Mexico is a frequent addition to many global rankings of hot places to visit. If you’ve ever been, then you know it’s not hard to figure out why. America’s often overlooked southern neighbor is a country rich with history, culture, and beautiful landscapes. Its mix of an ancient civilization with colonial influence yields an experience that’s both pleasantly unpredictable and surprising. Here are just eight fantastic reasons to visit Mexico!
Mexico is one of the most affordable countries to visit in the Western Hemisphere. It’s just a short plane ride for the vast majority of Americans, which is why cheap international flights to Mexico are so popular. Many families in border states can reach Mexico City and resort destinations like Cabo San Lucas in a few hours.
Hotels are even cheaper. Americans can stay in either local boutique hotels or international chains and expect high-quality amenities and experiences without much cost. Savings can be magnified if booked with a tour package or cruise. With a cruise, visitors can often pay upfront and enjoy a wide variety of amenities without forking over extra money. Affordability is one of the most frequently cited reasons to visit Mexico among tourists.
The Luxurious Resorts
Renown throughout the world for their blend of awe-inspiring scenery and lavish pampering of guests, Mexican luxury resorts give many people a chance to live the good life. The Caribbean coastline of Riviera Maya, stretching around the fabulous beaches of Playa del Carmen and Tulum, is just one of many areas full of all-inclusive mega-resorts that cater to your every whim and fancy.
The Historic Ruins
One of the coolest (and arguably nerdiest) attractions for tourists is to see and explore the remains of the pre-Columbian society that once stretched from Southern Mexico to El Salvador. The Mayan empire lasted from around 700 BC to practically 1700 (that’s over 2,000 years) and left many prominent urban centers and buildings still standing to this day. The two best sites in Mexico include Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula, which is one of the most visited Mayan sites in the world, and Palenque in Chiapas, which is one of the most studied and written about Mayan archeological sites.
The Amazing Beaches
From surfing to snorkeling to swimming to just relaxing in the sand, you just need to hop on flights to Mexico for adventures on some of the best beaches in the world. You can join the crowds at popular destinations like Cancun and Acapulco or pay a little extra and head to a more remote locale like Tulum (and everywhere in between). Just like the resorts you can stay in, there’s plenty to choose from!
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Mexican culture is one of the richest and most varied in the entire world and just another one of the many reasons to visit Mexico. The country has had several hundred years of European influence culture and thousands of years of native culture. These cultural influences have blended into a rich tapestry of Spanish, native, American, and European cultures.
Mexico is known for a number of cultural products. There are bullfights that originated in Spain, along with dances and various forms of music. Many Spanish instruments are found in the music of Mexico and its dances and fashion. The religious culture and customs of Mexico are also still dominated by the past five centuries of Spanish presence. Mexico is still overwhelmingly Catholic, although there are more and more people who do not profess a religious culture.
The Delicious Food
There’s no need to make the case that Mexican food is a treat for the palate. From fiery peppers to succulently marinated and grilled meats and vegetables, there’s a fusion of various influences that goes into many of our favorite Mexican dishes. The state of Oaxaca, with its cross-section of different subcultures and resulting culinary blending, remains THE favorite destination for travelers wanting to try some mouth-watering dishes. There’s also the city of Puebla, which is famous for its district of Mexican sweets sellers, known as “la calle de los dulces” (the candy street). Oh, and you can’t forget the famed food scene of the country’s capital city, Mexico City, which serves up a feast for travelers, from high-end restaurants to street vendors.
Every region of Mexico has a different take on the nation’s cuisine. Coastal regions focus more on seafood and incorporating fresh catches into stews and main dishes. Interior areas incorporate beef, corn, beans, and rice. Tostones, tortas, and tacos are just three of the many dishes that are popular in America but have their origins in Mexico. There are also dishes such as tequila and Oaxaca cheese that are seminal to Mexican culture and have been exported all around the world.
The combination of the old world and the new defines Mexican cuisine. But it also defines Mexican fashion and architecture as well. Many of Mexico’s greatest buildings are directly connected to Spanish styles from the 16th and 17th centuries. But in the 20th century, more and more styles from Mexico itself and Mexican heritage can be found. Even a short trip to Mexico can bring a person in contact with dozens of different examples of its rich cultural heritage.
The Wildlife and Nature
Mexico is a large, long country that stretches thousands of miles from its American border to its southern border with Guatemala and Belize. As a result, it has a wide variety of ecosystems that visitors can explore and experience. On the northern border, there are hundreds of miles of desert and several landmarks. The climate becomes tropical south of Mexico City. Hot, dense jungles offer visitors a unique chance to see flora and fauna they have only read about before. There are also mountain peaks and vast plains that people can hike and explore. Mexico has nearly 70 national parks that stretch across its expanse and provide numerous opportunities for both locals and tourists.
The Outdoor Activities
One of the most common activities to engage in when one visits the coasts of Mexico is snorkeling. This activity is most popular in areas where there are large coral reefs and other tropical settings. People who enjoy deep-sea diving can see thousands of species of fish, coral, and other unique specimens. They can view the brightly hued colors of the Caribbean just a few miles off of the Mexican coast.
Hiking and golf are two other activities that visitors to Mexico can enjoy. Golf may seem like one of the less-expected reasons to visit Mexico that people would cite. Many people believe that Mexico is an exotic land where they have to engage in activities that they would not otherwise be able to do during a vacation. But in many ways, Mexico is similar to the United States. It’s a modern, developed country with many of the amenities that Americans have in many areas.
Great food, beautiful beaches, affordable resorts, and friendly people – what more could you want from your next vacation?