9 reasons why you must visit Mexico

Church flags in Oaxaca Mexico

We asked Joe Diaz, AFAR Magazine Founder, what it was that he loved most about traveling in Mexico.

Obviously he couldn’t narrow it down to one highlight, so here are Joe’s top nine reasons why you should be going to Mexico now…

1. People:

The friendliness of the Mexican people is among the highest in the world. Everywhere you go someone will be there willing to lend a helping hand. Churros El Convento is one of my favorite highlights, which captures the friendly spirit of the Mexican people.

Churros El Convento, San Angel, Mexico City

Churros El Convento, San Angel, Mexico City – photo by Holly Wilmeth

2. Value:

Your dollar can go a long way in Mexico and the price to value ratio is high. (Remember what Warren Buffett says, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”) As you travel into the interior of Mexico and away from major beach destinations, you’ll notice the difference in prices. Two of my favorite areas are San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato.

3. Food:

I can’t say enough about the freshness, flavors, diversity and quality of Mexican food. Every region brings its own distinct traditions. From roadside stands to Michelin-starred restaurants, Mexico is home to some of the world’s best food. Sayulita is my recommendation for the world’s best shrimp burrito. And when in Mexico City you need to eat at Dulce Patria and Anatol.

Sayulita best shrimp burrito in Mexico

Sayulita – everything is prepared fresh. The ceviche and shrimp burro are amazing.

4. The Pacific Coast:

I love Mexico’s Pacific coast. There is so much coastline to explore. One of my favorite spots is the area around Puerto Vallarta. The small villages north and south of the city bring you back to a calm and tranquil state of mind. One of my top beach towns is Sayulita, which is about 45 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta. Here is a quick guide to Puerto Vallarta.

5. Escape from it all:

Mexico has always had a reputation of being one of the world’s best hideouts. From the beaches of Tulum and Oaxaca to the haciendas in the Yucatan. You won’t have to search long and hard to find your perfect escape. La Casa Que Canta was one of my hideaways this year. And for our Editor in Chief, Julia Cosgrove, her “go to” is Amansala in Tulum.

La Casa Que Canta, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

La Casa Que Canta, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

6. Indigenous culture:

Spending time in Chiapas, I developed a love for, and a fascination with, Mexico’s indigenous culture. The textiles are beautifully hand-woven and the people here use clothes and patterns as form of communication. Chiapas isn’t one of Mexico’s most traveled areas, so the opportunity to get off the beaten path and beneath the surface is at your fingertips.

7. The music:

From mariachi to modern rock, Mexico knows how to play infectious tunes. Head to Guadalajara to spend time in the place that calls mariachi home. Or when you’re in Mexico City, take a trip to Plaza Garibaldi. If modern is more your style, download some of Mana’s best tracks.

Plaza de Garibaldi Mexico City

Plaza de Garibaldi – Mariachi’s in Mexico City

8. Tequila and Mescal:

I’m a huge fan of these truly Mexican spirits. And it takes a trip to Jalisco and Oaxaca to begin to understand the depth and variety of flavors tequila and mescal affords. Shake off your awful memories of getting drunk on Cuervo as a teenager and begin to explore the quality of real 100% agave-made tequila. You’ll leave the hangover at home.

9. Architectural ruins:

Mexico is home to some of the richest archaeological sites in the world. Thousands of pyramids dot its landscape with the most famous near Tulum and Mexico City. This year I visited the pyramids of Teotihuacan and Guachimontones. To begin to comprehend the knowledge and vision it took to construct these will take your breath away.

There are so many great reasons to visit Mexico. What would you add to this list?

About the author

Joe Diaz - Joe Diaz is a Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of AFAR, one of today’s most talked-about travel magazines and websites. He passionately believes that experiential travel is the best form of education and the more people who travel in a curious and open-minded way, the better our world will be.

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Great Article. I agree with so much of what you were discussing and have been to so many of these destinations, I particularly love the Ruins around the country, especially some of the lesser known Ruins, like Calakmul.
Plaza Garibaldi is a must for any Mexican Vacation.
After 15 years in Mexico, I happily call Cabo San Lucas my Home. It is certainly not the greatest location for Mexican Culture, however has so much to offer and for many is a first step into adventuring further into the heart of Mexico. There are so many Activities in the area, that will keep anyone entrtained and leave you with the desire to come back.


Oh, I so much want to visit Mexico City! Persuading my husband to visit this magical place!


Great place to dream of visiting!


I completely agree with you! Mexico is amazing in so many things! Great post!

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