Please help with our one month trip to Mexico

Old Jun 1st, 2018, 10:20 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,746
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Please help with our one month trip to Mexico

Hi all,
DH and I are planning a one month trip to Mexico in Feb. Last year we spent a month in the Yucatan, Oaxaca and Mexico City. We liked every place we went, but would like to try some new places this year.

We were thinking of spending a few days in Queretaro and San Miguel de Allende, a week in Guanajuato and perhaps a week in Guadalajara and/or Morellia. We like big cities that have lots of interesting places to explore-ie museums and historic houses, ect. We like experiencing indiginous culture and food, but we always have safety in the back of our minds. We will be using public transportation throughout-planes, buses and taxis.

Any thoughts on our choices would be appreciated, especially concerning Guadalajara which I have not seen much written about on this forum.
shelleyk is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2018, 07:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,220
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Well, this is my bailiwick, being a 9 year resident of the area, specifically San Miguel & and of late Queretaro, and also having traveled extensively in the region. Some questions, how's your budget, as in are you open to renting a car or hiring a driver/guide for a few day trips as needed? Do you prefer basing yourself in a couple places, or are you good with changing hotels with some frequency? How's your Spanish? Preferences as to where you fly into/out of?
Personally, I would opt for Morelia and surrounds (Patzcuaro, Uruapan, Santa Clara del Cobre) over Guadalajara, especially if you're looking for some indigenous influence, which you'll find in and around Patzcuaro for example. Lots of options.
​​​​​As a starter, the link below gives my mini trip report to Leon, near Guanajuato, since you mentioned you're OK with big cities.
https://www.fodors.com/community/mexico-and-central-america/leon-gto-mini-report-1648421/

Last edited by baldone; Jun 1st, 2018 at 08:01 PM.
baldone is online now  
Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 06:59 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,746
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
HI Baldone,
I was hoping you would answer this as I've gotten such great tips from you in the past-ie Hotel Catedral in MEX and Hotel Colonial in Puebla. We liked these hotels very much and they are the kind of hotels we are looking for on this trip- good value for the money spent, with a good degree of comfort,ie good beds, air conditioning where needed and well located. As to the answers to your questions:

1-We are not on a budget, though we don't usually stay at "luxury" hotels as we don't find a concierge or fancy lobby a necessity. We would pay for a driver for day trips and have done so in the past. DH would prefer not to drive in Mexico.

2-On our last one month trip to Mexico, we moved 5 times in 4 weeks and I think that was perfect. I don't think I would want to switch hotels for less than 3 nights because of the hassle factor associated with each switch.

3-We fly into and out of Boston which means except for Aero Mexico into MEX, we would have to connect at least once to get to/from cities in Mexico. We don't have plane reservations yet ,but are hoping to use ff miles on Delta.

We are retired, and this is our winter trip, so it does not have to be exactly one month as we are not under any time constraints.
shelleyk is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2018, 04:00 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,746
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We now have 2 possible plans:

Plan A-We will fly into Oaxaca, bus to Puebla (both return visits) to spend 10 days in these areas.

Then bus from Puebla to Morelia. From my reading we will have to switch buses in Mexico City and it will make for a very long day, so maybe we will break it up with a short stay in Mexico City, where we have spent 2 week in the past. We would spend 10 days in the Morelia area, spending a few days at Lake Patzacuaro and visiting Urupan as a day trip.

From Morelia we would bus to Queretaro and San Miguel. ( Which would be a better place to base ourselves for a few days?) Finally we would . end up in Guanajuato for 5-7 days. Or we would skip Queretaro and San Miguel and just bus from Morelia to Guanajuato, though online I can't find a bus that does that route.I checked Primera Plus and it said they do not do that route.

Plan B would be to fly into MEX, take the bus to Puebla, then bus to Oaxaca and fly from Oaxaca to Guanajuato( It would take 10 hours door to door). After spending time in Guanajuato we would bus to Queretaro, SM and Morellia area and fly home from Mexico City.

Any thoughts on the 2 itineraries would be appreciated. Also any hotel recommendations in the historic areas of the cities mentioned would be welcomed.

