MEXICO

Mexico - Palm-fringed beaches, chilli-spiced cuisine, steamy jungles, teeming cities, fiesta fireworks, Frida’s angst: Mexico conjures up diverse, vivid dreams. And the reality lives up to them.

 

An Outdoor Life

With steaming jungles, snowcapped volcanoes, cactus-strewn deserts and 10,000km of coast strung with sandy beaches and wildlife-rich lagoons, Mexico is an endless adventure for the senses and a place where life is lived largely in the open air. Harness the pounding waves of the Pacific on a surfboard, strap on a snorkel to explore the beauty beneath the surface of the Caribbean Sea and ride the whitewater of Mexico's rivers. Or stay on dry land and hike Oaxaca's mountain cloud forests, scale the peaks of dormant volcanoes or marvel at millions of migrating Monarch butterflies.

 

Art & Soul of a Nation

Mexico's pre-Hispanic civilizations built some of the world’s great archaeological monuments, including Teotihuacán’s towering pyramids and the exquisite Maya temples of Palenque. The Spanish colonial era left beautiful towns full of tree-shaded plazas and richly sculpted stone churches and mansions, while modern Mexico has seen a surge of great art from the likes of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Top-class museums and galleries document the country's fascinating history and its endless creative verve. Popular culture is just as vibrant, from the underground dance clubs and street art of Mexico City to the wonderful handicrafts of the indigenous population.

 

A Varied Palate

Mexico's gastronomic repertoire is as diverse as the country's people and topography. Dining out is an endless adventure, whether you're sampling regional dishes, such as Yucatán's cochinita pibil (slow-cooked pork) or a vast array of moles (complex sauces, their recipes jealously guarded) in Oaxaca and Puebla, or trying the complex, artsy concoctions of world-class chefs in Mexico City. Some of Mexico's best eating is had at simple seafront palapa (thatched-roof shack) restaurants, serving achingly fresh fish and seafood, and the humble taquerías, ubiquitous all over Mexico, where tortillas are stuffed with a variety of fillings and slathered with homemade salsas.

 

Los Mexicanos

At the heart of your Mexican experience will be the Mexican people. A super-diverse crew, from Mexico City hipsters to the shy indigenous villagers of Chiapas, they’re renowned for their love of colour and frequent fiestas, but they're also philosophical folk, to whom timetables are less important than simpatía (empathy). You'll rarely find Mexicans less than courteous. They’re more often positively charming and know how to please guests. They might despair of ever being well governed, but they're fiercely proud of Mexico, their one-of-a-kind homeland with all its variety, tight-knit family networks, beautiful-ugly cities, deep-rooted traditions and agave-based liquors.

 

FEATURE DESTINATIONS

·       Copper Canyon

o   Chihuahua and Sinaloa onboard Chepe Train

·       Los Cabos and La Paz

o   Blue, grey and humpback whale watching during the season, whale shark swimming, Espiritu Santo Island exploring, Cabo Pulmo snorkelling or diving, Sierra la Laguna hiking, Tecolote and Balandra Beaches visiting, Todos Santos surfing and shopping.

·       Jalisco

o   Guadalajara City touring, Tequila and artisanal factories visit, Puerto Vallarta water activities and relaxation.

·       Nayarit

o   Punta Mita Resorts and Villas, Marieta Islands snorkelling, retreats.

·       Guanajuato

o   Guanajuato City, San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo, Atotonilco historic and colonial City tours, art, design and shopping, vineyards and gastronomic experiences.

·       Queretaro

o   Queretaro city historic and cultural tours, vineyards and artisanal cheese factories, Sierra Gorda sightseeing and hiking.

·       Michoacan

o   Day of the Dead festivities, Monarch Butterflies migration, Patzcuaro, Janitzio, Morelia and Uruapan discovering.

·       San Luis Potosi

o   Real de Catorce cultural tours, Huasteca Potosina adventure sports and sightseeing

·       Mexico City

o   Historic Center, Coyoacan and Frida Kahlo, San Angel and Casa Estudio Diego Rivera, Xochimilco water canals, Lucha Libre, folkloric Mexican dance show, Templo Mayor archaeological site off-hours and regular entrance, Anthropology Museum off-hours and regular entrance, art, design and architecture tours, gastronomic experiences.

·       Estado de Mexico

Teotihuacan archaeological site and hot air balloon ride, hiking at Nevado de Toluca, Monarch Butterflies in Valle de Bravo and adventure sports.

·       Morelos

o   Cuernavaca, Tepoztlan wellness or hiking, Xochicalco archaeological site

·       Puebla

o   Puebla city cultural tours, Cholula archaeological site, talavera tile making, gastronomical experiences, Museums.

·       Oaxaca

o   Monte Alban and Mitla archaeological sites, design, art and crafts tours, Mezcal tasting, market and food tours, biking or hiking at Hierve el Agua, hiking and food experiences at Sierra Norte communities, Pacific beaches of Huatulco and Puerto Escondido and surfing

·       Chiapas

o   Tuxtla Gutierrez, Sumidero Canyon, San Cristobal de las Casas, Agua Azul, Misol-Ha and Roberto Barrios falls, indigenous communities, art and crafts, Tonina, Palenque, Bonampak and Yaxchilan archeological site, hiking and bird watching at Las Nubes or Guacamayas protected areas, rafting, coffee region.

·       Tabasco

o   Villahermosa, La Venta archaeological site

·       Campeche

o   Calakmul, Chicana, Edzna, Balamku, Becan, Xpuhil archaeological sites, hiking at biosphere protected area of Calakmul and haciendas.

·       Merida

o   Haciendas, cenotes (sinkholes), Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Dzibilchaltun archaeological sites, Izamal and Valladolid colonial small towns, Progreso beach, birdwatching at Celestun protected area, Las Coloradas and Rio Lagartos.

·       Quintana Roo

o   Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Tulum archaeological site, town and hotel zone, cenotes, diving, snorkelling, Cozumel island, Isla Mujeres, bird watching at Sian Ka’an, Coba and Muyil archaeological site, underground rivers, natural parks as Xcaret and Xel-ha, Mahahual beach and Bacalar Lagoon.