Updated June 2020
Waking up in Taxco was quite magical. The view even better with the sun rise than it was at sunset. I cannot explain how beautiful this mountainside mining town is and pictures don’t quite show it justice.
Ish gave us an early morning deadline to eat breakfast then get onto the bus and we all followed. We had another long day, full of adventures. Today’s journey had us driving from Taxco back into Mexico City with a few stops in between. Mexico City is the largest city I’ve ever been to, by this point in my traveled, so I was excited to head back in to explore.
We started our journey from Taxco to Mexico City by headed northeast through some mountains. The first stop of the day was to a neighborhood called Xochimilco.
Xochimilco is one of Mexico City’s 16 delegación (boroughs) and is best known for its canals. These canals are the remainders of the pre-historic Lake Xochimilco, where the city originally settled. These canals weave throughout artificial islands called chinampas and attract tourists and other city residents to ride on colorful gondola style boats called “trajineras”.
With this intricate mix of islands, canals, and trajineras, Xochimilco has been elected as a World Heritage Site. Unfortunately, degradation has placed Xochimilco’s status in question.
We unloaded ourselves off the bus and we headed down to the water front. We were going to board our own trainer for a ride though the canal. This is another included excursion on Contiki’s Mexican Fiesta Tour.
Each trajinera is designed to have a long table with chairs lining both sides. This design is to allow for ease accessible to the chalupas, or smaller canoes. These chalupas will ride up along the sides of the boats and sell their goodies.
In today’s economy the boats are painted in bright colors. However, in the past, these boats would be completely decorated with real flowers in different design patterns. We were blessed with a mini-parade of historically decorated trajineras and I was blown away. I couldn’t even begin to explain how many flowers these boats had on them. Plus, each boat was tossing flowers at every boat that passed by.
Following our canal tour, we headed off towards another suburb known as Coyoacan. This suburb is actually where our tour guide grew up and gave us the inside scoop of the “must-dos”.
One of the unique facts about Coyoacan is that it’s the home to Frida Kahlo. She was was born, raised and died in her “Blue House,” which has turned into a museum.
Before walking through the Blue House, I knew I needed to eat. It was getting past lunchtime by the time we exited the bus and we were all starving. Thankfully, Ish knew just the place.
He took us to a local taco stand for some authentic tacos. I was most excited for these because we haven’t had the opportunity to try our hand at a taco stands. This particular stand offered three different varieties of tacos- papas (potatoes), frijoles (beans), and pork. You can believe that I tried each one, papas being my most favorite!
After we inhaled our tacos, we followed Ish on a little churro/coffee run. The churros in Coyoacan, as Ish was explaining, are some of the best churros in Mexico City. He may have been a little biased, but they were DELICIOUS. I got mine filled, yes filled, with caramel and after chugging my frozen Mocha just minutes before I was on my way towards a sugar rush.
Frida Kahlo's Blue House
Following our churro/coffee run, the crew split into smaller groups and ventured off to do various activities. I joined a few tour mates and we headed to the main cathedral for a walk through. Then we did a little shopping at the handicraft markets.
After a little time shopping, I decided to join a few others in taking a tour through Frida Kahlo’s Blue House. I know it seems fairly cheesy and touristy but I remember studying and learning about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera throughout my childhood. It was surreal walking through her home. It was so similar to the movies I would watch in Spanish class. I was in awe the entire 20 minutes it took to get through her home.
After our time in Coyoacan, we were back on the bus heading to our final hotel of the tour in the heart of Mexico City. This would be where I would spend our final two night in Mexico and close out my Mexican adventure.
Mexico City is the 9th largest city in the world with an estimated 23 million people, who commute into the city center on any given weekday. Because of the amount of people and industries, Mexico City was quite polluted but doesn’t take away from the mystic atmosphere of the city.
Mexico Contiki Tours
Our stay in Mexico City wasn’t as a solo Contiki tour. I learned that the Mexican Contiki tours are all somehow connected. The tour I’m on is called the Mexican Fiesta that ends in Mexico City and is the first part of the Mexican Grande tour.
Arriving in Mexico City is where Contiki’s Yucatan Highlights tour begins. We knew that once we arrived at the hotel there was a chance of meeting some of the travelers on the Yucatan Highlights tour. They would be joining us for our final adventure in Mexico City. It was an interesting combination for sure.
It didn’t take long for me to enter my hotel room, change and head up to the rooftop pool to lay out a solid hour. I also had the chance to met several of the Yucatan Highlights tour members. It did make me sad that I wasn’t continuing with them back to the Yucatan peninsula.
By the time dinner rolled around, a few of us were stuck on what to do. Although we would have loved going out, we knew we were going to having a long and busy day tomorrow. We ended up just grabbing dinner at P.F. Changs, which was a nice change from the traditional Mexican cuisine.
Spending quality time with my tour mates never gets old and this dinner was just that, quality time. I know that my time Mexico is coming to a close but my adventure isn’t quite over. Tomorrow is a big last day and I can’t wait for you to read all about it!