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View Full Version : Urgent - Kind people, I need advice for a trip to Mexico next week!!


philmar
30th of September 2009 (Wed), 12:21
In a week's time I will be landing in Mexico City DF for a 9 day adventure. I only decided 2 days ago to go to Mexico. I am redeeming some Air-asia points that expire this month and that is the furthest I can get with my points. So I really have only a week to plan this escapade as best I can. I have been to Baja Sur and loved the desert, mountain meets beach landscape. I am wondering where/what I should do in my 9 days. My biggest passion is photography. As I am not a culture vulture, I would prefer being out snapping photos to endless hours in amazing museums. But I do plan to spend a few hours (midday period when the sun is too harsh) in a few of DFís remarkable museums. I live in an urban setting (Toronto) so I do prefer to see quieter calmer places when on vacation. In other words I donít see myself spending all my time in Mexico City DF.
I am asking all you Mexico Experts where you think I should go in the 9 short days Iíll have. I am not against an internal return flight as I am no longer a starving student/backpacker. Still have the backpacker attitude but am will to spend on transportation if it saves me time. So obviously my aim is to visit locales that provide nice images of Mexico. I donít think the DF urban sprawl is the only thing Iíll want to record. Obviously Iíll visit the nearby pyramids. I have noticed that Taxco is a very picturesque town. Are there similarly postcard perfect towns I can see? Is Puebla visually stunning or just culturally rich? Are the nearby volcanoes worth a trip to see? I am not against heading to the Pacific for coastal scenes. I know Acapulco is close. How close? Are the night buses to and from DF safe? Iíve heard stories in Baja about some night buses being robbed in Mexico but am not sure if that is a regional problem or if it is countrywide (or a thing of the past). I prefer smaller fishing villages to resorts so are there interesting and scenic villages that are a bus ride away from DF (realizing Iíll overnight at the coast as I want sunset and sunrise shots there).

So there you have it. Knowing that I have 9 days starting and ending in Mex City DF, can anyone suggest possible itinerary stops knowing that I value picturesque locales. I really like to spend some time in DF, picturesque towns like Taxco as well as perhaps seeing the ocean for a day or two.
As always, I thank all helpful and kind responses in advance Ė CHEERS!!

dbdigitals
2nd of October 2009 (Fri), 17:50
Well, it has been ~10 years since I spent a summer studying in Mexico, but I will do my best to recall what you can do near Mexico City.
You will want to visit the pyramids at Teotihuacan. The sun is crazy bright so bring a UV filter/Polarizing filter if you have one.
Here is a quick link http://www.differentworld.com/mexico/areas/mexico-city/guide-teotihuacan.htm

Next is the city itself. You should visit the National Palace and get some good pictures of Diego Rivera's frescos.
See here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Palace_%28Mexico%29

There is also a awesome resturant that overlooks the national palace (if facing the entrance to the palace it is to your left with an outdoor patio. on the 3rd or 4th floor if I remember correct.
I am sorry I cant remember the name but it would provide a great view of the national palace for pictures (as well as some really good mole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_%28sauce%29)

There is also a concert hall and the angel of independence statue etc... so much to see and do.
Here is a link to maybe help you plan some stuff out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico_City

Either way, you will have a great time (I do hope you can speak at least some Spanish though as that would really help in getting some local suggestions when you are there).

Have fun.

D.

philmar
5th of October 2009 (Mon), 08:36
Thanks for the reply.
I was seeking locations other than MC DF. I am now deciding between Guanajuato, San Migeul de Allende, Puebla and Taxco. I will spend some time in the capital but the wife has security concerns (i'e. paranoia about media representations of Mexico) so we'll be heading for calmer smaller cities.

proinwv
5th of October 2009 (Mon), 08:40
Taxco is lovely, remote, photogenic and fascinating if you like silver crafts. You can take a tour there.

Puerto Vallarta is a great, friendly place. They appreciate tourists, and the trips that you can take into the mountains are great for fun and foto.

It has been several years since we have been there. So, check into the safety issues for foreign tourists.

dbdigitals
5th of October 2009 (Mon), 11:27
Thanks for the reply.
I was seeking locations other than MC DF. I am now deciding between Guanajuato, San Migeul de Allende, Puebla and Taxco. I will spend some time in the capital but the wife has security concerns (i'e. paranoia about media representations of Mexico) so we'll be heading for calmer smaller cities.

No problem, how about these then.
Oaxaca http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaxaca to check out Monte Alban
San Cristůbal de las Casas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Crist%C3%B3bal_de_las_Casas where you can hit up Agua Azul http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agua_Azul as well as a lot of the local native towns.

Let me know if you want any more suggestions.
I have traveled pretty extensively (albeit ~10 years ago) over Meso America.

D.

philmar
7th of October 2009 (Wed), 22:19
Thanks for your sincere replies.
I have decided to brave Mexico City for 5 of those days and spend 4 between Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. I am attracted to the colonial architecture and colours of those 2 towns. If you check the threads that I've started, you'll see I really am in to photographic urban fragment/details.

philmar
23rd of October 2009 (Fri), 16:58
I'm back. Mexico's colonial highlands are a treasuretrove of photo ops!!

