From Cancun to the Riviera Maya, Baja to the Pacific Coast, Mexico is a never-ending treasure trove of travel memories waiting to happen. Though there are many more, here are our top 10 reasons to visit Mexico.
1. Beguiling Natural Beauty. Orange sunsets that take your breath away. Purple mountain majesties that tumble to the sea. Turquoise sand kissed by sugar-white sand. These are the stunning vistas that make Mexico so insanely gorgeous. But that’s just a quick glance. Dig deeper and you can discover one-of-a-kind flora and fauna like the soft swirls of the Frangipani trees and the brilliant reds of the Royal Poinciana trees, along with the adorable coatis and chill iguanas. Travel inland and you’ll even seen phenomena like a natural mineral pool in Oaxaca that looks like a waterfall that’s been frozen by minerals for thousands of years – it’s trippy and awesome. When it comes to thinking of reasons to visit Mexico, we put gazing at Mother Nature’s handiwork at the top of the list.
2. Fabulous Food. The grub in Mexico much more than chips, salsa and enchiladas. Yep, this country has gourmet cuisine that will knock your flip flops off and it varies by region based on what indigenous foods grow in the respective areas. For instance, in the South-Pacific coast you might savor meals that are created from chili peppers, chicken and cheese, while in the Gulf region, you’ll find a lot of dishes made with either corn or vanilla. Other unexpected fare you’ll find in Mexico are fava bean soups, along with hearty pork and red chile stews. Let’s not forget those scrumptious sweets like churros, rice pudding ice pops. And then there’s the amazing street food (that made it’s way to America) like tacos and tamales. Last, but never least, the guac. It’s off-the-charts. Holidays are fun here, too; During Day of the Dead celebrations, you can nibble on sweet bread like Pan de Muerto that’s round (and shaped like people) and topped with sugar and sesame seeds. Mmmmm. We gotta say: food is one of the most delicious reasons to visit Mexico.
3. Wonderful Wine. Wine, you say? Yes. In fact, the first vineyards in North America were planted in Mexico. And, since the weather is much like that in Napa, soil conditions (even though it’s sandy) make it ripe for producing some stellar wine. There are seven different estates where the vino is made: Queretaro, Coahuila, Baja California, Zacatecas, Sonora, Chihuahua and Aguascalientes. Some say that Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California is the “Napa Valley of Mexico,” so you know you’ve got to try wines from this region. Whose in? When it comes to tasty reasons to visit Mexico, you must admit that sampling the fruit of the vine is definitely up there.
4. Nearby Islands. Two dreamy places to visit are just off-shore: Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. Cozumel, which is just a short ferry ride from Playa del Carmen, is a world-famous spot for diving and snorkeling. Here’s why: over 85% of the coral reefs at Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park have been protected by the Mexican government, which means you’ll be capital D-dazzled with all that you see: nurse sharks, sea horses and other electrically colorful reef fish, plus some pretty awesome caves and tunnels that you can explore. Isla Mujeres, or “The Island of the Women,” is another sweet escape haven off the Yucatan Peninsula. To get there, you just take a ferry from Puerto Juarez, which is a few minutes from Cancun. You’ll fall in love with its quaint charm and diversity, as the island is a refuge for artists and musicians, divers and fishermen, chefs and ex-pats. Many tourists come here, get hooked and return again and again. These irresistible islands are two of the sunniest reasons to visit Mexico.
5. Easy to Access. Flying into Cancun from most destinations is generally painless because it’s a hub, where you can then take off and travel to lots of beaches in Mexico: Riviera Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are the big areas to hit. You can also fly into Cabo and enjoy the roughhewn beauty of the mountains and the Sea of Cortez, but there are not many swimmable beaches there. However, just a simple walk down the beach, barefoot on the sand, with the mountains in the distance is magical. If you want to go the heart of the country, fly into Mexico City. From there, you can travel a half hour to Tepotzotlan, where you can see an 18th century aqueduct, Xalpa. For history and museum hounds, Toluca is your destination; it’s a 50-minute drive away. Truth is, one of the most logical reasons to visit Mexico is when you fly into Cancun, you can create any kind of vacay you want. How’s that for being versatile?
