LAGUNA BACALAR

LAGUNA BACALAR

How to get there? Hop on to an ADO bus to Bacalar.

Where to stay? I got recommended the Green Monkey and I loved it there. I camped in my own tent and every morning I would unzip it for the sun rise. You can also hire tents there, sleep in dorms or in a bus. If I didn’t have my tent I would have slept on the bus, its an old American school bus that they have turned into a dorm, with beds and fly nets.

Laguna Bacalar after a massive rainstorm.

Where to eat? The hostel had a kitchen, but there is also lots of food places in town.

What to do? You have to do the sunrise stand up paddle board tour. It was magical and so cheap.

Extra info.. Great stop over place before heading for Belize.

On my second time in Mexico after Bacalar I headed over to Belize, but your other option would be to head up north into the Jungle, Palenque. You will be waking up to the sound of Howler Monkeys.

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PALENQUE

PALENQUE

(Read original blog post here)

How to get there? ADO bus to Palenque and then you want to catch a collectivo that is right out the from of the bus station to El Pachan, don’t stay in the city.

Where to stay? There is a few accommodation options in El Pachan. The cheapest one is Jungle Palace you can get a shared bathroom for 100 mexican pesos. They don’t take bookings, rooms are allocated on first in first serves basis. If you are traveling with someone its worth looking at Margaritas its a bit newer. Be warned there is no kitchen or free wifi. They do have two restaurants where you can get breakfast, lunch, dinner and purchase wifi.

Where to eat? The two restaurants they have there or get a collectivo into town.

What to do? Most people come for the ruins, which are hidden in the jungle this could also be a day trip activity without having to spend any time in Palenque.

The Palenque ruins from the ruins.

Another popular activity is visiting Agua Azul but when we were there, there were riots and protest going on so the road was closed. We ended up going to Roberto Barrios waterfalls twice which was cool because they are so huge. We had a completely different experience both times, the waterfall has lots of underwater caves that you can explore.

Roberto Barrios waterfalls.

Party? You can have a few drinks at the restaurant but its a pretty chill place.

The next stop on the gringo trail is San Cristobal, there is a road connecting the two. Although when we were there the road was closed or at times just avoided because of the protests against the government. The protesters were robbing and setting tourist buses on fire. San Cristobal is a beautiful city up in the mountains, the temperatures there are nice and refreshing. The city was built for tourism so there are a lot of cobblestone pedestrian only streets and the city is jam packed with souvenir shops, delicious restaurants, cafes, and numerous bars.

SAN CRISTOBAL

SAN CRISTOBAL

How to get there? ADO bus to San Cristobal, we actually booked a tour from Palenque that visited 3 waterfalls and then dropped us off in San Cristobal.

Where to stay? I stayed at Puerta Vieja Hostel. The breakfast is included and there was always a sweet and savoury option, both looked delicious. They offer free yoga and every second night they have all you can drink Mojitos (strong and delicious) for the ladies.

Where to eat? There is just so many choices. A lot of the wine bars offer free tapas with every drink you buy.

What to do? They have huge markets, a beautiful church, lots of shopping and great coffee shops to relax in.

Visit El Arcotete go zip lining for 100 Mexican pesos and explore the caves for 10 Mexican pesos. Its a nice place to come with a group and have a picnic. They also have lots of this funny single rope swings everywhere. You can get a local bus there or a taxi.

Photo taken of me of the funny one rope swing.
Photo taken from the cave tour of the view.

Sumidero Canyon tour, you can go with a tour or on your own, do the tour because it is the same price and easier.

The Sumidero Canyon.

Party? Start the night of with a free Mojito or a tapas and wine, and end it in a Mezcal bar or a Salsa Bar.

Enough of the big city life, next stop the Pacific coast, Puerto Escondido.

PUERTO ESCONDIDO

PUERTO ESCONDIDO

How to get there? Ado bus to Puerto Escondido it will drop you off in the city part but you can also get a taxi to Playa Zicatela.

Where to stay? I stayed at Vivo Escondido its a great hostel in town, walking distance from a few beaches. But there are also lots of accommodation available on the beach in Zicatela.

