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Oaxaca, Mexico

VISA

To enter Mexico (For GCC Nationals), you could enter with a valid US Visa, or establish a new Mexican visa.

How to Get There?

My trip was a bit LONG; I connected via Frankfurt, Houston, Mexico City and finally to Oaxaca. Airport in Oaxaca is called Xoxocatlan Airport (OAX). There’s a direct flight from Houston to Oaxaca.

oaxaca mexico

Length of my Stay

I stayed in Oaxaca for three nights, mainly because I was invited to attend a wedding there, so a full day was gone in the wedding, and I have two days to explore – two days were good enough to cover many things. Some sights were a bit further, so just make sure you plan your trip ahead of time, and see the time between the places you’d like to visit/see.

Oaxaca Mexico

Sleep

  • Quinta Real (Traditional, friendly staff, small but good rooms)
Oaxaca Mexico Hello965

Quinta Real, Oaxaca

  • Casa Oaxaca
  • Hotel Azul
  • Hotel Palacio Borghese

Things to do

  • Monte Alban (Pyramids of Oaxaca)
Oaxaca Mexico

hello965 in Monte Alban

  • Cascade de Hierve El Agua

Hierve-el-agua-6

  • Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca
  • Walk around and explore the beautiful street art all over town!

Oaxaca Mexico

Food

  • Casa Oaxaca (book at the terraza)
  • Pitiona

Cheers,

Hello965

Los Cabos, Mexico

Los Cabos is a Municipality located in Baja California Sur, in Mexico. Los Cabos, is divided to two parts: Cabo San Lucas, and San Jose del Cabo.

Month Visited: September/October

Period stayed: 3 nights/ 4 days

Airport:  SJD

Los Cabos

Hotel Stayed at: The Cape – San Lucas (RECOMMENDED!)

Food:

Flora's Kitchen

Flora’s Kitchen

  • Flora’s Field Kitchen (Organic, delicious, happiness!)
  • Lolita Cafe (Breakfast)
  • La Forchetta (Italian)
  • Las Cazuelas del Don
  • Nick-San (Japanese)
  • El Farallon

 

Things to do:

  • Desertica Cabo Multi Adventure Park
  • ATV ride over the longest hanging pedestrian wooden bridge in the world

Los Cabos

  • Frank Arnold Gallery (Gallery in San Jose) – You can choose to visit when the Art Walk is happening (every Thursday evening). This involves walking from gallery to gallery in the Art district.
  • Sailing trip (morning trip with paddle surf and/or snorkeling) or a sunset romantic sail boat trip

Los Cabos

  • See the Golden Arch ‘El Arco’ Cabos
  • Playa Santa Maria
  • Nikki Beach

Tips:

  • Although everywhere in Los Cabos from my visit was priced in US Dollars – do take with you Mexican Pesos as this is Mexico’s currency.
  • Rent a car Vs. Taxis: I preferred renting a car since I stayed in San Lucas, and wanted to go to places in San Jose as well.

Los Cabos

  • Book your activities in advance, so you can schedule your times.
  • Check the distances on Google Maps between each place to plan your routes and distances accurately.
  • If you’re going for the sun and water – please make sure you protect your skin and take some medicine just in case of an upset stomach due to food reactions.

 

You wanna see more? Check out our hashtag on Instagram: #Hello965LosCabos

Your Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Guide

Playa del Carmen is a city located along the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico. I can’t get over this place. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

1. How to get there?

– You arrive at Cancun International Airport – airport code: CUN

– Arrived at the airport? Passengers first clear Immigration then collect luggage for Customs and a possible inspection. Wait for instructions to press the red or green light that will determine whether you have been chosen for a search.

– Avoid offers for transportation inside the airport.

– To Playa Del Carmen, its around a 45 minutes to one hour drive (I arranged for a taxi pick-up from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen, driving is an option)

– Renting a car is a good idea for those who wish to tour areas such as Tulum, Cobá, etc. You must rent in advance and pick it up upon arrival. (contact us if you need us to help you reserve a car!)

