Mexico is the land of breathtakingly beautiful white sand beaches and beautiful nature. It also has a very interesting culture to discover. You can still find many ruins of the Aztec/Maya and the colonization during the Spanish conquest. As a result, you will find a wonderful mix of Mexican culture and Spanish traditions in Mexico. The stereotype of Mexico is the beaches, but this fanatic country has so much more to offer. We have created this Mexico travel guide to help you plan your trip through Mexico.
Important information of Mexico
Mexico in a nutshell: From beautiful beaches to untouched nature and from authentic colonial villages to Mayan temples, there is much to discover in Mexico. The Mexican food, the nice picturesque village squares, and the people make Mexico a top destination.
Most popular destinations in Mexico:
- Mexico City: this is the capital of Mexico, where you can find the best museums in Mexico. Most travelers don’t come here because they usually fly to Cancun.
- Cancun: This is the capital of the Yucatan province, Mexico’s most popular province among travelers. Cancun is often skipped, however, it has a lot of fun things to offer.
- Tulum: a village that has become one of Mexico’s most popular destinations. You will find beautiful beaches and a beautiful Mayan complex here.
- Isla Holbox: many people don’t know Isla Holbox yet, but this is an island where you can really find peace. You can hike for hours on the beach without meeting anyone.
- Chichen Itza: When you think of Mexico, you probably immediately think of Chichen Itza. This is a complex that you want to see. It is one of the seven wonders of the world. The best way to visit Chichen Itza is from Valladolid.
- Bacalar: In the south of Yucatan lies Bacalar, a village situated on a beautiful lake. It is becoming more and more popular here, not surprising when you consider that this is the smaller brother of the Maldives.
Currency in Mexico: Mexico Peso | 2021 exchange rate: 100 MXN = €4.17 / $4.96
Tipping in Mexico: Usually, you give a tip in a restaurant, most of the time this is stated on the bill. On average this is 10% to 20% of the total amount. It isn’t mandatory to pay. Other tips are not “mandatory” anywhere.
Language in Mexico: Spanish
Religion and Culture: The vast majority, about 80%, in Mexico is Catholic. Other denominations are pre-Inca beliefs, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhism.
Transport in Mexico: The best method to transport yourself is by plane, car, bus, taxi, or tuk-tuk. Depending on the distance, each type has a preference. The most common and most comfortable way is to travel by bus. In this article, you can read in detail how to best travel with the bus in Mexico. If you are planning a road trip through Mexico you can read more about this via the link.
Tip: all tickets can be booked in advance via BookaWay. If you prefer to buy everything in advance, you can use the link.
Best time to visit Mexico
Mexico has two climates, namely the dry season (November to May) and the rainy season (June to October). In theory, this means that the rainy season is the worst time to travel through Mexico. We ourselves traveled in Mexico during the rainy season in July and found this perfect! In terms of rain, it was anything but disappointing. So don’t be put off by the rainy season. In our opinion, Mexico is great to visit all year round. The advantage is that in the rainy season it is quieter compared to the dry season. Prices are significantly higher between November and May, especially in March and April during the holiday periods in America.
Is Mexico safe to travel?
Mexico is generally safe to travel despite having a high crime rate in some areas. For example, markets, airports, and other busy places are attractions for pickpockets. So be well prepared and use your common sense to avoid unpleasant situations. Also, remember that more than 10 million people visit Mexico every year, and many experience this without any problems.
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Best things to do in Mexico
In Mexico, you can find many ancient ruins. The most popular complex to visit in Mexico is Chichen Itza. This is not surprising, because it is one of the seven wonders of the world. Other popular complexes are Uxmal, Teotihuacan, Palanque and Mitla.
Colonial towns and villages
The colonial towns and villages are great to visit in Mexico. Here you can clearly see the Spanish influences. The buildings are beautiful to see, sometimes it feels as if you are on a movie set. A nice place to visit is, for example, Valladolid.
When you think of Mexico you probably don’t immediately think of museums. Still, Mexico has a couple of great museums. The best museums can be found in the capital of Mexico. For example, Museo Nacional de Antropologia is a must to visit. In this museum, you can see the best pre-Inca collection in Mexico. Another recommendation is MUSA in Cancun. This is an underwater museum where you can see the best collection of items found underwater.
