Let’s talk about Mexico City.

I have always been a proponent of planning vacations early. I am talking about six months to a year early. Because of this, you can do months of research before the trip, have more options, and the cost of the trip tends to be cheaper. Way cheaper.

However, this is not the case with Mexico. It was totally a spur of the moment. You see, I was watching this series called “The Romanoffs” from my Prime video, and in one of the episodes, they featured Mexico City. Guess what? I fell in love with what I saw. This was like in the beginning of December 2018, and by mid December, I was already transfixed with the idea of being in Mexico for my 37th birthday in January of 2019. Heck, I just renewed my passport and I was itching to go somewhere. I told Hans about my plans, and sure enough, as supportive as he is, most of the time, he said, YES.

And so, the excitement began. Excitement, meaning, I went online and scoured for plane fares. It was EXPENSIVE! But wait, if there is a will, there is a way. Cut story short, I was able to buy round trip tickets from Hawaii to Mexico City for $586 per person! Nice, huh. The only caveat: we would have to drive two hours to go to the other island airport. But whatever. It’s Mexico City!

Day 1

We went to the main square of Mexico City, otherwise known as Zocalo, and it is beautiful! It is surrounded with old structures like the the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Palace, where you can see the history of Mexico and the extra ordinary murals of Diego Rivera. In the center of it all is the Mexican Flag. We also checked out Templo Mayor, an Aztec ruin. Furthermore, we strolled along the Latinoamericana tower. It was busy. Just in between Latinoamericana tower and the Palacio Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is the famous El Moro, where we had the best churros ever! It was a fantastic first day.

Day 2

This was a day to remember.

It’s Teotihuacan (City of the gods) day! Hans and I woke up early to get to the bus terminal. We were excited to see the pyramids! It would take an hour or so to go to Teotihuacan from Mexico City. The total cost of a round trip bus ticket, plus the ticket to enter Teotihuacan, is only less than $10! Yes, it’s THAT cheap. To give a little background, Teotihuacan is composed of pyramids (Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Moon, and other temples which we didn’t go to), and the Avenue of the Dead.

The place was massive and impressive. A little note, if ever you are planning a day to Teotihuacan, make sure to bring a hat, lots of sunscreen, and plenty of water. You will thank me for this tip. It was HOT. And the queue to climb the Temple of the Sun (the biggest pyramid) was long. While there, I wondered if people have died of dehydration. I wondered if while they were climbing the 200 some steps to the top, they accidentally fell. What if while on top, there was a big earthquake? Yes. Morbid thoughts kept rolling in. LOL.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed the climb and the descent. Of course, we took like gazillion pictures of the place. We even met a lady named Luisa from Colombia, who became our photographer at one point. Of course, we returned the favor. Who needs a selfie stick?

Day 3

This was the day that I got sick. I blame three things: the high elevation of Mexico City, people who have been coughing and sneezing left and right without covering their mouths (urggghh), and the exhaustion from Teotihuacan. Since I was feeling sick, we decided to just take it easy that day, and switched our itineraries.

It’s also the day of epic fails. We were running out of cash, so we decided to go to an ATM near Chapultepec Park, and Uber-ed our way down there. Guess what? We were dropped off in the middle of nowhere. I was like, where’s the ATM? LOL. Oh, well. And then, we went to the park just to learn that it was CLOSED. Wonderful.

So, we were like, whatever. We strolled down La Reforma, until we found an ATM. At the end of La Reforma is the iconic Angel of Independence. If you have watched Mexican telenovelas before, they almost always feature this roundabout with the Angel. We ended our day walking at Zona Rosa (gay district), and had an early dinner at a Korean restaurant.

Day 4

Chapultepec Park it is! We roamed around the Castle, the park, and bought gifts to bring back to Hawaii. This was also the day when we went to a Mexican restaurant and had a Pozole, a hearty, almost tomato-ish soup, with hominy corn and your choice of meat in it. We loved it!

We were supposed to go see Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) that night, but decided not to because of safety issues we’ve read around the area especially at night. Safety first.

Day 5

Have you ever been on a trip and got emotional? This happened to me when we went to Tepeyac, and went to visit Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is Mexico’s patron saint, and mine. I am a Catholic, and although not as devout as my mom, seeing this holy place gave me that emotional moment.
It is one of those moments in life where you become thankful for just being alive…and just grateful for everything.

After that, we ended the day by going to Coyoacan Market to buy more gifts. Along the way, we saw Frida Kahlo’s house, a celebrated artist in Mexico and Diego Rivera’s wife.

Conclusion

Mexico City is a fun city to explore. It offers a variety of things to do. AND IT IS CHEAP. I gotta say that I enjoyed my week-long birthday celebration in Mexico City. If I may add, learning a little bit of Spanish, even just the basic words, can go a long way. And lastly, as far as safety goes, just like everywhere, be mindful of your surroundings. Mexico is a big country. There are dangerous parts. However, Mexico City felt pretty safe for us.

Here are some pictures from our trip 🙂

Viva Mexico!

Zocalo

Churros at El Moro

Diego Rivera’s mural at the National Palace

Metropolitan Cathedral

Palacio Bellas Artes

Temple of the Sun

Teotihuacan (City of the gods)

On top of the Temple of the Moon

200+ steps? Easy peasy. I had to take aspirin for muscle aches afterwards. HAHAHA!

The iconic Angel of Independence

Chapultepec Castle

Ciudad de Mexico

Pozole!

Trying on a Lucha Libre mask

At the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe