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I spent around nine months in Mexico – a country I know I’ll visit over and over again. I have traveled along the Pacific Coast, done several road trips in the Yucatan, I’ve eaten my way around Mexico City, and visited more Maya ruins than I can remember. I have so much love for Mexico – and I’d like to share some of the things I love about Mexico with you:

things I love about mexico
1. Mexican Food – Mexican food is completely different to what we expected, but it turns out we love almost all of it! From Tlayudas and panuchos to bean quesadillas and potato tacos plus chilaquiles and tortas (filled sandwiches – Mexico City has the biggest ones) it has been amazing to discover the food here!

2. Driving golf carts around the island of Isla Mujeres. This little island in the Caribbean is one of the things I love about Mexico the most – one of my favorite places in the entire country.

isla mujeres mexico

3. Mexicans – Friendliest people on the planet!

4. Markets – Though at times they can be shocking (squealing pigs the minute before their eventual slaughter and large yellow chicken feet spring to mind) the markets in Mexico are amazing to explore. The 20 de Noviembre market in Oaxaca was our favorite for the best selection of food (including the hundreds of mounds of deep-fried grasshoppers!) and mezcal.

5. Huevos motuleños – Yes, yes, we already said we loved the food, but this all day breakfast food quickly became our favorite after we discovered them during a long wait in Palenque for a bus to Merida. Huevos motuleños involve a fried tortilla topped with black beans, fried eggs, sauce and plantains, plus ham for the meat-eaters out there. Heavenly!

6. Cenotes – considering we had never even heard of these underground waterholes, swimming in the cenotes on the Yucatan felt a bit daring and definitely refreshing.

cenote mexico

7. Victoria beer – There, we said it. We love Victoria beer!

8. Mexico City – It’s a magnificent mega-metropolis which requires some patience and understanding, but Mexico City is a hub of creative, forward-thinking groups and individuals with art, markets, and music everywhere you turn. Sure it has its problems, but what city doesn’t? It’s the combination of it all that makes the city so great: Posh areas like Polanco are offset by more run-down parts of the Centro Historico where culture and tradition seep into your soul. How cool to see Mariachis and Mayans catching cabs, Mexican rock bands headbang on a plaza next to a salsa club, sleek and stylish club-goers passing by happy families in the park until the wee hours and openly gay men and women walking hand in hand with their partners more often than in any U.S. city we know of. Frida and Diego (Kahlo and Rivera that is) can be found everywhere, and there are hundred of art museums, exhibitions and co-operations with institutes world wide. Mexico City is chaotic, yet quaint, crazy and creative. We miss you Mexico City!

Mexico City

9. The Caribbean coast – especially Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres, where you can walk 40 to 50 meters out into the crystal blue water and it only comes up to your knees… but there are so many beaches along the Caribbean coast that are stunning – including Tulum, Akumal, and our own private beach in Xcalak.. they all deserve their own spot in my list of things I love about Mexico, but I’ll try to keep this short 😉


10. Valladolid – we fell in love with this little Pueblo Magico (magic village) on the Yucatan, but we’d like you to please not visit Valladolid.

11. Mariachi Bands – always fun to listen to, even if they don’t quite hit the notes.

things I love about mexico

12. Agua fresca – We might actually be able to slowly wean ourselves off Diet Coke thanks to these giant one liter drinks of water blended with fruit. We especially like Cantaloupe and Guayaba ‘aguas’.

13. Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul – Stuffed with her art, personal belongings and pictures, it makes you feel like you really get to know her, plus the gardens are gorgeous.

14. The cattle in front of our house in San Luis Beltran, Oaxaca.

15. The colorful traditional clothes worn throughout Mexico, from the many wool variations to be found in Oaxaca and San Cristobal de las Casas to the beautiful long white gowns embroidered with flowers that the woman of the Yucatan wear.  Oh, and real life cowboys!

Sure, we know this continues on from Guatemala down through South America, but there is also something so unifying about how even the non-indigenous men/women will wear very traditional Mexican clothing rather than identifying with global fashion. It seems like for many here, people are Mexican first, class/race/socio-economic status comes second.

16. Diego Rivera Murals in Mexico City – The murals are so insightful into Mexican history and culture, and you could spend more than a day hunting them all down throughout Mexico City. Diego’s influence as an artist was enormous here.

17. San Cristobal de las Casas – the prettiest colonial town we have seen so far.

san cristobal de las casas

18. The tacos from the taco vendor in Calle Uruguay – Near the bakery Pasteleria Ideal in #74  in Mexico City, you’ll see the large group of people crowded around the vendor – that’s the spot. Try an agua fresca here too – delicious.

19. Lizards galore! Mexico is filled with lizards big and small, from our pet gecko in our apartment in Playa del Carmen (and its subsequent tiny tiny little babies), to the giant iguanas in Tulum, Valladolid, Isla Mujeres and Chichen Itza. Plus we have come within a few feet of countless crocodiles, something we never thought was possible!

20. The historical ruins – The Mayan and Aztec ruins in Mexico are so majestic! We visited Teotihuacan near Mexico City, Monte Alban near Oaxaca, Palenque in Chiapas, Tulum and Chichen Itza on the Yucatan.

palenque mexico

21. Mexican bakeries  – Even just window-shopping makes our (read: Dani’s) mouths water. Cakes, fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits, cupcakes, sweet breads and freshly baked rolls are all delicious. Special shout-out to Pasteleria Ideal in Mexico City!