Cooking class in Mexico
Do you prefer Mexican food? If so, there is nothing more fun than cooking under supervision to learn how to cook real Mexican. The best way to do this is by taking a cooking class. Usually, you visit a market during a cooking class and buy the ingredients that you will prepare later. Very educational and above all a lot of fun to do.
Discover the beautiful nature
You can visit many beautiful beaches in Mexico, cenotes and nature parks. You can also spot animals that you normally only see in the zoo. For us personally, a highlight was swimming with whale sharks. If you want to know more, you must visit Isla Holbox. In our article, you can read all the information about the swim with whale sharks in Isla Holbox.
Best Travel Itinerary for Mexico
When traveling to Mexico you need an itinerary that you can follow during your trip. Most people have an average of 3 weeks to discover Mexico. So it is impossible to see everything in Mexico. You would be wise to choose a certain part in advance that you want to discover. We recommend traveling to the Yucatan province for the first time. This province is ideal for every type of traveler. In Yucatan, you can do a lot of different things. We have traveled through Yucatan ourselves and, based on our experience, have created a personal itinerary that you can follow: Mexico itinerary. Here you can read about the best places to visit in Yucatan. If you want more information about a specific destination, you can open its article and read all the detailed information.
Best food in Mexico
The cuisine of Mexico is, in one word, great! During your trip to Mexico, there are many dishes that you can try. We recommend trying at least the following dishes: cochinita pibil, tacos, and mezcal.
Cochinita pibil is a pulled pork prepared by slow cooking in annatto, orange juice, and lime. It is served with some pickled onions on top, giving you an incredible dish. Tacos can be found mainly in the south of Mexico, they are cheap and delicious. Burritos are hard to find in the south because this is a dish from Northern Mexico. Finally, you should have tried Mezcal. This is Tequila’s little sister and definitely worth a try.
Budget type for Mexico
Mexico can be visited by any type of traveler. Whether you are a budget traveler or a middle-class traveler there are plenty of options. In our estimation, these two categories should take into account:
- Budget Traveler: If you are on a tight budget and you pay close attention to what you spend, $35 – $50 a day may be enough.
- Mid-range traveler: if you want it a bit more luxurious, where you do a few more expensive activities or stay in nicer accommodations, plan a budget of $50 – $100 per day.
Now you want to know more about how much it costs to travel through Mexico and how much, in particular, it costs to travel through the province of Yucatan you can read this article for all the detailed information: Mexico trip cost. For each cost category, it is explained in detail what the costs consist of and how you can save on them. You can also read how much our trip cost.
Where to stay in Mexico
In Mexico, you can spend the night from very cheap to extremely luxurious. A nice hostel in a village or a bungalow on the beach it’s all possible in Mexico. Searching for the best accommodations often takes a lot of time and energy. To help you, we wrote an article on basis of our Mexico itinerary where we give accommodation recommendations for each destination. If you are smart you book the accommodations directly to ensure yourself a place. For more information, see this article: best places to stay in Mexico.
What to pack for Mexico
Depending on what kind of trip you are going to make, you need to adjust your packing list accordingly. Our most important tip: take as little stuff as possible with you. We recommend the packing list below:
- Swim and normal clothes (pack as light as possible, work with layers)
- 1 pair of good walking shoes, 1 pair of slippers
- Toiletry bag with stuff
- Mosquito spray
- Sun protection
- Crazycap (UV water bottle)
- Personal items
Other tips Mexico travel guide
- Make sure you have the correct vaccinations. Contact your own doctor for more information.
- Try to arrange everything yourself and don’t do an organized trip. This saves you a lot of money and you keep your flexibility during the trip. There is nothing more fun than going on an adventure yourself.
- Pay as much as possible with cash (withdraw money at the banks). Also, bring a credit card should something happen to your normal bank card.
- Enjoy your holiday and let yourself be surprised! Mexico is a fantastic country to discover;
- Great way to discover Mexico is to move to Mexico and take more time to explore this awesome country.
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