Day Trip to Árbol del Tule-Mitla-Hierve el Agua

Mornings in Oaxaca (during November) is freshy. Please don’t forget to bring your jacket in the morning to be prepared for the evening for this trip. IT WILL get chilly by the time the sun’s out. Sometimes, people decided to leave their jacket and suffer in the evening. Well, let’s just be prepared for the weather;)

Mercado Benito Juárez

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mercado+Benito+Ju%C3%A1rez/@17.0589597,-96.728885,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c7224038b4eba3:0x71688b6fd72b54d0!8m2!3d17.0589597!4d-96.7266963

Morning walks has always been my “must-do” during my travel. So before the tour started, I decided to walk several block from my hostel to this huge market. They have so many handcraft shops, food stalls, to fresh meats.

Mercado 20 de Noviembre

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mercado+20+de+Noviembre/@17.057857,-96.7294396,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c7224022ee0c31:0x1d059e688a2bcd76!8m2!3d17.057857!4d-96.7272509

It’s heaven of fooood<3 Cheap breakfast? Grab one here! You can get all those agua fresca (fresh flavored water) just for 30 pesos ($1.5). My favorite will always be the horchata!!! I still can’t move on. For those of you who don’t know, agua horchata is literally translated as rice water. And, they make it with crunched walnut… Can’t even expect more than this. Drool.

Árbol del Tule

The day tour started at 10am, they have a pickup from the hostel, damn the service is so great. The hostel that I stayed in was Casa de Don Pablo, they have some choices of tours during the week, super recommendable. The ride was directly to this humongous tree, it took us around 25 minutes to get there.

By the time we arrived with that tourist bus, we went to the ticket box to buy an entry ticket. No tickets are included in the tour! I mean, there are no major differences if you don’t wanna buy the ticket because you can still see the tree from farway (but without details of the unique trunk). The wind was so chill that time, even though it was sunny.

Fresh Cotton Home Industry

I feel like I’m in New Zealand! Even though the production process doesn’t start with shaving sheep, we were shown how they made all their cotton products from scratch. They are actually just a home-sized factory, you can count those knitting machine. They also made their own coloring naturally, everything eco-friendly❤ I love it!

Despite that, they sell everything crazy overprized for tourist. I mean I didn’t buy anything, so it doesn’t matter. Along the way, they told us that they still teach their kids how to knit since they’re in kindergarten. Aww! I wish I could see them doing it. Preserving cultures is important!!!

Mezcal El Rey de Matatlán

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mezcal+El+Rey+de+Matatl%C3%A1n/@16.9945051,-96.5279791,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c732240dcf3943:0x353c252f5e652075!8m2!3d16.9945!4d-96.525785

You’re haven’t been to Oaxaca if you don’t do mezcal tasting!! Oaxaca is well known for their mezcal production compared to other states in Mexico. We started the short tour by listening to the production process, ranging from grinding to fermentation. The machineries are very limited; I think that’s only for display purposes.

Then, it continues to the tasting. There were so many types of mezcal though, from the regular, aged, to flavored. Try to drink them little by little;)

Zona Arqueológica de Mitla

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mitla,+Oaxaca,+Mexico/@16.9211732,-96.3991341,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c0ccb057457005:0x5497eb6346d2218e!8m2!3d16.9211732!4d-96.3991341

After those alcohols I think you better rest for a bit in this 20-minute ride to Mitla. The sun was heating my beige sweater that time; we were split into 2 groups, English and Spanish speaking tour. And of course, the one in Spanish is much more complete than the English!! The tour was generally fine; the Spanish refurbished Mitla on 1520s as a religious complex, they said. Entrance fee is not included, remember! Just 60 pesos ($3.2USD) anyways;)

created by dji camera

Hierve el Agua

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hierve+el+Agua/@16.8656531,-96.2760065,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c0c8fe944491e3:0x2d9ba5e9d5bb8efd!8m2!3d16.8656531!4d-96.2760065

“What even? A frozen waterfall?”, I thought.

Entrance fee: 20 pesos ($1USD). Indeed guys, it’s a petrified waterfall that form from mineral water which touches the karstic limestone. That is the reason why those crystals were formed on the mountain’s edge. Besides, you can also see the 3 mineral pools that sit beside the cliff. It is rich of calcium carbonate, magnesium, and a bit of sulphur that creates a yellow hue.

I also wonder why the name of this place started with “hierve” (in Spanish), which means boiling in English. Turns out it’s just heavily carbonated but the water temperature is just around 22-26°C (legalnomads.com). And, the water is actually sprouting out from the ground, creating some bubbles on the ground. Aside from sightseeing, you can swim inside the mineral pools too!!

And it’s not the end of the day without a little hike! I went for a 15-minute hike to see the other part, which is the cascada chica. You can see the smaller petrified waterfall with a worm point of view, so wonderful!

That’s a wrap for the day trip! Just make sure you bring some extra money for some entrance fee. Love you guys<3

Escaping the Crowds to Oaxaca

I was looking for a state where I can see a very dense culture of Mexico. Should I see the north or south? But again, Miriam (my bestie) has been telling me for months that I should come to visit this state.

“Maria, it’s so amazing. You have to visit Oaxaca”, she said.

Again, I decided to travel from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara in the beginning to save up more money. By then, I flew to Oaxaca through Guadalajara. Flying with Volaris is actually not that bad, looking at the cheap flight I paid for.

