San Miguel or Mexico City


Dec 1st, 2017, 04:27 AM
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San Miguel or Mexico City


We are a family for 4 with two boys, 8 and 10. We are going to be flying to Leon on January 1st and staying in Guanajuato until January 12th. My initial plans were to take a bus to Mexico City and spend a long weekend there until we fly out from Mexico City on the afternoon of the 16th (2pm).

However, after the earthquake, a good friend of mine (who has lived and travelled extensively in Mexico) advised me to spend our long weekend in San Miguel de Allende instead.

That would give us plenty of time in San Miguel with a travel day on our last day in Mexico. I am concerned about getting a bus from San Miguel and arriving in Mexico City in time to fly out on the 16th. I could take the bus the day before, but that takes away a day in San Miguel and gives us very little time in Mexico City. Another option would be to just go as planned on the 12th to Mexico City and spend the long weekend there.

Her concern was two-fold. Spending the weekend in Mexico City where they've had large earthquakes, as well as not having as much to do due to damage. Can anyone give me their two cents? I'd like to book our last weekend and have my trip finally settled.

I had our weekend in Mexico City all planned out and am not sure what we'd do with a long weekend in San Miguel. I was planning on seeing it one day while in Guanajuato anyways.

Thank you!
wendy17 is offline  
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Dec 1st, 2017, 06:19 AM
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Comparing MC with SM is like comparing New York with Des Moines, Iowa. GO TO MC!
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Dec 1st, 2017, 06:46 AM
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I can't compare the two places as I have never been. But I would never try to bus into where I was flying out of in Mexico at the last minute.

Regardless of what you do with our time, I'd want to be in the same city I was departing from at least one night before.

"stuff happens" in Mexico, and unless you have flexibility for your flight home dates I would get yourself to Mexico City the night before even if you just stay at an airport hotel.
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Dec 1st, 2017, 06:49 AM
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PS Now like Des Moines, San Miguel is very nice but just a bit boring. Mexico City is a vibrant world class city with enough distractions to fill a month. All is fine there.
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Dec 1st, 2017, 07:50 AM
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I have heard that busing in early enough would be fine, but I've travelled enough for that not to sit well with me. I do know that the two cities are very different, but both have their fans and both appeal to different types of travelers, so I wanted to get some opinions before I make my final decision. Thank you for your input.
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Dec 1st, 2017, 08:59 AM
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I've never been to SMdA, but I'd imagine your time in Guanajuato(a favorite of mine) will serve well for seeing small, charming colonial cites.

The fact that you're flying out of MC seals the deal for me. Spend the weekend there!

It is one of the world's most exciting cities, as you probably know from planning out the activities earlier. You might just check to see if any sites you wanted to see are still affected by the quake.
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Dec 1st, 2017, 08:02 PM
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Mexico DF City IS one of the worlds most exiting cities and is well worth your time , money and energy...there are sooooo many things to do and see, just bring some warm clothing as the nights can be quite cool...
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 11:13 AM
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I've been to both places but that isn't really the issue, as both are worth seeing. I haven't been to the DF since the earthquake but I've read about it and that some areas may not come back for years. I was just in Mexico but in Yucatan peninsula and some Mexicans I spoke with there claimed the airport was up and running okay, though, as I knew it had been severely damaged.

I also would never ever plan on taking a bus that far the day of my flight, unless the flight was the evening or late afternoon. Buses in Mexico are pretty reliable, though, at least all the ones I've taken have been, long distances like that.

I would probably not like spending a long weekend in SMdeA, either, there isn't that much to do there. Lots of English-speaking expats and expensive shops. But if I had to, there are a few things to see, sure, it wouldn't be awful just not as much to do/see.

There are certainly other places you can go that I think would have more to do, were not affected that much by the earthquake, and are closer to Mexico City. Two suggestions are Toluca (which was not affected that much by the earthquake) or Querertaro. Toluca is only 1:20 by bus from the DF (Flecha Roja buses do that route, and Caminante). Queretaro is about 3 hrs by bus, Primera Plus goes to the Mexico City airport from Queretaro, so that
would be easy. The bus from Toluca by Caminante goes all the time and takes 1:15. It doesn't go to the Mexico City airport, though, so then you'd need a taxi from where it does arrive. I think both bus lines go to Poniente, not sure.

I believe the bus from San Miguel de Allende takes 4.5-5 hrs and may go through Queretaro anyway, or you may need to transfer there. Toluca is a pretty big city, depends what you want.
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 12:08 PM
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While I enjoyed my time in Toluca it is more of a blue collar town and at almost 9,000 feet it takes some time to acclimatize.
Interesting "Round Pyramid" , a lovely indoor garden and the artsy village of Metepec near by. Still a second level city IMO compared to GTO or MC.
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 01:35 PM
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Both ETN and Primera Plus have routes from SMA to CDMX. The former does indeed stop in Queretaro, but you don't change busses. PP is direct.
As far as acclimatization to Toluca's altitude, that won't be a problem after having already spent 12 days at 6500 ft+.
baldone is online now  
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 01:51 PM
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Hi wendy17,

I studied Spanish in nearby Queretaro for 2 summers and really enjoyed visiting San Miguel de Allende--I think it would be a lovely place to spend 3 days. However, given that you're flying out of Mexico City and what friends tell me of the recovery efforts in the capital, I agree with the others that it makes sense to spend your long weekend there, especially if you've never been before. Visiting Mexico City to this day remains one of the most eye-opening, world-view-revolutionizing, amazing life experiences I've had.

Best wishes, Daniel
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Dec 3rd, 2017, 08:23 PM
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Thanks again all for your input. I will sit down tomorrow and take a good look at my options now!
wendy17 is offline  
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Dec 4th, 2017, 11:12 AM
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Long distance buses here in Mx are amazingly on time, comfortable and reliable so I wouldn't worry about that part of the equation.
That said, it does appear that you'll be staying in GTO long enough to see SMdA. We took a cab from one to the other.
As for DF (Mx City) it's alive and kicking with plenty to do. SMdA although lovely, IMHO doesn't warrant an extended stay unless you're going there to chill. It's romantic with lovely architecture and a smattering of nice restaurants.
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