.
shelleyk is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2018, 01:49 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,220
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
A few thoughts.
In addition to flying from OAX to BJX, TAR airlines has direct flights (no stop in MEX) from OAX to QRO. That might add some options to your itineraries?
I see on Primera Plus's website that they have 3 departures daily from Morelia to Guanajuato. It's about 3 hours or so.
As far as basing yourselves in either Queretaro or San Miguel, it kinda depends on what your main interests are. It's easy to do day trips to/from either, as they're only about 45 minutes or apart. One difference between the 2 is that in San Miguel, you can walk 5-10 minutes out of centro and be in "Mexican" residential neighborhoods while Queretaro's centro is pretty much surrounded by commercial locations, with some exceptions of course. You'll find in San Miguel little out of the way cafes and restaurants in the surrounding neighborhoods. If you like to walk, San Miguel is probably more pedestrian friendly.
If you're thinking of day trips from either, that might factor in whether you stay in both places or not. From Queretaro popular places are Bernal and Tequisquiapan. Both towns get busy on the weekends, with Fridays being the best time to visit as all the shops and restaurants are open but the big crowds don't arrive until Saturday. I prefer Bernal, it's more "quaint" and the pena provides a cool backdrop to the town. Sorry I can't do the 'n' correctly on my laptop. And if you were really ambitious, Las Pozas in Xilitla is about 5 hours, but the trip takes you through some stunning scenery in the Sierra Gorda. From San Miguel, popular day trips include the semi-ghost town of Mineral De Pozos, Dolores Hidalgo, and just outside of town near the hot springs is Atotonilco and it's sanctuary, called by some the Sistene Chapel of Mexico.
As far as hotels, in Morelia we liked both Los Juaninos (pricier) and Hotel Casino, though some rooms needed some updating. But their restaurant might be the best in centro.
In Queretaro, we've stayed at several, but Hotel Madero is our favorite. It's on Calle Madero, which is now a pedestrian andador, so no vehicle traffic. I prefer the street-side rooms with small balconies, as the inside rooms are a bit dark. I can't remember if those rooms are 202 and 201.
Bienvenidos a Hotel Madero en Santiago de Querétaro
If you're a fan of colonial era mansions, Casa De La Marquesa is a gem, but again, pricier. If you don't stay there, you need to at least see the place. I think you can get some good deals these days. It too is on Calle Madero.
La Casa de la Marquesa - Querétaro, MX
In San Miguel, our favorite value hotel is Best Western Monteverde. It's in centro, but somewhat removed from the noise of church bells, etc. and still walkable to everywhere in centro.
Hotel Monteverde Best Inns | San Miguel de Allende
Our favorite place in Guanajuato is Casa Zuniga. It's near the Pipila Monument, so it's removed from the noise in centro. I've found many hotels in Guanajuato's centro to be very noisy and overpriced. Rick, the owner, is a walking encyclopedia of the city. It's at the top of the funincular, and he gives you tickets to ride the car up to the inn. Adults only.
https://www.bedandbreakfast.com/gto-...sa-zuniga.html
In Patzcuaro, we like Meson De San Antonio, though there are other good places.
*** HOTEL MESON DE SAN ANTONIO, PATZCUARO ***
Now, if you were in the mood to splurge while in Patzcuaro, this place is one of the coolest hotels we've ever stayed at anywhere. It's a ways out of town, however. But if only for a couple nights it's worth it, I think.
Hacienda Ucazanaztacua - Hotel Boutique, Patzcuaro, Michoacán, México
While in Uruapan, if you could visit the falls of Tzaráracua are impressive. And if you're in town, I think the coffee at La Lucha is some of the best in Mexico. They have a shop in Morelia too. It's all sourced from small mom and pop fincas in such small quantities that none is exported.
In all, it sounds like a good itinerary. If you can swing it, I would try to include both San Miguel and Queretaro as long as you're in the region. But maybe try to avoid San Miguel on the weekend, as it gets packed with people from Mexico City.
baldone is online now  
Old Jun 6th, 2018, 06:56 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,746
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Baldone,thanks so much for your very helpful input and links.. It's given me lots to think about and research before deciding on a final itinerary.

A few of the hotels, such as the Casino Hotel, are showing no availability for Feb. I assume it is because they have not put Feb. dates on the booking.com website, and not because they are actually booked 9 months ahead of time. Is there something special going on in Feb. in Morelia that would book up hotels for the month?

Also, I can not access the Primera Plus website for bus schedules in Feb, or even for July for that matter. Is there some trick I am missing to access the site? It would be so helpful to know the bus schedules before committing to an itinerary.

Again, thanks so much for your help.

If anyone else has been to any places I am considering, I'd be interested in your take on the cities you visited ,and on your experience using buses to get from place to place.
shelleyk is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2018, 12:31 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,732
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To whet your appetite:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...882248261/show

