Edit Blog Post
Published: January 31st 2010
This was my first time in Mexico. We wanted to see certains things in particular for a long time, like the winter home of the monarch butterflies. We also took the challenge, (kidding :-) ), of visiting places in Mexico city. The horror stories about that city, are exagerated. The city of New York is far more dangerous statistically speaking. In Mexico, like other big cities, you need to avoid a few neighbourhoods and use common sense not to attract thieves.
We arrived in Mexico city. We stayed in a small hotel named Milan, in the "zona Roma". The area was nice, kind of middle-class neighbourhood, with business people and restaurants and plazas. We visited the "Bosque Chapultepec", a big park in the heart of the city. In the park, you have a mix of little woods, a lake, the museum of archeology, and the "Castillo Chapultepec", an iconic place for the Mexicans. It was there, that during the war with the USA, some young men, (ninos heroes), battle until the end, and killed themselves instead of surrendering. It's also the place, where you have the castle, that the emperor Maximillian lived in, during the very short French occupation of
Popocatepelt, 5452m , second highest in Mexico
the country. The castle is magnificent. My wife felt like Cinderella while visiting!
We also went to the Zocalo, the central place of Mexico, with the presidential palace.
About 50kms, North East of Mexico, you have the ancient Olmec city of Teotihuacan. This is very big and impressive. The pyramid of the Sun, is the 2nd one after the pyramid of Gizeh, Egypt. That city, numbered hundreds of thousands of people, and was one of the biggest of the era. A must-see, even if you're not a fan of history. You can go up on the Pyramids, and the view is great.
We left Mexico, and headed to Michoacan state, in the little village of Angangueo, to see where the Monarch butterflies hivernate. That insect does the longest migration of every insect known. If you go, make sure it's the right period of year, otherwise they won't move.
It may freeze sometimes in the mountains, especially in January. We where there at the very end of February, so daytime temperature reached about 17-18 Celsius, with sun, so at the end of morning, you can see all buterflies flying around. This is a very special thing to witness.
Taxco: view from our balcony
left the region and headed to Cuautla, South East of Mexico. The little roads to go there let you go through small villages in the mountains. some villages were crowded and we saw some Religious processions, that attracted crowds.
We stayed at Cuautla one night. A nice little place. Reason we were there, was to get good shots of Popocatepelt volcano. Only in the morning, when we left, views were clear enough to get good pictures. volcanoes like those, are very photogenic!
We continued South on the road to Oaxaca. We took the ancient and small road to go there. This is one of the highlight of the trip. The variety of sceneries you can see, (deserts with cactus, pine forests, scrublands, mountains that streches as far as the eyes can see,etc..), and the fact that you don't have traffic is very special.
Stayed in Oaxaca, one night. This is a beautiful and clean middle size town. We visited the old downtown, one-evening. This is one place i would stay a couple of days.
Next day, direction South to reach the Pacific, little town of Puerto Angel. Once again, the road to get there is fun in itself, varied
Road to Oaxaca
and with lots of mountains to cross: average speed 40-45 km/h.
Puerto Angel: little fishing and tourist village, and laid back atmosphere. We rented a grand room with 3 beds, balcony at a very cheap price. In the region, we visited Mazunte, with beautiful beaches, and the turtle museum/zoo. They have all species of Mexican turtles/tortoises. The pools/aquariums with the sea turtles, is especially interesting.
Moved North along the coast, and stopped at Puerto Escondido. It's a small city with lots of commodities, for every purse. This a beach/surf kind of place.
In that region we wanted to visit the Lagunas de Chacahua park: there's no trails whats so ever, and if you don't have a 4X4, your only option is to rent a boat, but prices were expensive, so we didn't go.
Next day, continued North along the coast. At one point, a big bridge goes above a very big pond/swamp. I stopped there, and was able to take all the birds pictures i wanted with my zoom, and for free.
Finally, we arrived at Acapulco. the view of the bay is beautiful, bu that is it. This is a crowded, noisy and unpleasant city for my
tastes. It's so Americanized with McDonalds, planet Hollywood, that you could think you're in Miami!
Following day, took the highway in direction of Mexico. On the way, we stopped at the magical colonial city of Taxco. That city, tucked in the mountains, make you feel like you are in an old European city. The authorities make sure that all buildings keep the same type of architecture and building materials. My wife especially liked it. All around the city, you have silver mines, and the city has hundreds of little shops with artists, creating all kind of originals jewelries, that you see nowhere else. This is a Toy'r'us for Women. :-)
In the region we visited the "grutas of Cacahuamilpa". These caves are beautiful like the Lurray caverns in Virginia, and big as the Mammoth caves in Kentucky, very impressive!
Finally, we came back to Mexico, trip was over.
So many pictures, so i tried to chose the some of the best!
Next time, i'l return to Mexico, but this time in Yucatan and Chiapas. Some waterfalls and pyramids, but hopefully tarantulas, scrorpions and snakes too!
Tot: 0.1s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 23; qc: 93; dbt: 0.0171s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb