Two hundred years after the visit of the famous German, Mexico has remained one of the most diverse and fascinating travel destinations in the world.
Thousands of kilometres of beaches line the coasts of the Pacific, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Sun lovers, beach runners, water sports enthusiasts or romantics – everyone will find their dream beach here, even away from the tourist strongholds of Cancún or Playa del Carmen.
In the inner part of the country, mighty sierras with peaks well over 5,000 metres high cut through the landscape of high valleys, fertile lowlands, tropical forests and cactus deserts. Ideal terrain for mountaineers and hikers or simply for people who want to enjoy the natural scenery. Mexico’s colonial cities have preserved their architectural and cultural heritage without losing their vitality. Oaxaca, Mérida, Puebla, Taxco or San Cristóbal de las Casas are also well known among us. In addition to magnificent church buildings and historical buildings with shady courtyards, whose arcades are often equipped with large-format murales, countless markets, festivals and fiestas are also attracting visitors. The Mexican cuisine is considered to be one of the great ones of the world next to the French, Chinese and Italian and has nothing in common with the monotony of the TexMex restaurants as we know them in Europe. Each region has its own specialities, ranging from stands in the market hall to gourmet restaurants in all price categories. Shops and galleries are a true Mecca for those who love arts and crafts or just shopping. Museums with outstanding collections can also be found away from the metropolises of Mexico City and Guadalajara.
Mexico’s pre-colonial, Indian past impresses in the impressive testimonies of thousands of years of ancient civilizations – from the mysterious stone heads of the Olmecs to the monumental pyramids of Teotihuacán, the holy mountain of the Zapotecs to the cities and ceremonial buildings of the Maya in Yucatán or in the rainforest of Chiapas. Focused excavations by international archaeologists change the face of famous and seemingly unravelled ruins such as Chichén Itzá, Palenque or Monte Albán and rewrite the history of entire eras.
For Mexico alone, Unesco lists 33 sites of world cultural and natural heritage, including prehistoric cave drawings in the deserts of Baja California or its saltwater lagoons, where thousands of grey whales gather year after year, without shyness towards the human observers.
A legendary railway journey through the gorges of the famous copper canyons awaits railway enthusiasts, hikers, riders and photographers in the north of the country. Almost magical ghost towns such as the former mining town of Real de Catorce are located off the beaten track in the north-east of the country. The natural backdrops of countless Hollywood westerns still stand in the Sierra Madre Occidental between Chihuahua and Durango just as John Wayne left them in the 1950s. In Mexican history, this seemingly familiar landscape is the land of Pancho Villa, the ambivalent national hero of the Mexican revolution.
Hollywood movies and their stars have also made seaside resorts like Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta famous overnight. John Huston’s statue on Puerto Vallarta’s seafront promenade is a reminder of his Tennessee-Williams adaptation of “The Night of the Iguana”. Today stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Antonio Banderas, Leonardo di Caprio, Denzel Washington or Salma Hayek are shooting at Mexican locations.
Whether you want to follow in the footsteps of the stars and be pampered, for example, in Julia Roberts’ favourite hotel, prefer a former hacienda, or even prefer a hammock under the palm roof, the selection of hotels, guesthouses, cabañas and other accommodations corresponds to the diversity of the country and has no comparison to fear.