5:39pm. We’d just checked into our hotel when I first felt the rumble.
My first thought was ‘is there some kind of party upstairs? Sounds like they’re about to come thru the ceiling!’ But the look on my boyfriend’s face as I stepped out of the bathroom confirmed that this was no party. It was an earthquake. Unsure what to do as the shaking intensified we held tight to the doorframe and watched the walls crack and split around us. Thankfully the shaking finally ceased and we hurried to join the evacuees in the street, waiting with bated breath for an aftershock. A 7.2 earthquake had struck Oaxaca about 400 miles south of Mexico City. Aftershocks continued to rattle the City for the rest of the weekend, but quickly settled into a routine: earthquake alert pings to everyone’s cell phones, people drop what they’re doing and rush out into the streets to avoid building collapse, then return to their business once the threat has passed.
Despite our near-death experience we both fell deeply in love with this magical place. The people are so friendly, the food is 5-star, the art and culture scene is thriving with 100’s of museums, historical sites, live music and nightlife. CDMX rivals NYC, London, Paris, Berlin… Since words can’t do it justice, scroll through these photos and check out my Mexico City Guide at the bottom!
Xaman was one of my favorite cocktail experiences of the trip. A subterranean space off a busy pedestrian street in Juárez neighborhood invokes speakeasy vibes. Pulsing ‘jungle techno’ plays while a bartender carries a flaming goblet of palo santo in a shaman-like procession through the lounge. Beverage ingredients are derived from traditional Aztec plants and herbs, many with medicinal qualities- like copal, a resin used to purify in shamanistic rituals. Mezcal was served with lime and nutty fried crickets.
Another amazing dinner that didn’t disappoint was at Nudo Negro. We opted for a reservation on the earlier side, and had the restaurant practically to ourselves. While we waiting for our dinner to arrive, the chef invited us upstairs to the lofted kitchen for a stone grilled chicken skewer and tour of the fresh ingredients and array of spices that would be going into our meal. The meats and sauces were so flavorful, juicy and fresh, I can’t recommend it enough!
About a 90 minute drive from Mexico City are the ancient Mesoamerican ruins of Teotihuacan. We passed on a day-tour and opted for a $30 Uber to get us out and back before lunch. The pyramids are a stunning sight to behold, but the sun beats down on the dry, open plain and heat quickly became unbearable. Unwilling to wait in the 100+ person line to climb up the Pyramid of the Sun, we opted for a shorter hike on the still-impossibly-steep Pyramid of the Moon before ducking into the museum to escape the sun.
Centro Histórico for cathedrals, palaces and museums galore