This article is from the February 1996 The Mexico File
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Getting to, Staying at, and Eating in Tepoztlan
Getting To: I like driving whenever practical, even though renting a car is fairly expensive. Most people will suggest arranging a rental car from the States before arriving, through Avis, Hertz, Budget, etc. This is safe, prudent advice hut you will pay more than if you explore the various booths at the airport in Mcxi co City that are lined up upon arrival. One of the local Mexican companies will usually have a lower price than one of the "majors." They may even bargain a little. On my last trip, Avis and Hertz both quoted me around $45.00 a day, insurance and mileage included for the cheapest car (VW bug). I ended up renting from EconoMovil for $32.00 a day. There were several other possibilities which seemed to want my business. Go from booth to booth and see who has the best price that day. Arrange to pick up the car for the following day, since they may not have one immediately available, and spend the night in Mexico City, seeing a few of the sights. The telephone number for EconoMovil is 01152-5-726-05-90.
The drive to Tepoztlan takes either one or one-and-a-half hours depending on whether you take the free road (libre) or the toll road (caota). I like alternating, going and coming back. Ask the rental agent to draw you a map of how to get on the right road upon leaving the airport. It can be tricky.
Of course, taking the bus is a good, and much cheaper, alternative. It only takes about an hour and costs two or three dollars. There are four main bus terminals in Mexico City and knowing which one to use for your particular destination is not always easy to figure out. I always call one of the tourist offices to answer those kinds of. questions. A good phone number to have is for the office that is open twenty-four hours every day and the staff is usually bilingual. Tel # 01152-5-250-01-23. Another office, open from 9 am to 9 pm daily, can also be helpful: Tel # 01152-5-525-93-80 to 83.
Hotels: Posada del Tepozteeo: Tel: 01152-7-395-00-10. Paraiso 3. A very pleasant surprise. I didn't expect a hotel ofthis elegance in this town. Built as a hacienda in the 1920's, it now boasts eighteen large colonial rooms, with various amenities. Although only three blocks from the town center, it is on a hillside with an outstanding view of the town, valley, and mountains. Two swimming pools, a tennis and basketball court and a lush garden setting add to this being the best choice in town. Rates start at $34.00/double for a very nice room. The restaurant and bar serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. A hotel of this quality in the States would run $125.00 or more.
Hotel Tepozilan: Tel: 01152-7-395-05-22. Las Indusirias 6. I didn't stay here, but from observing, it didn't seem nearly as pleasant as Posada del Tepozteco. The building is newer but not as well cared for. It advertises itself as more of a health resort. I think it would be an acceptable place to stay. If any of you have better information, please share it and we will report it in a fature issue. Rates start at $30.00/double.
There are just a few other lodging choices, all less expensive, adequate and probably just fine. Make a reservation at one of the two above and then look around to see if one of the others might be more what you want. It's really the only way to find that "special" place that makes your trip truly unique. Thankfully, we aren't all attracted by the same things. I've raved about some hotels to people who have cone and thought I must be deranged. The quaint bathroom down the hall with the view of the local brothel doesn't appeal to everyone, evidently.
Restaurants: The best food I had was at Restaurant Los Colorines on Avenida Tepozteco two block north of the main plaza, specializing in traditional Mexican fare and vegetarian dishes. Try the chicken mole and a cold beer (you'll need it). On Avenida Revolucion near the plaza are several good cafes. La Tapatia and La Carmelita are worth mentioning, and for some nightime fun and music try La Lana Mextli on the same street.
On Sundays, eat at the stalls in the market. Try the ones that smell the best and are attracting the locals. This is a fine way to dine.