Where to eat? You absolutely have to go to Fish Taco and Beer and order an Octopussy taco, it is the best taco I have ever had and this place was recommended to be by a local. Amazing, delicious, 5 stars.

Photo take at the Fish Taco and Beer.

I also had lots of delicious things from the markets and if you stay at Vivo Escondido there is a fresh coconut place just down the street. The girl that works there is great, she taught me how to tell the difference between and young and old coconuts. After you finish drinking it she will cut it open for you and serve it with a lime, I highly recommend squeezing it in and adding some hot sauce, such a delicious way to eat a coconut.

Photo taken of the coconut before I covered it with hot sauce.

What to do? You can do a tour to swim with the bioluminescence, explore the secluded beaches around the town and learn how to surf.

Party? There are lots of beach bars in Zicatela.

Extra info.. Make sure to explore further down the coast.

Next…I left my big back at the hostel and packed a my little one with all the essentials and set off for the neighbouring beach towns. I stayed a few nights in Mazunte and took a day trip to the nudist beach Zipolite, where I popped my nudist beach cheery.

MAZUNTE & ZIPOLITE

MAZUNTE & ZIPOLITE

How to get there? To get here you first have to get to Puerto Escondido and then you will get a collectivo to Mazunte.

Where to stay? Posada del Arquitecto is a very popular option and I actually wanted to stay there but they also don’t do bookings and work on first in first served basis and once you are in you are in so they never know who is going to check out until after check out. But don’t worry there are lots of other option in the street. Some how I got super lucky while trying to find a cheap deal. This guy saw me and said he had a friend that owns a hostel up the hill. I spoke with the owner of that hostel and unfortunately the price was too much but he then offered me another option a property he had on the beach. I somehow got a private place with a kitchen for cheaper. I did have a stoned Italian roomie but he was great.

Photo taken from where I stayed in Mazunte.

Where to eat? If you stay at a place with no kitchen there are restaurants along the main strip. Posada del Arquitecto has a nice restaurant with a beautiful view.

What to do? Posada del Arquitecto offer yoga classes.

You can also do a hike to the other beach. Below are photos from the hike.


Panoramic view of one of the three beaches on the hike.

Extra info.. From here you can go to the nudist beach Zipolite just get on the same collectivo you got off. There are lots of hostels and restaurant there but I just went for a day trip which was enough.

Photo taken from the hammock after a massive feast at a beach restaurant in Zipolite.

After Zipolite, I went back to Puerto Escondido to pick up my big bag and I left the coast and headed for Oaxaca city the capital of food. Now we are talking. I would also say it’s the capital of second hand shopping it was crazy there. And of course it is the home to Hierve el Agua a petrified waterfall that looks like an infinity pool.

OAXACA CITY

OAXACA CITY

How to get there? Just hop onto an ADO bus straight to Oaxaca city if you are in Mazunte you will need to come back to Puerto Escondido to get the ADO bus.

Where to stay? I stayed in a lovely hostel called Casa Angel it had a delicious free breakfast, lots of computers to use, a kitchen for the guests to use and a TV with Netflix and it offered tours.

Where to eat? Oaxaca was the first place where I tried blue corn tortillas and they were amazing. I stumbled upon a group of ladies making delicious tacos on my way to the markets. At that point in my travels I have very, very limited Spanish that I couldn’t even understand what was in the taco so I had to just stand there and watch them make them and then just point at what looked good. To my luck there was a local photographer doing a story for a local website, who was able to translate for me.

Blue corn tortillas and mini chorizo cooking.
My first blue corn chicken taco with hot sauce to match my pants.

Secondly, this is the place to try all 7 types of Mexican mole. The mole is like a Mexican type of curry that they use with different meats but it tastes nothing like curry. There is a green one I think they cook with pork, a red one with chicken and black and four more.

My sampler plate of the 7 moles.

