I am looking for a few suggestions on a first trip to mexico.
I am mostly interested in seeing the countryside, little towns, the scenery, the ocean, etc. Staying in cheep hotels, hostels.
I just need a starting point. I have a few ideas but its sort of a guessing game at this point.
I dont mind hanging out in a city for a few days, but I only have a week. this will most likely be the first of many trips to mexico so I dont need to see every thing just a little bit of the good stuff. Any recomendations on food, drink, accommodations are appreciated in advance, I am a vegetarian and no matter where you go this can be difficult, but I am pretty adaptable.
So you want to see the country side & the ocean? As for the country side, I was first going to suggest Guadalajara because there is easy access from the big city w/all its interesting sights to the Lake Chapala area (an hr from Guad.) which has lots of quaint towns w/museums & neat B & Bs -- but
you want the ocean... Well, you can take a bus (5 hrs) from Guad. to Puerto Vallarta (nice ride) but you probably don't want to spend the time getting there.
So, why not just fly into Puerto Vallarta & ramble around the area? You can catch any or all of several buses that go north, south & east, to just look around, have an ice cream cone (as I did), get back the bus & go back to where you started -- for little money. There's alot to see & do -- scuba diving (I can recommend the perfect spot, if you are interested), canopy rides (outstanding fun!), tequila factories that will educate you as you sip, sightseeing boat rides, horseback riding, bungie jumping, people watching. There are an infinite variety of places to stay, from on the ocean in a nice hotel - to really cheap places. It's a safe, fun town.
There are several vegie restaurants - One I tried is a wonderful place called the Planeta Vegetarino near the main cathedral, that serves a different assortment of all fresh, organic foods every day (breakfast, lunch & dinner) for about $7 US.
You'll no doubt get others' input & opinions. Good Luck!
I you want to see a beautiful beach go to Cancun, there is a hostel in the downtown called chacmool, you can go to xcaret and see the night show wich is great if you want to know mexican folcklore, this is not cheap, but the park is great and you have all in one package, the main city near to Cancun is Merida wich is far from there about 5 hours, Valladolid is a little town and you can go there and spend only 2 hours, Chichen Itza is on the same way if you want to know more about mayan culture, Valladolid and Yucatan Peninsula have many cenotes so there are many things you can do there... time will be a problem... but I thing you can deal with Cancun, Chichen Itza, xcaret, Merida and Valladolid... use one day for each thing
Start in the Dessert... Maybe in the East in Monterrey... Big city but great National Park called Chipinke.. then take a 5 hour bus to Torreon... another dessert town... The area is called La Laguna ... great night life and cheap food, it is a newly growing urban city, rich in money from mining, dairy, and other business. Then take the night bus (12hours) to Mazatlan (u wanted Beach!) best cheap beach in mexico, eat some fish and buy some trinkets...
This trip will basically cover the North East of Mexico to the West... If you have a few extra days... stop into Zacatecas from Torreon about 5 hours west... very colonial and art museums to keep any artist busy. Also... some off the map areas near torreon are Cuatrocienegas (featured in National Geographic)or drink some wine in Parras... 2 hours south of torreon...
Enjoy your many trips to Mexico... and learn some spanish and teach some english while you are visiting... Hoping all goes well with Mexican Elections! By the way the bus system is great.. just do some planning ahead and ask some questions! Viva mexico.
lots of options as you can see
You can also try Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido, lots of real mexico and beach (you wanted beach!!)
My all time favorite place in Mexico is Guanajuato...