Help on Mexico itinerary in December

Old Jun 26th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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Help on Mexico itinerary in December

We are planning a trip to Mexico during the winter break. After some initial research, we came up with a tentative itinerary as follows.

Background: We are from West Coast US, interested in the unique history, indigenous culture, food, arts and craft. While we are very interested in Maya culture, we will skip Yucatan this time to keep away from “Doomsday crowd”. It can be a trip by itself in the future (perhaps combined with Tikal in Guatemala).

Day 1 (12/15): Fly to MEX
Day 2 (12/16): Visit Anthropology Museum in the morning, and wander around Zocala area for the rest of the day
Day 3 (12/17): Fly to Villahermosa, bus to Palenque
Day 4 (12/18): Visit Palenque
Day 5 (12/19): Bus to San Cristobal
Day 6 (12/20): Stay in San Cristobal (day trip to surrounding villages on either day 6 or 7)
Day 7 (12/21): Stay in San Cristobal (day trip to surrounding villages on either day 6 or 7)
Day 8 (12/22): Bus to Tuxtla Guitierrez, fly to Oaxaca via MEX
Day 9 (12/23): Stay in Oaxaca (day trip to Monte Alban)
Day 10 (12/24): Stay in Oaxaca for Xmas eve
Day 11 (12/25): Bus to Mexico City
Day 12 (12/26): Stay in Mexico City (day trip to Teotihuacan)
Day 13 (12/27): Stay in Mexico City
Day 14 (12/28): Stay in Mexico City
Day 15 (12/29): Fly home from MEX

Some questions:
• Day 2: The reason to visit Anthropology Museum early in the trip is to prepare ourselves and learn what we will see at archeology sites later in the trip. We hope it contributes to our enjoyment. However we are concerned that the museum gets crowded on Sunday. Is it free for Mexican citizens?
• Day 3: Is there bus service directly from VSA airport to Palenque? Otherwise we have to get to Villahermosa city center to catch bus. There is an Olmec sculpture park in Villahermosa. We are interested, but do not know if it is logistically possible to visit with luggage in two. We certainly want to be in Palenque before it gets dark.
• Day 5: My wife gets car sick easily. How is the road between Palenque and San Cristobal?
• Day 8: Is there bus service directly from and San Cristobal to TGZ airport?
• Day 11: We choose to be on the road on Christmas day as markets and museums are closed. I guess bus service is limited. How much in advance we should book? Also the trip is long and we are considering the option to break it for overnight at Puebla. We just have to weigh the chance to see another colonial city vs. additional packing/unpacking.

Thanks, and I appreciate any feedback on the tentative itinerary.
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Old Jun 26th, 2012, 04:59 PM
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> Day 4 (12/18): Visit Palenque

Be sure to visit the museum there, too! It's small, but has some exquisite pieces. And get an early start - the ruins are extensive and worth lingering over.

> • Day 5: My wife gets car sick easily. How is the road between Palenque and San Cristobal?

I managed it twice (once for a day tour of waterfalls from Palenque and once to get from Palenque to San Cristobal de las Casas), but was glad I had taken dramamine before hand. It is beautiful, especially if you stop in Agua Azul and some of the other waterfalls, so if she can find a way to put up with it, you would get to see some lovely and unique things.

> • Day 8: Is there bus service directly from and San Cristobal to TGZ airport?

I think so - the airport is actually 1/2 way between the two. But check with your lodging in San Cristobal to be sure.