6. Mystical Mayan Culture. Chichen Itza, Tulum and Coba are the three Mayan ruins that get the most air time, but there are 23 more sites you can explore. You read that right – 23! Here’s why: the Mayans were a powerful people who built cities known as the “Egypt of the Americas.” So you know there are some complex, super cool edifices to stake out. Here’s a quick look our top three Mayan places to visit: First, you must go to Tulum – it’s awesome. While you can’t climb on the ruins, you can go to the outta-this-world beach that’s just below the complex on the cliff. After a swim, head into the boho-chic, super cute town full of cafes, bars and boutiques. Next, there’s Coba, which is 30 minutes east of Tulum and much more rustic. Here, you can get a tour of the ruins, ride a bike under a tree-shaded path to the bottom of the main pyramid and then make the climb. There’s a little shack where you can get cold water and snacks after you come down, which is tremendous – it gets very hot on the top. Finally, the Grand Poobah of them all, Chichen Itza. This overwhelming structure is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the #2 most visited archaeological site in Mexico. It’s huge, full of astonishing historical facts and well worth the trip. In a word: Mayan. This is by far one of the most intriguing reasons to visit beloved Mexico.
7. Cool Cenotes. Pronounced “cey-NO-tays,” these funky geological formations found in Mexico are the result of the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. They were also used by ancient Mayans for sacrificial offerings. And there are many to choose from in Mexico – 7,000 to be exact. Luckily, they’re mostly found along the routes to the Mayan ruins, which makes for a nice day trip combo: a day in the sun absorbing some culture, followed by a cool dip. A few of note are Ik Kil, near Chichen Itza. Dos Ojos, which is a system of caverns, where you can also dive and is near Tulum. And Calavera, known as the “Temple of Doom,” a nod to Indiana Jones, and also near Tulum. Of all the reasons to visit Mexico, cenotes are (literally and figuratively) one of the coolest.
8. Beguiling Beaches. Where to start? There just so many – and on both the Yucatan Peninsula and the Pacific side. Once you land in Cancun, you can head to (of course) the beach in Cancun in the Hotel Zone, then make your way down the peninsula and hit the sugar sands of Riviera Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and the beach at Tulum. For the western side, there’s Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Mazatlan, and Cabo, where the sand is a bit more creamy. Then you can swing over to the white sand of Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa. Beaches and more beaches – this is probably the main (and best) reason to visit Mexico.
9. Rich Culture. Mexico is not all about the beaches, though they are certainly incredible. It’s a country with a fascinating history, vibrant arts scene (paintings, literature, film, music and dance) and beautiful architecture that includes Colonial mansions, majestic cathedrals, charming plazas and more. And even though Spanish is the primary language spoke, you’ll also hear Amerindian tongues like Maya, Mixteco and Zapoteco. The result is an intoxicating mix that breeds mystery and excitement when you make your way through the towns and cities, along with some of the most gorgeous people on the planet. When it comes to the vibe and the gente, you’ll discover has layer upon layer of intriguing cultural attractions, which is one of the most compelling reasons to visit Mexico.
10. Inherent Romance. There’s something about walking barefoot on the beach against the backdrop of a breath-stealing sunset with a cool, soul-stirring ocean breeze that just makes you happy about being alive. You can be with friends, a partner or just hanging solo, it doesn’t matter: these sensations make us feel good, inside and out. Fringy palms and little ocean huts armed with a cold beer or margaritas don’t hurt either as you make your trek along the sand. Choosing places that are less inhabited, off-the-beaten path, are also fun places. Todos Santos and Sayulita, both on the Pacific coast, are awesome locales to relax, get settled in and meditate on just how luck you are to be there. If we get honest, just being able to let go of worry in paradise is by far one of the best reasons to visit Mexico.
You in? Like we said, these are just our top 10 reasons to visit Mexico. There are so many others. If you want to know more, we’re here for you. If you want to go there, just call 1-800-915-3162 and one of our Beachologists can help you create an all-inclusive vacation package to Mexico. Life is short. Time to beach.