Stumbling off the night bus in San Cristobal de las Casas with one eye open and the other shut, half asleep, wasn’t the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had. However, my intense desire to lie down horizontal in the closest place possible was soon pushed to the back of my mind. I almost got the shock of my life when I nearly fell off the ridiculously high kerb onto the unsteady cobbled road (watch out of those kerbs, when I say they’re high, I mean they’re highhhh). Shock and sleep deprivation aside, I found myself pleasantly surprised and taking an instant liking to San Cristobal.
On first glance, San Cristobal might well look like your standard Mexican colonial city. That’s not to say that the regular colonial cities across Mexico aren’t stunning, there’s just quite a few of them. It’s good to have a bit of a variety, isn’t it? Anyway, back to San Cristobal. This city has the best of both worlds.
As you take the repetitive drive down the never-ending straight roads, surrounded by the flat and barren Southern Californian Lower Desert, you will not believe your eyes when Salvation Mountain comes into your view. From the dull desert ground, a mound awash with colour and life stands tall. This colourful hill is none other than Salvation Mountain.
Our main reason for visiting California was due to us having tickets for Coachella. After 26 hours we had finally arrived in LA from Melbourne. Of course, the jet lag was kicking in instantly. The next 3 days in LA were spent wandering around like a zombie, fitting in all the hiking and sight-seeing we could.
While walking through the charming streets of the city of Oaxaca all I kept hearing about was ‘Hierve El Agua’, the majority of the time it was through a tour agent asking me if I’d like a tour there. After a quick look into Hierve El Agua, the natural swimmable springs and the rock formations resembling waterfalls had me intrigued. As you may well know, I consistently avoid organised tours if possible. Luckily, it is possible to visit Hierve El Agua from Oaxaca without a tour and I will tell you how.
La Paz has delivered Mexico’s best beach, Guanajuato served up a city with lashings of colour, Mexico City treated the taste buds with all kinds of delicious food, but what would Oaxaca and the surrounding area serve up? Fortunately, Mexico is an incredibly diverse country. You will visit place after place and at no time will the boredom set in. After all, have you ever visited a destination with rocks which cascade down the side of a cliff to give the idea of water pouring down to the ground below? Not only does Hierve El Agua boast the unique waterfall rocks, there are also natural springs which dominate the cliff top, perfect for a quick dip to get away from the hot and humid weather.
“You’re going to Mexico City, but isn’t it dangerous there?” This was a question I heard one too many times when I told people that I’d be going to Mexico and in particular Mexico City. I’ve got to admit the majority of the time, my answer was “I don’t know”. I guess the sensible thing would have been to do a bit of research and ask the question ‘is Mexico City safe to travel?’
Mexico as a whole and in particular Mexico City seems to have a stigma of being dangerous in a lot of people’s minds. I have to admit, with so many people telling me it was dangerous, I did begin to question the safety of travelling in Mexico City. In the end, I ignored everyone’s prior warnings about how unsafe Mexico City is and decided I would check it out for myself.
In a city the size of Mexico City, the last thing you want to be doing is wasting any time. If you have a limited amount of time in the Mexican capital, say 3 days, you’re in luck. I’ve devised a 3-day Mexico City budget itinerary. This itinerary focuses on the very best of Mexico City’s offerings, including; architecture, food, bars, museums and more.
Mexico contains stunning cities and towns like Guadalajara and Guanajuato, but Mexico City is in a league of its own. Whether you’re at the beginning, middle or end of your trip, you will want to maximise your time in Mexico City. Follow this 3-days in Mexico City budget itinerary and you will not waste any of your precious time.
After getting our fill of tacos, tacos and more tacos and exploring far and wide in the gigantic Mexico City, only one thing was on our minds next, the ancient city of Teotihuacan. Balandra Beach, Guanajuato and Guadalajara are amongst our main explorations so far in Mexico, so it’s not surprising that the visit to Teotihuacan to explore the pyramids was eagerly anticipated.
Getting a tour to take us to and around Teotihuacan from Mexico City was out of the question. If I can do something myself without a tour, via public transport, that’s exactly what I’ll do. You have much more control over your day and it often works out much cheaper, what more can you ask for? I’ll tell you exactly how to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City and what you do once you’re there.
You may or may not have heard of the Mexican city of Guanajuato. You might not have even seen pictures of Guanajuato. However, one thing I can confidently say is that when you lay eyes on this city, you will never forget it. The images from this beautiful Mexican university city will stick in your mind forever. If you haven’t been, it will soon be on your list, no doubt about it.
Guanajuato stands firmly at number 1 in the list of the most beautiful cities in Mexico, in my opinion. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Take a look at pictures of Guanajuato below and decide for yourself.
Drinking liquid gold in the birthplace of the world famous alcoholic drink, what could be more Mexican than that? A short bus ride away from Guadalajara lies the Mexican town of Tequila. You guessed it, Tequila’s main export is, well, tequila. Here, in Tequila you can go on a tequila tour in one of the distilleries. You will see for yourself the process of transforming the humble agave plant into the drink which is loved around the world.
First things first, trust me when I say this. You do not need to pay for an organised tour to take you from Guadalajara to one of the tequila distilleries. Simply get a bus from Guadalajara and pay for a tequila tour in the town of Tequila. You have much more flexibility with your day, you can choose which distillery you visit and it’s cheaper than an organised tour straight from Guadalajara. Sounds like a no-brainer to me, am I right or am I right?
The aroma of spicy Mexican delights being cooked up, narrow roads packed with cars, street performers vying for the audience’s applause, along with their cash and stunning buildings at every turn. That is exactly what you can expect from Guadalajara and a taster of things to come on your Guadalajara self-guided walking tour.
After spending weeks relaxing on beaches in the USA and Mexico. Most notably relaxing on the white sands of Balandra Beach. It was finally time for our first Mexican city destination – Guadalajara. I was sceptical prior to my arrival. I didn’t know what to expect from Mexico’s second most populous city.
Miles of pristine white sand, clear water which glistens from the beaming sun above and perfect swimming conditions due to the security of the bay from the open sea. These are some of the attributes which, when put together, equal the perfect beach. These are the attributes which make up Balandra Beach, La Paz.
Is Balandra Beach Mexico’s most beautiful beach or even the best of Baja California Sur beaches? That’s a tough question indeed. Mexico is not short of competition when it comes to beaches, however, in my opinion, Balandra Beach is Mexico’s best beach. Balandra Beach and the surroundings will wow you.