One thing which I have always enjoyed whenever I have traveled is taking tours with local guides, to discover more about the place in which I am staying. I have been in Mexico City for over 3 years now and I have taken a large number of tours here. Much like in many cities, these tours are hit and miss, but there are some really great tours out there.
When it comes to deciding which is the best tour for you to take, there is some criteria which I think that you should bear in mind, and this can help you to make the right decision as to which is the best tour for you. When you see all the online marketing about local tours, or perhaps even on the street, here is what to consider.
Length of the Tour
Length of the tour is absolutely critical because in most cases, they don’t need to last all day. The only tours which could take a large chunk of time are to the likes of Teotihuacan, an ancient city which is about 2 hours away from Mexico City. If you are looking at local tours however and they last more than 4 or 5 hours, it is likely that that they are filled with quite a lot of extra stops or excessive talking.
How Many Events
There is nothing wrong with tagging a restaurant on to the end of the tour where you can enjoy some tacos, but beware tours which try to tag too many events on. What you will find here is that a great street art tour, quickly turns into a ‘full-on Mexican experience’ complete with taco trips, cantina visits and who knows what else. What you find with these kind of trips in particular is that the host is taking a kickback from all of the places that they take you to, and that is wasting both your time and your money.
Don’t Ignore Simplicity
Sometimes you may look at a simple tour and ignore it thinking that you can do it on your own, but sometimes those tours are the best. A friend of mine Javier Burillo runs a tour through a local market, which may not excite you too much. The thing is however is that this market tour is wonderful, and you are taken through an old city market where you will meet the vendors and discover more about the products and how they are transported and sold. You may think you could hit a market on your own, but you can never replicate this kind of experience.
And finally it is always a good idea for you to check out online reviews before you decide which tour is right for you. People are very quick to comment on these tours and you can instantly get an understanding as to what you will expect from such a tour.
Tours are great here, just make sure that you think it through before you start.