Fishing is one of the favorite sports among visitors to Mexico for one simple reason: the country is full of beaches, rivers and lakes with a wealth of flora and fauna and an abundant natural beauty for you to enjoy while you are waiting for a bite.
The beauty of Mexico can be experienced in a natural, ecological, and fun manner. Few ways of doing this are better than sleeping right on the firm ground or the soft sands of the beach. Whether on the coasts of the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, the Sea of Cortez, or in one of Mexico’s many national parks, here the conditions and safety is right for a truly pleasurable experience.
Descending steep mountainsides, ravines, or vertical cliffs is a thrilling activity that also puts you in the closest possible contact with nature, provides a workout for your body, and brings with it a sure sensation of bravery, adventure and satisfaction.
This sport requires very lightweight safety equipment, as the important thing is to be and to feel light. However, special ropes made from strong material and of great length are indispensable, as this is how you go about the descent. But this is nothing to worry about, as the specialized agencies who promote and lead this activity all over Mexico will provide what you need.
This extreme sport is one of the most fun, exciting and lively that you can try anywhere in Mexico. It is also, without a doubt, the beach activity of choice for young adventurers. In Mexico it can be practiced at all levels thanks to the variety of the seas, with both powerful and easy waves. The fantastic climate of the coasts and the majestic beauty of its beaches make this country a true paradise for surfers.
Aboard a boat, yacht, or other craft, to experience the extraordinary sight of having nothing but the ocean around you, except perhaps for a few interesting species that hide and leap among the waters. One of the best places for navigation is the Campeche Marina Espacios Nauticos; another is the Blue Water Marina; and finally, the Buccaneers Marina.
Watching the fish swimming by from the surface cannot be compared to immersing yourself in the depths and being guided by them through the seas. Washed by the soft waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and the Sea of Cortez, home to lagoons, rivers, cenotes and lakes, Mexico is an ideal country to go diving.
This is an experience that allows you to feel part of this unique world, and to sense the immensity, beauty and power of the waters that provide life and home to thousands of animals, from tiny fish to great mammals such as whales and orcas, as well as the strange microorganisms that reproduce amongst the plants and coral and which, on occasion, light up the water at night, filling it with extraordinary reflections.
Mexico is a country abounding with natural riches, and its great variety of fauna is no exception. Ecologically-responsible activities, such as hunting in specialized ranches, which encourage reproduction of the species, are at the fore here.
Species such as white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bighorn sheep, wild boar, white dove, Canadian duck, pichichin duck, red deer, guineafowl and ostrich, among others, offer the opportunity to be surrounded by the majesty of natural landscapes that please the eye and provide a greater sense of adventure at the moment of becoming a daring hunter.
There is a thrilling world full of fresh air, beautiful dawns and sunsets, dense vegetation and exciting adventure: the mountains. These heights, which are found all across Mexico along the length of the Western and Eastern Sierra Madre, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, the Mixteco Shield, the Mexican High Plateau, the Sierra Madre del Sur, the ranges of Oaxaca and Chiapas and Baja California – to mention just the most well-known – are the place to which the lovers of the high places converge, seeking the intense satisfaction of conquering the country’s peaks.
Kayaking in Mexico always has surprises in store. Exploring rivers, seas, and lakes this way is both noble and fun. Plus, it leaves no footprints and it is a great way to spend time with the family. A canoe for one or two is all you need to start the adventure. With a helmet and life-jacket and a firm grip on your paddle, you are ready to head out onto the water.
Little by little, with surprising views of the landscape that only the perspective of a kayak can offer, you will make progress, opening a path among the waves that both defy and help you, slipping along in the direction of the wind.
In this country the handicrafts are produced according to the region and the available raw materials. The prime materials used in the production of these world-famous pieces are clay, wrought iron, metal, wood, ceramics, talavera pottery, glass, thread, woven palm, wax and leather, among others.
