Before my move back to the US, I had it in mind to travel through Central and South America. My personal lifetime goal is to try and visit every country in the world, so with this free time I have and the needed decompression time, as I transition back into US life, why not head south! Plus, I really don’t want to deal with the cold of winter, at the moment. The thing that really sealed the deal was the cheap one-way ticket to Mexico City. It only cost $170 to get there from Minneapolise. I’d have to be stupid to pass that kind of deal up.
In my preparations to go to Mexico City, I got a lot of people asking me why I don’t go to a resort and I was bombarded with people telling me to be careful because Mexico is dangerous. “Be careful of drug cartels and kidnappers!!” Well everyone, all I experienced when I started this trip into Mexico City was a clean and beautiful city that was vibrantly full of culture and extremely nice people. There wasn’t any feeling of danger what so ever. So people, please put your BS stereotypes away and visit REAL Mexico, not lock yourself up in the confines of a beach resort. This actually goes for most countries.
My trip to Mexico City went pretty smooth. I had a two hour delay in Chicago, but since I didn’t have to be anywhere, it didn’t bother me at all. I landed in Mexico City around 7AM and took the subway to the central area of the city. The subway was a bit confusing in places, but I made my way fine. Walking up the steps onto the street was jaw dropping. There was a beautiful cathedral to my right and a wide open square with what looked like Parliament buildings to my left. It was beautiful! I made my way to the hostel a couple blocks away where I would check and leave my bags while I went out looking for some coffee. I had a little time to burn before they would give me a bed for a much needed nap and a day to chill to catch up on sleep lost from my redeye.
The next day I was originally planning to find a coffee shop and relax, but instead I joined a couple guys from my hostel to Frida y Diego’s home. She was a pretty famous painter who I recognized from her paintings, but didn’t really know anything about her. There was a huge line going down the block to get in, but fortunately the guys I was with bought us tickets online, which allowed us to bypass the line.
After Frida’s home, we went to get a few drinks, had some dinner, and later that night we hit up a nice bar that was filled with the aroma of mezcal and played some really cool new-age jazz type of music that I really can’t even describe. The next day I joined one of my new companions to see the Archaeology Meuseum, which I found to be really good.
After a few days of waiting around, my good friend Elisia, whom I’d met 7 years ago in Korea arrived! The next day we hit up a tour to go see some churches and an old Myan ruin outside of town. When we got back to the hostel we were invited to go to a Nacho Libra fight, which is basically Mexican WWF. It was a pretty good time and I was glad I went.
We spent our last days in Mexicao City just wondering around and enjoying the food and sights. It really is a beautiful city full of life. All of the negative perceptions we had were put to rest. The city was clean, the people were so kind, and we never felt like there was any danger. Our next stop would be Pallanque.
Planque/ Valladolid/ Playa del Carmen
The night bus to Palanque was about 14 hours. The ride wasn’t bad, over all, and we found it very easy to get to the ruins the same day we checked in without having to go on a tour. There were shuttle buses that ran regularly to the sight. We stayed the night and decided to spend the next day on the bus to Vallodolid, which is an hour jump point to Chichén Itzá.
The next morning we got up early to head to Chichén Itzá. We found these to be the nicest ruins yet. After about 2-3 hours of walking around, we headed back to our hostel to pick up our things and head to Playa del Carmen.
While we were there, in Playa del Carmen, I was able to see my friend Crystal from back home while she was down here for spring break and another friend I met in Korea who was spending the winter here on retirement. I also got a little beach time in, but mostly just relaxed and ate some good food while I was preparing for the next leg of our trip to Belize.
Hope I have a smooth trip to Belize!!