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6-7 day Trip to Mexico..Need help San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City

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Jul 20th, 2012, 06:34 AM
  #1
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6-7 day Trip to Mexico..Need help San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City

We are a group in our early 30's and are looking to explore the real Mexico..not beach resorts. I've done some research and have a come up with a list of places that look awesome to visit: Mexico CIty, Taxco, Puebla, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Is this too much for 1 trip?
Should I cut a few places off the list?
How dangerous is Mexico CIty? We have been to Rio and felt fine. Is it similar?
Should I explore Yucatan instead? I see lots of great towns and cities there as well.

Basically, we just need a sample simplified itinerary of great Mexico culture, architecture and food.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Sergey
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:03 AM
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Yes 5 major cities in Mexico, not particularly close together geographically is too much for a 6-7 day trip imo. By the time you subtract getting from place to place (bus or car) you wouldn't have any time left.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Hi S -

Yep, too much.

If you are looking to explore the real Mexico, you will want to avoid San Miguel. Too many fancy boutiques and rich retirees from the US. And perhaps the world's ugliest church.

Guanajuato is much more interesting and real, with some excellent architecture. It is also probably the most beautiful city in Mexico, and that's saying a lot.

Mexico City is amazing. Definitely go.

Given 6-7 days, I would spend 3-4 days in Mexico City and 2-3 days in Guanajuato.

There are frequent and very nice buses that make this trip. Sort of a long bus trip though. I might break up the trip with a night in Queretaro, which is beautiful too.

Try an open jaw flight that lands in Mexico City and leaves from Leon / Bajio - BJX. BJX is about 25 miles from Guanajuato.

I have never been to Taxco but I understand they do a brisk business there selling silver to tourists.

I have never been to Puebla but everyone loves it and it's only an hour from Mexico City. A Mexico City - Puebla trip would be good.

You didn't mention Oaxaca, but you might consider it. It's really special. So interesting and such good food. You could easily spend 6-7 days there.

You could easily spend 6-7 days in the Yucatan as well.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 11:57 AM
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I've never been any of those places, but just from reading, and agreeing with the above... Guanajuato always gets good comments. and San Miguele de Allende well known as an artistis but also US ex-pat retirement location.

As far as going to the Yucatan instead, just an entirely different trip. Both would be amazing.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 02:36 PM
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I'm an American who's lived in Mexico City for almost four years, and I've always felt very safe here. I second the Mexico City/Guanajuato/Puebla idea. The Yucatán is best on another trip when you have at least a week to devote to sightseeing there. I'd suggest at least four days in Mexico City -- there's a ton of great museums, parks and neighborhoods that are worth exploring. Puebla is a good overnight trip. It's about 2 hours away, maybe slightly more with traffic, and they've got great shopping (talavera pottery, typical candies) and a lot of stuff to see. If you're into food, my company also does street food, taco & market tours in Mexico City and Puebla -- www.eatmexico.com. Have a great trip!
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Jul 20th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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I don't understand what the "real Mexico" means. The colonial towns are wonderful, and so are the bigger cities like the DF, Merida, the beach towns, etc. It is all the "real Mexico." If you want towns that look like the did long ago, then the colonial towns and cities are the answer. But they are no more real than the beach towns are, they are mostly just older and have different architecture.

Personally with just 6-7 days, I would land in the DF and stay there 2 to 3 days (One full day in the DF proper, and also see Teotihuacan and possibly Coyacoan if Frida and Diego Rivera interest you), and then bus two hrs. not one) to Puebla for a few days (and see Cholula and the volcano from there). You can bus from PUebla right to the DF airport for flight home. Guanajuato is a 4 hr bus ride to/from the DF, so that cuts into your time, as it becomes half day to get there and a half day to get back to fly out.
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Jul 21st, 2012, 03:32 AM
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Lesley, your blog is fantastic and I have bookmarked it. I have a home in Playa del Carmen and travel often from Cancun to whereever I can fly, including DF, Puebla, Guadalajara, Morelia/Patzcuaro, Chiapas, on and on. I love the markets and food in all these places and your blog rocks!
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Jul 21st, 2012, 07:05 AM
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What I meant by real Mexico is not beach resorts like Cancun/Puerta Vallarta.