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The Pochote Organic Market

Right after the short flight and my “luggage drop” in the hostel, literally I just growl for food. After asking recommendations from the hostel reception, I decided to come for the great chicken mole they have. They have quite some selection of food there, super nice<3

Downtown Strollin’

Make sure to allocate some time to walk around the downtown and check out how locals are selling some local food. And if you’re lucky there will be some musicians, too! Just a little break from those long walks. Nice enough<3

Museo Textil de Oaxaca

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Museo+Textil+de+Oaxaca/@17.0589275,-96.7243412,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c72240ab2f6aa1:0x48f8ac0322ca77e5!8m2!3d17.0606751!4d-96.7230172

Belly is happy now:) Next, one of the must-go museum in Oaxaca, honestly the clothing pieces are very unique. Plus, you can also see some other exhibitions on the upper floor.

Centro Cultural San Pablo

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Centro+Cultural+San+Pablo/@17.0589275,-96.7243412,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c72240a7b1779d:0x43bc1da2cdbdaed!8m2!3d17.0608271!4d-96.723319

Just a short visit here! The buildings are very artistic there; I just love how they put together this place to be a cultural center. Besides, they also have a coffee shop just by the entrance, get your laptop and your book, here:) And look what I found, a dad and his kid walking around this pretty place.

Zócalo Oaxaca

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Z%C3%B3calo+Oaxaca/@17.0602609,-96.7256823,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c722407fd5b687:0x506383de32c967f8!8m2!3d17.0605258!4d-96.7252924

Shopping? Here’s the place for y’ll. Food? Name it! They have so many places to shop and eat!

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cathedral+of+Our+Lady+of+the+Assumption/@17.0602609,-96.7256823,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xd0608e6f7a9ea305!8m2!3d17.0615431!4d-96.7250296

Museum of Cultures of Oaxaca, Santo Domingo

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Museum+of+Cultures+of+Oaxaca,+Santo+Domingo/@17.0658464,-96.7253494,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c7224ec7ba0447:0xe9d3bacda9641a28!8m2!3d17.0658413!4d-96.7231553

By the time I stepped my white Adidas and glaze the inside inside, I was very calm. This place is so elegant… Unfortunately I went inside just 40 minutes before they close (it was 5.30pm already!), but still getting a glimpse of it. So worth it! It has several floors up and more than 20 show rooms to check out. Plus! The sunset was so amazing that time.

Don’t forget to pass by Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán after your museum visit! The fretworks are so amazing!!

Museo de la Filatelia Oaxaca

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Museo+de+la+Filatelia+Oaxaca/@17.0660009,-96.7238058,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c7223946a1d52b:0x9f447f5fee9b7bb5!8m2!3d17.0659958!4d-96.7216117

“Hmm what else I can see just around the corner?”, I thought.

I clicked on the Google Maps icon on my large-screen phone and I found this museum just a 5 minute walk from where I was before. Hell yeah! Fun fact: I am actually a philatelic (I have dozens of stamp collection books and albums back home).

I am literally amazed. And I found the 3 pieces of penny blacks stamps. Damn!!! It got such an interesting design, they have this kind of slider-design where you can view all their collections based on its category. And you can also learn about some histories here;) AND, FREE ENTRY. Will be even better if you visit this museum in day time, though. You can chill for a bit in their lounge for free coffee😉

See you on the next one!

Hiking Day at El Cerro de La Bufa, Guanajuato

PRO TIP: this itinerary is for those of you who’s searching for a day trip around Guanajuato!

I was quite confused that morning, where should I go? And, I was alone which makes it even more difficult if I wanna travel a bit far. But on that morning I met a friend from the hostel that I lived at, Mau. He gave me this idea to hike a mountain which is located around 45 minutes away from downtown, hell yeah! Without even thinking, I decided to go, but breakfast comes first!

Gorditas Las Gueras

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Gorditas+%22Las+G%C3%BCeras%22/@21.0163783,-101.2541273,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b73f80440885b:0xea3dabe3a5223aa7!8m2!3d21.0163733!4d-101.2519332

Yuuuuum, gorditas for breakfast is a MUST here. As always, chicharrón (pork skin) is my favorite😉 I need power!! The sun was bright that morning, great choice for hiking! Plus, the price is reasonably cheap! That’s why we gotta wait the line for quite a while.

 

El Cerro de La Bufa

https://www.google.com/maps/place/El+Cerro+de+La+Bufa/@20.9945541,-101.2554007,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b76ad47b3b807:0x36b93df945de0754!8m2!3d20.9945541!4d-101.2532066

After so long I’m finally hiking again! We were talking a lot about live, together with some chill music? Enjoying the clean fresh air, just something rare from where I live. Love the positive vibe happening. There were not so many people surprisingly.

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Entrance!

The beginning of the hike was medium (already!), pebbles were very dry, making it so slippery to walk on. Mid way, we have to climb up with our hand. Be careful from the black poisonous worm, it’s so common.

 

By the time you reach a flat surface, you’ll know that you’re almost there. Take a little break; you deserve it. Look at those trees around, pretty hills. In about 30 minutes from the flat surface, you will reach the top! There’s a blue cross right there. The view to downtown is super broad—from downtown to the other part of the city.

 

created by dji camera

The huge hill;)

created by dji camera

Spot me!

Presa de La Olla

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Presa+de+La+Olla,+Barrio+de+la+Presa,+Guanajuato,+Gto.,+Mexico/@20.9945541,-101.2685327,14z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b76ad47b3b807:0x36b93df945de0754!2sEl+Cerro+de+La+Bufa!8m2!3d20.9945541!4d-101.2532066!3m4!1s0x842b7159a491b15f:0xd5d7afec1ca9ca31!8m2!3d21.0020053!4d-101.2388527

Just a 10-minute drive down from El Cerro de La Bufa, you will see this pretty spot; it’s a dam. Not like other dam, the background is very pleasing to see. Green forest, humongous hill, and smooth breezes. Take a deep break and clear your mind<3 But first, lunch! I finally got the chance to try one of Guanajuato’s authentic food, the guacamaya! For those of you who don’t know, it’s a tasty torta originally from Leon, Guanajuato. It is served with pork rind, avocado, and spicy sauce. Heaven in the mouth honestly.

 

 

Also, take a chance to climb up the small red tower (el faro), just an extra lovely view to see the dam from a height. Also, you can spot a lighthouse from here. It’s actually made as a decoration by the dad of La Cina–a vigilant back in the days. Additionally, check out the small park just by the dam.

 

 

Casa de Las Leyendas

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Casa+de+las+Leyendas/@20.9945541,-101.2685327,14z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b76ad47b3b807:0x36b93df945de0754!2sEl+Cerro+de+La+Bufa!8m2!3d20.9945541!4d-101.2532066!3m4!1s0x0:0xdb69968b9342c99f!8m2!3d21.0069832!4d-101.2469798

Another recommendation from my besties, Miriam. It was just 30 minutes before the closing time (5.30pm), we thought they closed already—there was no one on the ticket booth AND no visitors at all. Not expecting anything to be honest. But after some knocks, someone turned up and gave us an access!! Just 40 pesos ($2), guide is also included.

 

There are about 6 rooms in total, telling different histories about Guanajuato—including Callejón Del Beso story. Moreover, they also tell us histories about the lighthouse that we saw before. So muuuuuch things to see and learn!! One of the best museums I’ve ever been in life. So authentic and affordable❤ Oh! The whole tour was in Spanish (English is not even available), so be aware.

 

The sun was almost out; we decided to walk back to take our bag in downtown. For me, I will enjoy my extra couple hours chilling in downtown before taking my bus back to Puerto Vallarta. Another cute friend I found there, Magnus! See you guys all in other part of the world!!

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The walk back down

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Eating elotes just by Teatro Juarez, that is Magnus!

See you next Thursday. Let me know your travel stories, too!

City Tour around Remarkable Guanajuato

Other than enjoying Guanajuato for Cervantino, I also explored so many places in the city. Let me explain how the vibe is. Guanajuato is a very historic city among other places in Mexico. Most of the historic center’s building; plazas, mansions, churches, and civil constructions are made from pink or green sandstone.

Back in the time, Guanajuato was found as a mining spot, looking that the mountains are full of minerals. Additionally, its richness made it as one of the most influential city during the colonial era. Well, here we start our 2-3 day trip!

Teatro Principal & Templo de la Compañía de Jesús Oratorio de San Felipe Neri

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Templo+de+la+Compa%C3%B1%C3%ADa+de+Jes%C3%BAs+Oratorio+de+San+Felipe+Neri/@21.0170966,-101.2548121,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b740801695313:0x84d5095180f9a393!8m2!3d21.0170966!4d-101.252618

Just a little stop here! The theatre was closed though. Just with baby steps, I saw the church building; it was just like another church HAHAH!

División de Derecho, Política Y Gobierno

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Divisi%C3%B3n+de+Derecho,+Pol%C3%ADtica+Y+Gobierno/@21.0170676,-101.2530328,20z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b740801695313:0x84d5095180f9a393!2sTemplo+de+la+Compa%C3%B1%C3%ADa+de+Jes%C3%BAs+Oratorio+de+San+Felipe+Neri!8m2!3d21.0170966!4d-101.252618!3m4!1s0x842b7408061729b3:0x4a61f53547a3b45d!8m2!3d21.0170675!4d-101.2530329

Another great findings, unexpectedly they are having this HRGIGER exhibition, I feel like I’m in space…….. They are exhibiting illustrations back from the 80s, I can’t even imagine how the illustrator even had that vision back in the time.

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Universidad de Guanajuato

I entered with another super cool exhibition, Galería Jesús Gallardo. Fascinating. The paintings, the murals, I got crazy—in mind. I’ve never felt so small in this earth after exploring more the American continent. The path from the exhibition leads me to the main university building. This 386-year-old university is huge, and I just went to one of the building—can’t imagine.

Museo de las de Momias Guanajuato

https://www.google.com/maps/place/University+of+Guanajuato/@21.0170676,-101.2533064,19z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b740801695313:0x84d5095180f9a393!2sTemplo+de+la+Compa%C3%B1%C3%ADa+de+Jes%C3%BAs+Oratorio+de+San+Felipe+Neri!8m2!3d21.0170966!4d-101.252618!3m4!1s0x842b74080eb904c7:0xd4701880473a296f!8m2!3d21.0170713!4d-101.2535144

I took a bus to come here from Plaza de la Paz, it’s faaaaar! After the 20-minute drive, I finally stepped on the high altitude part of Guanajuato. The sun glazed the whole area, it was hot! I feel like taking my sweater off tbh. I went in with 50-pesos ticket, the guide is included too. Remember guys; always try to be one step ahead to come here! The line is craaaaazy, it will take you an hour (or even more) if you come in the afternoon.

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The experience was great, the mummies have different stories behind. They died with various reason, I got scared a little bit >_< Even, I saw the smallest baby mummy in the world; he died with his mom…

Panteon Municipal + Observation Deck

I was thinking what else I could see here. I decided to ask some people around, and they told me there’s this observation deck. I don’t wanna be repetitive but it’s soooooo beautiful. I flew my drone for a bit, and here we go!

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Mercado Hidalgo

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mercado+Hidalgo+Gto./@21.0177845,-101.2601884,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b740f4c7cb13f:0xce74ea30b8ab9fb0!8m2!3d21.0177795!4d-101.2579943

Warning: You need a shopping spree? Here’s the place for yaa!

The market is enormous, ranging from food, souvenirs, meats, until garments. But, way too many people. But I just went for ma lunch, so I chose to eat the seafood cocktail. Daaaamnn good! Don’t forget to eat it with extra avocado and crackers;) I ate like 8 packets of crackers for this medium sized cocktail.

Museo Casa Diego Rivera

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Museo+Casa+Diego+Rivera/@21.0182175,-101.2573972,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b7408f50c12f5:0xb0b01bb19c1582fb!8m2!3d21.0182125!4d-101.2552031

Again, student card alert! 10 pesos and I was in;) This museum gets more interesting when I know who’s actually Diego Rivera, great man who creates history. I’m a fan!!

Monumento el Pípila

https://www.google.com/maps/place/El+P%C3%ADpila,+Zona+Centro,+36000+Guanajuato,+Gto.,+Mexico/@21.0144986,-101.2566734,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b7407baac1d6d:0x4188f7ab906a5e2f!8m2!3d21.0144936!4d-101.2544793

I think I need to burn more calories today!! I went for the short hike to the pípila and it was almost sunset, just perfect. Those sweat and hard breath was crazy worth it. I felt amazing within, and also outside.

The view is breathtaking… I have no words to really explain my feeling, super mixed. The wind got through my beige sweater. Wind was huuugee but I decided to fly my drone HAHA! To be honest, I just pray that it won’t crash or got thrown away because of the wind. Anyways I did it!!!! Look at the shots.

Teatro Juarez

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Teatro+Juarez/@21.0152603,-101.2552375,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b7407ef067b45:0xa7f4cdbcd8596dcd!8m2!3d21.0152553!4d-101.2530434

So radiant… Even though it was close for public, but the lights made it super elegant from the outside. There were so many people in front of it, they just fill up all the stairs. Another time to meet new people;)

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Callejón Del Beso

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Callej%C3%B3n+Del+Beso/@21.0164688,-101.2586663,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b740621eed1e3:0xed7b23671d40258e!8m2!3d21.0164638!4d-101.2564722

A.K.A The Kiss Alley. Thank you Rami (a new friend I met because I flew my drone in the pipila) for the local guide around Guanajuato. He explained me so well the history of this spot. Super interesting and sad… Basically there was a wealthy girl and poor boy falling in love with each other. They usually come to this small alley to hide and kiss each other. But in the end, the father of the girl killed his own child because he has no mercy. Uff, crazy story.

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Regional Museum of Guanajuato Alhóndiga de Granaditas

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alh%C3%B3ndiga+de+Granaditas,+Zona+Centro,+36000+Guanajuato,+Gto.,+Mexico/@21.0188021,-101.2600288,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b7408d3b4699d:0xfae636f5532c4843!8m2!3d21.0187971!4d-101.2578347

Another must-go place but I had no time to come inside:(

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The alley before Alhóndiga de Granaditas

(day 2 begins here)

El Truco 7

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Truco+7+Restaurant/@21.016739,-101.2558981,17z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x842b7408d3b4699d:0xfae636f5532c4843!2sAlh%C3%B3ndiga+de+Granaditas,+Zona+Centro,+36000+Guanajuato,+Gto.,+Mexico!3b1!8m2!3d21.0187971!4d-101.2578347!3m4!1s0x842b7407e4c1b24d:0xbbfd9ae66a44ab85!8m2!3d21.0162995!4d-101.2532421

Just a short walk from the hostel, I finally found this hidden gem that my lovely friend Miriam told me. The place looks old, they even have a queue line at 9 in the morning, I wonder how great they are. By the time I entered, I chose the table just by the terrace. The view, the chill wind, and all the colors… Just a great start for the final day of Cervantino. Mole de pollo (chicken mole) for breakfast, who’s not drooling to eat them?

Bocamina San Ramón

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bocamina+San+Ram%C3%B3n/@21.0408283,-101.2575431,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b74798790ae9b:0x8c796b8371e3fe1e!8m2!3d21.0422214!4d-101.2581258

Aquí tenemos más lugares?”, I said (Are there any places here?)

That’s how I found out this place. I’m so into natural stones so I decided to come and check it out. I started walking through some stores and finally entered for the tour. It was fine, not super great to be honest.

La Hojaldrería De Guanajuato

https://www.google.com/maps/place/La+Hojaldrer%C3%ADa+De+Guanajuato/@21.0189334,-101.2593351,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b7408dbb20497:0xfe66b7e8202bff13!8m2!3d21.0189334!4d-101.257141

I need snack!!! Just a little stop here and I decided to just chill by the street way;)

Plaza de la Paz

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Plaza+de+la+Paz/@21.0166053,-101.2562145,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b7407df1264cb:0x3b522cbb83d33f0f!8m2!3d21.0166003!4d-101.2540204

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Museo Iconográfico del Quijote

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Museo+Iconogr%C3%A1fico+del+Quijote/@21.0144972,-101.2542407,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842c8d75a62cbf67:0xc6308c1729e6aa3a!8m2!3d21.0144972!4d-101.2520466

Another art museum and I loved it!! I was just there staring at the paintings for minutes (I wish I had hours). The color was so surrealistic…

Nonton di Teatro Juarez

Calle Subterranea

https://www.google.com/maps/place/calle+subterranea/@21.0153512,-101.2541553,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b73f8734eb0af:0x5c1623b9a2030a8d!8m2!3d21.0153462!4d-101.2519612

Guanajuato is well known for its underground street way. Even, they have some restaurants and bars just underneath. I was squatting for so long to get these shots, it was worth the walk!

La inundación de 1905

https://www.google.com/maps/place/La+inundaci%C3%B3n+de+1905/@21.0174359,-101.2582924,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b740890587789:0x668e785f0b346b9d!8m2!3d21.0174309!4d-101.2560983

Needing a beer and a great talk at night? Try to take one here. The environment is so friendly, the people who work there are very welcome (yes, they are young!), and the drinks are affordable.

See you on the next one!

Euphoria at Cervantino XLVII, Guanajuato

“You should go to Guanajuato just for this, it’s crazy, Maria”, said Miriam (my lovely bestiezz)

And damn, I went for it!! Again, one of the best experiences I had in life. Being alone in a land very far from home, experiencing the most important artistic and cultural festival in the whole world history?? I feel DAMN small. So excited to see people from all around the world just for this.

I started my cold-morning journey at around 8 am, Armando (remember him from the last post? He’s the reception guy LOL) dropped me off at the bus station. Gracias! The view of San Miguel de Allende was very alluring. This time, the bus ride is not that long, just 2 hours!

The city’s color caught my eyes… I really can’t wait to reach the downtown. By the time I went out from the bus, the first thing I took was the Cervantino pamphlet. I just rolled my eyes to that day, October 27th 2018. Hmm, what can I see today? Turns out everything will come to live around 5/6pm, that’s why I started strolling around the city first.

Again, I began with putting my bag in the hostel. Well, sometimes I gotta except the worst case scenario. It’s the worst hostel I’ve ever stayed in my whole life, El Casa del Tio.

Just right before the sun went down, I finally found my first stop to enliven this event. The city is crazy crowded, there’re always thousands of people passing by on those small alleys.

Plaza Mexiamora

Because of my height, I gotta walk among those people to reach the front of the stage. I was standing there for minutes, looking at people’s eye. I wonder how amazed they were, HAHA! Even though I actually don’t know what’s the band exactly, but this Swedish performers killed it! All 4 of them are making great music and jokes around. Lovely!

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Regional Museum of Guanajuato Alhóndiga de Granaditas

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alh%C3%B3ndiga+de+Granaditas,+Zona+Centro,+36000+Guanajuato,+Gto.,+Mexico/@21.0188021,-101.2600288,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b7408d3b4699d:0xfae636f5532c4843!8m2!3d21.0187971!4d-101.2578347

Looking that we have so many people around, me and Rami (a friend I met when I was in el pipila) decided to come earlier before the semi-final event started in Regional Museum of Guanajuato Alhóndiga de Granaditas. And damn, the queue was already like a 100-meter snake?? But thankfully, we made it just before the Rajasthan Drummer started.

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We were sitting among thousands of people on those stadium chairs. There were waaay more people down there, paying a seat. Well, I just don’t have that much money to spend on! Why not enter for free while you can?

The show was beyond expectations, BEST PERFORMANCE EVER. So youthful, fresh, and new. People were dancing around just because they’re playing this wooden clap as if they are a rapper. Go with the beat!!!

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Looking amazed af

My Saturday just swift so fast with great experiences, new people, and new places. Let’s move on to the last and final day of Cervantino!

I woke up with a very huge march of people with big trumpets, drums, and little kids just by the centro. They were making a very long line, representing their own musical clubs. The kids are super cute! Rock on:)

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Templo de la Valenciana

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Templo+De+La+Valenciana/@21.0409401,-101.2598239,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b7479f124b069:0x71678f5ab294470b!8m2!3d21.0409351!4d-101.2576298

Goal of the day: watch as much show as I can today. So that’s why I went for this one without even knowing that I need a paid ticket. I took the bus that time, I waited for soooo long that time, but I managed!

created by dji camera

Templo Valenciana from further away

created by dji camera

It turns out that I need to book a ticket in advance and it costs 380 pesos, quite some for a backpacker like me. And I was lucky all over again, I had this lady that I just knew by my side. She told the coordinator that I’m a reporter from Indonesia because I’m fully equipped with my big bag, big camera, a tripod, and a microphone. And goddamn I got a free entry!!! The show was 75 minutes long, Ensemble Ricercare Antico (Giulio Romano) gracefully performed like for the whole show. I was fan-girling most of the time, Francesco Tomasi is soooo cute!

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Templo Valenciana from inside

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The violinist!

I really don’t wanna end this event:( But time is not stopping for anyone!! The last drip of Cervantino here we go! Again, I passed another unique performance on my way back to the centro. So bohemian and colorful.

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Puppet show in front of Teatro Juarez

Final Performance of Cervantino

Again, I’m coming back for the final show here in Alhóndiga de Granaditas. The line is snaking (of course!), I waited for almost an hour but I got lucky, again;) Sh*t, this random girl just told me that she won’t be using her ticket anymore. So, instant entry for me!!! Thanks broo!

