Trek through verdant jungles to ancient temples, relax on a beach overlooking the Caribbean, boogie to the latest beats in a trendy club or savour an enchilada in a small colonial town. Mexico offers a vast array of experiences to eager visitors keen to explore the fascinating blend of modern Mexican culture. So brush off the sombrero and let the locals greet you with a warm, ‘Hola Amigo,’ on your Mexican holiday.
Noted for incredible accomplishments in the fields of mathematics, artistry, medicine, architecture and engineering, pre-Columbian civilisations flourished throughout Mexico from around 2000 BCE with many reaching their peak between 250 and 900 CE. In 1519, Hernán Cortés claimed what is now modern Mexico for Spain, a conquest that would last for three centuries. Mexico declared its independence in September 1810. Today Mexico proudly promotes its indigenous legacy, offers beautiful beaches for oceanic pastimes and allows effortless exploration of Spanish colonial towns boasting beautiful architecture.
The climate of Mexico varies throughout the country with altitude being a key factor. The coastal areas at sea level generally enjoy a tropical weather system; hot and humid. On the other hand, inland regions such as Mexico City, that sit at an altitude of 2,300 metres, experience much milder temperatures. May is the hottest month in the capital with the mercury climbing to around 27 degrees. The rainy season lasts from June to September in Mexico City.
Across the country there are dozens of festivals and events celebrated throughout the year including the Cancun International Film Festival, Vive Latino Rock Festival in Mexico City and the Taste of Oaxaca, a food and drink festival in October. Both Cancun and Acapulco roll out the red carpet for University students for spring break.
There are no direct flights to Mexico from Australia. Airlines transit a third city before landing in one of the many cities in Mexico featuring an airport. Popular destinations include Mexico City and Cancun. Airlines that fly from Australia to Mexico City via a third city include:
Direct flights are available from Sydney and Melbourne to Hong Kong and take around nine and a half hours. Many air lines stopover in regional Asian transit hubs such as Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Bangkok and Seoul before proceeding onto Hong Kong.
There are 42 border points between the United States and Mexico. There are also land border crossing points with Guatemala and Belize.
Mexico City boasts many international five star accommodation chains including the Four Seasons, JW Marriott and the Hilton. Mexican beach destinations also offer luxury resorts including the Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach in Cancun and the InterContinental Presidente in Puerto Vallarta. View Resort options
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Plaza de la Constitución, the historic heart of Mexico City and one of the largest central squares in the world, is a good starting point to begin exploring the country’s capital. Check out the Cathedral with its solid gold principle alter, Chapultepec Park containing many museums, and the Leon Trotsky Museum where the Marxist revolutionary was murdered in 1940. Zona Rosa is the entertainment district and best explored at night.
There are many indigenous archaeological sites scattered through the country. Just outside the capital are the impressive Teotihuacan Ruins with the iconic Pyramids. On the Yucatán Peninsula explore the famed Chichen Itza, the coastal delights at Tulum and the Pyramid of the Magician at Uxmal. The jungle enclosed ruins of Palenque are also highly rewarding.
For a beach holiday, select one of the major resort destinations including Cancun, popular with American students, the laid back Playa del Carmen and the famed Acapulco, noted for the death-defying La Quebrada cliff divers who plunge 35 metres into water averaging a depth of only 12 feet.
Sunscreen and insect repellent are available through the country, however they may be more expensive than bringing them from Australia. Items left behind in Australia can generally be replaced if needed in the larger cities, however once on the road, it may be more difficult.
Modern Mexico is a fascinating blend of ancient Mayan and Aztec, colonial Spanish and arguably feels the influence from their northern neighbour, the United States. Bullfighting is popular throughout Mexico, while the American Halloween holiday is matched by the Mexican El Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead.
In recent years, the northern cities that border the States have increasing become prone to gangland activity usually connected to the drug trade. When in the region, take extra caution and avoid walking alone at night. It’s not advisable to be in possession of drugs while in the country.
By and large, most visitors enjoy their Mexican experience without significant incident and hassle. However, it’s best to exercise common sense. Don’t wave cash around, don’t wear unnecessary bling and don’t attract attention to yourself.
Maintain sensible beach safety. Wear appropriate sun protection and jellyfish are prone to stinging.