Reasons to Visit
Mexico is an historian’s paradise with an abundance of ancient sites from Olmec to Zapotec to Mayan at every turn. Added to the excitement of being able to transport you back in time to when these cities were teeming with life, the setting of these magnificent ruins is an attraction in itself, whether it is being engulfed in jungle surrounded by the howls of monkeys or atop a plateau with a magnificent view.
Mexico’s Mayan Riviera is famous for its white sand beaches and turquoise sea, perfect for relaxing, and we have some wonderful hideaways to recommend. The Pacific coast and the Baja peninsula are also well-known for their beaches, rolling surf and dramatic coastline. Less visited by the British, we have researched a fantastic selection of hotels here from boutique, activity based, friendly eco-lodge or plush resort-style.
You will find some of the best preserved examples of colonial history throughout many of Mexico’s cities. They not only retain some beautiful classic architecture but something of their historical soul which has been incorporated into modern bustling lives. They are a delight to simply wander round, or to shop, browse markets, sit in cafes, absorb local life and visit museums.
On the 1st of November, Mexico celebrates its 'Day of the Dead', a colourful synergy of ancient cultures and Catholicism, involving decorated skulls, candles, banners and parades. Celebrations take place across the country but there's something particularly enchanting about experiencing this tradition in the colonial towns and it's well worth timing your visit to coincide with these festivities.
Mexican food varies tremendously by region due to climate, geography and the degree of Spanish influence. Absolutely delicious, it suits all tastes, from fresh ceviche to sizzling steak to the more traditional tortillas, frijoles (beans) and guacamole. For the more adventurous, dishes such as spicy mole sauce (a combination of chocolate and chilli) or Chiles Rellenos (chillis stuffed with meat) work perfectly. All washed down with a swift tequila or an ice-cold Corona!
Whether it be visiting the colourful market towns around Oaxaca, the bustling colonial cities, the Indian highland villages of Chiapas or the harsh mountain communities of the Tarahumara around the Copper Canyon you will experience a diverse range of fascinating cultures during a trip to Mexico.
The Sea of Cortez and Baja California is fast becoming known as 'Mexico's Galapagos'. Best experienced by a wilderness focused adventure cruise this remarkable area is prolific with whales and dolphins and other wildlife during November-April.
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Our Mexico specialists are experienced and passionate about the country - between them they have spent many weeks a year researching new experiences and ensuring everything is of the highest standard. They know Mexico inside out.
ClaireMexico Specialist01993 838 602
LizzieMexico Specialist01993 838 616
Rebecca AMexico Specialist01993 838 621
RichardMexico Specialist01993 838 624
CarolynMexico Specialist01993 838 641
We specialise in tailor-made, cultural and natural Mexico rather than the all-inclusive package holidays that parts of the country are well-known for.
Indeed, avoiding mass tourism is a key part of our ethos in Mexico. Where possible we use smaller, more authentic accommodation, and aim to get you to the main sites before the crowds arrive.
Our guides’ knowledge is unsurpassed and our specialists have researched the best routes to travel around the country. We suggest a chauffeur-guide rather than self-drive as Mexican roads can be hazardous and because of its sheer size we often suggest internal flights where appropriate.
We recommend you do not try to cover the whole country in one visit but rather focus on a few areas, taking the time to absorb the culture and atmosphere.
The visitor infrastructure in parts of the country is well-developed with good service, first class road networks and high accommodation standards but in other areas the opposite is true.
Mexico's official language is Spanish. English is spoken in much of the tourist industry but having a few choice phrases of Spanish will always be useful especially in more rural areas. In some of the highland areas and on the Yucatan Peninsula you will also hear the indigenous languages spoken.
Mexico is world renowned for its cuisine so make the most of it while you are over there! You will find that the food varies greatly from region to region; the food from Puebla 'comida poblana' is particularly recommended and in particular its 'mole' or chocolate and chile sauce. Most meals are served with tortillas, frijoles (fried beans) and a range of salsas. Try some of Mexico's national beers, tequilas and of course its coffee which is tasty but often served weak.
Many of the indigenous population, especially in the high land areas do not like having their photos taken so please be sensitive to this.
Tipping for good service is an accepted fact. It is common to be expected to tip the service you receive whilst eating in a restaurant also. A tip of around 10% is acceptable for good service.
The currency in Mexico is the peso. The sign $' in Mexico generally refers to the peso so prices quoted in US dollars should be written US$5 to avoid confusion. Credit cards are accepted in most places but having a supply of local currency in more rural areas is a good idea. Pesos can be bought in the UK. Alternatively US dollars are the easiest currency to change once in Mexico.
'Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo' by Hayden Herrera. A fantastic read, evocative and emotional with larger than life characters.
Los Lobos are a popular group but traditional music really depends on the part of the country you're in. The north is famous for its 'ranchero' music, popular amongst Mexico's cowboy population. Salsa and cumbia are also widely listened to.
'Y tu Mama Tambien' is a bittersweet road-movie with some stunning scenery.
You'll have to look hard to find a chilli con carne which is really a western dish but keep an eye out for Puebla's famous molé sauce made with chocolate and chillis as well as the many varieties of egg dishes which are so popular for breakfast.
Tequila and margaritas.
Beach, colonial cities, ancient civilisations.
Hammocks especially in the Yucatan, silver around the Taxco area, handicrafts and weavings from all over the country.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Mexico by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in MexicoWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCosta RicaCubaGuatemalaHondurasNicaraguaPanama
Condé Nast Favourite Specialist Tour Operator 2010
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