Good bye- Adios
Thank you- Gracias
Tulum- (Nov 2013) these ruins are a must see cause it’s the only Mayan ruins set on the ocean- it’s cliff view and gorgeous blue water of the Caribbean Sea is stunning – these ruins were a major trading post – it cost around $3/4 to enter the site- you can also hire a guide
Chichen Itza & Ik Kil Cenote- (nov 2103) we booked these two as a day trip – it’s a long day and if you can book this privately that def is the way to go – Chichen Itza is one of the largest and best preserved archaeological sites in the world – you will see vendor everywhere – our guide told us not to buy anything from them cause they are ruining the sites- we later learned this is not true and he just wanted to take us to this huge shopping center so he could make money off what we bought – I love supporting locals and this made me upset – the place he took us too looked so mass produced and not hand made and there were so many tours bringing people there- buy from the vendors at chichen itza!!! After we went to Ik Kil- I love centoes and if you have never been do it- it’s like nothing else you have experienced- being in the earth with fresh water coming from the ground- and looking up at the sky- it’s one of my favorite things- this place can get busy- like crazy busy- so mentally prepare for that- there are soo many centoes in the Yucatan Peninsula that are not as busy- so try to do at least one more as well
Mexico City- (October 2022) Mexico City sits at 7,349 feet in elevation- it was built over the ruins of Tenochtitlan- you can see parts of the ruins as your walk to the Zocalo- with the elevation it is a good idea to take it slow for the first day or two- there are so many museums so that’s a great way to ease into Mexico City- our first day we ate everything, explored the Zocalo and took an Uber to the Anthropology Museum- https://www.mna.inah.gob.mx/ – it is for sure worth the visit- Ubers are easy to use in Mexico City- you can even get them to and from the airport- when visiting the Anthropology Museum you will need to check any bags or backpacks- they have a free check area- give yourself at least 3 hours to explore – it’s so worth it – we loved it and would definitely go back again- we will stay in the Coyoacan area on our way back- it is where the Frida Kahlo museum is and is a quieter area of Mexico City- it is a bit further away from the city so if you want to stay close to city center the Roma district or Polanco area is a great option- if you chose to stay in the centro know that it will be super wild and ubers will have a challenging time with pick up and drop off as the traffic can get wild with the markets – also there is definitely not much English spoken in Mexico City so brush up on your Spanish and download google translate
Here is our Mexico & Day of the Dead travel video https://youtu.be/2-EczRwKaig
Teotihuacan- (October 2022) easy day trip from Mexico City- we took an Uber to the bus station which cost $5 and bought round trip bus tickets for $8 each – we took the Teotihuacan bus by gate 8- bus takes about 45 mins to reach the pyramids- you can also take an Uber all the way to the pyramids or book a tour – both around $40 a person- price to enter pyramids for around $5 a person- the site is all very open- with the Pyramid of the sun being the first thing you see- then walk down towards the pyramid of the moon – this was our first Aztec ruin and we sat under an umbrella and took it all in – after we had a late lunch/early dinner at one of the local cave restaurants- you will see people with menus for the cave restaurants and they will drive you there- you can catch the bus from the restaurant back to Mexico City- it was our first time eating in a cave!
Puerto Escondido- (October 2022) we flew from Mexico City to this laid back surfer town of Puerto Escondido- there are 3 main areas of this town- the local downtown area by the airport- this is where the banks, bus stations & main beaches are- the middle Zicatela beach where the night life is and lots of restaurants- then the long strip of beach to the south is La Punta- here is all the surfing and laid back beach restaurants – has a more rustic backpacker vibe- we stayed in La Punta at Casamar and loved it! https://www.booking.com/Share-hLZckN – we rented a motor bike for $10 a day and explore each area and the beaches- the sunsets are amazing- the water can be rough so there are beaches that are good for swimming and some good for surfing – for swimming we went to Playa Carrizalillo & Playa Manzanillo
Oaxaca- (Oct/Nov 2022) we took a bus from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca- it is a 10 hour bus ride but turned 12 for us- we were super ready to be done – we arrived in Oaxaca in the evening and walked the 20 mins to our hotel-elevation is 5,102 feet- Oaxaca is such a cool city- it was more busy then I thought it was gonna be- its definitely a city- but the buildings are not allowed to be higher than a certain height so it gives it a small town feel – the music in the streets, the bright colored buildings, the food, the parades the whole vibe of Oaxaca is magical – we decided to experience day of the dead here and so happy we did – it was more amazing than we thought it would be- for sure book accommodations early as things sell out- our place was right in the heart of it all- but it was super busy and in a more