.com for general questions.

Alamos location mp

We plan to arrive in Alamos on Friday, November 1 and depart on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.  We will be staying at the exquisite Hacienda de los Santos Resort & Spa.  We have blocked 15 rooms. There are only 34 rooms in this boutique Hacienda, so if you would like to go, please book right away to secure your reservation. The room block expires on Tuesday, October 1st! The Hacienda is truly one of the loveliest hotels we have ever stayed in. Once folks stay there, they can't wait to go back! This is an amazing destination also, you will not be disappointed. Alamos is rich with history, set in the foothills of the Western Sierra Madre in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Once you enter the village, you'll experience the feeling of a different age, the romanticism of Spain and the sweetness of Old Mexico. 


Alamos zocalo
November is the perfect time to experience this small town, where the weather will be pleasant and you will find it pristine, cherished by villagers for its beauty and tranquility.  This enchanting pueblo is a Mexico Historical Monument and a Sonoran State Historical Site. 

Packages Include:
Our package pricing below is a terrific value!  The costs of the DAF packages include transportation to and from the airport to the Hacienda, four nights lodging and three meals daily, including all taxes plus lots of terrific entertainment.  Drinks are not included, with the exception of the Welcome Margarita Hangar Party and the Ranch BBQ. There is no tipping at the Hacienda during your stay, however you may leave an optional tip (which is pooled) for the Hacienda staff when you check out. The only exceptions are tipping your technician for spa treatments and musicians. 
Alamos Hacienda resort

Entertainment Included:
Our fun entertainment in our package includes a Welcome Margarita Hangar Party, an historical talk about Alamos, excellent traditional Mexican music including the band La Estudiantina plus Ramon Alcantar.   For dining variety, there will be a Mexican Fiesta, a Ranch BBQ nearby with the option to horseback ride there (horses are extra cost, van transportation included) plus a lovely rooftop dining experience.  We are also excited to have a performance of a 60 person Ballet Folklorico, donning brilliantly colored costumes, festive music and traditional dancers which is not to be missed!  The Hacienda also has mountain bikes, putting greens, and several swimming pools to enjoy.

Other Activities Available: 
There will be several classes offered at a nominal charge. They include a cooking class, a tequila tasting class and a tour of local homes.  Spa treatments are available at the La Dulce Vida Spa. The Hacienda also has horses, plus a couple of ATV's and electric bikes to rent. For the hikers in the group, a short walk away from the Hacienda you can explore the trails at the Parque Colorado National Reserve. There is plenty to do!  Or you may choose to just relax by a pool or stroll around lovely Alamos in your free time. Your choice!


Package Prices:
Please note that this customized package has fixed entertainment costs so the prices below are based on 15 rooms booked.  The actual prices charged could be slightly higher or lower based on the number of rooms booked. Our room block will be released one month prior to the trip.

Prices below are for two people with four room/suite types to choose from.  Descriptions can be found at:  https://haciendadelossantos.com/wp/

Casa Spa Room   -  $1,249 USD
Hacienda Room   -  $1,449 USD
Estate Suite         -  $1,649 USD
Master Suite        -  $1,849 USD

To Make Your Reservation (3 steps):
If you plan to attend:


1. Please sign up on the Del Amo Flyers website AND
2. Reserve your hotel package, please send an e-mail to:  Jamiehacienda @hotmail.com AND to JNSwick @aol.com, AND cc Patti at plagrelius @aol.com AND
3. To confirm your room/suite reservation, you MUST mail a check for $300 as a deposit to:

Hacienda de los Santos
PMB 332
6336 N. Oracle Rd., Suite 326
Tucson, AZ 85704

Please include your names, preferred type of room/suite, and number of beds needed with a reference to the Del Amo Flyers November 1-5 trip on your check and e-mail. Credit card payment is NOT accepted for deposits. However, you can use your credit card to pay the balance due when you check out of the Hacienda.

Cancellation Policy:
1.  If you cancel more than two weeks before Nov. 1, 2019 there is no charge. Two weeks before is Friday, Oct. 18.
2.  If you cancel less than two weeks before Nov. 1, 2019 and your room is filled by another couple, there is no charge.
3.  If weather prevents the flight to Alamos on Nov. 1, 2019 there is no charge.
4.  Cancelling for all other reasons less than two weeks before Nov. 1, 2019, you will forfeit your $300 deposit.
 

Alamos wing downwind

Airport Information:
The Alamos Airport has a fee of $16 USD per day which includes landing and parking. However, those parking in the hangar will just pay for one day. A city employee collects the fee. Most aviators give him a tip of $5 - $7 when departing. The Hacienda has its own huge hangar that will hold 12 airplanes, so it is likely that your plane will be hangared during your stay. In any case, the airport and airplanes will be well guarded 24/7.

Tom and Patti are happy to help you explore this very special area in Mexico.  For those of you who are interested in extending your trip and taking a train up to Mexico's nearby Copper Canyon, which is bigger and deeper than the Grand Canyon, please let us know...we will be happy to give you some guidance. We did that trip four years ago and it was truly one of the coolest adventures we have ever experienced!   You may e-mail us at plagrelius @ aol.com.
Copper Canyon's El Chepe Train
We hope you can join us on this adventure to Alamos and the Hacienda de los Santos Resort and Spa. Our hosts Jim, Nancy, Jamie and Ramon do a terrific job in ensuring everyone has an amazing and memorable stay. 

