Mexico bustles with life and effervescence. It is a powerful combination of fascinating colonial towns, ancient ruins, great beaches, a vibrant way of life and stunning landscapes. It offers a heady mix of excitement, culture and relaxation. It is also a country renowned for the ‘fiesta’. Every town and village has their own celebration and they can go on for days.
Many will start and finish their travels in Mexico City. It is a good place to immerse yourself in the country’s history and culture starting off with the historic city centre and its magnificent Main Square and cathedral. Those interested in art may want to venture to the house of famed artist Frida Kahlo whilst others might prefer the Pyramids of Teotihuacan – the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Those after culture should head to the famed Yucatan Peninsula, the centre of the Maya culture. Chichen Itza is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the New World. Its origins go back as far as the 3rd Century.
Such is its size that you cannot but gaze in sheer wonder. Perhaps the most famous of the Maya Ruins is Tulum, beautifully situated on the coast. The gateway to this historical Maya world is the colonial town of Merida. It was built by the sisal barons and today has a chic atmosphere.
Central Mexico is home to colonial cities and Tequila. The preserved towns are filled with magnificent palaces, convents and churches. The buildings’ grandeur reflects the silver and gold boom during the colonial times when the houses were built. The area is also famed for its Tequila. For those in the know there is the Tequila Express which passes from Guadalajara to Hacienda El Rufugio where the World’s best tequila is produced.
Those after culture should head to the famed Yucatan Peninsula, the centre of the Maya culture. Chichen Itza is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the New World.
In Southern Mexico is the beautiful town of San Cristobal de las Casas. It is located in the fertile Jovel Valley. The town is full of colonial architecture and indigenous culture and comes to life with a lively market selling handicrafts and other artefacts. Oaxaca City is an old cobblestoned town that gracefully combines its colonial and native roots. Full of interesting churches, museums and markets it also has a bustling café culture so you can watch the world go by.
Perhaps one of the most picturesque towns in Mexico is Patzcuaro with its narrow cobbled streets and overhanging eaves. Surrounded by small villages and islands this is a perfect place to absorb both the people and the culture. A must see are the Day of the Dead commemorations that occur in the local villages. Nearby is the lake island of Yunuen which is a serene and beautiful spot and where it is possible to stay the night or just stay for a picnic on the banks. This area is also well known for bird-watching.
In the north of the country is Copper Canyon which is a truly amazing place for the lateral traveller and provides one of the greatest train trips in the Western Hemisphere. There are a multitude of places to disembark including the cave dwellings of the Tarahumara Indians and the wonderful villages that dot the route. Hiking is also an attractive option in this area where the scenery is picture perfect.
Those in search of the beach have a couple of options. The Baja Peninsula has whale-watching, spot the American celebrity and divine boutique hotels. Alternatively head to the Pacific Coast. Acapulco was made famous in the 60’s and still has a certain vibe and the sky divers still put on a stunning show. For those in the know head to Zihuatanejo, a charming old fishing village with a beautiful harbour and some excellent beaches.