Mexico Travel Guide

Mexico Overview

Centuries-old Mayan ruins, jungles supporting myriad wildlife, stunning hidden bays with perfect turquoise water, vast desert landscapes, a delectable cuisine, pulsating nightlife centres and so much more, there really is something for everyone in Mexico. Stretching for around 4,000km from the southern border of the USA to Guatemala and Belize, this is a destination full of stereotypes and surprises, where you are just as likely to encounter a tequila-swigging Mariachi band as you are a tribe of howler monkeys.

 

Tourism in Mexico is big business and whether you come for two-weeks or two-years, the destination is what you make of it personally. There are as many beach resorts catering for all-inclusive package vacationers from the US and Europe as there are rural villages stuck in the sands of time awaiting the adventurous traveler that loves to get off the beaten track. Consequently, Mexico can be as hectic as Cancun and Tijuana or as tranquil as Puerto Escondido and Merida, so first-time travelers should be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. Fortunately, Mexicans are a welcoming bunch and, no matter how rich or poor, are proud to show off what they’ve been given. Learn a few Spanish phrases prior to arrival and you’ll notice a remarkable ease in getting around.

 

Being such a large country, there is never a bad time to visit Mexico. Certain weather patterns may dictate the enjoyment of some regions, but you’ll always find somewhere where the sun is shining and the sky is blue. As a rule, visitors hit the highlands during the summer and the coasts throughout the winter. If there was ever a perfect time then it would be November, when the rain has subsided and the peak season rush has yet to begin. December through April is the busiest period and when the beach resorts of Acapulco, Riviera Nayarit, Cancun and Playa Carmen become inundated. One thing is for sure; whenever you decide to come, your trip will likely coincide with one of Mexico’s plethora of festivals that highlight the true spirit and color of the nation.

Things to do in Mexico

Mexico City - A bustling metropolis jam-packed with cultural attractions and historical monuments. At its heart, the Zocalo is home to picturesque churches and Aztec ruins. Catch a football match at the Azteca Stadium, host of the 1970 and 1986 World Cup finals.

 

Oaxaca - The finest of all of Mexico’s colonial cities. Take day trips to the villages of San Jose el Mogote and Teotitlan del Valle and sample the regions famed cuisine.

 

Palenque - Close to the border of Guatemala, ancient Maya temple, palace and courtyard ruins rise out of a thick and verdant jungle.

 

Teotihuacan - The largest pre-Hispanic city in Mexico is the proud possessor of the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon Pyramid, both bequeathed by an ancient civilisation.

 

Cancun - Party all night and sleep on the beach all day, Cancun is home to the biggest beach parties imaginable and the infamous Spring Break HQ.

 

Acapulco - Marvel at the swan diving exploits of the clavadistas - La Quebrada cliff divers. Since 1934, teams of divers have been wowing crowds by diving 35m with pinpoint accuracy into the narrow pools below,

 

Cozumel - Island getaway off the Yucatan coast famed for its spectacular dive sites offering tropical marine life and unique coral reef. On dry land, dedicate time to explore the islands Mayan legacy and ruins.

 

Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl - For the energetic and trekking enthusiasts, east of Mexico City are two snow-capped volcanoes. In addition to taking in dramatic vistas, visit the rural villages and monasteries.

 

Tulum - The perfect powdery white beach is a main attraction, but beat the crowds by waking up at dawn to watch the sunrise over the Mayan ruins.

 

Puerto Escondido - Way down on Mexico’s South Pacific coast, the ’Hidden Port’ offers laidback surfing, fishing and wildlife spotting for those lucky enough to find it.

 

Reserva Marisposa Monarca - Visit this incredible butterfly reserve, where from October to November millions of monarch butterflies come to rest following a daunting 4500km journey from the Great Lakes.

 

Barranca del Cobre - Northern Mexico’s Copper Canyon is a sight to behold. Ride the train or hike along a trail through the midst of this vast and imposing canyon.

Hotels in Mexico

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This page was last created on 5 Apr 2011 by Matt