Thinking about starting your journey as a digital nomad in Mexico? Sounds like a great plan! Picking a City in Mexico for Digital Nomads can be difficult – you’re spoilt for choice. Mexico is a very large and diverse country rich in culture, tasty food, amazing landscapes, friendly people, and good weather. In addition, it’s a very affordable destination that allows travellers to visit for 180 days (6 months) to experience all this and more.

In recent years, especially since the pandemic began, Mexico has been on the rise to become one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads all around the world. Due to this increasing popularity, Mexico is expected to start welcoming more and more travelers and digital nomads from all around the world, especially from the U.S, Canada, and other nearby countries. If you’re a digital nomad looking for the top Mexican cities to live in, keep reading to find your next remote workspace!

Find houses for rent in Mexico Here

The 5 Best Digital Nomad Cities in Mexico

Mexico City

This massive metropolis in the center of the country is home to over 9 million inhabitants and is one of the most famous cities in the world. Mexico City is a contemporary destination where travelers can find all the amenities that other cities such as LA, New York City, or Austin offer but at a much lower price. 

CDMX  is probably the country’s major digital nomad city, and there’s no doubt why, the myriad of activities and places to go to make this a very fun and entertaining destination, plus it’s also one of the Mexican cities with the best internet. If you want to choose CDMX as your next destination feel free to check out our article about the best neighborhoods in Mexico City, where you’ll get to know all about them to choose the right one for you. 


  • Good wifi everywhere
  • There are many English speakers
  • There are multiple things to do and places to go 


  • Poor air quality
  • Heavy traffic at all times and big city issues
  • It’s a very crowded city

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a great option for those who want to live near the beach without losing comfort and the things the city has to offer. This beautiful town is located in Quintana Roo about an hour away from Cancun, where there’s an international airport. PDC is a small location, so it is easy to get around in it. 

Although it is not a destination that many people talk about, Playa del Carmen is a site quite visited by a variety of foreigners and digital nomads, this makes it a spot where many restaurants, shops, cafés, and bars have English-speaking staff.

Its privileged location between Cancun and Tulum makes it an excellent spot for those who want to have more than one popular destination within reach without spending a lot of money


  • Fast internet
  • Its proximity to the beach 
  • There’s a large community of digital nomads and international travelers 


  • Hurricanes may hit the area
  • American culture overshadows the Mexican culture
  • The weather reaches very high temperatures 

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca de Juárez, the capital of the state of Oaxaca located in the south of Mexico is famous for its textiles, mezcal, mole, chocolate, archaeological sites, natural diversity, and art scene. Oaxaca usually goes unnoticed by international tourism compared to other places such as Mexico City or Tulum, but it’s a must-visit location for everyone in search of a slower, more sustainable lifestyle surrounded by culture, unique meals, and rich traditions. 

Oaxaca has a lot to offer, it’s truly a place like no other, and a paradise for digital nomads. You won’t need to worry about WiFi because accommodations, coffee shops, and coworking centers usually have good internet speed and signal to get anything and everything done.


  • Stunning wildlife and culture
  • Slow-paced lifestyle
  • Not too touristy


  • Not many digital nomads 
  • To fly somewhere else you’ll probably have to connect through Mexico City

Guanajuato City

Guanajuato City, is a town full of art, color, and outstanding views in the state of Guanajuato. This beautiful destination is probably one of the most picturesque cities you’ll ever visit. Its youthful and bohemian vibe makes it a great fit for art lovers.

Just like Oaxaca City, Guanajuato City is an under-the-radar location, and a hidden gem slowly growing into a city for digital nomads and remote workers. One awesome perk of Guanajuato is that you can walk to many places since most of the city’s traffic travels through subway tunnels. Because Guanajuato is a university town you’ll be able to enjoy an incredible nightlife and bar atmosphere.


  • It’s a unique and colorful destination
  • The cultural experience is unmatched 
  • You’ll find art everywhere


  • Its hilly streets 
  • There aren’t many English speakers

Puerto Vallarta

Despite being a very touristy spot, Puerto Vallarta (also known as PV) is one of a kind among the beach cities of Mexico thanks to its amazing weather, stunning beaches, and wildlife. Being a tourist city aimed mainly at wealthy visitors, living here is a bit more expensive compared to other beach towns but still affordable for digital nomads on a budget. 

Puerto Vallarta offers a fusion of local culture with resort amenities. Coworking spaces and cafes are not as numerous here, however WiFi at Airbnbs and other accommodations is usually good. Unlike PDC, the digital nomad community is not yet that large, many of the people here are retirees or tourists.  


  • It’s one of the best beaches in Mexico
  • Genuine Mexican culture 
  • Great nightlife scene


  • Very hot weather during the summer
  • Limited number of cafes and coworking spaces

Why Are These Mexico Cities Excellent Options for Digital Nomads?

Affordable cost of living

These 5 cities (and Mexico in general) are very inexpensive, even for travelers who have a slightly tight budget. The wide variety of food, housing and activity options will allow you to choose what best suits your needs and preferences.


No matter which one you pick you’ll always have good weather. If you’re trying to escape the freezing winters or deadly hot temperatures, Mexico’s weather will welcome you with open arms.


Internet will always be available for you to work at your accommodation, a coworking space or a coffee shop.

Society and Culture

There’s nothing better than living in a new location to get to know its culture, lifestyle and traditions. After spending some time experiencing life in one or all of these Mexican cities you’ll be immersed in a new way of living and thinking. Mexico is a unique country.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an exceptional country to work from, stop your quest because as you’ve already read, Mexico cities are the perfect spots for digital nomads and remote workers. We’ve fallen in love with them and we are sure you will too.

Feel free to follow our journey across this gorgeous country on Instagram @brazilsontours Thanks for reading!

Read more about Mexico here.

The Ultimate Cell Phone and Internet Data Guide for Digital Nomads to Get a SIM Card in Mexico

If traveling to Mexico is something you’d like to cross off your bucket list and wonder if you need to get a Mexican SIM card, the answer is yes! Getting one while visiting will ensure that you have cell phone data and phone reception in Mexico at all times.

In this ultimate guide, you’ll discover the best Mexican phone carrier, where to get a SIM card, and other helpful information for travelers and digital nomads. 

The Best Mobile Carrier in Mexico

If you want to have good reception and cell phone data in Mexico, Telcel is the phone company you’ll want to use. Telcel is the largest cell phone provider in Mexico, so getting a SIM card from them will allow you to have the most coverage all over the country.

What Are Other Mobile Carrier Options?

AT&T and Movistar are the other cell phone companies available in Mexico. However, the terrible customer service of Movistar and the poor reception of both make them unattractive options.

NOTE: You may already have international cell phone service in Mexico. We recommend calling your current phone company to consult this before traveling and/or buying a local SIM card.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a SIM Card in Mexico? 

SIM cards in Mexico range from $1 to $10 USD; this is only for the card without data, though you’ll need to fill the card with credit to have cell phone data in Mexico. Without credit, it’ll be obsolete.

How to Get a SIM Card in Mexico

TelCel SIM Card, Mexico

If you decide to follow our recommendation and buy a Telcel SIM card, you can quickly get it at multiple sales points: Oxxo, Walmart, corner shops, tech kiosks, Telcel customer service centers, or verified Telcel resale centers, and at some airports. You’ll also be able to top-up your SIM card at most of these locations. SIM cards from other companies can also be purchased at these sales points (except Telcel centers). 

Telcel SIM cards come in 4 and 8 GB sizes; this is the amount of data included with the card that you can use until it runs out. Once this happens, you’ll have to refill it at one of the sales points mentioned before or online on Telcel’s website. 

Telcel also offers prepaid cell phone plans in Mexico that you can purchase online or at the sales points; these plans range from $1 to $25 USD. These plans provide unlimited SMS and phone calls in Mexico. Also, it has options for the USA and Canada, data, and endless social media browsing depending on the plan you purchase. 

Before buying a local SIM Card in Mexico: 

  1. Check if your current phone carrier has free international phone service. 
  2. Make sure your phone is unlocked (If your phone is tied to a specific carrier or contract, it is considered locked).

Pro Tip: Download Whatsapp

Planning to be in Mexico for a long time? We recommend downloading WhatsApp on your phone. WhatsApp is the king of instant messaging in Mexico; therefore, it’ll be a great tool to communicate with everyone you meet on the road, and reach out to restaurants or entertainment centers.

It is the best means of contacting anyone, no matter the location or people using other service providers. It’s a free app for both Android and iPhone phones. Telcel often includes unlimited Whatsapp use with its prepaid plans. 

Final Words

We hope that this ultimate Mexico cell phone guide provides all the information you need. Thanks for reading! 

Travelling further south to Central America? Check out The Ultimate Central America Phone Guide here

Mexico City, also known as CDMX, is the capital of Mexico and a trendy destination among international and local travellers. The energy, culture, colours, food, people, and tremendous variety of activities and attractions make it a destination you can’t miss. For these and many other aspects, Mexico City is an ideal location for all types of travellers you just have to pick the best neighbourhood in Mexico City

So, you decided Mexico City will be your location for the next couple of months. However, adapting to a 21 million people city may be intimidating. 

When choosing the best neighbourhood in a city as big as Mexico City, you want to consider essential aspects such as proximity to shops and sites of your interest, access to public transport, touristy spots, and safety and budget. Next, you’ll find all the details about the best areas to stay in in Mexico City.

Questions arise as you land and check from above this massive Latin American capital. “Where should I live? Am I going to get lost in this concrete jungle?”.

If you are a digital nomad or just someone who wants to plan a long-term trip here, you’re in the right place because we’re about to answer these questions.

We came up with this guide to the best neighbourhoods in Mexico City to make it easier to choose not only the coolest but also the most practical, and safe neighbourhood for your stay.

La Condesa

Colonia Condesa, Mexico City

If you’re visiting CDMX for the first time, you’ll love La Condesa. This western side of town is an excellent choice if you want to surround yourself with an old-fashioned yet modern atmosphere. Here you’ll be able to enjoy many exquisite restaurants, vintage markets, unique shops, and a great nightlife scene. La Condesa is the perfect neighbourhood for artists, writers, students, and other creatives.

Its prime location near the Chapultepec Forest, where you’ll find a magnificent historic castle, a zoo, garden, lake, and more, makes it an excellent area for families and digital nomads who love to walk around. And if you love dogs or travel with one, then you’ll feel right at home because La Condesa is a dog lover neighbourhood. 

Everything you need is within walking distance: convenience stores, coffee shops with high-speed internet, laundry services, yoga studios, parks… You name it! There are many reasons why foreigners choose this neighbourhood.

It is also very well connected with Metrobús, Bus, Metro, and EcoBici stations available just a few blocks away.

Pros and Cons of La Condesa:


  • Unique ambience
  • Excellent nightlife and wide restaurant selection
  • Cozy and attractive accommodations
  • You can peacefully walk around the neighbourhood
  • It’s known to be a safe area


  • If you’re not a party person, the nightlife can be a drawback rather than something enjoyable
  • It’s a little bit pricey
  • If you don’t book in advance, it can be hard to find an accommodation

Local tip: If possible, check if your accommodation has been well maintained since some buildings have been severely damaged from past earthquakes.

Find houses for rent in Mexico Here

La Roma

Typical art nouveau house at Colonia Roma in Mexico City

Roma is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Mexico City. It’s divided into two districts: Roma Norte and Roma Sur.

Roma Norte is a slightly more modern and touristy spot, while Roma Sur echoes the local and traditional life of the area. Roma is one of Mexico City’s best neighbourhoods for young tourists looking for a fun time, but it can also be a good option for couples, families, and older travellers who want to stay in a nice neighbourhood with a unique vibe. 

This hip and vibrant neighbourhood has (almost) the same features as La Condesa. However, here you can feel a more cultural and artistic vibe. 

This historical district is mapped by main roads such as Insurgentes Ave., Medellín, Monterrey, and Cuauhtémoc Ave., which connect the city’s south with the centre. However, this neighbourhood’s core is Álvaro Obregón Ave., where you find a buzzing commercial activity. The area also provides affordable and handy services like laundries, tailors, shoe repairers, and stationaries.

Want to get fresh veggies? Then hit one of the many farmers’ markets that take over the streets.

Pros and Cons of Roma Norte:


  • The landscapes, architecture, and streets are unique 
  • You’ll find good food everywhere
  • You can walk around the area and even to other neighbourhoods 
  • The nightlife and bars are first-class


  • Compared to other neighbourhoods, Roma can get a little expensive
  • It’s a slightly more touristy destination
  • It’s not close to museums or other popular attractions 

Local tip: It is full of digital nomads and ex-pats, so search for coworking places and meet-ups.

La Escandón

Panoramic aerial view of Mexico City, over the Escandón neighbourhood

La Escandón is located just across Revolución Avenue. This neighbourhood has a lot to offer to anyone who wants to build a new life without spending much. Compared to its surrounding areas, La Escandón’s real estate prices are more affordable, the buildings are more modern, and it has a local family vibe. 

Its activity comes from schools, tienditas (convenience stores), late-night street antojitos, markets, and coffee shops sitting on every street. Some offices operate Monday-Friday when the neighbourhood is busier, but after 6pm, the roads get peaceful. 

Pros and Cons of La Escandón:


  • Metro and Metrobus stops are within walking distance.
  • Affordable


  • The roads can be hectic during the day

Local tip: Make some benchmarking in La Condesa and Roma. Prices in La Escandón should be around 30% less. 

La Cuauhtémoc

Located next to the city’s most iconic monument, El Ángel de la Independencia, la Cuauhtémoc (do not confuse it with the Cuauhtémoc municipality) is having its second boom after the 60s, when most of its buildings were constructed. 