Enjoy!
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Old Jun 26th, 2012, 06:36 PM
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Day 2 -- Don't just wander the Zocalo! Visit the Templo Mayor and its small museum (maybe another day, since you will have been to the Anthropology Museum), as well as the National Palace and its fine Rivera murals. Seems an enviable itinerary!
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Old Jun 27th, 2012, 04:29 AM
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The only thing I would add is that I would add a day in Palenque to visit Yaxchilan and Bonampak as a day trip. The ruins are unique for their artistry (carvings at Yaxchilan and murals (!) at Bonampak) and it's a great adventure experience as well. Maybe sacrifice one of your free days in Mexico City.
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Old Jun 27th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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Thanks for the comments on our itinerary. Yaxchilan and Bonampak are appealing in my initial research, but I was somehow under the impression there is some security concern in Mexico/Guatemala border area. I will take another look.
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 04:55 AM
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There's no real security concern for visiting Yaxchilan and Bonampak. The Mexican army is all over the area.
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 06:09 AM
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IMO, you have too little time in Oaxaca. I have been thereon Christmas Eve, so I know the allure of that, but you are flying there from Tuxla via Mexico City, and then only giving Oaxaca two days. One of which is for Monte Alban, and the other for the Christmas Eve festivities.

I understand you want to be on the road on Christmas Day since not much will be open. But Oaxaca really deserves more time. I see you are going to visit the outlying villages of San Cristobal. Oaxaca also has wonderful villages in the valley which produce some of the best and most varied and distinctive artisan wares in the country. Not to mention the fantastic chocolate right in Oaxaca, which can be sampled on Mina St.

I would switch up the itinerary and give myself at least one more day in Oaxaca. Current itinerary gives you 4 full days in the DF and only two in Oaxaca, which makes no sense to me considering your interests.

BTW, I am currently spending a month in Q. Roo and the Yucatan w/trips to ruins in both states. So when you get ready to do that trip, come back and ask.

Is there a reason you are bussing btwn Oaxaca and the DF instead of flying (since I see you are doing several other domestic flights)? You are right, it is a very long bus trip. Puebla is wonderful and very different than Oaxaca, if you do decide to break up that long trip.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 10:33 AM
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I included domestic flight as we really do not like long bus ride. DF to Oaxaca seems ok, with a break in Puebla, if we can work out a 2-night stay from the itinerary. Taking bus on consecutive days is no fun either.

We will seriously consider spending a little more and flying back to DF, if we could not manage more days to fit in a stop in Puebla. Extra time in Oaxaca is a bonus.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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The Antropology Museum IS free for Mexican residents on a Sunday. But I do believe it will be a good place to start given your interests. Right across the street from the Museum is the ''Parque de Chapultepec'' which would be a nice walk. If you are interested in Mexican History, visit the Castillo de Chapultepec Museum.

A nice way to tour Mexico City is to hop on to the TURIBUS.
http://www.turibus.com.mx/index.php?lang=en
which is a double deck touristic bus (be sure to seat on the top) and you can hop on and off wherever you like. There are several routes, the best one being the Historical Center. This bus leaves from the ''Auditorio Nacional'', and you can get off at the Zocalo area, etc. While you visit the Zocalo, you can go to the ''Museo de Bellas Artes'' and visit the Museum. Right now they have Bolero's art, I'm not sure what they will have in December, and they have permanent Diego Rivera's murals,etc. Adjacent to the Zocalo plaza, you have the cathedral. This would be a MUST for your trip. For a nice break, please have coffee at ''Caza de los Azulejos'' (near Zocalo, 1 minute walk from the Museum).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_de...s,_Mexico_City

While on Mexico City, you can take a day trip to Coyoacán. (You can actually hop off on one of the Turibus routes, I believe the South one, but please ask to be sure). It is a typical mexican place, where you can have a nice breakfast or lunch at the little plaza, eat an ice cream and PLEASE visit the Parish of San Juan Bautista, you will not believe your eyes. http://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/...yoacan-df.html
In Coyoacan, you can also visit Frida Kahlo's museum. http://www.museofridakahlo.org.mx/

As for cheap flights between Oaxaca and DF, you could try www.vivaaerobus.com (not at all nice, just gets you from place to place) www.interjet.com, or www.volaris.mx, which are the low cost airlines in Mexico. (The last 2 are southwest like).
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