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Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

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London, United...
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Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

Hello forum! I just booked my flights for a Christmas holiday in Mexico. We're flying in from London to Mexico City on 17th Dec and returning on 28th Dec.

My wife would love to spend 3-4 days on a beach, and we'd also like to cover some Mayan ruins.

I don't know much about Mexico, so can someone suggest an itinerary for us? We're happy to explore car/bus/train/flights within Mexico as long as it's safe.

We've heard of Cancun so were thinking of including that as a beach destination, but if there are other better beaches in Mexico, we'd love to hear opinions.

many thanks!

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1. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

In my opinion, 10 nights might not be enough to get a beach/Mayan trip in the middle. You'd have to fly to Cancun for that and it would be very tight. A possibility for a beach would be Acapulco, but in my opinion is not worth it after coming all the way from Britain.

You might be better served taking your time exploring Mexico City and some of the cities relatively close by: Puebla, Taxco, Queretaro, Guanajuato, for instance.

If you really feel like going to Cancun, then you could do it right after you arrive to Mexico City. Do Cancun say, between Dec 17-22 and then Mexico City from the 22nd. Or you could put at the end of your trip. I wouldn't put it in the middle.

You'd have to fly to Cancun, of course.

Queretaro City...
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2. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

What airline are you flying? If coming on BA I would consider trying to change tickets to fly into Cancun and back from Mexico City with an internal flight between the two. Otherwise, form Mexico City you will find beaches at Acapulco at 6 hours by bus or Zihuatenejo (even further) - or another flight. (There is no network of trains in Mexico.) Lots of great options if you forget about the beach......

San Miguel de...
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3. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

Another option might be DF-Oaxaca-Huatulco. From Oaxaca city , there's ruins (Monte Alban, technically not Mayan) within a short taxi ride of the city. Mitla, a little farther out of town, and not as impressive. Aerotucan can fly you to Huatulco in about 45 minutes. Huatulco's beaches are not as nice as Cancun's, but they are among the nicest on the Pacific side. Quite a scenic setting though, with the hills and jungle as a backdrop to the beaches. It's also a FONATUR planned resort area like Cancun and Ixtapa for what it's worth. Personally, I'm of the mind that if someone wants to see the best of Mexico (food, music, artesania, culture, architecture, beaches & ruins) in one trip, Oaxaca would be the place to go. But that's just me.

Edited: 17 March 2014, 19:57
Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

I agree with the others.

Like this:

1. Mexico City and Teotihuacan (3 nights)

2. Puebla & CHolula 1 night (Food is divine here...)

3. Oaxaca City and Monte Alban (2 nights)

4. Huatulco 4 nights (Or Puerto Angel or Zipolite- All beautiful beaches)

Rushed tour, but you get :

Culture (Ancient Aztec, Toltec pyramids in Teotihuacan, CHolula and Monte Alban) Spanish colonial beauty (Parts of Mexico City, Puebla & Oaxaca City)

Amazing food all along the route (Mexico city is a foodie paradise and Puebla and Oaxaca are famous in Mexico for food)

And... you finish in a beautiful beach in Oaxaca state) (Either Huatulco, Zipolite of Puerto Angel)

All in a straight shot south from Mexico City. ;-)

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5. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

I agree with last post (though I would add another night in Oaxaca and skip the night in Puebla, or stop in Puebla to eat and continue to Oaxaca).

This other cultures ruines are still very impresive although maybe not as famous as the mayans.

But if you really want to see mayan then i would stay at least 4 nights in Cancun (or Playa or Tulum or Akumal) to see the highlights of the mayan culture on that region.

London, United...
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6. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

Thanks a lot everyone for your suggestions!

So for the above itinerary, would you suggest renting a car and driving around? Is it safe to drive for someone who doesn't know Spanish and may get lost at times?

Also, is it possible to drive to Cancun from Mexico City stopping at different cities along the way? We can then return the car at Cancun airport and fly back.

