We love Mexico and were very excited to be making a return journey to discover even more incredible destinations to explore. We were particularly looking forward to be heading to the beaches and sunshine of Baja for the first few weeks of our adventure. Join us on our return to Mexico – Baja and Beyond!
From New York City we flew into the party capital of Cabo in Baja, Mexico, where we spent a few nights at Los Miligros, an oasis in the downtown area. The pretty gardens had a fountain and surrounding foliage, creating a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
A Boat Trip to El Archo
The following day we hired a panga boat to take us to El Archo, an impressive rock formation a short ride away. Along the beautiful coastline, we spotted pelicans and seals. It was wonderful to be out on the ocean. Indeed, the warmth of the sun and the ocean breeze was re-vitalising after the previous day which we had spent at airports and on flights.
Delicious Dining in Cabo
We took a walk around the marina, passing shops, bars and restaurants, which were full of vacationing Americans. It was Saturday and Cabo is a popular destination for a weekend escape. While we were in town, we discovered a couple of excellent places to eat. We ate at the Italian restaurant, Pan di Bacco on the evening we arrived, where we sat out in the balmy air. There, we indulged in pasta, along with complimentary artisan breads, not forgetting a rich chocolate liqueur.
Our other favourite was Maria Timenez, an authentic Mexican cantina hidden away in backstreets where most tourist don’t venture. Indeed, we were so glad that we made the effort to find it. The enchiladas were divine – mushrooms for T and garlic shrimp for Ku. Furthermore, the family who ran the establishment were lovely. (The restaurant doesn’t have a website, but if you ever find yourself in Cabo, the address is Calle Narcizo, Mendoza Entre Revolucion de 1910 y 20 de Noviembre).
Todos Santos – A Beautiful Town between the Desert and the Ocean
The tiny town of Todos Santos is one of those special places that we come across every now and again on our travels. With an abundance of cute colourful buildings, not to mention the galleries, shops, and a beautiful plaza, it’s a delightful place to spend a few days. Not only is the town a charmer, but it’s within walking distance to miles of empty sandy beaches where we watched whales from the shore! In fact, we pretty much decided on the spot that we would like to live in Todos Santos one day!
Additionally, the town is also home to Hotel California. Previously, the hotel owners claimed that the hotel is the place referred to in The Eagles most famous song. As a result, the Eagles have since sued the hotel for using the name without permission. Nevertheless, the hotel is still the most popular tourist attraction in town and it does have a certain ambience.
We stayed in a funky Airbnb loft-style apartment situated above a pizza restaurant and had pizza delivered to our apartment on more than one occasion! Our top choice for breakfast was Caffe Todos Santos. With its inspired décor and good quality food, it was an all-round winner (Calle Centenario 33).
La Paz – Our Igloo Abode in the Desert
La Paz on the Bay of Cortez was our next destination. Our Airbnb accomodation there was a concrete igloo which had its own toilet, shower and kitchen. It was situated in a residential area of the city on a piece of land which it shared with a tepee, a couple of A-frames and a pod. Finding it was no picnic in the intense desert heat, but we got there eventually. It was a fun place to stay and we made friends with a good-natured dog who lived on the property.
We appropriately enjoyed some chill time in our igloo, shopped for food at the nearby supermarket and did lots of writing. Furthermore, there were a couple of bikes on the property and we cycled downtown one morning. We checked out some of the street art in the downtown area and the sculptures dotted along the malecon. The highlight was a visit to Balandra Beach, which we reached via a scenic drive on a local bus. We spent a day hiking the sand dunes, wading through the crystal clear water in the bay to see the mushroom rock formation and relaxing under a palapa.
Best Eats in La Paz
Our favourite place to eat was El Zarape, a traditional Mexican restaurant, where the food, staff and ambience all hit the right spot. Additionally, we went to vegetarian café Capuchino which serves meat-free comfort food, not to mention a variety of fruit smoothies. T is a something of a coffee aficionado and consequently her early morning fix was a daily priority. The best coffee in town was brewed at Doce Cuarenta. Their baked goods were also excellent and we always stocked up on them when we visited.
We would loved to have ventured further afield, but in all honesty, you really need your own transport in Baja to get to the hidden bays and beaches. Hopefully, we will return again to explore more of the peninsular.
A Week in Mexico City
We flew to Mexico City, which has become one of our favourite cities in the world. As a matter of fact, we love it so much, we decided to spent a whole week in an apartment situated near the Zocalo. We watched shaman performing cleansing ceremonies and visited Museo de Juguetes. An amazing toy museum in a slightly sketchy part of town, it was quirky, colourful and fun.
Mexico City has some incredible museums, most of which are either free or a mere few pesos to enter. Unfortunately T caught a severe dose of flu while we were there. Because of this, we weren’t able to get out and about as much as we had hoped. Fortunately we had a lovely comfortable apartment to relax in and as a result, we spent a substantial amount of time there, although Ku did go on a few short excursions alone.
From Mexico City, we took a bus to Puebla, about an hour south of the metropolis. Puebla has a historical area at its core and we enjoyed exploring the markets, antique stores and lively main plaza. Indeed, we both loved Puebla and it would have been nice to have enough money to go shopping there! Breakfast was taken each day at Casa Mimi (Avenida 7, Poniente 308, Centro), a delightful little café with friendly staff.
A Day Trip to Cholula
Whilst there, we took a day trip to nearby Cholula – a perfect place to view Mount Popocatepetl. The name of the active volcano had captured Ku’s imagination in a geography lesson at school. At last she was able to watch it spewing molten lava into the sky. An incredible sight!
Queretaro – City of Sculptures
After a few days in Puebla, we took a bus to Queretaro, a city often overlooked by foreign visitors. Again, the historical core of the city was an attractive and interesting area to explore and we spent many an hour hanging out in one of the many plazas people-watching.
Whilst in Queretaro, we visited a couple of museums that were surprisingly good. The Museum of Contemporary Art was housed in an impressive building and had a good selection of exhibits. Furthermore, entrance was free!
Admittedly, MUCAL (The Museum of Calendars) sounds somewhat dull, but we loved it. Set in a beautiful courtyard where hummingbirds hovered, the old building had a wide range of Mexican calendars and artwork dating back to the 1920’s. Additionally, there was a cute café in the garden.