Since we are creeping up on our next trip to Oaxaca, I figure I better get my pictures from our last trip posted already. Before our trip I wasn’t sure what to expect from Oaxaca City, given the amount of buzz I had seen in travel magazines and on blogs. I was sort of expecting something like San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful Epcot version of Mexico full of tourists and gringos.
I was wrong, and pleasantly surprised with how tranquila the city was. While it is certainly breathtakingly beautiful, it was also remarkably low-key and self-assured. If there were roving packs of tourists, we missed them.
What we did find were bountiful mercados, incredible food - both in restaurants and on the side of the road, surprisingly excellent shopping, and unsurprisingly kind people. Now I understand the bumper stickers and ads that I see all over DF that read: Oaxaca Corazon de Mexico.
We’ve already booked our return trip next month and I am counting down the days, making a list of things I will be sure to buy/eat/drink/see this time around. I’m sure La Guelaguetza changes the feel of the city considerably, but I am excited to be there for the celebration.
We stayed at the Hotel Azul Oaxaca and will stay there again when we return. It is centrally located and has an amazing breakfast in the courtyard - the chilaquiles are not to be missed. Flights from Mexico City to Oaxaca are well timed and reasonably priced for a weekend getaway. We left Mexico City early Saturday morning and were in Oaxaca in time for breakfast.
Last weekend we had a group of friends visit us in Mexico City and it was just. so. much. fun. Of course a weekend is not nearly enough time to see Mexico City, but we did our best. We climbed pyramids, rode a trajinera in Xochimilco, wandered around town, drank mezcal, saw Frida’s house, ate tlacoyos, and sat in cantinas. We listened to Mariachis. We laughed at old jokes. We danced.
We didn’t do anything this weekend that we hadn’t already done, but it was still fun to see our city through our visitors’ eyes. With as many negative comments as I get back in the US about living in Mexico City, it was so great to see my friends show up with open minds and really enjoy this city. I hope more people do the same. We are always up for visitors!
Slowly but surely I am getting through my photos from our trip to Oaxaca. We spent about half a day exploring the Zapotec ruins at Monte Albán. I don’t think I have been as impressed with the scale of an archeological site in Mexico since I first visited Teotihuacan six years ago. The two civilizations overlapped and interacted in the Terminal Formative period, making Monte Albán the oldest site we have visited in Mexico. It was pretty fantastic.
We were fortunate enough to go on a weekday, so we basically had the place to ourselves. If you can avoid the weekend at any site in Mexico I highly recommend it. It really makes a big difference.
Monte Albán is only about 9km from Oaxaca City and is more than worth the short drive. We also visited Santa Maria Atzompa on the way back into town, which is known for its green pottery and where I had some excellent mole at a roadside restaurant.
I hope everyone had a great week. Here is a short little vid from our time in Oaxaca to enjoy on your Saturday morning. And if you think this is the last you will hear about wonderful Oaxaca, then you are just fooling yourselves! Coming up on This Gringo Honeymoon:
I love this photo of me and my mom. I gave her a framed copy on my wedding day because it reminds me so much of what my mom meant to me as a kid. She was always a safe, comfortable place in my life. She is still that place to me. Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful, strong, loving mother. I love you.
PS - if you are still looking for gift ideas, consider giving the mom in your life the gift of a safe delivery for a mom-to-be in danger. Moms, of all people, will appreciate how important this is.
We are back from a wonderful weekend in Oaxaca and had such a great time. I am already planning our return trip this summer. Here is an instagram preview of some of the great things I will have to share from this trip as soon as I get my camera unpacked.
I’m visiting Oaxaca [the city] for the first time two weeks from now and could not be more excited. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to do much research on what we should see and do while we are there. A visit to Monte Albán is definitely on the list, but what else should we be sure not to miss? We don’t have to see everything this time around because we are planning to go back this summer for La Guelaguetza, but I thought I would start looking now for suggestions of what to see, eat and do.
I also had to share this commercial for the state of Oaxaca, produced and directed by Pedro Torres and Diego Pernía respectively as part of Televisa’s Estrellas del Bicentenario series that came out a few years ago during the bicentennial. The amazing footage of Monte Albán has me so excited for our visit. Also, a jaguar!
This post is long overdue, but I finally got around to downloading photos from the daytrip we took to Chichén Itzá during our holiday in Tulum earlier this year. I figure I should share as many pictures of Mexican ruins as I can before the Mundo Maya craze of 2012 fades. You might remember that I have some Mundo Maya travel resolutions of my own lined up for this year. We are planning a Yucatán roadtrip this Fall to knock out the remainder of the sites on my list. But — seeing as how I have already hit three sites on my list and haven’t shared pictures from any of those trips — I should have a few good posts to hold us over until the Fall.
I visited the Yucatán three times before I finally made it to Chichén Itzá. It’s long been on my list of sites to see in Mexico, so I’m not sure why it took me so long. In my mind I had visions of me scaling El Castillo, remembering the stories my parents told me of huffing up the pyramid when they visited years [decades?] ago. Alas, El Castillo has been closed to climbers since a woman fell to her death in 2006. Rightly so. I think that the Mexican government would be wise to keep sweaty tourists off their precious ruins for the sake of preservation, if not liability. Still, I selfishly get a thrill out of climbing up these ancient piles of rock.
Perhaps I had built expectations too high in my mind. Perhaps I’ve been living in Mexico City too long, taking guests to climb Teotihuacan on weekends, and have become accustomed to seeing such remarkable sites. Or perhaps it was the bus loads of tourists that I wasn’t exactly prepared for…
…but as soon we got through the gates I made the decision to take some pictures and get back in the car and back to the beach by sunset. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a magnificent site and I am glad I’ve seen it. But I didn’t get the same rush of excitement from visiting Chichén Itzá as I got when I visited the sites at Tulum or Cobá. Maybe I already knew too much about what we were going to see, maybe expectations were just too high. I don’t know.
Still, I would recommend any visitor to the Yucatán visit Chichén Itzá if he has the opportunity. How could you miss seeing one of the largest cities built by the ancient Maya? But I would also recommend adding the smaller site at Tulum to your list for its stunning beauty and adding Cobá for its breathtaking pyramid surrounded by jungle and lagoons. And for the love of all that is holy, if you go to Chichén Itzá, try and beat the tour buses.
I guess there is nothing wrong with having a uniform. This spring I am all about adding in the NEON! I love it paired with neutrals and I love a bright little pair of shorts. I am also indulging in neon pink manicures when I don’t have client meetings and will be rewarding myself after my half-marathon next month with this little guy.
I hope it’s a bright season for you too - keep an eye out for me in Mexico City and DC, you won’t be able to miss me.
Hi there! I'm Kristin. This Gringo Honeymoon is where I blog about the things I like and the places I go. I live in Mexico City with my husband the diplomat, Lucy the English Bulldog and Mila the Mexican street dog More...