Favorite objects among tourists are many, but one style that attracts a lot of attention is Huichol art, with its animal forms covered with chaquiras (small colorful beads); Chiapas offers crafts made from wool and colorful textiles that will keep you warm, as well as jewelry and figurines made from amber and other precious stones; while Oaxaca seduces all with the beauty of its black clay pottery, its dolls and fantastic alebrije figures.
Mexico is surrounded by four seas and has about 450 beaches where you can enjoy diverse marine landscapes while surfing on big waves, sailing on calm waters or relaxing under the shade of Apalapa. The climate, vegetation and scenery at these coastal destinations vary in each region, allowing visitors to have unique experiences and distinct itineraries, whether you’re on vacation, a honeymoon, or business.
Along the extensive coasts you’ll find modern tourist resorts providing comfort, quality services, top-notch hotels, spas and haciendas, with the warmth and hospitality characteristic of Mexico. Among the many options available to enjoy Mexico’s sunny beaches, four destinations stand out which are sure to captivate you.
Los Cabos - a tourist resort where the desert meets the Sea of Cortez, has modern facilities, plenty of excitement and an atmosphere that preserves the magic of traditional Mexico.
Acapulco - has one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Cancun - an island with charming beaches, is lined with some of the world’s finest multinational hotel chains.
The Mayan Riviera - you’ll find sinkholes, lagoons, archaeological zones and world-class tourist resorts.
These accessible destinations, with their non-stop nightlife, wonderful cuisine and excellent shopping, are authentic paradises offering a multitude of simple and sublime pleasures.
Mexico is a country with a diverse legacy of different pre-Hispanic cultures established in Mesoamerica, some of them dating from more than 3 thousand years ago.
One of the most anticipated events every year is the traditional Carnival, which starts six days before the beginning of Lent and lasts for several days and nights of music, dancing, food, drinking, and revelry.
The symbolism is made clear from the start, with many Carnivals commencing with the “burning of the bad mood”, in the form of a figure that is set on fire to declare the party has begun.
For the duration of the Carnival, the town or city crowns a king and queen, who lead the festivities. Generally the Carnival queen is a beautiful local lady, or an actress or singer, while the king, who is called the “Ugly king” or “King of joy”, is a representation of Momus, the Greek god of madness and mockery.
The Carnival of Veracruz and Mazatlán are particularly famous for their wild celebrations. Apart from Mazatlán and Veracruz, major Carnivals are held in Campeche, Yucatán, Baja California, Morelos, Tlaxcala and Cozumel.
Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead has a strong hold in Oaxaca, where the locals stream down to the cemeteries to offer food and drink to the souls of the dead in November The festivals are colorful and show signs of the syncretism between the different cultures that give Mexico its identity.
Las Calendas and La Noche de los Rábanos
Towards the end of the year, there are two open-air festivals that take over the city streets – Las Calendas and La Noche de los Rábanos (the Night of the Radishes).
Las Calendas takes place before Christmas, with processions in which the “godfathers” of the baby Jesus figure, along with their relatives and neighbors, carry his effigy to the city’s Cathedral, after passing by all the mangers set up along the way.
La Noche de los Rábanos is a colonial tradition, and one of the most unusual Mexican festivals, whereby large radishes are carved. Held on December 23, this popular celebration foretells people’s fortunes in the coming year: the more clay plates you break on the carved figures, the luckier your year will be.
Food in Mexico is so varied and so immersed in cultural traditions that it has been declared an Intangible World Heritage by the UNESCO.
Varieties of tamales and other foods – as well as drinks – made from corn, await you. A great range of drinks are available to wash it all down: good tequila or mezcal, coffee, chocolate or fresh juices made from sweet and tropical fruit. Each region has its own styles and rituals of preparation, which leads to the great diversity on offer and guarantees those who go looking for new flavors, will be satisfied.
