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Make the most of Mexico

Everyone knows Mexico’s bagged itself a pretty epic coastline. So if you’re craving a beach break, you’ll be hard pushed to find somewhere better. But holidays here don’t have to be all about lazy days lying in the sun – there are heaps of other things to do in Mexico as well.

Peel yourself up off the sand and point your feet in the direction of the water, and you’ll be in for all kinds of excitement. On the Caribbean coast, you can don a snorkel and discover kaleidoscopic corals teeming with turtles and tropical fish, while on the Pacific coast you could encounter incredible marine life like humpback whales, giant manta rays and even great white sharks. Or, if you prefer to stay above the surface, why not give surfing a go instead? Mexico’s known to be one of the best destinations for it in the world and has breaks that are suitable for complete beginners as well as seasoned pros.

If arts and culture are more your thing, consider visiting one of Mexico’s vibrant cities. Mexico City’s the obvious choice, but don’t overlook alternatives like Oaxana City, Monterrey and Merida. Spending time in any of these places will certainly give you an insight into Mexican culture; however, they’re not the only options if you’re keen to know more about this country’s past. Anyone interested in history should have the Mayan and Aztec ruins high on their list of things to do in Mexico. There are plenty of them scattered about, but Coba, Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan are the most impressive.

But just because it offers up so many historical treasures, don’t go thinking that Mexico’s stuck in the past – because it certainly isn’t. This is a country that loves a party and has a calendar packed with exciting festivals and events. If you fancy joining a street party complete with folk dancers and mariachi bands, time your trip to coincide with Independence Day – or maybe you’d rather watch a parade to celebrate the Day of the Dead?

With so many things to do in Mexico it can be hard to know where to start when planning your holiday. If you need a hand, just give our experts a call. They can recommend activities, excursions and accommodation options, and will happily arrange everything for you.

Diving, Snorkelling and Surfing

Hiking

Heritage and Culture

Mexico Festivals

Diving, Snorkelling and Surfing

It’s no secret that Mexico’s got its share of world-class beaches – but while the sand here has some serious crowd appeal, there’s much more fun to be had in the water. Just off the Caribbean coast lies part of the Mesoamerican Reef – the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Home to hundreds of kinds of tropical fish, marine turtles and sharks – not to mention all manner of colourful corals – it’s an incredible place to go snorkelling or diving. Also in this region is the island of Cozumel, famous for its great drift dives and the submerged Felipe Xicotencatl shipwreck, plus various cenotes. These amazing subterranean swimming holes are formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock.

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Over on the west coast, there are yet more aquatic adventures to be had, particularly around Baja California. Socorro Island’s one of the only places on Earth where you can swim with humpback whales, while Guadalupe Island’s the place to go if you want to cage dive with great white sharks. And if you’re looking to surf while in Mexico, this is the side of the country you want to be on. All the way down the Pacific coast, from the Baja Peninsula to the bottom of Oaxaca, you’ll find awesome breaks and consistent swell throughout the year.

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Hiking

Hiking probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think of things to do in Mexico. But keen walkers might just be pleasantly surprised. Because if you step away from the sandy shoreline, you’ll soon discover that this is a land of dramatic volcanoes, towering mountain ranges and dense tropical jungle.

Copper Canyon in northwest Mexico is a particularly great place to strap on your walking boots. Wild, rugged and largely undeveloped, it’s actually a series of six canyons which, combined, have a length four times that of America’s Grand Canyon. In addition to shorter walks there are a bunch of multi-day hikes that can be tackled here, either alone or with a guide.

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If you’re looking for somewhere to hike near Mexico City, Desierto de los Leones – which translates as Lion Desert – is a spectacular national park with heaps of trails, or there’s also Cumbres Del Ajusco National Park. Experienced hikers head here to climb Cerro Ajusco. An extinct volcano and the park’s highest peak, it rewards with epic views once you reach the summit.

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Heritage and Culture

As well as having more beaches than you can shake a stick at, this country also packs in a sizeable number of ancient ruins. In fact, visiting the pre-Columbian city of Chichen Itza is one of the most popular things to do in Mexico. Located on the Yucatán Peninsula, it’s both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Other Mayan ruins can be found dotted all across southern Mexico, while the best-known Aztec ruins are those at Teotihuacan – a vast archaeological complex northeast of Mexico City.

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Impressive as all these ruins are, though, they’re not the only thing Mexico has to offer culture vultures and history buffs. Mexico City, in particular, has tonnes of other options. Besides its Palace of Fine Arts and a cathedral that combines elements of Baroque, Gothic and Neoclassical design, it has over 150 museums – including ones dedicated to famous artists like Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

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Mexico Festivals

Sometimes you go on holiday to relax, and other times you go to party. And if it’s the latter you fancy, Mexico certainly delivers. Not only does it have some well-known party resorts, like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas, but this country also goes big on festivals.

