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Mexico travel advice- historical/hiking-oriented trip on the fly

Svenn

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We're (Americans) thinking of doing a quick 1 week trip to Mexico later this month, and because it's such late notice at the peak travel time, we realize we're not gonna get a perfect beach getaway or anything.

All we really want is to get into a warmer sunnier climate and do some hiking in interesting national parks and see some old colonial towns. Beaches would be fine too if any aren't packed this time of year. We'd get a rental car. We were thinking of Oaxaca, but flights there are like $1200 ! The deserty areas in Northern Sonora are alright, just they can be kinda chilly albeit sunny and there's not a lot of history...

Any tips?
 

Gus

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Don't do northern Mexico this time of year, it will be cold. Head south, far south at least to Zihutanejo, then head inland to the small cities that make crafts. Or head to San Miguel but you will see a lot of ex pats and Canadian retirees. San Miguel will give you a dose of classic colonial charm.
 

scarphe

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coastl veracruz would fit want you are are seeking. it has colonial towns, a fair number fo precolombian sites to visit and of course mangrovees waterfalls and beaches.
 

Svenn

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^thanks guys. our trip is limited to arriving in Mexico City now (since flights to all other mexican cities are like $1000+
, mexico city is just $700 ) ... so we're thinking of renting a car and we can't decide if we should drive to Puerto Escondido via Puebla and Oaxaca, or go to Veracruz instead. The weather doesn't look that warm, it looks like highs of 65 in the mountainous areas, but hey the sun will be out and a lot brighter than up here in the pacific northwest. I've never been clear on the safety of renting your own car in mexico- some people say it's an insane thing to do, but then i hear about 70 year old grannies doing it in their RVs. I've rented a car and driven around rural Thailand if it makes a difference.
 

Gus

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If you drive, just never, ever hesitate. And don't stop on a yellow light. Macho rules apply. You might want to read more about it especially if driving in rural areas. Also read up on Mexican police shake downs/bribes, if pulled over.

If you know what to expect and how to play the game you should be OK.

Have fun. I love Mexican hospitality.
 

Svenn

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Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy
If you drive, just never, ever hesitate. And don't stop on a yellow light. Macho rules apply. You might want to read more about it especially if driving in rural areas. Also read up on Mexican police shake downs/bribes, if pulled over.

If you know what to expect and how to play the game you should be OK.

Have fun. I love Mexican hospitality.


Any tips on how to deal with bribes? I've had to pay them in Thailand before. What kind of car should I get to not stick out? will it need to be 4wd on the route i suggested?
 

texas_jack

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You're going to get pulled over in Mexico city. That's just how it is. Keep a 20 in your shirt pocket and when they say you need to go downtown tell them you want to pay the fine there, not downtown. From Mexico I'd go to Palenque and Tulum. I don't know why you wouldn't take the bus though. It's soo much easier and safer.
 

Outlet_cherry_picker

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Originally Posted by Svenn
^thanks guys. our trip is limited to arriving in Mexico City now (since flights to all other mexican cities are like $1000+
, mexico city is just $700 ) ... so we're thinking of renting a car and we can't decide if we should drive to Puerto Escondido via Puebla and Oaxaca, or go to Veracruz instead. The weather doesn't look that warm, it looks like highs of 65 in the mountainous areas, but hey the sun will be out and a lot brighter than up here in the pacific northwest. I've never been clear on the safety of renting your own car in mexico- some people say it's an insane thing to do, but then i hear about 70 year old grannies doing it in their RVs. I've rented a car and driven around rural Thailand if it makes a difference.


Puerto Escondido is far from Mexico City and the road sucks I recomend go to Veracruz, especially the northern part, where you will find the most amazing piramids in Mexico (El Tajin). I don´t think that driving in the main roads of Veracruz could be dangerous, in this time of the year the roads are full of families. One more thing, the seafood near El Tajin, in towns like Poza Riza and Tuxpan is amazing.
 

Svenn

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argh, well the flights appear to be a minimum of $700 roundtrip... that just seems obscene to me... is there any trick native mexicans use to get around this holiday madness besides booking early?
 

Duff_Man

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Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy
Don't do northern Mexico, period.
FTFY. And get a policy with ISOS or something.
 

Threak

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The reason flights are so expensive this season is that Mexicana, Mexico's biggest airline, filed bankruptcy a few months ago. Destinations are much more limited now, and often require multiple layovers.

I did some traveling in Mexico this past summer and my airfare came out to $530 (One-way ticket from SFO to Oaxaca, and another one-way ticket from Guadalajara to SFO a few weeks later.) Christmas is always more expensive, though.

I wouldn't rent a car, especially for traveling long distances and since you only have a week. Most destination cities are 4-9 hours apart. Luxury bus tickets come out to about $5-7/hr, sleep on the way.
 

erdawe

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Renting a car seems like a PITA, especially in and around Mexico City. It may just be an unnecesary stress unless eventually going to a rather tiny town. The luxury chartered buses mentioned are clean, relatively cheap, and efficient. They have reclining seats, baggage help and usually an included snack. Taxis are plentiful many places too, and not too expensive.
 

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