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6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

Honolulu, Hawaii...
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6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

I'm planning on traveling around Mexico from May 11th to July 1st. I want to travel cheap, staying in hostels, home stays or with some host families. I want to avoid tourist places like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta.

I have taken Spanish 101 and 102 so I speak a little Spanish. I want to immerse myself and learn as much as possible about the culture, the people, the language, oh and the cuisine!

I plan on walking across the border from San Diego to Tijuana and than taking a bus into the interior. I definitely want to spend a week in Mexico City and i would like to visit Morelia and Oaxaca. I am still researching on what other cities or towns I should visit.

As of now I am planning this trip alone but I may meet up with some travel buddies along the way. Im 32 yrs old, male caucasian. Is $2000 enough for a six week trip. That would be about $325-$335 a week or $45-$50 a day.

Thanks for reading. Any advice or suggestion are much appreciated.

Connecticut
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1. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

Hi, I think that it is really wonderful that you are planning this trip. We are going to be visiting my dad's family in Jalisco Mexico this summer for 6 wks from June to mid July and I also have been thinking about budgeting ideas. We were just there for 3 weeks last Xmas and I just wanted to let you know that the bus travel within Mexico is very affordable, but try to take the first class buses always as the "servicios coordinados" are the less expensive and multi-multi stop buses. A good bus line is called PrimeraPlus, they have a website. Have you thought about doing a language class in a town like Oaxaca? There are programs that provide home stays as well. I think you should be fine if you do your homework on lodging and travel costs. Also, remember to negotiate with street vendors & Taxi drivers, don't get into the car without arranging a price first and being very clear on how many pesos you place in the driver's hand. My husband got fooled one time while in Mexico city. Wish you well, be very shrewd & safe!

San Miguel de...
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2. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

Your budget is quite low, but it is relatively easy to find places to stay for around $25US a night and you could also try couch surfing. Your money will go further if you can share a room with a companion. I don't think it will stretch to a language course, good idea though it is.

Distances are large, so travelling all the way to Oaxaca overland is quiet daunting. Take a look to see if there are any cheap flights from Tijuana to Mexico City or even Guadalajara (Volaris and Inerjet). They may not be more expensive than a bus and there is really not much to see in the north: it's literally desert!. Consider taking night buses to save on accommodation: for longer distances in the south they tend to be the only option anyway. Primera Plus is just one of many good bus companies, but it only covers areas to the north of Mexico City.

Street taxis in the capital have meters, and are perfectly safe these days. But the metro is cheap and easy to use. Ditto the metrobus. Elsewhere taxi fares are 'negotiable'. Locals know the correct rate of course but you should ask. A short ride shouldn't be more than $30P.

Get a good guidebook!

Honolulu, Hawaii...
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3. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

Thanks for the advice and info. I definitely plan on using night buses so I can save on lodging and get some sleep while moving across the land. And I know about negotiating with street vendors and taxi drivers. I have traveled a lot in the Philippines and others parts of Southeast Asia and have learned to agree on price before taking a ride.

I thought about just flying down to Mexico City and touring the Southern region of Mexico since the North is all desert. If I fly from Honolulu to San Diego (RT) it is about $450 but if I fly from Honolulu to Mexico City it will be $900. The Mexico City option is twice the price but then I wouldn't have to worry about making my way from Tijuana to Mexico City and then back up when I'm ready to return. I'm really thinking of doing the second option since most of what I want to see is in the South.

Here are a few places I want to visit: Durango. Morelia and the Palacio Clavijero. Leon and the Heroe's Causeway Arch. Santiago de Queretaro. Oaxaca. Tapachula. Villahermosa. Chetumal and the Mayan ruins at Becan. I love history, beautiful architecture, nature and good foods. Those are the aspects of Mexico which I hope to take in during my trip. I also may want to go to Guatemala or Belize if I have the money and/or time to do so.

Guadalajara, Mexico
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4. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

Hi James, I reiterate what Londinese says, use your time now to research cheap flights within MX. You are in Hawaii where distances are small, I don´t know if you can quite picture the vastness of N Mexico. I actually find I save $$ by flying the distances for ex. from TIJ to BJX.

All this of course is opinion but I find focusing on one or up to 3 places is more rewarding, also less expensive. You then get a good cheap place to stay and meet people and get a better look at the place. Just our region, from Zacatecas to Gto to SMA to SLP to the Huasteca and even Durango to the north and DF down there is incredibly rich. I just went to Durango with my Russian math prof friend, he was needing a few pine trees, incredibly beautiful, we got a little cabin in the hills for like $20 USD a night and it was great.

Don´t even get me going about the awesome road Durango to Mazatlan.

But really to travel and save $$ for me its usually better to key a few places, and be a semi-resident. I am perhaps older than you but really do not like the "sleep on the bus overnite" routine. I find I get exhausted and so do not fully participate in the next day´s wonders. You are welcome to PM me with questions about this central MX region.

Texas
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5. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

This video is about Querétaro, in case you do go there. I hope you have a great trip and enjoy mi hermoso México

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M0riYDMWFus

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

With this budget - Night buses for sleeping is a good idea when possible- for example, Tijuana to Mexico City.

You MUST see Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Mexico City, Puebla, Morelia, Oaxaca, after all this, chilling out on the beaches of Oaxaca state (Zipolite, Huatulco, etc) would be a great way to decompress.

There are many cheap hotel options along this route. It will take time, but you will be blown away by the culture, nightlife, and FOOD (Espcially in Puebla and Oaxaca)

Don't forget to eat at the markets. The cheapest and BEST food.

Let us know how it goes.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

I think you should look into finding a cheap flight from TJ into the interior. like a commenter mentioned earlier, you should be able to find some cheap flights. Plus it would be much safer. I spent 2 years living in central Mexico, and the news had plenty stories about buses being pulled over and the passengers robbed. I don't want to sound like an alarmist, but IMHO it isn't safe to travel that type of distance in a bus. A friend of mine drove from central Mexico to Houston to spend a few months, and after that experience he decided to fly back home, and have his car delivered to him later. Another Mexico friend had to take a bus from Guanajuato to Durango, he had to make this trip, and he did so with much trepidation. As Londinense, mentioned, in his post, I think Interjet and Volaris will be your best bets.

Dexter, Michigan
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8. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

First class bus travel in Mexico is quite safe in terms of robbery. More and more lines are video taping the passengers just before departure. That way if one of them turns out to be a robber they are identifyable. Also, first class buses only pick up passengers at stations. Robberies happen. BUT... look at how many buses are on the road at any given time. Must be in the thousands. How often do you hear of a robbery? You have better odds to win the Mexican lottery.

Homer Glen, Illinois
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9. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

I would suggest flying in to Mexico City too. Give yourself at least a week there and I would hit up lots of places in the south - I did a 10-day trip starting in Puebla (where I was living) that went through the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca and I believe it cost somewhere between $500 and $700.

If I had as much time as you though, I would start and end in Mexico City and then take your time traveling via bus (overnight trips are great for saving money so you don't have to get a hotel or hostel) to places like Cuernavaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Villahermosa, places up in the Yucatan (didn't get up that way ever, but hear it is amazing), Palenque, ruins on the boarder of Guatemala, San Cristobal, Puerto Escondido and the city of Oaxaca.

Happy travels! You will find a lot of great food, amazing ruins, beautiful nature, awesome architecture and more in all these places. And stay safe. Mexico in the areas I just described is generally safe, but like another person said, I would recommend taking first class buses everywhere and in some areas I would stay away from traveling at night, you'll just have to research them individually.

10. Re: 6 weeks in Mexico with US$2,000

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