Mexico City Trip Report (long)

Old Apr 17th, 2008, 10:14 PM
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Great write-up. Very detailed with your excursions.

I am going to Mexico City next week and I have a few questions...

- How did you get around at night? Taxi? Which ones and how did you get one?

- Did the B&B have safes in the rooms? Or did they have safe deposit boxes?

- Did you walk around with a camera? Was it a DSLR or a comact point-and-shoot?

- I read somewhere that I shouldn't wear a backpack out in public, as that announces to everyone that I'm a tourist. I always wear one to put may camera in, a light jacket, and some tour books. Did any of you have one, or did you see many "tourists" wearing them?

- Did you keep your passport with you when you went out? I also read that I should make a photocopy of it and leave the original in the safe deposit box of the hotel.

AperturePriority is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2008, 07:08 AM
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Hi AperturePriority...

I used and carried around my digital SLR in a day pack last time I was in Mexico City, with no problems... I dont walk around with it around my neck like I would in a place with less horror stories about crime. It was in my Lowepro case in the daypack until I was ready to shoot. Now, I use a Crumpler bag that made it through Peru, Southeast Asia and Paris without a 2nd look - it sort of looks more like a messanger bag than a camera bag unless one knows the brand. And, as a streetwise, New Yorker, my bag is never left unattended, never looped over the back of a chair - its on my lap or in a rare case (while balancing tacos al pastor) on the ground at my feet with my leg through a strap.

I probably wouldnt carry my SLR around at night in DF - when I'm traveling without my laptop and pacsafe, I lock it in the room with do not disturb sign on the door.

As far as the passport issue, I never carry my passport around with me - only a copy. Will be staying at the Red Tree House in July, so not sure if they have safes, but when in a hotel without, I lock my passport and valuables in my carryon and have never had a problem. I doubt any hotel employee would risk their job over my valuables and I tend not to stay in the types of places where I have to worry about the other guests!
evening is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2008, 07:59 AM
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Sorry for the late reply. Aperture emailed me directly and I replied via email, but I'll post here so other can see the answers...

We were rarely out at night. We got up early, walked all day, and were very tired by nighttime. The only time we were out at night was when we went to Lucha Libre. We walked and used the subway that night. Remember, we have 5, so a taxi really wasn't an option for us However, we felt very safe that night.

Actually, I'll make a general statement about safety. I don't believe Mexico City to be anymore dangerous than any major city in the US. The fact is you can be in the US capital visiting the tourist sights, walk 5 blocks the wrong way and end up somewhere you don't want to be. Mexico City is the same way. None of the tourist places we went to (including the area around Mexico Arena for Lucha Libre) felt dangerous - and we had our kids with us.

The Red Tree House has a safe in the room.

At first we were paranoid and didn't walk around w/cameras or backpacks. But after the first day we realized that was silly. My wife had a clear backpack she carried so people could tell there was nothing of value in it. My kids and daughters carried cameras (me and my son don't take pics ). The kids kept the camera in their front pockets. My wife kept hers around her neck. Again, we felt safe at all times. Our cameras were small digital cameras (sorry, not a camera person...don't know how to fully answer this question).

We didn't see many other tourists. Or, rather, most of the "tourists" were Mexicans themselves. The few we did see were dressed like us.

When you start walking around Mexico City and see all of the families out together you'll understand what I mean about feeling safe. Note that this doesn't mean "be stupid". Like in any major city, you need to be aware of your surroundings. My point is simply that I wouldn't consider a trip to MC any more dangerous than a trip to D.C.

We kept our passports in the safe in our room.

I have scanned all of our passports and have the images on our website. Before I did that I would travel with a photocopy. Regardless, there is no reason to travel with your passport. The only time I needed an ID was to rent a canoe. My driver's license worked fine for that.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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Thank you! I dont think the safe was mentioned on their site.

Did you get a look at the petite penthouse in the house in the back at the Red Tree House? That's where I'm staying in July. Cant figure out if there is just the bed alcove, a bathroom and the terrace, or if there is any sitting space inside. Dont plan to be in the room much, but it is rainy season!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Evening, I saw all of the rooms there and *think* I know which one your are talking about.

If you mean the one where the TV is right on the wall above the bed, I don't think there is a sitting area there.

Also, I guess I should say that *my* room and my kids room had safes so I am assuming the others do too, but didn't check every room

If you go to TripAdvisor and search for RTH you can find my review of the property and see some pics of the house.

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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 04:38 AM
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Kevin, What a wonderful wonderful report! As long as I'm concerned the longer the report the more I enjoy them. What great experiences for the kids. Great! Thank you so much for sharing. Toni

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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:13 PM
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Hello, I would like to second the love for Red Tree House. I recently stayed there for just over 2 weeks and it was an incredible experience-- exceeded expectations. Jorge and his whole staff are wonderful, kind, and as this report says, makes you feel more like you are staying with family than in a guesthouse. The guesthouse is GORGEOUS, clean, safe, comfortable, and a real oasis in the middle of a very hectic city. I would-- and have-- recommend it to anyone. It has everything you could want-- safe, clean, nice, stylish, comfortable, affordable and in a great location. Condesa is definitely the neighbourhood to be in. And Abril is just the cutest dog you can ever imagine
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