It is easy to fall in love with Mexico. Land of the Mayans and some seriously gorgeous beaches, this soulful country is where ancient history meets natural beauty in an enticing, flavourful blend.
Mexico City and Around
Chaos. Drama. (In a good way) Mexican city is a culture mine that triggers explosions on all the five senses. Be swept off your feet by the folkloric dance performances at Palacio de Bellas Artes, the grandiose fine art palace that promotes arts, dance, music, architecture and literature within its mural-lined walls.
Hum to the mariachi ballads that fill the air in Plaza Garibaldi at sunset, before tucking into a juicy tacos al pastor, tortillas filled with pork sliced from a revolving roasting pit. Take in the floral scents at the Madreselva (Honeysuckle) market in Xochimilco, which also means ‘place for the sowing of flowers’. Run your hands along 14th century ruins at the Templo Mayor, built by the city’s ancestors in honour of Huitzilopochtliand Tlaloc, Aztec gods of war and water.
Take a day trip to the pre-hispanic city of Teotihuacan, home to the monumental Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. Or head south Puebla, a crayon-coloured city that is also the unofficial gastronomic capital of Mexico. Its signature dish is the mole pblano, a rich sauce made with 30-odd ingredients which includes an epic combination of chillies, cinnamon and chocolate. Smothered over chicken, it makes for a real tingle for the tastebuds.
West Coast: Espiritu Santo
A larger biosphere is found in the west coast. Espiritu Santo is a desert island and prime ecotourism destination. Home to a flourishing range of flora and fauna and some of Mexico’s most gorgeous beaches, it is an ideal getaway for those who want a break from the city. Book yourself into one of the island’s luxury hotels, or go glamping (glam camping) on a safari-style camp. Trek through the ochre trails of various canyons round the island, or go scuba diving with an unusual choice of sealions, manta rays or hammerhead sharks for company. Whatever it is, you’re in for a refreshing time.
Swim in the cenotes of Yucatán. Geographically, they may be described as limestone sinkholes. To the eye, they are gorgeous turquoise taverns. Although very much public property, they still retain that mystic air that help you see why the mayans believed these waters to be spiritual passageways to the gods. The white-sand beaches of Tulum and the natural aquarium park in Xel-ha bring you all the snorkelling, diving, coral-exploring goodness of the Mexican Caribbean. A sin to leave out would also be Chichén Itzá, the great time temple of post classic Maya and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Within Mexico, buses are a comfortable and economical means to get to your destination. Common bus companies are AGO, ETN and Estrella Blanca to name a few. The comfort level really depends on what you choose- 1st class, 2nd class and microbuses are all available for varying prices. Driving in Mexico is not advisable to foreigners, especially if you’re doing so without insurance or don’t speak Spanish. There isn’t much of a passenger train system, although the Copper Canyon Railway is one of the tourist attractions of Mexico in itself.
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