Some of them are being improved, but you also find huge original with affordable rental prices. Facilities might be outdated, but they are charming.

In addition to having restaurants, nightclubs, coffee shops, 24/7 convenience stores, and hotels, the location is one of the best in the cities. Walking distance to el Centro, Polanco, Roma, Condesa and Chapultepec Park, and few blocks away from el Metrobús, and Metro.

Pros and Cons of La Cuauhtémoc:


  • Cuauhtémoc has a lively international dining scene
  • It is within walking distance to key attractions and neighbourhoods 


  • It is an older area so facilities might be outdated

Local tip: Walk through every street because you will find delicious ramen restaurants to second-hand shops.


 The best neighbourhoods to stay in Mexico City - Coyoacan f
Museo Frida Kahlo

For artsy streets, bohemian stores and coffee shops, art galleries, and museums, Coyoacán is the spot. Here you’ll feel like nowhere else in the city, and it’s genuinely one of the freshest neighbourhoods in CDMX. Coyoacán also offers plenty of splendid restaurants, stores, and public amenities like the Jardín Centenario and the Mercado de Coyoacán; in this last one, you’ll find an incredible variety of crafts and other curiosities. 

Coyoacán, where Frida Kahlo lived, is a charming, bohemian, and full of jacaranda trees district. Although modern skyscrapers changed the landscape, the centre and surrounding streets keep a historical atmosphere with the colonial architecture and cobbled streets.

Some properties used to be haciendas that now are divided into smaller accommodation like duplex houses or two-bedroom apartments.

Despite being one of the most touristic places in the city, and attended by locals over the weekends, you will be drawn to a slower pace that reminds you of Mexican villages. 

Pros and Cons of Coyoacán:


  • It’s a very safe and family-friendly neighbourhood
  • The restaurants have exquisite food
  • There are many art galleries, museums, and creative spaces


  • It’s very far from the downtown area and its surroundings
  • You’ll need public transport or Uber to be able to move around

Local tip: Traditional Mexican-style architecture is easy to find here. Prices are much lower than in other neighbourhoods. 

La Narvarte

In Mexico, they say something is BBB when it is Bueno: good, Bonito: pretty, and Barato: cheap, and this is Narvarte’s accurate description. This is your place to be! If you’re looking for a more local atmosphere that offers absolutely everything you need at affordable prices…

Middle-class Mexican families mix with the busy commercial activity while enjoying one of the many parks in this square.

Being away from the tourist spots has its perks in terms of prices, but this place is surrounded by every means of transportation. 

Pros and Cons of La Narvarte:


  • Easy access to multiple transportation options. You can quickly move to the city’s centre, Coyoacán and Roma, using Metrobus, subway, trolleybus, truck, bicycle or even walking.
  • Its praise as the “cradle of the taco” is not in vain; in Narvarte, you can find these places on every corner, but gourmet options are also for all tastes.


  • The main tourist attractions are a little far

Local tip: Look for accommodation in smaller streets than can be quieter during the daytime.


Are you looking for something extravagant and fancy? This is the neighbourhood for you! Polanco is the place for luxury hotels, upscale stores, fine dining, and fun attractions. The Museo Soumaya, Museo Jumex, Chapultepec, and Gandhi Park are nearby attractions you need to visit if you decide to stay here. Other sites you might enjoy are the Avenida Masaryk (Masaryk Avenue) and the Museo Nacional de Antropologia. The beauty and appealing qualities of Polanco sound impressive, but this charm comes with a high price because it’s one of the most expensive areas to stay in CDMX.

Pros and Cons of Polanco: 


  • Luxury and comfort are all you’ll find here
  • It’s close to several attractions 
  • There are many options for shopping
  • It’s a very safe area


  • It’s expensive
  • The main tourist attractions are a little far
  • There aren’t many public transport options available 

Local tip: Make sure you walk to the Bosque de Chapultepec and its stellar Museo Arqueológico 

Centro Histórico (Historical Downtown)

The Centro Histórico is one of the most popular areas, and it’s also the heart of the city. You’ll find attractions like the National Palace, the Torre Latinoamericana (Latin-American Tower), Templo Mayor Museum, the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

The Centro Histórico Area is one of the best to stay in, especially if it’s your first visit and your budget is tight.

Pros and Cons of Centro Histórico:


  • Has easy access to public transport
  • You’ll be able to find many different attractions within walking distance
  • Accommodation prices are very affordable, and there’s a lot of variety to choose from 
  • Perfect for first-time visitors


  • It’s a very crowded area, and if you like quieter and calmer neighbourhoods, the Centro Histórico can get a little noisy depending on the accommodation’s location and window/balcony setup.
  • Unfortunately, pickpocketing and petty theft often occur on this side of the city.

Local tip: Visit Miralto the Restaurant and Level 40 of Latin American Tower. The Bar is located on the 40th and 41st floors, a high experience dining destination. This iconic culinary hotspot uses traditional Mexican finishes to reinforce its location and present visitors with breathtaking views. 

Ready For Your Trip to Mexico City?

Now that you’ve read ALL the details about Mexico City’s best areas for extended stays and digital nomads, you’ll be able to choose the perfect fit for you. Whatever neighbourhood you decide to stay in, in Mexico City we hope you have a great time visiting this magnificent city.

If you need help finding the perfect Airbnb – check out our post here.

Found this article helpful? Pin it!

For most, accomodation is the biggest expense (flights aside) when we travel. So what if I told you, you could get free accomodation, and good accomodation at that. 

Here are two ways you can get FREE accomodation all over the world!


Workaways is a platform that connects hosts with workers – the idea is you work for a set amount of hours per week in exchange for free accommodation or board. Easy right?

Pros of Workaways: 

➕ there are a lot of opportunities all over the world

➕ you can experience life like a local 

➕ the opportunity to meet new people 

Cons of Workaways:

➖ you usually have to work 4 – 5 hours a day

➖ there is a $44/year fee to join the platform

➖depending on the Workaway you could be in a dorm room or sharing space with others 

The jobs and hosts vary widely from marketing and video editing to farming and teaching – the list is endless and so are the country’s you can work in.

Tips & considerations for using Workaways

  1. This is an amazing opportunity for anyone wanting to travel long term and save some $$ BUT if you’re working online (like us) with a decent workload you’ll need to weigh up if it’s worth it for you. Doing 15 – 20 hours per week for your hosts and then a regular workload can be tough going and leaves little time for exploring.
  2. Just like any job, you want to put your best foot forward but always be open and honest.
  3. Be flexible. If you’ve got a set destination and timeframe in mind you’ll be narrowing your possibilities a lot and could miss out on some great opportunities. 
  4. Reviews are Workaway currency. Just like most things online today, a glowing review can really help you seal the deal so be prepared to take some opportunities that may not be your ‘ideal’ situation to build up your profile.

Another option is…

House Sitting 

House sitting is a type of volunteering where a volunteer stays in an owner’s home while they are away on holiday or traveling.

