Need some Mexico travel advice

Old Nov 19th, 2008, 04:50 PM
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Need some Mexico travel advice

Due to the strong exchange rate, we (couple in 30's) are considering vacationing in Mexico for a week in February. We would like to combine a beach vacation with an artisan town to do some shopping for crafts etc. We have spent time in Guadalajara and Tonala and were hoping for something different. Any suggestions for two places that aren't too far apart?
Ideally, we'd find someplace relatively quiet (as opposed to a bustling part of Cancun), and a boutique/small property as opposed to a large chain hotel.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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How about Guanajuato and San Miguel? Last year we stayed at La Qunita de las Acacias in Guanajuato right after Christmas. Very nice place in a quiet part of Guanajuato. Excellent weather and a good place to relax.
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Maybe Merida for shopping. On the weekends they close the downtown to traffic and hold a huge street party, with music and a crafts market. In addition, the town is known for making hammocks, panama hats and local clothing.

It's a beautiful colonial city with an excellent museum, good restaurants and an interesting historical center. We stayed at Casa del Balam.

Fro Merida you can visit the Mayan ruins at Uxmal and the Puuc cities, about 1 1/2 hours south. To the east is Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. You might stay at CI, or Valladolid to see them both. Continuing on to the coast, you might like Playa del Carmen for its beaches and nightlife, or perhaps the much quieter Akumal. Both are within easy day trip range of Tulum.
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Old Nov 30th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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Tough to do both artisan town and beach vacation... if you had to pick 1, which would it be? I lived in Guadalajara for 4 years and can maybe help you with the south of Mexico. First, I need to know some details. Do you speak spanish?
Which city will you fly into? Mexico is really a wonderful choice... so much to see, so many sub-cultures.
For a wonderful cultural experience, I would highly recommend Michoacan for 3-4 days. Patzcuaro is my favorite town in all of Mexico, and it has such beautiful crafts! You can get to Patzcuaro from either Guadalajara (about 4 hours - driving is easy but there are luxury buses available) or Mexico City (longer drive, but you could stop by the butterfly sanctuary on the way). Morelia, the UNESCO world hertige site, is the capital of Michoacan. Guanajuato and San Miguel are also not too far away.

I don't know what the social climate is like now in Oaxaca (they had some problems there last year), but that is also a favorite... you can get beautiful crafts in Oaxaca, then go to Puerto Escondido from there (about a 4h drive) for beach time... Oaxaca also has wonderful ruins (Monte Alban), and relatively few tourists, making it an ideal spot. However, few in this area are fluent in English.

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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 05:57 AM
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La casa de los Milagros Oaxaca

Villa Mozart Puerto Escondido for me

The real deal...
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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 09:23 AM
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ditto on the oaxacan recommendations.

Otherwise, if you're not spanish speakers, Puerto Vallarta is always nice. No true craft towns around, but I think they have a nice downtown.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 10:02 PM
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Thanks for the advice...
JuneJuly...I actually lived in Guad for a few years myself. Unfortunately I didn't take advantage and travel through the country at all. But I loved Tonala and Talaquepaque and went to both frequently. I guess I am looking for a small city with similar crafts/artisans etc.
Patzcuaro sounds great. I have also looked at San Miguel de Allende. However, the problem with both is getting to any beach easily. I was thinking about PV for the beach but even that is difficult to get to. I don't want to take a 9 hour bus ride and lose a whole day. I do speak enough Spanish to get by, but don't think that I want to go to Oxaca.
Any advice on travel or a beach after either city would be great!

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Old Dec 2nd, 2008, 11:30 PM
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I have done a little more research on driving distances/times etc. Can anyone give me some feedback on this itinerary...

Fly to Patzcuaro (not sure which is the closest airport but will check fares etc into the closest 2).

We will stay for two nights there and then drive to San Miguel (my understanding is that this is about a 3.5 hour drive). Stay 2 nights there and then drive back to Patzcuaro and from there down to Ixtapa for 3 nights (from Patzcuaro to Ixtapa is about 4 hours based on my research).

This way we get to see both San Miguel and Patzcuaro and rest a little at the end. Any suggestions, are the driving times about right? Are the drives fairly easy?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:52 AM
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The best crafts market has to be the one in front of Santo Domingo Church in San Cristobal de las Casas. Hard to combine this with a beach, however.
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