Mexico? Isn’t that dangerous?
Well, no, not really. It goes without saying that if you go looking for something dangerous, it’ll find you. And to be clear we did not travel in the North of Mexico, which we have heard can be a bit more dangerous for tourists. But in reference to all of the places we visited – we did not feel Mexico was unsafe for us during our time there.We flew from Lima in Peru straight to Mexico City on 30th October after finishing the Inca Trail. We wanted to be in Mexico in time for Dia de Muertos – Day of the Dead (more on that later). Then we travelled South to Guatemala through Puebla, Oaxaca and San Cristobal before crossing the border at Ciudad Cuauhtémoc.
First thing to note – Mexico City has UBER. I know people can be skeptical about the safety of UBER, and the safety of Mexico City but we used the service several times during our stay and encountered no issues. The app gives the same information about your taxi as in the UK – number plate, driver name and photo, reviews. However, I would be more wary if I was a solo female traveller – not just with UBER but with all taxi services in the city.
Here’s a round up of our 5 days in CDMX.
Hostel – Casa Pepe Hostel
More of a boutique hostel (with a boutique price tag at about £18 a night for a bed in a dorm). It was a really nice place with comfortable beds and bedding, good showers, clean bathrooms and a packed schedule of hostel tours and events. We went on one of the free walking tours offered – which was actually more like a walk around the city than a guided tour so not the best we have had.
Rating – 3.5/5
Trip – Lucha Libre Wrestling
Probably the best thing I did in Mexico City was the night at Lucha Libre wrestling. We were lucky to be able to go on a Sunday, the most popular day for a family night out at the arena, and during the Day of the Dead festivities which meant we were attending a “special” show. We booked the tour through our hostel for about £25 each which included our transport, a taco before we left, a shot of mezcal and entry to the event. Plus an incredibly fashionable Lucha libre wrestling mask to wear and keep.
Rating – 4.5/5
Food – El Moro
Okay food might be a bit of an overstatement for this place as it really is primarily a churrerio. They do also sell el pastor sandwiches and tacos from the front of the café, but make sure you don’t accidentally stand in the churros queue if it’s a sandwich you’re after.We visited twice and on both times people were queuing out the door to visit Mexico City’s oldest (and reputably best) churro place. The churros are fried in huge loops and then cut to size before being dipped in cinnamon and sugar. You can also order a sauce to dip your churros in – try the caramel one, it was amazing.
As well as churros this place is famous for its hot chocolates. I ordered an “Español” one on my first trip, despite being advised by my waitress that it was “a bit sweet”. Turns out it’s just a cup of chocolate sauce, so not very drinkable. But if you order the “Mexicana” hot chocolate it’s a delicious drink.
Rating – 4/5
City Views – Don Porfirio Cafe
This cafe is situated on a balcony which can be found in the department store opposite the Palacio de Belles Artes. You can get a yummy Oaxacan Hot Chocolate, and enjoy a fantastic view of the most beautiful museum in CDMX.
Rating – 2.5/5
Day of the Dead
After watching Spectre I was certain that I wanted to be in Mexico City for Day of the Dead to see the celebrations, and the huge parade. However, some research uncovered that the parade shown in the James Bond film was fictitious and has since been created for the purpose of tourism. Nonetheless we still felt Mexico City would be a great place to experience this important cultural festival.
In hindsight we have learnt that being in one of the smaller towns or cities might have given us a more authentic taste of Dia de Muertos. Although we did see the parade it wasn’t as brilliant as we had hoped, and lots of the offrendas that we saw had been set up for tourists’ eyes only.
Rating – 2/5
Also we went to the canals to see a special show named “La Llorona de Xochimilco” that takes place in the canals. It’s important to note that the show takes place entirely in Spanish so if, like us, you are beginners you may be a little lost. To be honest it’s also a bit boring.
Rating – 1/5
Street Food – Gatorta Vegan Food Stand
At the end of our walking tour the guide took us to this vegan street food stand in Mexico City. There’s lots of different options for vegan meat substitutes but I decided to go for al pastor tacos – seeing as they’re a local speciality. They were actually really tasty, lots of flavour and just 20 pesos for 2 (about 81p).
Rating – 3/5
Pizza – Dali’s Pizzeria
A little pizzeria owned by an Italian man that serves pizzas in medium, large or by the slice. The food was great but seating is very limited – some bar seating inside and then some plastic garden furniture outside. Also – very important to note that they do Nutella pizzas also!
Rating – 3.5/5