No plan in my life is ever carved in stone but it is still our intention to go to Mexico in mid-August and stay a couple of months. We aren't sure where we are going and if we will be traveling or renting an apartment. Either way, I couldn't wait any longer, I had to get my hands on the Lonely Planet Mexico guidebook. This would help us, right?
WRONG! Mexico is so big, beautiful, and so varied in food & traditions, how can we narrow it down? I am a longtime fan of LP guides and I've been flipping through this book for a couple weeks, and the one thing I have decided is that we need more time in Mexico.
Unfortunately there is a time limit. We will be working on the Christmas Light Pros in October in Atlanta. I tried to narrow down an itinerary of 10 places I'd like to see:
1. Mexico City - Ernesto has never been there, and I definitely have more to see. We have starwood hotel points, so this will be our starting point. I also have an idea that we will eat only from markets/street food while we are there. Don't you think that would be so cool?
There are a couple things nearby Mexico City that I want to check out while we are there too:
* Teotihuacan - ancient ruins
* Taxco - old colonial silver mining town
* Tepotzlan - a smallish city in a lush valley surrounded by mountains, one of which has a 700 year old Aztec pyramid built on it. Also, Aileen (an aquaintance from my Habitat India Trip lives there with her husband and she has invited us to visit.
2. San Miguel de Allende- beautiful colonial architecture and cobblestone streets make this artist town quaint and picturesque, but I have heard that the 10,000 foreigners living here makes it very commercialized. This could be why it's said to have the best restaurants, art galleries and schools. This maybe where Neto takes some cooking classes and I take a photography and/or jewelry class.
5. Guanajuato- Once a rich silver and gold mining town, Guanajuato was a declared a Unesco World Heritage city in 1988. Just from this picture I was hooked. The grand colonial buildings, tree-filled plazas and brightly colored houses build onto the steep slopes make this city so attractive to me.
3. Zacatecas- I cut this picture out of a travel magazine (over 8 years ago) of the Quinta Real hotel in Zacatecas. It is the country's oldest bullring and it was reconstructed as a luxury hotel. Must see.
4. Durango- It seems to be a cool cowboy town with mountains and sand dunes, but more importantly, Ernesto has family here. I have met several people who live there and were visiting San Diego, so it should be great fun. Also we are planning to do the 200 mile bike race from there to Mazatlan on the Pacific coast in mid- September.
6. Guadalajara- Another city where Ernesto has family, Guadalajara, I have read, is a cosmopolitan city, that has kept its colonial charm. I can't wait to explore it! The shopping is going to be great with many markets, food and artisan.
I mapped it out for you here, and I think we will go counter-clockwise from Mexico City.
The three T cities near Mexico City can all be day trips. Then we will head north to San Miguel de Allende and continue the circle, flying home from Guadalajara. I guess you can call this a "plan". Besides Mexico City, I have never been to any of these cities, so I am really excited to explore new territory.
Do you know any of these cities? Please leave [in the comments] any suggestions you may have, I would love to hear them. Viva Mexico!