With its beautiful beaches, breathtakingly diverse landscapes, wildlife, 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.
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico
81. Finger food, forget burgers and hot dogs, Mexico is the country of finger food or antojitos, ranging from tacos and tamales to sopes, tostadas, quesadillas and empanadas, all made fresh, all delicious!
82. Headed by the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico boasts some of the finest museums in the world.
Pakal, Mayan lord of Palenque, original bust, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico
83. The color, beauty and vivacity of the nation’s traditional dances performed at during fiestas, each region has its own bailes tipicos.
84. Mexican music, from the mariachis and the accordion to the guitar serenades of the Yucatan, the tropical rhythms of marimba and danzon, the variety is endless. The Mariachi tradition is on the shortlist for UNESCO World Heritage status in the cultural category.
85. The Guelaguetza, Oaxaca’s famous festival of colorful folk dances, music and processions from the seven different regions of the state, held in July.
Women from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Guelaguetza Festival, Oaxaca, Mexico
86. Chinchorro, the largest coral atoll in the Caribbean. Located off the coast of southern Quintana Roo and accessible from Majahual and Xcalak, it is rich in marine life and a ship’s graveyard. Many a Spanish galleon, schooner and modern cargo boat has foundered on its jagged reefs.
87. From the caves of Balancanche and Loltun in the Yucatan and the subterranean rivers of the Riviera Maya to Nauca in Chihuahua, site of the world’s longest cave crystals, Mexico’s underground world is a source of wonder.
88. The fact that Mexicans appreciate the art of eating slowly to really savor food and that strangers walk past your table in restaurants and say buen provecho or bon appétit is a source of pleasure!
89. The haciendas of the Yucatan, their history may be tinged with sadness but they are undergoing a renaissance. The gardens and orchards are coming back to life and the great houses are being restored as museums, hotels and restaurants.
90. Mexican place names are pure poetry: Tzinzuntzan (place of the hummingbird), Ek Balam (black star jaguar), Cuetzalan (place of the quetzal)… and that’s just for starters!
91. Akumal, a peaceful Riviera Maya community with beautiful beaches, coral reefs that is a haven for sea turtles, its name even means “place of the turtle” in Maya.
92. The fiery red sunsets and star-filled skies of the northern desert in Sonora.
93. The Mayan cities of Yaxchilan and Bonampak in Chiapas, as you sail along the Usumacinta River towards Yaxchilan, you journey back in time to the Golden Age of the Maya and discover the natural wonders and wildlife of the Lacandon rain forest. Species you’ll see include spider and howler monkeys, crocodiles and coatimundi.
Yaxchilan, Chiapas, Mexico
94. So many once in a lifetime experiences for nature lovers, from seeing whales and whale sharks, watching wild dolphins play and manta rays leap to helping release baby sea turtlesand spotting rare jungle creatures such as howler monkeys, peccaries, anteaters and toucans.
95. The adventures that this country offers range from trekking and rock climbing to white water rafting, diving, caving, hang gliding, surfing and even zip lining through the jungle
96. The ceiba, sacred tree of the Maya, it was the center of their universe, linking the earth to the heavens and the underworld and was often portrayed in their art. To this day, ceibas are planted on the boundaries of Mayan villages to mark the cardinal points. Its striking pink flowers attract birds, bees, moths and bats and its flossy white down gives it its other name, silk cotton tree (kapok).
97. People watching, this is one country where lingering over coffee in a peaceful tree-lined square offers plenty of fascinating insights into daily life.