Mexico, Xcaret, Lagoon, Rock formation in the sea

Mexico

Mexico is the southern most country in North America, bordering the United States to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the southeast. It has 6000 miles of shoreline, as it has coasts on the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean. Mexico has very warm weather, unique food, breathtaking architecture, beautiful beaches, plenty of golf courses, historical ruins, and excellent fishing, and as such has become a very popular tourist destination

Getting Around

Smiling women with sombreros and maracas

Smiling women with sombreros and maracas

The best roads in the country are toll roads, thanks in large part to a government scheme to create infrastructure in the 1990s. These roads can be expensive, but they are in much better condition. If you choose to drive yourself, be aware that U.S. vehicle insurance is not valid in Mexico. Although having Mexican auto insurance is not required, it is strongly recommended to avoid any potential jail time due to an accident. While driving on Mexican roads, especially near the borders, you will most likely encounter numerous checkpoints, where you will be stopped and searched by the Mexican Army. If you treat the soldiers with respect and do what they tell you, you will be fine. If you decide to travel by bus, take the express buses, or directo, for a comfortable and speedy trip. In a city, however, the public transportation is chaotic to say the least. Small buses called “peseros” are used, and the route they take will be written on a cardboard sign and placed on the windshield. It is up to you to signal the bus to stop for either pick up or drop off. In rural areas, hitchhiking has again become popular, and the Mexican culture is very accepting of hitchhikers. It is not advisable to hitchhike near big cities, however, for security reasons.

Things to See & Do

Cancun aerial view

Cancun aerial view

An absolute must do while in Mexico is the Mayan Riviera Diving. The Mayan Riviera and Cancun are famous among diving circles. While diving, you will experience swirling schools of barracudas, sea turtles, and millions of colourful reef fish. Other things to do include: surfing in Baja California, Oaxaca, Vallarta; sea kayaking and Snorkelling in Baja California; whale watching in Guerrero Negro and Baja California; visiting a volcano; experiencing the beautiful coast line and beaches of Oaxaca; touring various archaeological sites found in Tulum, Chichen Itza, Coba, Monte Alban, Palenque, and Calakmul; searching through Aztec and Mayan ruins; and viewing cave paintings, which also can be found in Baja California.

Chichen-Itza, Castillo

Chichen-Itza, Castillo

Food & Drink

Mexican Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Mexican Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Mexican cuisine is a collection of numerous regional cuisines, divided into four major categories: 1) Northern, which is mostly meat dishes, like beef and goat, and maintains Mexican flavour but has an international influence, mainly American; 2) Central, which is mostly corn-based dishes with various spices; 3) South-eastern, which is known for its spicy chicken-based dishes with a Caribbean influence; and 4) the Coast, which is heavily composed of seafood. Traditional Mexican food is very spicy. Food carts can be found all over the streets of Mexico, although hygienic practices at these carts are not always reliable, so proceed with caution. To measure the quality of the food at a place, look at the crowds. Do not eat at empty restaurants; go to popular places, which are definitely worth the wait. For drinking, tap water is not recommended, but bottled water is offered at most tourist attractions and in supermarkets. Absinth is legal in Mexico, while tequila is a popular hard drink. Some classic Mexican beers are Corona, Does Equis, Tecate, and Superior. Most light Mexican beers are served with salt and a lime. For non alcoholic beverages, soda is readily available, and there is excellent coffee offered throughout the country.