Reasons to Explore Mexico

Reasons to Explore Mexico

mexico city

So, why travel to Mexico? The better question is what are you waiting for?!

Mexico is a top destination for many, and year after year millions of visitors flock to its shores.  The secrets of this country however, lie within its boundaries. A land of color, flavor and history, Mexico has so much to offer its visitors, and much more to those willing to delve into its true culture beyond an all inclusive resort.  Read on for reasons to visit Mexico, beyond its popular resort beach towns.

Nine Reasons why you should visit Mexico

1. Delicious Food:

Many resorts cater to an ‘American’ diet, yet you can find the most delicious meal you will ever eat at a simple restaurant for a fraction of the price you’d pay back home

2. Mexico is affordable:

Hotels have reasonable prices, delicious food is cheap (and well made) and major sights have well priced entry fees.  It’s also cheap if you fly in/out of the Tijuana airport

Related: How to use the Cross Border Xpress bridge in Tijuana, Mexico ]

3. Mayan Ruins of Mexico’s past:

Mexico is stuffed with historic sites, depending on where you are visiting there are sure to ruins nearby.

4. Pristine beaches:

Some of the best beaches line the coast of Mexico, with white sand and teal blue waters

Related: How to be eco-friendly at the beach ]

5. There is something for everyone:

Mountains, volcanoes and canyons: beyond the beaches lies incredible natural places to explore.  Did you know there is a canyon in Mexico that is longer and deeper than the Grand Canyon? (check out Copper Canyon)

6. Mexico City:

One of the most populated cities in the world, Mexico City is an incredible place to explore

[ Related: Check out my Mexico City Travel Guide]

7. National Parks & Nature Preserves:

There are so many natural wonders to explore in Mexico. You could watch the migration of thousands of Monarch butterflies in Mexico!  

8. The Mexican people:

I’ve found that there are great people no matter where you travel (as well as not so great people).  Those who I’ve met in Mexico have been easy to talk to, no matter the language barrier and have a wonderfully contagious love for their country.

9. Mexican Mescal:

As someone who has never enjoyed Mescal, I swear it tastes better in Mexico.  Ask for advice on which brand to order a shot of and enjoy the smooth and smoky flavors wash over your taste buds.

Most people have experienced Mexico through an all-inclusive resort on a coastline.  While great for some epic relaxation and overindulging in buffets and cocktails, this is often a glittered over the false interpretation of the country’s actual culture.

Mexico is viewed as a hub for margaritas, mariachi bands, tequila, tacos, long catered beaches and lots of parties. If you step further into the country you begin to experience something beyond those comforts. You will find a land of vibrant colors that blend together old world history and local charm.

If visiting Mexico, enjoy the slow-paced life that exists where the crowded beaches transition to lush jungles, where stunning architecture meets incredible nature, and where you can taste the humbleness in their food.

Read more to prepare for your trip to Mexico City here!

Mexico City Travel Guide

Mexico City Travel Advice

Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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Seven Unexpected things to do in Mexico City

Seven Unexpected things to do in Mexico City

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As the most populated city in the Western Hemisphere, Mexico City is filled with so much to experience (and to eat!).  While there are sights that can’t be missed, if you have time on your side or are eager to do something out of the ordinary, then check out this list of seven unexpected things to do in Mexico City:

Seven Unexpected Things to do in Mexico City

1. Visit pyramids that aren’t in Egpyt

If the ruins at Zocalo aren’t enough for you, check out the Mesoamerican pyramids of Teotihuacan.  It was once one of the largest cities in the world and is preserved quite well.

2. Walk around their many city parks

I applaud the city planners of the early 19th century, for they purposefully set aside public land for greenery throughout the city.  Ranging from epicly large, like Chapultepec, to quaint and quick, parks are where the locals are resting and are a great place for people watching.

3. Find the most unique street art throughout the neighborhoods of La Condesa and Roma

Just walk around and you’ll easily be able to spot unique pieces throughout these neighborhoods.  It’s the also the area I would recommend staying too

[ Related: The Best Neighborhoods to stay in Mexico City ]

4. Ride the canals at Xochimilco

Experience a more party like canal ride than you would in Venice, Italy at the canals of Xochilmilco.  Enjoy floating restaurants and drinks while listening to live music in this unique place.

5. Explore ancient ruins

Similar to Rome, Italy, Mexico City has ancient ruins in the heart of their historic center.  Walk around the Zocalo to witness architecture from the Aztecs of Pre-Columbian days to Catholic churches built in the early 1600’s.

