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GPS Garmin, help please!

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Cincinnati
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135 posts
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GPS Garmin, help please!

We are wanting to get a GPS. We were told to get a Garmin 370. I think the 370 is only because it has Europe in the hard drive. Since we don't plan to go to Europe in the near future, that might not be necessary.

The other qualities that I was told to look for are: Spoken street names, SD chip slot, Mp3 player (if that is necessary)

I also was told that the Mexico chip from "Mexico Mike" is more detailed than the one available from Garmin.

Since I don't know anything about the GPS, any input from you would be appreciated!

Puerto Vallarta...
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1. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

All I can tell you is we have a Garmin and, last winter, Greg (my husband) and I did a fair bit of "map making", i.e., walking around the streets of Puerto Vallarta plotting points, etc., which he later sent to Garmin (in return for free maps). To that point all Garmin had for Puerto Vallarta was mostly aerial views so there were a lot of errors (for example where streets don't go through and there are steps, etc.) I think you can navigate Puerto Vallarta quite well now, even in some of the neighbourhoods.

We also plotted points on the route from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta (both routes).

One thing you can't do in Mexico, at least on Garmin, unfortunately, is to search for nearby "Gas Stations" or "Restaurants" or "Lodging" (categories) as you can in the US or Canada. They only have whatever someone has manually entered by name. So, for example, you can search for nearby gas stations by typing in "Pemex".

Hope this helps.

Cincinnati
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2. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

Thanks for your help!

Higuera Blanca...
Destination Expert
for Punta de Mita
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3. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

As Careyeroslib says in her post above, I have been working with the company that supplies the Mexico maps for Garmin to improve their maps (including hotels etc). In Puerto Vallarta there is a special challenge as roads often aren't continuous because of hills and mountains. There are stil some errors because of this problem that we are working on. On the other hand there are now excellent GPS identifications of hotels, restaurants, gas stations and shopping plazas in Puerto Vallarta.

Guadalajara has excellent maps and the main highways are very good. Pemex has been expanding the number of gas statons at an amazing rate so that it's impossible to keep up, but most are shown.

Chapala, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Chapala, Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Ajijic, Chapala
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4. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

I have yet to get my GPS, will be coming for X-Mas. I got a nuvi 200 something for Mexico, supposed to be specifically for Mexico and with english and spanish...will let you know how it is when it arrives.

Had a tom tom or something and it was useless in Mexico. Brought back to states, where it works great.

I know little about these but my geek sons ( LOL) says this is the one...I got it on Amazon, if that helps any!!

Cincinnati
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5. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

Yes, everyone needs a geek son or even a 10 year old neighbor would help.

I have been looking on the Garmin and Amazon sites and there are so many different style numbers and prices of GPS and it is very confusing.

I was told to get the 370 but am also looking at the 360.

Now I'm also getting confused about the Mexico chip.

First I thought to get the Garmin chip but now I read that the bicmap chip is better for Mexico. Guess I'll have to continue rearch or hope to hear from someone on this site.

Albuquerque, New...
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6. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

I use my Garmin GPSmap60C all the time in Puerto Vallarta. I bought the Bicimapas maps.

They are nothing short of GREAT.

I have noticed that in some places (just like garmin maps) the map is offset by as much as 60 feet. In other words, you import your tracks and it may apear thst you turned left 20 feet before the corner.

The restaurants, gas stations and other points of interest are very complete.

The GPSmap60C is handheld, and is not the best for turn-by-turn direction finding, but I never had one problem mapping directions.

The maps do not have the streets in Bucerias, or El Tuito, but I have loaded waypoints from google maps and other mapping applications and walked right up to the door.

I am not sure what you are planning to do with your GPS -- I imagine just driving directions, but if you are interested in geocaches - look at geocaching.com for a couple of caches in the tourist areas, I also have a couple of caches that are not on their list - look at boulderbay.com and follow the Mexico link.

Puerto Vallarta...
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7. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

Bicimaps has just now come out with revised maps of Puerto Vallarta and surroundings. Street locations are much more accurate in this version and the location of hotels and restaurants and other facilities is more precise. I am continuing to help by providing corrections and updates to bicimapas and use the Garmin 360 for this purpose. Like the Garmin 370, the 360 has spoken street names (in the USA and Canada), an MP3 player and an SD card slot.

There are now fewer problems in Vallarta with respect to the identification of the main routes. Unoftunately some roads are still shown as continuous that are interrupted by steps or by footpaths on the hillsides.

Higuera Blanca...
Destination Expert
for Punta de Mita
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8. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

Sorry, inadvertently I posted about the corrections to the Puerto Vallarta maps and the Garmin 360 under my wife, Careyeroslib´s name.

Albuquerque, New...
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9. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

I have been totally happy with the service from bicimapas. I ordered the maps in preparation for my November trip to PV. I received an update in January, and then another one Sunday. I am hoping to find time to load them and see what changes there are to the PV area.

I was very satisfied with all the little streets, but no maps at all in the pueblitos. I know these guys are striving for a great mapset -- and they are doing a great job.

Higuera Blanca...
Destination Expert
for Punta de Mita
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868 posts
41 reviews
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10. Re: GPS Garmin, help please!

Having now reviewed the maps in some detail I can say that the street locations are now execellent downtown. There are some areas eg Fluvial that are not yet included. And for those who are driving (as we do) the main roads need revision.

The roads to el Tuito to the south, to Mascota inland (and through it to Guadalajara), to Punta Mita to the Northwest and to Sayulita to the North are accurate as is the road from Punta Mita to Sayulita.