Thirdly, they have these huge food markets 20 de noviembre with amazing local Mexican food, anything you can thing of they have Huaraches, Tlayudas, Tacos, Tortas, Sopas, Tamales and much more. They have lots of fresh juices, smoothies and they love Jamaica which is an infusion of dried red hibiscus flowers.

What to do? EAT!

Visit the big tree.

Visit Hierve el Agua the petrified waterfall.

Hierve el Agua.

I did both these things plus a Mezcal farm and a fabric factory with a tour I booked through the hostel. I would highly recommend it because to get to the waterfall on your own is really hard, but doable my friends did it (helps a lot if you speak Spanish).

Second hand shopping! You must must go. Its a little out of the main town and you might be warned its a little bit dodgy but just don’t go there after dark or don’t stay after dark, I know it will be hard because this is nothing like you have seen before. Its on the corner of Periferico (main st) and Gral Ignacio Zaragoza (ask the hostel they would know). My friends found this place by asking their Air BnB owner, they explained where to go. When I walked in, it was nothing like I have ever seen before there are just piles and piles of clothes everywhere, in each room and you have to walk on top of clothes to get anywhere. There is a little gap for you to get from room to room and to the cash register but otherwise you are climbing on top of clothes. I looked around to find a good place to plonk myself down. Once I found the prefect spot I just started to dig and dig and dig it was not long until I come across a complete gem and another one and another one and I was set. It was time to pay my fifty Australian cents for each item and I set off back to the hostel stopping over at some street food vendor for a snack.

Party? There are lots of funky Mezcal bars and salsa clubs.

Extra info.. Just have a look at the second hand store, you must.

After Oaxaca I began to run out of time fast. I had to get to Mexico City (DF) so I could catch my Flight to Guatemala. I met this couple somewhere, who lived in DF for a month and they gave me some hot tips of where to go, what to eat and what to see.

MEXICO CITY

MEXICO CITY

How to get there? Easy, hop on an ADO bus. I think there are a few terminals you want to go to TAPO. From there you can get an Uber, taxi or public transport (I used google maps to plan my journey, super easy).

Where to stay? Mexico City is huge and has lots of different suburbs I stayed in one called Roma. It felt super safe, I even walked home alone after a night out. I stayed at a place called Hostel Home, it was really chill and had a kitchen. I then moved into my friend friend’s place for a few nights. Originally I wanted to stay at Suites DF Hostel because I heard good things about it but it was fully booked so you may want to book in advance.

Where to eat? Just like any other big city there are a lot of choices. It is a very multicultural place so you can find cuisines from all over the world. My favourite would have to be a street stall just down the street from Hostel Home making sushi (they were delicious).

You must must go to the food markets near Frida Kahlo’s Blue House and get a Huaraches it is the best one I have ever had. It was so huge my friend and I had to share and so so so so cheap. It was on a blue corn tortilla, with 4 types of meat, lettuce, four types of cheese one grilled, two sprinkled, one drizzled, nopal (cactus that they eat). The place is located in the middle of the food section of the markets and from the photo bellow you will recognise it but if you don’t find it, no fear there is sooooo much incredible food there you will leave satisfied.

My most favourite dish in Mexico, you must try it.

What to do? Visit Frida Carlos’s Blue House.

Selfie in Frida’s mirror that she used for self portraits.

Catch the train to the last stop to reach UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and visit the contemporary art museum. The three photos below are of an interactive exhibit where you sit in a little glass cubicle and breath in recycled air.

Teotihuacan Ruins the biggest in Mexico, super impressive. I highly recommend. Photos below are from different view points of the ruins.


Nacho Libre fight, really fake but super funny. Buy ticket there and just grab the cheapest ones you still see everything.

Photo taken from our cheap seats of the Nacho Libre fight.

Visit Biblioteca Vasconcelos, it cost them 1.4 million US dollars to build.

Photo taken in the Venconcelos library.

You can also check out a show at Bellas Artes, we went there to see the Folkloric Ballet.

The Bellas Artes, in the night time.

Party? Patrick Miller Night Club, I didn’t get to go but I heard amazing things.
And that brings me to the end of my trip in Mexico. Below are two places that I missed out but I recommend checking out.