Mexico is full of fascinating places…
Some of the places most popular with foreigners are Acapulco, Baja California, Cancun, the Copper Canyon, Cuernavaca, Guadalajara, Guanajuato, Guaymas and San Carlos, Ixtapa, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, San Felipe, San Miguel de Allende, and Tijuana. Check under PLACES in my Categories menu.
I’ve also written about such lesser-known places as Mineral de Pozos, an old mining town with a burgeoning arts scene, and Las Pozas of Edward James, a fantasy in the Huastecan jungle.
I’ve found that even in the big Mexican resort areas you can have experiences of the “real” Mexico, that is, of the warmth and hospitality of the Mexican people.
Mexico with Heart, the book that I wrote about a recent trip of ours, describes many off-the-beaten path places that we went to, sometimes by design and often by happenchance. I’m now convinced that Mexico is full of wonderful places!
Here are some of the places that I describe at length in that book. (Its full text, with many color photos, is here on this website for you to read.)
- Ciudad Victoria, the modern, cosmopolitan capital of the state of Tamaulipas, in northeastern Mexico, just south of Texas.
- El Chorrito, a small town and pilgrimage center not far from Ciudad Victoria
- El Tajin, one of the great Mexican archaeological sites, on the Gulf of Mexico
- Xalapa, a vibrant city and capital of Veracruz state. It’s famous for its outstanding Museum of Anthropology.
- Xico, a small town not far from Xalapa
- Teotihuacan, perhaps the most visited tourism site in Mexico, for good reason
- Bernal, a little-known town that we dreamt of returning to
- Parras de la Fuente, something of an oasis in the desert
- Mata Ortiz, a remote small town from which incredible pottery comes
A Few Thoughts on Safety
If you travel in Mexico, do be aware of safety and theft issues. If you carry a purse, think about how easily it could be snatched and perhaps carry your passport and credit cards in your clothing close to your body, even in a pouch under your clothes.
There is much publicity in the U.S. about the occasional dramatic crimes that happen to tourists abroad. If you keep in mind that people are poorer and that you appear wealthy to them (even if that idea is laughable to you), you will make the best choices.
As for health concerns, Mexico is much improved from the past, but do be prudent about what you eat. Most drinking water you will be served is purified now, but it does no harm to ask. Other factors under your control are how much alcohol you drink and how long you stay out in the tropical sun.
Don’t drive between Mexican cities at night. There are tales of robberies, but more common hazards include livestock lying on the road (enjoying the warmth of the pavement) and vehicles driving without good headlights.
Use common sense, and be aware that common sense is different from one country to another. Okay, end of speech! The vast majority of travelers to Mexico have a safe and delightful trip.