Mexico - Mexico City / Teotihuacán
Jun 30, 09, 5:56 pm
I have a cruise booked in a few months leaving out of Acapulco and have always wanted to see Teotihuacán near Mexico City. I also have a bit more time off than my wife, so I thought I would book her a direct flight to Acapulco and would fly in alone to Mexico City a few days earlier. I'll probably stay for 2-3 days and then take the short flight to Acapulco.
I'll likely stay at the Embassy Suites (on points) near downtown and it looks like there is a tourist bus that takes you around town which I would likely take for one day.
On the other day I would like to go to Teotihuacán. Is there any tour company that leaves from downtown that anyone would recommend, or does anyone know how much a taxi would be (It is 31mi NE of the city).
I've always heard bad things about Mexico City, so is there anything specific I should watch out for? (I've been to every major city in the US and most in Europe). In the other threads I saw notes to make sure you take a sitio taxi. Is that a brand name like "Yellow Cab"? If I took a sitio taxi to Teotihuacán from my hotel (having the hotel call one for me) then how could I get one for the ride back?
Lastly, I am assuming the best way to get from Mexico City to Acapulco would be to take the short flight, but am open to suggestions if there is a better option like a train (It looks like around 200mi).
Jul 1, 09, 9:10 am
All the major hotels with concierge desks will likely offer Teotihuacan tours - and there are many companies that go. No idea how much a taxi would be, but you can probably hire one for the entire trip, ie, have the cab wait for you out there. That's probably easier than trying to find one to take you back.
A 'sitio' taxi is like a radio taxi, ie, a registered cab that is associated with a specific taxi stand (called a 'sitio') and is thus legitimate. Cabs from the same sitio will look the same. It's not advisable to hire a cab off the street (but then again, locals do it all the time and nothing happens). However, to be on the safe side, I wouldn't recommend it. Like in any other big city, be aware of pickpockets, and do not carry around anything flashy in plain view.
Passenger train service in Mexico ended a few years back (except for a couple of tourist trains). However, the bus service is extensive, good, reliable, and can be very comfortable if you travel on a premium run. Should also be a lot cheaper than flying, and to Acapulco specifically, probably does not take significantly more time. Estrella de Oro (http://www.estrelladeoro.com.mx/servicios.html) for example offers several buses a day, leaving from either the West or South bus stations, and costing less than MXN400 / USD35.
Jul 2, 09, 3:37 am
I took the tour offered by Hostel Catedral through their Mundo Joven travel agency.
On this tour, you also see the Plaza de Tres Culturas, the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and you will visit some artisan workshops that might be seen as tourist traps, but which I actually found quite interesting, and you will be offered an inexpensive and reasonably good buffet lunch. I've read about some other tours online where people felt their time at Teotihuacán was too short, and I didn't feel that way at all.
We did this and I doubt you will have a problem finding a tour company to take you there. Most hotels offer the opportunity for these tours.
Jul 7, 09, 11:02 am
I used this a while back and was happy with the service and the tour.
Hotel pickup included.
Jul 11, 09, 9:20 am
For visitors Mexico City is probably no more nor less dangerous than any other large city. Just take the usual precautions. At the airport take only an official Sitio 300 taxi, and use the sitio cabs at other times too. Be aware that many hotels have their own cabs and these can be pricey. I would never hail a cab on the street if I was carrying baggage, passport or other valuables, but I do when getting from one place to another during the daytime. Not sure that I would recommend this for first-time visitors though, unless they speak Spanish and are pretty street savvy.
The metro is safe enough but gets very hot and crowded at peak hours (when there are separate carriages for women). I do not recommend it for to-ing and fro-ing to the airport with bags. It's also a pain to use to the northern bus terminal as it involves a change at La Raza station, where there is a very long walk between lines.
Be aware that most tours to Teotihuacán involve a stop at the Guadaloupe shrine and at shopping outlets, so this lessens the time you spend at the ruins, which are very extensive. I prefer to take the frequent bus that leaves from the northern bus terminal. Be sure to take one marked Pirámides and not the one to San Juan Teotihuacán, which goes to the nearby village and not the ruins. On the way back it's easier to get off at La Villa and take the metro from there. For the ruins, you'll need a hat and plenty of water. It can get very hot, although there are a couple of cafes to rest up in. Go early if you can as the hottest time of day is from mid afternoon on.
Aug 14, 09, 4:27 pm
I would highly recommend picking something that gives you the chance to experience two of my favorite activities by Teotihuacán:
1) A meal or a snack at Las Grutas restaurant -- it's in a cave!
2) In some of the souvenir shops that are around the outer road of the pyramids, you can get them to tell you the story of the maguey. They can show you all the uses of the cactus plant -- won't ruin the surprise by listing all the uses here but think you'll agree that folks were very creative!
Aug 16, 09, 5:23 pm
Make sure to come prepared with sunblock and a hat. On a really sunny day (like the day I went) it can be brutal out there. Well worth the trip though.