For AFAR Experiences, AFAR’s immersive travel event, we bring worldly, open-minded travelers to cities all over the world and provide access to people they would otherwise rarely get to meet. We’re in Mexico City for the next four days, and we’ll be writing daily updates pulled from social media posted by AFAR staff and attendees. You’ll see the incredible venues we’re spending time in and hear highlights from our lineup of experts on the arts, culture, politics, and design of this vibrant city. Follow the #AFARMexico hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for all of the excitement. 

The day started very early (4am!) for those who chose to accompany celebrated chef Eduardo Garcia, of Maximo Bistro, to Central de Abasto—the largest open-air market in the world, according to Garcia. We saw but a tiny slice of the market, as Garcia showed us the producers and purveyors that he frequents, and bought produce for our morning meal, which we prepared (or, really, watched him prepare) on our return to the restaurant. It was a delicious breakfast of comforting Mexican dishes.

Fully sated, we made our way to the south of the city, to the Dolores Olmedo Museum. Dolores Olmedo was Diego Rivera’s greatest patron, and the museum houses the largest collection of his work in the world. Olmedo also acquired a huge amount of Frida Kahlo’s work, because Rivera told her that Kahlo would one day be famous. Olmedo did so, even though she and Kahlo were fierce enemies. Olmedo’s son Carlos Phillips Olmedo talked about his mother and her relationship with Rivera, and then we were taken around the museum to see the beautiful collection. 

At Tlahuac, we took to the open water. Much of Mexico City was built on canals and lakes, and in villages like Tlahuac and Xochimilco, the tradition of farming on chinampas—arable land built atop the waterways—is alive and well. We took a trajinera, a colorful gondola, to one of the chinampas, where we were greeted with mezcal from Mezcal Buen Viaje and a beautiful meal prepared by chef Diana Lopez del Rio of Volver restaurant. A sudden rainstorm did not dampen our spirits.

 

Next up, our final day!