Visiting Mexico is the experience of a lifetime! There is no country in the whole world with the same blending of culture, folklore, wonder and natural landscapes that Mexico has to offer. Travel to Mexico and plunge yourself into the ancient past by visiting the Mayan Ruins, discover the colourful mariachi culture and the mouth-watering food. Mexicans are joyful and welcoming people that will make you feel at home.
The etymology of the name Mexico traces back to the ancient Atzec word Mexihco that meant ‘The Place in the middle of the Moon.’ Mexico’s history dates back to the Olmecs, the first society that populated the country almost 2700 years ago, followed by the Maya and the Aztecs that shaped the Mexican cultural background and are still shrouded by a veil of mystery and adventure. After being conquered by Spain in the XVI century, in 1800 Mexico started struggling for its independence and conquered it after a revolution that lasted 10 years.
Visiting Mexico is a great experience that you will treasure in your heart forever. Keep in mind that there are many places to see in Mexico: from cultural discoveries to pure relax on the sandy beaches. It is best to try visiting in September-November to get a warm climate without too much heat, and to take part in some of the best festivities! Find out what are the best places and the best activities in our list of 31 reasons for visiting Mexico!
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Enjoy the colorful culture and festivities.
Mexico is famous for its folklore that blends music, decorations and costumes. You can admire beautiful murals just by walking on the city streets, engulfed by the joy of the inhabitants expressed by their colorful dressing style. Enjoy the music played by the skillful mariachi groups, easily recognizable by their sombreros, the charro suit, and the guitarron, an extra-large classical guitar famous for its powerful basses.
Taste the original enchiladas, tostadas and tacos!
Traveling to Mexico also means eating the best food! You may have tried Mexican food in an ethnic restaurant in your hometown, but they can’t be compared with the originals prepared in their home country! The Tacos al Pastor (Sheperd Tacos) are the most authentic way to try this dish, while you can eat various enchiladas recipes prepared with seafood, meat and beans. Don’t forget to try the original guacamole with some juicy tacos!
Sip up delicious drinks.
Nightlife in Mexico is as lively as you can imagine, nothing compares to a fresh cocktail in a bar while admiring the bustling streets. The Margarita is ‘the’ Mexican cocktail, famous for its bittersweet taste that can be obtained by using various flavors such as mango or passionfruit. Don’t miss on the Mezcal, the typical Mexican liquor prepared in different flavors. If alcohol does not float your boat, you can always go for a fresh drink like the Atole, made with water, cinnamon, vanilla and corn.
The masterfully handcrafted products.
Due to the ancient Mayan and Aztec heritage, Mexico has a wide variety of handmade products that range from pottery to leather. The most famous of them all is probably the Calavera, a skull ornated with gemstones. The pottery is particularly appreciated for the wonderful paintings and colors, just looking at it will bring you joy and happiness.
Participate in the colorful festivals of Mexico.
The majority of festivals in Mexico are dedicated to historical milestones like the Cinco de Mayo that celebrates the victory over France. It is a big party full of music and parades, where you can see people dressed in typical Mexican costumes. Being religion a huge part of Mexican life, religious festivals are also pretty common, especially the Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, dedicated to the Virgin Mary appeared in a church in Mexico. If you visit in November, you can take part in the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Don’t be spooked by the name, as this is a lively celebration for the departed with music and lighting. The spiritual atmosphere created by the candles and the calaveras is truly unique, and the gathering of people is really moving.
Discover The Mayan and Aztec Cities.
Behold the marvelous Temple of Kukulkan, the ancient 75 feet tall Pyramid that evokes mysteries beyond imagination. Used for astronomical purposes and for the infamous Mayan sacrifices, this Pyramid towers the City of Chichen Itza, a magical place and one of the most important places to see in Mexico. Mayans weren’t the only civilization to build pyramids, in fact, Mexico is also home to ancient Aztec cities like Teotihuacan, famous for the two Pyramids of Sun and Moon, absolutely breath-taking.
Visit the ancient ruins.
A UNESCO Heritage Site in the State of Chiapas, the Ruins of Palenque are among the various places that you must see when visiting Mexico. It has a unique ‘Indiana Jones’ feeling, with ancient buildings conquered by vegetation and tombs of Mayan kings. To see a blend of the different ancient cultures, you can visit Xoachicalco, a sort of commercial point where Aztec and Toltec met to talk about business, dance, and relax. Though not as famous as the Aztecs and Mayans, the Toltecs left a big print in Mexico with the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl, a massive building with wonderful totems on top.
Take a walk in The Historic Centre of Mexico City.