With housesitting you are almost always actually PETsitting so you will have responsibilities but it’s usually less of a time commitment than Workaways

Pros of housesitting:

➕  also opportunities all over the world although we’ve seen limited opportunities in South America 

➕ you generally don’t have to work other than looking after pets, gardens and the home 

➕ usually you’ll have the whole place to yourself 

Cons of housesitting:

➖ if you don’t like pets this isn’t for you

➖ you need to be home to look after the animals so can’t get so big/long day trips 

➖ the subscription fee is $119/year

➖ can be isolating being on your own

Tips & considerations for using House Sitting

Be transparent. Like Workaway, reviews are super important for a house-sitter. Being honest and make sure you are upfront about any time you may need to spend away from the home and/or pets you’re supposed to be watching goes a long way.

Stay in communication and be open to meeting your hosts before you sit that start. That could mean arriving a day early in your house sit city or location. By setting up a meet and greet before your trip, you can make sure you both feel comfortable with each other. During the stay, should anything come up that either of you need to address, be sure to contact the other party as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to enter into a pet sitting contract to ensure both sides respect each other’s needs and wishes while they are separate.

Think about what you are willing to do in exchange for free accomodation in someones home. Pets will often have strict routines, need medication, exercise etc so if you aren’t comfortable with the requirements it’s probably not for you as tempting as it may be to ‘give it a go’.

Ready to get free accomodation? Sign up for Trusted House Sitters here and get 25% OFF

If you are considering a one year trip around the world, then you have come to the right place. If your most burning question is ‘I want to travel the world. Where do I start?’ Then this post is for you.

If you aren’t quite there yet and are wondering what the benefits of a round the world trip are, then let me convince you by telling you about all the things you can learn from traveling around the world.

In this post, I will teach you where to start with your considerations and your planning by thinking about and answering 10 easy questions.

Recommended for you: How I plan my trip around the world (including 41 planning tasks)

Planning a year of travel can be very overwhelming. I know that.

There are probably a lot of scary questions swirling around in your mind right now:

  • How will I pay for this?
  • What do I need to prepare?
  • How do I decide when to go?
  • What will my parents/friends/colleagues say?

These are just some of the questions you probably have. There are many more you will need to answer before you can start your trip around the world. But you need to start somewhere, and answering all questions at once can be very overwhelming.

For this reason, I put together a list of 10 question you need to answer so you can start planning a trip around the world.

10 questions you need to answer if you are thinking about a trip around the world

1. Should you do a RTW trip now? [Updated April 2021]

My simple opinion on this question is “NO” now is NOT the time to do it with borders still closed and many countries struggling to get on top of Covid-19.

BUT I do suggest you start planning now. Why? Because if you don’t do it now, you might never do it.

That is the problem with the ‘I will do it when I have more money’ or ‘I will do it when I am 30’ or ‘I will do everything when I am retired’ mentality. You don’t know the future, the magical time you are waiting for might never come. So, if you can do it now, do it now!

Of course, I know it is not as simple as that. So, take the time and evaluate your personal situation. Write a pro and con list if necessary. Talk to your parents, or friends, or partner (or all of them). Ask other people who have done a trip around the world about their experiences, challenges, and fears before they went.

I am sure you will find many reasons not to plan your around the world trip now, but there are probably as many good reasons to do it RIGHT NOW.

Sometimes an ‘as soon as possible’ is also a right answer, as long as you make a real plan to go 1 or 2 years from now and start planning now. Beginning to plan right now is one way to hold yourself accountable and not chicken out of your decision to quit (or pause) your job for a year. I know it can be scary, I have been there.

2. How long do you want to travel?

Actually, you don’t have to travel for a year to go see the world, it could as well be 3 months or half a year, or even two years. So, think about how long you want to travel.

Keep in mind traveling can be tiring depending on the speed you want to move from location to location.

Also, remind yourself that you will be gone from family, friends and your comfort at home. Will you miss it? Do you even want to go for one whole year? Or maybe, is one year even enough? Think it through.

3. Who are you traveling with?

This should be one of the most straightforward questions. Are you traveling alone (which would make this a solo trip)? Are you going with a friend or your partner? There are also people who travel with their parents. And of course, many people who travel all around the world with their family, husband, wife, and kids.

4. What’s your preferred travel style?

Let’s say you want to travel the world in one year, 12 months. What do you want to do in that time? There are basically two ways to travel with many small variations: 

You either travel fast, or you travel slow. 

Fast travel means trying to experience as many countries as you can in as short a time as possible.

Slow travel means staying in only a couple of select locations during the year and getting to know live in another country in depth.

There is no better or worse way. Just figure it out for yourself, and talk about your expectations with your fellow travellers.

5. Where do you want to go?

Now that you know how long and how fast you want to travel it is time to think about locations. There are many considerations you will need to think off once your planning gets more into detail, but for the purpose right now make a list of the countries you would want to visit during your trip.

This should be a list without judgment. Just write down from your heart. And when you are done try to rank them by how much you want to visit each country. 1 is your first-choice country, 2 is the next choice and so on.

If you are more than one person in your travel party, each person should make a list, and then you can compare your choices. Prioritize the destinations that were high on everyone’s list.

6. How long do you want to go to each destination?

This again depends on the answers to the questions above. If you want to travel for 1 year and travel slowly about 4 countries, you can spend a maximum of 3 months in each country. If you plan to see 20 countries, then each country will be about 2.5 weeks, so about 17 days.

Of course, there will be countries you want to spend more time in and in other places a couple of days (or weeks) will be enough.

Look again at your answers and figure out how long you want to stay in each destination you wrote down in response to question number 6. Start from the top.

7. When do you want to leave?

This is a difficult question to answer. Do you want to leave right away? In half a year? Or can you wait another year or two? There is a lot you have to consider to answer this question with a final answer.

How fast can you prepare for the trip? Do you already have the necessary money or will you need to save first? Is it a good time to quit your job now? How about other responsibilities? All of these questions will play a role in finding a start date for your trip round the world.

I had more than one year between the decision to travel to actually going on the trip. It was the best time to leave after my rental contract had finished and I had gotten my half-yearly company bonus, which is a huge part of my around the world budget.

8. What’s your travel budget?

The most common question when it comes to planning a year of travel is probably ‘how much does it cost to travel the world’ and the answer is: It depends.

It depends entirely on you and your travel style, what level of comfort you want and where in the world you want to go.

9. Why do you want to travel the world?

This might be the most philosophical question of my 10 questions you need to answer for yourself.

I will tell you why a ‘why’ is important. I recently read about a blogger who saved about 30.000 US dollar to travel the world and then decided not to do it and do a master’s degree instead. What does this tell you? When she started saving money to do a sabbatical to travel around the world, she didn’t think about her why.

What are you looking for?

10. What other burning questions do you have?

Write down all your questions and fears. You will need to work through each and every one of these questions before you are ready to go. I already wrote a couple of examples in the introduction.

