Things to Know Before Visiting the Pyramids of the Sun.

Teotihuacán

Within an hour of Mexico City, you can visit the Pyramids of the Sun, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site was home to at least 25,000 people in pre-Columbian Mexico, and much of it remains unknown. I was intrigued.

Recommendations

Items to bring:
Cash – for entrance, toll road, etc.
Take Uber (+ Toll Road): 90 pesos
Hat and Snacks


Enter Gate 2
Eat at La Gruta


There are a couple of things to note before visiting The Pyramids of the Sun in Teotihuacán. First, it is best to visit in the early morning, at least before 10am when tour buses start arriving and when the weather is generally cooler. The area where the pyramids are located is wide open, with little to no shade. While exploring in the sun, it’s difficult to not sweat when it’s hot outside, and the sun beaming down on your face makes you feel uncomfortable. As I walked from one pyramid to another in the middle of winter, I was already dying from the heat. In the summer, I can only imagine how hot it must be. So make sure you have an umbrella, a hat or some form of protection for your face.

Uber was our main mode of transportation. There was no problem getting one to and from our destination. However, you may need to pay for toll roads. In advance, our Uber driver told us that he did not have a toll road censor, so we paid him cash. Our travel time was reduced since we only had to cross one toll road, which cost 90 pesos. After returning to the city, we were never asked to pay the toll road, so I guess it depends on the driver. 

When we arrived at the pyramids, I was surprised by how far apart they were. The fact that we were dropped off at gate 2 was great, since it led directly to the Pyramids of the Sun. This was convenient. 

To enter the pyramids, there are three main entrances. Because the sun will be shining down on you, it is best to start with a pyramid you wish to see first. We started with The Pyramids of the Sun as it was the largest, followed by The Pyramids of the Moon, and ended with The Citadel.

Unfortunately, we discovered that none of the pyramids were accessible due to covid during our visit. Although we were disappointed, it was nice to see the pyramids in person. I had never seen any type of pyramid in my life, so this was very exciting for me.

Unexpectedly, climbing was allowed at the Citadel. As the steps up were very narrow, I found zigzagging up to the top made the climb easier. 

We probably walked and explored the pyramids for about 2-3 hours altogether. 

After we were done we worked up an appetite and walked over to La Gruta restaurant. It was very convenient that the restaurant was only a few steps over from where we were.


La Gruta Restaurant


The Gruta Restaurant is a unique cave dining experience. We enjoyed the food. To start, we ate the La Gruta salad and the Barbacoa as our main dish. This salad had a bit of sweetness to it that made it very tasty. The salad features Quelite greens, caramelized pecans, caramelized tomatoes, and farmer’s cheese tossed in a sour pear and agave syrup vinaigrette. Delicious!

The restaurant is nicely decorated, and the whole experience of dining in a cave was quite interesting. Make reservations as the place is quite popular and bring a small sweater since it does get cold after a while.

The Tropical Bites of St. Croix.

St. Croix Eats

We ate our way around the island tasting Caribbean dish after another. From Yuca Fries to Rum Cake, I expanded my flavors that I never knew would be possible. The island time typically starts at 11am with shops and restaurants closing at 5 or 6pm (due to covid restrictions). It is important to make reservations ahead of time during peak hours if you want to make sure you have a table. There are a few restaurants that require reservations but, I think it also helps you to know that you have a guaranteed spot.

Base on my experience, a typical dish we ate on the island consisted with some sort of seafood and a side salad or veggies. It was definitely a healthy meal, one that I enjoyed and considered to be similar to how I eat at home. My favorite dish was the Cruzan breakfast, Grilled Salmon and Mahi Plate. There was something about the sauces and the whole combination of it all that I found intriguing.

One of the things to budget for this trip is spending money on food. A standard plate will cost around $15 and can go up to $30+. You can reduce food expense by buying food at a grocery store that will last you a few days. However, we stayed in Christiansted area where a grocery or liquor store was not within walking distance from us and we did not have a car. Therefore, we were left to eat at restaurants which was fine with us too.

I’ve outlined the restaurants below with links that we tried on this trip and places we recommend (or not).

Ital in Paradise

Address: 2220B Queen Cross St. Christiansted 00820-5068
Hours: Sat, Mon-Fri. 12-9pm, Sun: CLOSED

Keep your eyes open and don’t miss this place. It’s one of those restaurants that only the locals know about. Although, base on our experience I’m sure it’ll take off in no time.

The restaurant is in downtown Christiansted. It is a small establishment with two dining tables inside and is found by going up a staircase. I only knew about this place through a Youtube clip while I was doing my research on St. Croix. The restaurant is vegetarian friendly with vegan and gluten free options.

