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12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

Denver, Colorado
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12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

My boyfriend and I are traveling to Mexico January 18th-30th and are trying to decide how long to stay in each of the cities listed above. We are in our 20s and plan to spend most of our time experiencing/learning about the cuisine of each of the cities (he is a chef), but other than that we don't have a defined list of sights we are set on seeing yet. Our plan was to split it up pretty evenly (about 3 days in each location, including travel between) but I was hoping to get some thoughts from someone who has traveled to all/ a few of these cities to see if there is anywhere we should stay at longer than another place.

Other comments: We are both fluent Spanish speakers. We are thinking to take a short half-day trip out to Teotihuacan from DF -- anything must-see suggestions in other cities? We are planning on staying in ~$100/nt avg accommodations -- no hotels yet booked.

Thanks in advance!

San Miguel de...
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1. Re: 12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

4 cities in 12 days with travel might be a bit much. I know that when I've tried to cram too much into too little time, it seems more like work than fun. And everything in Mexico always seems to take longer than you plan. I might suggest skipping Veracruz and spending more time in Oaxaca and DF. A good hotel in Puebla and well under your budget is Hotel Colonial. Great location and double pane windows which is rare. As far as sights, (if you like ruins) Monte Alban in Oaxaca is always good and only 10 minutes outside of town, and you can walk the grounds in about an hour and a half. The ruins themselves are not spectacular, but the setting overlooking the central valleys is. Oaxaca's Museo de Las Culturas de Oaxaca is worth the visit as well, if nothing else for the architecture and the view of the botanical gardens. Also in Oaxaca at the Mercado Benito Juarez, there is a coffee vendor that will custom blend your coffee, the stall is called Grano de Oro. They've been there since the 40's. While in Puebla, some suggest visiting the pyramid in Cholula, but its mostly a mound of dirt with a church on top and probably worth missing unless you are really, really into ruins.

Ixtapa, Mexico
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2. Re: 12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

I agree to skip Veracruz.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: 12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

I would skip Veracruz also. Good food, but the city isn't worth the commute. I would plan on spending half of your time in the DF. You may want to split it up, so you have time there at the beginning and end. Mexico City is great and has fabulous food, but is an intense place to be, so you might find it better to split your trip.

Puebla is a two hour bus ride. It is in my estimation more of a two night city. Make sure to visit Cholula while you are there. Oaxaca is best seen in 3-4 days. We loved staying at Hotel Catedral in Mexico City and Casa del Tia Tere in Oaxaca in that price range. While in Oaxaca we found it pretty cheap to hire a taxi by the hour--140 pesos--to visit Monte Alban (easily done in a little over an hour) and especially to visit Mitla/Yagul/El Tule. The driver waits for you and you come back relaxed and with more time to see the city.

Denver, Colorado
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4. Re: 12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

Thanks to all three of you for your help! We have decided to skip Veracruz and will just visit Mexico City, Puebla, and Oaxaca. Our trip now looks as follows:

- Saturday : Arrive in DF at noon.

- Stay at Hotel Catedral for 4 nights.

- Wednesday : Take a noon bus to Puebla

- Stay at Hotel Colonial for 3 nights

- Saturday : Take an 11:45 am bus to Oaxaca

- Stay at Casa del Tia Tere for 5 nights

- Fly Oaxaca to DF to the US.

We may switch this so that we stay in Mexico City for 5 nights and Oaxaca for 4 instead.

In addition, we have considered renting a car in Oaxaca since it seems like there is a fair amount close by in the region to see. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? We haven't ever rented a car internationally. I know it can be about $40/day in Mexico but my major concern is: would renting a car in Oaxaca give us added freedom, or would it likely be a hassle that just isn't worth the effort?

San Miguel de...
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5. Re: 12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

I would say it is worth the effort, especially if you take 190 SE out of town. Stops at Teotitlan del Valle (where they make the beautiful rugs), El Tule, Mitla, Hierve el Agua, Mezcal factories, and some smaller ruin sites are much easier to see with your own car. If you do go to Teotitlan, Casa Santiago has some particularly nice designs.

Columbia, South...
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6. Re: 12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

How can you skip Veracruz if he's a Chef????

Veracruz is basically the "New Orleans" of Mexico. It's mix of indigenous, Afrocuban and European cultures gives it a unique culinary experience. It seems to me you guys better do some reading.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: 12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

You may want to add a day to Mexico City for food. Get the book "Good food in Mexico City" by Nicholas Gilman online. So many great choices from street food to fine dining. Make sure to visit nearby inexpensive and great Cafe El Popular in DF. I wouldn't rent a car in Oaxaca. Parking and access are very limited. Tia Tere will arrange a taxi for you that will take you for 140 pesos an hour. Most sights outside of the city are half day trips. We spent about $40 US to hire a taxi to visit several sights. Easy and relaxing.

Ixtapa, Mexico
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8. Re: 12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

Footballer. We visited Veracruz for a few days 2 years ago. We were not impressed in general and especially with the food. If you have suggestions of restaurants that serve food to make it worth a visit, I am interested in knowing. Thank you.

9. Re: 12 day culinary trip -Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca

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