Travel In Mexico City/Oaxaca

Old Jun 24th, 2002, 12:40 AM
  #1  
Rey
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Travel In Mexico City/Oaxaca

Hi all, just wondering if I can get some advice/tips/suggestions on where to stay in Mexico City, we plan on spending 5 days to see the pyramids (teo), zocalo, chapultepec, maybe a side trip to Oaxaca for a day/night, all in August.

Places to stay?
Land Transportation tips?
Thanx
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 07:21 AM
  #2  
Jean Valjean
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What's your budget for hotels?

I think that Oaxaca is hardly a day trip from Mexico City. Maybe you want to reconsider that one and choose a different place. Puebla is an excellent option.

As for transportation, within Mexico City I would only take registered cabs (i.e. you phone ahead) and organized tours. To go to Puebla, I'd go by bus.
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 08:39 AM
  #3  
Randy
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I want to keep hotels to under 80/night, Oaxaca is a 5-6hrs on a bus from mexico city.
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 08:48 AM
  #4  
dubya
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I think you would be hard pressed to do Oaxaca for a day night. If you flew, the flight is only 50 min. to an hour, but would probable take you 3 hours all told with airport transportation and waiting around at the airport. The best bus to take is "UNO" the trip is 6 hours from Mex. City to Oaxaca. I would agree with the above that Puebla would be better with limited time. You could also do a marathon trip to Cuernava and Taxco for a day night. That would be interesting. Cuernavaca is about 1 hour from Mexico City's Southern bus terminal "tasquena." You could either enjoy Cuernavaca or add another two hours and go on to Taxco which is a beautiful colonial city. Back to Oaxaca, if you want to take a little more time you probably need at least two days. One day you could see some of he city and go to Monte Alban. The next day maybe to Mitla and Teotihucan de Valle. Anyway for Oaxaca I beleive you would need a little more time than planned.
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 09:50 AM
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Rey
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the participants in the trip are gonna be a bunch of college guys, looking to see ruins, any reason why it would be difficult to go see monte alban in a day/night, besides getting tired from the trip?
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 11:49 AM
  #6  
Jean Valjean
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If you want to see ruins, then you will have a chance to see Teotihuacan, Templo Mayor, and the Archeological Museum in Mexico City. You'll be there for 5 days, going to Oaxaca will consume 2 of those days, 12 hours just to get there and back. Teotihuacan takes a complete morning / afternoon. The Centro Historico (including the zocalo and templo mayor) can easily take a day. Chapultepec and the archeologic museum easily another day. You'll have to run from one place to the next, and in Oaxaca you won't have a chance to see much (and there is a LOT to see)...is that what you want to do?
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 01:24 PM
  #7  
Susan
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I agree with the other posts - 5 days is not enough for Mexico City and Oaxaca. We had 4 nights in Mexico City in March and I could have stayed longer (and it wasn't my first trip). We stayed near the zocalo in the Hotel Catedral. They have a website if you're interested. Rates were good (can't quite recall, but probably about $45 USD), room was clean, service was good. Shower was terrific (especially after our budget accommodation elsewhere!). It seemed popular with Mexicans, especially for breakfast, but there are lots of restaurants in that area.

There is so much to do and see in Mexico City. We either walked or took taxis. To go to the pyramids, we took a taxi to the bus terminal and took the bus from there. That was a fairly full day - definitely no shade there, so make sure you wear a hat. (My husband didn't and felt the effects of too much sun the next day - mind you, he also climbed the 2 big pyramids while I stayed at the bottom.)

We're also Frida Kahlo fans, so went to see that museum one day. We also checked out some of the buildings around our hotel - there are some really interesting public buildings (one is filled with Diego Rivera murals) and galleries. And of course, there is great people watching everywhere.

I love Mexico City - really a great destination.
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 06:11 PM
  #8  
dubya
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If you really want to see Monte Alban in a marathon take the 11:00 or 12:00 PM
bus from Mex. City to Oaxaca. Do Oaxaca and Monte Alban for the day and take the late bus back to Mexico city. So you sepnd two nights on the bus and have done Oaxaca in a day. This would definateley be an idea for college people.
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 06:25 PM
  #9  
lcuy
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Hi Rey- we just came back from 2 weeks in Mexico; first week in oaxaca, second in Mexico city.
Stayed at Hotel Casa de Sierra Azul in Oaxaco. Very nice, immaculate, and just 1 block off the zocalo. $70 per night for a double. Went up to monte Alban one day and spent about 2 hours + the hour or so on the bus (up and down). It was just about the right amount of time, so you could do it if you got to Oaxaco in the morning. We hired a driver one day to see Mitla and several small towns and ruins between there and Oaxaca. Spent about 5 hours, but you could do it in maybe 3 or 4 if you were trying to go back to Mexico city that evening.
Going rate for taxis out to sights is 100 or 110 pesos per hour. The zocalo in Oaxaco is wonderful---small enough to be able to eat and watch people, and every other night the city has a band play there. Eat at El Asador Vasco on the west side of the Zocalo, upstairs. Wonderful food!
We flew to Mexico city, so can't tell you how the bus would be. Stayed 5 days at Hotel de Cortes on the Alameda. Convenient and clean, but a bit noisy due to the restaraunt in the courtyard. Get an upstairs room.
Oddly enough, the best deal we got was a weekend special at the Four Seasons Mexico city ...$200 per night, includes anything you want for breakfast (our kids charged a $93 room service meal the first day, but it was free), Total 5 star luxury, and best of all, it includes a free tour on Saturday and Sunday. Every other Sunday is the 5 hour Pyramid tour, in a van with knowledgeable guide (and A/C), so that will save you a bundle right there. Call ahead to see which tours they offer as they alternate each weekend.

