Please help with a one moth itinerary

Old Feb 24th, 2017, 05:59 AM
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Please help with a one moth itinerary

Hi all,

We returned a week ago from our first trip to Mexico and already I am starting to plan for our Feb. 2018 trip. I want to be away for about 3-4 weeks and I'd like some input as to how many days to plan at each destination.

We would like to return to Mexico City for 4 more days, as well as visit Oaxaca, Merida, and possibly San Miguel and/or Guadaljara. We like museums, colonial cities and ruins. We don't like shopping or beach vacations, and we don't like much down time on our vacations. We generally enjoy sightseeing for about 7 hours per day. I'm open to any suggestions for additional cities to visit and the number of days needed to visit them.

Fodorites were very helpful in planning our first trip to Mexico which was wonderful.. Any help in planning our next winter trip to Mexico would be appreciated.

Shelley
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 08:21 AM
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Are you planning to rent a car, use a bus, take flights?

As I'm sure you know, 3 of them are close together so would be easy enough to move between and make a nice itinerary for a month. It's Oaxaca and Merida that are more of a distance away (especially Merida). But since you say you like to keep really busy each day you could certainly do all 5. I would definitely not suggest any additional cities (unless you subtract some of these).

buena suerte, suze
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 08:32 AM
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Hi Suze,
We will not rent a car. We would fly or take buses between cities.
I thought we would use MEX as our hub. Fly from MEX to Oaxaca and fly MEX to Merida.. From Mex I thought we would bus to San Miguel. I don't know if this makes sense. Any comments are welcome.
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 08:44 AM
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Obviously the logistics of visiting Merida, Guadalajara, San Miguel and Oaxaca are somewhat complicated, even with up to 4 weeks. And you've already visited Puebla. But, given your criteria, I might suggest the following, if you're willing to do a couple day trips from CDMX maybe even overnighting.
1. From DF, it's about an hour and a half to Pachuca, then another 1/2 hour to the mining/mountain towns of Mineral Del Monte, Mineral Del Chico, and Huasca De Ocampo. They are all nicely restored Pueblos Magicos. The Prismas Basalticas are worth a visit as well. Just google all of the above. The area is best visited during the week as it gets busy with weekenders from DF. I'd spend a night.
2. Taxco, Mexico's silver capital. About 3 hours by bus from DF, as I recall. It can be done as a day trip, but after walking the steep streets you may want to rest up before moving on.
3. You could do Cuernavaca as well, as it's less than 2 hours from DF. I personally was not terribly impressed, but you might be. The only problem would be continuing on to Oaxaca from there; I'm unsure of the bus routes except that ADO has an overnight bus but that would put you in Oaxaca really early.
4. You could easily spend a week in Oaxaca. Plenty of museums, the Oaxaca cultural museum being foremost. Lots of ruins nearby from Monte Alban to Mitla and a couple lesser ones as well. Plenty of markets in the area as well, such as Tlacolula. Rug weavers in Teotitlan De Valle. The area also is known for the radical teacher's union, which often stages demonstrations and marches that can disrupt traffic and occupy the zocalo. They're harmless to tourists, however. Some are put off by their antics, but they're part of the real Mexico.
5. San Cristobal De Las Casas & Palenque. You can get there from Oaxaca on a long bus ride, but Aerotucan has a Cessna that flies to Tuxtla in about an hour. Lots of markets in the area, as well as the waterfalls of Agua Azul & Misol Ha enroute to Palenque from San Cristobal. The falls of El Chiflon near Comitan are even more impressive. Other ruins in the area are found in guidebooks. Also worthwhile if you're in the area is a boat ride through the Canon Del Sumidero.
Anyway, that itinerary could easily fill a month. Probably a San Miguel/Queretaro/Guanajuato/Morelia/Patzcuaro etc. would fill a month as well. As would a tour of the Yucatan.
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 09:31 AM
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<I don't know if this makes sense. Any comments are welcome.>

Well I'm no expert, I'm just looking at a map of Mexico

4 weeks might seem like a lot but especially when you're moving around Mexico by bus and plane, things take time. Remember you'll be on "Mexican Time".

Maybe look at an open jaw plane ticket into Mexico City and out of Guadalajara?

I think what you're proposing is something like this:

5 days- Fly into the DF, visit the city
5 days- Fly from Mexico City to Oaxaca & fly back
1 night- Again stay in Mexico City
5 days- Fly to Merida, visit & fly back
1 night- Again in Mexico City
5 days - Bus to San Miguel
1 day - Bus from San Miguel to Guadalajara
5 days- Visit Guad fly home from there

(that's 28 days on the ground)
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 12:15 PM
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So, Suze, what did you like best about Merida, Oaxaca, San Miguel and Mexico City?
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 01:00 PM
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baldone- I have never been to any of these places.