Here are a couple more:

  • What will I do with my house?
  • Do I need health insurance?
  • How to save money to travel the world?
  • How can I travel for free?
  • How do I convince my parents to let me go?
  • And probably many more.

Just add to this list whenever you think of a new question.

Ready to go? Start planning now with our How I plan my trip around the world (including 41 planning tasks)

Pin it

We spent a 12 months working remotely and travelling around Mexico, here’s where we went:

Sayulita > Puerto Vallarta > Guanajuato City > San Miguel de Allende > Oaxaca City > San Cristóbal de Las Casas > Merida > Playa del Carmen > San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Our first stop was technically Guadalajara but we were only there for 9 days at the beginning of Covid-19 so don’t have enough information to make an accurate assessment. For the purpose of this guide we are only including cities we’ve spent a minimum of one month in.

Each location has been rated on cost of living, wifi, food and things to do. Please note these are our experiences and opinions only.

Sayulita 3.5 out of 5.0 stars

Sayulita sign in the plaza

Sayulita was our first real stop in Mexico and we ended up staying here for three months! 

It was the perfect laid back place to get our feet wet (literally) it it’s a small town so easy to get around, English is widely spoken and the locals and helpful and friendly. 

Plus it’s got that cool, surfy-beach vibe.

Cost of Living 3.5 out of 5.0 stars

We spent three months in Sayulita at the beginning of the pandemic and a lot was closed which forced us to cook and stay in, this help us to keep costs low. However looking back the price of eating out and activities in Sayulita is higher than other cities or towns we lived in. We also got veeerrry lucky with our AirBnB and got it for a steal.

Wifi 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Our Wifi was phenomenal, some of the fastest we’ve had in Mexico although we’ve heard some horror stories so be sure to check if your AirBnB host before booking. See our post on booking the perfect AirBnB here.

Food 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

There are some GREAT food options in Sayulita, some of our favourites were:

🌮 @yeikame_sayulita
you’re checking this place out the chicken quesadilla is a must try. They use a blue corn tortilla which was a first for Zahn and did not disappoint. We also love the breakfast burritos here, they are a nice, cheap, grab and go for a breakfast on the beach.

🍕 @larusticasayulita
We ordered pizza from here more than we should probably admit but anyone that knows Addison knows that he could eat pepperoni pizza everyday for the rest of his life and be happy but if you want something a little different try the La Rustica pizza (chicken, pineapple, tamarind BBQ and coriander/cilantro, yum).

🌯 @burrito.revolution
Not only are these guys some of the nicest people we’ve met they also make an amazing burrito and sauces I wish I could bottle and take home to put on everything. All of the burritos are good, all of the sauces are good.

🍛 @achara_sayulita
If you get over Mexican and pizza and feel like Thai this please is great. Our favourites here are the Penang (Zahn’s favourite) and the pumpkin fried rice 😋

Things to do 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

Again, due to Covid-19 a lot was closed while we were but regardless, the main things to do here are beach, eat and drink. Not that we are complaining!

We did also try horse riding, and snorkeling in Sayulita with Mi Chaparrita

Check out more on Sayulita here.

Puerto Vallarta 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

We fell unexpectedly in love with Puerto Vallarta. Yes there is a very touristy vibe. But once again the people were so lovely and helpful and there’s a whole other side to this place beyond the usual tourist and resort scene.

Cost of Living 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Puerto Vallarta was much more affordable than we expected, we were able to get a really rate on our AirBnB which helped.

Wifi 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

The Wifi was good, although we did have the occasional drop out it was quick enough for us to both make video calls at the same time without a drop in speed.

Food 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

This was our first real introduction to tacos, oh-em-ge, the tacos! Plus there was such a wide variety of international options and beachside restaurants, you can’t go wrong in Vallarta.

Things to do 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Within Puerto Vallarta itself there is plenty of art galleries, shopping and beaches to keep you occupied. There’s also plenty of day trips to do in the area including Mayto, San Sebastián, Talpa de Allende and more! 

Watch more videos from our time in Puerto Vallarta here

Guanajuato City 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Guanajuato is one of our top three cities and we wouldn’t hesitate to come back, from the beautiful colourful buildings adorning the hills to the active city squares. Guanajuato is a must see.

Cost of Living 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Guanajuato was were we really saw how cheap Mexico could be. We had an incredible 3-story house, with a breath taking view in town for roughly $600 per month. 

Wifi 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

No complaints here with the internet but as usual we recommend you check with your host.
Download Mbps 19.23, Upload Mbps 6.43

Food 2.0 out of 5.0 stars

Probably the only downside in Guanajuanto City; the food just wasn’t that good! But, it was very cheap. For example you could order a package breakfast which consists of fresh bread, fruit, coffee, juice and a main dish such as chilaquilles for about $85 pesos 

Things to do 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

You can’t walk around the streets of Centro Guanajuato without tripping over a beautiful gallery or museum. There’s also mines, tunnels, and mummies to explore. 

San Miguel de Allende 2.0 out of 5.0 stars

This was our first taste of disappointment in Mexico.  Our experience was seriously tainted by the absolutely atrocious internet speeds and high cost of living.

Cost of Living 2.0 out of 5.0 stars

Everything in San Miguel felt more expensive, from taxis to activities and everything in between.

Wifi 1.0 out of 5.0 stars

The wifi did not work at all in our AirBnB. We ended up hotspotting through a Telcel sim card. BUT, there is currently no unlimited data plans in Mexico! That’s what we said. So we had to top-up a couple times a day which was stressful and expensive.

Download 1.66 Mbps , Upload 1.23 Mbps 

Food 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Although the food was more expensive than other places in Mexico – it was delicious. The restaurants in downtown San Miguel de Allende were on par with some of the best you’ll find all over the world. Plus, on the other end of the scale there were also fantastic taco and torta stands dotted around the neighbourhoods.

Things to do 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

San Miguel de Allende is one of those cities that is so beautiful you could happily just walk around and enjoy the sites but there is also plenty of more formal activities including food tours, archeological ruins and museums.

Read about some of our favourite things to do in San Miguel de Allende here

Oaxaca City 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Oaxaca is known as one of the gastronomical hubs of Mexico and this city did not disappoint.

We spent a month here in November and could’ve spent many more. We were only able to scratch the surface of what Oaxaca has to offer because of Covid-19 restrictions but we’d gladly come back.

Cost of Living 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

The cost of living is reasonable in Oaxaca, you can find everything from cheap street food to high-end restaurants. We spent a lot of time dining out to take advantage of the amazing food scene which did push our monthly expenses up but you could easily live here on a budget.

Wifi 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Oaxaca was a wifi dream with super fast speeds: Download 63 Mbps, Upload 19.26 Mbps

Food 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

There’s a really good reason Oaxaca is known for its food. The moles, the memelas, molotes plus the mezcal scene make this a foodies dream. 

