Mexico has long been a favourite holiday choice for North Americans, and is now becoming increasingly popular with travellers from all over the world, especially Europe. The country certainly has all the usual attractions in abundance -- endless sunshine, beautiful beaches, amazing scenery, as well as an astonishingly rich history and heritage -- but it's more than this that keeps people coming back. From the moment you arrive, you are gripped by the colourful culture which pervades every aspect of life, a unique mix of indigenous traditions with Spanish colonial influences, showing itself in everything from the country's vibrant dance and music to the amazingly varied culinary creations.
Featured Mexico Hotels
Boasting year-round sun and world-renowned all-inclusive resorts, a trip to Mexico presents itself as the ideal hot holiday destination. Many choose Mexico when booking a beach-based getaway due to its range of coastlines bordering four different water masses – the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of California, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, such coastlines have produced an array of beaches sun seekers can choose from, some of which featuring striking black sand due to their volcano proximity.
Although described as one of the world’s best beach destinations, not all Mexican adventures are beach bound. Its diverse terrain makes it almost impossible to generalize but incredibly fascinating to visit. From the sweeping coastlines of the Baja California peninsula and picturesque beaches of the Gulf coast, to the expansive desert land of the northern region. This diversity continues in the central area where lakes and ancient villages are surrounded by a patchwork of green forested mountains teaming with natural beauty and wildlife. For the adventure enthusiast of the group, Mexico offers perfect trekking terrain, volcanos to climb, and an abundance of adrenaline inducing activities when holidaying in the Mexican countryside.
Culture is far from limited in the more built-up towns and cities of Mexico, making it a fascinating city-break destination. Find architectural masterpieces in the Zcalo, such as the 17th century Metropolitan Cathedral and the remains of the Great Pyramid. Venture to Guadalajara for colonial Spanish architecture or head out of Mexico City to the ancient city of Teotihuacan, home to the pre-Columbian pyramids. For holidaymakers dreaming of beach, city, and everything in between – Mexico should most certainly be on the cards.
Currency: Mexican Peso
Time Difference: GMT - 5 hours
Flight Time From UK: Approximately 11 hours
Weather: Temperatures ranging from 6°C - 27°C
Language: Spanish, with English widely spoken
Dialling Code: +52
When to Visit
Much like the terrain, due to the country having both a Pacific and Caribbean coast, with varying landscapes and a span of 2000 miles between them – Mexico’s climate is largely diverse. Weather is determined by both latitude and altitude, so expect tropical forest but also snow-capped mountains. The temperature generally increases from North to South with the South having a purely tropical climate. It tends to be dry most of the year on the west coast and northern highlands, with small amounts of rain in the mountainous regions and more so in the southern areas. Coastal areas benefit from a generally warm climate all-year-round, however, the summer months bring the rainy season in Mexico and therefore many avoid travelling from May through to September. Although, rain is not guaranteed, and it generally only falls late afternoon so do not be discouraged from booking during this period as you can often find fantastic hotel deals and expect to see luscious landscape opposed to parched ground. The best time to visit Mexico is during the moderate seasons of autumn and spring, Baja California provides the perfect sunbathing destination late spring/early summer, whilst the southern region has warm winters that are absent from rain and past hurricane season (June - November). So, if it's winter sun you seek, visit the tropical south of Mexico between December and February or if it's a spring getaway, visit Mexico City or the northern region.
Where to Stay in Mexico
The Caribbean Coast known as the Mayan Riviera is the most popular tourist destination, with Cancun as the poster location for white-sand beaches and vibrant nightlife. It’s magnificent shopping malls, fiesta reputation and gourmet cuisine, luxury beaches and party capital status make it a hugely attractive location for those looking for fun in the sun. Playa Forum is one of Cancun’s most famous beaches, lined with an array of bustling bars and beach clubs one side, and the beautiful azure the other – the perfect party destination. Although Cancun may be full of modernity, it’s also home to a fair amount of culture and adventure. Take a day trip to Chichen Itza and visit the ancient Mayan Temple of Warriors in El Castillo, a city dating back to around 600 AD, or visit the colossal stepped Pyramid of Kukulcan. Alternatively, animal lovers will not want to miss a trip to Tortuga Granja turtle sanctuary, or Isla Holbox – it’s water’s saturated with marine wildlife, flamingos, penguins and even whale sharks!