6. Enjoy amazingly cheap & delicious vegan food

Mexico City is known for their food scene.  You can find any cuisine you’d like here, but you’d be remiss to visit and not eat Mexican food.  What’s best is that there is a plethora of vegan food places that will have your mouth watering long after you’ve visited

Related: Check out the vegan food tour and my sister and I did together ]

7. Dog watch

Mexico City’s Roma and La Condesa neighborhoods are very dog friendly (meaning many people are now adopting dogs as pets, not necessarily that a lot of establishments allow dogs inside), so on any given weekday you can spot groups of 20+ dogs hanging with their walker or being trained in the public parks.

No matter what you decide to do, there are plenty of unexpected things to do in Mexico City, so be sure to arrive eager and hungry.

Read more to prepare for your trip to Mexico City here!

Mexico City Travel Guide

Mexico City Travel Advice

Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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Roma and La Condesa Neighborhoods of Mexico City

Roma and La Condesa Neighborhoods of Mexico City

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Updated November 11, 2019

Which neighborhoods to stay at when visiting Mexico City

This page contains affiliate links to products and tours that I have used for my own travels, purchased & enjoyed. Clicking these links does not cost you anything, however doing so will support Blue Eyed Compass and allow the site to continue.  THANK YOU! You can view our disclosure page for additional details

“What neighborhood in Mexico City should I stay in?”  A question I asked myself with concern once our flights were booked, as I had very little knowledge about Mexico City and where it was safest to stay as a female traveler.  When traveling for vacation, typically visitors are only staying for a handful of days, a week at best, so choosing the best area of a city to stay in is key to a great experience.  This is why I cannot recommend enough for those traveling to Mexico City to stay in the Roma or La Condesa neighborhoods.

Here is why these are the best neighborhoods to stay in in Mexico City:

About the Roma & La Condesa Neighborhoods of Mexico City

        Roma, Mexico City and La Condesa, Mexico City are bordering residential neighborhoods to each other, with overlapping lines of distinction between the two.  Pedestrians can walk effortlessly and best yet, they’re centrally located within the massively spread out Mexico City districts. Both are southwest of the historic district and a quick walk to the ever popular Chapultepec Park.

        And for female travelers, the areas are very safe. We loved our time spent in Mexico City, but many locals (friends of friends) warned us of safety issues going as females to the city. Luckily, both the Roma and La Condesa neighborhoods of Mexico City are very safe for female travelers.

        Visiting a major metropolitan city one would assume a hustle and bustle of passersby and brick and mortar as the only views in sight.  Roma and La Condesa contrast from the centro historico district of Mexico City – which is what most people know the city for.

        The Roma and La Condesa neighborhoods are home to whimsical tree-lined streets that guide you to scenic parks, where you can catch a breath of fresh air (literally!).  This area was originally home to aristocrats and slowly transitioned to a place where artisans could set up shop, to now, where it is home to a multitude of quaint boutiques, aromatic coffee shops and delicious restaurants. Which gives the neighborhoods a bohemian & relaxed vibe.

        All of this makes the Roma and La Condesa neighborhoods one of the most walkable places in Mexico City.

How to get around the Roma & La Condesa Neighborhoods

        The best way to truly encapsulate life here is by walking.  You could spend hours wandering the streets. I would suggest starting your day at La Cucurucho coffee shop, and ending at one of the many restaurants with a world-renowned chef.  In between you will want your camera out as there is a multitude of exquisite street art throughout the area.
        Street art is mixed between the colorful french style decor that favors an Art Deco design, construction areas (due to the earthquake of 2017, the Roma and La Condesa neighborhoods were hit the hardest), and contemporary buildings.
Read MoreVegan Food Tour in Mexico City

Why is the Roma & La Condesa Neighborhoods the best place to stay in Mexico City for travelers?

        The quirky subculture that resides in Roma and La Condesa of Mexico City makes it the best place for visitors to stay.  Staying here is safe and exciting, as each corner has a quirky new place to discover. You will be able to enjoy the antiquity and bustle of historic Mexico City, while sleeping in a neighborhood that is bursting with another sub culture entirely of its own persona.

Planning a trip to Mexico City?  Check out my Mexico City Travel Guide!

Differences between Roma and La Condesa:

Roma is divided into two separate colonias: Roma Norte & Roma Sur

Roma is a bit edgier & cheaper than La Condesa

Here are places I would recommend staying at in Roma or La Condesa:

AirBnB : if you’re new to using AirBnb here is a discount code for you to use on your first stay!

