Welcome back to the weekly huddle, that we like to call Ask the Experts. You do the asking. We’ll do the experting. This week, we were tasked with a Mexican odyssey by Lizzie from Nottingham, as she challenged us to unravel a trip to Mexico.
If you’d like to feature in an upcoming edition of this weekly challenge, simply email our Experts a question and you could find yourself in the Hall of Fame, right here on the STA Travel Blog!
We can't explore Mexico, without fixing up a few tortillas. Here they are, fresh from the oven. | Photo by Joel Bedford
Remember, this feature isn’t all about what we think; we want to hear what you have to say, via the comment thread below.
“I want to visit Mexico in February for two weeks. I would like some time relaxing on the beach, some time to explore the sights, and also to experience the cities, but I don’t fancy too much time on a bus… help!” Lizzie, Nottingham
Woah, Lizmaster! Have you set the Experts up for a fall? Will they manage to fix you up with a bus-less February fortnight in Mexicococo? There’s only one way to find out. Experts, it’s over to you!
Kim at STA Travel Dundee kicks off with…
What a way to go, Lizzie! My instincts on this one tell me to break out of group travel, and go for something a little more tailor-made. Grab a cheap flight to Mexico City, and hang out there for at least a couple of nights; then straight round to Cancun for spectacular beaches and easy access to one of the greatest city’s of the Mayan empire, Chichen-Itza.
Between me and you, I know of the most gorgeous yoga retreat and hostel in Tulum, but don’t tell anyone, OK? South of Cancun away from the tourist resorts. It’s been designed in the style of the ancient Mayans and is super cheap! It’s called Yoga Shala.
Mark at STA Travel Belfast muses…
The old “It’s our secret” line, eh Kim? There’s 1000s of readers on here! So, Lizzie, let’s crank it up a notch. I would also would fly into Cancun, via a stopover in Mexico City.
Some of the best sites to see include the National Palace, Palacio de Bellas Artes, the floating gardens (chinampas) of Xochimilco and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Casa Luis Barragán.
Explore the serene Floating Gardens of Xochimilco | Photo by GOC53
In Cancun there are plenty of all-inclusive resorts dotted around to suit every budget. The Playa las Perlas is a personal favourite, but Playa Linda is great for diving and popular with tourists. Puerto Vallarta is another good resort, as is Cozumel. That said, considering your time frames, I’d probably stick with Cancun due to the ease of getting there and away. However! Around February and March, you should be aware of Spring Break students from the USA who flood into the place for a well-earned party.
In terms of weather, at that time of year it should sit around 23°C, but there’s a risk of thunderstorms. If you want guaranteed good weather, I’d advise travelling later on in the year.
Sarah at STA Travel Covent Garden concludes…
Hey Lizzie, Mexico is a great choice, generally great weather all year round and an abundance of stunning sights to see.
Start your trip in the buzzing metropolis of Mexico City. Enjoy the architecture and grandeur of the historic quarters by taking a meander around the National Palace, Cathedral and Templo Mayor. Then immerse yourself in the craziness of the city; have an ‘atole’ (a traditional drink made from corn) for breakfast at a street vendor, peruse the multiple boutiques and bazaars, and finish by sipping a tequila (or 3) at one of city’s many cantinas.
From Mexico City head over to Merida on the east of the country, probably best to get a flight here. Merida is a beautiful white-stone city and regarded as the cultural capital of the peninsula. You can spend hours strolling around the narrow streets with their colonial architecture, palaces and haciendas (estates) and roll back in time.
Cancun is the natural next step; you can get a bus here from Merida. The white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters are breathtaking, go for a snorkel or if you’re feeling more adventurous learn to scuba dive. You can take a day trip to the Quintana Roo islands from Cancun, the stunning Isla Mujeres is notably the best and not as crowded as the popular choice Cozumal.
The city side of Cancun is quite a contrast however, known as the Vegas of Mexico. If you want to party all night, this is the place to do it!
Before heading back to Mexico City take a trip to the Mexican Riveria. Ixtapa is the biggest spot, a paradise vision of seemingly never-ending white sandy shores, though its immaculate appearance is very manufactured. If you fancy something a bit more rugged and authentic visit its sister town, Zihuatanejo or ‘Zihua’ to locals. Originally a sleepy fishing town full with the reputation of being a hideaway for pirates and hippies, you are sure to meet many an interesting and friendly character!
Sites? Check. Beaches? Check. Fewer buses? Check! They’ve only gone and done it again; those Experts seem to be unbeatable! But remember, if you’ve got a question for them, it’s over to you to email it to them for consideration.
But wait! Before you go; we want to know what you thought to their answers this week? Have you been to Mexico, and have an alternative idea? Earn your stripes as our Fourth Expert by leaving a comment below.