As a country, Mexico doesn’t do things by halves. The cities aren’t just big, they’re super sized, the history isn’t just old, it’s ancient, the jungles are practically pulsating with life and the beaches are pristine, tropical havens. This is exactly the place you should come if you like your travel experiences to pack a metaphorical punch.
Mexico isn’t exactly new to the tourism thing, there’s no shortage of big, built-up beach resorts to check yourself into if that’s your thing. However, if you’re looking for a trip to Mexico that is a little more authentic, here are our choices of five experiences that will give you the perfect induction to this unforgettable country.
Five Ways to Explore the ‘Real’ Mexico
Chill in Tulum
It’s exactly what a beach paradise should be. White sand, as soft as flour, tumbling down to meet the warm, twinkling, turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea.
Tulum is a little drop of heaven, right here on earth and the perfect place to head if you’re looking to work on your tan during your trip to Mexico. To make this place even more impressive (yes that is possible) ancient Mayan ruins over look the beach from the sides of the shore. A trip such as Mexico Civilisations is a great opportunity to see the best of Mexican history – including the ruins of Tulum.
Embrace the Craziness of Mexico City
As one of the largest cities in the world it will come as no surprise that Mexico’s capital is a city of many faces, both in terms of population and culture. Mexico City is the beating heart of the country, so a visit here is important if you’re to get beneath the skin of Mexico and really understand what it’s all about.
Spend time sipping beer and watching a Mariachi band in one of the sociable centre squares, attend a Mexican wrestling match, visit one of the many cathedrals, art galleries and museums and spend time generally soaking up the atmosphere of this heaving metropolis.
Mexico City Cathedral.
One of the most fun, and different, ways to really immerse yourself into the very heart of a country is to spend some time learning the local language while you’re there.
There are some fantastic places to learn Spanish in Mexico, meaning that not only will you be able to travel to this amazing country and spend time exploring like any other traveller, but you’ll also come home with a new skill, having spent time mixing with locals and gaining a greater knowledge of another language – something that will stay with you for life.
Marvel at Palenque
The ancient Mayan city of Palenque dates back to as early as 226BC and the incredibly well preserved ruins are still standing today, protruding through the thick Mexican jungle in the south of the county.
I’m going rouge and leaving out the iconic temple of Chichen Itza in Tinum, Yucatan, because I believe the surrounding jungles of Palenque make these already remarkable ruins all the more awe-inspiring.
The Mayan ruins of Pelenque.
Catch the Day of the Dead Festival
If you can, try and plan your trip to Mexico around one of its most vibrant, entertaining and definitely it’s most spooky, festivals on the 1st and 2nd November.
Day of the Dead festival in Oaxaca (or Dia de Muertos as it’s known in Spanish) is a time when Mexicans pray for ancestors who have died and celebrate their lives passed, it’s all about death, and it’s pretty freaky. Thousands take to the streets in skeleton costumes and other grizzly get ups, stores sell mini coffins and skull lanterns and people party hard using a whole host of deathly decorations. It’s kind of like Halloween but on a bigger and more death focused scale.