GETTING AROUND AS A SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER IN MEXICO
Going on a Solo Trip, especially as a female traveler can be overwhelming. I’ve been on so many Solo Travels that you would think I got used by now. But when I decided to book my longest solo trip ever, I had moments when I doubted I can do it. I am sure this happened to a lot of people before me, but when it happens to you it’s completely different.
I booked my trip to Singapore at the same time as my trip to Bali. I was in a period of my life when I no longer knew which road to take. Since then, I am no longer afraid of going on a solo adventure. For sure, it’s always better to go to safe destinations for solo travelers, but you will be surprised to know how safe Mexico is for tourists, especially Yucatan Peninsula.
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PROS AND CONS FOR A SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER IN MEXICO
- Yucatan is much safer than I thought it would be
- Public Transportation system is very practical and in hand
- Locals are very nice to you when you ask for directions
- The food is extremely good
- The fruits taste heavenly – not like in Paris where they are tasteless
- I preferred like on the islands to the rest of Yucatan Make sure to allocate more time to Isla Mujeres and Holbox. You will not regret it. Small islands with a very nice charm and vibe. I felt so good in Holbox, even if it rained almost for the entire duration of my stay. But people for so relaxed and chill, they came barefoot to the bars or clubs, because it was all muddy on the ground and no one cared.
- The history of the Maya people and the story behind Chichen Itza, one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World
- A lot of patrol police in the tourist areas to make you feel safe and protected
- Sea water was amazing, and the sand felt like white flour underneath my feet
- PROPINA – This is the thing that drove me crazy the entire stay. Propina means Tips in Spanish. Is not like I don’t like leaving Tips, but not when it is violently imposed at all times and everywhere. They write you with the pen on the bill +20% propina and that is the amount they will charge you. There were places where I said I will leave propina in cash, as much as I wanted to, but then, they would charge me on the credit card the entire amount with 20% Propina included. I like leaving Tips when there was a good service. Tips must be earned.
- SHAMAN SCAM – People, please, don’t fall for this. They are not real shamans. They may be Maya descendants, but far from being Shamans. I took the day trip to Chichen-Itza and the guide on the bus told us very nice stories about her spiritual journey, which I completely believed. I still believe it now to be true. But she took us to a Maya village to get to know how the local Maya people leave in the forest.
Except there was no local village, but an installed hangar with fake gemstones for us to buy and to experience the shaman ceremony. I am a very spiritual person and I always base myself on my gut, so I said on the bus I will be open-minded and see if I feel the energy of the shaman. Let me tell you it was a big disappointment as they looked like actors acting for the day. Trust me, do not fall for that crap!
- PLAYA DEL CARMEN
OK people, where is la playa in Playa del Carmen? If you go, like me, for la playa (beach) you will be disappointed for sure. If you want to understand all the fuss around Playa del Carmen, imagine it’s Red Light District for Americans in Mexico. It’s a sort of Vegas meets Red Light District in Mexico. Everything is made for Americans which represents 40% of Mexican tourism. And I did not appreciate my time there at all, especially during the night. The bars and clubs are just too much.
BONUS: VISIT MEXICO ON A BUDGET
- Plan in advance and start early
- Make a list of your favorite destinations in Yucatan
- Plan the most optimal route – it demands time and patience. I usually use an Excel file and sketch different routes to optimize time and money
- Try to go to Cancun or Playa del Carmen during the week, not the week-end, when it’s full of tourists and rates, are higher
- For Tulum it’s better to go only for the weekend and to stay in Pueblo. You can use Collectivo to go to Zona Hotelera or rent a bike. Hotel rates are much cheaper than in Zona Hotelera
- Go to public beaches, as they are sometimes even more beautiful than the resort ones
- Book hotels on the spot from local chains, they will be cheaper than booking online from known chains. And more beautiful and traditional
- Take the ferry to go to the islands, not daily excursions, as they are expensive and you will not have time to enjoy and explore the island
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DID YOU FIND THIS ARTICLE USEFUL?
Tell me in the comments section if you’ve been to Mexico and what was your experience. If you are planning to go on solo travel to Mexico ask me for some useful tips.