Summer Roadtrip: Sierra Gorda & Huasteca Potosina, Part 2

Day 2. It was hot as hell and super humid, but that didn’t stop us from exploring our next stop: Landa de Matamoros.

We had an early wake up call, then grabbed breakfast and hopped on the van that took us to the little town of Landa de Matamoros. The highlight was visiting a Franciscan Mission. There are 5 missions in the Sierra Gorda and each of them is unique, the architecture mixes catholic symbols with the old indigenous culture. There are tour dedicated to visiting them and the history behind them is also very interesting and worth of admiration.

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We then headed to Las Adjuntas, this was also not in our tour, but David knew we wanted to swim so he took us to the river, to his favorite spot, and we cooled down in the cold river water. It was such a cool and fun experience.

We then headed to Jalpan de Serra and visited the town center and another of the Franciscan missions. We were hungry so we grabbed some amazing food and drank some local pulque, and hit the road again. This time our destiny was the community of San Juan de los Durán.

This community is literally in the middle of the mountains, they have some cabañas where you can stay. I was sceptical at first, but the place was so beautiful and peaceful. There´s no electricity, no phone service, no internet… just the nature surrounding you and it was just what we needed.

We walked and explored the surroundings, we took a shower with candle light and then had some hot chocolate with our homemade dinner. Before going to bed we just stared at the sky. The stars were so bright, we could even see the milky way!! That’s how in the middle of nowhere we were.

Sadly I don’t have a lot of photos of this day because my phone had died and like I said we didn’t have any electricity until the next day. 😦

Day 3. Again waking up before dawn, having super early breakfast and heading to El Sotano de las Golondrinas. Guys, this is such a cool show that nature puts on for us! Cave of Swallows (in english) is an open air pit cave in Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, and  it’s the largest known cave shaft in the world. The cave gets its name from the green parakeets and white-collared swifts that live along its walls. Each day, at dawn and at sunset, the birds fly in concentric circles up the cave shaft before the flocks come spilling out of the of the hole into the jungle.

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The early morning was worth it.

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We got our second breakfast of the day and went to our final destination: Xilitla.

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Xilitla is known for Edward James Surrealist Garden. That place is crazy and pretty and weird way. It’s a mix of a rain forest, rivers and waterfalls and weird and unique structures.

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We swam a little bit, explored as much as we could without melting and then went back to Pinal de Amoles where we had our last meal and then caught a bus back to Queretaro.

Summer memories with my girls. ☀️✨ // #vscocam #travel #mexico #nature #summer #roadtrip #xilitla #wanderlust #girlsvsglobe #tb

Una foto publicada por Maribel Elguero (@itsmary_e) el 16 de Oct de 2016 a la(s) 9:20 PDT

 

It was the perfect ending for a perfect roadtrip.

What has been your favorite roadtrip?

XO
Mary

Summer Roadtrip: Sierra Gorda & Huasteca Potosina, Part 1

The final part of my summer roadtrip (and my favorite) is finally here! It´s going to be really long so please bare with me.

We wanted to do something different and new, go somewhere that most people don´t get to see and enjoy a little bit of nature. So we decided to visit the Sierra Gorda and Huasteca Potosina. Here’s a little map so you understand where in Mexico we went.

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We had about a week to visit and wanted to see the best of the region, it was the first time we were visiting so we decided to book a tour with Sierra Gorda Ecotours. It was the best choice! We had great accommodation, amazing food, we got to see the local way of life, and the nature was beyond perfect.

Our tour guide, David, was so nice and flexible with times and places we wanted to visit. We were 3 girls and he was so respectful and polite. I highly recommend booking with that company.

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Tour we booked: Lo Mejor de la Sierra Gorda

We took a bus from Queretaro to Pinal de Amoles. The road is long and if you hate curves I advise you to take some pills with you cause the road will take you through the mountains, higher and higher. But holy shit, you guys what a view!!! It’s all worth it. At some point we got to see an eagle flying just beside our window, it was incredible.

In Pinal de Amoles, our guide picked us up and drove us to our first stop: Mirador Cuatro Palos. We hiked for maybe 30 minutes, walking through the forest, until we arrived to one of my favorite views on earth.