Taxis:

Vouchers for taxis rides to Playa Del Carmen are on sale inside the main terminal.  Taxis are private rides (quoted prices vary from $60-$90).  Returning to the airport in a taxi is often less than the trip upon arrival.

(If you need further recommendations on what private companies to use for transportation, please feel free to drop us an email or contact us at our Contact Us form)

 

2. Where to Sleep?

  • Banyan Tree Mayakoba
  • The Fairmont Mayakoba
  • Grand Velas Riviera Maya 5 Star Luxury Hotel
  • Pueblito Luxury Condo Hotel
  • Viceroy Riviera Maya
  • Blue Diamond Riviera Maya
  • Casa Rebeka – Ocean Front Villa
  • Luxury Villas

 

3. Other than staying at the hotel all day and enjoying my friends/spouse/significant other.. What to do?

  • Cenote Chaak Tun (Cenote means the hole in the cave filled with water/ sink holes – you can swim)
  • Cenote Chikin Ha
  • Rio Secreto
  • Xcaret theme park (excellent for families too!) – Underwater Trekking is awesome!!!
  • Flyboard, and all other activities
  • See Playa del Carmen’s main street, La Quinta Avenid. It runs parallel to the shore and serves as a pedestrian walkway
  • Diving tours (Playa is one of the best places on the coast to dive)
  • Xel-Ha day trip
  • Tulum Day Trip
  • Xplor Adventure Park
  • Go to Mamitas Beach during the day (Fun, music, sun)
  • Indigo Beach (beside El Taj Condo Hotel)
  • Take a boat and go Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres
  • Chichen Itza

For more, and personalized itineraries please drop us an email or contact us here.

 

4. Food

  • Diablito cha cha cha (loud, music, food) q
  • El Tacombie (tacos, not a restaurant)
  • Los Aguachiles (Mexican, seafood, casual but good food)
  • Yaxche (Mexican)
  • Chez Celine (Breakfast/Brunch)
  • Como Como (Mediterranean)
  • Mosquito Blue Restaurant

 

5. Other Stuff

– Whats near Playa Del Carmen?

  • Tulum
  • Cozumel
  • Akumal
  • Puerto Aventuras

– Withdraw money from a local ATM as you will get the exact current exchange rate. Almost all stores will give you an unfavorable conversion rate

– If you love snorkeling, purchase your own gear and bring it with you on vacation. At many locations you can snorkel right off the beach anytime you want, saving tour fees

– When going out, put your money in an inside pocket or pouch, where it isn’t visible

– Phone? There is a “data” phone. I got mine from Mexico City, and used it in Playa Del Carmen and different parts of Mexico

 

6. Switch off your phone, switch on your camera, and e-n-j-o-y.

IMG_0400.JPG

Hello965 Team

 

Top 10 experiences for food lovers

I really enjoyed reading this article, so I’m re-sharing it here!

by Tom Marchant

Food and travel are the two loves of our lives, and there’s nothing quite like the appetite to ignite that spark of wanderlust, from the incredible street food in Mexico’s bustling capital to uncovering the hidden local hotspots in Vietnam. So we’ve scoured the globe searching for our favorite culinary experiences, from truffle hunting in Italy to tasting the freshest ceviche in Peru. Bon Apetit.

Vespa food tour, Saigon, Vietnam

We all know there are 9 million bicycles in Beijing, but what about the motorbike capital of the world, Saigon? Rumor has it that there are 4 million motorbikes whizzing round the city, meaning over half the population owns one, so what better way to see it than by joining them on a vintage Vespa. Saigon showcases an exceptional mix of ancient Vietnamese and French colonial culture as you zip through the streets where you can’t help but notice the delicious aromas wafting through the streets. Add in a couple of expert tour guides who know the roads and foodie hotspots like the back of their hand – and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable private food tour of Vietnam’s most enchanting city.