22. Cheladas and Micheladas –Beer mixed with tomato juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce. This is basically like a Bloody Mary but beer replaces vodka. Genius!

23. The tuk-tuks in Oaxaca.

24. Mexican buses –  The buses in Mexico are top standard, reliable and clean. ADO, OCC and Oriente all provide great service, though ADO’s films and air-conditioning are good for longer trips (more expensive, though).

25. Hostal La Candelaria in Valladolid. The best hostel we stayed at in Mexico. Clean rooms, two kitchens (one outside), a gorgeous garden, and very friendly owners. Plus two of the cutest little Chihuahuas of all time.things i love about mexico

26. Free wi-fi – In any public park or square in even the smallest city/town, at least a dozen people can be found with their laptops, not only using the free wi-fi, but also charging their computers. The parks have outlets for charging! Who needs Starbucks, when you can have free wi-fi in the park!

27. Lucha Libre – Mexican Wrestling rocks. Yes, it’s fake, but the crowd goes crazy and we loved it!

28.  Policemen, on horses, preferably with sombreros.

29.  Fruit in a bag, freshly cut and topped with spices & lime, for $1.00. One of the things I love about Mexico most!

30.  Getting our laundry professionally washed – For less than $4, a lady with a brand-new washer and dryer will scrub out stains, wash and dry your clothes and then iron them all down, flat as pancakes, leaving you with a stack of clothes a quarter of the size of the dirty, stinky ball you brought to her.

31. Mexican mannequins. How can you not love ‘em? 😉

things I love about mexico

32. The Beaches on Mexico’s Pacific Coast – the Riviera Nayarit is gorgeous!

33. Road tripping in the YucatanSpanish-colonial villages, fantastic food, beautiful Caribbean beaches, cenotes, Maya ruins galore, lush green jungle – the Yucatan is spectacular, and the roads there are in good condition, which makes it easy to drive there.

What are your favorite  things about Mexico?  Let’s reminisce together in the comments below!

Tags : MexicoMexico Citythings i lovethings we love

16 Comments

  1. Hahaha! I think you mentioned some sort of food item at least 10 times on that list 🙂
    Of course, I would have to agree with you about the food, and just about everything else you put on your list (although I never came across those mannequins!).

    And I didn’t know you were such Lucha Libre fans! The event I went to in Mexico City was one of the highlights of time in Mexico as well, mostly because of the 80-year woman sitting in front of me who kept standing up, shouting loudly at the wrestlers she didn’t like and making obscene gestures!

  2. Hi Girls,

    thanks for the mention but as we say over here: “Al contrario! Gracias a ustedes!”. I’m really glad you decided to take that trip and enjoyed it that much. You know how much I love my new home and it’s good to see I’m not the only one thinking Mexicans are the friendliest people on the planet.

    It was a great great pleasure meeting you two over here and to be able to give you a ride to Cholula (everything else about Puebla you definitely learned from Rebecca!!! I was just the driver 😉 ).

    Keep enjoying your trip on and arround this wonderfull planet and stay safe.
    And whenever you return to México: Aqui tienen su casa!!!

    Saludos
    Elmar

    BTW, you owe me that photo of me eating Grasshoppers! 😉

  3. I fully agree with most of your list!

    Specially the Mexican food – so much more variety, flavour, and freshness than you can find in the US version of Tex-Mex-Cuisine. You obviously didn’t find a place to try the outstanding hot chocolate (drunk since Aztec days, Morelia in Guanajuato is famous for it) – YUM.

    We enjoyed the people very much, too, but wait until you come to Colombia, where simply everybody wants to talk to you…

    Can you believe that when I visited the time before last Playa Del Carmen was still a quaint small tourist town by the beach, with only one narrow sealed road – that was back in 1991. I actually didn’t recognize a single feature/ building/ street in this tourist moloch.

    The only thing we really didn’t like about Mexico was the masses of trash lining every country road, where ever we went (Chiapas was a little better than elsewhere)…

    But I’m sure we’ll be back – one day!

  4. Awesome list! I came to Mexico 5 times since Sept 2009. This trip has lasted 7 weeks so far, I love it. I’ve mostly been in the Riviera Maya area however traveled this spring to Mexico City, Guadelajara, Puerto Vallarta and Chiapas, the best road trip ever with Mexican friends. If only folks back home could understand, and your list does a great job of explaining.

    1. Thanks Kathy! Great to hear that other people share our love for Mexico – you must love it as much as we do considering you’ve been there so often in the last 16 months!! It’s hard to explain to people who have not been to Mexico yet why it is such a great place, but it’s good to know that our list helps 😉

    2. @Kathy Let’s just keep spreading the word and get people back home to understand. Not just for the food, but to get people down to Mexico, it’s still pretty much our favorite place so far on the trip! Thanks for commenting!

  5. Thanks for your wonderful, personal and informative description of yr experiences. We are also going to MEX on feb 2nd 2011, in spite of lots of warnings and are looking fdw to it even more now. Anyone else?

    1. Hi Claes, excellent that you’re going to Mexico! Keep us informed how your trip goes and let us know if you need any ideas or help. Just travel smart, as you should in any country, and you should be just fine. Enjoy!

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