There is a reason why Mexico always falls in the top 5 tourist destinations of the Americas, and is number 1 in Latin America. With a highly developed industry and all of the amenities a tourist could ever desire, Mexico has something for everyone. Attracting large numbers of Canadians and Americans for decades, Mexico’s industry continues to expand and diversify. Whether you are seeking a unique cultural experience, a relaxing resort on the beach, an adventurous sporting vacation, or all of the above, Mexico should always make your short list.
Covering such a large area, the geography of Mexico is one of the most diverse countries in Latin America. From high mountain and volcanic peaks in the central regions, to low lying coastal paradises to the far west and east, to the desserts in the north, Mexico offers a number of unique landscapes to explore.
Because the geographical regions are so varied, the climate in Mexico is dependent on the area. Expect drier weather in the northern regions with cooler nights depending on the time of year. Central Mexico is generally very temperate, but may be cooler in higher elevations. On the other hand, coastal and southern areas are tropical with hot and humid temperatures most of the year, but also high hurricane risks in the autumn. Wherever you choose to travel in Mexico, be prepared for a diversity of climates that may vary over even the shortest of distances.
Depending on the region you visit, the people of Mexico are very culturally diverse and make up the largest Spanish speaking country in the world. With a mixture of Indigenous and European ethnicities that have united to form a national identity, you can expect to find similar cultural experiences throughout the country but all with a local flare and diversity.
Regardless of where you visit, the predominant language is Spanish. Most people working in tourism have some understanding of English, but Mexicans in general are usually not fluent. The local currency is the peso. Although USD are accepted in most tourist areas, you will usually find better deals if your convert to local currency before you leave.
Mexico was ‘discovered’ by Europeans and quickly settled by the Spanish starting in the 16th century. However, the country that is now known as Mexico was once inhabited by a number of Indigenous cultures that have a very colourful history. Due to its rich pre-colonial and colonial pasts, Mexico’s history is one of the reasons why it is such a popular tourist destination. From historical colonial Mexico City, to the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula, the distinct past of this country is open for discovery.
Coming and Going (and Staying)
Mexico is most commonly reached by airplane. The country has a very developed infrastructure for incoming tourists and there are a number of airports serving the various regions. Once in Mexico, taxis and buses are your most common and reliable short distance transportation.
Rental cars are usually not necessary and are even a hindrance. If you are planning to travel long distances between different destinations, consider flying between nearby airports as ground transportation can take a long time and is often comparable in price to flying.
Once you arrive at your destination, you have a number of accommodation options. Most of the commonly visited regions offer everything from luxury resorts, to private condos, to small hotels, to inexpensive hostels. Regardless of your budget or sense of adventure, there is somewhere to stay in Mexico that will fit your way of life. With so many accommodation options, be sure to do some research beforehand to find your perfect place.
The coastal regions of Mexico are usually the most frequented by tourists because they offer the most attractions. With every water sport imaginable and plenty of offshore excursions, both the Pacific and Gulf coasts will keep the water enthusiast busy. The cultural traveller will enjoy any time spent in the Yucatan Peninsula, the central mountainous regions, or Mexico City, depending on the pace and level of activity they are seeking.
The nature lover can experience a diversity of landscapes in Mexico, whether touring the Cooper Canyon, climbing a volcano, hiking through an ecological park, or horseback riding in the surf. With so many things to do, even if you are an experienced traveller, you are bound to find something unique in Mexico.
Eating and Entertainment
With such a geographically and culturally diverse country, it should be of little surprise that the food of Mexico is also varied. Do not expect the cuisine of an Americanized ‘Mexican’ restaurant; in most cases, the local food culture is very different than you would anticipate. However, you are bound to find some of your favorites in whatever region you visit and perhaps discover something new.
Many regions in Mexico are known for their nightlife and entertainment industries. Sit down and listen to a local mariachi band, or get up and dance the salsa at a small cabana. Whatever you choose, the local entertainment of Mexico will have you going late into the night.