From the rocky beaches of the Pacific coast to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, plus all the quaint pueblos in between, Mexico is a large and diverse country that offers something of interest to nearly every visitor. If you're considering taking a trip to Mexico, you might have several reasons for doing so. Whether you're looking to spend a few peaceful days in a large beachfront resort, or travel through small towns, visiting ancient ruins and sampling the piquant local fare, Mexico is ready to welcome you.
Here are our 11 suggestions:
1. Variety of things to see&do
There is only one country that I have visited and that I think could ever compete with Mexico in this matter: India. In both countries there is such a variety of places, people, culture, landscapes, and even climates!
In Mexico, we started by the beach (Riviera Maya), passed by some big cities (Merida, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Oaxaca and, obviously, Mexico City); spent days at the jungle around Palenque and the woods and lakes in the south of Chiapas. In one month’s time we went from laying under the golden sun in our swimming suits to having to seek refugee from the rain in Chiapas and even wore our thickest jackets around the DF. All in one month!
The level of friendliness of the Mexican people is among the highest in the world. Everywhere you go someone will be willing to lend a helping hand. Here is one of my favorite highlights, which captures the friendly spirit of the Mexican people.
Mexican cuisine isn't just about tacos and tamales. Visit the inland cities of Puebla and Oaxaca to sample different varieties of mole, a sauce made with toasted chilies and chocolate. In the coastal regions, sample local seafood dishes, such as snapper Veracruz style, a meal made with whole snapper prepared with tomatoes, chilies and olives. Head down to Baja California to sample Mexico's finest wines and visit the home of the fish taco.
4. Escape from it all
Mexico has always had a reputation as one of the world's best hideouts. From the beaches of Tulum and Oaxaca to the haciendas in the Yucatan, you won't have to search long and hard to find your perfect escape. La Casa Que Canta was one of my hideaways this year. And for our Editor in Chief, Julia Cosgrove, her "go to" is Amansala in Tulum.
History buffs can step back to the days when the Mayans ruled Mexico. Visit the ruins of two Mayan cities in the Yucatan Peninsula at Tulum and Chichen Itza, and walk among the stone pyramids that once housed some of Mexico's earliest residents.
6. The music
From mariachi to modern rock, Mexico knows how to play infectious tunes. Head to Guadalajara to spend time in the place that calls mariachi home. Or when you’re in Mexico City, take a trip to Plaza Garibaldi. If modern is more your style, download some of Mana’s best tracks.
7. Tequila and Mescal
I’m a huge fan of these truly Mexican spirits. And it takes a trip to Jalisco and Oaxaca to begin to understand the depth and variety of flavors tequila and mescal affords. Shake off your awful memories of getting drunk on Cuervo as a teenager and begin to explore the quality of real 100% agave-made tequila. You’ll leave the hangover at home.
8. Colors all around!
Mexico is one colorful country, no doubt about that! Just picture London in the Winter, for example: grey sky, grey buildings, people wearing grey clothes. Well, this is the total opposite! Houses are painted with bright tones, people proudly drive shiny cars, restaurants and cafes display different colors in their walls, tables, chairs, table cloths… everywhere! Even people’s clothes tend to be happy!
While the majority of Mexican citizens speak Spanish, they all have varying degrees of knowledge in speaking English. This makes it easy for many tourists, most of whom visit from the United States and Canada, to communicate with the locals to get directions or ask for help. It also makes laughing and joking with the local children memorable.
You can negotiate easier when buying your goods because you can banter back and forth with the vendors.
Most of the Mexican people are also very friendly to tourists. They understand that tourism helps to boost the Mexican economy. When tourists are happy and traveling to Mexico everyone benefits.
If you can afford to fly during the major holiday seasons in Mexico, you’re in for a treat.
The most famous holiday and biggest cultural experience in Mexico is the two days following Halloween, Day of the Dead – Da de los Muertos. It is in connection with the Catholic holiday All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). These days are in recognition of those who have passed on before them. All Saints is a celebration of those who were unmarried and under 18, while All Souls Day recognizes the married and over 18 relatives who are deceased.
It is a time of bright colors, unique artwork, and incredible tradition.
11. Find artistic inspiration
What do you make of a city that covers its most important government buildings with the work of one of its most outspoken anti-establishment artists? Take in Diego Rivera’s murals at the National Palace right in the Zócalo—the D.F.’s main square. For another glimpse into the local art legacy, stroll the residential neighbourhood of Coyoacán until you come upon the cobalt blue home Frida Kahlo once occupied. Aptly named La Casa Azul, it’s now a museum that houses many of the artist’s works.