run down area but only cost $30 a night https://www.booking.com/Share-2rk0ZN – next time we would stay more towards where Macedonio Alcala street- it’s a pedestrian street and the parade goes down that street and the street over- we were a close walk away but since there is no schedule of events would of been nice to pop out whenever to see if things are going on- it was around 7pm each night things seemed to pop off- Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2 are the big celebrations – the marigolds all over is to help spirits of their loved ones smell and find their way home- all the ofrendas are beautiful and for the spirit of loved ones to help with their journey – like water to quench thirst- earth in the form of food and this special bread they make- wind is the paper banners and fire the candles – they are everywhere and so beautiful- also if you want to go to the cemetery I recommend booking a tour from the tour companies walking around- we tried to walk to one but it was closed- the tours are super cheap in Oaxaca so do it! Just don’t have your face paining for the cemetery visit as that can come off as disrespectful – but for the parade everyone is painted so have fun!! There is not much English spoken in Oaxaca- will find a couple people here and there but it’s a good idea to brush up on some Spanish and download google translate
Food in Oaxaca is amazing!!! I ate mole everyday and my taste buds couldn’t be happier – a traditional Oaxaca breakfast is mole tamale and hot chocolate- I also loved mole enchiladas for breakfast- joe fell in love with eating al pastor gringas everyday- we did lots of street food and had some locals restaurants by us- if the locals are eating there then you know it’s cheap and delicious- the shopping in Oaxaca is incredible- so many local artist- for sure a big artist city- the quality is really good so you will pay more and they don’t bargain- joe loves to bargain so he was bummed but also was impressed that everything was hand made quality- the shopping in the Zocalo is cheaper but the artisan market and Benito Juarez market were great quality – we bought so much stuff !!!
Monte Alban- 20 mins outside of Oaxaca is the ruins of Monte Alban- it’s up on a mountain top- the views are beautiful- it cost $5 round trip from the Zolaco to take a shuttle back and forth- super cheap and super worth it – just look for the Monte Alban shuttle sign and times and someone will book a ticket for you- we even booked for same day
Hievre el Agua- (November 2022) there are only 2 petrified waterfalls in the world – here in Oaxaca and the other in Turkey- the water is not hot but the views are incredible-the tour companies in the Zocalo offer tours to Hievre el Agua- it’s $20 a person and it also includes other stops- we couldn’t find a tour that goes just to the waterfall- so we did the 8 hour tour with a stop at a mezcal place where they taught us how they make mezcal- we got to sample and buy as well- we made a stop at a weaving place- where they showed us how they dye yarn naturally and use the looms to make a rug- another stop at bread place where we got to sample special breads and buy some if we wanted – and the last stop at the Tule tree – Tule tree is a Montezuma Cypress and is the widest tree in the world- the tour also stop for food as well- you have to pay extra for the Thule tree ($1.25) and the waterfall ($2.50) so overall super cheap and so worth it- we loved all the extra stops – at Hievre el Agua- there are bathrooms and lots of food vendors- you can change into your bathing suit on the bus or in the bathroom- walk down to the left to go directly to the pools or walk to the right and go around to do the 30 min hike- they will say it’s an hour- it’s steep so it does take people longer but most people it will be around 30 mins- joe and I just went straight to the pools- it looks like it’s a drop to your death but it’s not- and it is a little slippery but does have a good grip – there are also other pools incase the main pool is busy- it’s a pretty spectacular place – I highly highly recommend visiting when in Oaxaca
Mexico City- Coyoacan neighborhood- (November 2022) you would not even know you are in the largest population city in North America- it’s so chill here- it can get busy in the parks with tourist but the place we are staying is only a couple blocks away and so quiet- it’s right across from the Frida Kahlo Museum- https://www.booking.com/Share-oTXerAY – def recommend staying here – it’s like living in a garden – we loved it – make sure to book tickets to the Frida Kahlo Museum in advance as it sells out fast https://www.boletosfridakahlo.org/eventperformances.asp?evt=123 -If this link in English does not work then use this link and hit English to book tickets https://www.museofridakahlo.org.mx/es/ – I would say when visit Mexico City stay here and Uber into the main city to see Zocalo and visit museums – Uber is widely used in Mexico City and is super cheap- the Coyoacan market has shopping and we drank smoothies every morning there- there is also an artisan market right by the park- there is a ton of restaurants in this area- it’s super cute and laid back- highly recommend staying here when in Mexico City- it feels super safe and a great way to start and or end your trip- if you have time also check out the floating gardens of Xochimilco or a Lucha libre match