Too often lumped in with North America, Mexico is a country that stands out on its own.

7 weeks in Mexico (1st RTW trip)


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: November 10th, 2010

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Tags: mexico, light travel, budget, rtw, Couchsurfing
  • Added on: November 11th, 2010
I am celebrating my 33rd birthday and a very hard divorce by fulfilling a long awaited dream of traveling the world. I thought I would take a stab at soliciting advice from some seasoned travelers.I would also like to make some connections so that I can meet people along the way . I've found that this forum is a lot more friendly and not snarky like others so I appreciate any advice or links you all may have.

My trip will start in Mexico City in January. I will travel around the region for 7 weeks until I leave out of MEX for Brazil at the end of February. I don't have any concrete plans so I am seeking suggestions.

I am a budget traveler- so I'm looking for the best deals in lodging and I am willing to travel by land to visit other nearby cities and countries. I will be couchsurfing, hosteling, and renting rooms. I need a lot of help with this part.

I'm traveling very light, with one 25-30L backpack.

In the states, I am a photographer, director, and educator, focusing on journalism, cultural arts, and religion. One priority on this leg of my trip is to visit the Afro-mexican communities in and around Costa Chica AfroMexicans . and Costa Chica communities
It's also important for me to see the art of Mexico City and elsewhere.

Besides spending considerable time in DF and Costa Chica, some of the places I'd like to take short trips to might be Veracruz, Panama.
Any advice on itinerary, safety, cultural experiences, and money saving tips would be greatly appreciated.

My spanish is minimal but I will be seeking classes for the duration of my stay.

Any helpful tips or advice will be appreciated.

Last edited by Han-Soulo on November 12th, 2010, edited 1 time in total.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2010
Do you know anything about the Garifuna? They aren't in Mexico, but Belize, northern Guatemala and Honduras. That might be a cultural that would interest you, and their homeland is much closer to Mexico than Panama. Traveling all the way down there would eat up a lot of the 7 weeks you have in Mexico.

Hostels and budget rooms are generally very cheap in Mexico. Mexico is much more budget-friendly than Brazil is today. You might want to consider starting out with a week or two of Spanish lessons, particularly if you are going to be doing photography and other sorts of anthropological work.

I lived on Costa Chica for a few months in 2008, in Puerto Escondido. The Afro-Mexican community there is not highly visible like it is in Veracruz state.

Not the first Travis

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Joined: May 27th, 2004
Location: Mah-Jongg, Mexico

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2010
Mexico is still very, very much a relationship-oriented society. "It's who you know...." matters even more here than it does back in the United States (or wherever you're coming from). Given that, the best way to save money traveling Mexico is to get to know everyone you can once your arrive. (And I specficially mean people who live here, not just other travelers you come across in hostels, etc.)

Couchsurfing, and even Craigslist, can give you a start though.

Once you're here, keep your eyes and ears open and talk to everyone who will listen to you about what you're interested in doing. Your trip sounds far more interesting than the standard traveler's "see the sights" agenda, and people in Mexico are tremendously supportive and helpful toward those who show a genuine interest in the country and its extremely complex history.

My understanding is that the Afro-Mexican communities are more prevalent along the northern, Guerrero end of the Costa Chica, rather than toward Oaxaca. But don't take my word on that. ... and-oaxaca

And yes, you definitely want to get to Veracruz.

Have a spectacular trip!


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Joined: December 30th, 2010
Location: Chicago, IL U.S.A.

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  • Added on: January 11th, 2011
I've been all over Mexico and can give you these tips. A very cheap and safe way of getting around is taking the ADO bus. They buses are air-conditioned and seats are really comfortable. It's a great way to meet the locals!

I'm not sure what type of travel you're doing (i.e. adventure, laid back, etc.), but I suggest skipping Chichen Itza and heading to Palenque Ruinas in Chiapas. I had better experience here then crowded Chichen Itza. If you want to go to Chichen Itza then take the ADO bus and stay overnight. Go to the ruins in the morning before the crowds and you'll enjoy them more.

Let me know if you're planning on going to Tulum, Isla Mujeres, San Cristobal, or Acapulco. I can suggest some killer places to stay and ways of getting around.


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  • Added on: January 18th, 2011

I had been traveling in Mexico for 8 months including 4 months managing a backpacker hostel in Ensenada, Baja California.

My favorite hostel and town in Mexico is Hostal Villa Colonial of Ciudad de Zacatecas. It will be very cold if you go this month since Zacatecas is 7,000 feet above the sea level.

Other favorite place to go when you are in Mexico is:

Taxco - love those small hilly with plenty of VW beetles goes around.. good for 2 days one night

Guadalajara - go to Centro Guadalajara Hostel and they have Tequila tour... really interesting

San Miguel de Allende is very nice, Morelia, Mexico is VERY, VERY nice, very colonial. Be sure to go to Tequila Sunset Hostel in Morelia.

Nothing much to see in D.F. or Mexico City except around where main Catherdral is.

Puebla is very nice but Morelia is more nicer.

I will go back to Mexico again because I love Mexicans and its culture.

BE Wary of Mexican police. They are very corrupted. What they will do, (very common) stop you wherever you walk, even if you are with your friend... but they like to stop drunken people and then they will pat you down to check for drugs but what their intention is to find out if you have cash, they will take your cash quickly and left immediately before you realize you wished you remembered their badge number or their looks. Town Hall officials at Aguascalientes told me if I remember the faces or have badge number, they will fire those officers immediately because the mayor of the town want to clean up the corruption mess.

It happened to me in Aguascalientes and Tijuana. Aguascalientes police lucky enough to get my $900 Mexican Pesos and while in Tijuana, I hide US Dollars in my shoe. My two friends who got robbed by police officers in Puerto Vallarta $2,000 Mexican Pesos. Whenever you got approached by police officers, be sure you are seen, maybe go to 7 and 11 and have them pat you down because they knows they are watched at by store clerk or CCTV, and they won't do anything.



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  • Added on: January 18th, 2011
Nothing much to see in D.F. or Mexico City except around where main Catherdral is.

Not sure I agree there since I lived in D.F for a time and always found something to do there of interest, much of it different. Some great sights:

The leaning cathedral is very interesting
Frida Kahlos museum
Museum of Diego rivera
Museum of anthropology(the best exhibits on Mexican pyramids and culture to be found)
Siqueros Murals
Chapultepec park and castle
The pyramid inside the city(tenotichtlkan?)
The market by Ternotichtland

This is but a start of the sights available that I found most interesting, and I haven't even gotten to the tacos and Tortas!!!

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