Mexico/ Mexico City June/July 2018
A Great Day To Arrive In Mexico City!
When we arrived at our seats (allllll the way at the end of the of the plane), they were cordoned off. Apparently, LATAM’s website decided it wasn’t important to let us know that our seats were in fact for the flight crew. Luckily, we only had to move 10 rows up AND as a nice little “reward” we received some of the amenities from first class (hello champagne and clean socks!!). We arrived in Mexico City ready to explore some of what 20+ million people experience daily.
But it wasn’t a normal day. It was the day where the Selección de fútbol de México started its World Cup campaign. We watched a clinical performance by “El Tri” over a 2 for 1 special and delicious food (although I’m still not sure what Kristen was thinking with a kimchi omelette in Mexico?!?).
After the “partido” we took a little walk towards the “El Angel de la Independencia.” Little did we know, but there was a gay pride parade going through the main thoroughfare (“Paseo de la Reforma”). It was incredible to see such diversity celebrated in a predominantly Catholic country. The energy that could be felt from the parade attendees and the (slightly inebriated) futbol fans was palpable. What a great day to experience the biggest city in Latin America!
We decided to “bookend” our trip to Mexico–3 days in Mexico City, 3 days in a few “pueblos,” and then 3 days back in Mexico City. Our first stint in Mexico City was spent walking around, seeing many of the popular sights. We walked down the “Avenida 5 de Mayo,” stopped for long lunches (2 hours is the perfect amount of time to watch an entire World Cup match), and hung out in the Zócalo. The views from the Torre Latinoamericana were incredible! We realized that having a beer in the bar below the observatory was a great way to save a few bucks AND avoid some of the chaos 2 floors above.
Tacos, Tacos, and more Tacos!
Despite all of the amazing sights, our first three days were mostly devoted to finding the best taco in the city. And the winner was…Taqueria El Progresso! I believe in total, we ate approximately 57 tacos from there. There was nothing not to like about these tacos–flavorful, cheap, and served in about 30 seconds. Also, their condiments were free, tasty, and plentiful (free guac–seriously?!?).
To wash down the tacos, we found El Moro. For less than 2 dollars we received hot, fresh, and huge churros. After dessert, we stumbled upon Tres Galeones. Although we were quite full, we didn’t want to be rude to the friendly owner. Who are we to turn down the best fish tacos in the Cuidad!?! We buckled down and had 2 more tacos each (their fish “carnitas” was out of this world!). I seriously don’t understand how every citizen in Mexico City does not weigh 500 pounds!
Pueblos outside of Mexico City
After a few food comas and plenty of non-Corona cervezas, we decided it would be a good idea to see the countryside. So, we took a 2-hour bus ride south to Cuernavaca. Neither one of us was too thrilled with this bustling pueblo and happily paid for an Uber to take us the 25 minutes to Tepoztlán. This town was much more our speed. It was quaint, yet energetic. We walked, ate, and hiked up to the Tepozteco. The views were incredible and we lucked out to just miss a torrential storm. As we walked back to our hotel, we stumbled upon a political parade
unlike one we have ever seen. We had dinner (our only bad meal in Mexico) and some “Tepoznieves” to wash away the abovementioned sorrow. This ice cream shop was incredible! Not only did it cause Baskin Robbins to have a little (flavor) size envy, but it had a “Dia del Muerto” exhibit inside of the store! We thoroughly enjoyed our scoops and then went to the bus station to buy a ticket for the next morning.
We knew we were in for a treat with the stunning views we encountered on the approach to Taxco. Soon after checking into our palatial room at the San Lucca Hotel, we knew this pueblo was going to be something quite special. The vistas from our balcony were incredible. After picking our jaws up from the ground, we tried to navigate the narrow, hilly streets of the town. Despite some major knee pain (sympathy tacos are a real thing), we thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet that Taxco offered. We had a romantic dinner at Rosa Mexicano and enjoyed every minute we had together on their beautiful terraza.
Our Last Hurrah
To finish our “bookend” we spent our last three days back in Mexico City. Kristen had a wonderful experience exploring Teotihuacan, while I explored the formations of France and Belgium in their quarterfinal victories. We were able to get tickets for a night of”Lucha Libre.” Although it wasn’t exactly the WWE, the entertainment value of the “Puma” was not lost on either of us (think a cast member of Cats on steroids). Definitely, a night to remember!
But the “Arena Mexico” was not the only lasting memory. The kindness, helpfulness, and friendliness of the vast majority of Mexicans we interacted with will be our lasting memory. From strangers giving us (unsolicited) advice as to where to get on the hop on/hop off bus (not as easy as it sounds), to waiters and Uber drivers going out of their way to make us feel welcomed to their country, it was a pleasant change from some of the coldness we often encounter living in Santiago, Chile. As soon as we settled into our plane seats, we were already talking about when we could come back to visit other parts of the country. Chao for now, Mexico.