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After that we were a little (very) hungry so we went to a local restaurant with homemade food…best. food. ever. I’m not lying.
The best part? It’s all included in the tour so we didn’t have to worry about anything else besides enjoying.

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After that we went to Puente de Dios. This was not on the itinerary but we begged David to take us and he agreed.

You better get some sneakers you can get wet for this place. I didn’t bring any shoes so I wore flipflops, DO NOT BE LIKE ME!

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We literally walked through the river until we arrived to a formation of rocks that forms a bridge. Incredible and adventurous experience. You can get in the river and swim so maybe bring a swimsuit and be careful with your bags! There are waterfalls, manatials, and strong currents every now and then.

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We then visited El Chuveje, a beautiful waterfall surrounded by a forest. You can also swim here and the water is so clean!

We then got some dinner and headed to the ecological cabañas where we spent the night. The cabañas are really clean and nice, super comfortable beds to get a much needed rest.

To be continued…

XO
Mary

 

 

 

 

Summer Roadtrip: Zacatecas

After spending some time in Guanajuato we chilled for a few days in León before hopping on a bus to Zacatecas. It was a cold and long bus ride but it was worth it.

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Zacatecas is the capital of the state of Zacatecas, located in north-central Mexico. It’s famous for the beautiful architecture and mines.

Zacatecas is an old city that became really important during the 16th century in Nueva España because it provided the Spanish crown with a significant amount of silver. The area has seeing some historical battles, the most famous one is the Battle of Zacatecas during the Mexican Revolution.

The colonial part of the city is a World Heritage Site, due to the Baroque and other structures built during its mining days. Mining still is an important industry for the city.

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We arrived really early in the morning and headed to the place of our lovely Couchsurfing host: Lore. She was amazing recommending all kinds of places to eat and visit.

After leaving our stuff at the house we headed to the city center and had a delicious mexican breakfast. With a full stomach we started exploring the city and booked a tour for the afternoon to see the main city attractions. (Please do not do that!! We made a huge mistake! The tour was not expensive but it was boring and very slow, the tour guide was annoying and kept repeating the same facts all the time. You can do the same tour on your own in half of the time and just paying for the entrance to the attractions.)

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Our first stop was the Cathedral and let me tell you it was a great way to start the day. The baroque details in the facade are something worth admiring. They contrast with the inside, the cathedral’s altar is very modern but somehow everything matches perfectly.

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We then headed to Museo Rafael Coronel. This is my favorite place in Zacatecas and every time I visit I like to go there.

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It’s an old convent with beautiful architecture and gardens, while walking through its halls you can feel some kind of peace and magic, you can tell the place has so much history and secrets to tell.

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This is an art museum and you can find art everywhere, even while walking in the gardens.

It’s famous for the exhibition of thousands of masques from all over the world. Some very cool, some very creepy.

The view from the second floor are pretty amazing too, so we naturally had to stop for some photos.

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Even though we made that bad decision booking the tour we had fun and decided to enjoy our time in Zacatecas.

We visited the Edén mine and got to see how they extracted silver in the old days.

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We took the funicular to the Cerro de la Bufa and enjoyed awesome views from the city.

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It rained while we were in the Cerro de la Bufa but we got to witness a nice rainbow before making our way back to the city center.

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After the tour we had the most amazing, delicious and perfect enchiladas I have ever tried. They’re kinda of a local place so not a lot of people know about them, it’s a very small place and the it has no name but if you want to enjoy some delicious local food in the form of enchiladas let me know and I’ll tell you where they are located.

We went out that night and had some beers with Lore, our host, and one of her friends. Then we went to bed ready for the next day.

The next morning we didn’t have a lot of time before taking our bus but we still got to see the old city aqueduct, an old bull ring that’s now a hotel and a rare representation of neo gothic architecture in the city: the Church of Our Lady of Fátima.

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Zacatecas is a beautiful city often overlooked by travelers but it’s worth stopping by for a few days. If you want to know the real Mexico, this is a must.

Have you been to Zacatecas? Did you like it?

XO
Mary

Summer Roadtrip: Guanajuato

While we were in León we decided to make a day trip to one of my favorite cities in México: Guanajuato! I never get tired of this beautiful city, its architecture, the cultural and historic legacy everywhere you go and amazing food.

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First we walked around town and went to the University, a must when you visit the city.

