Mexico, a country of extremes, is without a doubt one of the most interesting destinations of Latin America you'll ever visit. Found in southern North America and commonly identified with central and South America, Mexico has long been stereotyped as a "poor" country where things move slowly; where its land is desert-like and roaming with cacti, chickens and reptiles; or where its people wearing sombreros either laze the day away due to humidity or are having big fiestas.
Although it is still a developing country, Mexico is in actual fact a political and economic giant profiting greatly from its richness in mineral resources such as iron ore, silver, gold, coal and much more. It's a nation of hard-working farmers, artisans and labourers of major factories of mass production. Mexico is also one of the most biodiverse countries in the world after Indonesia, Brazil and Columbia offering everything from jungles as in Chiapas, Palenque, Belize or Quintana Roo to huge mountain ranges such as Western Sierra Madre and Eastern Sierra Madre. Volcanoes, beaches, rare animal species and flora add to Mexico's biodiversity too.
Its long and rich history has decorated the country with splendid ancient structures, many of which are listed as part of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites thus stamping its importance in the tourism sector. You simply can't go wrong when choosing Mexico for your next holiday venture. Prepare yourself to be stunned at just how little you knew of the country and how much beauty and secrets it has tucked away within it.
Mexico is bordered by the United States in the north, Guatemala and Belize in the south, the Pacific Ocean at its west and the Gulf of Mexico in the east. Dominated by three main groups, Mexico's population is over 105 million where the majority of people live in urban areas such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Ciudad Juárez, Leon and Tijuana. People of Spanish descent, Native Americans and a mixture of both are what mainly compose the country's inhabitants. The balance between poverty and wealth is extremely disproportionate so don't be surprised to find both existing beside one other. Mexico City, the country's capital, largest city and most populous city of the world, is a perfect example of this imbalance. Whilst containing some of the most poverty-stricken communities in Mexico, it is also a flourishing industrial town and the country's chief financial, cultural and historical centre attracting millions of tourists and business venturers each year. The capital is most famous for its wide-open plazas such as Zócalo, or Plaza of the Constitution which is a definite must-visit.
There is so much to discover in this country of mystic attractions. Hidden away in places at times hard to reach are the reminders and ruins of some of the world's earliest and advanced civilizations of the western hemisphere such as the Olmec, the Maya, the Aztec and the Toltec people. Each civilization left behind fascinating mosaics, artefacts and phenomenal structures which have and continue to intrigue archaeologists trying to unlock the secrets behind them. When looking upon some of the many colossal pyramids of these ancient civilizations such as at Teotihuacan, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, one cannot help but think that some kind of supernatural power was needed to construct them. The most iconic of Mexico's UNESCO World Heritage Sites is the spiritual Mayan pyramid in Yucatán, Chichén Itzá, which is at the same time one of the Seven Wonders of the World!
One of Mexico's top destinations is the Riviera Maya located in eastern Yucatán due to its Caribbean-like features. An average annual temperature of 24ºc, several majestic beaches and islands, and an eco-friendly environment is the reason why this area is popular with the tourists. It is literally perfect for a number of holiday types not to mention the ultimate romantic getaway. The activities you can do here are plenty from adventuring through the nearby jungle to spoiling yourself rotten in a Spa. Diving down into the Caribbean waters which brush this part of Mexico's coastline is also a top chosen activity which gives you the unique opportunity of swimming through the world's second largest coral reef; another Mexican treasure you may not have been aware of.
Mexico's culture is very complex having been influenced over centuries by European settlers, Spaniards and the Native Americans. Everything from architecture to music, dance, art, literature and food has been influenced in some way and has created a spectrum of symbols instantly recognised as part of Mexican culture. The Mariachi is probably the most symbolic type of Mexican folk music. Antonio Banderas' representation of a sensual Mariachi that is a master of the Spanish Guitar in the movie Desperado is a classic example of this Mexican tradition. Frida Kahlo is one of Mexico's most celebrated female artists whose motifs and fantastical paintings portrayed national and indigenous traditions as well as depicting the typical Mexican female and form. Food also plays a huge role in the country's culture. Mexican cuisine has been strongly influenced by colonial eras over centuries whereby new cooking methods were introduced along with new food elements. Food is the main highlight of most Mexican events and festivals too. Chili-peppers, corn, Tacos, Tortillas and Guacamole are greatly symbolic of Mexican cuisine and something you must try during your holiday.
Containing collections of Mexico's history are the various museums spread out around the country. Check out famous attractions such the National Historical Museum in Chapultepec Castle or the National Museum of Anthropology featuring Mayan and Aztec archaeological artefacts and findings. There are also places like the National Institute of Anthropology and History, the Frida Kahlo Museum, the Museum of the City of Mexico, the Museo de Arte Moderno and the Museo Soumaya which will make for entertaining attractions. For lovers of architecture the Mexico's capital holds some of the most glorious structures of the country such as Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, Torre Latinoamericana, Torre Mayor, the National Palace and the Monumento a la Revolución.
There are so many reasons to travel to Mexico! It's the most vibrant, colourful and hot country of the North American continent; in every sense of the word! You'll be well taken care of in this captivating country with organised tours and excursions whether you want to pass through cities or trek through a dense jungle or rainforest. Make sure to book your accommodation in a place that is convenient and close to Mexico's economic transport systems so that you can see as much of what Mexico has to offer as possible during your stay.