Check it out:
http://www.flickriver.com/photos/phil_marion/sets/

More to come. thanks for all the input!!

mochoajr
29th of October 2009 (Thu), 11:28
Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato. You can actually take a 1st class bus from the Mexico City airport to Queretaro; they're very comfortable. San Miguel is then 45 minutes from Queretaro.

proinwv
29th of October 2009 (Thu), 11:43
Very nice pics! Good work.

Did you have much trouble in having people allow you to take their pictures? Your people are wonderful.

philmar
30th of October 2009 (Fri), 09:32
Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato. You can actually take a 1st class bus from the Mexico City airport to Queretaro; they're very comfortable. San Miguel is then 45 minutes from Queretaro.

Thanks.
I actually choose to spend some time in DF. The 1rst class buses (ETN company) to/from San Miguel and Guanajuato were just that: First Class. They leave from the Northern Bus Station.

StudiooneLA
22nd of November 2009 (Sun), 22:57
NIce photos I too will be traveling to DF in a few weeks any tips? hope to catch some great shots I also will be there for 9 days, any tips would be greatly appreciated, I do have family there so they will help out on navigating through the city, just wondering how your experience was since I'll be traveling with wife and 2 young kids, Thanks!

Butch Cassidy
25th of November 2009 (Wed), 19:15
Go to the square there. also some of the churches are great places to see ans shoot ( ask first) just arround the streets all the statues and people. be careful you can get robbed at any location. the markets and museums are great ops places. Have a great trip.

philmar
27th of November 2009 (Fri), 14:54
NIce photos I too will be traveling to DF in a few weeks any tips? hope to catch some great shots I also will be there for 9 days, any tips would be greatly appreciated, I do have family there so they will help out on navigating through the city, just wondering how your experience was since I'll be traveling with wife and 2 young kids, Thanks!

Thanks - my experience with el DF was that it is a massive sprawling metropolis - too big/crowded to want to live there but a great place to take photos. Sadly I too was with the wife so my style was cramped (unable to get out for early morning shots as she was unable, afriad to meet me somewhere. Guanajuato and San Miguel were easier for me/us. I'd read enough about security in el DF that perhaps I was a bit overanxious, I don't know. It is easy to assume you are a target there. I didn't feel as threatened as I did shooting in Rio de Janeiro but I didn't research the city as much and read as much fearmongering (justified or not). I was in el DF only on weekends when the streets are even more crowded. I'd read Coyoacan was nice on the weekend- and it is, but it is simpy too crowded for my tastes for taking photos.
Having family will be a boon - for me paranoia about where/how to get a return taxi was a hassle.

StudiooneLA
29th of November 2009 (Sun), 11:34
Thanks philmar for the info, Yeah it seems like the media in the states builds up this feeling of it not being safe, but as with any large metro area I think that comes with the territory. As you can see from my sig I'm from L.A. so it might be a little easier I belive for me to adjust not to mention I am also Mexican, but I have the wife who has never been south of Ensenada so I think she might have some reservations thanks to the media.

Did you ever feel uneasy or feel like you were being watched? Sometimes you don't feel safe when there is also a language barrier, I should shoot a docu-style video while there and get to the bottom of this LOL! I recently read that Mexico City's mayor has banded street vendors from some of the downtown streets and also cars from certain streets in the city on weekends in order to make the city a more comfortable feel for the residents and tourists.

I'm definitely gonna hit the Temples, Castle, Museums, floating gardens, and Frida's home.
would also like to hit a soccer game and maybe a bullfight, well wish me luck and I hope to come back with some nice shots,
damn wish I had laptop to lug with me! LOL!

philmar
29th of November 2009 (Sun), 20:57
As you can see from my photostream I travel a lot (my photostream represents just the last 4 years). From traveling, I speak enough Spanish to get by. Whenever I was nervous it was in areas like Parque Alameda in the evening when the sun was about to set. I wasn't that worried in the middle of the day - except when I needed a taxi. Heard too many horror taxi stories that I am sure amplify their occurrences. Street robbery is unheard of in even a large city like Toronto. Mexico City was way too crowded during the day too feel unsafe. Felt safer than lower East Side or East Kansas City to me. It's just when it is dark that I wanted to get my $4000+ camera kit off of the streets.

philmar
29th of November 2009 (Sun), 20:59
Bullfight = yes, it was off season when I was there. And the only soccer game was the sold-out World Cup clincher against either Honduras or El Salvador (can't remember)

renegg
5th of December 2009 (Sat), 16:30
Hello if you ever come back to Mexico I will strongly suggest you to go to Chiapas, It is a wonderful place , nice people, and plenty plenty of places to get some great photography. I haven't travel from DF to Chiapas in car or bus since I live in the very Northern part of Mexico, but I think its about 10 hours. San Miguel de Allende it is also beautiful, it is also worth visiting.

Renť

GRINinfums
10th of December 2009 (Thu), 05:14
well i thought that of the valley also, i then met people through my kids sports programs and now my view is different. I think the people of the valley are more rural and self sufficient from years gone by so being helpful and courteous is not always up front to see. There are lots of very nice people here, you just need to look .

sorry your stay was not what you wished for.