You will come across fine restaurants that beautifully prepare and present traditional Mexican dishes at the hands of chefs of national and international standing. You will also find eating places full of tradition such as the marketplaces, which are less elegant but full of folklore, with food prepared by superb cooks carefully following recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
The flavors of the food reveal to you the history of a people, the conversations and experiences of the women preparing their family’s food around a hot comal. Mexican cuisine is spices and herbs, and the combinations of intense flavor that incorporate everything from seeds to insects, and together it forms a long-lasting legacy.
The Museum of Mayan Culture
Housed within the Fuerte de San Miguel – a fort of great historical value – with displays of Mayan pieces found at various archeological sites around the state of Campeche.
The Museo Barcos and Armas
An important museum in Campeche with its extensive collection of paintings and other artifacts that recall maritime attacks, with accounts of pirates that recapitulate the city’s past.
The City Museum (Guadalajara)
One of the most popular such venues among tourists thanks to the wealth of history to be experienced in its eight halls, which provide a tour through the city’s historical, urban, ethnographic, and artistic development.
Museum of Mummies (Guanajuato)
Contains one hundred mummified corpses – the inspiration for countless feature films.
Chichén Itzá was a powerful and imposing center among Mesoamerican cultures. Its buildings honored the gods and filled the Maya with awe, enabling the city to control the people’s destiny.
After the collapse of the classic Mayan culture in the Petén area of Guatemala, Chichén Itzá assumed political power and was recognized as a sacred place. Chichén Itzá enjoyed its heyday from the tenth century with the arrival of the Toltecs.
Mesoamerican mythology also attributed a host of magical happenings to this region. One is the story of the arrival of the god-king Kukulcán, as the head of his people, to his ancestral home in the Yucatan after journeying from the Toltec city of Tula in the state of Hidalgo.
In Chichén Itzá, the people worshipped the great Kukulcán who was the Mayan representation of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. As the focus of ritual and the central point of religious and political power, the emblematic pyramid at Chichen Itza, known as Kukulcán or El Castillo, stands in the center of the plaza.
UNESCO bestowed World Heritage Site status on Chichén Itzá in 1988, and on July 7, 2007, it was included in the list of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” in a competition run by Bernard Weber from Switzerland, founder of the New Open World Foundation.
Befitting its status as a world heritage zone, Guanajuato, Mexico, has many secrets to reveal: narrow alleys, churches, museums, and buildings with a mix of colors and symmetries. It is a city rich with history and legends. Located in the north of Mexico, Guanajuato translates to “the hilly place of frogs” in Tarascan. The first settlers in the area were the Chichimecs, who were followed by the Aztecs; in 1546, the Spanish arrived to mine the region’s gold and silver.
Guanajuato’s city streets are labyrinthine and reminiscent of the medieval quarters of Seville, Granada, or Fez. The town was founded in 1554 and, over the course of its long history, has borne witness to key moments in Mexico’s history and holds clues to the country’s past.
Between October and March, Mexico is transformed into a sanctuary for one of the most beautiful natural spectacles, in Michoacán and the State of Mexico, in which millions of Monarch butterflies migrate here in search of fertile lands and the sunlight passing through the branches of the oyamel trees.
These fragile and beautiful insects travel over 2,500 miles from Canada and the U.S. to provide us with this unforgettable experience, imbued with beauty and magic. Allow yourself to be surprised by the subtlety of these fragile creatures that, having escaped the cold north and flown to these warmer regions, offer you a fantastic experience.
Few places in the world contain as much natural and cultural beauty as this state, which is located in a desert area with jagged mountains on the Baja California Peninsula, the strip of land that separates the Pacific Ocean from the Sea of Cortez.
This area boasts beautiful beaches that are home to exceptional natural spectacles, such as the arrival of gray whales and white sharks to its intense blue shores. There are also natural reserves along the coast, in the mountains and in the desert that host a wide variety of unique species.
Beyond enjoying the waves and sand in this area dedicated to luxury, adventure and tranquility, visitors can get to know the state’s five different municipalities. These distinct regions rival each other in terms of their varied gastronomical specialties, their production of Mexican wine and beer, their adventurous activities set in breathtaking landscapes – such as mountain biking and surfing – and their famous missions. The state is home to over 18 Jesuit, Franciscan and Dominican missions that were erected for evangelizing local inhabitants during the colonial era.
