Steeped in centuries of history, Mexico is known for its friendly people and beautiful weather conditions. Unless you have paid a visit to one of its scenic sites for yourself, the odds are pretty good that you will not have a true understanding about the people of this great nation. Stricken by poverty, many Mexicans seek alternative means of earning an income, where some try to make a go of it in their own country through governmental jobs and... Read more...
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Cities and Destinations in Mexico
Steeped in centuries of history, Mexico is known for its friendly people and beautiful weather conditions. Unless you have paid a visit to one of its scenic sites for yourself, the odds are pretty good that you will not have a true understanding about the people of this great nation. Stricken by poverty, many Mexicans seek alternative means of earning an income, where some try to make a go of it in their own country through governmental jobs and tourism, others find themselves in other more illegal means of taking care of their families. Then there are those who are unable to acquire anything meaningful, refusing to deal with the dangerous forms of earning an income at home and seek to travel the baron crossing between Mexico and the United States of America, all in an effort to provide their families with a more improved standard of living.
Regardless of what you have heard of this fun loving country, the majority of Mexicans will welcome you with open arms to their shoreline. Whether it is on the island of Cozumel, where cruise ships visit daily bringing thousands of eager passengers to this tiny island to shop, sight see and enjoy the beaches and snorkeling or the action of Mexico City, where the architecture goes way back in time, restaurants and nightlife are plentiful and politics rule the day, there is something for everyone. Mexicans are fun loving people so be prepared to enjoy your stay, at Puerto Vallarta where tourists are catered to and pampered, or the Mayan ruins where the locals are only to eager to show of their history. This is truly Mexico.
While the Capital is an interesting stop, there are others that are just as interesting, such as Puerto Vallarta, with its whale watching, sailing, and diving. Acapulco, with its golf courses and endless beaches for simply laying out and soaking up the sun. Cozumel, where you can snorkel and float alongside hundreds of colorful fish. Guadalajara with its 18th-century government building known only as Palacio de Gobierno, or its historic museum (Museo Huichol Wixarica de Zapopan) and of course Acapulco, where (La Quebrada) the home of dare devil divers is located. In addition Acapulco has the Palladium, where you can party the night away. These are just a few of the many venues that should also be considered as possible destinations for your next vacation.
Baja California—The western peninsula, which borders the U.S. state of California.
Northern Mexico—The expansive deserts and mountains of the border states. Ignored by tourists, this is Unknown Mexico.
Bajio The Bajio—Historic states in a traditional silver-mining region
Central Mexico—Center, surrounding the capital city
Pacific Coast (Mexico) Pacific Coast—Tropical beaches on Mexico's southern coast
Yucatan Peninsula—Jungle and impressive Mayan archaeological sites, along with the Caribbean coast
Depending on what part of the world you are leaving from, a trip to Mexico can be as easy as getting into your car and driving across the border. If you are heading here from the south, unless you have all the time in the world, it is recommended that you fly in to Mexico City airport, rather than embark on the sometimes treacherous and dangerous ferry and paved route. There are several international airlines that consider Mexico as a viable port of entry, such as Air France, American Airlines, US Airways, Southwest and United, just to name a few. Some ports of embarkation in the North are New York, Toronto, Phoenix and Miami with many others to choose from, making connecting flights to other parts of the world easily accessible. Once you have arrived at your point of entry at Mexico City airport, luxury bus services are available to whisk you away to your final destination.
Travelers from the north have the ability to drive across the border with their own vehicle, which will allow for reduced transportation costs once they have arrived. Brush up on your Spanish, especially if you will be needing directions, as this is the spoken language.
The adventurous travelers can secure an automobile from one of the many car rental agencies scattered around the big cities and airports. It is probably best to arrange you rental car, along with an up to date map or GPS on arrival at you port of entry. If you happen to be visiting either Mexico City or Monterrey, the metro system will be available to you, providing either an efficient rail or bus service. If you plan on traveling on the rail service, you should be aware of. First of all, beware of pick pockets who will have no problem relieving you of your much needed valuables such as wallet, and electronics. It is probably best to wait until “off peak” hours to travel, which is considered between 10:00am and 4:30pm or after 8:00pm at night.
Taxi services are also accessible, however you should only step into a clearly marked taxi that is licensed for hire. It is also advisable that you confirm your fee before proceeding with your ride, rather than run the risk of your cost being adjusted upon arrival of your final destination.
When to go
With a country that has experienced such tragedy throughout the years, it is sad to see that the crime rate continues to rise, with little regard for its own citizens. Because of the high demand for illegal drugs around the world, the Mexican drug trade is flourishing and a country is held at bay. You should not consider this as a deterrent to visit Mexico on you next vacation, as tourists are very secure in their frolicking, so long as they stay within the recommended protected locations.
Travel warnings are issued as they become available, though most countries will agree that these are merely a precautionary method to ensure that the vacationer is made aware of specific locations and situations that need to be avoided. The department of Homeland security of the United States of America, (Mexico's immediate neighbor) is constantly updating its travel advisories as situations change in Mexico, but even they will admit that most of the problems that arise in Mexico are related to the influence of the war on drugs and specifically against the Mexican cartel.
Visitors should in no way be concerned about their next planned trip to Mexico as the government of this great country is assuredly leaving no stone unturned in an attempt to ensure the safety of its tourists and the importance of its contribution.
If you require the use of medical or health-care facilities in Mexico it is advisable to have some knowledge of their financial procedures ahead of time as this will generally avoid situations that may occur later on after the fact. Medical care comes in the form of Private care, IMSS (Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social) which is a employer deducted form of payment for services and or private doctors and dentists. The average individual in Mexico lives a healthy life, which is not usually affected until they decide to leave the country. Due to lower income earned, the vast majority of people living in Mexico prepare their own food, which is lower in fat and caloric content, making their eating habits far improved from some of its neighboring countries.
It is said that Mexico has been around for a lot longer than some of its neighboring countries, with a history to back up that claim. There are many ancient ruins that are recommended to visitors, such as Maya, Aztec and Olmecs. Each of these locations portray a piece of Mexican history that allows the interested traveler an in-depth look into some of the lifestyles that were evident, way back when. Some of these historical sites were established as long as 1000 BC, so expect them to look that way.
Though civilization has been around for awhile, the serious population attempts did not begin until about the fifteen hundreds and once that began, so did the wars and conquests. It seemed as though everyone wanted a piece of Mexico, from the Spaniards to the Americans. In the eighteen hundreds France got into the fray and placed Maximilian I on the Mexican throne. In the nineteen hundreds approximately ten percent of the Mexican people lost their lives to the revolution.
At the end of the nineteen hundreds, Mexico began changing its political landscape from a “one party” to a democracy. With all the changes throughout the years, Mexico has tried to stay one step ahead of the game and in keeping with this strategy made the decision to become a member of NAFTA ( North American Free Trade Agreement). It is the hope of Mexican leaders that this move will assist the country in its effort to increase trade and prosperity to this war torn country. Even though their financial and political aspirations are primarily with NAFTA, Mexico does engage in free trade with over forty countries around the world.
Articles and Stories about Mexico
Quick Facts about Mexico
106,202,903 (July 2006 est.)
Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages
Country Dialing Code
Mexican peso (MXN)