Yesterday I arrived in Guatemala, I couldn’t be happier or more excited to be here. And I’m so happy and almost nostalgic about Mexico, I managed to backpack for nearly two months around Mexico and it went amazingly perfect. So, I thought I would do a final post about my time in Mexico and also write about my super easy and stress-free boarder crossing from mexico to guatemala.
To keep this post concise and to stop any waffling I am going to link my previous blog posts to each place where I have previously written what we got up to. This post should just put it into a nice summary and give information for crossing the boarder.
So it all began in Mexico City.
Mexico city was great but I definitely didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. It had some really great history and culture to it and we also found some incredible vegan food. However, I felt like it was much too vast and I didn’t see as much as I would’ve liked to. It was also harder to get around than I expected. We went to the Teotihuacan ruins which were really beautiful and I loved walking around them all. I think we should’ve spent longer and maybe I would’ve enjoyed the city more, I would recommend closer to two weeks.
Mexico City –> Oaxaca City
We then took the OCC tourist bus to Oaxaca which was simply done through BusBud.com. However, I would recommend going to the bus station as it is always cheaper to buy there than online. It was an incredible bus journey, like nothing I have ever seen before. We were driving through these incredible mountains and hills. I would definitely recommend doing the day bus so you get to see and appreciate the journey, instead of the night bus.
I loved Oaxaca. It was the first place I felt connected to and that the culture and art really appealed to me. It was a small city that I just loved walking around and going to the little food shops. We did one tour where we went to a mezcal and textile factory and saw a petrified waterfall which was a really interesting day- the waterfall was like nothing I have ever seen before.
Oaxaca City –> Puerto Escondido
We then took a small colectivo size bus to Puerto Escondido. I followed the advice on this blog post which took us to a small bus station and reasonably priced tickets at 250MX$. This route was the cheapest and the fastest however, it meant going through the very long and windy road. After two months backpacking I have experience many terrible drives but this was my first and it was pretty intense.
Our home away from home for the next two weeks. We had the most incredible time here, meeting some really great people and managing to find a place that made us feel happy and comfortable in a country that we had never been to before. We ate incredible food at the many restaurant surrounding us and spent a lot of time by the pool or on the beach.
Puerto Escondido –> San Cristobal de la Casas
This is where we found out it was sometimes 1/2 the price to buy the tickets from the bus station instead of online. We walked to OCC and picked up two tickets I think for around 400MX$ each, we took the night bus because it was the cheaper ticket and I think around a 12-14 hour journey.
This was my favourite place we have visited in Mexico. It was incredibly similar to Oaxaca city; full of art and beautiful architecture. For a small town there was also an incredible amount of vegan options and restaurants, here we have the best penne alfredo I have ever had in my life. The walking tour here was incredible and we learnt so much about the area and the women taught us of the honesty surrounding those selling products on the market.
San Cristobal –> Palenque
I don’t remember this journey too well which I think means it was pretty uneventful. We booked the tickets at the bus station a few days before and I think left around 9/10am meaning we arrived into Palenque later in the evening.
Palenque was another of my favourite places. We stayed at El Panchen which meant living in the middle of the jungle, and you can’t really go wrong with that. There wasn’t a heap to do but I fell in love with the peace and quiet and lack of wifi. We went to the ruins which were really impressive, spread out for you to walk around and seemingly well preserved whilst also letting nature grow and take over as it pleased.
Palenque –> Merida (return)
This trip is another one I don’t remember too well, I know the price to Merida was 350MX$ and the price back to Palenque was 450MX$, and I have no idea how it got more expensive at all. This journey was really long as we ended up not taking direct routes but it was still done in a day and each time we arrived safe and sound with no problems.
Merida was a small town that didn’t have too much going on. Our hostel was nice with a pool however the mosquito situation was crazy and as soon as the sun set they would pounce. We used Merida as a base for us to visit Chichen Itza and to experience day of the dead. Merida did have some great small food stores that made incredibly tasty and cheap food. I found that those in Merida/Yucatan state were the most friendly Mexicans I had encountered on my trip, everyone was willing to help and give advice, sometimes without even having to ask.
Here is also where our travelling got a little confusing as we went to Merida, then went back to Palenque to go to Guatemala.
Getting to Guatemala.
We expected this trip to be difficult and expensive, after hearing our friends had been charged 550MX$ when crossing from San Cristobal to Guatemala. We had an incredible and completely different experience. At the restaurant Don Muchos, in El Panchen there was a place selling tours. There was an option from 500MX$ leaving at 6am and requiring a bus change OR an option for 600MX$ leaving at 9am and taking you straight to Flores.
A coin toss landing on tails made our decision. 500MX$ trip it was. And it was incredible. It was a simple 4 step route:
1. Take the bus to Corozal, stopping off at immigration to get a leaving stamp- taking 4/5 hours.
2. Take a short boat ride to Guatemala- taking 4 minutes.
3. Take another bus to Flores, stopping off at immigration to get an entrance stamp- taking 5 hours.
4. Get put on another to the Isle of Flores.
It sounds like it could be complicated but each bus/boat driver knew what he was doing with us and where to take us and drop us off. As it was orgnaised through a tour company you have the comfort of feeling safe and knowing that they know where to take you. It was also an amazing trip, seeing things we never would’ve seen, almost like the back garden of Guatemala.
I am so happy that we managed to spend nearly two months travelling and moving all around the central and south of Mexico without meeting any problems. We only had interactions with lovely people, were never obviously ripped off and never had anything stolen. I know this may not be the case for every country we visit however to leave Mexico and without having to pay any fake tourist fee made me feel incredibly triumphed. I also loved our experience passing through the boarder and the incredible things we saw on our drive across the country. I will forever tell people of the most amazing time I had in Mexico and how amazing the food was and the people and their honesty.
Thank you so much for reading this blog post and coming with me on my two month backpacking trip through Mexico. I have all the previous blog posts linked throughout this post so I will attached my youtube channel where you can watch my monthly videos as I continue my trip south. See you next time!