The most fun place to eat in Mexico was La Fonda del Recuerdo (there are several other "la fonda"s) in Polanco. Great food, really generous portions, clean, and non stop mariachi music. Tables hire them by the half hour and sing along, loudly. sort of live karaoke, if you will. Huge dinner with wine for two of us was $60.
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 09:36 PM
  #10  
rey
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Wow thanx for all the advice, I like the optimism about monte alban, I was ready to throw in the towel!

I still could use some more suggestions, we are planning to stay in the Centro Historico, next to El Zocalo, suggestions, anyone ever try the holiday inn there?
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 09:51 PM
  #11  
Rey
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say whats the website address for hotel catedral?
 
Old Jun 25th, 2002, 12:29 AM
  #12  
lcuy
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Rey- we walked into the Holiday Inn, thinking it was the Best Western on the next corner over. the lobby seemed nice, and the location great. We then had lunch at the best Western, which is an even nicer entry, and the roof top restaraunt was very nice. The only complaint I've heard about either hotel is the street noise, but my recommendation is to take earplugs with you to mexico. Sirens, honking cars and noisy restaraunts are the norm if you are in the zocalo areas.
By the way, the subway in Mexico city was great and only 2 pesos (30 cents). I also liked the collectivo buses, again 2 or 3 pesos. We felt very safe on them during the day and early evening. At night we had the hotel or the restartaunts call us a taxi.
 
Old Jun 25th, 2002, 02:55 PM
  #13  
Susan
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Website for Hotel Catedral is http://www.hotelcatedral.com.mx/ing.html - they answered my e-mail very promptly when I wrote to make a reservation. The area is very busy during the day, but surprisingly quiet at night. We had no problems with noise at all at night (and I'm a very light sleeper).
 
Old Jun 26th, 2002, 06:22 PM
  #14  
Rey
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Say anymore suggestions for traveling in Mexico City and Oaxaca for a day/night, we've decided to marathon Oaxaca, despite the advice of many, but hey you're only young once!
 
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 05:33 AM
  #15  
dunya
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Make sure when you take the late bust that is a first class direct to Oaxaca via the toll road so you get there in around 6 hours. As said above "Uno" is the best. After Monte Alban you won't have time to go anywhere else in the Oaxaca valley so enjoy the city itself for the rest of you time. Make sure to see la iglesia de Santo Domingo. This church is well worth the visit. Attached to it is the Museum of the Oaxacan Cultures which is really good. Between this area and the Zocalo there is a pedestrain corridor which is a good area to check out the stores and look around. On the other side of the Zocalo is the 20th of November market which is a good place to shop for stuff. The Zocalo is a good place to sit around, watch people, have a beer, whatever. Have fun!
 
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 02:33 PM
  #16  
Rey
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Does anyone know of any good websites that post information about buses that service Oaxaca from Mexico City? Thanks for all the help.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 06:25 AM
  #17  
dunya
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Uno has a website (Uno.Com), you will have to surf around for it. It is predominantly in Spanish. It gives you all the departure information, etc. about their bus line. It will also get you into "Ticket Bus" where you can see the other bus lines information and schedules and make you reservation.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 06:34 AM
  #18  
marilyn
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A Mexican travel agency has a very good site with lots of general information at www.differentworld.com. There is a link to bus sites on the main page, which rates the various ones. I would think you could book your bus tickets from your Mexico City hotel on your first day there.

I have stayed around the Mexico City zocalo at both the Hotel Majestic and the nearby Holiday Inn. The Majestic has lots of colonial atmosphere, plus a great rooftop restaurant overlooking the zocalo. It's a great place to stay, though when we were there in February we wound up moving to the Holiday Inn because the rooms at the Majestic didn't seem to be heated. The Holiday Inn rooms were nice but more generic. I wouldn't recommend the restaurant there.

I know you want to do a day/night trip to Oaxaca. It is doable, but I would find it frustrating to be in Oaxaca with so little time to spend, and the bus ride (5-6 hours on the nonstop bus) is really pretty boring. However, Monte Alban is fantastic, and the zocalo in Oaxaca is very charming. You can probably locate a room around the zocalo there just walking in, or there is a very nice B&B called Las Bugambilias that has a web site and is in walking distance up Alcala, one of the town's walking streets (closed to autos).

Have a great trip!
 
Old Jun 29th, 2002, 08:48 AM
  #19  
Rey
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Hi all, thanx for all the help, however due to a non-accomodating schedule with UNO, we are scratching the Oaxaca side trip. The earliest trip there leaves at 830am, and we are not to keen on leaving at 12am either. Any other suggestions for a side trip while we are in Mexico City? (Note, we are interested in ruins!)
 
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