Puerto Escondido, The Surfing Spot
My next stop on Oaxaca’s coast is Puerto Escondido. A place so magical that it is hard to describe it in words. It is one of those places where I immediately feel at home and could see myself get stranded at for years to come. And I do meet a lot of people who this happened to, and I understand why.
Here you can spend your days going surfing, diving, horseback riding or just hang on the beach with all the friendly and loving people. One of the days, we do a four hour horseback riding tour in the mountains, and with the horses we cross several rivers to get to the hot springs which mineral water really does the trick for both your hangovers and health.
What I really find amazing about Puerto Escondido, is the structure of the city. It kinds of feel like you got up to seven cities in one city. Every area got something different to offer. You got the famous Zicatela beach with all its good shops, restaurants and crazy nightlife. In the one end of Zicatela is where all the hippies hang out and in the other, is where you find the local life. A small street from the beach leads up to a street fill with street kitchens. This is the place to get your tacos and micheladas in Puerto Escondido. Then you got the city center plus all the other beautiful beaches. We use one day at Manzanillo beach where you are able to swim because of its quite and calm waters. Here we spend the day sipping on rom coconuts and eating fresh oysters from the sea.
Time flies in Puerto Escondido, and all the sudden it is time to take the one-hour flight to Mexico City. At the airport in Mexico City, I am so privilege to get picked up by my good Mexican friend who I studied with in Spain and who I haven’t seen for more than seven years.
The Area of Coyoacán
We move into his apartment in the cosy area of Coyoacán, and after a good and long power nap (party life in Puerto Escondido is hard work), we are ready to see some of the city. We start our little tour at Plaza de Coyoacán where there is so much life going on. A man is performing his puppet show surrounded by a big group of laughing children, another man is doing magic tricks together with a small boy he picked out from the crowd, people are walking their dogs while couples are kissing on the benches. This is a good place to watch Mexican life pass by.
Plaza Garibaldi: Home to Mariachi
After a good Mexican dinner at Plaza de Coyoacán, we take an Uber to the crazy Plaza Garibaldi which is packed with mariachi bands. Here you can hire a mariachi band to play a song or several. It all started at Tenampa Salon, a small bar and cantina on Plaza Garibaldi. This is the place where the first mariachi groups played their music.
Unfortunately, the queue to get in is just to long so we decide to go to a mariachi bar across, and here I am in for a surreal and uplifting experience. A guy is preforming his mariachi songs, and everyone, I mean everyone, is just singing, almost screaming along. The energy in this room is magic and I somehow wished I knew the lyrics so I could scream along as well. I love how this place makes me aware of the cultural differences. You would never see this in Denmark. People would be too afraid, too afraid of making a fool out of themselves but here it is just the opposite, and I love it!
The Maya Ruins of Teotihuacán
After a crazy mariachi night the day before, we decide to do a day tour to the famous Mayan ruins of Teotihuacán which is placed approximately an hour away from Mexico City. The ruins here are impressing with all the beautiful temples and the big avenue but the amount of visitors is just too much, so after climbing the moon temple, we decide to call it for the day. And to be honest, I kind of already had my dose of Mayan ruins.
The Historic Center of Mexico City
We start our Sunday with a trip to the historic center of Mexico City. We get off at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a beautiful building inspired by the times when Mexico wanted to look like Europe. We take a walk in the nearby park Alameda Central. The interesting thing is that the buildings around the park shows how Mexico City is actually a city that sinks. It has been build upon a swamp and slowly the city is now sinking which shows in the leaning buildings around the historic center.
We make our way down to Zócalo, the main plaza of Mexico City. Here you find the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral and the Palacio Nacional. We decide to get lunch at one of the rooftop terraces overlooking Zócalo. Such a nice way to spend a couple of hours.
Xochomilco: A Sailing Adventure
In the afternoon, we drive to the famous Xochomilco. A place definitely worth paying a visit. After picking up a bucket of beers and soda, we are set to go. We rent a mixture between a boat and a raft to take us down the Xochomilco river. Xochomilco is famous for these multi-coloured, funny boats with cheesy names (ours is called Linda Prinseca) and all around us, young people and families are having a blast in their boat. They even got mariachi bands going from one boat to the next playing happy and lively music.
In all, I find that Mexico City is a city that got it all. So many good places to visit, great food (both the more expensive restaurants and the taco stands around the city are amazing), a safe environment, good museums, like Frida Kahlo, and then there is the fact that the city is just enormous. You can seriously drive for hours and you are still in Mexico City.