Once upon a winter in Mexico

Welcome to the beautiful Riviera Nayarit, where Pacific ocean meets the jungle. The 300 km long cost line is dotted with villages and small town, waiting to be discovered. We managed to find one of the most beautiful one – Bucerias. And this is how we spend our white sandy Christmas.

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My love affair with Mexico City’ part II

Mexico City – one of the biggest, most crowded and busiest places on the face of the Earth. Just imagine the anthill of 22 million people building lives together in the 1485 square meters.

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Deep into Jalisco state: Guadalajara & Tequila town

It was an early Monday morning. After admiring yet another stunning sunrise over the mountains of Chihuahua and home made burrito breakfast in the airport, the 19 of us found ourselves in the dry heat of Guadalajara. We were in the middle of Mexico’s west.

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Puerto Vallarta: the beach, the town & around

So May was crazy… I came back after 5 weeks in Spain, repacked my suitcase and was off to Mexico. This time we did not go alone, but took a bunch of Lithuanians and decided to show them the best that Mexico has to offer. We started in the crazy Mexico city, then continued to Chihuahua, later moved to Jalisco and visited Guadalajara and the actual town of Tequila and ended up in Puerto Vallarta.

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Tijuana – 2 km inside Mexico

 Tijuana, according to some sources, the most crossed border in the world, for some others probably the one and only Mexico they’ve seen.

When starting our California experience down in San Diego, we decided to have a sneak peak into the Baja California, the Mexico’s appendix. This is what we found 2 km down the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

So this is how we got into Mexico:

After pleasant Mexico’s (no queue!) border control officers welcomed us to the country, we strolled all the way down to Avenida Revolución.

It was a warm Sunday afternoon, but the morning rain has washed away the crowds from the busiest tourists attraction. This is what we found:

We also found one particularly interesting Cumbia’s (a COLOMBIAN, not Mexican) place. Check out these local dancing moves:

It was a beautiful sunset when it was time to leave Tijuana. Even Avenida Revolution has lost its shine and glitter and seen more bad things than good in the recent past, it is only more than worth to go abajo. They say the lobster on the cost of the ocean is yummy!

 

Chihuahua (the city, not a dog)

Chihuahua is mostly known for being the capital of the largest and richest Mexico’s state, Jaime’s hometown and one of key towns during the Mexico revolution. Located 365 km away from the US border, Chihuahua offers a unique, non-touristic and just different Mexico experience.

Chihuahua is very special

because it is home for my big Mexican family!

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Chihuahua is also home for Tarahumara people

Tarahumara are the indigenous people of northwestern Mexico and the second largest native indigenous group in Mexico with between 50,000 & 70,000 people. They are often seen on the streets of Chihuahua selling handmade traditional souvenirs.

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In Mexico, 15% of the population identifies itself as indigenous.

Click here for more info about their rights and troubles in Mexico. 

Chihuahua was home for Pancho Villa

Francisco “Pancho” Villa was one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution.

During the Mexican Revolution, Chihuahua was a central battleground. Peasant revolutionary leader Francisco “Pancho” Villa fought throughout Chihuahua, demanding that the peasants be apportioned land and be recognized as legitimate participants in Mexican politics.

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To better understand the Mexican revolution and how it is affecting contemporary politics I recommend to watch this documentary:

To-visit-list for my next time in Chihuahua

La frontera

Starting the trip in Cancun, Mexico’s South, we ended it up in the North with a 4 hours drive to the border of the US. The closer we were getting to Juarez, the landscape was changing from semi-desert nature to complete desert.

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This drive, mostly through the farm fields, has one must stop – Villa Ahumada – a small town known for its local restaurants and burrito stands for the border crossers from both directions.

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Finally, the Mexico – US border. Somehow it looked too simple for what it actually represents…

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Pueblos Magicos & Acapulco – checked!

After 3 days in crazy Mexico City, we decided to get away from the crowds and to dive into the little pueblos around the capital. Tepotztlan, Acapulco (not a pueblo!) and Taxco are only a hand-reach away (in Mexican sizes) from DF and are an often escape destinations for the wealthy DFians.