Check out our food recommendations for Oaxaca City here

Things to do 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Besides eating and drinking there’s plenty to do, and lots of culture in Oaxaca. In fact there are 16 indigenous languages spoken in Oaxaca.

Some of the top things to do are:

  • Visit the daily markets 
  • Go to Monteban 
  • Visit workshops of local artisans

San Cristóbal de Las Casas. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Probably our favourite place in Mexico. This small, colonial city in Chiapas, 2200 meters above sea level is a real treat.

Cost of Living 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

San Cristobal de las Casas is hands down the cheapest place we’ve lived in Mexico.
See a breakdown of our costs here

Wifi 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

We stayed in two different houses in San Cristobal and both times the wifi was excellent.
Download 46.69 Mbps, Upload 14.2 Mbps

Food 3.5 out of 5.0 stars

There are some great food options in San Cristobal de las Casas, all very reasonably priced. You can get a good meal at a nice restaurant for roughly $600 pesos for two people – including drinks!

Things to do 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

This is another one of those places that’s beautiful you could happily walk around all day and not get bored.

But if that doesn’t sound like you, can can also easily travel to waterfalls, lakes, indigenous villages or even the Palenque ruins.

Check out some of our favourite things to do in San Cristobal de Las Casas here

Merida 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

Merida was another city we left feeling a little underwhelmed by. The city itself is reasonably large and modern but lacked flavour for us. Most people spoke great English and used that to try and sell us on tours and trinkets, which is normally fine – we are used to it. But, here it came off a little cheesy and people would often follow us as we walked, under the guise of trying to help.

Cost of Living 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

Although the prices weren’t as high as we were expecting it certainly wasn’t cheap! 

We paid double what we normally would for accommodation, we had a private pool but were in the suburbs and needed to taxi to the city. 

See a full breakdown of what we spent in Merida here

Wifi 2.0 out of 5.0 stars

We stayed her over the Christmas holiday period and didn’t plan on working so I didn’t check the internet speed but it was not great and dropped out often with frequent power outages.

Another thing to note is that there is free wifi downtown that you can connect to.

Food 3.5 out of 5.0 stars

Like all modern cities, you get the full range in food options, from street food to fast food and high end restaurants.

While we didn’t find the food bad here it didn’t wow us.

Things to do 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

In the city itself there’s not a lot to do, there are museums, galleries and churches you can visit. However, the real reason most people visit Merida is for what’s just outside the city. 

There’s a plethora of ruins to visit; thousands of public/private cenotes (swimming holes) + beaches close by.

Playa del Carmen 3.5 out of 5.0 stars

Playa del Carmen has a reputation as a digital nomad hub and it’s easy to see the appeal, plenty of modern amenities – apartments, restaurants and bars and of course the beautiful weather and beaches. But, we felt a little old here and the found the overall costs too high. 

Cost of Living 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

The cost of living in Playa del Carmen was significantly higher than other parts of Mexico: food, taxis, and activities were all on the higher end of what we’ve experienced in Mexico. We ended up having to book accommodations quite far outside of the city centre to get something we could afford. Taxis back and forth were expensive!

Side note, if you need to take a taxi DO NOT take it from within the tourist zone, you may receive a fare up to 4 or 5 times the price. Just walk a few extra blocks before hailing a cab and save yourself some $$

See a full breakdown of what we spent in Playa del Carmen here

Wifi 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Another excellent wifi spot.
Download 64 Mbps, Upload 20 Mbps

Food 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

We didn’t eat out a lot in Playa del Carmen but what we did eat was pretty average.  

Things to do 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

There’s a lot going on in Playa del Carmen – a large digital nomad scene to chill; beaches to relax at. We particularly enjoyed getting out of Playa del Carmen and taking trips to nearby Akumal, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel.

No matter where in the world you are, just know there are 10 travel tips you can use anywhere to get the most out of your time there. Make it the best experience imaginable! Don’t look back – after some time – saying, “I wish I had done this and that”.

For this reason, we have created a checklist of things to do for an in-depth look at customs and culture even if you don’t have a lot of time.

Here is our list of 10 travel tips you can use anywhere at every destination.

Let’s go into detail. We’ll use Mexico as an example, as we’ve been living here for several months now! But really, no matter what destination, if you do these 10 things your stay will be so much richer.

1.  Learn the Language

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to become fluent in all the languages of the countries you visit. Just enough to make a connection with the locals.

Learn to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’. Maybe learn how to introduce yourself, and how to order a beer (or anything else). You will see that locals open up whenever you make the effort of communicating in their native tongue!

Sometimes the local people don’t speak English, and communication can be quite challenging. What to do? Break the ice in their language to build rapport, and bust out Google translate to bridge any remaining communication gaps.

Wait, can we have two number one must tries?

The restaurants at tourist destinations are often overpriced, and have all kinds of food on the menu – just not the real deal. To really get to know the local cuisine you have to visit a restaurant that only locals frequent. How do know you’ve arrived? A place where the menu is not be written in English is a good sign. Another clue would be a slight feeling of being out of your comfort zone. I can promise it will be a great experience!

“What is your favorite restaurant” or “Where do the local families go for dinner”? These are our go to  questions when we are chatting with locals. Want a fancier dining option? Just ask, ‘Which restaurant(s) do the locals go to when they want to celebrate’. We suggest you add these Q’s to your arsenal, as well, if you are keen on trying some good, and local food.

3. Visit a Local Market

Go where the locals go to buy their groceries. Look at all the things that might be different from what is sold in your country.

In Mexico, go to the market (not the supermarket) to do your groceries, the produce is fresher and (so much) better priced. You’ll also find delicious meals ready to devour at the market and get a real look at local life. Just go, and try everything.

Apprehensive? That’s fine! Remember, they, you, and I have been carried through our respective markets – sometimes kicking and screaming – by our parents. You don’t have to call them mom or dad, but I am positive you can find an AirBnB Experience or tour guide to help calm the nerves. That’s how we got our feet wet with Mercado de Abastos in Oaxaca, Mexico (a 15 block street market known for its variety of goods, and petty crime). Now we feel at ease at any market even though we stick out like a sore thumb!

4. Use Public Transportation

To get to know a city use public transportation, like the locals – busses or Tuk-Tuks or the Metro whatever the popular mode of transport is, use it.

You will have the opportunity to learn how locals move about their city and in many cases navigating a city by yourself helps you get to know the place better.

Sometimes using public transport can be scary at first, but I promise it will be a worthwhile experience. It can be quite complicated too if you don’t have a good grasp of the language (see point one) and really is an experience in itself.

For example:

The public transport in Mexico is vastly different depending on where you are but colectivos (a.k.a Combi: a kind of shared minibus or shuttle) are popular in many small-size cities. They are the perfect (and sometimes only) option for intercity travel between smaller towns. For long distance trips (major intercity or interstate travel) you can travel ADO (the Greyhound of Mexico) at a much less expensive cost than flying – best if you don’t mind slow traveling.

