The Vegan Traveler: Mexico

Diego Rivera mural in Mexico City

Mexico is a huge country. In spite of what Donal Trump thinks, Mexico in amazingly diverse with all of the pluses and minuses that go with diversity.

I grew up in San Diego, California, and we crossed the border frequently. Dinner in Tijuana was normal, as was a weekend in Rosarito or Ensenada. We camped out on the beach and swam in clean water with iridescent waves. In the early 1990s, we’d camp and scuba dive in beautiful, clear water, exploring the rocky coastline near Ensenada. Then, after 9/11, everything changed. Crossing the border became a nightmare. While we could see the bright lights of Tijuana just across the border, we stopped going there.

I didn’t go back to Mexico until a family cruise in 2009. We stopped at the tourist mecca cruise stops, but you don’t see much of the real Mexico that way. Then in 2014, my dad retired to Lake Chapala: one of the most popular retirement areas in the world.

In September, Mark and I took a three-week trip to Mexico. Several factors led us to Mexico:

  • a visit with my dad and his husband at Lake Chapala
  • cheap travel, with a great exchange rate and incredibly low airfare
  • friends staying in San Miguel de Allende
  • the fact that neither of us had been to the anthropology museum in Mexico City and it was high on both of our lists

We flew an amazingly cheap, direct flight from Guatemala City to Guadalajara. After 10 days in Ajijic, we took a luxury bus from Guadalajara to San Miguel de Allende. One week there, then another luxury bus took us to a final few days in Mexico City. From there we got an even cheaper flight home to Guatemala.

We did a few tourist things, especially in San Miguel. Mostly, though, we ate. I’d heard that travel in Mexico and finding decent food could be difficult for vegetarians, let alone vegans. We had some wonderful meals and some absolute disasters. I hope that this series of articles helps others avoid the food disasters, and sparks sharing of other vegans’ experience in Mexico.

Part 2: Lake Chapala

Part 3: San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato

Part 4: Mexico City

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