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Best Things To Do And See In Mexico

5 min read

Best Things To Do And See In Mexico

The allure of Mexico attracts many expats. It’s a country that makes many visitors feel the itch for adventure and whispers tales of colourful landscapes and vibrant cultures. 

You might be sitting there, analyzing the possibilities and wondering what makes Mexico that attractive. You’ve probably heard about turquoise waters, spicy tacos or ancient Mayan ruins, and now you feel the temptation of experiencing it all yourself. 

Mexico’s mystique has a gravitational pull that is hard to resist. The rich tapestry of its culture, its people's welcoming nature, and the complete diversity of experiences waiting out of your comfort zone are real. 

In paragraphs ahead, we’re going on a trip into the core of Mexico, peeling back the layers and revealing the secrets of its magnetism. Together, we’ll explore what makes Mexico an appealing destination for expats and adventurers.

 

Tropical beach setting on Isla Holbox, Mexico

Tropical beach setting on Isla Holbox, Mexico

3 UNCONVENTIONAL SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES

 

SWIM WITH WHALE SHARKS IN ISLA HOLBOX

Located in the popular state of Quintana Roo, where Cancún often steals the spotlight, lies a hidden treasure that promises more than chilling on the beach and hitting the club. This tranquil paradise goes by the name of Isla Holbox. However, this is not just another island in Mexico – its allure is far from ordinary.  

Holbox is a place where the streets are made of sand, and golf carts are the primary mode of transportation. Upon hopping off the ferry, it’s easy to recognize a more laid-back pace of life here. It feels like time slows down, and the worries of daily life vanish in the blink of an eye.

One of this island's most extraordinary activities is swimming with whale sharks. These gentle giants – in particular, the largest fish in the world – gather here from May to September. This experience is exciting and humbling as it will make you feel like a guest in their watery realm. 

Also, the island’s vibrant art scene and local culture are worth exploring. You’ll come across colourful murals adorning the streets and a town square often hosting lovely cultural events. To top it all off, you can enjoy excellent cuisine, especially seafood, ceviche, and the island’s specialty, lobster pizza. 

 

EXPLORE THE SURREAL CENOTES OF THE YUCATÁN

Yucatán is a state where its capital, Mérida, gets all the attention thanks to its high level of safety and cultural richness. However, if you want to go on an adventure that dives deep into natural wonders, you can head off the beaten path and discover the alluring world of the cenotes. 

Upon descending into the depths of the Yucatán Peninsula, you can find limestone formations that have created an underground wonderland. These natural sinkholes are a realm of beauty and intrigue, feeling like you enter another world where sunlight filters through the cracks above and the waters are crystal clear. 

Cenote Suytun and Cenote Ik Kil are prime examples of Yucatan’s cenote treasures. These pools are much more than geological formations; they are entrances to a world with ancient secrets. 

Fun fact: the word “cenotes” comes from the Mayan word “dzonot,” meaning “sacred well,” “water well,” or even “abyss.” The ancient Mayan civilization would worship these natural formations, considering them as portals to the underworld. Therefore, swimming in these cenotes is not just a physical experience but also a plunge into the history and spirituality of the region.

 

WITNESS THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY MIGRATION

Between November and March, you can witness millions of Monarch butterflies in the heart of Michoacán. However, this is far from being just an insect-watching experience. Why? Because these aren’t ordinary bugs. 

They go on a journey of thousands of miles, all the way from Canada to Mexico. What’s more, they paint the sky black and orange – nothing you can regularly see, can’t you? Picture this: you’re exploring the woods of Michoacán when suddenly, the sky becomes a vivid curtain of black and orange. This awe-inspiring view defies everyday expectations, creating a phenomenal atmosphere you can hardly find anywhere else. 

But that’s not everything. For sure, the visual spectacle is a wonder of nature that takes many by surprise, but the most notable feature of this experience is not even the colours themselves – it’s how these butterflies can navigate on this journey without ever having made it before. Each new generation of Monarch butterflies inherits the path of its ancestors, guided by impulses that remain an enigma to science.

