I’ve now been in Mexico for almost two weeks, but it feels like a lot longer as so much has happened!
Last weekend I was invited on a weekend away to Tepoztlán (which I still can’t pronounce despite having attempted countless times). Tepztlán is a “Pueblo Mágico” about 3 hours south of Mexico City, and is a buzzing tourist destination thanks to its Aztec archaeological site at the top of its mountain.
After a traditional Mexican breakfast consisting of beer and tacos at the market, we started the treacherous climb up to the top. We were assured it would only take about 40 minutes, but looking at the mountain from below we were very sceptical – and we turned out to be right. The climb up was very long and with the high altitudes (1710 metres – much lower than CDMX, but still a lot higher than our British lungs were used to), we needed to take a couple of breaks on the way up. The path was mainly rocks arranged to form stairs, and at points was so steep we hand to climb with our hands too.
Finally we made it to the top, where we visited the pyramid (Tepozteco), admired the views and found some cheeky Tejónes (white-nosed Coati in English) who stole our Mexican friend’s spare Tacos from his backpack. Could it get any more Mexican than that?
Even though Tepoztlán was beautiful, it had nothing on Las Estacas, where we went on Saturday with a tour company I found on Facebook (Hang Out Mexico). Las Estacas was kind of like a Mexican Centre Parcs, in that there were lots of activities, restaurants, pools, etc all in one resort. You can also stay the night there, but we just went for the day.
Even though we were only about 3 hours from CDMX, it felt like we were in a completely different country. In the city the weather was grey and only around 24 degrees, but in Las Estacas we had glorious sun and about 33 degrees! No wonder they call the area la primavera eterna (eternal spring), as apparently it’s like that all year round.
There was so much to see and do, we swam along the river, jumped into the “hole” – the water’s source, sunbathed, tried swinging into the river and explored underwater nature thanks to Sabrina’s goggles!
The fact that we went with a tour company made the whole trip so much better, as we were able to meet lots of other young people living in CDMX, Mexicans and foreigners alike. As we’re not in Europe, we don’t have the privilege of an ESN society, so this was the next best thing. We met people from Germany, Austria, Portugal, France, Guadeloupe, the States, to name a few. I would definitely recommend looking for organisations like this for anyone on their Year Abroad, just search key words on Facebook!