5 Reasons To Visit Mexico: A Tourist’s Guide

Mexico is one of the most popular countries for tourists in the southern part of North America. Officially called the United Mexican States, it’s the 14th largest country in the world, with over 60 spoken languages — including, of course, Spanish.

Mexico is worth visiting for the great food, archeological sites, beaches, and unique celebrations. Because of its diverse attractions, Mexico is one of the ten most visited nations in the world. 

If you’re planning a visit to Mexico, this article will help you plot your next unforgettable adventure. 

5 Reasons Why Mexico Is Worth Visiting

1. Great Food

Mexico is known for its delectable cuisine. Some of the world’s favorite snacks originated from this country. In 2010, UNESCO included Mexican food in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List. 

When you think of Mexico, you may think of:

  • Tacos: This traditional Mexican dish is made of corn or wheat tortillas filled with meat, vegetables, and salsa.
  • Guacamole: Believed to have originated from the Aztecs of Mexico, this tasty dip is made from mashed avocados and spices. It’s a popular add-on to salads, bread, and even soup. 
  • Burrito: In 1910, a Mexican street vendor, Juan Mendez, used wheat tortillas to wrap his food and keep it warm for transport. Realizing it was a great and delicious way to serve the food he sells, he kept making it, and the rest is history.
  • Nachos: Derived from the name of its inventor, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, nachos were a dish originally made for a group of women believed to be US military wives. Anaya was working at a restaurant when these women came and requested a snack. No chef was available then, so instead of turning the customers away, he crafted a delectable dish on the spot using tortilla chips and whatever ingredients he could find.
  • Chocolates: You probably didn’t know that Mexico is the birthplace of the world’s favorite sweet snack. This is where humans found the first cacao plants, from which chocolates are made.

There are so many other culinary breakthroughs that originated in Mexico, such as fajitas, enchiladas, and chilaquiles, to mention a few. Mexico is indeed a gastronomic destination!

2. Archeological Sites

Mexico was inhabited by several civilizations, each one leaving remarkable remnants of its existence. The Aztecs and the Mayans are two of the most well-known of these.

Here are some of their fascinating relics:

  • Chichen Itza: Also called the Mayan Metropolis and part of the Seven Wonders of the World, this site lies on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico’s renowned archeological zone. It’s where the El Castilo (Pyramid of Kukulkan) and El Caracol are located.
  • Palenque: This Mayan city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason. It’s the political center of the old civilization. It has astonishing structures such as The Palace, Temple of the Crosses, Temple of Inscriptions, Temple of the Sun, Temple XIII (The Tomb of the Red Queen), and many other fascinating temples and pyramids.
  • Uxmal: This ancient city, also in the Yucatan State, is considered the most important in the Mayan civilization. It’s where the Pyramid of the Magician, the Governor’s Palace, and the Nunnery lie.
  • El Tajín: This city hosts the most extensive and best-preserved Aztec structures. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage and is taken care of by the INAH or the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

3. Scenic Beaches

Mexico isn’t just about history and culture. The country boasts pristine, exquisite beaches and resort cities to take your breath away.

  • Playa Palancar: If your budget is tight but still want to enjoy the sand and sea, Playa Palancar in Isla Cozumel offers free access to tourists and locals, in contrast to the usual beach clubs with expensive entrance and membership fees.
  • Playa Mia Grand Beach Resort: One of Cozumel’s more exclusive resorts, this one offers a magnificent shoreline and lots of activities. You can choose between snorkeling, parasailing, waterbikes, and water slides, or even drink at their swim-up open bar within their large swimming pool.
  • Playa El Cielo: Also known as El Cielo, this is one of the highest-rated resorts in Cozumel. It boasts warm, crystal-clear waters with powdered white sand and spacious shorelines. The place lives up to its name, “Cielo,” which translates to “heaven” or “paradise.” El Cielo is undeniably one of the best beaches in Mexico.
  • Cabo San Lucas: Cozumel isn’t the only island that offers beautiful beaches in Mexico. Cabo San Lucas, or simply Cabo, is a resort city where the famous Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amor) and the Land’s End (El Arco) can be found. If you’re into whale watching, Cabo is the best place, as migratory whales regularly make their appearance here.
  • City of Cancun: Maroma Beach or Playa Maroma in Riviera Maya is a top destination because of its clear waters. One of its unique attractions is the camel ride by the beach. 

4. Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a popular festivity celebrating Mexicos’ victory over imperial France in 1862 during the Battle of Puebla. It’s often confused with the country’s Independence Day, but Cinco de Mayo is an entirely different event.

Although the 5th of May isn’t declared a national holiday in Mexico, most places would commemorate the feast with Mariachi, which is played by a group of musicians with assorted instruments.

Mariachi was declared by UNESCO an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011. Alongside music and merrymaking is a grand feast of Mexico’s finest and most delectable refreshments.

5. Día De Los Muertos

One of Mexico’s unique celebrations is the Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). In most parts of the world, this occasion is observed peacefully and solemnly. However, the Day of the Dead in Mexico is commemorated rather uniquely.

Every November 1 and 2, family members create ofrendas (altars) with offerings for their departed loved ones. By doing so, the latter can join the festive celebrations during those two days. The ofrendas are covered with offerings to the departed, intended to celebrate the unity of the living and the dead.