- Golfing in Cabo san Lucas or Ixtapa- Sportfshing in La Paz- The maya ruins and beautiful beaches in Cancun- The colonial city of San Cristobal de las casas
Mexico comprises most of southern North America, including the Yucatán Peninsula. Geopolitically, however, Mexico is not commonly considered a Central American country. Mexico's is a very large country and hs some small islands in the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of California. On its north, Mexico shares a border with the United States. On its south, Mexico shares the border with Guatemala and Belize.
The government recognizes 62 indigenous Amerindian languages as national languages, but the official national language is Spanish.
The currency used in Mexico is the Mexican peso, 1 USD is about 14.8 Mexcian Pesos (February 2015)
The country has temperate and tropical zones. In the north there are cooler temperatures during the winter months. It is hot and humid during the summer, from 20°C to 24°C, because of more moderate conditions during the winter. In the South, temperatures are fairly constant year round, between 24°C and 28°C. Temperatures here remain high throughout the year, with only a 5°C difference between winter and summer temperatures.
You should really try the Mexican cuisine, it is centered around three national staples: tortillas, beans and chili peppers. Tortillas are thin round patties of pressed corn or wheat-flour dough cooked on griddles. Beans (frijoles) are eaten boiled, fried or refried, in soups, on tortillas or with just about anything. Apart from an astonishing array of freshly squeezed fruit juices, Mexico is also famous for its alcoholic beverages, tequila in particular.
Between the third and sixth century the Empire of the Toltecs was established in the area that is now Mexico. After that the country was also inhabited by the Empire of the Aztecs. In 1822 Mexico becomes independent as the Mexican Empire, also including the Central-American states of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua as well as large parts of what is now the United States. But in the upcoming yeasr Mexico loses northern territories to the United States. Therefore without a doubt we can say that mexico has a very rich and long histiry, which most definitely left behind many interesting places, festivities, customs and things to explore and experience.
Mexico is predominantly Roman Catholic. While most indigenous Mexicans are Catholic, some combine Catholic practices with native traditions, which results in an interesting belief with many amazing traditions. All these mixed religions make sure mexico is a diverse and interesting country to explore.
Mexicans have had a talent for art and colour since pre-Hispanic times. Today, Mexico is covered with galleries of contemporary and historic art, which are a highlight of the country for many visitors. Mexican creativity is also expressed through the country's vibrant folk-art tradition. Notable examples of pre-Hispanic art include the Olmecs' monumental stone heads, the early Paradise of Tláloc murals at Teotihuacán and the Mayan murals at Bonampak in Chiapas. The influence of indigenous artisans can be seen in the elaborate altarpieces and sculpted walls and ceilings that decorate the country's many churches.Mexico's ancient civilizations produced some of the most spectacular, eye-pleasing architecture ever built. Sites such as Teotihuacán, Monte Albán, Chichén Itzá and Uxmal are fairly intact examples of pre-Hispanic cities, with their ceremonial centers, pyramids, temples and ball courts.
The music of Mexico is extraordinarily diverse and features a wide range of different musical styles. Many traditional Mexican songs are well-known worldwide. The best-known Mexican genre by far is ranchera, interpreted by a band of mariachis. Another important music style is the traditional "norteño," or Northern tunes, which has been the basis for the development of more popular genres such as banda music. Southern Mexican folk music is centered around marimba, which remains popular in Chiapas and Oaxaca. In Yucatán the traditional Jarana music and dance is popular, as well as the Yucatan's most beloved music genre: the trova, which developed from Caribbean, Colombian and Mayan roots.
For the nature lover, mexico is the place to be. Mexico has over thirty thousand flowering plants of which the cactus is the plant which most people associate with Mexico.For the Marine lover there is also much to see. Whales, mackerel, sardine, barracuda, swordfish, shark and turtles are a few of the creatures which live in the surrounding seas. If you prefer to stay on land, animal you may encounter are wolves, lynx, bears, jaguars, pumas, ocelots, tapirs, monkeys, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, iguanas and the axolotl.Mexico is home to over one thousand species of birds such as parrots, macaws, toucans, flamingoes and humming birds. The quetzal was prized for its beautiful feathers used in Indian ceremonial dress. Nowadays the quetzal is rare.