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Mexico

 
 
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Author carlosarion
Partaker
#46 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 03:32 
Thank you sooo much guys for the guidance! I used to zip through locations and UNESCO sites years ago but now that I am 30, I feel like my energy is more limited and so, I thought of taking it one site at a time.

Wojtek, Yes Sir I will be hiring a car. I will probably do Puebla as a day trip from Mexico City. And thank you for suggesting Tehuacan--I will look into it later.

Colvin, it does look like Aqueduct is just an hour away from Teotihuacan. Definitely I can insert that as the morning site then will make Teotihuacan the afternoon one. Is that feasible?

Author wojtek
Partaker
#47 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 05:18 
It is easily doable. The aqueduct is actually even closer, 40 minutes or so from Teotihuacan. On that day, with a car, I packed also Tula and lovely evening walk in Queretaro :)

Within 14 days with rental car I was able to visit 29 WHSin Mexico, and all this with two small children. Not everybody likes such a crazy pace but honestly most of the sites do not require that much time. With a car you can easily do Xochicalco, Cuernavaca and, say, Taxco de Alarcon or Puebla in one long day.

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#48 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 08:47 | Edited by: carlosarion 
Thank you wojtek!!!

My itinerary will then look like this. All in all, I will visit 13 sites!

Day 1 - Mexico City - Centro Historico (1)
Day 2 - Mexico City - National Anthropology Museum, Frida Kahlo Museum and UNAM (2)
Day 3 - Mexico City - Teotihuacan, Aqueduct of Padre Tambleque (this will fall under Monday--I suppose Teotihuacan is open on Mondays?) (3,4)
Day 4 - Mexico City - Day trip to Puebla (5)
Day 5 - Mexico City - Palacio de Bellas Artes. Travel to San Miguel Allende
Day 6 - San Miguel de Allende - Day trip to Queretaro (6)
Day 7 - San Miguel de Allende - Day trip to Guanajuato (7)
Day 8 - San Miguel de Allende - Centro Historico and San Juan de Dios (8, 9)
Day 9 - Cuernavaca - Cuernavaca Cathedral (10)
Day 10 - Cuernavaca - Xochicalco (11)
Day 11 - Oaxaca - Historic Center (12)
Day 12 - Oaxaca - Day trip to Yagul and Mitla and other sites (13)
Day 13 - Oaxaca - Historic Center
Day 14 - Back to Mexico City

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#49 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 09:13 
carlosarion:
Day 1 - Mexico City - Centro Historico (1)
Day 2 - Mexico City - National Anthropology Museum, Frida Kahlo Museum and UNAM (2)
Day 3 - Mexico City - Teotihuacan, Aqueduct of Padre Tambleque (this will fall under Monday--I suppose Teotihuacan is open on Mondays?) (3,4)
Day 4 - Mexico City - Day trip to Puebla (5)
Day 5 - Mexico City - Palacio de Bellas Artes. Travel to San Miguel Allende
Day 6 - San Miguel de Allende - Day trip to Queretaro (6)
Day 7 - San Miguel de Allende - Day trip to Guanajuato (7)
Day 8 - San Miguel de Allende - Centro Historico and San Juan de Dios (8, 9)
Day 9 - Cuernavaca - Cuernavaca Cathedral (10)
Day 10 - Cuernavaca - Xochicalco (11)
Day 11 - Oaxaca - Historic Center (12)
Day 12 - Oaxaca - Day trip to Yagul and Mitla and other sites (13)
Day 13 - Oaxaca - Historic Center
Day 14 - Back to Mexico City

Not sure how you are travelling, but:
* Puebla is also a good stop when travelling to Oaxaca. It's fairly large so bus connections are good (if you are not travelling by your own car). I woudl probably go there from San Miguel. Then continue from Puebla to Oaxaca.
* Cuernavaca and Xochicalco can be done in single day. I would rather spend the other day in nearby Tepoztlán. The site in Cuernavaca is so tiny you nearly miss it. Tepoztlan also includes a hike up a mountain and the paintings are memorable.
* Wrong season but butterflies and Morelia are so close, I would try to squeeze them in.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#50 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 11:31 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
I'm very envious, this area of the world was one of my favourite trips ever.

-I'm personally in favour of giving Mexico City a whole heap of time, there isn't an amount I would suggest was too much. The food and the murals alone could comfortably fill a week of travel time alone for me and my wife :)
-It may be worth giving Casa Barragan a try on the day, a few people have had success with that, and if you are already going to Bosque de Chapultepec you are already close (but if it isn't your sort of thing then it is certainly skippable, however I loved it).

