My boyfriend and I are planning to go to Mexico for three weeks at the end of December but we don't really know where to start! Does anyone have any tips on the best places to visit? Also, what is travel like within the country? Are there many bus or train services?
Lets start (and apparently finish in a few seconds) with Mexican trains. I haven't travelled on a train in Mexico for quite a few years now. We either hire a car or get an internal flight. The trains are just about at their end, as I believe.
There is a website.. www.fnml.com.mx but it doesn't really offer any hope of a memorable train ride across from anywhere to everywhere. It seems like the whole system has gone into liquidation.
There is a train running through The Copper Canyon, or at least there was a while back. It is a fantastic ride and consider this.. Look at pictures of The Grand Canyon in Arizona. Awesome huh? The Copper Canyon is roughly 7 times larger !
Buses are good as Mexico goes, but they are usually quite slow and not very reliable overall. Your best bet is to hire a car and give it a go. Whenever we go out there we hire a car and it's really OK from a driver's point of view. I've travelled on much worse roads than the Mexican ones.
Places to see are endless. It is a truly wonderful and vast country.
If you want beaches, then anywhere in the Cancun region will spoil you. Avoid the big flashy hotels, just find a small one a few miles away. It'll be much cheaper and the beach will probably be cleaner than in the resort.
Tijuana is good for the day and you can cross into the USA for awhile too. The beaches in Tijuana aren't very nice though.
Mexico City is a must and depending on what website you look at, it is quoted as having a population of around 18-20miliion. It's about the same size as Greater London with about three times the population. Things to do there are countless. I love the place more than the mighty Tokyo. The nightlife is just incredibly good and what a cheap city too.
Oh I could talk about the country and its capital for hours, it's just surprise round every corner.
Mexico has an excellent bus system with about 800 bus companies.
The only useful train service is limited to the Copper Canyon area.
Top of the line bus system is executive class (lujo) with a free sandwich and soda as you board, seats as comfortable as airline business class, video movies, and separate toilets for men and women. Mexico also has deluxe class buses with toilets and videos, first class with toilets, 2nd class for short trips to nearby towns, and combi which are usually VW vans for short trips.
Air travel within Mexico is expensive. Car rental rates are also high.
This is why the bus is the favorite form of transportation. I have met business executives who leave their luxury cars at home and take an overnight executive class or deluxe class bus for out-of-town meetings.
My companion and I took an executive class bus from Mexico City to Merida (towards Guadalajara) at a cost of about US $30 each. We met another couple that flew Mexico City to Merida for over US $200. With check-in time and airport security checks added to their one-hour flight, their trip took 4 hours, the same length of time as our bus trip.
I would never consider a rental car in a foreign country if I could not read the traffic signs and have to deal with parking, etc.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please or personal details, please. ]