Reasonably priced Mexico City Guide
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Aug 12, 2013 7:15 PM Last Post By: Luminance
Aug 11, 2013 10:30 AM
Reasonably priced Mexico City GuideThere will be 2 of us in Mexico City next week and are looking at using a tour guide for a day but don't want to pay a fortune. The last time I was there, I was approached by a young man in the zocalo who had some sad sack story about needing some money for getting to his job in Cancun. I still remember his name was Leo... anyway, he spoke fluent English and I told him I wasn't handing over money for nothing but that I would be glad to pay him to show me around the tourist areas for $10 per hour and he did so and was actually a wonderful tour guide... He obviously had done tours before as he knew people at all the major attractions and after hitting all the major stuff I was happy to give him $30 for the 2.5 hours he spent with me. I saw him the next day in the Zocalo and he was once again telling his sad story to another group of tourists who looked like they handed him a few dollars, LOL, smart guy I guess....
So, anyway, on to today. I have been looking online and tour guides are crazy ! $200 a day, some more than that! I am wondering if we can show up in front of the Anthropology museum and find someone that can translate / do a tour for us in English? I remember enough of the Zocalo area to get around there fine but think the museum would be more interesting if we understood more of what is being said on the descriptions. I remember that most of the explanations were in Spanish only. How likely is it to find a guide on spot and if so, what would be a good rate?
Aug 11, 2013 12:16 PM
Aug 11, 2013 2:00 PM
2Tour guide? Why not just buy a guidebook? I know very few people who have hired a human to show them the sights. Exceptions would include the elderly, disabled, lazy, and those first-time naive visitors who don't speak or read a word of Spanish.
Like Anonimo, we took one of those two-hour bus tours of the city in one of our first trips to DF. It gave us a pretty good overview of the layout of the city and where we might want to visit, but it mostly took us to trinkets and curio shops where we could buy factory made crap to take home. If you have questions about specific areas or sights in the city, a guidebook or people on this forum can answer them. Good luck!
Aug 11, 2013 3:05 PM
3We are staying at the Marriott Reforma and I contacted the concierge and he recommended 2 different guides. I went to their websites and yes, their prices are indeed in dollars. It seemed shockingly high to me for a tour guide.
I had done a search which brought me to this forum and after reading here more, I see that this website is geared more towards long-term backpackers than short term business travelers so we probably have different needs when traveliing. We are 2 ladies in our late 60's and do not speak Spanish. Our husbands will be out on business all day and my friend will not feel comfortable going it alone. While I have been to Mexico City numerous times, she is quite terrified as her only experience in Mexico was years ago crossing the land border at Brownsville and she only remembers it was quite dirty and dangerous seeming. If she heard I "picked up" a tour guide off the street last time, she would be quite shocked and while I did not mean to pick him up, but if I was going to give him some money I wanted him to at least earn it! In the end he was quite good so I thought that it would be nice if I could find someone similar this time to show us around the anthropology museum at a minimum, you seem to get so much more out of it if you understand what you are actually seeing! But, I just can't see paying $200 for a few hours... on principal it just seems way overpriced!
Aug 11, 2013 4:24 PM
4K39th., I agree with you about paying $200 USA dollars for a day tour. I would suggest possibly finding a college or private institution that teaches English/Spanish and asking the administration if there is someone available to be a tour guide that speaks English. Being a past volunteer tutor in Acapulco, I found even students were willing to show me around so they could their English. Try using the Internet to connect with one of these institutions and tell them you will pay expenses and what they would charge?
I think you also have a good idea with going to museum or other tourist attraction and finding a local there that is also visiting the site, if he/she speaks English. My best bet would be a young person of college age. Buena suerte (Good luck), Edmund
Aug 11, 2013 4:26 PM
Aug 11, 2013 7:15 PM
6The museo de antropologia has headsets available explaining the displays in many languages. At the national cathedral there are guides there and most speak English. Most other large sites (like Chapultapec castle) have signs on the displays in English and Spanish. After that, there are specific tours you can go on with English-speaking guides (the cantina tour for example).
Aug 12, 2013 7:27 AM
Aug 12, 2013 7:40 AM
8We took the Turibus on our first visit to DF. We chose the Centro tour. It was very helpful in getting an initial overview of the city. We could choose among several languages on the headsets, and we could get on and off at any number of stops, most of which are at historic or cultural sites. Contrary to one of the above posts, it did not stop at or promote any cheap souvenir shops.
Aug 12, 2013 9:35 AM
9There is an Independent Mexican Association of Guides and Providers of Tourist Services that lists tours that cost 80 pesos per adult with 5 persons minimum for 3 to 3.5 hours. I have never tried them so I cannot comment. I would try to give them a call to see if you can arrange one in English, they ask for 1 day advance confirmation.
Aug 12, 2013 7:15 PM
10I have had very good experiences with Mojdeh of Journeys beyond the Surface. Mojdeh will also cater to your particular interest, her associate Alvaro, is wonderful for art and history tours, he is also a working artist.
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