Thinking of Mexico, the image of thousands of excited college students on spring break most certainly comes to mind. Needless to say, the country is much more than that from a touristic perspective. In fact, it is an incredible holiday destination for anyone seeking novelty, beauty, history, and adventure.
From affordable care to tropical sceneries, enticing culture, and vivacious cities, Mexico has it all. Throw the delicious food and alluring drinks into the mix, and you’ve got yourself the perfect vacation to enjoy alongside loved ones. In this article, we will discuss the main attractions in the country so that you can plan your next trip accordingly.
Tourist Attractions in Mexico
As mentioned above, Mexico has a lot to offer. You can sunbathe and swim, learn about its history, visit its cities, or enjoy the delicious food. You might even want to travel there for an entirely different reason, namely healthcare. To help you design the perfect itinerary, here are the six most notable things to experience on your next visit to the South American country.
Medical tourism has become the main attraction of Latin America in recent years. Alongside its neighbors, Mexico is one of the best places to seek treatment, as it is actually cheaper to travel there, get access to therapy and recovery facilities, pay for them, and then travel back, than to get this done locally in the United States.
This is also true for many other inhabitants of other Western countries. Even though we have perpetuated urban legends and horror stories about organ-stealing Tijuana doctors, the reality couldn’t be more different.
In fact, Mexico is one of the best places to obtain medical care in the entire world at the moment. One great example of this has to do with dental work, which is unanimously known as one of the most expensive domains, as well as the one that has the poorest insurance coverage.
The expenses that apply to this field of medicine are astronomical in many places, but dental work in Mexico is 70% cheaper than in the U.S., and so are many other procedures. For this reason, more and more tourists choose to visit the country in search of adequate healthcare, not just tropical sights and great food. Still, these are important as well.
Mexico as a tourist destination shouldn’t be reduced to just medical facilities, as it has plenty of things to offer for excited foreigners in search of adventure and novelty. One of the most popular attractions in the country is represented by its sultry beaches, which have seen plenty of wild spring break parties in their day.
One of the most popular destinations from this point of view is certainly Cancun. However, there’s more to it than just wet T-shirt competitions. The Caribbean capital of Mexico offers delightful white sands and crystal clear waters for tourists to enjoy. And if you enjoy more peaceful and private settings, there is always Isla Holbox.
For a taste of Hollywood glam, you can head up to Puerto Vallarta, who used to be one of the favorite holiday retreats of start-studded couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The two adored it so much, they even bought a house there, which is now a hotel. If you don’t mind the crowds of enthusiastic tourists, then you’ll certainly love the glamour of the place.
It’s no secret that Mexico is a land with one of the most captivating histories and richest cultures in the world. Its ancient civilizations are world famous for the enthralling ruins, relics, and vestiges they left behind. Out of the five major ones, the Mayas and the Aztecs are the best known to the general public.
The Aztec Empire was once built on what is now Mexico City, which makes the capital of the country one of the best places to start your cultural tour. As far as the Mayans are concerned, the most famous landmark is certainly the ancient city of Chichen Itza. Part of the UNESCO patrimony, this settlement dates back to the 5th century.
However, there are plenty other less-traveled paths to take in the Yucatan peninsula if you want to see the amazing remnants of the Mayan civilization. Examples include Dzibilchaltún, Ek Balam, and Mayapan. And for the most enticing archeological site no one is talking about, visit Palenque. There, you will be able to explore in peace.
Mexico is also a land full of natural wonders. There are plenty of breathtaking landscapes and sights you need to soak in if you plan on visiting the country, such as the Cenote Angelita underwater river. If the name confuses you, it’s because there isn’t a better term to explain how a river and an ocean can coexist.
Located just south of Tulum in the Yucatan peninsula, this paradoxical wonder of nature consists of a freshwater stream separated by a layer of hydrogen sulfate from the seawater. Complete with a submerged shoreline that is flanked by trees, you will feel like you are in a blue-hued tropical forest, not at the bottom of the sea.
As long as you’re in Yucatan, make sure to visit Cenote Dzitnup as well, a stunning blue-water sinkhole which provides tourists with one of the most unique landscapes they could imagine. And for a walk around a beautiful national park, there are always the beautiful Marieta Islands with their mysterious rocky coves hidden from the plain eye.
Up to this point, we have established that the country of Mexico is one ripe with wonders of nature. Its sultry beaches and lush sights, combined with a rich history, make it one of the most colorful lands to visit. Nevertheless, its urban areas aren’t to be ignored either. In fact, Mexican cities are stunningly architectural and picturesque alike, starting with the capital.
Mexico City, as previously mentioned, lies on top of the last remnants of Aztec civilization. The architects behind its development managed to own this cultural baggage and combine with innovative technique, thus creating one of the most interesting cities in the world. If you have any time left over after seeing it all, make sure to pay Guadalajara and Oaxaca a visit as well.
For an authentic experience, make San Miguel de Allende your final stop. This gem of the UNESCO patrimony is home to one of the most fascinating tequila companies in the country. When you add its colonial-era design that is inspired by Spanish baroque, the result is surely a tempting one for any tourist looking for a new experience.
Delicious Food and Drink
No visit to a foreign land can truly be complete without experiencing a taste of the local cuisine. Although North Americans and Europeans might think they are accustomed to Mexican dishes thanks to fast food restaurant chains such as Taco Bell, that would be like saying you’ve taken a culinary tour of the Southern states after eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken in Delaware.
If you want to savor the true tacos, you simply must eat at a taqueria while in Mexico. This is a restaurant that specializes in the dish, and some of the most widely enjoyed varieties are either carnitas with slow-cooked pork, or the Lebanese-inspired tacos al pastor. Or, if you are feeling adventurous in the morning, try a guisado-style taco.
Speaking of Mexican breakfast foods, you will also want to try the huevos rancheros, which basically translates to ‘ranch eggs’. It is a simple dish consisting of fried eggs on top of a tortilla and drizzled with deliciously tangy salsa. They are served alongside other regional staples, such as avocados, rice, or refried beans.
For fans of the traditional stuffed pepper dish, Mexico offers chiles en nogada. They are a variation on the Western recipe consisting of poblano chilis that have been stuffed to the brim with picadillo, a mixture of meat, spices, and fruit. The whole thing is topped off with a delicious cream-based walnut sauce known as nogada.
When you want something a bit more hearty and rich, a stew is the perfect choice. The national dish of Mexico is mole poblano, a thick sauce made with as many as 20 ingredients, including dark chocolate and chili peppers. Chicken is usually cooked in it, and it is served at weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions.
And, of course, if you want to get your drink on, there’s more to the country than just tequila. Try some pulque, the drink of the Aztec gods. Or, if you want something non-alcoholic that is still authentic, try tejuino. Although it is made from fermented corn, the alcohol content is so low, you won’t even feel it.
The Bottom Line
Mexico is the country of paradox. It has affordable healthcare that is high quality, rivers that flow underneath the ocean, and progressive cities surrounded by the ruins of old. It is a beautiful contrast between all the different facets of life, which makes it the perfect holiday destination for anyone in search of inimitable experiences.