01_Vespa-Saigon

Fish market, Tokyo, Japan

It’s no surprise that Tokyo is home to the world’s largest and biggest fish market with such a love for sushi and sashimi. To make the visit worthwhile you simply must go in time to catch the 5 am live tuna auctions, where one of these rock-solid frozen fish, looking like steel torpedoes can sell for £6000. Master the arts of sushi-making and test your culinary creations in time for breakfast. The market is split into Inner and Outer markets, those willing to brave the extra fishiness will find themselves dodging fish laden trucks in the inner market whilst the rest might stick to the Outer where you’ll find every type of sea-food imaginable as well as the Real Wasabi.

02_Fish-Market-Tokyo

Pasta making, Tuscany, Italy

Italy’s 20 provinces undoubtedly offer a rich and diverse selection of scrumptious food, so learn how to cook like an Italian and be the talk of the town. Tuscany is famous for its extraordinarily beautiful rolling hills as well as its mouth-watering pasta dishes. Getting the know-how from a chef that learnt from their mother and grandmother is certainly the way to master Nonna’s touch. You’ll learn how to make dough from scratch using a traditional pasta maker to stretch out the dough. Then it’s time to get creative and make your own shapes, either carefully by hand or through the pasta machine. And as a reward for all your hard work, sit back and relax with a glass of wine and a delicious dish as you take in the lush countryside around you.

03_Pasta-in-Italy

Piedmont truffle experience, Italy

Step into the heart of the truffle county to learn about and sample the most expensive ingredient in cooking. First you’ll want to submerge yourself in la dolce vita and wander through endless stalls laden with the freshest produce in Acqui Terme market. The ‘Alba Madonna’ truffle is the holy grail of fungi so get ready to be introduced to one of Italy’s oldest traditions; truffle hunting. Not only is it a great way of discovering the surrounding countryside but with an expert guide (and his loyal dog) in tow, you will gain a unique insight into how these amiable villagers help fuel the global obsession with these little white fungi. After becoming a master in truffle hunting, become an expert in cooking the fungi with a personalized cookery lesson in La Villa.

04_Truffles-in-Italy

Oysters and whiskey in Hobart, Tasmania

After nothing but biltong and bush food to feed your hungry stomachs, head to Hobart for world-class oyster and mouth-watering whiskey. The island produces 4 million dozen oysters each year and each oyster growing region, like wine, has a distinct flavour, colour and appearance.  An education in Barilla Bay will give you a knowledgeable introduction to oyster farming in Tasmania in an exceptional setting, which has certainly come a long way since its humble tin-shed beginnings.  Take the whiskey trail to the Coal River Valley to learn about the history of single malt whiskey and be taken through the brewing process in this sumptuous sojourn. You’ll be rewarded along the way with a selection of creamy oysters and oaky whiskey to satisfy your taste buds.

05_Wine-in-Tasmania

Street food in Mexico City, Mexico

In a nutshell, Mexico City is a must visit gastro-jungle. Learn how to tell your tacos from your tlacoyos in a tour of Mexixo City’s best street food hotspots. We just love the names rolling off the tongue of the Chicharrones, flautas, camotes, and tlacoyos. And they taste even better in the mouth. Especially the Pambazo, a Mexican sandwich made from hard white bread rolls soaked in guajillo chilli sauce, filled with generous portion of diced potatoes, chorizo, lettuce, sour cream and sprinkled queso fresco. You’ll be left scooping the remains with your fingers as it’s just too good to waste. Spot the masters of the tortillas flipping the corn treats straight from the tortilla press. Try everything, but don’t blame us if your diet feels somewhat mundane upon arriving home.