The state’s capital, Mexicali, and the city of Tijuana, are both located on the northern border of the country. Thanks to this unique location, they have become favorite spots for many who seek places to go shopping after a long day in the sun.
The municipalities of Ensenada, Tecate and Rosarito are entryways to all different sorts of fun. Here, in addition to exploring establishments of deeply rooted tradition, visitors can enjoy themselves on the beaches, in the mountains or in the dunes, whether for extreme sports, bird watching, checking out architecture or traveling by train.
In addition to all of this, those visitors looking for a different sort of entertainment can visit the caverns and rocks that house the ancient cave paintings and murals made by the region’s earliest inhabitants.
The geography of Chihuahua is among the most complex in all Mexico, and thanks to its size the landscape changes radically from an extensive mountain range to plains and deserts. These conditions are what lead one of Mexico’s greatest natural wonders to be found in the Sierra Tarahumara: Copper Canyon, home to another spectacle unrivalled in the state, the Basaseáchic Falls.
Another of the attractions of the state is, without a doubt, its archeological variety, which relates the past of the Mogollón and Anasazi cultures, whose few settlements are scattered over the north of the country, in locations hidden in the depths of the desert and the remotest mountain walls. Examples include the archeological zone of Paquimé (declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998), Cuarenta Casas, Madera and Cueva Grande, as well as the Cultures of the North Museum.
With a tradition of mining and forestry, this state condenses the identity of the north of Mexico, and is home to a diverse range of peoples, including the Tarahumaras or Rarámuris, Tepehuanes, Conchos, Guarijíos and Tobosos, ethnic groups that share the land with colonies of Mennonites who give variety to today’s northern culture in Chihuahua, represented by the traditions of villages like Creel.
Sinaloa is most well-known for its leading beach destination, Mazatlan. This fame is well-deserved, as the city is home to one of the loveliest beaches in the country, which also offers visitors first-class activities such as sport fishing.
Mazatlan is visited by thousands of tourists each year who also have the opportunity to discover the colonial wealth of its historic center. The attractions of Sinaloa do not end here, however – on the contrary, this is just the starting point.
Caves, waterfalls, mangrove swamps, reservoirs and forests are found across the length and breadth of the state, offering an ample range of activities for visitors. Here, you can enjoy boat trips to watch sea birds, turtles, dolphins, seals and other marine flora and fauna, while inland offers hiking, caving, landscape photography, camping and more.
The waters of the Sea of Cortez generously offer up their produce to the Sinaloa people, who transform them into exquisite delicacies famed throughout the country for their attractive colors and rich flavors. This region is the origin of dishes sought after nationally such as aguachile. However, as in other areas, the coast is not the only attraction, for the interior too has produced delicious dishes that are enjoyed all over the country.
Mexico City is settled in what was one of the main lake areas of pre-Hispanic Mexico and is known as the "City of Palaces." It is historically very wealthy; it was founded in 1525 by the Spanish conquerors who, after defeating the Mexicas, built the new city on the ruins of the Aztec city, Tenochtitlán.
The Federal District has two areas declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: the Historic Center and Xochimilco Ecological Park. Visiting the first is a journey through different periods in history, all sharing the same area. There are colonial-era buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and National Palace, the pre-Hispanic ruins of the Templo Mayor (Great Temple), and more contemporary buildings like the Palace of Fine Arts or the Torre Latinoamericana, which with its antenna, reaches a height of 669 feet.
The Xochimilco Ecological Park is considered by many the "Venice of Mexico" because of its canals that connect its chinampas or "floating gardens,"which can be reached by trajinera (a type of large punt boat). Trajineras give one an idea of transport in pre-Hispanic times, how the chinampas function and how goods are traded in that era.
