GeoS 2007 will be held at the Centro de Investigacion en Computacion (CIC) in Mexico City (http://www.cic.ipn.mx). The conference site has a spectacular view of the Popocatepetl volcano, which will be snow-covered in late November. November is the best time of the year for traveling to Mexico City with typically clear weather, moderate temperatures, and a deep blue sky.
How to get to a hotel or a place in the city from the airport
We do recommend to take the airport Authorized Taxi (Taxi Autorizado), the yellow-white cars. The tickets are sold in kiosks on your left after exiting the airoprt's luggage area. The prices vary in dependence on a city zone. See the zone map posted in front of the kiosks for references.
General: Mexico City International Airport is served directly by metro, hotel shuttle, van, and limousine, bus, and taxi.
Metro: The metro has a station at Mexico City International Airport within easy walking distance of the baggage claim, but it is a feasible route to downtown only if you are traveling lightly, with a backpack or briefcase. As you come from your plane into the arrivals hall, turn left toward Gate A and walk all the way through the long terminal, out the doors, and along a covered sidewalk. Look for the distinctive M (metro logo) that identifies the Terminal Aérea station, down a flight of stairs. The station is on Line 5. Follow the signs for trains to Pantitlán. At Pantitlán, change to Line 1 Observatorio, which will take you to stations that are just a few blocks south of the Zócalo (main square) and the Alameda Central: Piño Suárez, Isabel la Católica, Salto del Agua, Balderas. This is the least expensive choice by far and is a good way around the city during nonpeak hours. Trains pass at a frequency of every ten minutes and do not run after 1:00 am.
Hotel Shuttle, Van, and Limousine Services: Some hotels offer a van service from the airport. It is recommended that you phone the concierge of the hotel to order a private car or limousine to pick you up at the airport. This is a safe and comfortable way to get into Mexico City. Ask about airport shuttle services when making your hotel reservation. Chauffeured cars (seating four) and vans (seating eight) are also available for travel to nearby cities, such as Toluca, Paluca, and Cuernavaca or Puebla.
Bus Services: Bus companies provide direct routes from the airport to several nearby towns. As there are no bus offices at the airport, you simply exit the domestic terminal near Lounge D and buy a ticket at the booth in front of where the buses park. Bus companies such as Pullman de Morelos drive to Cuernavaca 21 times a day between 6:30 am and 11:00 pm. Estrella Roja drives to Puebla 40 times a day between 6:00 am and midnight. Other destinations are Pachuca (15 times a day between 7:15 am and 9:15 pm), Querétaro (14 times a day between 8:30 am and 9:15 pm), Toluca, San Miguel de Allende, Celaya, León, and Irapuato.
Taxi Services: The official airport cabs are available after exiting the baggage claim area near the far end of Lounge A and E, right next to the arrival gates, in special booths marked TAXI / TRANSPORTACION TERRESTRE (ground transportation). They are staffed by personnel wearing bright-yellow jackets emblazoned with TAXI AUTORIZADO (authorized taxi). These cabs should be yellow with a white taxi light on the roof and an airport symbol painted on the doors. Buy your ticket from the clearly marked taxi counters inside the terminal and tell the ticket seller your hotel or destination. Ticket prices are fixed, based on a zone system and depending on the number of passengers. After purchasing your ticket, go outside to the line of taxis where an official taxi "chief" will direct you to the next taxi in line. Present your ticket to the driver. Travel time to downtown Mexico City is about 35 minutes.
How to reach CIC, the conference place
Address: CIC building, Av. Juan de Dios Bátiz unnumbered, cross with Av. Miguel Othón de Mendizabal Ote, Unidad Profesional "Adolfo Lopez Mateos" of the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN). Zip Code: 07738. México, D.F., MEXICO.
Taxi: The taxi from the Central zone should cost about 50 pesos (US$5). Go north by Av. Eje Central Cien Metros until the Subway station "Politécnico," and you are almost here; you can continue on foot or in taxi. Pass the Subway station, pass one building more (car dealer Ford MYLSA, a glass building), turn right by street 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, pasando el edificio de MYLSA, de vuelta a la derecha (por la calle Venus), entre en el IPN por la reja, vaya al edificio rosa de 3 pisos."
Metro: By the Yellow line, go north to the terminal station "Politécnico". Exit to street (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 "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 Petroleum Institute - Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo (to the left from you) and the Subway station "Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo." When crossing Eje 5 Norte (Montevideo), move to the right lane of Ave. Eje Central Cien Metros. Pass the Subway station "Politécnico" and go slowly. Pass 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.
In case of any problem: Call Serguei Levachkine at 0445520864285 (mobile).
Useful local information
Taxi. Taxi in Mexico is very cheap and very frequent in nearly any place of the city. They are easy to recognize: usually these are beatles, sometimes Nissans or Chevys; the price is the same. To any place you need to go, you probably better go by taxi. Within the city, you would pay from less than US$1 (10 pesos) to US$5 (50 pesos), but you will save a lot of time. You should, however, either ensure that the driver has turned on the taximeter (except for the night time when the taximeters are not used), or agree the price in advance. If you pay by taximeter, you do not need to give tips to the driver. We do not recommend using the taxis waiting near expensive hotels, unless you are sure these are authorized (which can be expensive); you always better stop any green bug passing by the street.
Metro and bus. Metro and bus are also very cheap. One trip in metro costs US$0.40 (4 pesos); you should buy tickets sold at the entrance.
Buses and especially microbuses (usually also green) are also very frequent; one bus trip costs some $US0.4 to $US0.8 (4 to 8 pesos) depending on distance, which you pay to the driver. The entrance is only from the front door, exit only from the rear door. There are no fixed stops for microbuses; to take a micro 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 special button to bell usually located above or near to the rear door). In general, we do not recommend you to use buses unless you know very well how to get to the place you need; use taxis instead.
Food. Food in Mexico is extremely hot (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 strongly do not recommend you to eat the food sold in the streets (tacos, tortas, quesadillas); if you want to try it, better do it in the last day of your trip. In restaurants, the waiters expect to be tipped with 10% of the price (i.e., the tips are not included in the price).
Water. In the city water supply is not potable. Potable water is sold in the shops, supermarkets, and in the streets.
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.
Credit cards. Major credit cards are typically accepted in restaurants, supermarkets, and most of the shops (ask about your card type if not sure), so you do not need to exchange too much money for pesos. In the city, there are many bankomats where you can get cash from your credit card (at least from a Visa and MasterCard). For currency, usually the best exchange rates are at the Airport; there is no commission.
We do recommend the following hotels:
Hotel "Ejecutivo" (Downtown; 35 min. in taxi from the conference site, 40 min. in metro)
Hotel "Torre Lindavista" (A walking distance from the conference site)
Hotel "Emporio" (Downtown; 35 min. in taxi from the conference site, 40 min. in metro)
Hotel "Del Angel" (Downtown: 35 min. in taxi from the conference site, 40 min. in metro)
We encourage the participants to book a hotel directly, mentioned that you are a conference attendee.
Restaurants near the conference site
Most of them are located in the Plaza Torres Lindavista (on the halfway between the Hotel Torre Lindavista and CIC; see the map)*:
*Some restaurants serve vegetarian food. Please ask inside.
Here is the tentative list of excursions:
Useful Travel Links
Web sites of interest as you make your arrangements to attend the conference.
The Electronic Embassy - Contact information for embassies of most countries in the world.