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We later visited the Teatro Juárez, it’s the main theatre in the city and an emblematic architecture building. If you have the chance to in you have to do it, and don’t miss the opportunity to go with a guide that will explain the history behind every little detail of decoration and construction of the theater, you just have to tip him at the end.

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We then met a group of friends and spent some time hanging out with them.

We decided that it was time to eat so we headed to the best place to eat… the market! The outside of the market is beautiful but once inside you find colorful stands with fruit, vegetables, and all kinds of prepared mexican food like tacos, tostadas, guisados, etc.

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After eating we took a walk to the Pipila lookout. I recommend to take the cable car to the top unless you are in great shape and don’t mind a steep climb. Let me tell you that halfway there I had to stop and recover for a couple of minutes. No matter what way you choose the view is definitely worthy and great to see the entire city and its colorful buildings.

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After that we just walked more around the city and went to a “Callejoneada”, during which local musicians dress up in traditional 17th century costumes make their way through the cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways of Guanajuato while playing music, singing popular folk songs, telling stories and telling local legends. No photos of that since I had no battery left, but definitely a great way to end the day before making our way back to León.

Have you being to Guanajuato? What are the things you recommend visiting?

XO
Mary

 

Summer Roadtrip: León

After San Miguel de Allende we went to León and called it home for a couple a days, we went shoe shopping and visited the city center.

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Even though León is more a modern city, famous for its leather goods, the city center is a beautiful and cultural place.

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We took a couple of days to take things slow and enjoy the city, taking in the culture and food. Preparing for our next stop: Guanajuato!

Stay tuned for more photos of the road trip!

Have you ever been to León? I want to know!

XO
Mary

 

Summer Roadtrip: San Miguel de Allende

The past month was a little hectic, I did a little roadtrip through central México with two of my friends. We had such an amazing time! We visited so many beautiful places, ate delicious food and spent some quality time together.

One of my friends lives in Mexico City, so I don’t see her very often; and my other friend is from the Netherlands so it was really nice to see her again. The three of us met while studying abroad in Prague last year and we got to travel together during the summer, so it was nice to repeat it this year in Mexico.

Ana and Anne, (yes I know, I know) started the trip in Mexico City without me because I was busy that first week. Then we met in Queretaro for a few hours to have lunch and start our trip together.

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We spent our first day in San Miguel walking around the city center.

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At night we went to one of my favorite spots in town, Clandestino Hotel. It has the prettiest rooftop bar and it’s not as expensive as other bars in San Miguel. This hotel is seriously so pretty, I highly recommend staying there and/or going for drinks.

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The second day was a busy one. We went to a hotel inauguration and then to a little vineyard, picked some grapes and the did some grape stomping. We partied all day and by the time we went back to bed we were exhausted but happy.

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The next day we went for breakfast and walked some more around town, then in the afternoon we took a bus and arrived to León.

To be continued…

Have you been in San Miguel? What are your favorite spots there?

XO
Mary

Sunsets

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My Spring Break is over in a few hours, but that didn’t stopped me from joining my family in one the most picturesque towns in Mexico: San Miguel de Allende.

San Miguel de Allende it´s a very touristic town and with a lot of expats; a mix of cultures where modern meets traditional, streets filled with colorful houses, beautiful buildings representing Mexican old architecture, art galleries and lots of food.

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We went there to visit the town and then to visit one of my uncles, who lives in an incredible place in the countryside.

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We stayed there the entire day, enjoying the countryside and watching the sunset. A beautiful day.

What did you do during  Spring Break?

XO

Mary

 

Unexpected

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Unexpected trips are one of my favorite things, so when my parents suggested we went to Morelia for the day I was immediately on board.

Morelia is the capital of Michoacán, a state in the west coast of Mexico. It has a great amount of historical places and the city center is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen.

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We spent the day there walking, then went to grab some food and then I randomly met with some friends for drinks. We returned late at night tired but with a smile on our faces.

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Have you done any unexpected road trips? Let me know!!

XO

Mary

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A week ago I packed my bags and hopped on a plane to visit my best friend in Monterrey, Mexico. The plan? Spending quality time with my favorite person in the world, celebrating my 23th birthday and attending a music festival.

I flew early in the morning but it was worth it, I was greeted by a pretty cool view.

Fun fact about me: I always choose a window seat!