To the north of the city you can visit the Basilica of Guadalupe, one of the most visited religious shrines in the world, where the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared before San Juan Diego, on the summit of the Cerro del Tepeyac. It is an obligatory stop for those who want to learn more about the city's customs and traditions.
Mexico City offers a wide range of activities inherent to a modern city: from shopping in bazaars and crafts markets, in neighborhoods such as Coyoacán and San Angel, to exclusive boutiques and shopping malls, such as those found in the Santa Fe and Polanco districts. The luxury, glamour, and comfort of these areas match international standards.
Veracruz, bathed by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico thrives as a symbol of the country’s culture and history, outstanding for its abundant natural wealth and lands filled with history and the aroma of coffee.
The state is divided into seven regions, each boasting a unique environment and ecosystem. Visitors are lured by the opportunity to have a good time by just relaxing or by trying the many adventurous activities offered throughout its verdant lands, such as diving, snorkeling, camping, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and river rafting.
Visitors seeking peace and tranquility often head to La Antigua and Tierra Blanca. Tradition and colorful folklore are the specialties of Tecolutla and Papantla, as well as the two Pueblos Mágicos (“Magical Villages”) of Tlacotalpan and Coatepec. Finally, the mystical landscape of Catemaco and the splendor of the Citlaltépetl volcano, also known as the Pico de Orizaba, provide visitors with unforgettable experiences.
Food and music blend harmoniously, nourished by the rich cultural life found in every nook and corner of Veracruz. While here, visitors encounter the magic in all of the state’s cities and monuments and become witnesses to the area’s rich and dramatic history.
There is much to see in Veracruz: from the historic forts such as San Juan de Ulúa and the bastion of Santiago, to the ancient buildings that house the Civil Registry, the Palacio del Gobierno (City Hall) and Venustiano Carranza Lighthouse, to the archeological sites and the state’s modern and impressive aquarium.
This state enjoys great popularity among Mexican and international tourists alike, largely thanks to one of the most famous and lively port cities in Mexico: Acapulco. This bay also forms part of the so-called Triangle of the Sun, which links up two other delights: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo on the coast and Taxco inland, a Pueblo Mágico belonging to the “magical towns” program.
The state is crisscrossed by the southern and northern Sierra Madre, meaning it is full of mountains, valleys and lakes that provide plenty of opportunities for extreme sports.
Of particular note are a series of caves, with spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations, revealing the entrails of the earth and the unusual animals that live there. Among the most interesting caves are Juxtlahuaca, Oxtotitlán and Cacahuamilpa, with the latter being the largest and most impressive. Such is its renown that it has provided the setting for films such as Journey to the Center of the Earth with American actor Brendan Fraser, as well as for shooting commercials for leading brands of beer.
A great number of archeological sites are also located in Guerrero. A total of 1705 sites have been found here, of which seven are open for the enjoyment of visitors. These include Xochilapa, Palma Sola, Cuetlajuchitlán, Teopantecuanitlán and Tehuacalco.
Finally, the food of Guerrero deserves a special mention, comprising as it does a blend of ingredients, spices and history stemming from Spanish, Indigenous and French cultures.
The outcome is a menu taking in jumiles (small insects), aporreado (a stew prepared with a variety of meats), chalupitas (small tortillas topped with meat and salsa), the classic pozole stew and salsas to suit all tastes. These are all ideally accompanied by a shot of mezcal.
A state as rich in biodiversity and cultural traditions as Oaxaca offers a travel experience unique in the world. On its coasts, washed by the Pacific Ocean, you can try water sports such as surfing and snorkeling, visit turtle sanctuaries, watch whales and other marine animals, but above all, enjoy the natural beauty of its beaches, the friendliness of its inhabitants and the flavor of its typical cuisine.
Crossed by three great mountain ranges, Oaxaca presents a striking landscape, whatever the road you take. Monumental mountains embellish the horizons, promising visitors an exceptional experience making contact with its fantastic biodiversity.
