I was loving my time in Mexico city. Aside from filling my face with nachos at every opportunity, there was one huge site I had wanted to visit for years – Teotihuacan. Strangely for such a famous site, it’s just outside Mexico city so it’s perfect for a half day trip.
Mexico City is one huge place, and I had no idea how to negotiate their metro system, let alone their bus system to get out to the temple so I though the best way to fully enjoy my day was to set up a daytrip. There are a lot of day trip options you can organise through your hostel, but I’m not keen on the huge generic day trips so I wanted to keep it local. I had found Pata de Perro on-line and contacted them directly, Gabriel the founder contacted me back. Tour tomorrow? yup. Only you? Yup. No worries, see you at 9am.
Gabriel came and picked me up at my hostel at 9, his English was perfect and instead of some huge tour bus we were going just in his car – I loved this already. Gabriel’s story was pretty cool, he was an architect by trade but he fell out of love with the commuting life in Mexico city, working for a faceless corporation so against his parent’s wishes he has begun his tour company in Mexico City, it’s still quite new and the personal touch was perfect.
We chatted the whole way to the temple, it’s the sort of tour where you feel like your buddy is showing you a cool, new place. Not like some organized event where the guide recites the information he studied in a book. It was really great.
Soon we were wandering around Teotihuacan and it was something special. The ground are huge, and take about 40 minutes just to walk up the old ‘main street’ in the town to get to the main structure. From there you have to clamber up 250 steps to get to the top where you’re greeted with a great view of both the ruins, and the surrounding area. This place should be more famous, really.
Gabriel knows all the quirky points of interest in the place so you’ll be well informed after the 90 minutes or so you spend waltzing around.
When you come out, and this is more of the personal touch again, Gabriel has a picnic planned for his guests, that he takes out of the boot of his car. He chooses all locally sourced Mexican snacks so you can recharge after the long walks in the hear around the temple. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be eating cricket and avocado sandwiches when I woke up this morning!
I combined two tours for today – both Teotihuacan and a makeshift half day tour of Mexico city too, so after finishing up our snacks we headed into the city centre of Mexico City.
This isn’t the sort of tour where you get told how old the spire on the cathedral is though (boring), this is where you get taken from local jaunt to local jaunt. Where you can sample cheeses and wine in a store, check out the pigs head and sheeps feet in the local market, and then my favourite, drink pulque – a local drink made from the liquid from the inside of a tree, then fermented to a low alcohol level. We went to some hipster place where the drink is enjoying quite the renaissance, what an awesome experience it was sitting there drinking this weird drink with my guide/buddy, the only foreigner in the place, surrounded by tattooed, Mohican-sporting, pierced Mexicans. Brilliant.
The day went by in a heartbeat, yet it felt like I had seen so much. I’d love to come back in the future and check out how Gabriels’ company is doing.
If you come to Mexico city and don’t visit Teotihuacan, then you’ve made a huge error – be sure to check it out, and send Gabriel a message too (to firstname.lastname@example.org ), if you can do with him you’ll have the best tour possible! Gabriel also runs tours throughout Mexico City itself too, walking tours, market tours – all really cool stuff so hit him up for all your Mexico needs. Happy travels!!