Ellie’s Travel Adventure – Exploring Mexico!

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Hola and welcome to the Mexico blog part 2! Obviously I’m writing this after the fact, and honestly it’s just making me so happy remembering this trip, and seriously looking forward to going back!

We left off last time at a delicious traditional breakfast, including tortillas (of course), refried beans, chorizo, avocado … Energised, we took the 2 hour drive south to the town of Tepoztlan, which is one of Mexico’s so-called ‘pueblos magicos’ – magic towns! They’re so-called basically due to their cultural significance, exceptional beauty & traditional experiences etc.. And straight away, we were starry-eyed at this colourful little town. The coloured bunting criss-crossing the streets is everything you want from Mexico, and the litre cups of mojitos available from the street stalls help too!

Streets of Mexico
You can’t help but love the brightly coloured streets of Mexico!

We headed straight for the hiking trail up to the peak. If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know that we’ve done a few hikes / climbs in our time. By no means are we at peak fitness level or anything, but a little 30 minute hike shouldn’t have been outside of our comfort zone really. But given the fact that the town itself sits at 1700m above sea level before you even start climbing meant that we were really huffing and gasping for oxygen pretty quickly! What turned out to be a little bit sad was that when we were literally 90% of the way, we encountered the first sign telling us that the top and the lookout area was closed (due to forest fires) … But, I was still happy to have done the hike because we all know that more hiking = more food afterwards!


As we trekked back down and into the market stalls area, the aroma in the air told us that we could not pass up one stand in particular, where they were grilling meat on a stick, basically! They also had a selection of 5 hot sauces of varying intensities, but this is Mexico, amigo, even intensity level 1 is more than enough! But my husband will tell you that this is the best piece of pork he has ever eaten! I went for the king prawns, which, although incredibly delicious, were very hard things to eat off of a stick, given the amount of skin peeling and head popping off that needs to take place…

Stick Meal
May not look like much but this is the best meal on a stick I’ve ever had!

But this is not the food that Tepoztlan is famous for. It’s actually known for its ‘nieves’, which translated literally as ‘snows’ … meaning I guess snow cones? It was ice cream, but made with water, not cream. But this was not just the slushie I was expecting. They had probably 100 flavour options, including the one that my husband had which was chocolate, tequila & cacao nibs! If I didn’t know, I would not have known that this wasn’t just regular ice cream – the creaminess and flavour was definitely still there! Just technically ‘healthier’…? Maybe…?

After staying at a lovely AirBnB in the area, the next day, our friends asked us if we wanted to eat something ‘really Mexican’. I mean, I felt like that was what we had been doing so far, but we were in for a real authentic experience. So we headed out to the town of Yecapixtla, and straight into the local food market. This is everything you’d expect – endless vibrant fruit stands, 100 varities of chillies, the noise, the smells … and then you turn into the inside market and here you are IMMEDIATELY bombarded with 10 men at a time shoving a tortilla with some beef inside it in your face to ‘try’. But what’s crazy is that before I knew what was happening, I’d had 3 free samples, and honestly I could’ve walked out again, having had a delicious lunch and not paying a penny! (Look at me, acting like I’m mad about getting free samples AND lunch)

Mexican Street Food
If you’re not afraid of ‘street food’ (which you shouldn’t be!) then this should be on your list!

But, I will say that it was worth sitting down at the stall we did, due to all of the delicious added extras. So we were here of course, for tacos, specifically ‘de cecina’, which is a type of super thinly sliced, very tender beef, that the area is famous for. In fact, everywhere else in the country we went, we saw stalls claiming to sell ‘cecina de Yecapixtla’, and we found out that many vendors come from all over the country to buy the beef there specifically, in that market, to take back and sell. Just take a look at the spread of extras we got though..

The taco in question I think is actually a pork one (why stop at trying one kind?), and to go along with it we were given fresh cheese (was not super cheesy but very salty, kind of like halloumi), limes, a pineapple and habanero salsa, tomato salsa, guacamole, sour cream AND cactus! The bits that look like green beans is actually cooked down cactus, and it was really yummy! So for at least 3 tacos each, 4 or 5 for the men, and all these extras, as well as 2 big bottles of coke (which may not sound super Mexican but you should see how they get through this stuff!) was about $25, so even less in £s!


This, although not ‘the best pork he’d ever eaten’, was my husband’s favourite meal of the trip.

Moving on, of course you cannot come to Mexico without going to some ruins! And we call them ‘ruins’, but so many of these places are in such good condition, hardly ‘ruins’ at all, but actually places that you can still fully walk around (and on) and feel what the place was really like. Obviously there are many, and some more famous than other, but the one that we happened to be near was Xoachicalco. (Side note here, I love all the Aztec words, and that so many of the places have still kept their original names. For an ‘x’ it’s kind of pronounced like a ‘h’, so, although not fully accurate I’m sure, this place is pronounced like ‘hoh-chi-calco’). This place of course is super impressive just walking around by yourself, but we were fortunate enough to start talking to one of the guys working there. His official job was basically just telling people where the exit was, but he was so passionate about the history that he ended up giving us his own little tour for the best part of an hour! This was so informative, and there is so much that we wouldn’t have noticed without him pointing it out.

Main Temple                                       Temple Carvings

For example, the main temple, as shown in the picture, is covered in many carvings. The guide explained that this temple was decorated to commemorate when many peoples came together in this place to design a calendar that they would all use. I’ll be honest, I have forgotten most of the info now, but I know it was fascinating! He showed how many of the carvings depicted people from different tribes or areas, and how their faces were shaped differently, for example, and how we could tell they were different by their ‘language’ (the swirly bits coming out of their mouth), since each had it’s own unique design.

And I guess that’ll wrap up Mexico blog number 2! Will fil you in on the end of this beautiful trip next week!


Exploring Mexico
Just loving Mexico!


Check out our previous travel blogs here!