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After reunited with Melani we headed to have breakfast in a really cool place called Trece Lunas.

Best. Chilaquiles. Ever.

Trece Lunas has amazing prices, delicious food and awesome decor. The whole place is covered in other people’s writing, even the furniture! A new favorite of mine for sure.

That night we went to a small, all girls Christmas party where we ate a lot of food, lit up some sparklers and attempted to recreate the Mean Girls “Jingle Bell Rock” dance.

I stayed at Melani´s apartment and she has the best view ever!

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Above you can see the Cerro de la Silla, Monterrey´s main symbol and it can be seen from almost any place in the city.

The next days consisted of me trying to not get a cold and partying, not a good combination.

Fast forward to the night before my birthday. We went to a carne asada (a barbecue) and then clubbing. Here´s a really really blurry picture of the night.

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The next day we went to the music festival: Liveout. It was the first edition of the festival but it had a good line up and good organization.

We spent the whole day there. A list of the bands we watched:

  • MOTHXR – They were so cool live! I knew like one song but it was dream come true seeing Penn Badgley live and so close, I´ve had a crush on him since the Gossip Girl days!!
  • Say Lou Lou – This twin sisters are perfect! Their energy and chemistry is contagious, they looked gorgeous and sounded amazing. They were my main reason for attending the festival and they delivered.
  • Ryn Weaver – I wanna be best friends with this girl! She had so much energy on stage that was unbelievable, I wasn’t so much of a fan but now I’m hooked.
  • Saint Motel – Honestly I had never heard of them before and after the high energy of Ryn´s set I wasn’t expecting a lot of this band but holy shit I was so wrong!! They were awesome and they had an incredible amount of energy that drove the crowd crazy. Huge fan of them!
  • We were pretty tired at this point so we took a break to eat and walk around the festival. We heard Miami Horrors from the food area and got back just in time to hear Cool Kids by Echosmith. We then headed to the stage where The Strokes were going to play and heard Gorgon City´s set from a far. Everyone sounded great.
  • Run the Jewels – They played before The Strokes and I guess they were good, but rap and hip hop had never been my kinda music. There were pretty nasty people in the crowd and it ended up being a traumatic experience (I’m being super dramatic btw) It was fun because funny things happened but I didn’t like them.
  • Zoé – They are a mexican band, everyone (not me) likes them and they are good live but for me it was just like whatever.
  • The Strokes – Everyone started to gather for them and there were a lot of people. The moment they hit the stage the crowd exploded singing along to every song, dancing and jumping.

The reason why I love live music/concerts is because of the electricity you feel on your skin, the magic of people singing along to that one song, just living in the moment and creating memories with a soundtrack that will last forever. Liveout was all that.

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I’m not one to take lots of photos and videos at concerts, I actually hate it so I’m afraid this is all I have. I did snapchat some stuff, but that was all. (Add me on Snapchat: itsmary_e)

The next two days were all about being a tourist in Monterrey.

This is a waterfall called Cola de Caballo.

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Next the city center, Santa Lucía riverwalk and Fundidora Park.

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My trip to Monterrey was amazing and spending time with my best friend is always so precious to me, since we live so far away from each other. I’m incredibly thankful to her and all of the people I got to see and meet!

Here’s to another year full of adventures!!

XO

Mary

 

Hamburg, Part 2

The cool thing about my first trip to Hamburg was that I got to see not so common places of the city since my guides were locals.

My cousin doesn’t live in Hamburg but in a little suburb/little town called Buxtehude and let me tell you it´s a magical and beautiful place. Canals, trees, nature, stores, cute old buildings… *sights*

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Dream car right there ^

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#HouseGoals

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My last day was spent in my favorite place in Hamburg … The Alsterpark. I absolutely love this place with all my heart.

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We walked there the entire morning, I played my little niece and people watched. The entire area is full of huge houses and expensive cars, afterall Hamburg is the richest city in Germany.

Of course I couldn’t leave Hamburg without eating a hamburger!! This one is from the Alsterpark restaurant and it was sooo good.

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Give me a good beer, french fries and beer, and I´ll give you my heart.

I loved seeing my family and getting to know the city. Wait for a post in the next few years saying I’m moving to Hamburg.

Have you visited Hamburg?

XO

Mary