Flying to Alamos from KTOA
So for all you pilots out there, Tom (thanks to Joe Cogan too) has done a VERY thorough job of providing important info to get there.
Alamos airport
Alamos Airport is about 640nm South East of KTOA. The airport does not have Mexican customs, fuel, or an Instrument Approach, so plan accordingly. The ICAO designator is XALA (It used to be MM45). This designator is not in the Jepp database or in the Foreflight database. The latitude and longitude are 27.04 deg N and 108.95 deg W, respectively. It is 51 miles on the 104 degree radial from Ciudad Obregon VOR. The runway is 4,921’ by 82’ and is asphalt. The airport elevation is 1,312’ MSL. It is in very good condition. The local time is Mountain Standard Time.

Pilots planning to fly their aircraft to Mexico must be equipped with a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT) effective June 30, 2018.  The old 121.5 ELTs are no longer permitted in Mexico. Mexico has announced it will enforce this rule. Tom has flown into Mexico at least five times since July 2018 and has never been asked about his ELT.  Nonetheless Mexico warns that ramp check can be done and planes not so equipped would almost certainly be grounded.

The US stopped printing charts for Mexico in 2015. The newest copy of a CH-22 for the area that I have is a 2013 copy. There are Mexican charts, but not recent. Here are two photographs of my chart. Unfortunately the area is right at the bottom edge of one side of the chart and the top edge of the other, so...
Alamos sectional 1
The top photo shows Guaymas and Ciudad Obregon airports and the bottom one the position of Alamos (XALA) 51 miles on the 104 radial from Ciudad Obregon MMCM and 119 miles on the 115 degree radial from Guaymas MMGM. Not hard to find with this or just put the coordinates into your GPS.
Alamos sectional 2

There is a 5,740 ft peak just south of Alamos as you can see. It’s a pretty good landmark, but there are more mountains further east. Stay just to the left of the closest one and you should be fine.

Sonora State does not observe daylight savings time which ends on November 3 while we will be there! So on the way down California and Sonora time are the same. On the way back an hour different. In Alamos we will turn our California clocks back one hour but leave our Sonora clocks the same. Keep this in mind when filing your eAPIS and flight plans back to the USA.

On the way to Alamos and on the way back, you must land at a Mexican Airport of Entry to clear customs, get tourist cards, file Mexican flight plans for the next leg, etc. The most reliable airports for clearing into and out of Mexico and getting fuel are:

1.        MMML – Mexicali
2.        MMHO – Hermosillo
3.        MMGM – Guaymas
4.        MMCN – Ciudad Obregon
5.        MMPE – Puerto Penasco

Personally we (Tom and Patti) much prefer Guaymas MMGM as it is only 12 miles from our favorite place in Mexico, San Carlos, and we know all the people there very well by now. Carlos is the Commandant and he no longer even bothers to look at my papers. Getting fuel is easy and they take credit cards, and if I am going to help you though the check in process that is where we would like you to be, because that is where we will be. If range is an issue and you need to stop half way we suggest Puerto Penasco, but Hermosillo works too. Guaymas is also a shorter flight from Torrance than Ciudad Obregon if fuel is an issue. At 160 knots it takes 3.5 hours and 50 gallons of gas in our Saratoga. Then Alamos is 45 minutes away.

Hacienda's recommended airport of entry is Ciudad Obregon MMCN which is only 60nm from Alamos, be we have found Guaymas to be easier to do. Some airports do not accept US dollars for fuel and fees. Credit cards are accepted at some airports (always at MMGM in our experience) depending on whether the credit card machine is working. The fail safe way of paying for fuel and fees is cash in Mexican Pesos. You will have to buy a Multiple Entry Permit on arrival at your AOE, in Pesos and visa fees for passengers but not crew members who stay seven days or less, so bring at least a few hundred dollars in Pesos. Fuel prices in Mexico are currently running around $5.00 US per gallon, but it is dispensed in liters. One liter is 0.264 US gallons BTW.

Here is the route I plan to take with a stop at MMGM Guaymas and then on to XALA Alamos. It is scenic down the east coast of the Sea of Cortez. You cross into Mexico about thirty miles west of Mexicali where you will want to talk to that tower (118.2). He will follow you till you are about 50 miles south of Mexicali and tell you to contact Puerto Penasco next (118.85) when in range. This is the only stretch you are out of radio contact. Penasco will hand you off to Hermosillo Approach (121.4) which has radar and all the bells and whistles. He will follow you all the way to Guaymas along the coast and hand you off to Guaymas Tower (118.6).

That little orange triangle along the coast is a restricted area sometimes (not often) between 3,000 and 19,000 feet. Hermosillo Approach will let you know and give you the choice of going around it to Hermosillo (bumpy, over mountains) or down the coast at 3,000 feet. Choose the later. The views are spectacular as you get closer to MMGM Hug the coast all the way and take pictures.
Alamos Foreflight

Stay tuned to this web page. We will be adding a lot more information on this trip. For those of you who are not familiar with border crossing procedures or flying in Mexico, I (Tom) will be conducting a briefing later some time before the trip, but it is actually a lot easier than some people think. Just remember to have your passports with 6 months validity at end of your trip (CHECK!), the originals and several copies of the documents about your airplane (current registration and air worthiness certificate), buy a decal from from DTOPS at https://dtops.cbp.dhs.gov/main/# way in advance (cheap). Have your original and several copies of your pilots credentials, medical etc. File an eAPIS to and from your AOE, preferably through the Baja Bush Pilot’s web site https://www.bajabushpilots.com (join, its cheap) rather than the cumbersome US government one. Have a copy of your insurance and buy Mexican insurance through Baja Bush Pilots if your US insurance does not cover you in Mexico (CHECK!). File a regular VFR flight plan to and from as you always do here. Land on the way home at either Calexico or Brown Field San Diego (you can’t come further) and communicate with San Diego radio an hour or so before crossing the border back into the USA to tell them when and where you will cross. In the meantime please feel free to talk to me at any time about any of the details.

You don’t want to miss this fly-in!

Tom and Patti



November Fly-In

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