Walking through the empty lane feels great. I felt the cold wind so badly as I forgot to take my jacket with me. I started looking at people’s eyes, people are genuinely having a lot of fun. For the final stage, it was Aguascalientes’ performance. It was cool, especially with all the fireworks afterwards.

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By the time they announce that Cervantino is officially done, literally (almost) everyone started to pack up and leave the city. Then, I decided to put my bag and stroll the city at night. By that time, the streets and alleys were empty. There were barely people walking anymore. So cool that people just left in just a blink.

But then, just by Teatro Juarez, the performers from Callejoneadas were still performing. What else I need to call this a day? FYI Callejoneadas is an ensemble team full of  students playing everyday from 12pm-11.45pm. They usually ask you to pay for about 100 pesos to see their march around the city.

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Another show just by a bar in centro

See you next year Cervantino!!!! It’s been an amazing experience with you<3

Breathing the World’s Greatest Beauty in San Miguel de Allende

IMPORTANT: This blog post is highly useful for you guys who’s planning a visit for 2-3 days.

It’s finally time to leave Guadalajara, such a great place! But by the time I see San Miguel de Allende, everything changed. BEST PLACE I have ever been in my life. I feel it a lot in my head; my eyes are sparking every time I see something new there. Weird feelings, but true. The bus ride was 5.5 hours though, considering that both cities are more than 300km away.

  • Central de Autobuses (first day starts here)

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Central+de+Autobuses/@20.9543136,-103.1750839,8z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b504b93bcd443:0x4846d1db21616b73!8m2!3d20.9146055!4d-100.7589466

That time, I chose to use ETN Autobuses because it has the cheapest ticket, I paid 688.50 pesos online, sometimes they have special discounts there. Plus, the bus is super convenient, I even get a meal and a drink with it. Highly recommended!!

As a pure backpacker with a deep philosophy of “buying the cheapest”, bus (or even getting a free ride;)) will always the best idea. Bam! Just 8 pesos to downtown, come on!! I’ll get that sh”t.

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Bus ride with a man reading newspaper

  • La Catrina Hostel and Breakfast

https://www.google.com/maps/place/La+Catrina+Hostel+and+Breakfast/@20.9151811,-100.7434457,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x726c223ac9493297!8m2!3d20.9192545!4d-100.7420406

Bags off and ready to go! To be honest, best hostel I’ve ever stayed. A well-written review alert! Priority is the price though; I paid 120 pesos for 1 night on a weekday and 150 pesos on the weekend. How cheap?? And breakfast is (damn) included. They have 4 types of cereals, some jams with bread, coffee, and bananas. Can’t complain with that!!

That time I chose a room with 6 bunk beds (all female), and they gave me a full set of bed sheet and pillowcase. Check-in was fast, I gave my passport to one of the reception, Armando (he’s so nice!!). Then, stored my bag for a bit in the locker (just by the reception) looking that check-in time is 3pm.

  • Mercado de Artesanias

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Artisan+market/@20.9151811,-100.7434457,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x71ebd2c30389475b!8m2!3d20.9174205!4d-100.7417938

Being hands-free is great. I started walking the alley that leads to the artisan market. They sell so many natural jewels (which I’m dying for), handmade bags, clothing, hats, till’ food! It’s not that big though; I stopped there for my fruit-stop. Always try to balance my diet even though I’m on holiday.

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Selling medicine plants

  • CCH & ASOC. Parque

https://www.google.com/maps/place/CCH+%26+ASOC./@20.9165574,-100.7447395,18z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b51b76dcb0fa1:0xddea5ecc0ef4db77!2sCCH+%26+ASOC.!8m2!3d20.9165574!4d-100.7447395!3m4!1s0x842b51b76dcb0fa1:0xddea5ecc0ef4db77!8m2!3d20.9165574!4d-100.7447395

I literally came on the right time of the year; it was just 4 days before El día de los muertos. The locals were selling so many sweets with different shapes. Mostly are the faces of catrinas, you’ll see! Don’t forget to grab some cempasuchil or marigolds (the most important symbol; it’s an orange flower) to show your awareness;) People also buy candles in the purpose of lightening the graves of their family.

  • Templo de Santa Ana

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Templo+de+Santa+Ana/@20.9151811,-100.7434457,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b51b9d90dc91d:0xfcafb638037cdf28!8m2!3d20.9166388!4d-100.7433602

Just a little stop though, look!

  • Parroquia de Miguel Arcángel

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Parroquia+de+San+Miguel+Arc%C3%A1ngel/@20.9150842,-100.7434628,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b51b0a9e2727b:0x7fff299b5d6bf6a2!8m2!3d20.913807!4d-100.7437726

The most iconic part of San Miguel de Allende, this parish was reconstructed during the year 1880-1890. The style is definitely Medieval-European. Honestly, I do feel like in Europe! And just by it, it’s the Allende Garden (Jardín Allende), beautiful!

DSC08509created by dji cameracreated by dji camera

created by dji camera

Allende Garden (Jardín Allende)

  • Historic Museum of San Miguel de Allende

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Historic+Museum+of+San+Miguel+de+Allende/@20.9150842,-100.7434628,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b51b0af5e149d:0x954e2208d8400e29!8m2!3d20.9138164!4d-100.7440663

They explain the history of Señor Allende in the old times super well!!! Surprisingly, San Miguel de Allende was actually a part of New Spain back in the days. Learning histories of countries are one of my interests, too actually. Sadly, my logic regarding history is very low (HAHHA!).

  • Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez El Nigromate

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Centro+Cultural+Ignacio+Ram%C3%ADrez+El+Nigromante/@20.914568,-100.7459626,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b51b7340f0cb5:0xd9286b3d6ab0ce1c!8m2!3d20.9149476!4d-100.7456347

Thankfully the tourist help center recommended me to come here. Muchas gracias! They have these cute chairs where you can read your book, grab some drinks, or chat with your loved ones. The atmosphere is so calming, they have some specialty classes too (like painting and ceramic molding). If I had more days, I would love to join!

  • Public Library of San Miguel de Allende

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Public+Library+of+San+Miguel+de+Allende,+A.C./@20.914568,-100.7459626,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x45b3642da4961bd3!8m2!3d20.9167202!4d-100.7436908

By the time I reached the entrance, I can see so many youngsters wandering around the place. They’re doing artworks, studies, and group works. Thankfully, I’m (partly and physically) not in school now (HA!). Bless the world so that I can just travel the world my whole life…

  • Limerick Pub

Time to grab some beer!! This bar is greatly recommended (from me and Google!!), plus the location is exactly at downtown!

Second Day begins here

It’s time for a short trip with a bus-tour. Honestly, I don’t wanna walk that far (like 45 minutes uphill) south, so I decided to take the bus tour that brings me there. Cheap though—120 pesos only I guess. The tour at 9am is completely in English and Spanish, note that!

  • “El Tumbagón” Dulce Tipicos

https://www.google.com/maps/place/El+Tumbag%C3%B3n/@20.9081945,-100.7497516,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b51b1c55e2335:0xfa79f81a7ac87be2!8m2!3d20.9081895!4d-100.7475575

Mornings with sweets? Hell yeah!! There’s this little girl and a lady there. We did some tasting with dedos de novia and crema de tumbagon, it way more interesting with a legend behind it. For the tumbagon, make sure to put your finger in the middle of it. Then, try to eat it halfway without breaking it.

Fun Fact! Based on the legend, the white sugar means purity that the person has in the heart. Regardless, breaking it while eating means they’re unfaithful.

  • El Mirador

https://www.google.com/maps/place/El+Mirador/@20.9082947,-100.7466616,16z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b51b1c55e2335:0xfa79f81a7ac87be2!2sEl+Tumbag%C3%B3n!8m2!3d20.9081895!4d-100.7475575!3m4!1s0x842b51bb4563a0a7:0xb37cb82d92169d90!8m2!3d20.9097323!4d-100.7386878

Literally I was always one step ahead to fly my drone, not enough time!! The viewpoint is gorgeous; we can see the whole city. I thought the city was way smaller, though!

created by dji camera

created by dji camera

The mirador from faraway

  • Lavaderos del Chorro

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lavaderos+del+Chorro/@20.9082947,-100.7466616,16z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b51b1c55e2335:0xfa79f81a7ac87be2!2sEl+Tumbag%C3%B3n!8m2!3d20.9081895!4d-100.7475575!3m4!1s0x0:0x34036e39273d0470!8m2!3d20.9086762!4d-100.7414304

I have no idea in the beginning why this is a historic spot. But after reading some facts, it was known that Juan de San Miguel’s dog went there to drink in a fountain here. Then, they found out that it was a fountain up there. By the 18th century, the Canal family decided to build bathrooms (lavaderos in Spanish) and a chapel, which is located in the highest spot of this place (where the fountain was).

  • Plaza de Toros

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Plaza+de+Toros+San+Miguel+de+Allende/@20.9118975,-100.7435211,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b51baf44eeb03:0x52e9bdd8a31bc897!8m2!3d20.9118925!4d-100.741327

Here we go, a bullring! The sun was shining so bright, I can feel some sweat drops just under my purple felt shirt. I start to feel my heavy bag full of my camera kit. But the on-going-decorations encourage me to explore more. They’re apparently on construction though!

  • Parque Juárez

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ju%C3%A1rez+Park/@20.9118975,-100.7457097,16z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b51baf44eeb03:0x52e9bdd8a31bc897!2sPlaza+de+Toros+San+Miguel+de+Allende!8m2!3d20.9118925!4d-100.741327!3m4!1s0x0:0x69857bcd85dbdf53!8m2!3d20.9084119!4d-100.7425515

Skipping lunch but getting a muffin instead was a good idea. I sat on the green bench for a bit, the air was so fresh. Green leaves, footsteps, and the soft breeze made me feel so grateful about being alive (AND traveling).

  • Julian Carrillo Alley

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Juli%C3%A1n+Carrillo+5a,+Guadalupe,+37710+San+Miguel+de+Allende,+Gto.,+Mexico/@20.9118975,-100.7500871,15z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b51baf44eeb03:0x52e9bdd8a31bc897!2sPlaza+de+Toros+San+Miguel+de+Allende!8m2!3d20.9118925!4d-100.741327!3m4!1s0x842b51b7ef575865:0xcbefd2e100f01005!8m2!3d20.9196628!4d-100.7446209

Just one more area to visit for today! The northern part is a must-go for you guys who enjoy art. The 20-minute walk was worth it; I spotted some minimalist cafes, artisanal shops, and graffiti. A cute finding this time, I was chatting with this lady who’s drawing a building in front of her. She said it’s just a little hobby that she does while traveling. If you guys are curious, urbansketchers.org is where she post her work!!

