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Mexiko bietet wundervolle Strände, hier Cancún. Bild: SVongpra / shutterstock

Mexico – Land of Contrasts

Mexico – skulls and Madonnas, rainforest and desert, vibrant cities and breathtaking ruins, land of stark contrasts in culture and nature, striding and arguing from crisis to crisis. There is frightening poverty, unfathomable wealth; a country full of rhythm, joie de vivre and the cult of sacrifice; Colorful, fascinating, noisy, unique. Whether diving in the Caribbean, climbing pyramids, shuddering at the human sacrifices of the Aztecs, marveling at the skills of the Mayans, every tourist finds something in the land of the indigenous natives and Spanish conquistadors. Everyone will find their place and will be able to enjoy themselves in the mirror of contrasts.

Travel tips and regions in Mexico

Mexico, El Ángel de la Independencia
The El Ángel de la Independencia in Mexico City, Image: Vincent St. Thomas / shutterstock

From Frankfurt Airport directly to Mexico City. Time change: -7 hours. Best in the winter months, because in the rainy season from May to October it is an experience for advanced surfers. In August, many American vacationers are to be expected. Alcohol consumption in public is prohibited, some caution is advised, even if people drink on the tourist beaches. The drug laws are also harsh. A valid passport is required, but not a visa. At the border, there is a tourist card (FMM) that is valid for up to 180 days. It does no harm to take note of the information provided by the Federal Foreign Office on the current situation in Mexico and any risks.

Landscapes range from the bright blue coast of Baja California and the legendary cactus deserts of the north to the Mayan villages and palm-lined beaches of the south. Richly decorated colonial churches await visitors everywhere and a sophisticated, varied cuisine tempts visitors with numerous chili varieties and dishes made from the most important basis corn. Would you like a tequila made from fermented agave juice or a fermented juice of the same fruit, called pulque, with a low alcohol content, mixed with melons or dragon fruit? A Mexico vacation has a lot to offer.

Mexico City

Mexico, Baja
The Baja in Mexico, Image: Grey82 / shutterstock

Welcome to one of the largest cities in the world. The main square Zócalo is the second largest in the world, bordered by the Cathedral and the National Palace. In the middle flies a gigantic red-white-green flag, the banner of Mexico with the eagle devouring a snake. The church is the largest in Latin America and was built from 1573 to 1813. Masses take place there incessantly during the day, there is a coming and going in the richly decorated, magnificent church.

In the Palacio National , luminous murals gloss over the pre-Christian life of the indigenous peoples, and in the stairwell, the Marxist worldview is transfigured in dazzling paintings. Contrasts here too. A walk through the old town offers relaxation and diverse impressions. East and south of the square there is a lively market hustle and bustle. The Museo Nacional de Antropologia in the Bosque de Chapultepec park is another highlight in Mexico City.

Mary of Guadalupe and Teotihuacán

Located at an altitude of 2200 m, surrounded by mountain ranges and the twin volcanoes, the surroundings of the capital tempt you to go on excursions. First, a short history.

In 1521, the Spaniard Cortes had conquered the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan and abolished the cruel human sacrifices. The inhabitants of the city were to become Christians. But only a few adopted the religion of the greedy conquerors.

House of Life

It was not until 1531, when the image of Mary of Guadalupe appeared on the cloak of a simple Indian and a church was built in her honor, that millions of Indians were converted in a few years. They recognized the dark-skinned woman as one of their own and accepted her as ruler. Just like the child she is carrying as a pregnant woman. Mexico became Catholic, Our Lady of Guadalupe became the patron saint of the country, and the sanctuary north of Mexico City became the largest pilgrimage site in the world. 20 million come every year. The fusion of very different cultures had begun.

Street of the Dead

Mexico Beach
Mexico has great beaches to offer, Image: Jess Kraft / shutterstock

The bus continues to Teotihuacan, where the third largest pyramid in the world rises 65 m high in the center of the ruins. The Pyramid of the Sun, built about 100 years AD. At the northern end of the Street of the Dead lies the Pyramid of the Moon, the little sister. A breathtaking scenery in this place, whose name means: ‘Where men become gods’.

Pacific Ocean

Bright blue, warm sand, glaring light in
and the famous cliff divers who plunge headlong from the rocks from a height of 26 m into the gently rolling waves of the Pacific. The extensive sandy beach, the magnificent villas of high society on the hills, the variety of hotels and water sports facilities, the nightlife and the cloudless days attract the tourist. Acapulco is especially beautiful when the bay begins to shine with thousands of lights after sunset. If you stick to a reputable hotel and follow a few basic rules, you can spend nice holidays there despite political turmoil and the drug mafia.

It is quieter 200 km further north in the fishing village of Zihuatanejo. Small beach promenade, family fish restaurants, excursion boats to bird sanctuary islands or Playa las Gatas. Swimming, diving, lazing around is the order of the day.

South of Acapulco, there are also beautiful seaside resorts with quiet bays like around Puerto Angelo or with majestic swells like in Puerto Escondido, which is an El Dorado for surfers.

Where relaxation and culture can be found: Riviera Maya

Idyllic, dreamlike, bright white, palm-fringed, with crystal clear water are the Caribbean beaches of the
region. At Cancún International Airport, a fascinating Mexico tour can begin with a focus on water, scrub forest and Mayan temples. Cancún is a test-tube city with a gorgeous beach, hotels, shopping, and diverse nightlife. Things are quieter on the small Isla Mujeres, the Fraueninsel. A diver’s paradise is the Isla de Cozumel. The coast to
is called Riviera Maya and scores with turquoise shimmering sea, white, wide beaches and palm bays. At Tulum, there are Mayan ruins right on the sapphire blue sea. A worthwhile detour from there leads to Cobá. Good hotels offer excursions. This ruined city is still located in the bush forest, which is also a nature reserve and is home to a variety of fantastic bird species. It is touristy, but not overcrowded and more atmospheric than the meticulously uncovered temple towns such as the famous Chichén Itzá, 70 km further inland. This has been declared one of the new 7 wonders of the world and the visitor should not be surprised if he sees only the tips of the sophisticated Mayan buildings in front of all the tourists.

Mexico Holiday Packages

The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Image: WitR / shutterstock

Mexico is 6 times larger than Germany. Wanting to experience it on your own, for example in a rental car, is certainly an adventure and not without danger. A package tour takes you to the most beautiful places, introduces you to reliable travel guides, saves lengthy journeys in crowded buses, picks you up from the airport and brings you back there safely. The right one for beginners. There is so much to discover:

  • The Pueblos Magicos, colorful villages and small towns with their colonial churches, social life, museums, festivals, markets and street stalls.
  • The Pink Lagoon has become an insider tip with its fine white sand and pink-shining water.
  • Bathing in freshwater holes
  • Diving with turtles and encounters with gray whales
  • Music and dancing and eating, eating, eating

Conclusion: A Mexico vacation is always worthwhile.