While living in Mexico City, we specialized in weekend escapes from the city. Although the metropolis has a lot to offer, soaking it in daily can be exhausting. These 15 weekend trips promise a break from the chaos – if you make it out of Mexico City traffic in one piece.
We flew in and out of Mérida, driving the entire Yucatán peninsula on a two-week road trip itinerary. After exploring the states of Yucatán and Campeche, we moved on to neighboring Quintana Roo. Home to Mexico’s most spectacular coastline, beautiful beaches and hordes of tourists are never far away.
The Yucatán Peninsula is Mexico’s number one tourist destination with good reason. Hidden cenotes, ancient pyramids, stunning haciendas and picture-perfect beaches, all wrapped in a tourist-friendly version of Mexico: no need to worry about safety, bumpy roads or excessive toll fees. We flew in and out of Mérida, driving the entire Yucatán peninsula on this two-week road trip itinerary. Week 1: Yucatán & Campeche.
Las Estacas is a stunning natural park just two hours from Mexico City. We went from glamping to camping on our two visits to this tropical retreat. No matter which option you pick, you’ll be staying in paradise.
The state of Queretaro is Mexico’s second largest wine producer, after Baja California. To put its wines on the map, the state came up with an Art, Cheese and Wine Route. Queretaro’s wine region is scenically located between two Pueblos Mágicos, both worth a visit. We stayed a night in each town and visited four wineries in between.
Grutas Tolantongo was on our radar since we moved to Mexico City. A collection of hot spring pools built into a cliff and a surreal turquoise river: weekend escapes don’t get better than this. We picked a long weekend in January to explore this natural spa.
On December 17, 2014, Barack Obama and Raúl Castro announced the start of normalizing US-Cuba relations. At that moment, we were wandering the streets of Havana, unaware of this historic day due to the lack of internet. Just one of the consequences of an economic embargo and communist rule for fifty years. It is what makes Havana and Cuba a destination like no other.
San Miguel de Allende was our first of many weekend escapes from the hustle and bustle of Mexico City. We spent a magical Christmas weekend in one of Mexico’s most enchanting cities.
When moving to Argentina for a yearlong exchange, I expected a bustling city like Buenos Aires or Córdoba. Instead, I landed in a humid little town up North, separated from the nearest city by fifty miles of palm trees. Little did I know this would make my experience all the more special.
Mendoza can be divided in three wine-making regions: Maipú, Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de Uco. The latter is said to produce the best wines on the most beautiful grounds, with snowcapped Andes peaks towering out over the vineyards. We visited four wineries in Mendoza and came to the same conclusion.
Other than producing delicious wine, Argentinean provinces La Rioja and San Juan are known for two remarkable parks. Ischigualasto and Talampaya National Park contain a unique fossil record of the Triassic Period, often called the Age of the Dinosaurs. The desert area also hosts the annual Dakar Rally.
The provinces of Salta and Jujuy are home to some of the most scenic drives in Argentina. We started in colonial Salta and ended in Cafayate, a wine region praised for its Torrontés grapes.
Iguazú National Park comprises hundreds of waterfalls, right on the border of Argentina and Brazil. The views from both countries are equally spectacular yet entirely different. We picked our favorite after visiting both sides in one day.
Five years after my AFS exchange in Argentina, I showed my parents why I fell in love with this country. We started our trip with an eventful passage through Buenos Aires. Midnight fireworks, passionate tango and ingenious robbery were all part of Argentina 101.
We topped off our amazing trip to Peru with a relaxing three-day stay in the Peruvian Amazon. A short boat ride from Puerto Maldonado lies Tambopata National Reserve, home to an abundance of wildlife. Limited accessibility makes this a relatively undiscovered part of Peru.
The Salkantay trekking to Machu Picchu is a unique four-day hike through extremely diverse scenery. We passed snow-covered peaks, turquoise lakes, coffee plantations, hot springs and more on route to Peru’s Wonder of the World. The tropical storms and frozen fingertips only added to the adventure. On day four, we explored the majestic Inca city before the crowds arrived.
Peru’s Cusco region has something on offer for everyone. Savor Andean specialties, explore the Inca Empire or hike through stunning landscapes. These are ten activities not to be missed in and around Cusco.
After our intense morning exercise in the Colca Canyon, we could sit back and relax on a ten-hour bus trip to Puno. Following a spectacular sunrise over Lake Titicaca from our hotel room, we launched our kayaks onto the world’s highest navigable lake.
So far we had discovered Peru by air, sea and sand; now we would do so by land. Following a day in Arequipa, we put on our hiking boots for a two-day trek in the world’s second deepest canyon.
We started our two-week trip to Peru along the Pacific Coast. The country welcomed us with excellent seafood, a shower of bird poop and a private jet ride.