Over the holidays we spent time with our family at a resort in the Riviera Maya, just south of Puerto Morelos, Mexico. We love to explore when we travel together, so we rented a car and headed to the sea port town to find a place to snorkel. I took this photo as we were returning from snorkeling, pulling the little boat back up to the dock.
When you write a blog about Mexican food and travel within Mexico, you’re bound to be asked for recommendations by… well, EVERYONE. I’m talking family, friends, coworkers, friends of friends, blog readers, complete strangers—it really runs the gamut. But it’s a true source of joy when you share Mexico travel tips with people, and they send you thanks in the form of a video, a photo, a tweet (or whatever else) to let you know they’re thinking of you and appreciate a recommendation that has improved their experience while visiting Mexico.
In the last week, I’ve received two such messages that I wanted to share.
Several years ago, I mentioned to my friend Ramon and his wife how much I love El Globo, a bakery chain that makes one of my favorite kinds of pan dulce—garibaldi. They’re a little upside-down poundcake-like treat that’s bathed in (usually) apricot jam and rolled in white nonpareils. You can even make garibaldi at home with my recipe. A few days ago, while they were in León, Guanajuato, they sent this video while visiting an El Globo location there.
A few weeks ago, another friend told me she’d be traveling to Mexico City on business and needed some recommendations for places to go for breakfast and dinners when she was able to go out on her own. I sent her a list of some of my favorite places near where she was staying and she shared this photo when she visited Churrería El Moro.
- Have you taken my travel or dining advice in Mexico? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, tag me on Twitter or Instagram @MauraHernandez, or tag The Other Side of The Tortilla on Facebook with a photo and note to let us know where you went and what you ate!
On the last full day of my most recent trip to Mexico City, my sister-in-law and I ran some errands together, culminating in a stop at the mercado Coyoacán—one of my absolute favorite places to visit in Mexico City. There’s a little, nondescript stand on the outskirts of the market with a yellow sign, which our family has long frequented because of the awesome quesadillas and gordas. My favorite item on the menu is the gorda de chicharrón, served with cheese on the inside. I like to also add some fresh salsa verde. As you can see, I REALLY enjoy eating these because you just can’t get the same thing at home in the U.S.
Dzibilchaltún is one of the oldest Mayan cities and is located near the Northern coast of the state of Yucatán, about 10 miles North of Mérida. The name Dzibilchaltún (pronounced Tsee-beel-chahl-toon) means “the place where there is writing on flat stones” in the Mayan language. In September, I traveled to Mérida, Yucatán for four days to explore and Dzibilchaltún was one of my favorite discoveries on the trip.
If you love ruins, archaeology and Mayan history, this site is a must-see during a visit to the state of Yucatán. We had a wonderful guide during our visit who spoke Spanish, English and Maya and was very knowledgable not only about the history of the site, but also explained the language roots and word evolution, which I found particularly interesting.
The archaeological site at Dzibilchaltún is less well-known to international tourists in comparison to sites such as Chichen Itzá, but is well worth the visit thanks to the knowledgable guides, the swimming area in the cenote and the fact that it’s less crowded than some of the larger sites. It’s also not too far from Mérida, making this site a great place to visit if you don’t want to take an entire day to travel to see an archaeological site in Mexico. There’s plenty to learn and appreciate here and I hope to be able to return again with my family.
A few weeks ago, I visited the state of Yucatán on a press trip for a few days to get to know the city of Mérida and the surrounding area, which was incredibly charming. Though my visit was short, it was jam-packed with activities—including things I didn’t think that I’d ever do on my own, but that I had a lot of fun doing—such as kayaking in a mangrove and bicycling several miles on a path through an estuary, where I spotted wild flamingos. One afternoon, we had a little bit of down time before the bicycle ride, so we hung out in a tiny little beach town called Chelem near Progreso. Here are a few photos from the time I spent there.
I loved the quiet beach and the water was like a warm bath, very calm with hardly any waves. I hunted for sea shells—a favorite pastime since I was a kid—and also walked around the town square, checking out the little neighborhood bodegas to see what kind of local produce they had available. More about this trip soon! In the meantime, if you’d like to find more of my photos from the trip, check out my Instagram feed (@MauraHernandez) and also search the hashtag #yodescubriyucatan on Instagram for photos from other travelers.
- Have you been to any of the little beach towns near Progreso in the state of Yucatán?
Last week while we were visiting Mexico City, we checked out a new coffee shop we hadn’t seen before called Cielito Querido Café. Not only is the coffee some of the best we’ve tasted in Mexico (even their café de olla passed my test), but I also loved their cute, cheeky to-go cups that poke fun at Starbucks. Like Starbucks, they have the normal assortment of coffees, espresso and frappes, but they have a host of other offerings on the menu that are muy Mexicano, such as chamoyadas (in no less than four flavors), additions to your café con leche that include cajeta and rompope, chocolate caliente con chile and a house-made horchata. The snack offerings didn’t disappoint either, with selections such as muéganos, palanqueta, molletes, panqué, pasteles and galletas.
I was surprised to learn that the quickly-growing Mexican chain has more than 30 locations in Mexico City as of July 2013 and that I hadn’t stumbled upon one before. I went looking for some more information after a friend on Instagram mentioned that the company is looking to expand to the U.S. (and possibly to Los Angeles) and and found this story on NBC Latino with a great slideshow so you can get a feel for the ambience of Cielito Querido Café. We’ll definitely be back again the next time we visit.
- Have you been to Cielito Querido Café? What did you order? If you haven’t been, do you think you’ll try it out next time you’re in Mexico City?