Renowned for its bustling streets and for being the most populated city on the planet, Mexico City is one of the most vibrant places to see in Mexico. It boasts a spectacular historical center (Centro Histórico) with tons of activities and places to visit. Have a stroll on the Zócalo, the main plaza overwatched by the Cathedral and the Templo Mayor, the main temple of the ancient city of Tenochtitlan. The Temple ruins are themselves an important archaeological site, which hosts a museum worth visiting to discover more about the Mayan culture.
Have fun at the Beaches, forests, and deserts.
If you are on a quest for some R&R then we strongly suggest you visit Yucatan. There you can catch two birds with one stone, Yucatan hosts the famous City of Chichen Itza… but also wonderful beaches! Soak on the soft sand and swim in the crystal water of the Ocean, while sipping a fresh margarita on the beach of Tulum. If you fancy an adventure deep in the jungle, you may book a guided tour in the Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas, home of the jaguar, the favorite Mayan ‘pet’.
See the Nature Reserves of Mexico.
Among the various reasons for traveling to Mexico, the ‘Gate of Heaven’ is one of the most spectacular, truly a natural paradise full of cenotes where you can dive. Part on land and part on the Caribbean, the fauna here is abundant; among them, you can find iguanas, monkeys, herons, and crocodiles. If you love sea life, don’t miss the opportunity to see the unique gray whales in Baja California. The Celestun Biosphere Reserve in Yucatan is famous for the thousands of flamingo migration in winter.
Make a trip by the charming colonial towns.
The Mayan ruins are not the only cultural sites in Mexico. Having a solid colonial past, the Country still hosts many towns of that period such as San Juan Chamula. Charming and indigenous, the typical colonial town evokes peacefulness and the simplicity of life. If you are a history buff, you may want to see Veracruz, the coastal town where the famous (or infamous, depends on the point of view) Admiral Cortés arrived from Spain.
Fall in Love with the Spectacular Nature of Mexico.
If you love plunging into the wilds then Mexico has really a lot to offer. The region of Chiapas boasts spectacular waterfalls like the Piedra Volada, which height and sight is not for the faint of heart! For a change of landscape, you can visit the region of Chihuahua is famous for its desert full of caves and canyons to explore.
What about enjoying a warm December?
Christmas is not ‘white’ in all parts of the world, in fact, the best time for visiting Mexico is from December to April when the dry season starts and there are very few chances of rain. Of course, as you can imagine, the weather is different in each region, but overall this is the best time to visit if you want to chill on a beach or visit some ancient Mayan ruins.
Appreciate the variety of the regions.
Each region in Mexico has its own characteristic landscape, traditions, and gastronomy. If you are looking for some nightlife, you may head to Baja California, also a haven for surfers famous for the wild beaches. Chiapas is well known for the nature and the Lacandon Jungle, while Yucatan is a must choice since it hosts the city of Chichen Itza.
Make the most out of your trip at the beautiful Mexican Islands.
If the nature inland is not enough, you can also visit one of the Mexican islas. Isla Mujeres hosts coral wonderful coral beaches and shallow waters perfect for snorkeling, it’s really the best place for divers and sea lovers. The wild island Espiritu Santu (Holy Spirit) in Southern Baja California offers a whole different scenario, with sand dunes and red cliffs. Here you can swim along with manta rays and watch as sea lions soak in the sun.
Take memorable pictures.
Mexico offers lots of occasions to get your Social Network going: take pictures of the beautiful horizon from the beach, strike a pose under the imposing Mayan temples or have one while wearing a sombrero during a Mariachi concert.
Modernity and Folklore.
Travel to Mexico and find a land of contrasts. You can see vaqueros (cowboys) riding their horses while checking their smartphone, the old colonial churches next to phone boots, and mariachi playing in the streets of Ciudad del Mexico surrounded by modern buildings.
Combine Fun and culture.
If you are looking for a more ‘active’ vacation, you can find a lot to do in Mexico. If you feel athletic, you can try some water sports on the beach such as surfing, kite surfing, and diving. If it’s the culture you are after, then do some museum hopping in Mexico City or visit the Mayan ruins to discover the ancient history of this beautiful country.
Visit the modern or traditional cities.
Apart from the capital, there are a lot of nice cities to visit in Mexico. Guadalajara is the second-largest city of Mexico, where boutiques, nightclubs, and trends meet the typical Mexican culture.
For a relaxed stay on the seaside, Cancun is the best city with hotels, spas, and restaurants close to the beach.
