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-   -   oaxaca or mexico city? (https://www.fodors.com/community/mexico-and-central-america/oaxaca-or-mexico-city-532406/)

clendri27 May 28th, 2005 02:52 PM

oaxaca or mexico city?
 
I'm going to Cuernavaca for two and a half weeks in July. My school has an optional trip to Oaxaca during that time for four days for the Guelaguetza festival. At the same time, there are trips to the Templo Mayor and the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo studios in Mexico City. I'm debating whether to skip the Oaxaca trip to take in some of Mexico City, but I have heard many good things about Oaxaca. Please give me your preferences and why. Thanks!

suze May 29th, 2005 09:30 AM

I would pick the Mexico city tour option, but my thinking is a bit backward than what you might expect. I would *much* rather go to Oaxaca to see a festival, but that is something I could plan and do on my own very easily on an independent trip at another time. I would be less confident going to DF alone and trying to get myself to the places you mentioned without help (certainly it can be done but i'd find it more intimidating).

gomexico May 31st, 2005 11:22 AM

I suggest going to Oaxaca, particularly because you'd have the opportunity (I'm assuming) to attend the Guelaguetza. The festival occurs during one period each year, and there's no telling if you'll be there ever again in July.

Mexico City's a good trip, also, but I don't think the over-hyped Frida's house is worth a special visit. Templo Mayor doesn't compare to Monte Alban at Oaxaca, which gives Oaxaca the edge IMO.

Enjoy the adventure!

crosscheck May 31st, 2005 11:34 AM

don't miss the guelaguetza! i lived in cuernavaca for 2 yrs. and it that trip was one of the highlights. you can do mexico d.f. on your way home.

Pausanias May 31st, 2005 12:52 PM

Tough one. I think I'd say Oaxaca, the deciding factor being the Guelaguetza, for which (I've heard) it can be difficult to obtain tickets. The city is mellow, picturesque and charming.

This should not be taken in any way to disparage Mexico City, which is a fascinating destination too often avoided by tourists. It is edgy, complicated, frantic and faintly sinister.

I haven't been to the Kahlo-Rivera studios, but I have been to her "Blue House." While it does not offer a great selection of her artwork, it is deeply stamped with her character. I found it a very moving place to visit.

So I'd say go to Oaxaca this time, but return for Mexico City -- and another saty in Oaxaca. Bt-the-way, if you enjoy modern literature, try to read Malcolm Lowry's novel *Under the Volcano* before your trip to Cuernavaca. In the novel it is thinly fictionalized as Quauhnahuac, with some Oaxaca blended in.


Dude May 31st, 2005 01:42 PM

I think I would go for Mexico City, hopefully adding in Teotihuacan, La Villa de Gudalupe, etc. I did that about 10 years ago while going to school in Cuernavaca and really enjoyed it. A far as Oaxaca, it is one of my favorite places and I have been there more than anywhere else in Mexico. Many people will disagree, but the Guelaguetza doesn't do too much for me. Ther two times I have been there it has been quite hot, the city is packed, etc. I like to go in June when people are practicing for Guelaguetza you see a lot of what you would see later, without the mob scene. I would save Oaxaca for another time- you need a week at the absolute minimum, and see the city, visit the various towns, ruins, etc. at your leisure. Right after January 6 would be my preferred time of all to go, just when all the Christmas activity has wrapped up and the weather is wonderful.

g2g Jun 1st, 2005 04:19 AM

I just returned from Cuernavaca, and if your finances and time permit it, you could do both. I did Temple Mayor and the studios in one day, and was home by dinner.If you split it with friends, taxis in and out are not horribly expensive.


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