5. Visit a Religious Site

At every destination you visit, there are religious sites. Get to know the culture, a little better, by visiting at least one. It can be a temple, a church, a shrine, or even a religious pilgrimage site.

In Mexico, you’d have to be trying pretty hard to not make your way to a church. Wait, what? Almost every town or city is centred around a church, but each is unique – from the architecture to the religious practice. See our post here about the indigenous villages of Chiapas

6. Participate in a Cultural Activity

​​Most everyone knows, ‘When in Rome’. So, if you have the chance, wherever you are, definitely participate in anything the locals do. Why? Well, it’s best to ‘Do as the Roman’s do’, when the goal is expand your cultural horizons! You know, not only learn and grow, but to blend in.

It can be anything from learning their dancing style to participating in ceremonies like building an altar for Dia de Muertos. Or Zen meditation, tantric yoga, and/or their go to local sport. Cultural festivals will give you a glimpse into the heritage and traditions – don’t miss out!

If you only visit the tourist sites, I am sure that will be a fun trip. But we want you to repeat the traveller’s mantra, “DMO (Don’t Miss OUT)!”

Ask around. The locals will know what kind of places are really worth a visit, and which places might not be.

If you prefer a more guided option, we highly recommend an AirBnB experiences over tour companies as you’ll usually be dealing with/having your experience with a person wanting to show you their slice of the world.

For example

In Merida, Mexico Cenotes (crater filled with water) are a popular activity but if you visit the known cenote sites you are likely to be climbing over people to get in the water – ask around, and blaze the trail less taken.

8. Walk Around Aimlessly

One of the best things you can do to really get to know a place is to walk around, and see where your feet take you. If you only go from tourist attraction to tourist attraction you will miss the most important part: The people living in the place you are currently visiting.

An additional bonus: It’s completely free! Walking around is one of the best and cheapest ways to get to know a place.

Another one of our favourite things to do when we get to a new place is take a free walking tour. Try booking on Guru Walk.

9. Ask About the Daily Routine of a Local

Not only will you have a perfect reason to start a conversation with a local, you will also probably learn something about the culture of the place in the process. Just ask your host or any random person you meet in a bar or on the streets.

A wise post once noted, ‘Get them talking about themselves and their is no limit to what you can learn’ – don’t miss out!

10. Capture all Experiences in Pictures and Text

To wrap up our 10 travel tips you can use anywhere, our advice is to capture all you memories. We write a blog about our experiences, but you don’t have to. You could just write a diary, or use an App. Or fill a scrapbook.

If you do these 10 things at every destination, your trips will be awesome and memorable.  Why? Because you didn’t leave anything undone!

What other things should people do at a destination? Tell us in the comments!

Most know Tequila as something you shot before a wedge of lemon and salt but few realise that it’s also a scenic town in the Sierra Madre Mountains in western Mexico – 52kms out of Guadalajara.  

Tequila is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and a Pueblo Mágico.  

Mexico’s pueblos mágicos programme was developed by the tourist board in order to promote the rich cultural heritage and history of Mexico through smaller, once overlooked towns. 

Read more about the program here.

So what is Tequila

Tequila – in order to be called tequila it has to be made from Agave Tequilana Azul Weber – the plant AND it has to come from a specific area of Jalisco, Nayarit, Michoacan, Guanajuato, and Tamaulipas. 

If it was made somewhere else, it’s not tequila. 

Jalisco is the most important producer and the best tequila comes from the cities Los Altos de Jalisco, Tequila, Amatitlan, Arandas.

It also has to contain 35- and 55-percent alcohol.

To make tequila the agave has to grow for at least 5 years in order to produce enough sugar to produce fermentation on its own. If the plant produces enough sugars it will be called 100% Agave, if not it will be called Licor de Agave.

Once the plant is ready, a Jimador – the person that cuts the leaves,  leaves what looks like a huge pineapple. 

These pineapples are taken to huge steam ovens and are cooked and crushed to obtain the juice. The juice is then fermented and passed through two distillation processes before producing a final product. This is Tequila Blanco or white tequila. This is that the stuff that’s used in your margaritas – it’s not super high quality but good enough to mix. 

To produce a higher quality, more flavoursome tequila, once it reaches Blanco point, rather than bottling it for sale it can pass through an aging process in oak barrels to make either: 

  • Tequila Reposado – aged between 2 – 10 months or 
  • Añejo (12 – 24 months), 
  • Extra Añejo (more than 2 years).

The wood gives the colouring that comes with añejo as well as a finer taste of course a higher price tag.  

Ok so what about Mezcal? 

The plant used in Mezcal is also an Agave, but a different variety. Mezcal is not limited to one type of agave like Tequila but the most common or the ones that produce the best Mezcales are Agave Espadin or Agave Weber. 

Mezcal can also be produced in any state in Mexico but the most popular comes from Oaxaca and Tamaulipas.

The big difference between Tequila and Mezcal is its production, Mezcal is more of a craft drink – like the craft beer or tequila. In general Mezcal has a much greater range of possibilities because it’s not limited to one type of agave, it can be a blend. 

Each Agave Plant has to obtain maturity for 6-8 years, then leaves are cut and it is cooked just like tequila. But other than the lifting of some of the restrictions that tequila has to be made under another major difference is the cooking of the pineapple. Using a large fire and volcanic rock, once there are only ashes and the rock has gotten hot enough temperature the pineapples are thrown into the fire to be cooked, that is where Mezcal gets its smoky flavours. Then the pinapples are crushed to obtain the juice and it is fermented and distilled just like tequila.

At the end of the day tequila is a variety of mezcal but there are some branding and legal aspects that say they are different. It sounds like Tequila lucked up and is the famous cousin but Mezcales is the more interesting in general. 

Because of its handcraft process, Mezcal is a more refined and expensive drink in Mexico.

How to drink? 

No, you don’t want to take a shot with lime and salt. This was a process that was sold to people to disguise the horrible taste of poorly produced, cheap tequila. 

Good tequila can be sipped on its own and won’t give you a nasty hangover if you drink it straight but there is a technique – Tequila Yoga. 

  • Pour a small about into a glass, (by the stem), raise the glass to eye level and look at the tequila’s color. Is it white? Get your shaker you’re having margaritas!
  • If it’s a light to deep brown give it a swirl, just like wine and look for the ‘legs’ or the ‘string of pearls’ AKA the liquid clinging to the walls of the glass. If it sticks you can proceed with your sipping.
  • But first! Take a deep breath and exhale all the air out of your mouth, take a small sip, enjoy the flavours and then breath out. 
  • Pour about one ounce of tequila in a tequila glass or snifter. Hold the glass at the stem (not the bowl), raise the glass to eye level and look at the tequila’s color.
  • Swirl the tequila gently in its glass. Note how the tequila clings to the walls of the glass, looking for the “string of pearls” effect.[2]
  • Take a small sip, swishing the tequila around in your mouth for about 10 seconds, letting the alcohol travel over different parts of your tongue.
  • Swallow and repeat! Fancy, huh?