I. Tepoztlán: green mountains & Temazcal

This pueblo magico is just an hour away from the busy DF streets. Many come here to enjoy the nature and pleasures of Temazcal – an ancient Maya sweat house. But before you go into the hands of a local shaman:

Enjoy the cuisine from the local market:

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Then work it out by climbing up to El Tepozteco pyramide

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And then lock yourself out in the surroundings of the mountains and when the sun goes down follow a well deserved (mystical) Temazcal…

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II. The 60’s shine in Acapulco

Acapulco is the closest beach escape for chilangos. Just 4 hours on the toll road and you are on the Pacific coast. Once a n°1 destination for the Hollywood stars, now Acapulco is a hub of the local tourism. Recent hurricanes and instabilities in the area has washed off its 60s glitter but the footprints of once the capital of tourism are still here.

Playa Caletilla in the morning and in the afternoon:

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A try to find a virgin spot on the Pacific:

However the Pacific Ocean was not so Pacific that day at Pie de la Cuesta:

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Other than that it was just a regular day in the city that have seen it all:

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III. The silvery Taxco

This little beautiful Pueblo Mágico is spread around the hills – just 3 hours drive from DF. We came here for a quick stop, but after the first glimpse, stayed for as long as we could.

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Known for its old days silver resources today the city reflects the past via stunningly beautiful architecture thus becoming a trendy escape for DFians and other random passers like us.

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On top of all the architectural surprises around every corner, here you will also find street vendors offering beautiful hand made pieces, never seen anywhere else before or after. However, the density of the local plata shops have made me not too keen in buying the silver here…

After the sun goes down Taxco offers a wide list of restaurants and bars, but stays pretty calm and locky. This is how we found MeZcalería Xoco a recently open house of Mezcal and an artesania in one with a very nice owner. Here I finally got my Agave shaped silver earnings. If you happen to pass by send my warmest greetings.

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Latest in Mariachi fashion: 3 days in DF

3 days in Mexico City: only a glimpse to a sinking (literally!) megapolis with a fascinating history, culture and much more. It is hard to imagine how so many people fit in here but they do so by creating contrasts everywhere you look!

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I. The sinking city

Built by Aztecs in the middle of the Lago Texcoco, enlarged on the built canals and expanded by Spaniards to the banks of the lake today this megalopolis is sinking! To understand the size, beauty and importance of this 700 year old city visit Tenochtitlan and see Diego Riviera’s murals in the Palacio Nacional.

II. Murals & Frida Kahlo

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When in DF use the opportunity to follow the works of the greatest Mexico’s muralists: Palacio Nacional; Palacio Bellas Artes, Anahuacalli Museum, squares and parks around the city.

Frida’s blue casa is a must. Personally for me the best museum ever visited. One can only admire how well everything is preserved, not to mention the beauty of lives and stories that took place there…

III. Where to stay – Life in colonias

We got an airbnb in Roma Norte. You will not get wrong with staying here or in Roma or Condesa. Cool vibe, loads of places to go out for food/drinks. Also Coyoacán, the neighbourgood around Frida’s musem, might be worthy your attention. It’s like a village (well it was one before it got absorbed by the DF) inside the megapolis with its own villagers. The center park during days serves as a market or salsa dancing floor and during nights locals just get out here for a walk, sit on the bench or to enjoy one of many fancy neighborhood’s restaurants or local food market.

Strangely on Sundays restaurants are closing around 22:00. Surprise surprise for late eaters in the big city!

Salsa dancing at Mama Rumba! Recomened by our airbnb host, tried by us! Live salsa band, good margaritas, amazing dancers.

To get around DF we used metro/buses and Uber. All worked well, especially Uber! Get this app! Taxis do not have the best reputation here.

If travelling to Mexico I sincerely recommend to read “Los años con Laura Díaz”/ “The years with Laura Diaz” by Carlos Fuentes about this country, their culture, love, live, family, lovers, revolution, DF and many more aspects of life.

IV. Food in DF

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You will recognize a Mexican by how proud he or she will be about their food! They will tell you tales about the spiciness and the mixture of tastes. Food is a big part of the family life and Mexican culture. In DF you can find it all: the top 3 Mexican restaurants from the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list to the best street elotes.

Drink: if you like beer it is a country for you. From Coronitas, el Sol to less exported and even better one like Pacifico, Modelo, Tecate and many many more!

Not to mention Margaritas! I did not try a bad Margarita in Mexico and trust me I tried a few…

V. The latest in Mariachi fashion: Garibaldi square

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Mariachi in white  latest from mariachi fashion