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How to get to the Hotel El Ejecutivo
NOTE: CHECK BEFORE LEAVING WHETHER THE RECOMMENDED HOTEL WAS NOT CHANGED FOR SOME REASON. IF CHANGED, WE WILL PROVIDE HERE THE NEW ADDRESS.
Address: Zona Rosa, Calle Viena (cerca de la cruza de Reforma e Insurgentes), # 8, hotel "El Ejecutivo". Colonia Juarez, Mexico DF, 06600. Tel. +52 (55) 5566-6422, 5566-6565, fax for reservations +52 (55) 5535-5088. Here you also can see a booklet with some info and a local map; here the other side of the booklet.
From the airport: At the airport, there are no carts to carry your luggage after your pass the customs (you can hire a carrier; you should tip him at least some US$2+ / 20+ pesos). Ask for the authorized taxi service. You pay at the ticket window and receive a ticket. Do not pay any tip to the driver. When buying the ticket, indicate the zone, which in your case is "Zona Rosa," or "Zona Central". The price is about US$10+ / 100+ pesos). To the taxi driver, tell the address indicated above.
From the conf place: The simplest way is taxi. A safe taxi site is near the Metro Politécnico Subway station, 2 minutes walk from the conf place. The price would be some US$5 / 50 pesos. You also can go by Subway to the Hidalgo station (two transfers from the Politécnico station, the conf place; a ticket costs US¢2 / 2 pesos) and from there either walk (to the direction of the cross of Reforma and Insurgentes streets) or take taxi (some US$1 / 10 pesos from that point) or microbus (US¢2.5 / 2.50 pesos).
From the city: The simplest way is taxi; it should take about US$5 / 50 pesos from an average point in the city. Safer taxis are at the official taxi sites, though in my personal experience taking a taxi in the street is not very unsafe. Also, you can go by subway as described in the previous paragraph. Also, there are many bus and minibus routs in the city, but you should know quite well what buses to take. Ask at the hotel counter.
How to get to the CIC, the conf place
From the official hotel of the conf, there will be free daily transportation, once a day to and once a day from the conf site.
Postal Address: CIC building, Av. Juan de Dios Batiz unnumbered, cross with Av. Miguel Othon de Mendizabal Ote, Unidad Profesional "Adolfo Lopez Mateos" of the Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN). Zip code: 07738. Mexico City, MEXICO.
Taxi: The taxi from the Central zone (where the official hotel is) should cost about 50 pesos (US$5). Go north by Av. Eje Central Cien Metros until the Subway station "Politecnico," and you are almost here; you can continue on foot or in taxi. Pass the Subway station, pass one building (car dealer Ford MYLSA, a glass building), turn right by Av. Venus, and enter the IPN territory gate. The nearest 3-floor pink building is the CIC. You can print out the following text in Spanish and show it to the taxi driver:
"Vaya al Norte por Eje Central Cien Metros hasta el Metro Politécnico, páselo, pase un edificio mas (tienda de automóviles seminuevos Ford Mylsa), dé vuelta a la derecha (por la calle Venus), entre en el territorio del IPN (Instituto Politécnico Nacional), vaya al edificio roso de 3 pisos."
Subway: By the Yellow line, go North to the terminal station Politécnico. There are to exists, choose the one to "Calle Diana". Walking along the car circulation by the large street (Eje Central), pass one building (car dealer Ford MYLSA, a glass building), turn right, and enter the IPN Institute territory gate. The nearest 3-floor pink building is the CIC.
Bus: There are many buses and microbuses that go along Av. Eje Central to the Metro Politécnico Subway station. Ask the driver to tell you when the bus arrives to that station. Then walking along the car circulation by the large street (Eje Central), pass one building (car dealer Ford MYLSA, a glass building), turn right, and enter the IPN Institute territory gate. The nearest 3-floor pink building is the CIC.
Car: Take North Ave. Eje Central Cien Metros. Pass the large bus terminal "Terminal de Autobuses del Norte" (to the right from you). Pass the tower of the Mexican Oil Institute – Instituto Mexicano de Petroleo (to the left from you) and the Instituto de Petroleo Subway station. When crossing Eje 5 Norte (Montevideo), move to the right lane of Ave. Eje Central Cien Metros. Pass the Politécnico Subway station and go slowly. Pass one building – the Ford car dealer MYLSA (a glass building), turn right into Venus street, and enter the IPN gate. Leave some personal identification document at the entrance gate to IPN. The nearest building is CIC, a pink square 3 floor building.
