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Escaping the Gringos of Mexico City is Easy

Published October 1, 2022 in Mexico - 0 Comments

I was on a boat.

They call it a trajinera.

Going down Lago de Los Reyes Aztecas in Mexico City.


Lago de Los Reyes Aztecas, fool.

Not a single gringo in sight.

As I wrote here, my tour guide was even yelling at other boat guides about how "I'M AN AMERICAN!!!"

I sat down with michelada in hand feeling very fucking cool.

"Yes, I'm an American."

And, for you losers who bitch about the use of the word American like I wrote here, just know he did, in fact, call me an "americano."

I'm the American, bitches.

And it was a great time.

One of my favorite lakes in Mexico City.

Soon after, I remember visiting a few charming towns in the far south of Mexico City.

So many that I could name but you can read more about them here.

Be it San Pedro Atocpan or Mixquic.

Or any of the "pueblos originarios" of Tlalpan and anything else in the area.

Nice little towns in Mexico City that have their own history, charm, friendly locals and so forth.

And some of the more delicious mole that one could have in Mexico City as most of it comes from San Pedro Atocpan.

Not a single gringo in sight.

At another point in time, I remember walking through the streets of Tepito.

You had Tego Calderon as you can listen to here playing in the streets.

Bars selling beer for only 20 to 25 pesos.

So many people in the streets.

Very lively.

Not the safest of areas in Mexico City but it had an edge to it that I liked.

Just felt very lively.

Not a single gringo in sight.

Equally, I have been spending the last few months in Iztapalapa and was in Pedregal de Santo Domingo before that.

Similar vibes.

Lots of chaos in the streets.

Plenty of people.

A bit of good music.

Friendlier locals than what you might find in Roma Norte.

Cheap beer where -- as I wrote here -- you are more likely to get away with drinking it in the street without the cops fucking with you.

Maybe see some little parade happen in the streets that you wouldn't see in Condesa like I wrote here.

Fuck, you can join them!

Dance along like I did!

Not to forget all the nice murals you see in the streets like you can see here.

Not a single gringo in sight.

But I hear you already -- "But Matt, Tepito, Santo Domingo and Iztapalapa are dangerous! The gangbangers of those hoods would fuck me up! I'm shaking in my panties!!!"

I hear you!

So why not try a walk down Insurgentes Sur Avenue?

Now granted, if you walk closer to Parque Hundido, you might see a gringo.

I didn't last time I was there but it wouldn't surprise me if you did.

Having said that, as you get to Parque La Bombilla, you can visit the neighborhood of Chimalistac like you can see here.

A wonderful neighborhood that is arguably one of the more underappreciated areas by gringos.

So much charm to it and so close to the chaos of the city if you wish to step back into it whenever.

Not a single gringo in sight.

Of course, you might prefer to be even farther away from the chaos of the city!

Far enough.

Just head even more south than that.

Go check out ALL of the hiking trails you see down there.

Start with Desierto de Los Leones.

Visit Los Dinamos.

Maybe Parque Ejidal San Nicolas Totolapan.

And so much more.

Just get a hotel in the area and rent a car to visit whatever hiking trail you are allowed to visit in the area.

Not a single gringo in sight.

But maybe you are a religious man and want to get away from the south of the city?

Then go up north to La Basilica as I wrote about here.

One of the more religious spots of the city that, when I lived near there, didn't see a single gringo ever even though I was only 10 minutes walking from that spot.

And, if you like to stick to checking out nice parks, you got Bosque de San Juan de Aragon to the East and Parque Bicentenario to the West.

Both parks I quite like.

Not a single gringo in sight.

The Point

I haven't even covered beyond the tip of what there is to see in this city beyond the touristy areas that always get the most mentions.

I get obviously some of the areas like Tepito or Iztapalapa are too scary for some.

You'll be fine, I promise! Just stabbed a few times. Nothing bad!

But it always does irk me a little bit when others say that there is nothing more to Mexico City beyond Roma Norte, Condesa, Polanco and the Historic Center.

If they're trying to be nuanced, they'll mention Coyoacan but just mean the area close to the Frida Museum and not other areas like parts of Coapa.

Still, I can't blame gringos for choosing to never going beyond those areas.

I think other gringos and some Mexicans want to feel better about themselves for having seen other areas when it really doesn't fucking matter.

If you like living in the bubble of Mexico City, good for you!

I'd say you are missing out but that's because what I enjoy might be different from what you enjoy.

You might enjoy only the nicest clubs of Polanco.


Having said that, the narrative of "gringos flooding" CDMX is a bit weak.

It is so extremely easy to avoid 99% of them.

Outside of the few gringos I am friends with and the occasional one I see when visiting Xochimilco recently (a touristy area), I just DO NOT see gringos in the streets of Mexico City unless I'm going to those touristy or popular foreigner areas.

And a vast majority of Mexico City does not have gringos "flooding" in.

Nor do you have to live in areas like Santo Domingo or Iztapalapa to avoid them.

Depending on what you prefer, you could avoid a vast majority of them by picking some of the spots I mentioned.

Want that small town vibe? Try San Pedro Atocpan or Mixquic.

Want one of my favorite parks next door in a more urban area? Try living next to Metro Refineria.

Thinking of a higher quality area with more calm and quiet? Try Jardines de Pedregal, Chimalistac or Lomas de Sotelo.

Want that chaotic area that feels more "third world" with more of an edge to it? Go live in Tepito, Iztapalapa, Santo Domingo, Agricola Oriental, etc.

Want a place full of a shit ton of parks with not many other gringos? Try Coapa.

And so much more.

What I just said doesn't even cover half of Mexico City.

Because, similar to what Chimalistac or Santo Domingo represent, there are small colonias here and there that have their own charm that might fit what you are looking for.

But nobody is talking about them online in English.

You have to do the work of going out there to find them.

In my travels around the city, there have been areas I have seen that made me think "hmmm, I could see myself spending a few months in this general area."

For example, when I was going through Xochimilco, I found an area called Santiago Tepalcatalpan that you can see here.

It's not for everyone but I liked it!

And what colonia you like the most outside of the bubble will depend on your tastes.

Above all, Mexico City is such a monster of a place in terms of all the areas you can live in and how they contrast so heavily to other areas of the city.

If you are only going to spend a month or two here, I get why you'd stick to Condesa.

Shit, if you like Condesa, I get why you'd stick there also.

No judgement for not leaving the bubble.

But, for those who wish to do so, it's not hard and the vast 90% of the city is away from the gringo bubble with so many communities that fit best what you specifically are looking for.

Minus the dudes looking to live by the beach. I guess you're fucked on that one if you want to live in Mexico City.

Anyway, that's all I got to say.

Above all, like this Tweet here I got the other day, it's not hard to escape the bubble.

And there are other gringos wishing to escape the bubble.

Leave any comments below.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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