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...007139404/show

In all instances we traveled by first class bus, with the possible exception of the day trip from Guanajuato to San Miguel Allende
Michael is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2018, 08:41 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,220
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Shelley, I think what's happening with PP's website is that they only shows dates 30 days out. So, if you put in let's say June 9th, you'll see departures from Morelaia to Guanajuato at 7, 920, and 215. Another option would be to take a bus to Leon; they have departures pretty much every hour, all day. The Central De Autobuses is right in the center of the leather district, so you could stash your luggage at the bus station and spend a couple hours shopping before moving on to Guanajuato.
I also took the liberty of calling Hotel Casino and they confirmed there's no availability for next February. He said there is no special event. Go figure. Anyway, we will be in Morelia in the next 2 weeks or so. Depending on where we stay, I'll either update here or PM. For this trip, I don't think we'll stay at Casino as they don't have A/C and it's been warm here recently. There is a City Express right next door that I think we might try. They're a Mexico based value hotel chain that has adequate properties. We've also stayed at Hosting House Congreso (formerly Mansion Real) which we liked except for one time when we were there, the bedroom was in a loft which made it kinda tricky if you had to navigate the stairs to get to the bathroom in the night. Also Casa De Dulce Suenos, which was OK, but the rooms were kinda chopped up and some dark.
baldone is online now  
Old Jun 9th, 2018, 11:07 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In Morelia, I would not think of staying anywhere but Casona Rosa. It is perfect. And reasonably priced. Owner is wonderful. Jesus, the driver, is fantastic. He drove me to and from Patzquaro, stopping at artisan towns around the lake, getting me into some incredible artist studios.
My favorite place to stay in Patzquaro is Posada Mandala. Run by a very interesting writer, and the upstairs rooms get lovely breezes and lovely views. Shared kitchen is nice too. Great location.
emd3 is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2018, 08:22 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,746
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just booked our flights with frequent flier miles into Oaxaca and out of Leon.

emd3-Interestingly, I was about to book Casona Rosa based on the glowing reviews and I am glad that you concur. I thought we would stay 6 nights in Morelia and use one of the days for a day trip to Patzquaro. How many days did you spend in P? We could spend a night there, but I am wondering if we used a private driver as you did, if we could see enough in one day so that we don't have to transfer hotels.

michael-Your photos are beautiful, especially the ones of Zacatecas which we may include in a future trip.

Baldone-Thanks again for taking the time to give me detailed information and for suggesting we visit Morelia which we are going to do.

So far our itinerary looks something like this:
5 nights in Oaxaca
3 nights in Puebla
7 nights in Morelia
3 nights in Queretaro (is this one night too many?)
3 nights in San Miguel de Allende
5 nights in Guanajuato

I am open to adding or subtracting a night to any of the above. We like to walk, go to museums, see interesting architecture, and experience different cultures, We do not like to spend time shopping.

Any thoughts on this itinerary?
shelleyk is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2018, 07:36 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I stayed in Patzquaro for 4 nights. I loved it. Lots of activity on weekends. Great markets, fantastic arts and handmade items and shopping. Saw horses and mules saddled and tied up to posts outside hotels. Had a political demonstration go right by me. Saw very wild huge 10 ft high puppet costumes on a street art troup. Lots of street musicians showing up unexpectedly. Good food. Beautiful surroundings. Very magical place. I would stay there a few nights, not just a day trip.

IMO 7 nights is too much for Morelia. It's a nice city but it can be seen and experienced in 3 to 4 days. You can lave some of your things at Casona Rosa, Rose will store them for you while you head to Patzquaro and the towns around the lake, then head back to Morelia to get your things before moving on.
emd3 is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2018, 07:54 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,732
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shelleyk View Post
I just booked our flights with frequent flier miles into Oaxaca and out of Leon.

emd3-Interestingly, I was about to book Casona Rosa based on the glowing reviews and I am glad that you concur. I thought we would stay 6 nights in Morelia and use one of the days for a day trip to Patzquaro. How many days did you spend in P? We could spend a night there, but I am wondering if we used a private driver as you did, if we could see enough in one day so that we don't have to transfer hotels.

michael-Your photos are beautiful, especially the ones of Zacatecas which we may include in a future trip.

Baldone-Thanks again for taking the time to give me detailed information and for suggesting we visit Morelia which we are going to do.

So far our itinerary looks something like this:
5 nights in Oaxaca
3 nights in Puebla
7 nights in Morelia
3 nights in Queretaro (is this one night too many?)
3 nights in San Miguel de Allende
5 nights in Guanajuato

I am open to adding or subtracting a night to any of the above. We like to walk, go to museums, see interesting architecture, and experience different cultures, We do not like to spend time shopping.

Any thoughts on this itinerary?
I think that Puebla has more to offer than Guanajuato, and definitely more than two days.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...026204048/show

and the city which is part of the same SMSA

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...381570244/show
Michael is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2018, 03:35 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Try to be time Puebla so that you can go to the town of Cholula next door on market day there. Great market day! While in Cholula go to the church on top of the largest unexcavated pyramid ruin in Mexico, and if it is a clear day you can see Pop. volcano, an awesome active volcano. I would say 3 full days for Puebla (2 walking days to see the churches which are spectacular, Calle Dulce, the artist's outdoor studio market and Talavera market area, railroad museum not to be missed, etc) and a day in Cholula.
emd3 is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2018, 09:55 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,746
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is a return visit to Puebla and Cholula. We spent 2 days in Puebla and 1 day in Cholua 2 years ago. We saw a lot, but missed some things in both cities, so we are returning.

