Mexican Vacation

Page 1 of 61234>Last »
October 16th, 2013 at 6:38:59 PM permalink
theodores
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 85
This just in: Family is considering a trip to Tepoztlan, Morelos (near Cuernevaca) for a week around Christmas. The resort package includes cooking and language classes. It seems attractive, but it is expensive. Thoughts?

http://www.lavillabonita.com/2011/
October 17th, 2013 at 12:12:28 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 53
Posts: 5734
Do an Australian cooking school and you can skip the language classes.

I've never thought Mexican food was particularly healthful or exotic, its all rice and beans or else its all beans and rice.
October 17th, 2013 at 8:02:07 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 344
Posts: 12473
Quote: theodores
This just in: Family is considering a trip to Tepoztlan, Morelos (near Cuernevaca) for a week around Christmas. The resort package includes cooking and language classes. It seems attractive, but it is expensive. Thoughts?


For when?

Cuernavaca bills itself as living eternally in the Spring, but it does get chilly in the winter. While not as high above sea level as Mex City, it is over 1,000 meters above sea level. It's not cold, but you'll want a coat or jacket in the morning and maybe an extra blanket at night. Ironically you'll wnat A/C and bug repellent the rest of the day.

Keep travel times in mind, too. There is an airport in Cuernavaca, but it sees little comercial activity. So you'll fly into Mex City and then take a bus the rest of the way (see if that's included, too). Maybe two buses, depending. See, there are buses available at the airport for going to Cuernavaca (very nice ones, too, and about $10-15 per person one way), but not for Tepoztlan. You may need to take another bus in Cuernavaca.

I'm not familair with Tepoztlan at all.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 17th, 2013 at 8:28:47 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 798
Posts: 9522
That package has transportation from Mexico City airport.

FYI -here is public transport information anyway if you miss the provided transport. The bus terminal in Terminal 1 is located near the car ramp that leads to the international area. Buses go to Cuernavaca from 06:40AM to half past midnight (30 per day) and are every 20-60 minutes. Cost is $166 pesos per person one way (less than US$13). The airport buses are very nice, but most Americans taking classes from a celebrity chef are not going to ride local buses. Once you are at Cuernevaca you can get a taxi to the hotel. (30 minute drive).

Cooking classes are inherently expensive. I know someone who is spending $6000 for one week in Spain this week. That gets you one room for two people, and transportation from the Malaga airport. Chef Ana is very popular on Mexican television, so you have to expect to pay.

4 days of cooking with Sunday arrival and departure
7 Nights Accommodation on the grounds of La Villa Bonita
$1550 USD plus tax per person in double occupancy (save 35% off regular retail)
$1150 USD plus tax per person for Guest Plan to accompany double occupancy participant, includes everything except classes.
$1950 USD plus tax per person in single occupancy (save 44% off regular retail)

Spend at least a day or two in Mexico City. Many people are intimidated by the city, but it has some amazing sights.

=================
Probably for the same money you can take a bus from the Mexico City airport and go to Puebla. There you can check into historic boutique hotels and just eat in nice restaurants. This hotel is beautiful and is about $100/night
http://www.mesones-sacristia.com/espanol/english/index.php

Quinta Real is the nicest hotel chain in Mexico. The president frequently stays at a QR.
http://www.quintareal.com/puebla

In my humble opinion, $3K is a lot to spend to have celebrity cooking classes. If this is your first trip to colonial Mexico, then take the money and see the sights, eat in some fine restaurants, and stay in a nice colonial era hotel. You can easily find some local cooking classes for one or two nights. It's very popular down for restaurants to offer them. If you've been to Colonial city's many times before than this might be a good option.
October 17th, 2013 at 2:35:28 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 344
Posts: 12473
Quote: Pacomartin
FYI -here is public transport information anyway if you miss the provided transport. The bus terminal in Terminal 1 is located near the car ramp that leads to the international area.


You'd do better to look for signs directing you to "Ground Transportation." Now, if you arrive at terminal 2, which is likely, I'm not sure is buses operate there or you need to get to Terminal 1 first. If the latter, the little trin is restricted to connecting passengers with a valid, unused boarding pass. But there's a tiny, hard to find, bus depot for well under $1 per person to get to terminal 1 (yes, it's a mess).

Just don't miss the bus from the packaged tour.

Quote:
In my humble opinion, $3K is a lot to spend to have celebrity cooking classes. If this is your first trip to colonial Mexico, then take the money and see the sights, eat in some fine restaurants, and stay in a nice colonial era hotel.


If you want to see "colonial Mexico" you'd better go to Guanajuato. The old buildings are more accessible and there are other tourist traps. I'd stay away from Morelia, and I mean I'd stay the HELL away from Morelia, unless you have a death-wish.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 17th, 2013 at 5:13:10 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 798
Posts: 9522
Quote: Nareed
If you want to see "colonial Mexico" you'd better go to Guanajuato. The old buildings are more accessible and there are other tourist traps. I'd stay away from Morelia, and I mean I'd stay the HELL away from Morelia, unless you have a death-wish.


Good Advice.

The Guanajuato airport code is BJX (Del Bajio) and it has good connections to the USA.

