25 Days in Mexico
We decided that the best way to discover Mexico would be to rent a car and roadtrip our way around. It’s a huge country so we decided two split the trip in two: the central loop and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Part I: Central Loop (15 days)
We were very lucky here for two reasons: a friend of ours from university invited us to stay in her beautiful holiday house in Acapulco and also it was low season, so we had the whole beach to ourselves!
- Have lunch at Paititi del Mar
- Enjoy the sunset on the beach, the sun disappears behind the ocean right in front of you
It's small colonial town with many small coffee shops, it's great for a pit stop and coffee refill!
- Overnight stop
Definitely a mandatory stop because of the beautiful ruins. Very well preserved and not many tourists
- Drive down to the The Cascadas de Agua Azul, you’ll find these enormous waterfalls where you can swim
San Cristobal de las Casas
This small town matched exactly what we imagined a Mexican colonial town would be, and we loved it! It was the most beautiful place we visited in the Central loop. It was also the first time in months that we had to put on a warm sweater and socks, which felt quite nice.
- Get lost in the huge Mercado Municipal, it’s a very busy market where you’ll find everything from handcrafts to fish and meat to baby strollers
- Climb all the steps up to Iglesia del Cerrillo for an amazing view of the town
- Overnight stop
Similar to San Cristobal but a bit bigger and more lively, Oaxaca city is also a very cool place worth visiting! Especially if you're there for a weekend. You'll probably bump into wedding cerimonies in the middle of the streets (we saw 3!) and there's a good night life!
- Enjoy some typical mezcal on the rooftop of Casa Crespo
- Visit the rock formations of Hierve El Agua. There’s a stunning view from the top of the mountains and the rocks look like waterfalls, except there is no water
- Take the car up to Monte Alban to see the view of the endless city of Oaxaca and check out the ruins at the top. Be aware that the ruins close at 5pm.
Back to the warm weather, you'll find here everything you need to relax: perfect isolated beaches, amazing weather, beautiful small shops and of course, margaritas on the beach!
- Sleep in Mazunte, a tiny and beautiful beach town
- Spend the day in Zipolite beach, it’s famous for its surf and it’s really beautiful
The city is so big that it could actually count as several different cities. We didn't have time to go through all the neighborhoods but the ones we saw (Coyoacán, Roma, Centro, Polanco) we loved! Don't pay attention to the old not-so-good reputation this city has, there's a lot to see and a lot of cool cafés and restaurants, it's really worth it!
- Go dancing to the sound of electronic cumbia at the Cafe Paraiso
- Discover the Casa Azul, where Frida Khalo once lived with Diego Riviera, which is now a museum dedicated to her life and work
- Walk around the Palacio de Bellas Artes and if you have time, visit the murals inside
- Go up the LatinoAmericana tower
Part II: Yucatán Peninsula (10 days)
If you have some extra budget, Cancun is a good place to spend it. Also, the coastline is paradisiacal, with the water showing six shades of blue at the same time.
- Try the restaurant Indochine at Nizuc Resort. It's by far the best meal we had in Mexico, we had delicious sushi!
Just a thirty minute boat ride away from Cancun, but the vibe is completely different with a lot of backpackers and a much more "hippie" environment. It's all about the beach, the parties and the golf cart rides around the island with some beers!
- Go diving in MUSA - the underwater museum
- Try the woodfire oven pizza at Rolandis
- Watch the sunset at El Garrafon, on the southern part of the island
- Rent a golf cart to move around, it's the easiest way
- Party at Poc Na hostel even if you don't stay there
Manage your expectations, it has become too popular and crowded. You’ll find many other mayan ruins that are as incredible but much quieter.
- Go to the Ik-Kil cenote. The earlier you go, the less crowded it is. It's a beautiful cenote, definitely worth checking out!
- Great for a pit stop, enjoy a meal in Conato
It's an island, 42kms long with only about 5kms of it inhabited. It was our favorite part of the Yucatan Peninsula! We had a boat take us all the way to the end of the island, and the whole way all you see is beach, wild animals, pelicans and sometimes a fisherman. This is definitely the place to walk barefoot and enjoy the island vibe!
- Rent a golf cart and explore the island
- If it’s the right season, go see the whalesharks with Pulleras, he’ll make you great ceviche for lunch on his boat
Not to far from Chiquila, where you take the boat from and to Holbox, las Coloradas are salt lakes that are bright pink. The color is due to red colored algae, plankton and brine shrimp that shrine in the salty environment. Go in the middle of the day when the sun is still high, it’s the best time to really see the pink color of the water. You'll also see thousands of flamingos!
We heard about Izamal and had to go there. It's a town where all the houses are yellow! It's perfect for a lunch stop o the way to Merida.
- Have lunch at Kinich for some traditional Yucateca food
- Go up the Kinich mayan ruins, right next to the restaurant
Merida is a nice city, not the type people are used to, with big buildings and traffic everywhere. Instead, it is very spread apart, full of colourful colonial-style houses. It seems to be quite rich and several locals told us that Merida is the best place to live in Mexico, where you can get the best quality lifestyle.
- Have dinner and enjoy live music at the young and upbeat Mercado 60
- Take a walk around the historical center
- Find out what show the municipality has planned for that day, everday they offer free shows around town
- Drive to Uxmal for more beautiful ruins, it’s about an hour away from Merida
These Mayan Ruins are not as famous as Chichen Itza and Coba, so you won't see as many people. We know there are only so many ruins a person can see, but we thought these ones were pretty cool!
These Mayan ruins are very close to Tulum, it is a very big complex and you need at least an hour to go around
- Rent a bycicle or get driven around on a trycicle, the ruins here are quite spread apart
It's the "it" place in Mexico right now, where all the best, most fashionable shops, restaurants and people are! Even though it doesn't feel like Latin America anymore (you could be in Formentera or Lombok), it is still a paradise beach with a super trendy environment, very cool!
- Enjoy your last days in Mexico in some of the nicest beaches of the coast
- Go shopping if you can, there are very nice shops, quite expensive, but worth checking them out
Overall, are Mexico trip was unforgettable! Not only because of the country's natural beauty and its rich culture, but mainly because of the people we met. So thank you to everyone whom we knew before, or whom we met along the way, you made our trip perfect!