With sunny beaches, excellent food, desert mountains, lush valleys one of the biggest cities in the world and charming colonial towns with history dating back thousands of years, Mexico has it all. A trip to Mexico will offer visitors a little taste of everything, catering to a wide range of tourists: from adventure travel enthusiasts, beach bums, history buffs and cosmopolitan shoppers. And who doesn’t love Mexican food? The regional cuisine is as varied and as it is tasty, with spicy Tex-Mex in the north, fresh seafood on both coasts and traditional chocolate molé sauces in the central region.
The Regions of Mexico
The arid deserts, beautiful beaches, sunny islands, dense forests, deep canyons and clear blue rivers of Mexico were the home to ancient cultures such as the Olmecs, Aztecs, and Maya long before the New World was discovered in 1492. The climate, topography, culture and even language vary greatly from one region to another.
The North-Central Region of Mexico is defined as several states in the northern part of the country that do not border either the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. It includes the states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, Zacatecas, Aguas Calientes and San Luis Potosi. Although it is one of the more sparsely populated zones of Mexico, it has much to offer the visitor, including adventure travel, historical sites and indigenous culture.
The Baja Peninsula is a long stretch of land bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortés. It attracts many visitors every year to its peaceful beach resorts and scenic coastline.The peninsula is so long (1,300 km, or, 800 miles) that for a long time people believed it to be an island. The climate of the Baja peninsula is also one of the driest in the world and the population is still very small. The peninsula is divided into two states: Baja California and Baja California Sur. The region is known for good beaches and fishing.? It is furthermore where you’ll find the city of Tijuana as well as resorts such as Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas.
The Yucatán Peninsula juts out into the Gulf of Mexico on Mexico’s eastern coast. It is comprised of only three states: Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán. It is a fascinating mix of Ancient Maya culture and modern beach resorts. The peninsula was home to the Maya for centuries, and you can still visit ruined cities such as Chichén Itzá and Tulum. Their descendants still live in the area and Yucatán is a great place for native handicrafts and markets. The Maya now share their peninsula with beach vacation paradises such as Cozumel and Cancún.
Central Mexico was home to the mighty Aztec empire and their vassal states. The best ruins in the nation, along with some spectacular Spanish colonial structures, are to be found in the center, and almost every major city is within range of at least one ruin complex. Most of the cities have restored their historic areas and encourage people to visit. The architecture is gorgeous, and many of the baroque churches and monasteries can be visited. In addition, the region is home to the Distrito Federal (the federal district), seat of Mexico’s government and location of Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world. The region is comprised of the states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Mexico, Morelos, Puebla, Queretaro and Tlaxcala.
The Mexican Northwest is formed by the states of Chihuahua, Sonora, Durango and Sinoloa. It is known for natural beauty, some nice beaches, and charming towns and cities. The region is also home to the stunning Copper Canyon.
Mexico’s Western Pacific is known for beaches; Acapulco is a world-class resort. But, if Acapulco is too big and touristy for your tastes, there are a number of alternatives, such as Puerto Escondido or Mazatlan. Mexico’s Western Pacific region includes the states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima and Michoacán.
Comprised of the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero, Mexico’s Pacific South is a popular region for visitors. Whereas Mexico’s northern and central areas were dominated by the Aztec culture when the Spanish arrived, these southern states were inhabited by the Maya, as well as older cultures such as the Zapotecs and Mixtecs, who built the magnificent city of Monte Albán, near present-day Oaxaca. Some of Mexico’s best beaches can also be found in this area, including the legendary Acapulco.
The Gulf of Mexicoregion is comprised of the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Tabasco. The region is known for many things, including history: the Spanish invaded Mexico from Cuba and the Caribbean, and they landed and built bases along this coast.