Aeroméxico San Francisco (begins December 12, 2013), Sacramento (begins December 17, 2013),
Aeroméxico Connect Chicago-O'Hare, Los Angeles

American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth (begins November 21, 2013)
American Eagle Dallas/Fort Worth

Delta Connection
Atlanta (begins December 19, 2013)

Delta Connection
Los Angeles (begins December 3, 2013)

United Airlines Los Angeles

United Express
Houston-Intercontinental

Volaris Chicago-Midway
November 9th, 2013 at 9:23:04 AM permalink
theodores
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 85
Update: Somehow I convinced my parents to pay for the package tour, but I'm responsible for the airfare. (The least they could do for the privilege of hanging out with them :)) I've booked a flight from Ohio to San Diego courtesy of the Caesars corporation. Then I booked another flight from TIJUANA to MEXICO CITY on AeroMexico. The price was a very reasonable $300. So I will have to cross the border from San Diego to Tijuana, but it doesn't look too hard.

I'll be getting into MEX the night before the package starts, so I will need a reasonably priced hotel for that night. Consulting Expedia, there looks like there is a very nice Hilton and Marriott on the airport grounds. Prices are $100 U.S., which is more than I'd like to spend ideally. Are there any other economical options?

Unfortunately it doesn't look like I will have much time to explore Mexico City. At most 18 hours or so. Looking forward to the trip.
November 10th, 2013 at 1:36:42 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 798
Posts: 9522
Quote: theodores
Update: Somehow I convinced my parents to pay for the package tour, but I'm responsible for the airfare. (The least they could do for the privilege of hanging out with them :)) I've booked a flight from Ohio to San Diego courtesy of the Caesars corporation. Then I booked another flight from TIJUANA to MEXICO CITY on AeroMexico. The price was a very reasonable $300. So I will have to cross the border from San Diego to Tijuana, but it doesn't look too hard.

I'll be getting into MEX the night before the package starts, so I will need a reasonably priced hotel for that night. Consulting Expedia, there looks like there is a very nice Hilton and Marriott on the airport grounds. Prices are $100 U.S., which is more than I'd like to spend ideally. Are there any other economical options?

Unfortunately it doesn't look like I will have much time to explore Mexico City. At most 18 hours or so. Looking forward to the trip.


In the future it is cheaper to go from San Diego Airport to Mexico City on Volaris for $380. Since that includes the $25 for tourist card plus the cost and hassle of getting to Tijuana it will save you money and time. Volaris does codeshares with Southwest Airlines.

The least expensive way to get to the border is to take the airport bus to the trolley station and the trolley to the border. You need to walk across the border so your luggage should be easily wheeled around. Although there are buses to the airport for less than a dollar, you are probably better off spending $15 on a taxi.

Even though Tijuana is in Mexico you still need a tourist card properly called a "Forma Migratoria Múltiple para Extranjeros", abbreviated "FMM" which costs about $25. Normally if you purchase a plane ticket in the USA the price is automatically included in your ticket. In Tijuana you must go to the counter and purchase one.
Be sure and buy one. If you try to board without one, you will be turned away and miss your flight.

You can withdraw pesos from your bank account at an ATM at the Tijuana Airport.

The Mexico City airport is an expensive place to stay. Not only is the hotel rate high, but every drink or snack you buy will cost you a lot. Always purchase a taxi from the taxi booth, not from the drivers pestering you. It may cost a little more, but it is worth it for your safety. Go to the Zona Rosa (the tourist zone, not a red light district) where you should find a reasonable priced hotel and a nice place to eat within walking distance.
November 10th, 2013 at 5:57:59 AM permalink
theodores
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 85
I checked the Volaris flight. It was $920.00. I am flying over Christmas -- prices are outrageous. I was happy to get the ticket for $300. I don't expect it to be too much of a hassle to cross the border.

I may have a rental car. If I do, I will drive to the Otay Mesa border crossing (about five miles west of San Ysidro), park in one of the lots for $7/day, and take their shuttle to the border, walk, and take a taxi to the airport. But I may not have a car. In which case I will be stuck with San Ysidro. I've heard that can take 3-4 hours to cross on foot.

Thanks for the info about the airport. I'm looking at hotels in Zona Rosa for $50-77/night. I have a coupon which will let me take $50 off. Hotel Ejecutivo looks good. Hotel Room Mate Valentina is attractively priced but looks pretty gay (in the modern sense of the word).

Is it safe to take the subway from the airport to ZR? How much is a taxi?
November 10th, 2013 at 8:56:36 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 798
Posts: 9522
Hotel Ejecutivo is in a little more sterile business section of the city. It's not bad as the walk is only half a mile, but I would suggest moving closer to the restaurants.

I like Hotel Room Mate Valentina's location, but it does look to be very gay friendly.

An inexpensive hotel where you have a nice choice of dining and bars nearby is
Euro stars Zona Rosa

The Galeria Plaza is the massive 400 room hotel in Zona Rosa that usually has standard rooms for a good price.

The more expensive hotels will probably have shuttles from the airport, but you can take an authorized taxi for a reasonable rate. The subway route from the airport is roundabout and I wouldn't recommend it for a gringo with a suitcase.

Paying for a rental car in San Diego just to drive it to the border and pay to park it seems ridiculous. If you can't be bothered with the trolley, just take a taxi to the border walk across, and take another taxi to the airport. But if you are trying to save money, the trolley is a big portion of your savings.

Cross Border Airport terminal will be done by next year.
Page 1 of 61234>Last »