We will be there on a weekend this time so I'd be interested in visiting the market in Cholula, as well as seeing if the tunnel at the pyramid is open, It wasn't on our last visit., I'd also like to see the railroad museum in Puebla which we missed last time, but we did spend a wonderful few hours at the Amparo Museum which I thoroughly enjoyed...
shelleyk is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2018, 01:52 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,732
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shelleyk View Post
This is a return visit to Puebla and Cholula. We spent 2 days in Puebla and 1 day in Cholua 2 years ago. We saw a lot, but missed some things in both cities, so we are returning.

We will be there on a weekend this time so I'd be interested in visiting the market in Cholula, as well as seeing if the tunnel at the pyramid is open, It wasn't on our last visit., I'd also like to see the railroad museum in Puebla which we missed last time, but we did spend a wonderful few hours at the Amparo Museum which I thoroughly enjoyed...
I preferred the Atlixco market to the one in Cholula.
Michael is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2018, 01:09 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,220
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
I tend to agree that 7 nights in Morelia might be too much? But that depends on what day trips you might have planned. Santa Clara Del Cobre is worthwhile, the copper work done there is amazing even if you don't buy. They give demonstrations on how they hammer it out to finished pieces. Since you're interested in architecture, a day trip to see the ex-convento in Yuriria might be worthwhile.
Afternoon in Yuriria: a 16th century convent in Guanajuato : Mexico History
If ex-haciendas are of intrerest, there's one in Queretaro that's been converted into a restaurant. It's about a 20 minute cab ride from centro.
http://tinyurl.com/yby4mz6l
Also, out where the acueducto begins is the Cervecera Hercules, a microbrewery in an old textile mill. There's another recently opened restaurant there, too, Planta Alta Cocina. The Hercules neighborhood is kinda cool as well.
http://tinyurl.com/yby4mz6l
You mentioned old houses, the Casa De La Zacatecana might be of interest:
Museo Casa de la Zacatecana
So, 3 nights in Queretaro again, will depend on what day trips you might do. In Bernal, you can hike most of the way up the Pena. The town is know for it's blue corn gorditas and pan de queso. There is another ex-hacienda, Atongo, on the back road from Queretaro.
https://haciendaatongo.com/wordpress/
baldone is online now  
Old Aug 16th, 2018, 08:34 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 185
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is a late reply but we really liked San Miguel. We stayed at casa de la noche in the third floor suite and it was wonderful. We stayed extra time in smda so cut queretaro short but what we saw we enjoyed.
Dolores hidalgo was a cute little town that we just passed through in an afternoon but could have spent more time.
Guanajuato was very nice but a week would probably be a little too much time for me. We stayed at a great little place that I can look up if you still need a recommendation.

Also, we went to some amazing little towns in the mountains outside of Oaxaca. Loved the markets and just wandering. We rented a car but you could also hire a driver. .

Sounds like a great trip!
dwc0201 is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2018, 06:33 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,217
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds like a great trip. I’m envious. We absolutely love Mexico, have spent time in all the cities on your itin and really enjoyed every one of them! You can’t go wrong.
glover is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2018, 05:04 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,746
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So to update this planning thread, Aero Mexico has shortened our trip by 5 days and has eliminated the Oaxaca part of the trip because I just found out by checking my air itinerary that our direct flight from Boston to Oaxaca was cancelled because Aero Mexico no longer flies out of Boston. Aero Mexico never notified me of the cancellation, they just cancelled the flight. Since this was a frequent flier ticket written with Korean Air miles, my only recourse was to cancel out the whole ticket and redeposit my miles, or keep the return ticket from BJX and substitute a flight to MEX 5 days after our original flight, shortening our trip and eliminating Oaxaca. The latter is what we decided to do.

I'm glad I checked the itinerary now as opposed to later, or just showing up at the airport and finding my flight did not exist. Note to self, do not rely on the airlines to notify me of a flight change. Keep checking the reservation periodically for any changes.
shelleyk is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2018, 07:36 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,985
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry to hear that. What a pain! Similar thing happened to us in Argentina. Aerolineas Argentinas changed our flight six times in as many weeks and then cancelled. For what it’s worth, we have only taken the one flight here as the bus system is so good. We went with Volaris a budget airline but paid the extras for seat allocation, priority boarding and doubled our 10kg carryon allowance and all went very smoothly.
On our way to Oaxaca in a few days fro San Cristóbal by overnight bus. Will see how that compares to teh buses in Argentina which were great overnight.
crellston is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:50 AM.