Spring Break Exploring Mexico

Spring break was a long time ago. But better late than never! Here’s a wrap-up of my first trip to Mexico!

I waited patiently the 2.5 months since winter vacation and was ready for an adventure.

While a it may be a 1,000-mile, almost 17-hour drive from Houston to Mexico City, the flight is much shorter at about 2 hours. A friend and I departed Houston Friday evening and arrived in Mexico City (Ciudad de México) later that night for a nine-day Mexican adventure.

Mexico City from atop the Tower Latinoamericano.

It was my first time going south of the United States border and I was unsure of what to expect. I had been to the Philippines before, a developing, sometimes unstable country, but living in the U.S., we always hear so much about the dangers of Mexico.

The drugs, the violence, the corruption and all that exists, but while staying cautious and vigilant, I still wanted to travel and explore Estados Unidos Mexicanos after living so close to our southern neighbor.

I thought, after all, Mexico City is a city of 20+ million and is a megacity just like NYC. While danger exists in urban areas, I’ve lived in New York City for three years. I’m familiar to city life and all that comes with it.

I hadn’t used my passport since 2015. I had gone to Canada in 2016, but driving north from New York to Canada, one gets a passport check, but no stamp. This trip to Mexico would not only guarantee a stamp, but would also complete my travels to the three major countries in North America.

My itinerary was made up of city adventuring, time at the beach, and some time exploring nature. My camera needed some dusting off but was ready to go.

Catedral Metropolitana, Mexico City.
Zócalo, Tower Latinoamericano, (inside) Museo Nacional de Art, Mexico City.

Saturday and Sunday was spent in Mexico City. A beautiful, vibrant city with tons of history. Palaces, museums, cafes — all the necessities for city exploring.

After visiting Zocalo Square, Chapultepec Castle, Tower Latinoamericano and eating some simple, but delicious cuisine, it was off to the Yucatan Peninsula and the blue waters of Playa del Carmen.

Inside and around Castillo de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Castle), Mexico City.

Mexico City to Cancun was about 1.5 hour flight. We landed at sunset and then it was an hour bus ride to Playa del Carmen. While the beach is fun for a short while, I knew that my favorite part of the trip was already over. But while along the coast, I had planned to visit some Mayan ruins in Tulum. About two hours south of Cancun.

As expected, the water was beautiful. While chilly at first, nice, clear and enjoyable once adjusted. “Playa” as the locals call it, is a relatively small beach town, and had many similarities to coastal towns I have visited in the Philippines.

Tulum Beach and Ruins, Mexico.

The next day, it was time to leave the beach and head to one more Mexican city: Monterrey. This is a city just over a million people, and just a three hour drive south of the Texas border.

Compared to Mexico City, there wasn’t all too much that was exciting about Monterrey. There is a palace in town and lots of shops and restaurants, but the main attraction is a beautiful nature park with amazing views. Chipinque sits on the mountainside and after a decent walk, or short drive up, one can have a stunning view of the city in the valley below. We took an Uber ride up the mountain, and hiked all the way down.

Market scenes, Parque Ecológico Chipinque, and Palacio de Gobierno (Nuevo León), Monterrey, Mexico.

And just like that eight days had gone by and it was time to return home. Monterrey to Houston was only an hour flight and just like that I was home unpacking and going through the hundreds of photos I snapped. Below are a few more street scenes, my favorite type of photograph.

Street scenes, Mexico City, Mexico.

School is almost over and summer is almost here. That means one thing: more adventures. And I can’t tell you how excited I am for them.

Until next time,

TTT

Traveler, blogger, amateur photographer