A day trip from the seaside town of Puerto Vallarta to visit Talpa de Allende and Mascota is a must!

First stop before we really get on the road to visit Talpa de Allende and Mascota is Panaderia Carmen’s Bakery to pick up some breakfast. This is a must-do on the way to San Sebastián, Mascota, or Talpa. Carmen’s is located just before the Progreso Bridge.

You can not go wrong with any choice you make here. They make the. most delicious fresh baked bread and pastries filled various fruits, one with delicious vanilla filling, another warm sausage, or meat. The bakery is a garden oasis where you can sit, relax, and enjoy your break. Each item was roughly $25MXN pesos or $1.15USD

We have stopped here twice and would go back again in a heartbeat.

Talpa de Allende is a municipality and magical town in the state of Jalisco

Talpa de Allende is home to the Virgin of Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Talpa, housed in the magnificent Cathedral built in 1644  and visited by pilgrims from all over the world. Founded in 1599 the town of about 10,000 people sits in a valley, surrounded by mountains. Most of the visitors here are religious pilgrims from Mexico, who travel to Talpa to visit the Virgin, not to play. But Talpa is a beautiful place and a great experience with or without participating in religious ceremonies. We surprised (and pleased) to see the art line streets juxtaposed to the traditional buildings and religious feel of the town.

On the way into Talpa de Allende you’ll pass the Cruz de Romero by the Talpa sign (pictured above). From here you can climb to the top of the monument up some winding stairs for the most incredible view of the mountains and the town below.

Like most Mexican towns the center of Talpa is the plaza and the Church. The town is very walkable so just park up or jump off the bus in the town center and start walking.

We visited the Church and were blessed by the bishop and received a diploma to verify our first pilgrimage to Talpa de Allende, despite neither of us being Catholic we appreciated the experience and would recommend anyone visiting to embrace it and take the time to gain some understanding of the main religion in Mexico. There is a museum just behind the Church (this is also where you pick up your certificate) where you can learn more about the history of the town and the Virgin of Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Talpa.

The plaza itself is the social center for the town, and you will see all ages of people gathered there during the day and into the night. It is flanked by shops and restaurants. We recommend heading into the main market for Birria at Birrieria El Gran Chivo for a cheap, authentic meal. It was $320MXN / $15USD for lunch for and drinks three people.

The farther you get from the plaza, the more varied and modern the architecture. The walk from the Church up the main street (Independencia) out to the large arch just where you enter Talpa follows La Ruta del Peregrino, which is the route of the pilgrims who walk through the countryside on a pilgrimage to see the Virgen de Talpa.

When you are finished exploring the Church and town center you can take in the scenery further up the hill, at the statue of Christ the King. The views from the statue, overlooking the town and the valley, are remarkable, and worth the climb.

On the way back down from the lookout, you’ll pass through the beautiful callejones (alleys) filled with murals, be sure to take your time and check these out – it was a highlight for us.


Fun fact: The name (Mascota) is not Spanish (where it would be translated as “pet”), it is from Teco and means, the place of deer and snakes.

When you drive into Mascota you immediately notice it is a beautiful and picturesque town like you’ve traveled back in time, to a quiet, peaceful period, you’ll also notice that the air is cooler here especially if you compare it with Puerto Vallarta.

There is, of course, another beautiful church and town square to see in Mascota but the real gem here is the Unfinished Temple de la Preciosa Sangre (Temple of the Precious Blood) The temple is an unfinished ruin of a church that was to be built in the late 1800’s. Its entrance is framed in a Roman arch; its neoclassic altarpiece is one of the best in the region. There is also an active church on the property. The bougainvillea in the gardens provides vibrant color on the stone background.

We booked a private driver for the trip, less risky than a group tour with Covid-19 still an ongoing issue. a similar price to a group tour and gave us a lot more freedom to see what we wanted. We used Jose from Xplore with Chamaco who we’ve now booked four times because he’s the best.

For a 12-hour day, it cost us $4500MXN / $200USD plus $500MXN / $22USD for our food, coffee and beer, and snacks for the day.

If you’re excited to get back to traveling again, you’re not alone. The locals in the places you visit can’t wait for you to arrive. Bearing that in mind, your visits can help a place become even better when you find ways to give back during your travels.

Wondering how you can give back during your travels to help the communities you visit thrive again while caring for the environment? These 6 tips will give you a better travel experience while bettering the world.

Buy local goods

No travel experience would ever be complete without souvenirs. When you buy them, choose authentic crafts made by the locals. It helps support the very people that live there and makes their community stronger. Besides, nothing is more unique than gifts you can’t get at any chain souvenir shop.

Dine locally too

When you travel far from home, part of the experience in other lands revolves around the foods the locals eat. Try their cuisine, stopping at the family-owned restaurants, cafés, and street vendors when hunger strikes. Avoid going to big chains you might recognize from home. You can eat there any time, but when else can you get home-cooked cuisine in the country you’re visiting.

Choose local accommodations

Big hotel chains will survive the world as it is, but those local independently-owned hotels need business. With travel shut down for so long, they can’t wait to host you. While it might be smaller than what you’re used to, you get a chance to make friends with locals and be a part of their world. Plus, they will know all the inside tips about what to see and do that will make your experience unique and real. 

Go green

If you do choose a local hotel, chances are it will be eco-friendly. But if you’re determined to stay in a larger chain, you can also reduce your carbon footprint by taking on a few green travel habits. Reuse your towels and sheets by selecting the card that comes with your room declining a change unless they become dirty. You should also bring a reusable water vessel to cut down on plastic waste.

Other ways to go green during travel are to use biodegradable or organic products that won’t cause damage to the environment. Don’t forget to bring your own shopping bags. Those canvas totes you use for grocery shopping are a great way to bring your souvenirs back from the local markets.

Look for ways to volunteer

Anywhere you go in the world, there is always a place in need of volunteers. Take a look before you book your adventure and find a way to help the locals. It could be a few hours or even a few days of your trip, but it will mean the world to the people you help and you’ll gain the kind of experience that will bring you fulfillment.

We’ve been volunteering at Vallarta Food Bank as Covid-19 takes hold of people’s livelihoods in Puerto Vallarta. Find out about the Vallarta Food Bank and how you can help here.

Submit your travel shots for sale to Our Paper Promises

Disclaimer: Our Paper Promises is our new initiative!

In a nutshell, creators from all over the world will be able to submit their photos/art for print. 20% will go to the creator and 25% to the nonprofit. 

Every month we’ll be supporting a different nonprofit around the world to give them exposure and much-needed donations.

Our mission is to make Our Paper Promises a way for creators to give back and also make some money on the side to fund their journey. 

Don’t stop traveling either. Tourism is essential for every economy and every one of them will benefit from our visits if we find the proper ways to give back during your travels you help the communities you visit to thrive.

Pin It