Mexico, one of the most visited countries on the planet, is an exciting and challenging place. Here here are some things you should know before traveling to the country that ranks 13th in the world, if we refer to the surface. I want to start from a curiosity: everyone has seen pictures of Mexicans wearing those huge sombreros but when you arrive in Mexico, strange is that nobody have sombreros on their head.
Mexico, located on the North American continent and officially named the United Mexican States, is one of the most interesting countries in the world. Dense forests, desert landscapes, cities full of bustle, volcanic peaks covered by snow, a magnificent coastline and lagoons where wildlife is impressive – Mexico brings together more contradictions than you could ever think of. The ancient ruins of Mayan and Spanish magnificent creations, dating from the colonial period up to modern museums and art galleries, music and dance scene full of energy, everything seems to exist here in harmony. Even cooking enthusiasts will be spoiled with unique and spicy flavours and sensational liqueurs.
Whether it is your first trip to Mexico, or you’ve been here before, the country will seem different each time, managed to amaze you at every opportunity.
Those who have Mexico on their bucket list need to know a few useful things before landing here.
1. Tourism is a leading industry in Mexico, and most tourist activities are concentrated around the beach or around the mountain plateau of central Mexico. Those wishing to stray from the beaten track, can go in the interior regions of the north. For most American tourists, the most popular destinations are the Baja Peninsula, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. But Europeans prefer places like Playa del Carmen, San Cristóbal de las Casas or Guanajuato.
2. Is important to know the weather. In Mexico are different types of climates, depending on where you go. Inside the country, the lower regions have an arid climate, while the highlands of northern regions tend to be colder. On the other hand, the most northern side of Baja peninsula, located on the Pacific coast has a Mediterranean climate, while the southern part of the Sea of Cortez is characterized by an arid climate. Moreover, La Paz and Cabo, located in the extreme south of the Baja Peninsula, have a desert climate, while from Tampico region to Cancún climate is tropical.
3. You need time to get accustomed to this country. Mexico has a varied landscape and some of the most beautiful places in this country are situated at high altitude. If these locations are already listed on your itinerary, then you already know that your body needs time to adjust to the heights and it might confront with malaise. Symptoms of altitude sickness include dizziness, difficulty breathing, severe headaches and dehydration. In addition to drink plenty of water, it’s important not to push your limits and give your body the time required (at least a week) to adjust to new conditions.
4. In your quality as non-Mexican, you will be easily identified. Most cities and towns have a homogenous population, so you’ll easily be identified from the position of tourist. The way you look, you dress, the way you talk and others will make you stand out and people will start to stare at you. Taxi drivers can become willing to take you in different places and you can become easy prey for beggars. Although it’s good to pay attention to what is happening around you, notice that most of these people are just curious and do not want to harm you.
5. Some things will be completely different (and challenging). A trip to Mexico, especially if you are alone, can become a dangerous mission. You will face many situations that have not met or you do not expect. Crossing busy roads is one of them; vehicles, especially buses do not slow to pedestrians. What might seem scary to you at first, will become habit after you will face that situation many times.
6. In Mexico there are many tourist traps. The country is famous for this, and if you are not careful you could fall into one of them. Foreign tourists, especially those Americans and Europeans are often cheated when shopping on the street or are approached by strangers with apparently tempting offers. If you’re not absolutely sure about the people you interact, it is recommended to politely refuse their offers and do not trust anyone. It is a good idea to use a guide from the site to avoid unpleasant situations.
7. It’s good to have some basics in Spanish. Learn some basic phrases before coming here. You need to communicate with people such as porters, taxi drivers, waiters, bus drivers etc. If you’re staying at a larger hotel, you will always find people speaking English, but if you speak the local language, always helps. Get a dictionary, in case you have not seen enough soap operas in your life.
8. Do not ignore personal safety. Sometimes violent crimes take place in Mexico so we must always be cautious. Moreover, drug trafficking has reached alarming levels lately and although tourists are routinely targets of traffickers, it’s better to lookout. Take safety precautions – Do not trust strangers, do not leave personal belongings unattended and avoid to go out alone at late hours.
9. Tap water can be dangerous. Unlike America and most European countries, in Mexico, tap water is not potable. Even if you stay in a luxury hotel, do not drink tap water unless stated explicitly that it is potable and safe. Buy bottled water bottles.
10. Best time to visit Mexico is the period between November and March, when the weather is pretty good across the country. From June to October is the hottest period and also wet.
Conclusion: come in this country, try new things, explore all the attractions and take part in some adventure. Surely you will return home with unforgettable memories. See some of the photos i collected and you will definitely love this Marvelous Travel Destination.