#ETLCA: Travelling Tijuana, Mexico City and Cancun

Leaving San Diego at 7pm we took a Tefusa bus for $15 over the boarder and into Tijuana. Crossing the border was a very strange experience as the border officials pretty much waved us through without any kind of thourough inspection, like we were used to on the United States.

Once we were all clear to go, we simply got back on the bus and continued to the airport in Tijuana. 

Travel Stop One: Tijuana 

I can't really count Tijuana as a first travel stop as we decided that we would give the lively world of TJ a miss and head for a hotel close to the airport as the next day we were flying to Mexico City with Volaris airlines. But I will tell you what I experienced in the 24 hours that I was there...

Travel learning curve: 

One thing I would highly recommend before coming to Mexico is to learn basic Spanish so that you can barter with taxi drivers and street sellers on transport, tours, food etc. We paid $15 to take a 10 minute taxi ride which we were told should have been around $5 maximum. 

But after a long day of travelling, we finally checked into the hotel and got a good nights sleep before our 9:30am flight. 

From my experience Volaris are a pretty good airline to fly with, as the give you complementary snacks and drinks throughout your flights and also provide you with a lot of information on your destination and where to collect your luggage from. 

Travel Stop Two: Mexico City 

We arrived into Mexico City around 12:30pm and decided to take the metro system to our hotel in the big Zocalo Square. The metro system here is very easy and safe to navigate around as it's just like the London / New York system and is colour coded; not to mention very cheap! A ticket costs 3 Mexican pesos. 

Arriving at a red brick Mexican style building with big wooden doors, we checked into our hotel and dropped off our bags. Outside our window we can see (and hear) all of the Mexican street sellers. From pattern scarfs I leather goods to yummy street food, there was something for everyone's needs. 

Over the next few days, we packed our days with a range of activities that Mexico City had to offer... we made our way to to a Mexican wrestling match, visited the Templo Mayor and it's wonderful Mayan Museum, rowed boats at the beautiful Chapultepec Park (this also has a castle and a zoo to visit) and walked around the stunning art gallery and cathedral buildings. 

For me Mexico City is a very beautiful, but also developing city. The architecture is stunning and the people are friendly, but you do get the sense of desperation as they will literally try and sell you anything to make money. 

Another highlight on our trip to Mexico City was when we paid a visit to the football (soccer) stadium, the Azteca. Joining the sea of yellow and blue fans, we walked along side the beating drums and flags as we went to watch Club America take on another rival Mexico City team and it was such a fantastic atmosphere! (Full Blog Post Here

Travel Stop Three: Cancun 

Once again we flew with Volaris from Mexico City after taking a taxi from our hotel to the airport. One thing I notice when you organise a taxi or tour through the hotel is that they will always get a "kick back" (commission) from the taxi / tour driver. Once again, it's the situations like this that reiterate my point of the sense of desperation amongst the people. 

Some people get frustrated with the idea of kick backs, as the commission is added onto your total price, so if you have good Spanish or can negotiate well with the taxi drivers off the street, then you will more than likely get a cheaper deal. Our taxi cost 150 Mexican Pesos (£7.50) and that was ok with us as it was 6am and we wanted to get to the airport safely - I read on a trip advisor forum that this same taxi should usually cost 80 Mexican pesos (£4). 

When landing in the warm humid heat of Cancun, we decided to also book out over night bus to Belize City from Cancun through a company called ADO who provide luxury buses for 400 pesos (£20). You can also head to the ADO bus station in Cancun to book a your ticket, but we wanted to be prepared and have a guaranteed seat. 

Once this was all organised, we took a local taxi for £7.50 each directly to our resort. When we arrived at our hotel and checked into our room, we decided to get the bus to Walmart to stock up on food and toiletries. 

Travel Note: How to get to Walmart in Cancun

If you're staying in the hotel zone, getting to Walmart is very easy. Located in downtown Cancun you simply need to take the R-2 or the R-15 bus and it costs 9.50 pesos each way. Some of these buses have Walmart written on the front, but regardless if they do, simply tell the driver "one/two/three for Walmart" and he will shout to you when your stop is up. 

After this we spent the next few days relaxing by the pool, we also got a little bit of food poisoning from drinking local water through ice cubes. (Such an important thing to remember when in Mexico, always ask for no ice) 

On our final night, before taking our overnight bus, we headed to Bubba Gump and I got to enjoy one of their legendary Shrimp Po Boys! Although it wasn't as good as the ones we had in New Orleans

Cancun is a very beautiful place, it's just a shame that we got so ill. If sunbathing and swimming isn't your thing, then you can enjoy snorkelling, cruises and shopping in luxury malls. 

Next Stop...Belize City 
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