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Where To Go In Mexico


May 1st, 2013Food, Latin America
By Jemma Dicks

Where to go in Mexico

In my last blog, we sampled the tasty delights that Mexican street food has to offer. With bellies still full from the stuffed gorditas, there’s no denying that Mexico is hard to beat when it comes to food.

However, when in a country that boasts palm-fringed beaches, steaming jungles and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, you really can’t afford to spend all day eating! We are of course on a gastronomic tour of Latin America, but it would be a shame to leave Mexico without checking out everything there is to see and do here.

In such a huge country it’s hard to know where to start, so I have put together a list of what to do and where to go in Mexico based on my personal experience. I hope that you will find it useful:

1. Saunter about in San Cristobal de las Casas.

This is a beautiful colonial mountain town close to the Guatemalan border, popular with travellers exploring the traditional Mexican markets. Its narrow cobbled streets are lined with brightly painted houses.

2. Take a tour to Volcán de Colima.

Otherwise known as Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire), this is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and well worth a visit. With forests, mountains and canyons, the area surrounding Colima provides the active traveller with a host of outdoor adventures.

3. Discover the Cenotes.

These flooded underground caves can be found all over the Yucatan. You can even swim, snorkel and scuba dive through crystal clear waters amongst stalactites and stalagmites in some of them.

What to do in Mexico

Image courtesy of Flickr, vokeron7

4. Cruise down Sumidero canyon.

Take a boat trip down this impressive canyon, but don’t be tempted to pop in for a dip – it’s full of crocs!

5. Watch Giant Leatherback turtles lay their eggs on the Pacific coast.

Truly an experience you will never forget. If you have a bit of extra time to spend in Mexico then why not help us conserve endangered turtles on our conservation project.

6. Explore the Mayan ruins.

Mexico and the Mayans go hand in hand so it would be criminal to travel here without paying the famous ruins a visit. Here’s a selection of the best ones:

  • Palenque – Hidden in the jungles of the Yucatan.
  • Tulum – Overlooking a gorgeous sandy beach.
  • Teotihuacan – “Where men become gods”.
  • Chichen Itza – One of the Seven Wonders of the World, this is a major tourist attraction. Go early in the morning before the tour buses arrive.
Mayan ruin in Palenque

Image courtesy of Flickr, GOC53

7. Experience Día de los muertos.

Or Day of the Dead to you and me. It is celebrated all over Mexico on the 1st and 2nd of November. It’s believed that on these dates, the spirits of the deceased return to Earth to be with their loved ones. In Mexico City outlandish displays like pictures of skulls made out of flowers, or recreated graves are spread over the Zocolo (central plaza).

8. Visit Holbox Island.

When considering where to go in Mexico, a beach is likely to feature somewhere on your itinerary – the country is blessed with some of the most beautiful in the world. Isla Holbox is a stunning island retreat not far off the coast of Cancun. With sparkling white beaches and turquoise blue water, it’s the perfect place to unwind. The island is also stocked full of wildlife including flamingos and, at certain times of year, it is also possible to dive with whale sharks.

Next stop Peru!

Having thrown yourself into the culture, munched your way through the cuisine, and possibly even picked up a bit of the local lingo, it’s time to say adios to Mexico. But don’t put aside the Spanish phrase book just yet. For the next stop on our gastronomic tour, we head to the land of the Incas…Peru.

You could just hop on a plane, but if you have the luxury of time then it’s much more fun to mix it up a bit. Here’s how I did it…

  • Jump on an international bus and slowly make your way down to Costa Rica, stopping off here and there along the way.
  • From Costa Rica head down to Panama City via the Panamanian islands of Bocos del Toro.
  • Sail from Panama City to Cartagena Colombia via the San Blas islands.
  • Life on the Caribbean coast of Colombia is pretty chilled out, so take some time to explore it at a leisurely pace.
Local on the beach

Image courtesy of Jemma Dicks

  • Catch a bus to Bogota and then hop on a flight down to Leticia. Enjoy the jungle vibe for a few days. You can exploit the relaxed visa rules in this tri-border area – not many people can say they have had breakfast in Colombia, lunch in Brazil and dinner in Peru.
  • Jump on a boat to take you down the Amazon River to Iquitos. Hola Peru!

Check out my next blog where I’ll be recreating one of my favourite dishes from my travels.

I hope you found this blog useful. I’d love to hear your feedback. Have you been to Mexico? What was the highlight of your trip? Have you got some good tips for readers regarding what to do and where to go in Mexico? Please leave your comments below.

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