The whole state enjoys a peaceful atmosphere that makes simple activities such as walking a real pleasure. The capital welcomes visitors with a wealth of colonial architecture, with churches, monasteries and other buildings of great value that have earned it – together with the Monte Albán archeological zone – World Heritage Site status. Its lively streets buzz with people selling handicrafts, souvenirs and local produce, while bars, cafés and live music ensure visitors are kept well entertained.
Palenque, the Agua Azul Waterfalls, the Montebello Lagoon, the Sumidero Canyon and the Lacandona Jungle are all examples of the unique Mexican beauty found in Chiapas. Though the state is an important part of the diverse and varied Mexican identity, it did not officially become part of the republic until 1824.
Multi-cultural Chiapas is home to 12 of the 62 indigenous groups officially recognized by the Mexican government. This means that it is a state that boasts a strong concentration of indigenous traditions that coexist harmoniously with old Spanish ways introduced by the Conquistadors and contemporary Mexican customs, as well as with ideas of its many visitors and foreign residents.
Chiapas boasts festivals that combine indigenous beliefs with the Avant-garde culture typical of contemporary Mexico. It is a state in which the past is seen, felt, lived and tested out in a cosmopolitan environment noted for its magnificent structures and breathtaking ecosystems.
All of these natural attributes means that, undoubtedly, Chiapas is an ideal place for hiking, rappelling, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, camping, boating excursions, rock climbing and other outdoor activities.
The rich biodiversity that characterizes Yucatan offers roads and landscapes of magnificent beauty. The flora and fauna that inhabit the jungles, lagoons, beaches and caves of this region cannot be found anywhere else. Lovers of animals and plants will be particularly happy here, especially birdwatchers, because Yucatan has the only pink flamingo sanctuary in the country.
Its gorgeous beaches, of white sand and blue water, are a must; they offer a perfect way to relax and enjoy the generosity of the sea. Yet the sea water is not the only one to be enjoyed by visitors, for in this region there are also famous sinkholes (or cenotes), natural phenomena which were considered sacred places by the ancient Mayan civilization. These fresh water pools are a classic feature of this region. Their dreamlike beauty fascinates anyone, making them a must when visiting Yucatan.
This is a state famous for its archeological legacy. Home to the Mayan civilization, whose traces in the region can be seen in the ruins of their wonderful settlements, full of temples and buildings serving scientific, civic as well as religious purposes. The mystery surrounding the existence of the Maya is still prevalent in Yucatan, not just in its archeological relics, but also in its local population and their traditions.
If you are eager to take a piece of Mexico home with you after your vacations in the form of souvenirs, you will have no trouble finding all sorts of locations great for spending hours and hours shopping.
In the big cities you will find everything from elegant department stores for purchasing luxurious jewelry and clothing by famous designers, to small markets selling local goods at great prices.
Other towns and cities across Mexico, meanwhile, boast fabulous little boutiques that offer you clothes, shoes, jewelry and fashion goods, as well as the crafts and artwork made by Mexican hands. These kinds of stores allow you to purchase the right kinds of clothing and objects to share in the latest Mexican styles while you get to know the place up close.
The Pueblos Mágicos that are part of Mexico’s “Magical Towns” program and the colorful villages that are found in every state all boast markets that, along with all the typical folklore of Mexican tradition, offer personal care articles made with fresh, local, hand-made ingredients as well as offering the chance to sample the regional cuisine and partake in the everyday life of the local people.
In the urban areas shopping malls and complexes are home to top-flight stores offering clothing, shoes, beauty products, perfumes, toys, electronic goods and more. Here you can enjoy without limits the excitement of extending your wardrobe or redecorating your home.
A few of the favorite places for tourists to shop till they drop are the shopping malls and craft markets of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, while in San Miguel de Allende, in Guanajuato, San Cristóbal de las Casas, in Chiapas, Cancun, in Quintana Roo, Puerto Vallarta, in Jalisco and Taxco, in Guerrero, among many other places, all kind of goods are found on sale.