”What is your favorite country?” I am asked once again.
With no doubt I reply ”Mexico.”
My fast answer is always followed by a very surprised face reaction.
Mostly when it’s an American or a Canadian person asking me. Why is my answer Mexico? No one understands. And no wonder why they do not … if the only place they know in Mexico is americanized Cancun or an all inclusive hotel in Baja California Sur.
But there’s much more to Mexico than that.
There’s at least 26 things I love about Mexico:
1. Mexican cuisine - quesadillas, nachos with guacamole, tortillas, beans … I cannot survive for too long without them and when in Mexico I could easily eat nachos with guacamole for breakfast and then quesadillas for both lunch and dinner.
Mexican quesadillas with guacamole
2. Mexican hospitality and friendliness - what they say that it is extremely dangerous in Mexico is not entirely true. Of course there are destinations where you gotta be careful or better avoid them but I already spent 4 months traveling in Mexico and only came across rather friendly people.
3. archaeological sites - from the Mayas, Aztecs, Toltecs to unknown Native American tribes. You can find it all there. I spend loads of time exploring the history of 14 archaeological sites all around Mexico.
visiting Teotihuacan pyramids
4. unexcavated pyramids - there’s no better feeling for a ruin freak than walking in the nature knowing that those hills are just pyramids covered with vegetation and that one day we will be able to admire their beauty in full. I saw some around Teotihuacan or even next to El Cerrito pyramid where there’s another hill with a pyramid underneath.
an unexcavated pyramid
5. cenotes - Yucatan peninsula is full of thousands of sinkholes where you can swim, snorkel or even dive. Just imagine a hole in the ground where you climb down on a ladder or a rope (even rappel is possible in some) and you are get into a paradise! Every single cenote is completely different to all the others.
Kantun chi cenote
6. crystal clear beaches and white sand - especially those beaches in the Caribbean are the real paradise beaches where you would love to spend the rest of your life.
7. ruins right on the beach - Tulum is unique. Nowhere else in the world you can find archaeological sites right on the cliff overlooking turquoise sea.
8. positive attitude - when my Mexican friend once told me that us, fucking Europeans are always complaining, I realized he was right. Just being in Mexico means I am in a good mood.
9. something to learn from the poor - they are still happy even though they do not own many material things because believe me or not, most of the material things are not necessary.
10. fresh fruit - pretty easy to get on the street and cheap too. It’s the best snacks I can get.
11. Pueblos Magicos - Magic Towns – every single one of them is different and conserves its unique architecture (e.g. a white town, a white with red roofs, yellow town etc.) I have visited a few Pueblos Magicos, such as Todos Santos in Baja California Sur, little Comala I passed through on the road trip around Colima state, Tequila where the famous alcoholic drink originated, the so called Ghost Town Mineral de Pozos, San Cristobal de las Casas, Valladolid, underground town Guanajuato and some more.
Pueblo Magico Mineral de Pozos
12. the nicest toilets I’ve ever seen - I mean, who would expect colorful talavera tiles and sofas in toilets?! Because definitely it was not me. I never thought of toilets as cultural art until I visited Mexico.
13. Mexican Spanish - the accent and some words are just so sexy! If you are a guy, you might find this quick lesson of Mexican Spanish very useful
14. local markets - not only in Mexico but everywhere I go, local markets are my kinda place. I remember for example El Parian market in Puebla.
15. colours, colours and more colours everywhere - architecture, inside the houses, clothes, streets, just everything is vivid and colourful.
16. agua de Jamaica - cold hibiscus water. I love hibiscus tea in the spas all around the world, but no one ever offers hibiscus water like the one you can get in many Mexican restaurants. Although it contains added sugar which I dislike, it’s still the most refreshing drink I cannot get enough in Mexico.
agua de Jamaica in Mexico
17. churches of 2 towers and different colours in every town – Although I am not religious, I enjoy taking photos of churches. They bring me peace. In Mexico I know every single church will be diametrically different to all the hundreds I’ve seen already.
18. clothing of the native inhabitants - loving the fact that the native inhabitants still use their original costumes. I am not the expert to differentiate which part of Mexico they come from, but it’s cool to see they keep following their traditions.
19. people just randomly singing - I hum and sing all day long and seeing others to do so too is refreshing and makes me happy. Waiters at restaurants serving me and randomly singing can make up my day. Nothing else is needed!
20. jicama lollipops - I might be the only person in Mexico who refuses to add lemon, salt and sauces to it to keep it healthy, but jicama lollipops are the tastiest I’ve ever had.
21. iguanas - cute and beautiful creatures enriching my experience in places such as Xel-ha? Bring them on! Iguanas rock.
22. perfect service - I have to say I am not the biggest fan of tipping in general but at least in Mexico I know it’s worth it. The service I get in restaurants then and everywhere else is truly amazing. They smile at me and surprisingly enough it is not one of those forced learned smiles but a real one.
23. biodiversity - you can do anything in Mexico, from jungle visiting, to beach bumming, to city breaks, archaeological sites, unknown villages, snorkeling, camel riding, zip line etc. Mexico is the country of unlimited options.
24. zona magica - the magic zone – is a truly special place where the gravity does not apply. It’s a very short piece of road where your car without using the engine will go backwards up to the hill instead of going down as it would normally do after switching off the car engine. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this place close to Comala on the way to Fire Volcano and also close to San Jose Iturbide.
25. sun dogs - many of you have no idea what a sun dog is. I used to be one of you until for the first time ever I noticed a rainbow around the Sun when visiting the largest pyramid of the world in Cholula. I saw a sun dog again when on the way from SJD airport to Cabo San Lucas and then the day after when tanning at Marina Fiesta hotel.
a sun dog in Mexico
26. Mexican gentlemen - I mention this as the last point but it should be somewhere at the top. NEVER in my life I’ve met so many gentlemen in one country than in Mexico. Opening the doors for me but also closing them behind (car doors included), or walking on the outside closer to the street and thus protecting me closer to the wall? I was in shock, and still am every day when it happens again.