-For night time ambience, Condessa and Roma were our favourite districts though the general areas around the Zocalo and Bellas Artes were also magnificent at night. I also listed a few favourite food places in my review.

-I'm not sure from your plan if you contemplating having a car for your time in Mexico City? If so don't, the public transport is very good and having a car would slow you down incredibly as well as increasing hassle and costs with parking. (or if it works out easier to hire a car for the whole period, just park it in your Hotel car park for the whole time of your explorations of Mexico City, and anticipate any )

-On Teotihuacan I would suggest reversing it and going there in the morning then the Aqueduct once you were finished. If the sun is out there isn't much shade at the archaeological site and it can get very hot, it also helps to keep the crowds thinner.

-On your trip north, you pretty much have to go through Queretaro, to get to San Miguel. I would strongly suggest doing Queretaro as a stop over on the way through rather than back tracking for a day trip.

-From looking at your itinerary it would seem you would be in Guanajuato on a Friday, in my opinion it would be a real shame if you didn't stay the night. The evening we spent there ducking in and out of the alleys following the Callejoneadas is perhaps the most enjoyable night out I have had at a WHS. It helped turn Guanajuato from a good World Heritage Site into a truly world class one.

-Though that would leave you getting from Guanajuato to Cuernavaca in a day, don't underestimate the traffic in and around Mexico City, it can be hellish. Though form your itinerary it would seem you may be doing it on a Saturday which make make it a little easier.

-As Nan says Cuernavaca and Xochicalco can comfortably be combined into one day, we also got in Tepoztlan and a full exploration of Puebla as well.

-Oaxaca, I haven't been there yet, but please eat as many different things as you possibly can, and report back for me :)

Most of all I hope you enjoy it, I think it is the Hot Spot with the densest cluster of World Class sites that I have visited. Also the food is simply outstanding and on the world intangible heritage list as well!

Author Zos
Partaker
#51 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 12:32 
carlosarion:
Filipino passport holder (weak passport).

Good to see another active Pinoy in the forum. Hope to meet you in Manila sometime later this year when I go home. Anyways it is actually easy for us tk visit MX as I read we dont need separate visa if we have a valid US one. I assume you have as most flighg to MX from PH pass by US.

I will also visit central MX in jul-aug to attend a friend's wedding and also tick this hotspot. Below is my plan, all by public transport unless stated otherwise as I dont drive.

Day 0 - arrival in CDMX
Day 1 - Luis Baragan, UNAM, Casa Azul (Visit Chapultepec if have time)
Day 2 - Centro Historico (Fly to Zacatecas at 5 PM)
Day 3 - Zacatecas (bus to Guadalajara in afternoon)
Day 4 - Hospicio Cabanas and Tequila (Stay in Guadalajara)
Day 5 - morning reserve for hangover (bus to Guanajuato in afternoon)
Day 6 - Guanajuato (Bus to Queretaro on late afternoon and stay there for next 6 days
Day 7 - San Miguel Allende (and possibly some Other Camino Real sites)
Day 8 - Queretaro (also friend's wedding day)
Day 9 - Reserve for hangover
Day 10 - day trip to Franciscan Missions
Day 11 - Day trip to Morelia
Day 12 - Teotiahuacan and Padre Tembleque Acqueduct (car from Queretaro)
Day 13 - Puebla (possibly hire car to see Monasteries in Calpan and Huejotzingo. Possible to se Cholula) (Bus to Cuenavarca)
Day 14 - Xochicalco and Cuenavarca Monastery (bus to CDMX in afternoon and catch flight back to Beijing by 11PM)

Queretaro area can be squeezed for several days if I can convince friends to rent/drive car with me. I purposely limit Centro Historico as I will surely be back to see the rest of the country.

Author wojtek
Partaker
#52 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 15:03 
OK, so I will also share our complete itinerary.


