In this New York Times review of my book about Mexico City, First Stop in the New World, Richard B. Woodward wrote, “To test the quality of a travel book, it helps to ask: Would you like to share a meal or a drink with the writer? On the evidence of his book, which reveals him to be an expansive soul with big eyes and an even bigger heart, Mr. Lida should expect calls from a lot of newly arrived strangers, including me.”
How would you like to have that meal or that drink with me? Better yet, how would you like to take a tour of the city with me as your guide? If you give me some idea of what you’d like to see in Mexico City, I can custom-design a tour for you. Or perhaps you’d like to take one of the following tours (or we could work out a combination, with some of different ones). Click on each tour below for more info.
Secrets of Centro Histórico
See the highlights of city’s oldest, most lively neighborhood: the Zócalo (our answer to Red Square), the Plaza Santo Domingo (where people were burned at the stake during the Spanish Inquisition) read more.
Mexico’s greatest contribution to twentieth-century art was the muralist movement. On this tour you’ll see work by its three most famous exponents, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, as well as some hugely talented but lesser known artists (Mexican and foreign-born). Their stories (including their rivalries), their contradictions (Rivera must have been the most well-fed Communist in the history of the party) and their distinct techniques are highlighted.
Although they’re mostly no-frills establishments, lit by fluorescent bulbs and with stucco walls painted the colors of tropical fruit, Mexico City cantinas have as much personality as London pubs, Paris cafés or New York bars. And best of all, at lunchtime most of them serve botanas — delicious food at no extra charge (as long as you keep drinking). Depending on how much you’re willing to drink at lunch, I’ll take you on a tour of two or three (or more) of the city’s most traditional cantinas.
Markets and street food
The first time I traveled to Mexico, I was afraid that if I ate on the street or in markets, I would become deathly ill. As such, I missed out on some of the best food available in this country. Come with me to taste some of the most delicious — and reliable — street stalls, holes-in-the-wall and markets in the city. I’ll also take you to a city market and show you how it works, and you’ll have an opportunity to buy some souvenirs.
La Condesa and La Roma
Mexico City’s hippest neighborhoods are gentrifying quickly. Sometimes you hear more English (or French) on the streets than Spanish, and you’ll find no shortage of trendsters in the art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Yet if you know where to look, there are still bastions of tradition here — markets, cantinas, old-school barber shops, locksmiths and street vendors. Come with me to celebrate the war between the trendy and the traditional.