  • Fabrica la Aurora

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Fabrica+la+Aurora/@20.9215657,-100.743722,17z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b51baf44eeb03:0x52e9bdd8a31bc897!2sPlaza+de+Toros+San+Miguel+de+Allende!8m2!3d20.9118925!4d-100.741327!3m4!1s0x842b51b8093f56e7:0x5498f2e0d731cfd4!8m2!3d20.9227376!4d-100.7416315

“This is so fascinating”, I said.

I stepped my white Adidas on the entrance, it seem to be a small space. By the time I get inside, they have sooooooo many showrooms inside. Selling from jewelries to furniture. All of them are made aesthetically; I wish I had a house to decorate!! I bought a small wooden plate for my jewelry, so cuuutee.

  • Night Walk

After the sunset, I decided to walk for a while. It relaxes my mind…… Sometimes I just need my own time, doing absolutely nothing but looking at the dark sky. Plus, the cathedral is actually very pretty at night. My feet ache like A LOT, but that’s just another perk of traveling (damn I burn so much calories).

What excites you during your travel?

Tequila, a Land Full of Blue Agave

“When will I go to Tequila? I think I should just go alone”, I said couple months ago.

Traveling alone in Mexico has been a very crazy idea after those scary experiences I had here. But trying is the key, right? Or you will never know, EVER. So I just got this crazy idea to leave Nayarit and also my work. Literally I just wanna leave all those stress and sh*t I was facing at the moment. Turns out to be a brilliant idea.

Looking that I have only have 7 days out of ‘jail’, I planned my trip starting from Guadalajara-Tequila-San Miguel de Allende-Guanajuato-Nayarit. But on this blogpost, it’s time to share about my tequila experience. I booked my Tequila trip just in front of the Guadalajara Cathedral. Because of my “job” as a student, they gave me a 100 pesos discount, show your student card!! Will be even better if you guys book the tour a day prior, it gets full.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Guadalajara+Cathedral/@20.674739,-103.3490365,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x8428b1faa928f63f:0x25dcb2cdab10691a!8m2!3d20.677034!4d-103.346984

The next day I went at 9.45 in the morning, people are very on time surprisingly. We started walking to the bus parking area, just a 5–minute walk from the cathedral. The tour that I booked is the premium 9-hour tour, that’s why all the explanations are both in Spanish and English. Even though I speak Spanish, English is still easier for me. Back to the game! We all went for an hour ride to our first stop.

 

  1. Fortuna Cerveza Artesanal

We were welcomed with a lady which turns out to be our tour guide for this place. She explained so well how they make their greatest beer line. Starting on how they choose the grains, hops, and also the special formulas. Their machines are greatly clean, I can see that they are doing it with love and passion. Regardless, the packaging is also great, I can feel the spark of young creatives.

 

 

The staffs are also very friendly! They are very welcome to pictures.

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After the tour and explanations, she brought us to the bar where we will get the beer tasting. This is what I’m waiting for!! Honestly, I haven’t drink since forever. AND, artisanal beers are actually my favorite. Let’s see how it goes. She started the explanation about IBU and ABV, very useful for a hospitality student like me. Remember, the tasting is not free, you have to pay an extra 100 pesos for it. But anyways, who will complain for $7 tasting for 6 baby glasses of great beer? Also, I did ask for a bonus, their Sake Ale which have a touch of sake taste.

 

We started from Canita Lager, California, AFortunada, Pale Ale, Indian Pale Ale (IPA), Stout, and lastly the great Sake Ale. Dear mother nature, thank you for all the plants you grant us!!! To be honest, AFortunada is the best ever for me, can’t even imagine them drinking it with Asian cuisines. After that, we left to the second spot.

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Full explanations from the guide;)

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The brewer (the guy)

  1. Tres Mujeres Tequila (Three Lady Tequila)

 

Bless me from alcohol. Hahahah! After those lovely beers, we went to the real tequila trip. Our guide explained us how (only) blue agave can make a beverage called ‘tequila’. We can only use the blue agave which has a grown piña (pine) because it means that it’s ready to be used as the base of fermentation. This all information is very new. She also showed us how they make tequila in the old days, from extracting the liquid of the blue agave’s pine and the process of boiling it in a special room.

 

“After those days with tequila, from Shanghai to Mexico, I just knew this now?!”, I said.

Moving on, we started walking to the plantation, it’s not that huge though. I think this place is family-owned? But most importantly, it’s well maintained.

 

We tried 4 types of tequila, the blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo. It was great, but I don’t think it’s the best tequila producer. Imagine going to Don Julio’s!? Daaaamn. We were very happy there, following some sentences before enjoying our baby tequila glasses. Then, we continued our journey to the buffet lunch spot (which I decided not to eat because I’m on budget!). Soooo, skip to:

 

 

created by dji camera

  1. Tequila Town

We literally have 1 complete hour here, what can we even do with that?! I started walking to find a post card and a post office to send a post card back home. Tick, done! Then, I went to see some souvenir shops and start walking into the small streets. It’s indeed colorful, but it doesn’t catch my full interest.

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You can start looking at the Parroquia Santiago Apostol, the alleys, and then the plaza. Look at the town!! No es mi favorita (not my favorite). The tour ended there, the drive back to Guadalajara took us a little bit more than an hour. Greatly recommended though!

 

 

Tips on what to bring: a water bottle to dilute your alcohol content, some extra money for tasting and souvenirs.