Historic Building in the Roma neighborhood

Hotel Parque México (Boutique Hotel)

Capital Suites Luxury Residences & Offices

FlowSuites Condesa – Adults Only

Want even more options?

Check out more hotels with great deals in the La Condesa & Roma neighborhoods here:

Booking.com

Scroll through to see more pictures from the Roma & La Condesa neighborhoods of Mexico City

Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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Vegan Food in Mexico City

Vegan Food in Mexico City

mexico city

Last Updated November 12th, 2019

A self run vegan food tour in Mexico City, with our favorite places to eat!

Most vegetarians and vegans already enjoy Mexican cuisine as it can very easily be made for a plant based diet.

There is one neighborhood in Mexico City that has done a particularly wonderful job at having great vegan food in Mexico City.  The best part- it’s all vegan AND it tastes amazing! Vegan food in Mexico City can easily be found, and lucky for Mexico City visitors is that the city is filled with good food options on every corner.

My sister and I impulsively decided to spend a day enjoying multiple vegan eateries around the Roma/Condesa neighborhood in Mexico City.  I’ve included all of the places that we really enjoyed and in an order that follows along a walk throughout the area.  Follow along the listed places below for a tasty vegan day!

Read More: Why Stay in Roma or La Condesa in Mexico City

*Note: the order of the places listed were done so to make it as convenient to walk around as possible.  No backtracking or out of the way places.

Roma & La Condesa, Mexico City Vegan Food Tour

Chiquitito Cafe’

Simple, beautiful decor matched with equally delicious coffee.  Start here to rev up your engines for your marathon day of eating.

Ojo de Aqua

This is a small chain in Mexico City, known for their fresh juices and entrees.  Order a large juice from their extensive menu, and sit with a view of the park fountain.  *Similar to ordering at Panera, place your order at the counter and receive a number that you bring to your table.

El Pendulo

A beautiful coffee shop and bookstore.  You may not need another coffee by this point, but El Pendulo is a neighborhood favorite so spend some time wandering through the aisles of books.

Plan V

Plan V has the cutest interior and an all plant based menu (with an English menu too!).  We really enjoyed their enfrijoladas.

El Tako Vegano

Split an order of three of their tacos made with fresh green (spinach) tortillas.  Our favorite was the Alhambra taco, and was made even better with their selection of delicious salsas and incredibly friendly staff!

Por Siempre Vegano

Por Siempre Vegano is a vegan food truck.  Or should I say, it is the most epic food truck ever.  The line for lunch was crazy long, but well worth the 15 minute wait.  We ordered the torta with seitan and avocado, and as I write this my mouth is watering.  This food truck opens at 1pm and is perfect for lunch.

Mercado Roma

Mercado Roma is a delicious and easily accessible gourmet food market in the heart of the neighborhood.  They have a vast array of dining options and a lovely open seating area towards the back. Walk around to see all of the different options, but don’t miss El Moro with the most delicious churros I’ve ever had.

*there is also a spice vendor which is a great souvenir idea for Mexico City

Cucurucho Coffee

A simple, and delicious coffee shop with beans sourced from within Mexico.  You can purchase beans here which is a huge plus if you enjoy bringing coffee back home like I do.  Bonus- they only use sustainable cups and are pet friendly!

La Pitahaya

Now that you are recaffeinated (or at least stocked up with coffee beans to bring home), stop into La Pitahaya.  This vegan eatery is cozy and delicious with an all plant based menu known for their pink taco shells made from beetroot.

Casa Quimera

Casa Quimera is a vegan food market that I have read about online — I have not been here myself.  I wanted to add it to this list as it’s fairly close to La Pitahaya and is supposed to have quite a few vegan food options inside.

There are food tours that you can book and pay for in Mexico City.  In fact, we took one! However, this is a day that you can easily navigate for yourself.  I removed some locations that we went to where we didn’t love the food. So, what you’ve read here are the top places!  And I’m sure I’m missing a few more great places.

If you’re walking and see a vegan restaurant that isn’t listed here, be sure to check it out and start creating your own list of vegan food places that must be visited in Mexico City.  If you don’t want to spend an entire day doing this, then mark a couple of these places down to enjoy while out exploring. You won’t be disappointed.

If you’d rather go with a tour group then check out these great deals:

TIPS for a self run food tour:

  • If youre doing this with another person, split an entree so you can eat throughout the day
  • If you can only choose one place to eat at, go to Por Siempre Vegano vegan food truck.  I still dream about the food from there.