 

Related content: Mexico Permanent Residency Made Easy

 

Campeche, Mexico

Campeche, Mexico

CULINARY ADVENTURES

Mexican food is renowned for its spiciness, but it's a culinary wonderland where sauces, vegetables, herbs, and meat take center stage. Bursting with vibrant flavours, from the kick of chilli to the delicate notes of mole, Mexican cuisine is a mix of textures and tastes that promise a memorable gastronomic journey.

 

STREET FOOD EXTRAVAGANZA

The vibrant streets of Mexico are often filled with dozens of food stands, offering an edible extravaganza like no other. Mexican street food is a blend of colours, flavours, and aromas that will tantalize your taste buds and boost your energy during your explorations throughout the country. 

The street vendors prepare your meal before your eyes, making the experience feel more humane as you see the hard-working side of Mexicans. Bonus tip: Don’t forget to bring some cash!

 

MOUTHWATERING TAMALES

Tamales are a pivotal part of Mexican culinary culture; they’re parcels of corn dough (in Spanish, masa) filled with various ingredients such as meats and vegetables. Each region has its tamal, boasting unique flavours and fillings. Regardless of your preferences, you can find a tamal to your liking. For example, you can try the spicier version of Oaxaca or the sweeter one of Chiapas. 

Fun fact: the word “tamales” comes from the Nahuatl word “tamalli,” meaning steamed cornmeal dough. 

 

MEXICAN MOLE

While tacos are often the quintessential Mexican dish, mole also claims a top spot as a culinary masterpiece. Like tamales, mole comes in various regional forms, with mole poblano and mole negro the most popular ones. Mole results from a labour-intensive process combining spices, chocolate and more. 

The sauce’s flavour showcases subtle hints of chocolate alongside notes of chilli, turning a seemingly weird sauce into a testament to Mexico’s culinary artistry. 

 

Related content: The Beauty Of Living In Mexico

 

ruins of Chichen Itza, Mexico

Ruins of Chichen Itza, Mexico

MAINSTREAM MUST-SEES

 

THE ANCIENT RUINS OF CHICHEN ITZA

If you’re into history, this architectural masterpiece is a must-see during your next visit to Mexico. Why is it a masterpiece? Because it served as both a temple and an astronomical calendar, acting as a relic of a once-mighty civilization. Walking down these ancient structures will take you back in time.

This pyramid's most fascinating element is the illusion of Quetzalcoatl – the feathered serpent – descending from the staircase in the spring and fall equinoxes.

 

MEXICO CITY'S HISTORIC CENTER

Mexico City is a metropolis where it’s easy to get lost. To start your visit to Mexico’s capital, focus on the downtown area, which has all the sights you want. Picture yourself at the Zócalo, one of the largest city plazas in the world and a typical gathering spot for visitors and locals.  

The Metropolitan Cathedral looms over you, standing as proof of Mexico’s colonial architecture. The historic center of Mexico is an outdoor exhibition where every corner tells a story. You'll be immersed in the nation's soul, from the National Palace's murals narrating Mexico's history to the vibrant street life.

 

RELAX ON THE BEAUTIFUL BEACHES OF CANCÚN

Last but surely not least, we cannot neglect the popularity of Cancún, a dream destination for many. But what makes Cancún so attractive? It’s a blend of its beaches, the Caribbean's turquoise waters, and its numerous gateways to adventure and relaxation. Yes, both are a reality in this city.

You can snorkel among colourful fish in the Great Mesoamerican Reef if you're up for an adrenaline rush. You can explore the underwater museum if you prefer a somewhat exotic experience. And finally, if dancing the night away is your thing, you can indulge in Cancún’s energetic nightlife.

 

Related content: 7 Best Cities For Expats In Mexico

 

Cancun beach

Cancun is one of the locations you must visit in Mexico

CONCLUSION

As we conclude our journey through the heart of Mexico, one thing becomes abundantly clear—this captivating country could be a perfect destination for expats. All the experiences you’ve read about in this article demonstrate what you can expect while living in this country. 

So, whether you seek the thrill of unconventional sights, this nation invites you to explore its hidden gems. Mexico is more than a destination; it's an unforgettable journey, and it's time for you to be a part of it.

If you’re new to expat life, you'll learn everything required to leave your country of birth and move to Mexico in this guide, the only one you will ever need.

 


WORK WITH ME

I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of your home country (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap; however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional firm like ours, the results will be worth it.

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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