Mexico City, Mexico
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7. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

Well breaking it in parts:

Mexico City - Teotihuacan: yes you can drive and it is safe, it is also not very far away, I suggest google maps to see the route.

Mexico City - Puebla - Oaxaca: Mexico City to Oaxaca without stopping (only for gas or restroom) we usually make 5 hours, might be more depending on the traffic to get out of the city and the traffic in Puebla. The road from Mexico City to Oaxaca goes literally trough Puebla, and then you continue until the sign to divert roads to Oaxaca. Everything has signals so I don't think you might get lost. I always feel very safe on that road, and there is always police and "angeles verdes" that are small trucks that help people fix their car in case it is needed.

Oaxaca - Monte alban: totally doable, not far away (closer than Mexico - Teotihuacan) maybe 20 minutes. Very touristy so very safe.

Oaxaca - Huatulco. Oh well... now that one is doable but the road is not that good and it's got lots and lots and lots and lots and even more curves in the midle of the mountains. Also is only two lanes (one each way) with not so much place to spare and there are a lot of heavy small and slow trucks. Because of that even when is not a long distance you migh do 8 hours to get to Huatulco without stopping.

For all of the above I recomend just taking the first class buss ADO. Those are totally safe and quite cheap. Mexico - Oaxaca they do 6 hours and maybe a bit more because of the traffic to get out of Mexico, but 6 is their average. Oaxaca -. Huatulco in about 8 hours, I suggest taking it at night so you don't feel the curves. So I would also suggest the 45 minute fly from Oaxaca to Huatulco.

Now, it is a LONG way to do Mexico - Cancun and I mean very long way. ADO busses make I think 23 hours. If you drive it you can stop at Campeche, Tabasco, Merida and finally Cancun. I did it (okay it was my father driving) long time ago but it is the same road, we just went when it was new. It is safe.

For all that driving you have to consider also that to get to Teotihuacan, Puebla, Oaxaca and Cancun you have to pay tolls and obviously the gas.

To get to Cancun I would just recommend flying. It's less than two hours and not that expensive. Once in Cancun you can take tours to visit the Mayan ruins or drive, but for that I suggest taking a dive on the Cancun forum and the "driving and renting cars in Cancun" topics.

Edited: 18 March 2014, 06:15
Queretaro City...
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8. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

As stated, Mexico City to Cancun will take 20+ hours of non-stop driving and the expense will be enormous because of the one-way drop-off fee (as much as £700) - plus around £30 a day for the rental plus gas plus tolls....... It is too much for just 10 days as you won't leave yourself much time to actually see anywhere. More comfortable would be Mexico City/Puebla/Oaxaca/Huatulco (or Puerto Escondido) and then fly back to Mexico City.

London, United...
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9. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

thanks everyone for your comments - this has increased my understanding of Mexico! Driving from Mexico City to Cancun seems out then, and we can rent a car around MEX for a couple of days.

Tried to see if we can do without a beach, but the missus really wants to spend a few days at the beach, and have to go with it!

So this is what it looks like for now:

1. arrive Mexico City on 17th Dec and spend 3 nights there (including Teotihuacan)

2. 3 nights in Oaxaca, including Puebla (where in Oaxaca?)

3. 4 nights at a beach so we get Christmas at a resort - would you recommend Baja California or Cancun or some other place? Our return flight is from MEX only, and can't be changed. So most likely we'll take an internal low cost flight to a beach place. We love clear waters, white sandy beaches, snorkelling, canoeing and lovely sea food....don't like rocky/pebbles on the beach. We see a lot of pebble beaches here in Europe anyway. What's the best option?

Mexico City, Mexico
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10. Re: Itinerary suggestions - 10 nights

I wouldn't rent a car. Driving in or around Mexico City is not easy and signage is scarce or poorly designed. There is a considerable chance you will get lost and then you'll lose valuable time just trying to find the places you are going to. Other people do all the things you want to do around Mexico City using public or shared transport and don't have any issues.

I'd prefer Cancun over Baja, just because you also want to see Mayan ruins.