Mexico Print E-mail

Marvelling at a 1300-year-old Maya palace at Palenque as parrots screech and howler monkeys growl in the sweaty emerald jungle around you. This is Mexico. Sliding from a palm-fringed sandy beach into the warm, turquoise waves of the Pacific at Puerto Vallarta. This, too, is Mexico. Dining on salmon enchiladas and chrysanthemum salad at a Mexico City fusion restaurant, dancing through the night at a high-energy Guadalajara nightclub, kayaking at dawn past a colony of Baja California sea lions – all these are unique Mexican experiences.

Every visitor goes home with their own unforgettable images. Such a large country, straddling temperate and tropical zones, reaching 5km into the sky and stretching 10, 000km along its coasts, with a city of 19 million people at its center and countless tiny pueblos everywhere, can hardly fail to provide a huge variety of options for human adventure. Mexico is what you make of it. Its multi-billion-dollar tourism industry is adept at satisfying those who like their travel easy. But adventure is what you’ll undoubtedly have if you take a just a few steps off the pre-packaged path. Activity-based tourism, community tourism and genuine ecotourism – the type that actually helps conserve local environments – are developing fast in rural areas. The opportunities for getting out to Mexico’s spectacular wild places and interacting with local communities are greater than ever – from world-class canyoneering near Monterrey or cooking lessons in the Veracruz countryside to hiking the Oaxaca cloud forests and snorkeling the coral reefs of the Yucatán.

Mexico’s cities still juxtapose manicured poodles and begging grandmothers, but are increasingly sophisticated places with slick restaurants and coffee houses, ever-better cultural and entertainment offerings, and parks and pedestrian areas where you can escape the grinding, polluting traffic. A hip, bohemian, student-based, artsy scene reveling in Mexico’s thriving music and art currents has emerged in most cities. This creative country is enjoying a deserved resurgence of international acclaim and interest in its art, its movies, its design, its music and its cuisine. Even Mexico’s hotels and inns have jumped aboard the ship of style and design. The country’s lodgings are charming, tasteful and appealing, often designed using combinations of contemporary and traditional styles, and always with that bold use of color in which Mexico has long specialize

Whether this burgeoning of creativity has anything to do with the political changes the country has seen since the dying years of the 20th century may be debated for a long time. Mexico at last threw off eight decades of ‘one-party democracy’ under the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) in 2000, when it voted Vicente Fox of the right-of-center PAN (National Action Party) into the presidency, in the first presidential vote held since the PRI itself had finally reformed the corrupt electoral system.

The Fox presidency disappointed most people on most scores. There are no easy panaceas for the deep-seated economic inequalities between one Mexican and another, and between Mexico and the US, nor to other problems such as the growing might of Mexico’s ruthlessly violent drug gangs. Nevertheless, the Fox era did see an increasing opening and confidence in Mexican society, encouraged by the new regulations on electoral and governmental transparency.

Vicente Fox was succeeded in 2006 by a second PAN president, Felipe Calderón. Whether or not Calderón finds any answers that Fox and the PRI didn’t, one certainty is that Mexicans’ longer-term enduring qualities that contribute so much to the pleasure of visiting their country – their creativity, their warmth, their strong family and community bonds, their refreshingly relaxed pace of life – will outlive his six-year term of office.

Travel Alert: The level of drug-related violence throughout Mexico is a major problem, with the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango and northern Baja California the worst affected. Tourists are not specifically targeted, but any travellers visiting these areas, and in particular the cities of Ciudad Juárez, Nogales and Tijuana s


"Fast Book" your Villa

dateinput  Arrival
dateinput  Departure

Search by country

Last Minute Deals

Visit SigmaWeb!