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You and your Mexico travel buddy should skip the all inclusive, typical Mexico trips and indulge in a more flexible trip tour of Mexico. You can explore the country's ancient ruins, vibrant nightlife, bustling cities, beautiful beaches, famous scuba diving and amazing cuisine.
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For the uninitiated, Mexico is more than tequila and Jarabe Tapatío, better known as the Mexican hat dance. Don’t even think of the Cinco de Mayo bacchanal as Mexican. A Mexican victory over the French, not its Independence Day, has been blown up into an American holiday dedicated to drinking too much cheap tequila. Mexico is a complex blend of Native American, Spanish, French, German, African and Lebanese cultures. These nations’ influences can still be experienced in the music, architecture, food and language of this North American nation. You and your Mexico travel buddy have a lot to discover.
This young nation has a lot to offer. Its cities are bursting with color, world-class museums, Michelin-starred restaurants, thumping nightlife and innovative architecture mixed among well-preserved grand buildings. Mexico City is still dotted with murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco and Aurora Reyes almost 100 years ago. Spend the day with your Mexico travel buddy searching for all the works by these pioneering artists.
Mexico has 10 cities with at least 1 million residents, including Guadalajara, Juárez, Monterrey and Puebla. You and your Mexico travel buddy can experience the different ways of Mexican city life. Each of Mexico’s 32 states has its own flavor. Just about each day of the year there’s a festival popping off in Mexico.
Geographically, Mexico is sitting pretty. It has the power of the Pacific Ocean on the west coast and the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. In between, sit mountain ranges, active volcanoes, a desert, mesas, a canyon, rainforests, glaciers, rivers and swamps. About 80% of Mexicans call cities home, so outdoor adventures aren’t normally overcrowded.
Come for the Water Sports
Mexico has 9,300 kilometers of well-used coastline. Baja California attracts surfers from around the world. Jacques Cousteau called the Gulf of Mexico, “the world’s aquarium” for good reason. You and your Mexico travel buddy will find the country’s best snorkeling in these waters. Vacationers are drawn to the small town of Akumel for snorkeling spots that turtles and stingrays call home. It’s in its name, which is Mayan for “place of the turtle.” The northern tip of the second-longest coral reef in the world sits off Mexico’s eastern coast in the gulf. SCUBA divers and snorkelers journey to Mexico to experience amazing undersea life among the reef.
Stay for the Mountaineering
It may be hard to believe but there is a glacier two hours outside Mexico City. Climbers must tackle Ayoloco glacier before they can reach the top of Iztaccíhuatl, 5,220-meter-tall mountain. You and your Mexico travel buddy will find cool views from the peaks of Pico de Orizaba, Nevado de Toluca and La Malinche. Of course, hikers will find a variety of trail types and intensity throughout the country. Trails move through rainforest, the desert and mountains.
More than Quesadillas
You and your Mexico travel buddy will find some of the best food in the world. What many think of as Mexican food — crunchy tacos; nacho chips with cheese, meat, tomatoes and sour cream; burritos — are not Mexican food. They hail from the United States. Mexico is a poor country. Poor countries eat whatever is around them and don’t pile on unnecessary things. At home, on the street and in restaurants, Mexican cooks combine fresh, natural products, like beans, pork, beef, spices, cheese, corn and vegetables, to make delicious dishes.Interestingly, Mexican food and Indian food share a palette of spices, the generous use of chilies and a serving style [Soft tortillas wrap Mexican. Soft roti often swaddle Indian food.]. You and your travel buddy will find the world in the Mexican kitchen. The popular taco al pastor is a direct descendent of shawarma, which the Lebanese brought with them when thousands immigrated to Mexico from the 1890s to the 1930s. Rice is second to corn in Mexican cooking. The Spanish brought that staple, which they got from northern Africans. Africans, who were brought to this part of the New World as slaves, brought yucca, taro and plantains.
History lovers flock to Mexico because some of the country’s past is so well preserved. Thousands of years ago, the Maya had a flourishing society in North and Central America. For reasons researchers are unclear about, their cities were just abandoned (The Maya people continued to flourish. About 7 million live in North and Central America). Rainforests and jungle slowly enveloped these areas. Today, the pyramids in the crumbling stone villages of Chichén Itzá, Tulum, Uxmal, Coba, Calakmul, Xochicalco, Teotihuacan and other areas draw the curious. You and your Mexico travel buddy will find most of these, especially Chichén Itzá and Tulum, filled with visitors, so arrive early. The small entrance fee doesn’t furnish much. There’s no bathrooms, tour guides or maps at the site of the ruins. All of these are usually found somewhere near the entrance of the ruin complex. Once inside the ruins, people are normally free to scrabble up steps, explore caves and wander about.