What an amazing winter trip I had this time in Mexico. So far, it was my longest stay in the country (more than a month), as well as an unexpected trip from Central to the Pacific to the Caribbean side of the country.
What started as a plan to just stay in Mexico city & Acapulco, turned up to be a crisscross of the country – by public bus, airplane & ferry. It was such an amazing experience being able to live like a “real” traveling local in Mexico and also to find out that there are real business opportunities there for me – something that never crossed my mind in the beginning.Second visit to Mexico city
First off, Mexico City – I purchased a return flight from Canada to Mexico city for this trip because it was the cheapest I found while searching. Besides that reason, I really fell for her the first time, so I promised to come back again even for short visits.
CDMX (Mexico city) is a very vibrant city. The Zocalo area, where I stayed last time, is full of people and activities – much like New York city is. And it is beautiful there, specially if you are someone who likes heritage sites, museums and history.Second time in Acapulco
After CDMX, I bused to Acapulco – where I intend to stay until the end of my trip. It was just my second visit to Acapulco but since the first time, I already felt that this is the place for me in Mexico.
Besides being close to the beach all the time anywhere I decide to locate (compared with Cancun), Acapulco has centuries of history directly connecting Mexico to the Philippines via the Manila Galleon or Nao de China ships. I felt a deep Filipino connection with the city.
I also experienced for the first time staying at a local’s house and got to know real Mexican life. But my plan to stay in Acapulco for the whole duration changed after only a few days with my host.My host talked to me about his plan to go to Puerto Vallarta for a business opportunity. And because I was really interested in putting up a business in Mexico, I didn’t pass up the offer. Puerto Vallarta I went!
The bus ride from Acapulco to Puerto Vallarta was a tortuous 20 hours! From Acapulco we stopped at Chilpanchingo then to Mexico City then Guadalajara and finally Puerto Vallarta. If you looked at it on Google map – it’s a loooong, loooong way!
The trip shouldn’t be that long if the bus took the direct route along the Pacific coast but according to many people, that route which is supposed to take only 7 hours will take longer due to the winding and narrow roads, although the view was beautiful. Also, night driving is dangerous along this route because of highway banditry, as some locals attests.
At any rate, riding long distance buses in Mexico is not really bad. First class buses in Mexico are way better than the buses we use in Canada plus they are cheap! The interior of the Mexican buses are like those in an aircraft; with 2 washrooms for men & women, very roomy/reclining seats and sometimes a coffee machine. It really was a convenient ride.Upon arriving at Puerto Vallarta, we stayed again in a typical Mexican house. Only this time, I am reminded of a typical Filipino neighborhood where everything is very familiar. It was way, way different from a beach or resort neighborhoods of Mexico I have stayed at (in either Acapulco or the Riviera Maya); cats/dogs/roosters roaming the streets, geckos (butiki) crawling on ceilings/walls, unpaved roads/streets, people gathering in one neighbors house (tsimisan), street food hawkers & sari-sari stores, etc.
What a surprise! I was transported back to my homeland!
Too bad, I only stayed 3 days at Puerto Vallarta. And because our objective there was to research a business opportunity, I wasn’t able to see much of the resort town. But I will go back to continue my business research and also to find out if PVR is a good candidate for long-term stays.Back to Acapulco
We bused back to Acapulco after our research at Puerto Vallarta. I must admit that I regret not being able to stay longer at Puerto Vallarta. But just being in the town is enough to give me an idea on the potential of the place. I will be back soon enough, maybe by my next trip.
And so – back in Acapulco, and while there, I was able to get to know many places of the town more.
Another unexpected trip
Just two weeks before going back to Canada, my host told me that he was offered a job in Cozumel. He suggested to me to take a look at Cozumel also for any opportunity I might be interested in.
Curious, I looked at my remaining money and computed the expenses I will incur if I did go there. And I figured, if I stay there for only 3 or 4 days, I will still have enough until my flight back home.And so I booked my flight & accommodation to Cozumel to have a look. I’ve been around Quintana Roo (Cancun & Riviera Maya), but have never been to Cozumel, so I was a little bit excited to visit that area of Mexico again.
Off to the Riviera Maya again! I bused to Mexico City from Acapulco and then took a Volaris flight from/to Mexico City to Cancun – which is the cheapest I found. From Cancun airport, I took the bus to Playa del Carmen, where the ferry going to Cozumel is.
Like I said, I am very familiar with the Riviera Maya, so I did not have a hard time finding the way to Cozumel, even if I haven’t been there. And within a few hours of arriving in Cancun, I was already at the hotel I booked and already sightseeing in Cozumel. Easy peasy!From my observation, Cozumel is just a bigger version of Isla Mujeres – another island that is part of Quintana Roo. Except for the cruise ship that visits and a few hotels that in the island, there are not much difference.
Although it is a beautiful Caribbean island, after being there for a few days, I’m not so sure if island living is for me. I think that it’s too much of a travel hassle just reaching it and everything costs more.
After the research at Cozumel, I traveled back to Cancun and stayed there for a day until my flight back to Canada.
And so, that’s it – the first time I went to different parts of Mexico in one visit. I have to admit that it felt great experiencing different places of the country, and excited finding out that there really is a viable business that I can put up.
My objective now is to decide on a permanent location in Mexico that I can call home so I may finally be able to settle in one place. It will not be decided anytime soon, but I would rather be careful in selecting because I consider this as the last time I would immigrate in another country!
(More photos of the recent trip to Mexico here….)