The owner was the one who helped us when we visited the restaurant. He was very welcoming and gave us a rundown on the menu and drinks. I saw different types of salads on the menu and various drinks such as ice teas. My bf and I ordered the Monday Special. It was a Grilled Salmon plate that consisted of salad, quinoa, spinach and lentil balls. Our plates was a sizable portion and hands down, it was one of the best meals we had on the island. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s a cash only place and they do accept Venmo as another payment option. We payed through Venmo and we did not have issues.

Cafe Fresco

Address: 1138 King St.
Website: FB, Site, Menu

We came here for brunch on our last day of our trip and we did not make any reservations but, we were seated right away. The cafe was located inside an area that shares the space with other businesses around. Our waitress was friendly and attentive. She sat us in the courtyard where we ordered The Cooper 15 consisting of scrambled eggs, toast, bacon with Yuca fries and a latte to drink. This was my first time hearing and trying Yuca fries. I thought it tasted like potatoes and the sauce the restaurant gave us paired well with it. Yet, since it was made in house there was no way of finding out how to replicate that sauce. That was one thing we forgot to ask. Also, my latte order came in a bigger glass than I anticipated. For some reason I thought it would come in a small cup. Nonetheless, I was pretty satisfied with the food and drink. Their menu does have plenty to choose from and the portions were quite big. In another time, I would come back and try other items on their menu.

Savant

Address: Hospital St. Christiansted, 00820
Phone: 340.713.8666
Hours: Sat, Mon-Fri. 6-10pm, Sun: CLOSED
Reservations Required

This restaurant was recently featured on Departure Magazine. I saw it, read about it and tried it.

While on the island, we made reservations ahead of time to dine in their courtyard. As soon as we walked in we immediately loved it. The dining room had a romantic ambiance with low lighting and interesting decors. We started off with Chicken Lollipops as an appetizer. It is a fried pulled chicken breast with Gorgonzola cream wrapped in crispy wontons. It was so good! As for our main dish, I ordered the local Mahi served with herbed rice and broccoli and my bf got the Half Duck Two Ways. We both tried each other’s plate and were pretty satisfied with our meal.

The service was good in that our waiter checked in with us. They also followed covid protocols with tables spaced out across the room. Lastly, we ended our night with a Vanilla Rum Cake. If you stayed long enough on the island, you’ll know that it is a signature dessert of the Virgin Islands. Various places sell them and yes, it contains rum.

Savant articles or reviews read here, here, here.

40 Eats & Drinks

Address: 1101 Strand St., Christiansted
Hours: Sat. 10am-2pm, 6-9pm, Sun. 10am-2pm, Mon. CLOSED, Tues. Weds. Thurs. Fri. 6-9pm
Reservations is highly recommended

We came here for brunch and sat outside next to a hotel. They also have indoor seating but, we preferred seating outdoors. When we arrived they were already busy but, we never had issues with the service. I ordered the Healthy Banana Split while my bf got the Vodoo Shrimp & Grits. Both orders were pretty good. They had a wide variety of options on their menu and I’d definitely go back again if I get another chance. On a random note, I loved watching the chickens roam around while we ate.

The Mermaid at The Bucaneer

Hours: Call to make reservations ahead of time for either lunch or dinner.
Reservations Required

We came to The Mermaid during lunch hour. Even though we had reservations they weren’t busy at all. We got seated right away next to the beach. Their menu had plenty of options to choose from salads, sandwiches to burgers. Since I wasn’t too hungry I ordered the Conch Friters appetizer with a Mango Smoothie. The Friters are radish sprouts with cilantro aioli. It was ok.

My bf ordered a burger with fries and the portion was quite big. He didn’t end up finishing everything, although, he looked content.
I thought the food and service was ok. Our waitress came by a few times but, it didn’t feel welcoming nor did the food taste in the same level as the other restaurants we’ve been to on the island.

Ci Bo Ne

Address: Frederiksted, St. Croix 00840
Phone: 340.719.2663
Hours: Tues.-Sat. 6-10pm, Sun. 10am-3pm, Mon. CLOSED
Reservations is highly recommended

I think we got lucky on this one. We arrived too early for breakfast according to island time. We were greeted by a woman at the door who told us to come back at 11am as they do not start serving until 11:30am. I appreciated her courtesy and we did return to the restaurant at 11 on the dot. We came to find a different woman at the door who told us that they were still not open. Luckily, the first woman we spoke to intercepted and graciously let us in. It turns out she was the owner and had explained to us that their restaurant had been closed for a few months due to construction and that was their first day of re-opening. She went further to explain that they had a new cook who’s prepping now and that the waitress will take our order but, it will take a few minutes for the food to be served. I appreciated that the owner provided us such an extensive detail and I have great respect for it.

