Sunset siestas: Everything you need to know before you travel to Mexico
Mexico is a fascinating country that you must travel to at least once in your life, yet it can also be highly complex. Mexico is well-known for having unbelievable natural diversity, mouthwatering food, and multiple fascinating cultures. Nevertheless, Mexico’s treasure is also permeated by a long history of violence and severe inequity.
As a tourist, you shouldn’t particularly worry about safety or not more than you should anywhere else you’re traveling to. Remember pickpockets live everywhere and all cities have shady spots, just think of Rome’s subway. Please avoid the stigma of visiting a Latin American country, it might be one of the best experiences you ever have. Here’s everything you need to know to travel Mexico consciously.
Choose your journey
Keep in mind diversity is a big deal in Mexico and it isn’t a small country, so first of all, choose the experience you’re looking for. You can have the best trip visiting fascinating museums in Mexico City, resting in a marvelous beach resort, or eating Tlayudas de Oaxaca’s market.
All touristic activities in Mexico guarantee a great experience, however, they’re all different in price & distance. Unless you’re planning on staying in Mexico for several months, a few days or weeks won’t be enough to get the full experience, so choose wisely.
Respect ancient cultures
Keep in mind Mexico is a plural nation with sixty-eight different indigenous cultures. However, indigenous people are structurally discriminated against, don’t forget colonization left a deep mark, so please be kind and don’t bargain handicrafts.
Mexico is a rich country in culture but has a high level of economic poverty. Most artisans aren’t fairly paid, so make sure to pay everyone fairly, especially when it comes to embroidery, textiles, and artisanship. A single dollar translates to around twenty pesos, so, if you can, tip all service people, besides, you’ll see Mexico’s hospitality is incomparable.
If you like taking pictures and are visiting places like Chiapas or Oaxaca, consider there are some indigenous cultures that feel offended if you photograph them. So first, ask a local or look for it on the internet.
Only drink bottled water
In Mexico, tap water isn’t drinkable in almost any place, you can serenely take baths & wash your teeth, but don’t drink it. Buy bottled water or simply carry with a water bottle that has a travel-grade filter.
Considering everything is more expensive at hotels, you might want to buy your water bottle at local stores, which are plenty.
If you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort full of foreigners then all service people should speak English. Yet, if you’re visiting regular cities & markets you should learn basic words in Spanish or have a translator app downloaded. Also, keep in mind Mexico is more than a beach resort in Cancun, and you should totally take the chance of walking through the cities’ streets and eating at local places.
Even though pronouns make less sense every time, please know that bathrooms marked with an M respond to “mujer”, which is women, not men. You’re welcome.
Have cash with you
Again, if you’re exclusively attending big restaurants and buying at formal stores, then you can use cards as long as your bank is okay with international purchases. However, you’ll find a good part of Mexico’s beauty in local markets or you’re going to be tempted to eat something in the streets, so have cash with you.
Saying something is spicy can be highly subjective, however, before you travel to Mexico, knowing this can save your stomach. Make sure that every time you want to pour salsa into something you try a little first. Also, delicious food dishes like Mole can be greasy & acidic and might be best to have at lunch and not for dinner, but you should definitely eat them.
Even if you don’t have gastritis or any particular stomach situation just make sure to carry an antacid so you can eat everything you want. It really is a big sin to visit Mexico and not try all its delicious food, not only tacos & guacamole but also fruits & sweets.
Have you visited Mexico? Tell us in the comments below!