Dia de los Muertos – AKA Day of the Dead – is the most famous. Taking place every year on 1st and 2nd November, it’s a celebration of life where people come together to show their love and respect for deceased family members. All across the country revellers dress up in elaborate make-up and costumes, and host parties and parades. Another nationwide celebration is Dia de la Independencia, or Independence Day, which is marked on 16th September. Schools and businesses close for the day and huge street parties feature everything from fireworks and rodeos to mariachi performances and traditional folk dancing.

Show More
Show Less

Besides these, and other cultural festivals that occur throughout the year, Mexico also plays host to music festivals – like Vive Latino – and for two months every year the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival showcases over 100 documentaries in more than 150 venues.

Show More
Show Less

Diving, Snorkelling and Surfing

Diving, Snorkelling and Surfing

It’s no secret that Mexico’s got its share of world-class beaches – but while the sand here has some serious crowd appeal, there’s much more fun to be had in the water. Just off the Caribbean coast lies part of the Mesoamerican Reef – the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Home to hundreds of kinds of tropical fish, marine turtles and sharks – not to mention all manner of colourful corals – it’s an incredible place to go snorkelling or diving. Also in this region is the island of Cozumel, famous for its great drift dives and the submerged Felipe Xicotencatl shipwreck, plus various cenotes. These amazing subterranean swimming holes are formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock.

Show More
Show Less

Over on the west coast, there are yet more aquatic adventures to be had, particularly around Baja California. Socorro Island’s one of the only places on Earth where you can swim with humpback whales, while Guadalupe Island’s the place to go if you want to cage dive with great white sharks. And if you’re looking to surf while in Mexico, this is the side of the country you want to be on. All the way down the Pacific coast, from the Baja Peninsula to the bottom of Oaxaca, you’ll find awesome breaks and consistent swell throughout the year.

Show More
Show Less

Hiking

Hiking

Hiking probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think of things to do in Mexico. But keen walkers might just be pleasantly surprised. Because if you step away from the sandy shoreline, you’ll soon discover that this is a land of dramatic volcanoes, towering mountain ranges and dense tropical jungle.

Copper Canyon in northwest Mexico is a particularly great place to strap on your walking boots. Wild, rugged and largely undeveloped, it’s actually a series of six canyons which, combined, have a length four times that of America’s Grand Canyon. In addition to shorter walks there are a bunch of multi-day hikes that can be tackled here, either alone or with a guide.

Show More
Show Less

If you’re looking for somewhere to hike near Mexico City, Desierto de los Leones – which translates as Lion Desert – is a spectacular national park with heaps of trails, or there’s also Cumbres Del Ajusco National Park. Experienced hikers head here to climb Cerro Ajusco. An extinct volcano and the park’s highest peak, it rewards with epic views once you reach the summit.

Show More
Show Less

Heritage and Culture

Heritage and Culture

As well as having more beaches than you can shake a stick at, this country also packs in a sizeable number of ancient ruins. In fact, visiting the pre-Columbian city of Chichen Itza is one of the most popular things to do in Mexico. Located on the Yucatán Peninsula, it’s both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Other Mayan ruins can be found dotted all across southern Mexico, while the best-known Aztec ruins are those at Teotihuacan – a vast archaeological complex northeast of Mexico City.

Show More
Show Less

Impressive as all these ruins are, though, they’re not the only thing Mexico has to offer culture vultures and history buffs. Mexico City, in particular, has tonnes of other options. Besides its Palace of Fine Arts and a cathedral that combines elements of Baroque, Gothic and Neoclassical design, it has over 150 museums – including ones dedicated to famous artists like Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Show More
Show Less

Mexico Festivals

Mexico Festivals

Sometimes you go on holiday to relax, and other times you go to party. And if it’s the latter you fancy, Mexico certainly delivers. Not only does it have some well-known party resorts, like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas, but this country also goes big on festivals.

Dia de los Muertos – AKA Day of the Dead – is the most famous. Taking place every year on 1st and 2nd November, it’s a celebration of life where people come together to show their love and respect for deceased family members. All across the country revellers dress up in elaborate make-up and costumes, and host parties and parades. Another nationwide celebration is Dia de la Independencia, or Independence Day, which is marked on 16th September. Schools and businesses close for the day and huge street parties feature everything from fireworks and rodeos to mariachi performances and traditional folk dancing.

Show More
Show Less

Besides these, and other cultural festivals that occur throughout the year, Mexico also plays host to music festivals – like Vive Latino – and for two months every year the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival showcases over 100 documentaries in more than 150 venues.

Show More
Show Less
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