Two weeks Mexico - Suggested Itinerary Pacific Coast or otherwise?
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Sep 3, 2012 10:31 AM Last Post By: p0gue
Aug 28, 2012 9:29 PM
My husband and I are planning a trip back to Mexico in February/ March of 2012. Last year we visited the Yucatan (Playa, Tulum, Isla Mujeres, Cancun) which we absolutely loved (apart from Cancun which was definitely not our fave) but, being from Australia and knowing that this may be the last time that we head to Mexico we wanted to try something new this time and were thinking of heading to Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido, Zipolite, Manzunte or something along those lines - I was wanting to know if it would be realistic to target these areas with only 2 weeks to spend over there, if we could find enough to do in these areas with that time or if there is another itinerary that anyone else would recommend?
Our criteria is:
- Overall fairly cheap (which is why I originally ruled out Baja for us, please let me know if a Baja itinerary could be done using hostels/ cheap accommodation instead though)?
- Young, fun backpackery vibe - internationals, not just Americans, would be great to meet like-minded people on our travels
- Surf beaches
- Cool nightlife (we love live music, Reggae bars etc - not so much into the loud dance music parties)
- Not OTT touristy like Cancun - something more along the lines of Isla Mujeres
- We would like to visit maybe 3-4 different places but don't want to spend too much time travelling (are happy to purchase cheaper domestic flights to save time)
I know that we're probably asking for a lot there(!) but if anyone has any ideas we are totally open to suggestions!
Aug 29, 2012 2:57 AM
1"I was wanting to know if it would be realistic to target these areas with only 2 weeks to spend over there, if we could find enough to do in these areas with that time or if there is another itinerary that anyone else would recommend?"
You apparently want to focus on surfing, beaches, and partying some with other international travelers, while perhaps becoming slightly more immersed in Mexico this time than you were during your last trip. Given those goals, your plan to visit the city of Oaxaca, surfing mecca Puerto Escondido, and maybe also another Oaxaca State Pacific beach makes sense, as does your plan to minimize your travel time.
Yes, there is plenty to do in those areas. On the coast you could, if you wish to do so, pleasantly spend the entire two weeks surfing, swimming, lying around, partying, etc.
Similarly some people who post here profitably devote two full weeks to sight seeing in and around the City of Oaxaca. The attractions up in that highland city include Indigenous culture, art, crafts, museums, a ruin or two, and participating in the every day life of a vibrant little city.
Three choices you'll need to make:
1. How much time to devote to Oaxaca City vs. the Pacific Coast.
2. Whether to fly between Oaxaca and the Coast or instead devote a day to taking a scenic (but potentially queasy) van ride through the mountains. (I'd personally take the van ride. but not everyone else who posts here prefers that choice.)
3.Whether or not to devote some time to Mexico City. Coming from Australia you will probably need to pass through Mexico City (or its airport) twice, both coming and going, as you travel to your Oaxacan destinations. If you have any interest at all in Mexican culture, Mexican history, or the wonders of large cosmopolitan cities, consider spending at least two or three full days in MC..
My suggestion--consider spending about 1/4 of your days in MC, about 1/4 in Oaxaca, and 1/3 in Puerto Escondido. (Those would not necessarily be my own allocations, but I'm neither an Australian nor a surfer.)
3 full days MC
1 day--scenic day time bus ride to Oaxaca
3 full days Oaxaca
1 day--scenic daylight van "thrill ride" trip to PE (via. Pochutla perhaps?)
5 full days PE
1 day flying from PE back to California
Aug 29, 2012 3:05 AM
Aug 29, 2012 7:32 AM
3Agree with much of above. There are lots of places to visit near Puerto Escondido if that's your base (my recommendation). See http://www.tomzap.com for more info about the Oaxacan coast. Vans and buses travel both the direct highway between Oaxaca city and Puerto Escondido as well as the highway to Pochutla (and the existing OCC first-class service via Salina Cruz, which is being joined by a new OCC service to Huatulco via Miahuatlan).
