Part 4 of 5 installments

With its beautiful beaches, breathtakingly diverse landscapes, wildlife, 4,000 years of history, rich traditions and friendly people, Mexico is a country you soon fall in love with. Each place you visit casts its spell and listing 100 reasons to love this huge country isn’t as hard as it might appear at first, there is so much to admire and reflect upon.

61. La Quinta Ave. in Playa del Carmen, it’s Mexican, Mayan, Caribbean with a dash of world culture thrown in!

62. The color and life in bustling Mexican markets: flowers, fruit and vegetables you have never seen before, chilies, herbs and spices and everything from crafts and food stalls.

63. Mexican ferias or fairs, great food, music, dance, fireworks and the chance to see some of the traditions of the countryside.

64. The islands of the Mexican Caribbean: Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Contoy and Holbox, each with their own charm.

65. El Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas, cliffs tower 800 meters above the river.

66. Honey from the Yucatan, one of the most important honey producing areas in the world, its beekeepers also keep faith with a Mayan tradition that is thousands of years old. Yucatecan honey varies in color, taste and fragrance during the year when different flowers are in season.

67. The walled colonial ports of Mexico: Campeche and Veracruz, cities that attracted many a voracious pirate. Campeche is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

68. The climate! Warm and sunny, Mexico is the perfect place to escape the biting winter cold and grey skies of northern climes.

69. Merida, the Yucatan’s state capital, founded in 1542, it’s a treasure trove of old churches, mansions and museums with concerts and cultural events every night of the week.

70. And while we are on the subject of Mexican history, the magnificent cities of Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and Queretaro in the country’s colonial heartland all make the list for their architecture, art and traditions.

71. Sian Ka’an, its name means “where the sky is born” in Maya and Quintana Roo’s huge biosphere reserve is a place of sky and water, jungles, wetlands, beaches and coral reefs, all teeming with wildlife.

72. Mexican churches, from the unadorned missions of the Yucatán to the ornate temples of central Mexico with their carvings and gilded altarpieces, the scent of flowers and incense, flickering candles and murmur of prayers instill a feeling of peace.

73. Izamal, the Yucatan’s city of gold, a place of history and traditions, famous for the huge San Antonio de Padua convent.

74. Cholula, a favorite Mexican photo op: a church crowning an ancient pyramid with the Popocatepetl Volcano as a backdrop. Puebla’s twin town is actually said to have 365 churches.

75. Nopales or cactus leaves, nutritious and delicious grilled or in a salad with tomato, onion and coriander, you know that you have settled in Mexico when you put it on your weekly shopping list!

76. The xoloitzcuintle or Mexican hairless dog, a friendly, faithful, slightly strange looking canine which makes the list for the pleasure of trying to say its name!

77. The variety of orchids that perfume the air in the tropical lowlands and highland forests throughout the country. In the Yucatan alone there are 146 species growing wild.

78. Mexican faith exemplified by the serenades and pilgrimages in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the country’s patron saint, on December 12.

79. The Chihuahua-Pacific railroad via Creel and the Copper Canyon, one of the great railway journeys of the world.

80. Corn, the staff of life in Mexico, ancient, versatile and nutritious. The Mayan creation story, the Popol Vuh tells that the gods made the first men from tender young green corn after two earlier unsuccessful attempts.

We are sure that you also have your own Mexico favorites, please let us know what it is you love so much about this wonderful country.

Would you like to read our previous installment? Click here: 100 reasons to Love Mexico, part 3

Want more reasons to Love Mexico? Click here to read: 100 reasons to Love Mexico, part 5

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