La Mansión del Burro Azul
My first night’s lodging was La Mansión del Burro Azul (The Mansion of the Blue Burro) in Querétaro, by bus three and a half hours from Mexico City and a little over an hour from San Miguel.
It is no mansion by U.S. standards, and I suspect many Americans or Canadians who might stay there might be disappointed. But, if you are ready for a Mexican experience, this is a wonderful place to stay.
It is relatively inexpensive, it has a room on the courtyard where you can read or use one of the several computers for internet access, it has a kitchen with refrigerator, and a pleasant courtyard. I can only speak for the room I had, which had a comfortable bed and a somewhat bizarre bathroom (see photo) replete with an indoor tile roof and stone wall as well as a toilet paper holder that, from a sitting position, was probably appropriate for an Olympic basketball player. I never figured out the hot water.
The staff was terrific. I didn’t know my travel arrangements until the very last minute and never solidified my reservation. Yet someone was waiting for me to help me check in when I arrived near 9 that night.
The next morning, despite their lack of English and my unintelligible Spanish, we had coffee together, they helped with several little tasks I needed, and Montserrat, one of the staff, even walked me from El Burro Azul to a bank (10 minutes each way) so I could exchange dollars for pesos.
I had the least expensive room at 540 pesos.
By Bus from La Ciudad de México to Querétaro
An excerpt from a friend’s email:
Thinking of you often – picturing you & luggage on a crowded bus (with chickens squawking) bouncing over dusty roads in the middle of Mexico. I know…a stereotype but I’ve got nothing else : )
The bus from la Ciudad de México to Querétaro was a first class bus, about 3 hours and 15 minutes. Big seats, more comfortable than an airplane, they give you a soft drink and sandwich (which was tasty, very good and which was more than the potato chips that XXX (a U.S. airline) offered in first class on its 4+ hour flight). Today I’m going by 2nd class bus from Querétaro to San Miguel and I’ll see what that service is like. But there are no feathers in the new terminal here in Querétaro: it’s clean, well lit, with many food spots, banks, etc. It’s better than the absolute best tiny airport that I’ve been in. Buses are big business in México. There are a number of lines competing for a lot of passengers.
The first class adult fare on Primera Plus was 289 pesos. The second class fare from Queretaro to San Miguel via ETN was 80 pesos. The sandwich wasn’t as good but it came with a kicky jalapeno relish and the seats were perhaps more comfortable than those on Primera Plus.
Una sugerencia para Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México Benito Juárez (AICM)
If you are traveling by bus from the airport in México City and you have unwieldy luggage (many pieces, large pieces, heavy pieces, etc.) or if you’re not sure where to go, spend 50 pesos (and a little more for the tip) for a porter. Getting to the buses is a little bit of a challenge for the directionless (like me) and you and your belongings will make it to the ticket window promptly.