Visiting Mexico City?  Check out this Mexico City Travel Guide

Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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Mexico City Travel Advice

Mexico City Travel Advice

mexico city

Tips to help you feel prepared for your trip to Mexico City

The most populous city in North America is a staggering characterization to anticipate for a non-Spanish speaking traveler.  However tourism is booming here. Each year millions come to explore Mexico City’s many museums, gardens, and clubs, and it’s begun to be spoken about in the same sentences as with London, Paris, etc.  Many have a misconception that the city is rife with crime, overpopulation and pollution. To the contrary, Mexico City is a beautiful and colorful destination waiting for you to explore its deep rooted history, culture, and possibly most important, food!  After traveling here, I’ve put together my most useful Mexico City travel advice.

20 Pieces of Travel Advice for Mexico City

1.  There are (essentially) no rules of the road.  People will drive in all directions and nudge their cars through where they want.  And adjust your ears for the car horns, as they are extensions of a Mexico City drivers arm.

2.  Public Transportation should be avoided if you are not a local.  Pick pocketing happens to many tourists, so use Uber instead

[New to Uber?  Use this link to earn your first ride for free on me!]

3.  Avoid the taxis too (they are pink & white).  This may be a preference on the traveler, but I’ve read plenty of stories of Mexico City taxi drivers who skim your credit card information and overcharge non-Spanish speakers.  If you insist on taxis, NEVER hail one from a tourist attraction. Go to the stations that have taxis parked, or one that your hotel can call for you.

4.  In fact, the ratio of drivers to people living in the city is fairly low, which makes its people more sustainable than most other cities.

5.  Overall, Mexico city is very safe for tourists!  In fact tourism is booming here; with over 12 million plus visitors coming each year.

6. The city is very vegetarian and vegan friendly!

Related: Here is a vegan food tour we did ourselves in Mexico City! ]

7. Mexicans are not fans of sarcasm and can take things very personally. So use caution if your go to humor is sarcastic. (*we were advised of this by a few different Mexico City locals, however I never experienced it firsthand)

8. Cinnamon is a popularly used spice.  Embrace it or go home.

9. Mexico City is not for morning people (or so I’m told).  They enjoy late nights out, and who couldn’t blame them with their exciting club scene.  Lucky for travelers, that just means it is easier to take morning photos since there will be less people out.

10. The city is massive.  While on a map it may not look like it will take you long to get there, in real time it will.  So, incorporate travel time and traffic if riding in a car.

Related: Mexico City Travel Guide ]

11. There are 16 districts in Mexico City, also known as colonias.  Each has its own personality, and vibe. Polanco, for example, is one of the wealthiest residential areas with expensive designer boutiques, upscale restaurants, and swanky clubs and hotels.  While Condesa and Roma are home to hip cafes and bars, quirky shops, and cool art galleries.

Related: Wondering where to stay in Mexico City?  Here’s why you should stay in Roma or La Condesa ]

12. The city was built on a high altitude lake bed- and it continues to sink… (could this be north america’s version of Venice?)  When people speak about pollution in the city this is because the air takes awhile to migrate away from this valley.

13. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, so should not be missed.  The gastro scene in Mexico City is booming. You can find a delicious meal on any spectrum of price you’re willing to pay.  Dinner typically starts around 9pm.

14. Carry loose change to tip at restaurants.  10% is customary, and it can be left on your table when you depart.

15. Speaking of cash, it’s best to carry small denominations of pesos with you.  Use your credit cards for larger purchases.

16. Pack to dress in layers- the weather can be sunny all morning with showers in the afternoon.

17. You cannot and should not drink the tap water.  My advice would be to purchase a large jug of water at a local convenience store and refill your own water bottle throughout your trip.

18. Leave your valuables at home.  There is no need to flash off your expensive jewelry or handbags.  As a visitor, you can easily be targeted. We were even told that many locals won’t wear their nice jewelry out in certain areas of the city.

19. Dress smart.  While many may not wear expensive jewelry, as a whole, the people of Mexico City dress professionally.  

20. Set aside at least three FULL days in Mexico City.  While you could spend weeks here to see it all, the major sites can be done in a weekend.  Plus that’s three lunches and three dinners where you can eat your way to happiness here.

If you’re questioning whether you should go to Mexico City or not, the answer is YES, go!  The city is very affordable and safe for tourists. Have more questions? Check out my other posts about traveling in Mexico.  You can also leave a question in the comments below and I’ll be sure to respond and help you plan your trip!

Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

Follow Along!

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