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touring | mexico | 2016

January 11, 2017

 

mexico a surprising place of history...

 

i arrived in the from the winter of a frozen northern ohio with temps of -17c so i was very glad when i arrived to +30c. i had been to cancun and playa del carmen for a short time last year but did not get to true experience of the culture in mexico as both cancun and playa del carmen are extremely touristy and just for the all inclusive traveler and 18 year old whom wants to get wasted every night. 

 

tulum

 

I had heard alot of good things about tulum. its on the same coast just a few hours by bus from cancun airport its costs around (200mex) on the ado buses. most of my travel was done on ado buses as they have the biggest network in mexico and are really safe so i would recommend that you mainly take these buses between cities. 

 

tulum is quite laid back and more sleepy than the other popular places in the coast but i can see that they are building fast and commercial tourism is creeping in as the years go by so i would go as soon as possible. the main reason you will visit tulum is the beaches the distances are quite far from place to place so i would recommend that you hire a bike. 

 

my recommended places to visit

-cenotes (underground fresh water caves) there are lots in the area. 

-beaches (take your pick miles of them)

-the ruins (65mex entry)

 

Places to eat

-burrito amor (around 100mex including a drink)

-tulum art club (this was my favourite place in tulum its a cafe that would not be out of place in miami)

 

how to get around

-bicycle 

 

where i stayed

-casa del sol (in the city) its the best in that area

 

length of stay

-realistically you don't need more than 7 days here unless your a beach lover.... 

 

 

mexico city

 

i arrived on a volaris flight from cancun (flights around $50) with some apprehension i had heard some bad things from fellow travellers in the past about the city and mainly the crime towards foreigners. never the less this journey is about discovering new places and experiencing it for yourself. i can say for me that all the bad things i heard about mexico city are untrue as i had a great experience while in the city. in the last few years i think the city also know as 'df' has gone through a transformation especially in the tourist areas. there are more visible police here than any other place i have visited in the world, this helps you to relax and enjoy the city without the constant worry that someone is going to rob you. truly this is an amazing city of contrast with old and new sitting side by side. yes their is a big gap between the rich and the poor but thats in most cities around. all i can say is don't let the bad experience of others stop you from visiting. 

 

my recommended places to visit

- zocalo is the main square 

- cathedrals and churches are all over the city and free to visit,  arrive early to avoid the crowds.

- polanco this is the very rich and modern district full of high end restaurants 

- la condessa (bar area but also local area with amazing houses)

- museums (they are mostly free on sundays)

- markets ( they have biggest one in the world but also the flower market is of note)

- free tour (check couch surfing for the details)

 

Places to eat

- polanco food tour ( this is a must do the food in all the restaurants we went to was exceptional) click here to see more.

- street food (its everywhere) 

- gin gin bar ( best cocktails, but expensive)

 

how to get around

- metro ( i was super impressed with the metro system its one of the cheapest in the world at around $0.25 to go anywhere in the system)

- walk ( its free)

- uber ( at night and its super cheap)

 

length of stay

- 4 days (but i felt i could have done 7 days)

 

 

oaxaca

 

the bus to oaxaca costs around $15 for a 6 hour journey. use the ado buses these are the safest and most comfortable. but make sure to book at least 1 day in advance as i made this mistake and it was fully booked when i arrived and i had to wait 5 hours for the next one.

oaxaca was my favourite place in mexico it was full of history & culture and it had a small town vibe with amazing museums and galleries all over the city. i only stayed a few days but i wished i stayed more.

in oaxaca you can take a lot of trips. i took the hierve del aqua tour that included a visit to a mezcal distillery. (for those whom have no idea what it is. its a drink made from cactus just think of it like a next level tequila with a smoky aroma) its typical of the area. one of my highlights was the cooking class i took with casa crespo (click here) its a true culinary experience of the local foods in the area especially moles (sauces). a must while in oaxaca. 

 

my recommended places to visit

- the stamp museum ( a huge surprise for me go just for the architecture, its free) 

- contemporary art museum 

- tour to hierve del aqua and mitla

 

Places to eat

- trigo verde (a veg restaurant. 55mex: menu del dia with agua del dia) (a must) 3 course.

- cafe brujula - (great oaxacan hot choc made with cinnamon very famous)

- casa crespo for a cooking class (click here)

- chocolate mayordomo (for the iced chocolate only 15mex)

 

how to get around

- walk

 

where i stayed

- casa angel youth hostel (they have these amazing new lux dorm rooms) 

 

length of stay

- min 3 days to truly experience everything 

 

onward to guatemala: i first went to san cristobal and from there you can take a shuttle bus to antigua guatemala for around $25. be sure to print your inward flight ticket or the border guards will try and change you around $30. all flights coming into mexico have already paid the departure tax. it took around 12 hours so its a long trip but a worth while experience with amazing views. 

 

 

GENERAL TIPS

banking: use ci banco as they only charge 17mex to withdraw.

buses: use ado they are the safest.

money: this is a cash society not card and make sure to always check your change.

 

 

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