Our range of Cancun based hotels offer luxury, entertainment and adventure at the best price, some of our favourites include Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort for its sheer extravagance and Secrets The Vine for its beachfront location.
Many visitors to Mexico head to the scenic Pacific coast, attracted by the rocky cliffs and hidden coves, backed by forested mountains to the north, and jungle-fringed lagoons to the south. One of the most popular destinations is the coastal city of Puerto Vallarta, a playground for America's social elite since the 1960s, and now increasingly sought after for its charm and character. As well as the old town, with cobbled streets fanning out from the colonial-style plaza overlooking ocean-front boulevards, there is the thriving Zona Romantica, full of delightful art galleries and upmarket craft boutiques.
Things to do in Mexico
Adventure and Ecotourism
• Hike the Iztaccihuatl Volcano – otherwise known as the “sleeping lady” due to its mountain peaks resembling a woman laying on her back. This dormant volcano provides the 3rd highest vantage point in Mexico in which the summit can be reached in a three-day hike. Alternatively, day hikes are available providing great views of the Mexico Valley and the still-active Popocatepetl volcano.
• Diving in the Sea of Cortez – either snorkelling or deep-sea diving in the Sea of Cortez will guarantee an abundance of up-close and personal marine life. Often referred to as the world’s aquarium divers will find themselves surrounded by sea lions, whale sharks, manta, mobula rays, dolphins, and huge schools of fish.
• Ride the Chihuahua al Pacifico – one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, a 405-mile-long track connecting Chihuahua and Los Mochis. This railway line is seen as an engineering masterpiece, taking 90 years to complete and showcases a variety of marvels from start to finish.
There are so far 193 archaeological sites dotted throughout the country 35 of which hold World Heritage Site Status; so, for those wishing to fulfil their culture cravings, Mexico has an incredibly attractive offering.
• National Museum of Anthropology – located in Mexico City, the National Museum of Anthropology is known for its world-famous collection of over 600,000 art pieces and objects related to Mexico, many items dating back to the pre-Hispanic period. For those after an authentic sense of Mexican culture, this is a must-visit attraction.
• Underwater Museum of Art – This attraction defines the intersection between activity and culture, dive or snorkel and take in the gallery of Punta Nizuc and understand Elier Amado Gil – where six figures sit facing a table with a stone on top. Alternatively, opt for an above-water viewing stance floating on a glass bottomed boat above the attraction.
• Historic Center of Mexico City – travel back as far as the Aztec era when you visit the Historic Center of Mexico City, the Centro Historico. Here visitors will find a collection of Museums such as the Museo Del Palacio de Bellas Artes as well as the Metropolitan Cathedral. Take a day to absorb Mexican heritage and culture as well as fantastic food from an array of street vendors and high-end restaurants.
Mexican has long been one of the most popular cuisines in western society and one of the reasons the country is such a popular holiday destination. A traditional breakfast dish is that of chilaquiles, similar to nachos with the combination of salsa and tortillas, however it features either scrambled or fried egg, pulled chicken, cheese and cream. Unsurprisingly the popular dishes such as tacos, tostadas, enchiladas etc. are in abundance when you visit their country of origin, however a less mainstream dish is the pre-Hispanic soup named Pozole: according to anthropologists this dish was often used as part of ritual sacrifices and is traditionally stewed for hours or even overnight. Guacamole is without a doubt one of Mexico’s most popular accompaniments and the recent popularity rise of the avocado led us to believe it to be a modern addition to the cuisine, however, it is said guac is a traditional sauce dating back to the time of the Aztecs and therefor an authentic Mexican food stuff.
Of course, it is not all about food in Mexican cuisine, the country is known for some incredibly iconic beverages including Tequila, well known in many countries, loved and hated but always the liquor of choice in Mexico. The Margarita cocktail is another world-wide classic that originated from Mexico and much like tequila is traditionally served with salt on the rim of the glass and a lime.