OAXACA/DF TRIP Day of the Dead?

Old May 15th, 2014, 01:23 PM
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OAXACA/DF TRIP Day of the Dead?

I am considering traveling to Mexico in late October or November. Both Mexico City and Oaxaca would be on the itinerary; I am thinking about one week in each city. We will probably take the bus between the two cities. If anyone has taken this ride recently I would love to read comments. (I've taken the overnight train but unfortunately, this route is no longer an option). I passed most of the route in the dark…is the scenery good enough to warrant about 7 hours in the bus?

Assuming that I can still find hotels, I could plan my visit during the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca. But I fear that the city will be overwhelmed by tourists and just too crowded, not only at the DOD activities but all over the city and environs. Would love to hear from anyone who has visited the city during that period. Pluses and minuses.

If I forego Oaxaca, I might pass the celebration days in the capital. Do many tourists do the same? Apart from the cemeteries, and the holiday foods and flowers at markets, what else goes on at this time in the DF?

I should mention that I have visited both destinations several times, and have traveled widely within Mexico. I've been in Mexico City during Day of the Dead about 15 years ago, but the only thing I remember of the holiday was a nocturnal visit to a cemetery in a small town south of the city, Mixquic. That was quite a fabulous experience!

I was thinking of trying to get a room at Casa Oaxaca in Oaxaca. Would love to hear opnions on that small hotel from anyone who has stayed there. Rooms? Breakfast?
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Old May 16th, 2014, 06:44 AM
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The scenery between DF and Oaxaca is quite spectacular, at least the part from Puebla on to Oaxaca. A suggestion, instead of 7 hours non-stop, why not spend 1 night in Puebla?
As far as going during DOD, I'm probably not in a position to advise. We live in Mexico, and the holidays, while colorful and all that, can become tedious with all the congestion. Plus, hotels are more expensive.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 08:31 AM
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I found the scenery on the bus ride from DF to Oaxaca stunning. First you climb out of the valley into a lush forest, which dwindles as you descend. If you are lucky, you may be able to see Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl. A little later Pico de Orizaba will appear on the left -- truly magnificent, gleaming blue and white. It may bring to mind the line from Malcolm Lowry -- "your volcanoes beautiful beyond belief."

Finally, you pass through desert on the approach to Oaxaca. It was the first desert I'd ever seen and I found it fascinating.

Breaking the trip in Puebla is a good idea -- excellent food there, too.

If you can, take an UNO bus. They are the most comfortable, three seats across rather than four. Probably a good idea to bring a box lunch or at least some snacks.

Unfortunately I have never been able to schedule a visit during the Day of the Dead celebrations, so cannot help there.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Thanks very much, both of you!

I will play around witih the dates, and contact a couple of hotels. I think we will skip the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, and will arrive there in early November, after the festivities, instead.

It seems that ADO isi the new name for the UNO bus line (??) I took a look at bus schedules for ADO, which appear to offer luxury bus service (the bus trip sounds really good! I will be so happy to see the volcanoes!)

The company seems to offer
Gran Lujo and Paatino…do either of you know what the differences between those two bus services would be? Those seem to depart from the TAPO Platino and Gran Lujo Terminal..where would that be located--in the Terminal del Oriente?


I will think about a day or two in Puebla. Any favorite hotels in that city? (I was there years ago but do not remember much, I am afraid!)
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Old May 16th, 2014, 05:10 PM
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Yes, it does look as if ADO Platino has taken over the UNO service. I think it signifies deluxe as opposed to "mere" first class. In my experience it is worth the premium.

My stay in Puebla was quite a few years ago so I'm sure any recommendations will have to be taken cautiously. We stayed at the Meson de la Sacristia, a small boutique hotel. Its restaurant was also considered quite good. It appears to have received a rather garish paint job since our stay! Also, it is small without a pool. http://www.mesones-sacristia.com/espanol/index.php
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Old May 16th, 2014, 06:33 PM
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Hotel Colonial in Puebla is always a good bet. Reasonable, quiet, and a great location. Double-pane windows block any noise quite well. I also recommend Sacrista at least for the restaurant. Love the Chipotle meatballs as well as their mole Poblano. A 5 minute stroll from Colonial.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 05:04 AM
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I took the advice here and have planned 7 nights Mexico City, 2 nights Puebla (got the last room at Casona de la China Poblana) and 7 nights Oaxaca at Casa Oaxaca. The last hotel also had few rooms available for my dates, just after Day of the Dead.

A related question: Have any of you dined at the Casa Oaxaca restaurant? From the reports on eating in the city that I've read, it seems as if the dining scene in Oaxaca has changed a lot since my last visit.

http://www.casaoaxacaelrestaurante.c.../spa/index.php
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 05:27 PM
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eks- we'll be in MEX City and Oaxaca in February. I hope you'll do a write up of where you eat. You have such great restaurant recs.
Where are you staying in Mex City?
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Old Jul 9th, 2014, 07:51 PM
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We booked at Las Alcobas, although I have my doubts about staying in Polanco.

I will share any and all food details! Thanks for the kind words!

Have you booked hotels yet and if so, which ones?
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