Mexico City

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Mexico City is the second most populated city on Earth, and you feel it. There is something for everyone and the rich history makes this layered city all the more interesting. There are endless possibilities of itineraries, but here are my quick Thanksgiving trip details.

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Using credit I had from a previously cancelled flight, I was able to pay the difference of only $120 roundtrip on American Airlines. If you are flying from the US, make sure that your airline ticket includes the cost of the entry visa for Mexico.

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Mexico City has so many amazing Airbnbs (recommend the Roma and Condesa neighborhoods), but I got a great deal using my Starwood points to stay for free at their Four Points by Sheraton property in Colonia Roma. The main attraction is the central location and a quick Uber to anywhere we needed to get to. Plus, free breakfast and wifi can’t hurt. In Puebla, we stayed at the beautiful La Purificadora, designed by Legorreta+Legorreta.

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Afternoon flight to Mexico City. Grab an “authorized” taxi at the airport to check-in to our hotel. A nice brisk day, so we walk around the Roma neighborhood, which was originally an affluent French suburb on the outskirts of downtown Mexico City, is now a hip and creative neighborhood in the center of the city. Get ready to grab dinner at the highly recommended and globally recognized Pujol in Polanco.

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Early morning start in Coyoacan neighborhood with our tour guide, Alvaro from Journeys Beyond the Surface. It’s important to start early in Mexico City and try to get ahead of the traffic. Charming neighborhood that has a beautiful historic center to walk around before heading to the Frida Kahlo Museum (her private residence she shard with Diego Rivera). Stop at the market for a quick quesadilla before heading downtown for a walking tour. Our first stop is to see the fantastic Diego Rivera mural at the Museo Mural. This is a must-see and shows the historical timeline of Mexico, originally intended to educate Mexicans who couldn’t read history books about their past. Next stop is right across the Alameda Central Park (depicted in Rivera’s mural), where there will no doubt be demonstrations taking place, to the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Be sure to catch a show there if you have time and you can also walk around the Neoclassical/Art Nouveau building that has a great collection of commissioned murals from Rivera, Siquerios and Tamayo. Quick stop for tacos and horchata at Taqueria Tlaquepaque. On the way to the Zocalo, you can stop to see the Casa de los Azulejos, Post Office and the Aztec Ruins at the Templo Mayor, before entering the main square and Metropolitian Cathedral. Quick drink at Romita across the street and a nap before a late dinner at Quintonil in Polanco.

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Another early morning for the Luis Barragan architecture tour with Carlos from ToursByLocals. We start at the Chapel in Tlalpan with private access. A true masterpiece of Barragan, you don’t want to miss this if you are a fan of modernism. Next stop is the home of the architect, Casa Luis Barragan, where he also had a small design studio to experiment on ideas that would later manifest in client projects. Fascinating tour with great details about the man behind the modernist designs. We drive past the Torres de Satelite, to the private development of and Folke Egerstrom House and Stables, known as San Cristobal. It was a truly special day to see in person the places I have studied and admired for many years. We walk over to the Condesa district for dinner and margaritas at AzulCONDESA. Friday night is the best night to see one of Mexico’s favorite pasttimes, Lucha Libre at Arena Mexico. Captivating and hilarious, you don’t want to miss this if you are in town on a Friday night.

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Our one day to sleep in, we take advantage and start at the Castillo in Chapultapec Park. It’s a great walk through the park on the weekend and they have an impressive collection of antiques, not to mention great views of the entire city. We then take an Uber to the Polanco district to view the Museo Soumaya and Museo Jumex. They are right across the street from eachother and very convenient. The architecture and interior design of the Museo Jumex itself is gorgeous. We head to the Condesa DF to meet college friends for drinks and small bites. The hotel is in a great location of Condesa and the rooftop bar is a great place to unwind from the hectic citylife. After a few cocktails, we are hungry, so grab some street quesadillas on our way to the next lounge. The street food in Mexico City is legendary, just make sure there are a lot of people eating there also or you are with a trusted guide. The last thing you want is to get sick from unsanitary food preparation. We head into Salinger for a night cap before our early morning drive to Puebla in the morning.

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Up early for our 7am drive to Puebla. We organized a private guide and driver through Mojdeh from Journeys Beyond the Surface and cannot recommend enough. On the way you will stop in Cholula and Tonanzintla before touring the historic center of Puebla. The lifestyle is more laid back compared to Mexico City and you get a real feel for Mexican country life. Puebla has as much, if not more history than Mexico City and you can easily spend a few days just exploring all the historic buildings in the center. It was recently declared a World Heritage City and when you are walking around, you feel the uniqueness of place. If you are pressed for time, like we were, make sure to try the famous Arabe tacos, visit the Rosary Chapel, Cathedral, Biblioteca, and the mercados. After a long day, we head back to our hotel, La Purificadora for a nice dinner by the fire.

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We wake up super early to catch Puebla waking up before our bus ride from Puebla to airport. Highly recommend as private cars can get a bit pricey in Mexico. Check in at the Centurion Lounge to catch up some emails before my flight back to Miami. Thanks Mexico, will be back!

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Founded in 1325, Mexico City is the oldest city of the Americas. Its original name in the local indigenous language (nahuatl) was Tenochtitlan or Mexico-Tenochtitlan, and it was recognized and preserved by the Spanish Crown in the 16th century.

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Mexico City is the second most populated city of the world just after Tokyo; with more than 20 million people (some estimates place it closer to 26-27 million). Its population and economy are larger than those of more than a hundred countries in the world

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UNESCO has declared the Historic Center as a World Cultural Heritage, along with Xochimilco (a borough in the south of the city known for its canals and artificial islands), UNAM (Mexico’s largest public university) and Luis Barragan’s House and Studio (a prominent Mexican architect).

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Mexico City has the largest amount of museums in the Americas and the second largest amount in the world, after London. It has 151 officially recognized museums and more than 200 those with no official recognition are included. It has more museums than Madrid, New York or Paris.

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