Edged by the Caribbean Sea, the 75-mile long coast of the Riviera Maya features beautiful white sand beaches lapped by warm waters, making it an enticing destination for those wanting to enjoy the fantastic climate during their Mexico holiday. There’s also a number of natural wonders to discover here too, including the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef – the second largest in the world – and the natural lagoon of Xel-Ha. There’s a lively energy along the coast, especially in Playa del Carmen, but for something a little quieter the spectacular Mayan ruins at Tulum are not to be missed.
Mexican cuisine is varied, encompassing the many regions in the country. Some dishes have even become international favourites, but nothing beats the authentic deep flavours when eating out durig a holiday to Mexico. Cochinita pibil, a slow-cooked pork is a must-try on the Yucatan Peninsula, while tortillas filled with chicken or beef and smothered in salsa will be an explosion of flavour. Head to Mexico City, which has become a hub for world-class chefs, and is the perfect place to enjoy modern twists to classic dishes, maybe with a shot of tequila on the side.
Vibrant colours have always been part of Mexico’s artistic identity, and if you explore the towns and cities, you’ll usually see bright wall murals. There’s also a growing number of galleries and museums displaying Mexican art through the centuries, from pre-Columbian pieces to more modern works. The art scene has also had a strong impact on modern Mexico, with two of the most famous artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, bringing Mexican art into the international spotlight.
An asteroid impact some 65 million years ago is to thank for the Yucatan’s enviable location, a huge finger of limestone jutting out to separate the azure blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The region was home to the ancient Maya civilization and many of the most famous archaeological sites can be found there, including Chichén Itzá. The beautiful scenery, beaches and of course, weather are also a massive draw with Cancun, on Mexico’s most easterly point, attracting tens of thousands of tourists from around the world every year.
Boasting a tropical climate and white sandy beaches lapped by beautiful blue water, Cancun is one of the world’s most famous holiday resorts. What makes this fact even more incredible is that it is the only city in Mexico whose location was chosen by a computer. In the late 1960s the government began searching for the perfect place for a new resort and after inputting all the most desirable qualities of a resort, Cancun was selected, and a thriving city which attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year was born.
One of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, Chichén Itzá is a complex of Mayan ruins on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. It was once one of the largest cities in the Maya civilisation, thriving between 600 AD and the 1200s, while the huge step pyramid, known as the Temple of Kukulcan, which looms over the complex is one of the most iconic images of Mexican heritage. You can see intricate stone carvings at the ball court, Temple of the Warriors and the eerie Wall of the Skulls.
Found just three miles from Chichén Itzá, Ik Kil is another sacred Mayan site. A spectacular cenote which opens to the sky, with deep blue water some 25 metres below the surface, the sinkhole is fringed with vines and trickling waterfalls. The waters are open for public swimming and accessed by a stairway carved into the limestone. Popular with divers, Sistema Dos Ojos is a flooded cave system more than 60 kilometres long found north of Tulum. Dos Ojos translates as ‘two eyes’ and refers to two neighbouring sinkholes which connect into a large cavern below.
The bustling metropolis – the most heavily populated in the western world – is sure to stimulate all your senses. Constitution Square, its historic city centre, better known as Zocalo, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to many important buildings including the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Governmental Palace and the Merchants Portal. The capital city is the oldest in the Americas and the museum and ruins of the 700-year-old Main Temple – Templo Mayor – give a glimpse back in time to the pre-Columbian city of Tenochtitlan on which the current capital was built.
In the south of Mexico, the wet season begins in May and lasts until October while the dry season is between December and April. The summer months are the hottest in Mexico, and temperatures tend to cool down between December and February although they can still average around 28ºC.
You do not need a visa to visit Mexico, but you will need to complete an immigration form. For the latest information on travel regulations visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico/entry-requirements.
The currency in Mexico is the Mexicabn Peso (MXN).
The main language spoken in Mexico is Spanish.