The Last 3 Adventures Of Our Journey Through Mexico
After exploring Merida, Chichen Itza, Izamal, and 2 cenotes, it was time to reach the end of the Mexican Peninsula.
The last 2 locations I wanted to visit were Playa Del Carmen, which I heard some interesting things about, and Cancun, which is famous for party-tourism.
A bus from the white city of Merida to Playa Del Carmen takes only 4 hours, which felt like a breeze compared to the 10-14 hour bus rides I had done previously.
After being disappointed with Cancun, my adventures would take me to origins of one of the worlds most favourite excuses to get drunk: tequila in the town of Tequila, Mexico.
And finally, a quick stop over into one of Mexico's most popular festivals, that attracts over 7 million Mexicans and cowboys and cowgirls every year; the San Marcos Festival.
Where Is Playa Del Carmen?
Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Needless to say, I wasn't impressed by Playa Del Carmen at all.
Keeping in mind, that my previous adventures in Mexico were focused on historical towns and cities like Guanajuato, getting stuck driving up volcanoes and learning about the French invasions of Mexico, and more or less lots of history and intrigue.
Playa Del Carmen, is what I would label as a tourist trap town.
It's evolution is strictly based on laying on the beach, staying in a hotel, eating at overpriced restaurants, renting overpriced scooters and cars, and paying for overpriced tour packages.
Many people DO come to Playa Del Carmen, to disconnect from their jobs, and the cold weather of the season, but that wasn't my personal interest, so I stayed here for a brief 2-3 days, before taking a bus up to Cancun.
So What About Cancun?
Cancun is a simple 1 hour bus ride north of Playa Del Carmen. Honestly, this was the least impressive city to visit.
Economically, it's an amazing development; the government found a nice area, and risked a large investment into the beach areas, which has evolved into one of the most visited places on the planet for beach and hotel relaxation.
But aside from that, when you take a bus along the coast of Cancun, all you can see are enormous hotels that completely block your view.
This is strictly a hotel city, nothing more.
Furthermore, the city has grown so rapidly in popularity, that their main arteries between the airports are completely loaded with traffic, to the point of me missing my flight to Guadalajara… it's that bad.
So because I missed my flight due to a terribly backed-up road system in Cancun, I had to make a different journey to Guadalajara:
Booking another flight was going to be $300 USD, instead of the $100 that I had paid initially (luckily, I was refunded the ticket).
To quickly change the plans, I booked a flight from Cancun to Leon, Mexico (3 hours in the airport, 2.5 hour flight).
Then took a bus from the Leon Airport, to the Leon bus station (1 hour). Then another bus from the Leon Bus station, to the Guadalajara bus station (3 hours). Upon arriving, I went to book a car, and drove to Tequila (1.5 hours).
To get a fresh, deep dive into Guadalajara, Mexico, go here.
Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico
Tequila, Mexico is, of course, tourist-central.
But there is a lot of history to be learned, about how this little town introduced one of the most influential and popular drinks on the planet.
Renting a car, and doing the tour myself was the option I decided on, it was only a 1.5 hour drive away from Guadalajara (probably faster).
Tequila is a small town, with the entire surrounding areas consisting of farms that grow ‘agave'; the plant that is distilled into the tequila drink.
By international agreement, tequila can only be produced and imported from Mexico (as recognized by the USA, Canada, and a few others).
Guadalajara to Aguascalientes
Upon completing the brief 3 hours adventure into Tequila, I sped back to Guadalajara, Mexico to get some well-needed sleep. The following day, I had to quickly decide whether I would drive to Aguascalientes, or simply take the bus. Driving would require paying for additional days for the car ($30/day), gas (about $50-80 for the entire trip), and toll-fees (possibly another $20) – and then I would need to drive the car BACK to Guadalajara to avoid paying a fee. The other option was to simply take the bus (~$20 USD). The decision was taking the bus, and taking a well-needed rest on the bus.
Feria San Marco in Aguascalientes, Mexico
The city of Aguascalientes was very generic when contrasted with other Mexican cities, and 1 day was all you really needed there.
But then I learned about the Feria Nacional De San Marcos (Saint Marco Festival), so it was a good excuse to visit again.
As a quick summary, has been held for the last 190 years (since 1828), is held for about 3-4 weeks, and attracts almost 7 million visitors per year.
Aguascalientes To Guadalajara To Puerto Vallarta
Upon completing the San Marcos Festival adventure, it was finally time to return back to my friends place in the historical beach-city of Puerto Vallarta, and get back to work (and editing the extensive number of photos from Mexico).
Unlike the first time that I flew to Aguascalientes for only $80 USD, I couldn't get an inexpensive flight the second time, or within the time-frame that I wanted (back to Puerto Vallarta).
So the bus system was the best alternative.
In total, it took 3 hours by bus from Aguascalientes to Guadalajara, then a 3 hour stop in the Guadalajara bus station, and then another 6 hours to Puerto Vallarta, and finally a 1 hour taxi to my buddies place.
All in all, it was a great conclusion to the traveling done in Mexico.
I visited 40 Mexican cities/towns in total over the course of 4 months.
Mexico is amazing, and I am DEFINITELY coming back!