For smaller towns, you can visit Oaxaca which boasts a mixture between the colonial and indigenous architecture with colored buildings and paved streets, all set in a beautiful valley.
Take a taste of “La Lucha Libre”.
Everything in Mexico has a unique vibe, even Pro Wrestling. La Lucha Libre is taken quite seriously even if it is pre-determined. The Lucha tradition is passed down from generations and the masked fighters never reveal their identity to the public. Lucha matches involve acrobatics and theatrics to create dramatic and comedic fights. Many fans travel to Mexico just to see these amazing events!
Experience the humble but delicious Mexican gastronomy.
Mexican cuisine originated from the countryside, in fact, beans and tacos were the common food for farmers and peasants. People in Mexico are used to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, preferring chicken, pork, or vegetables over seafood (especially in the central regions).
Enjoy the Entertaining Mexican Dances.
The Mexican cultural background created various traditional dancing styles, the popular Jarabe Tapatío is probably the most known. It involves a male dancer in a charro suit that has to court a female dancer in the china poblana dress. It’s a cheerful dance with traditional music like the popular song La Cucaracha.
Enjoy Mexico´s music.
Music in Mexico is strongly rooted in the tradition and to the Spanish language. Mariachis bands can play energetic and sad songs, both evoking the spirit of the country. The new generations love hip hop and salsa, but are also strongly influenced by the various rock or hard rock genres played in the United States.
The Spanish language.
Few languages are harmonious like the Spanish, a language capable of expressing the wide variety of human emotions like no other. The Mexican Spanish is a bit different from the Castilian Spanish as some indigenous languages influenced it through the years. If you are looking to learn Spanish, it could be a good reason for traveling to Mexico!
Mexico is a spiritual country.
Catholicism is the dominant religion in Mexico and most of the population goes periodically to churches and shrines. To a certain extent, the Maya influence is still present in some parts of the country, for example in Mexico City there is a shrine dedicated to Santa Muerte (Saint Death), a grim reaper like figure very close to Mictecacihuatl from the Aztec Underworld.
Mexico is the land of splendid paintings and murals.
One of the most influential painters and artists of Mexico and perhaps the whole world, Frida Kahlo has often represented Mexico in her self-portraits. Her husband Diego Rivera was also an artist, famous for his murals depicting the Mexican working class. The country is also famous for surrealist painters like Leonora Carrington, an English artist that became well known in Mexico for her incredible artworks.
Appreciate the overall happiness of Mexican people.
Mexicans are well known to be happy people, even if most of them live in humble conditions. This shows that money are not always the root of wellness. Mexicans love to spend time together with friends and family, are passionate about everything they do and can always find the bright side of things.
Fill the energetic attitude.
Don’t be scared by the flamboyant attitude of some young Mexicans, the ‘machismo’ behavior is pretty common in the country and it is not seen as ‘sexual harassment’. Sometimes Mexican men can make remarks about women or try to do something just to impress the women.
Living life low-cost style.
If you plan to travel to Mexico, pay attention to the exchange rate in pesos. Generally, the cost of living in Mexico is lower than in other countries, even in Mexico City that is considered one of the most expensive places for the cost of living.
Enjoy the warm climate.
The climate in Mexico is pretty warm, with temperatures that rarely go below 11.0 degrees Celsius (51.8 Fahrenheit). You can expect to enjoy good weather with 24.0 degrees Celsius (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit) even in December.
See the unique fauna.
This country is home of some of the most unique animal species on the planet, which are one of the main reasons for visiting Mexico if you are particularly fond of nature. See the adorable Spider Monkey or the quick and stealthy Ocelot, a tiny version of the jaguar. Also, don’t miss the Axolotl, one of the rarest amphibians that still walk the earth.
Not so far from Europe or the U.S.
If you live in the west coast of the U.S. you can easily reach Mexico City in just 5 hours of flight, while from Europe it will take 12 hours. South American countries, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and some European countries like Spain, Italy, or Germany have visa-free access to Mexico.
Visiting Mexico means traveling a lot between regions in order to make the most out of your trip. Be sure to plan your trip according to your needs and tastes, but once you are there don’t miss the most famous landmarks. Keep in mind that if you travel from Europe it could be a once in a lifetime trip, therefore you make sure you see at least one Mayan site.
When traveling to Mexico your best option is to choose a region like Yucatan where you can chill on the beach and spend one or two days visiting Chichen Itza. Of course, if you have plenty of time, you could book a trip across various regions and visit Mexico City to get a glimpse of the Mexican lifestyle.
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31 Most Incredible Reasons for Visiting Mexico