Day 1 - afternoon arrival to MEX, car rental, drive to Poza Rica
Day 2 - El Tajin, Tlacotalpan, night in Coatzacoalcos.
Day 3 - drive to Palenque, then to Campeche
Day 4 - Campeche in the morning, then Uxmal, cenote and Chichen Itza
Day 5 - Sian Ka'an, drive to town near Calakmul
Day 6 - Calakmul, then day and night drive to Oaxaca. This was a bit extreme and I wouldn't repeat it, especially last 250 km where there was no single 200 metres of straight road, only curves
Day 7 - historic center of Oaxaca in the early morning, then Yagul & Mitla, drive to Puebla through Tehuacan valley (with detour to visit the most impressive cacti), evening walk in Puebla
Day 8 - Teotihuacan, Aqueduct, Tula. Evening in Queretaro
Day 9 - Missions of Sierra Gorda, night in San Luis Potosi
Day 10 - Zacatecas, T-site of Chicomostoc-La Quemada (very interesting), night in Guadalajara
Day 11 - Hospicio Cabanas and Tequila, evening in Morelia
Day 12 - Guanajuato and San Miguel Allende, drive back near Morelia (Ciudad Hidalgo)
Day 13 - Monarch Butterfly Reserve, Cuernavaca, evening in Taxco de Alarcon (T-site)
Day 14 - Xochicalco, UNAM, evening walk in Ciudad de Mexico
Day 15 - another day in the capital, including Museo Nacional de Antropologia and Casa Luis Barragan (children not allowed so mom with kids went to excellent children's museum nearby), evening flight to Europe

Overall, the trip was really great and everybody was happy. Butterfly Reserve definitely number one for adults and children, but doable during winter season only.

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#53 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 20:45 
Thank you for all the ideas!

nfmungard, I will be flying from Mexico City to Oaxaca so I would do Puebla as a day trip from CDMX. :) I will also take a look into Morelia but unfortunately I won't be able to squeeze Mariposa Bioreserve in.

meltwaterfalls, super excited really! Mexico is indeed a hotspot and I hope they get to inscribe Frida Kahlo and Bosque de Chapultapec soon! Haha!

Unfortunately, I cannot visit Luis Barragan because it is sold out. I really want to go there despite not being a less stellar and unreasonably expensive site to take photos. I will also definitely go out for drinks at Condessa and Roma! Any good chill bars to recommend? I will be using public transpo in CDMX but I will hire a car when I go to San Miguel de Allende and when I do a day trip to the Aqueduct and Teotihuacan.

I will definitely pass by Queretaro on the way to San Miguel de Allende but I thought it deserves a whole day exploration, so I will just proceed to the hotel in SMDA. I have read about the Callejoneadas in Guanajuato so I am making sure I will see them before heading back to SMDA. So now my naive question is, is it safe for a foreign traveler to drive late at night? Or should I really just stay at Guanajuato?

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#54 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 20:51 
Zos

Hey Zos! It's nice to meet a fellow Filipino here! A meetup would be lovely--let's keep in touch!

A little bit off topic: I was not "blessed" with a US visa but I have a Japan multiple entry visa and Canadian visa (I am flying through Vancouver). I checked with the embassy and they said a valid Japan multiple entry will do.

I like the idea of flying to Zacatecas and head to Guadalajara after. But I guess will do that when I go back (if I do).

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#55 | Posted: 14 Mar 2019 21:30 
Wojtek, thank you for sharing! I'd consider your itinerary in case I get to go back to Mexico to visit Yucatan.

You mentioned in the itinerary that you will go to Tehuacan. I read through the nomination text and it seems that the only way really to go there is by hiring a car. How do you intend to go there?

Author wojtek
Partaker
#56 | Posted: 15 Mar 2019 05:31 
Maybe Tehuacan can be done without rental car, but it is definitely easier when you have one. Look at the review of the site here, it is very helpful. By they way, main motorway between Puebla and Oaxaca goes through the tip of the inscribed zone.

Author dennisj
Partaker
#57 | Posted: 21 Mar 2019 18:32 
wojtek:
Day 2 - El Tajin, Tlacotalpan, night in Coatzacoalcos.
Day 3 - drive to Palenque, then to Campeche

That's a lot of driving!
Wow! Did you really drive from Coatzacoalcos to Palenque, presumably spend a couple hours at the ruins, then drive on to Campeche in one day?
You have more stamina than me! I did 8 days with a rental car around, roughly, Villahermosa -Calakmul-Palenque last year. I had a fantastic time and I didn't have any problems, but I found driving there to be exhausting, due to always being vigilant for topes or other road blocks.

Author wojtek
Partaker
#58 | Posted: 22 Mar 2019 12:23 
dennisj yes, this was my itinerary. And I wouldn't say it was particularly hard day, there were worse :). That road is quite nice, only last part before town of Palenque is very bad and under construction. I would say my wife and children had to have much more stamina than me ;-)

Driving in Mexico is not pleasant due to bad roads but still piece of cake comparing to e.g. Iran with permanent traffic around all bigger towns.

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