Useful local information
Currency and credit cards. Mexican peso is a bit less than 1/10 of dollar. Payments are usually accepted only in pesos (no dollars, no euros). There is money exchange in any bank office (numerous in the city). Major credit cards (sometimes except for American Express, while Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted) are typically accepted in restaurants, supermarkets, and most of the shops (not in taxi!), so you do not need to exchange too much money for pesos. In the city, there are many cash machines (including in any bank office) where you can get cash from your credit card (Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted). For currency, usually the best exchange rates are at the Airport; there is usually no commission.
Taxi. Taxi in Mexico is cheap and very frequent in nearly any place of the city. They are easy to recognize: usually these are green or yellow beatles or green or white/red Nissans; the price is the same. To any place you need to go, you probably better go by taxi. Within the city, you would probably pay from US$2 / 20 pesos to US$6 / 60 pesos and save a lot of time. You should either ensure that the driver has turned on the taximeter (not used after 10 pm) or agree the price in advance. You do not need to give tip to the driver. Taxis waiting near hotels can be expensive; you better take any taxi passing by the street.
On the other hand, taxis in Mexico are considered not completely safe, at least in the night (though other transport would hardly be much safer), so you might prefer to walk to an authorized taxi site to get a safer taxi there, or call a taxi from the hotel (this can be much more expensive). Also, sometimes the drivers do not know the city well, so make sure the driver does know the place you need and how to get there (usually the drivers are honest enough not to fool you about the route, but they might just not know the optimal route).
Subway and bus. Subway and bus are cheap: subway costs US$0.2 / 2 pesos, you should buy tickets sold at the entrance.
Buses and especially microbuses (usually also green) are also quite frequent. Bus costs from US$0.25 / 2.50 pesos to some US$0.4 / 4 pesos depending on the distance. You pay directly to the driver when getting in, there are no tickets to buy. The entrance is from the front door, exit from the rear door. There are no fixed stops for microbuses: to take one in the street, you should signal it with your hand; to get out of the micro, you should ask the driver to stop or press a bell button usually located above, or near to, the rear door. We do not recommend using buses unless you know very well where to go; use taxis instead.
Food. Food in Mexico is extremely spicy, which can seriously affect you if you do not get used to it. We recommend you to either eat in restaurants or buy food in supermarkets. Ask for European-type food; in a restaurant, ask specifically for a food that is not hot ("no picante" in Spanish). We do not recommend you to eat the food sold in the street (tacos, tortas, quesadillas); if you want to try it then better do it on the last day of your trip. In restaurants, the waiters expect to be tipped with 10% of the price (the tip is not included in the price).
Water in the city water supply is not potable. Potable water is sold in bottles in shops, supermarkets, and in the street.
Phones. Street phones require a special phone card (tarjeta telefónica in Spanish), which can be bought in most shops or booths in the street selling newspapers or sometimes food. The card can cost US3 / 30 pesos, US5 / 50 pesos, or US10 / 100 pesos. Some phones accept credit cards. You may want to buy such a card in advance (perhaps at the hotel counter) in case of any emergency. Street phones usually permit international calls. From the conf place, you can make a local call for free (contact the organizers) or a cheap international call by Internet; there is also a normal "street phone" in the conf building.
For international calls, we strongly advise you to look for a callback / virtual card service in Internet, or simply make all your calls via Internet from the conf site. You can get your own account (such as www.deltathree.com or www.blasterphone.com), or you can simply use my personal account. To compare: a call to a European capial from a street phone is some $2.5/min (from the hotel probably more), and via Internet some $0.026/min, which is 100 times less expensive! To call home from the street or usual phone, you can also buy cheap phone cards, such as BluesStar (about $0.10 to many countries), sold in some kiosks (e.g., at the North Bus Terminal), or ask me in advance to buy it for you.
Museums. The museums typically work from 8 am to 5 pm. After 5 pm, you will probably find everything closed. In many museums and archeological zones, on Sunday the entrance is free. Also, in some museums there are discounts for students and teachers. Specifically, please bring with your (valid) Student / Professor / Teacher ID, and have it with you at all excursions.
Security. The following recommendations are usual for any travel. We do not recommend you to walk alone in the nighttime. You should always avoid carrying with you in the street any valuable objects (even the objects that do not have big commercial value but are valuable for you personally). Accordingly, we do not recommend you to wear any golden jewels, or better no jewels at all. If you are assaulted, it is safer not to resist to a violent robber. Local police usually is of no help in such cases. For the same reason, we recommend you to avoid carrying with you a credit card with much money on it; possibly you could use different cards, one with your main account and one with a smaller sum for just one-day usage.
In case of any problem
Call Alexander Gelbukh (or a person who answers) at (+52 55) 5729-6000 extention 56544, 56518, 56602 (tone dialing; just dial the extension when the answering machine starts speaking).
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