Mexico shares a border with the United States of America in the north and Belize and Guatemala in the south east. It is a large country, eight times the size of Britain, with clearly defined differences in geography, climate, culture and cuisine. With its mountains and deserts, industrialised cities and ancient ruins of bygone cultures, jungle terrain and national parks, spa resorts and wonderful beaches, Mexico can truly be said to have something for everyone.
Why Go To Mexico?
Mexico is a fascinating country with much to interest holidaymakers. A holiday in Mexico offers a range of contrasts from desert landscapes, snow-topped volcanoes, ancient ruins, busy cities, gently fading colonial towns to excellent holiday resorts and deserted beaches. It is one of the few package holiday destinations where the visitor is able to find lively holiday resorts in beautiful natural surroundings.
Who Is Mexico Popular With?
A Mexico holiday is popular with a wide variety of people. Families with small children enjoy the ‘all in’ holiday packages knowing that the accommodation and the facilities will be first class. Those interested in ancient culture will be amazed at the range of well-preserved historic sites.
When To Go To Mexico?
Mexico offers year round enjoyment although the months between October and May provide the most comfortable climate. Temperatures vary considerably according to the area and the topography of the land. In the south, along the coastal plains, May to September can be hot with high humidity. Inland, the weather is more temperate particularly at higher elevations and from December to February it can be chilly when the wind is from the north.
Mexico - The Place
Mexico has a holiday to suit most tastes. It is so large and varied in topography, climate and culture that satisfaction, whatever you choose, is almost guaranteed. Many people of course go for the beaches with their superb facilities. The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the favourite destinations for beach lovers where they find fine white sand and warm Caribbean waters.
The more energetic holidaymaker can experience hiking or horse riding through jungle terrain, trekking through volcanoes and canyons where the excitement of white water rafting can be encountered.
The pyramid of the Mayans at Uxmal dating from the late seventh century, gives a marvellous view over the jungle for those with a head for heights. The climb is very steep and rises to a height of one hundred and twenty-five feet. The best known ruins are in Chichen Itza which is an enormous Mayan site, once home to thousands of people.
Chihuahua in the central north of Mexico is the starting point of a wonderful train journey to the coast. The line travels through the Copper Canyon and passes some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.
Mexico with its long and colourful history has one of the most diverse cultural heritages in the world. There are well preserved remains of the Aztec, the Mayan and the Toltec cultures. When the Spanish colonised the country in the fourteenth century fine towns and cities were built and many of the buildings have survived to the present day.
Nightlife in the beach resorts is fairly lively with bars and discos along the waterfronts. Many of the large hotels have in-house entertainment often with live shows.
There are many opportunities for shopping in Mexico from the large department stores to the small boutiques. Mexican arts and crafts are noted for their vibrant colours and there is a wide range of textiles and ceramics. Papier mache articles make excellent gifts as, being light in weight, they use little of your baggage allowance. Mexican silver jewellery and leather goods also make popular gifts or holiday mementos. Bartering is expected in the markets but not in the shops.
There is a huge choice of menu in Mexico from the traditional tacos and tortillas to restaurants serving international cuisine. Corn, beans and potatoes are the countries staple ingredients along with chicken and fish. As well as savouring the better known Mexican foods, adventurous palates may like to try an insect dish containing grasshoppers or escamoles (ant lava). Tropical fruit is at its best in Mexico when topped with cucumber and lime and sprinkled with chilli powder.
Local Mexico Customs
Mexicans are fairly informal and there is no dress code when eating out apart from the exclusive restaurants of the large cities.
Service charges are rarely included in the bill and tips make a major contribution to the livelihood of families. Fifteen percent is the usual gratuity.