The only word Mexico suddenly brings us many images: the majestic Mayan temples, the conquistadors and their colonial cities, the little Mexican dressed in a poncho and a sombrero in the shade of a cactus…
It must be said that the country has an extremely rich millenary history with a strong culture. This is reflected in the number of sites and intangible properties inscribed on the World Heritage List that contribute to this common imagination.
Even today, Mexican culture is still expressed superbly and is exported all over the world. Through art (Frida Kahlo…), gastronomy (tacos, guacamole or ceviche in particular), sport (with lucha libre for example) or for its festivals such as the fiesta de los muertos, Mexico attracts, seduces and amazes.
A trip to Mexico is a guaranteed culture shock, but one that presents the risk of falling in love with this country.
Mexico City, the capital and the heart of the country
The center of the country is the true heart and soul of Mexico. It is here that Mexican culture is the strongest and most preserved (with the possible exception of Chipas).
Mexico City, although now cosmopolitan, still has a warm atmosphere that only Latin cities have. In constant turmoil there is always something to do in Mexico City. The city centre is always very lively and pleasant, especially around the Zocalo.
For a typical experience, nothing beats a free lucha match, this totally crazy wrestling game the Mexicans are passionate about. You can also go and taste a pozole on Plaza Garibaldi where the mariachi are crowding in the wait for us to request a song.
It is difficult not to go to Teotihuacan, the huge archaeological site with many pyramids and which was one of the largest cities in pre-Columbian period.
Often neglected for the benefit of the South of the country, the North of Mexico City is home to many of the country’s most beautiful cities and the Mexican post-Hispanic history. Among them, we can mention Guanajuato (famous for the Cervantino festival), San Luis Potosi, San Miguel de Allende or Quéretaro. The vegetation is reminiscent of Wild West Mexico. The more mountainous region of Michoacan also has some gems such as Janitzio or the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary.
Finally, southern Mexico City, with the region and the city of Puebla is a prime location, especially before discovering the Yucatan Peninsula. The city, with a view on the huge Popocatepl volcano, has a rare charm that makes you want to stay.
Oaxaca and Chiapas, southwestern Mexico to discover indigenous culture
The regions of Oaxaca and Chiapas are the 2 wildest and most preserved regions of the country. If you like landscapes and nature, this is the place to be. From the arid deserts of northern Oaxaca state to the tropical jungle of Chiapas, through the dizzying canyons and dream beaches, the landscapes here are magnificent.
In addition, these regions have some major archaeological sites such as Monte Alban, which dominates the city of Oaxaca until the Pacific Ocean, or Palenque, the magnificent Mayan city in the middle of the jungle. Indeed, these regions are located in the heart of the Mayan territory, leaving traces of this major civilization everywhere.
But the particularity of these regions (especially Chiapas) is the large number of communities descended from the Mayas who reside there. But be careful, here there is no question of coming to “observe”, if you really want to appreciate it, you will have to make the effort to immerse yourself.
The Yucatán and the Riviera Maya, for its beaches and festivals
The Yucatán peninsula is full of natural wonders, each more incredible than the others.
It is impossible not to venture into the magnificent cenotes, the wells that were created by the collapse of the limestone and that reveal an underground river that flows through the entire peninsula. There are nearly 10,000 cenotes in Mexico whose beauty and water quality can vary greatly. Only a few have been designed to accommodate the public, but it is still possible to access the “private” cenotes.
The Yucatán peninsula was part of the Mayan empire, so there are many major sites, including the magnificent city of Chichen Itza, classified among the 7 new wonders of the world.
Finally, the Quintana Roo is the ideal destination for parties. Especially in Cancun where party people from all over the world gather until the early hours of the morning. To enjoy the paradisiacal beaches without the many tourists you have to move away from Cancun towards the South. The old fishing village of Tulum is a good alternative.
Long considered as the industrial zone of the United States with a dangerous border, Northern Mexico is now revealing its assets.
In particular, you can discover the Baja California region, with many prehistoric sites or certain natural wonders such as whale migration.
The city of Monterrey is renewing itself and is also becoming attractive thanks to the many activities to be done in the region.