06_Mexico-Street-Food

Sample succulent steak in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina is home to the most talked about steak in the world, so you’ll just have to hop on over to form your own opinion. Head out late for dinner as the party doesn’t get started in BA until well past midnight so you’ll need to stay awake somehow. Steak and Malbec really does the job.  There are plenty of other foodie experiences to enjoy. A cooking lesson with local chef Ezequiel Gallardo will get you whipping up tasty empanadas after choosing the ingredients in the fresh food market down the road.

07_Steak-in-Argentina

Napa Valley food and wine tour

Enter the sun-kissed wine valleys of Napa for an ultimate food and wine jaunt. In a private tour it’ll just be you and the winemaker himself knocking back a glass or two whilst learning lots of very important things about wine. Food and wine is definitely a winning combination at the award winning Kendall Jackson Vineyard with the food and wine pairing menu. Ever wondered what goes hand in hand with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc? Fresh oysters of course. And that hearty Pinot Noir? It has to be the rich crème brûlée with white chocolate.

08_Wine-in-Napa-Valley

Gourmet tour of Lima

Lima is fast becoming one of the most cosmopolitan and sophisticated cities in South America and is experiencing a gastronomic boom to match.  An evening food tour will see you learning to prepare the refreshing national dish of ceviche under the watchful eye of an award winning chef, and shaking pisco sours on the beachfront – definitely a dinner party staple for when you get home. Experience a flavour explosion with dinner at Ámaz which is a traditional Amazonian restaurant, before being whisked off for a Peruvian dessert in the bohemian Barranco district. It’s a hard life.

09_Peru-Food-Tour

Eat like a local in Georgetown, Penang

Earning the title of being the street food capital of Asia is surely a good enough reason to go and check it out for yourself, right? Navigate the bustling streets of the UNESCO world heritage site and ‘hawker’ food heaven, Georgetown, for a culinary extravaganza. Your expert guide will take you where the locals go for the best ‘Char Koay Teow’ a delicious Malay rice noodle dish, which will leave you scrambling for more. After really adopting that grazing mentality (trust us you will need to), have a break from eating and visit a heritage coffee shop.  Sample the delights of the evening hawker food and all that Malay, Chinese and Indian fusion cuisine is in full force until the small hours – who knows, you may even make breakfast.

10_Street-food-in-Penang

Tom Marchant is Co-founder of Black Tomato.

 

Cheers,

Hello965

Mexico City Itinerary

Mexico is a very magical place; and very close to my heart. Mexico City, is the capital of Mexico officially known as Mexico, D. F., or simply D. F. Mexico City is the country’s largest city as well as its most important political, cultural, educational and financial center.

Airport Name: Juarez International Airport (MEX)

Many of the most visited tourist attractions in Mexico City are concentrated in the historic center, including the Plaza de la Constitucion or Zocalo, the National Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral, Templo Mayor, Palace of Fine Arts and Alameda Park. A few blocks north of the Palace of Fine Arts, Plaza Garibaldi is one of the best places in Mexico City to hear live mariachi music.

You’ll also want to explore the neighborhoods of Zona Rosa, Roma, Condesa, Coyoacan and San Angel. Home to lovely parks, plazas, shops, markets, cafes and some of the top tourist attractions in Mexico City, these artsy neighborhoods are especially popular among visitors to the city and foreign residents. Nearby, in the trendy posh neighborhood of Polanco you’ll find some of Mexico City’s top nightspots and chic restaurants.

Speaking of Polanco, during my last visit to D.F., i stayed at the W Hotel Polanco and I highly recommend it. Great location, excellent services.

Some of the near by attractions to W Polanco are:

  • Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe
  • Polanco Commercial District
  • Plaza of Three Cultures
  • Tehotihuacan Pyramids
  • Archeological Museum
  • Museum of Modern Art

Food.

Biko

Merotoro

Nicos Mexico

PUJOL

Quintonil

SUD 777

Maximo

Mercado San Juan

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I will update the food section in particular as soon as I remember the good restaurants I’ve personally tried!

Cheers

Toomzie