For breakfast, I ended up ordering The Cruzan Style that had Cucumber Salad, Avocado, Smoked Herring, Bread and Spinach. The fish had a salty taste combined with veggies made this breakfast refreshing. My boyfriend got a simple Fried French Toast that was a portion too small for him. I liked my dish but, my bf was left hungry. As for drinks, we had mimosas and that was good. We’d go back again and try their dinner menu.

The Courtyard

Address: 54 King St., Christiansted

We came to The Courtyard many times during our trip and ordered their smoothies. It’s a spot located at a fitness center and they offer smoothies, açai bowls, juices and chia seed puddings. I loved coming here when it got too hot outside and the Peanut Butter Smoothie sure helped me cool down every time.

Brew STX

Address: 55 King’s Alley Walk, Strand Ln.
Links: Menu, Yelp, Tripadvisor
Reservations is highly recommended

This was the first restaurant we went to when we arrived in St. Croix. It’s located on the boardwalk with a nice view of the water as well as a good spot to people watch. Due to the location they draw a big crowd and most people do make reservations ahead of time to get good seats. As far as the food goes, we ordered the chicken wings, coconut curry muscles and tried the painkiller drink that a few people on Tripadvisor suggested. It did not disappoint. We didn’t stay long but, this is a good place to come for drinks and enjoy a good view.

Other restaurants on our list that we did not make it to:

Galangal: Fine-dining Thai food

Address: 17 Church St.
Phone: 340.773.0076
Reservations Required

Beach Side Cafe: American, Caribbean, Seafood

Address: 127 Smithfield Rd.
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11am-8:30pm; Sat. & Sun. 10am-3pm, 4:30-8:30pm

Cafe Christine

Address: 6 Company St. Christiansted
Hours: Tues-Thurs 11:30am-2:30pm, Sat-Mon: CLOSED
Phone: 340.713.1500

Twin City Coffee House

Address: 1 Company St.
Hours: Sat, Mon-Fri 7am-2pm, Sun. CLOSED
Phone: 340.773.9400

Polly’s at the Pier

Address: 3 Strand St.

Rythms at Rainbow Beach

Address: Frederiksted, St. Croix 00840

Birthday brunch at Orange Hill Restaurant.

There’s no denying that birthdays is a special day. I think most people will want to do something nice to celebrate on the day that they are born or not (whichever one prefers). It could be a simple staying at home or in my case, going out for brunch.

Last weekend, my roommate introduced me to a restaurant that she believed I would enjoy. We had a few minutes of discussion about what this place had to offer and I was convinced it was the right place to spend my birthday. It turned out, she was right. Continue reading “Birthday brunch at Orange Hill Restaurant.”

Dinner in the Middle of the Desert.

zacks_restaurant | astintabroad

If I had to pick a local hang out restaurant in the East Escape, where you can keep returning to on a regular basis everyday and anytime, it would be Zack’s Restaurant. In compare to Buzzards Restaurant, Zack would be the big brother that offers a heftier menu, convenient schedule, more space and all around a mix between Mexican and American style. Continue reading “Dinner in the Middle of the Desert.”

BUZZing Around

buzzards_restaurant | astintabroad

AH. The 80 degree weather hits me with open arms as I made my way out of the SJD airport. It has been two years since the last time I was in Baja and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here. The air, smell, sound and everything about Mexico screams excitement in my head. There’s just an unexplainable happy feeling I get whenever I am in another country. Can anyone relate to this? Continue reading “BUZZing Around”

Happy Hour at Mizu Sushi Bar & Grill

Yesterday I rushed home hungry and ready for some sushi. I was invited by my roommate as she sold me on the idea of a cheap sushi place she knew. I was a bit wary at first as ‘cheap’ sushi did not sound appealing to me. Although, I gave her a chance since I was craving sushi and I was hungry. I’m glad I did because the food was pleasantly good.  Continue reading “Happy Hour at Mizu Sushi Bar & Grill”

Restaurants worth to try in Milan for Guests.

Last weekend my parents came to visit me and I was stressed. Generally, I know what my visitors like or don’t like. My parents, on the other hand, require a certain type of attention. One of those things is finding the right place to eat as both have very particular tastes in food and environment. Before their arrival, I spent some time looking on the internet for ideas but, I didn’t find anything up to par with their taste. Anyway, I took a chance and I made suggestions base on instincts. Luckily, for the most part it worked. Continue reading “Restaurants worth to try in Milan for Guests.”