Aug 29, 2012 1:37 PM
Aug 29, 2012 8:44 PM
5Wow, thank you for that, that's incredible advice everyone! Thank you so so much, I really appreciate it... Chris0daniel you have us down to a tee, thank you for being so insightful! x
rhiannonprince, glad to know that PE is worth spending the time in! From what you say it does sound like our kind of scene! Would you liken the scene to Tulum/Isla Mujeres? They were hands down our faves from the last trip.
We'll be flying into Los Angeles so i'm wondering this route might make sense $ wise and time wise:
Los Angeles - fly to Mexico City (3 nights - aero mexico seem to do a free stopover here on the way to Oaxaca)
Mexico City flight to Oaxaca (2 nights in Oaxaca)
Bus to PE (8 nights around that area? Is it easy to see the other places from that area such as Zipolite etc from there? Do we just bus around to see these other places?)
Flight back to Oaxaca for another night and then get back to LAX - we'll probably have a couple of nights in LA before heading home so will have flexibility if there are delayed transfers etc
Thanks again forum folk - you truly are wonderful!
Aug 29, 2012 8:50 PM
Aug 30, 2012 1:45 AM
Aug 30, 2012 6:18 AM
Aug 30, 2012 7:07 AM
9the Oaxaca coast is tons of fun... a whole other level of laid back compared to the Cancun area. Paradise, the good life, etc. Inexpensive and international. Puerto Angel, Zipolite, Mazunte are my personal favorites. You can mix and match as all of these beaches are quite close to one another -- PE for when you want some city nightlife options, the others when you want to completely unwind in a more natural, low key setting. After two weeks, you'll wish you had two more months. Buy a hammock while you are in Zipolite-Mazunte... IMO these are the finest hammocks made anywhere. There are flights to Mexico City out of PE and Huatulco on Vivaaerobus and Interjet or the bus ride through the mountains to Oaxaca city is spectacular.
Aug 30, 2012 7:14 AM
10Is it easy to see the other places from that area such as Zipolite etc from there? Do we just bus around to see these other places?
Yes, there are frequent colectivos and camionetas circulating between Pochutla, Puerto Angel, Zipolite, and Mazunte (during daylight hours); and second-class buses between Pochutla and Puerto Escondido.
Sep 2, 2012 7:04 PM
11Hot. White. Sand.
There is a nice beach hotel on the west end of San Agustinilllo. The very last one on the beach. Get the second floor for the breezes. All the rooms face the ocean. The food in general is really good, but the cockteles mariscos at the beach side restaurant under the hotel are the best. We paid $35 /night for the room. This is also the place to get a day fishing. We saw over fifty turtles. (and caught fish) Awesome! If you want to fish from shore, walk out to Punta Cometa from Mazunte.
San Augustinillo is removed from the loud partying at night, but is easy to get a taxi to/from any of the other beaches. A night at the hotel in Zipolote was too noisy but we returned a few times for a great beach party, and great restaurants. San Augustinillo is really is pretty central, in the middle between the Puerto Angel/ Playa Ventanilla beach area.
For a day tripping, go to the small eco/center/ bird tours at Playa Ventanilla.This is a beach that will dazzle. 2 klicks west down the beach from the eco center is a wrecked Grumman Goose, with only the wings and engines sticking out of the sand. See it on Google Earth, or maybe go see it in person. If you want to hike there is a beautiful waterfall with a large pool in the mountains outside of Puerto Escondido, near the small puebla of San Gabriel Mixtepec. You would have to ask around to find it. There is lots of great snorkeling, but try the coral reef 50/60 klicks south of Puerto Angel, at Playa Tahueca
This was an easy place to spend two weeks. Cool night life in all these small places, and lots to do in the day.
Sep 3, 2012 10:31 AM
12I've found that the experience you have on these beaches can vary wildly depending on where you decide to stay. For example, on Zipolite there are 2-3 establishments on the mile-long beach that play loud music at night (usually to fewer than 5 people, if any at all) Find a room away from those places and all you hear at night is crashing waves. It really makes a huge difference in how you experience the place. Shambhala, on the hill at the far west end, is home base for me in Zipol....very quiet and relaxed, great hypnotic vistas down the beach. The places next door, Alquimista and Cosmico, have a similiar tranquilo vibe.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$11.59 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$92.59 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$82.49 per night