As one of the fastest-growing cities of the world, Mexico City is a current forerunner when it comes to tourism and travel innovation. From bustling market stalls to ancient pyramids, from rooftop parties to underground canals, el D.F is a jumbled mess of rich flavours, hot rhythms, and cultural expositions. In recent years, the city created many new public spaces and opened the city to have tourism become part of the economy. This push has led to a fledgling adventure travel push in the area. Take a lunge to this still-hidden, but quickly-booming, tourist destination and prepare to be overwhelmed with adrenaline and wonder.
Popular Adventures in México City
The area around Mexico City has drawn people for centuries. The Aztecs built their capital on top of a lake back in the 1300’s, and the Spanish made a base of operations for their empire two centuries later. While each city block can tell you of the epochs of Mexican civilization, there are current adventures unfolding in the area too. If you’re looking for the adrenaline rush in la ciudad, take a look at what it has to offer.
Popular activities / experiences in Mexico City. While the Spanish tried their to eradicate native culture, many sites are still preserved throughout the ages. To the northwest of Mexico City lay the remains of Teotihuacan. The pyramids, open forums, and preserved architecture have amazed people for centuries. Archaeologists still debate who made this city. The area serves a wonderful backdrop of hiking through the ancient city, offering guided tours both on foot and in hot air balloons. Not all adventures are done in hiking boots and with rapid heartbeats. Sometimes it can be tasting an octopus taco for the first time, sitting in the house where Leon Trotsky spent his last days in exile, or watching the ceremonies of El Grito, the cry of Mexican Independence. There are plenty of adventures that are worth a story to tell friends back home without having you worried about carrying a first-aid kit.
Best time of year to travel to Mexico City. Mexico City experiences a comfortable climate year round; however, if you are looking to avoid the rains, consider traveling there outside of the rainy season (May thru October). The most popular time to visit is between December and April.
Average costs for tourists in Mexico City. Taking in the metro costs a quarter per ride, $5 for a daily pass, or a few squats if you want to get a workout on your travels (talk about physical innovation!). Taxi rides vary depending on your negotiating skills, distance, and driver. Some rides can be done for under $5 and cover most distances you need. Uber is a great alternative to the many different colors of taxis in the city; if you do opt for a local taxi, make sure that it is government-approved (“Soy de Sitio!”). When it comes to food, you will certainly not go hungry. Street food starts at a dollar, and some of the freshest and most flavourful meals you will ever have come from cheap market stalls.
Life in México City
Unlike some major world cities, Mexico City’s push for tourism is a more recent event. While some may see it as a risk, there is the added advantage of cheaper expenses. If you are brave enough to face the herds, transportation in and around the city is anything but lacking.
There is a sprouting scene of hipster cafes, international restaurants, and five-star Michelin restaurants that boast top names (and dinner prices). A foodie haven, Mexico City not only combines the cuisine of all regions of the country, but the influence of other cultures have also left their presence of the city’s culinary scene. From the humble taco stands on the street to world-class fusion restaurants, there is plenty of new and delicious grub to try. Walk through markets to have the freshest avocado and a mole sauce that will have you begging for the recipe.
Before long, the idea of leaving behind the never-ending supply of tlayudas, tortillas, aguas del dia, sopes, and chiles of all shapes and sizes will become impossible to bear. If things get a little too spicy, check out the local smoothie stand, cerveza bar, or indulge in a shot of tequila (or even better, mezcal?!) to clean your palate.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Accommodations at the average hotel range from $25 a night, but there are plenty of cheaper options at the many hostels that are multiplying every day (especially in more-touristy el centro, La Condesa, and Polanco). Hostels are trendy and quirky, but hot water and wifi are not always included. Check before unpacking!
Guided trips outside of the city to Teotihuacan can range from $40 to $90, with hot air balloon rides topping at around $190. Adventures into the Iztaccihuatl-Popocatépetl National Park cost around $50 to explore the park for a day with guided hikes, and tours through local villages. Many of these activities cost significantly less when done solo, but the comfort of tours (and lack of need to figure out public transportation) is a big perk. Some tours include access to museums, transportation, and food vouchers. If you plan it out right, the opportunities to explore Mexico will not leave your coffers empty.
Mexico City has worked hard to rise above its polluted past and has done a spectacular job in emerging as one of the most cultural and innovative metropoli of the world. Culinary delights, historic ruins, and surreal natural surroundings form the basis of el D.F. and serve as a great springboard into the rest of Mexico. So, throw on a sombrero, let go of stereotypes, and see just how chido this hoppin’ capital city is!
Feeling stoked? Read more about adventure travel in Mexico.