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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The Hotel Casa del Balam is one of the oldest family-owned hotels in Merida, known as the "grandmother" of all hotels, located in the historical part of Merida.
The 51 rooms are spacious with central air conditioning, telephone, cable TV, hair dryer and en-suite with either 1 queen or 2 double beds. The hotel has a restaurant, is traditionally decorated and furnished with Mexican art and antiques and the main part of the hotel is centred round a lovely plant-filled courtyard, small pool and fountain..
Built more than 450 years ago on the site of T'ho, an ancient Mayan city, Mérida is the social and economic centre, as well as the capital, of the state of Yucatán.
Our rating: Medium
Merida & Around
Include a stay at Casa del Balam on your tailor-made trip around Mexico by contacting one of our specialists...
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