Travel In Mexico Takes Planning, But Is Worth It

February 15, 2018

For two years, we have been planning a trip to the state of Chiapas, in southern Mexico, and now that trip is less than a week away.

We have done most of the planning on our computer as well as making hotel reservations and paying for air fare.

We use Expedia Travel on the Internet, however, nowadays there are half a dozen businesses which make travel reservations and most seem equally reliable. Expedia has been in the business for longer than most and we have found their rates to be competitive and background information to be essential.

The payments are all made by credit card, and in some cases, even when the reservations claim to be “non-refundable,” Expedia can cancel them if necessary, and reimburse our credit card for the expense. This was the case when we failed to make a trip to France last September.

Travel in Mexico is comparatively cheap, especially in the state of Chiapas, which is the southernmost state in Mexico, and borders with Guatemala.

Average hotel rooms for two people are $35 a night. The round trip air fare is $335 from La Paz, Mexico and even cheaper from Cabo San Lucas.

All flights go to Mexico City and then from there to other destinations. We have a 3-hour layover in Mexico City which is just right to grab a bite to eat and give us time to transfer to another plane.

We could have flown on a cheaper airline in Mexico, which would have saved us $100 each, but Expedia gave that airline a poor rating, and we opted for AeroMexico which had a good rating; just one more bonus for using Expedia.

The flight time for AeroMexico was also much shorter as the other airline, Interjet, had two stops before arriving to Tuxtla Gueterriz, Chiapas, our first destination.

Tuxtla Gutierriz is the capitol of Chiapas, but not its most interesting city. We planned to stay a couple of days to get our bearings, than head east to the city of San Cristabol, the cultural center of Chiapas. In San Cristabol we made reservations for five days, which included Tuesday, Feb. 13, or the “Fat Tuesday” Carnival.

San Cristabol was the former capital of Chiapas but had lost that role in one of the transitions of government, and there have been many. Chiapas is the poorest state in all of Mexico, and in its history the people, who are mostly of Mayan decent, revolted from the rest of Mexico because they received the least amount of help from the federal government.

Today it is considered a “Safe State” by the American government which has just blacklisted a half dozen other Mexican states because of drug wars. Most of those states are near the northern border, but others like Colima and Michoacan, are in the center coastal area of the country.

For about four or five years we did not travel in mainland Mexico as the reports of violence and drug wars scared us. Two years ago, we started going back and found the country to be much safer depending on what area we were traveling in.

Our final destination on this trip is to see the ancient Mayan ruins at Palenque, located in the jungle at the most easterly edge of the state of Chiapas. It’s reputed to be one of the most significant archaeological finds in all of Mexico.

We will be taking you with us in this column.

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