Thanks everyone
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Jul 21st, 2012, 07:55 AM
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The 1/4 million Mexican people living in Puerto Vallarta I think would be very surprised to hear they aren't "real"!!
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Jul 21st, 2012, 08:58 AM
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I love San Miguel but it would not be my suggestion for what you are looking for. One of my favorite trips that I have done was Mexico City, Morelia, and Patzcuaro (We then went on to Zihuatanejo). I had very low expectations of Morelia and ended up loving it. Also loved visiting all of the little towns around Patzcuaro that are all known for a different artisan craft. I am not a big city person, but Mexico City is the exception. Such a fascinating and find something new there each time I go. Puebla is also on my list of places to visit, but I have not yet made it.
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Jul 30th, 2012, 01:58 PM
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Leave out Puebla (although it is worth a visit all by itself) and stick to Guanajuato, SMA and Mexico City. When we toured those cities, we took a bus from Mexico City to Guanajuato, based ourselves in that city, did a day trip to San Miguel Allende, and returned to Mexico City with a stop two night stop in Queretaro.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...07139404/show/
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Jul 30th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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I forgot: on that trip we did not stay in Mexico City at all, just an overnight at the airport upon leaving.
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Jul 30th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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Correction: we stayed overnight when we arrived because of scheduling constraints.
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Jul 31st, 2012, 08:00 AM
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Mexico City will offer great museums and a good metro/transit system for getting around. Reach the Ruin site of Teotihuacan by bus from Mexico City Terminal Norte, amazing pyramids. (32 miles northeast)
Metro or walk to Chapultepec Park which offers the Anthropology Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Botanical Gardens, and the History Museum and former house of Maximilian.
First class bus service is plentiful from four major bus terminals and you could reach many colonial cities such as Morelia, Guadalajara, Patzcuaro, (colonial cities) or even the coast at Zihuatanejo. (fishing village/ beach village) (300 miles) Great scenery along the way but maybe a little too far on a short trip.
The City of Puebla is a good suggestion via ADO bus or bus from the airport. (80 miles south, Colonial city)
It is a six hour trip to Oaxaca City from Mexico City. (300 miles south) You could take night bus and snooze, arriving in the am ready to tour. Oaxaca is a small walkable colonial city with good museums, many artisan villages, and six ruin sites reachable by public bus or tour.
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Aug 1st, 2012, 07:02 AM
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I agree for 6-7 days I would stick to Mexico City and one other place. My husband and I are currently Peace Corps volunteers (yes there is a Peace Corps Mexico!) and we are actually serving in Guanajauto. It is considered one of the most scenic Mexican cities, and having seen much of Mexico I would agree. San Miguel de Allende is also a beautiful colonial city, but much more geared to older US retirees or snow birds. Much more expensive and "gringo-fied". Also, Guanajuato is a college town so more affordable bars and nightlife and a much younger feel. Given your ages you might prefer that between the two. IMO, Guanajuato would make a better quick visit kind of place for nice sightseeing where as San Miguel is great when you want to stay longer, take some art courses, find more of a US community, etc.

All of the cities you mention are great though, so I am sure you will have a great trip. My email is in my profile as my location if you have any questions about Guanajuato itself.
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Aug 13th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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You won't be able to go both north & south of DF in a 6-7 day trip and do anything worthwhile in Mexico City. DF is a week by itself. A less hectic itinerary would be Queretaro, San Miguel & Guanajuato. And as far as San Miguel not being "real Mexico", that's hogwash. Fact is, San Miguel has many more Mexican tourists than Americans.
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Aug 15th, 2012, 11:09 PM
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What is DF. These abbreviations always baffle me. Looking into a trip and reading Mexico posts. PLEASE let me know what DF is.
Thanks.
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Aug 15th, 2012, 11:26 PM
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Federal district, as in Mexico, D.F. (similar to Washington, D.C.).
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Aug 16th, 2012, 06:19 AM
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DF is Mexico City. Distrito Federal. This is what the Mexicans call it.
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