That is why I *clearly stated* I was only looking at a map and thinking of the logistics for the trip.
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 01:03 PM
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Hi Shelley,
Your trip seems doable - Lets start by figuring out where are you flying in from? This will help us figure out how not to do much zig zagging.
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 03:05 PM
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I am flying from Boston. When making a connection in the winter, I prefer to do it in a southern city-not JFK, Newark, or DC.
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 05:01 PM
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My time in Mexico was back in 2008, and so might not be of great use, but I managed to dredge up my final planning thread, which includes a brief summary of the trip itself:
http://www.fodors.com/community/mexi...of-tabasco.cfm

Hope that helps!
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 07:18 PM
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Suze, of course I saw your disclaimer. But in all due respect, forum readers are perfectly capable of reading a map for themselves, especially experienced travelers such as shelly. Generally, I find that forum participants who ask questions are hoping that those who choose to respond have specific experience in their area(s) of interest. Otherwise, they'd just buy a guidebook. Thanks for your kind words on the other thread, btw.
Back to the subject at hand, Mexico's best ruins and indigenous markets are found in Oaxaca and Chiapas, with the latter having a more Guatemalan 'feel' than Mexican, if that makes sense.
The Bajio area around San Miguel, Guanajuato and Queretaro is not known for ruins and indigenous markets, but rather for their colonial splendor and history. Close by, the Huasteca Potosina and Sierra Gorda offer some of Mexico's most spectacular scenery.
then there's Morelia and surrounds.
I admittedly know little about Merida, and if we ever go we'll have to depend on our 'hija adoptiva' who we knew in the states that was raised there but now lives nearby in Leon.
So much to see, so little time.
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 07:27 PM
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Hmmm... I'm not sure I would agree that the BEST ruins and indigenous markets in Mexico are in Oaxaca and Chiapas -- I thought some of the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula pretty darn stunning, and I certainly also enjoyed markets in the Yucatan! (Although for markets, I'll admit that the main market in San Cristóbal de las Casas beat anything I saw in the Yucatan.) To each his/her own....

And BTW, whatever advice offered on Fodor's or other online forums, I strongly recommend either the Moon Guide or the Rough Guide (if not both). In comparison to the cost of the trip, the cost of these guidebooks will be nugatory, and they will offer information that no one might think to mention and that you, shelleyk, might not think to ask. Seriously worth the investment, IMO! ;-)
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 09:37 PM
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I finally found my initial planning thread. I learned a lot from the Fodorites who responded to it; maybe you will, too.
http://www.fodors.com/community/mexi...he-yucatan.cfm
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 07:24 AM
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<especially experienced travelers such as shelly>

baldone, then I apologize to you and to Shelly.

I was bored at work and interested in looking at how I might approach a similar trip myself, so spent some time putting the various destinations together.

I guess I also need to apologize since I don't "know" shelly to recognize her name or realize in advance that she is a very experienced traveler. I only saw she recently took her first trip to Mexico is the only background I had.

So apologies all around.
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 08:09 AM
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No apology necessary for me. I'm grateful to anyone trying to help me out on planning this trip. Thank you to everyone who responded.

I have the 2016 Lonely Planet and Rough Guide, but I am still finding the logistics of flying and or busing from one hub to the other daunting. It looks like I have to fly back to Mexico City each time I switch hubs.

Planning my first trip to Mexico was a breeze compared to planning this one. Hopefully I'll figure out a one month trip that is sane, interesting and somewhat relaxing.
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 08:18 AM
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Shelley,
United has some nice flights from Boston/Houston to MID Merida. American is promising flights from BOS/MIA to MID but thus far they haven't been reliable. Delta also also cuts through MIA but the flights are generally costly and/or use Aero Mex through DF (Mex City.
In any event, flights are very reasonable here in Mx. I'd think about flying straight into MID, then to OAX, then to Guadalajara. From there you can bus to to GTO and San Miguel and fly out of DF through Houston.
In regards to San Cristabol, It's not as easy to get to as some other places and it will be very cold during the winter months. Perhaps you don't care about that. It's doable but it will drastically change your itinerary. Although it's a favorite of mine, I'd consider it when you can see much more of the SE part of Mex or combine it with Guatemala.
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 08:21 AM
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Forgot to add that taxis are extremely affordable from GTO to San Miguel - 500 mxp was the most recent that we paid. 25 USD.
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 12:03 PM
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Actually, Aeromar flies direct from OAX to TGZ. Canon del Sumidero is not far from the airport, and San Cris about another hour, maybe less. San Cris can indeed get chilly, but average lows are on par with San Miguel's for February. average highs are lower, however. But Palenque can be quite sweaty. Aeromar also flies to Merida from both Oaxaca and Tuxtla without going through MEX, though OAX/MID has a stop in TGZ.
PS, Aerotudan no longer flies to TGZ from OAX.
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 12:35 PM
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I should add that Aeromar also flies from Villahermosa (the city of 2 lies, ni es villa, ni es hermosa) direct to MID. So, if you did opt for a San Cris/Palenque leg, you could fly to Merida without doubling back to San Cris/Tuxtla
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