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Melanie Apr 16th, 2002 07:08 AM

Short Authentic Mexico trip - Advice?
Hi! Myself and two co-workers are wanting to do a long weekend trip to Mexico. We are all female, in our 20s and will be flying from Dallas. We would like to go somewhere authentic (not Cancun!). We were hoping to go late June/early July. What advice do you have? We want somewhere interresting, good food, doesn't have to be a beach (although thats nice), and relatively easy to get to since we are going for a short stay. All of us speak good to fluent Spanish. <BR><BR>Thanks,<BR>Melanie<BR><BR>P.S. I'm thus far interested in Oxaca, Zihautanejo, and San Miguel de Allende.

marilyn Apr 16th, 2002 08:24 AM

Oaxaca would be perfect. Just a 1-hour flight from Mexico City--I can get there from Chicago in about 6 hours counting the layover. Best zocalo in Mexico (no cars), no pollution, great restaurants, beautiful museums, wonderful walking streets in the centro, and great shopping for crafts in the surrounding villages--don't miss the pottery of the Aguillera sisters (esp. Josefina) for example. Plus nearby ruins in Monte Alban. It's like Cuernavaca was 30 years ago. Some might argue, but I would suggest staying in the Camino Real or Hotel Victoria because these places have the best pools and a relaxing atmosphere, which I think you would want, especially in the warmer months. You can check the rates on offer from Oaxaca Tours ( or fax a direct inquiry for the best rates.<BR><BR>I still like Cuernavaca for a long weekend. About 90 minutes by car or bus from Mexico City, and there are a number of intimate garden hotels and inns with pools, good restaurants, day trips to Taxco, etc. Las Mananitas is my favorite hotel in all of Mexico, an intimate inn (about 20 suites) with great service, wonderful garden restaurant, exotic birds in the gardens, etc. Totally relaxing.<BR><BR>Either of these destinations might allow you to stopover in Mexico City if you had time.

Susan Apr 16th, 2002 09:13 AM

I also second Oaxaca as a choice (although things must have changed - I remember a fair amount of pollution from the buses) - it's been a few years since I was there, but I remember it as a wonderful city. Another possibility could be Morelia - different from Oaxaca, but lots to do and see in that area. It's 4 hours by bus from Mexico City.<BR><BR>Or how about Mexico City itself? We spent a few days there last month, and I loved it. <BR><BR>If you did decide on a beach destination, Zihuatanejo is very nice, although I don't think there's a lot to do there, other than enjoy the beach. It's not really close to anything else.

authenticity Apr 16th, 2002 09:47 AM

Marilyn has some great ideas regarding Oaxaca but if you're looking for "authentic" I can't imagine why you'd stay at a Camino Real property. Doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose?<BR><BR>I have a personal theory, proven many times, even in more touristed places, if you get off the beaten path (sometimes just a few blocks) you can find "the real Mexico" quite easily.<BR><BR>For Melanie, Once you find a town that interests you, I'd get on the net and look for a good family-owned, small, funky hotel to stay at.<BR><BR>Oaxaca is very popular with the folks over at the Lonely Planet/Thorn Tree... a search thru their BB might be helpful.

kathryn Apr 18th, 2002 05:08 AM

I had a great time a few years ago in Northern Mexico. Went from Juarez (across the border from El Paso) and took a bus to a town called Nuevo Casas Grandes in Chihuahua state. It is the "commercial center" closest to a set of ruins called Paquime. These ruins are really unvisited- my husband and I were the only people there that day and had a picnic in the ruins. The ruins are quite similar to Anasazi structures in the American southwest. A very genuine Mexican experience- you definitely need to speak Spanish. Have fun!

texasgirl Apr 18th, 2002 07:42 PM

Melanie: If you are thinking about San Miguel, you might also consider Guanajuato, and then day trip to San Miguel and Dolores Hidalgo. All three are interesting cities, all a bit different, but we liked Guanajuato the best _ it seemed most ``real'' with not quite as many tourists and ex-pats. There is a lot to see there _ opera house, Diego Rivera museum, the square _ and I think it's even prettier than San Miguel. Because of the university there are lots of young people, lots of galleries, interesting things going on. Plus, from DFW it's easy to get there _ fly American to Leon, and then it's about an hour to 90 minutes by car or bus. I really like Oaxaca, too, but it is a longer and more expensive flight from dallas. Then again, the land costs there are less expensive, and there's tons to see and do there too. Either way, sounds like a great trip!

dubya Apr 28th, 2002 05:08 AM

Depends how long a long weekend is for Oaxaca. You might really be pressed for time. If you do decide to go there and are spanish speakers you will not have any trouble finding a hotel you like downtown near the Zocalo. There really is a lot to see and do. Re: the pollution comment- the air is getting nastier all the time. You definateley get your diesel fume quotient on the periferrico and some of the main city streets. Once you get inside a building or a few feet from the roadways, however, it is not bad at all.

McH Apr 28th, 2002 02:19 PM

Melanie & Co,<BR><BR>If you have 5 days I would spend 3 in Mexico City and probably 2 in Oaxaca. In Mexico City there is a lot to see, and what more authentic than the capital were we 20+ million live in in a 100 million country! Oaxaca can offer you a great city experience and fantastic ruins.<BR><BR>Good luck,<BR><BR>McH

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