Eco-friendly travel guide to Mexico advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Mexico, North America.
- Air quality: 2 / 5
- Bus connections: 4.5 / 5
- Train connections: 3 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 3 / 5
- National parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$10 - $30
- Budget per day: US$30 - $50
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Mexico is a North American country that has a Spanish speaking community. It is in the southern part of North America and shares its borders in the north with the United States of America. On the south and west side of the country, it has the Pacific Ocean. Mexico has an area of 1.9 million square kilometers, where 128 million people reside. It also goes by the official name, the United Mexican States, and has about 31 states and a capital city. The capital city is Mexico city that is also the largest Mexican metropolitan city. Other urban areas in Mexico are Tijuana, Leon, Puebla, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Toluca, and Ciudad Juarez. Mexico is a trendy tourist country as it homes many important historical and cultural sites that attract scientists, archaeologists, anthropologists, and people fascinated with history. You will find that the country's origins go back to 8,000 BC and is one of the world's six civilization cradles. The Mayan and Aztec traces are present in the historical sites that give deep insights into the long but enriching history of the civilizations' development.
Apart from all the historical significance, the country homes a wide diversity of ethnic groups. More than 90% of the people follow Christianity as their only religion, in which more than 80% are Roman Catholic, and the remaining are Protestants and other Christian groups. The reason for Roman Catholicism in Mexico is because it was once under the rule of the Spanish. Mexico got recognized as an independent country on 28th December 1836. Therefore, the prevalence of Roman Catholicism is more than any other religion in the country. You will find that apart from all the historical and cultural sites, there are many sites where some endangered and endemic flora and fauna are present. Mexico is a full package of cultural, historic, and environmentally significant areas.
- Do not engage in illegal activities: You will find that the crime rates and pollution rates are very high in the country. The best way to travel responsibly in Mexico is by being aware of your surroundings. It would be best if you avoided any mob activities as it might get you deported or banned from revisiting Mexico. You must try your best to respect the local environment, which includes the local communities and nature. You must not disrespect or insult the locals, as it may land you in a lot of trouble. You must also not indulge in poaching, hunting, or illegal selling of animals and plants.
- Shop Local: The prevalence of localized items is high in Mexico. You will find that urban cities also have some international brand stores that sell expensive clothes and other fashion items. You must not buy from the international stores as their products are available worldwide, whereas localized things are not. You can find some unique items at the local shops and businesses to understand the local culture and traditions. By buying from such Mexican places, you will help the local communities in growing and creating a better standard of living.
- Use public transport: Since the pollution levels are high, you must not use private vehicles like rental cars or boats. These vehicles run using non-renewable resources like petrol, diesel, natural gas, etc. These non-renewable resources emit a lot of harmful chemicals along with smoke and soot. It is the reason why pollution levels are increasing at a high rate. The best alternatives to such motorized transports are public transports and electronic cars. They are friendlier to the environment and will help you in interacting with the locals. It will also help you in keeping your carbon footprint minimal.
- Stay in a green hotel: There are many accommodation options available, and most tourists go for 5-star hotels and resorts. You will be surprised to find that these hotels are prominent contributors to the increasing pollution levels. They often exploit the local environment to provide their guests with luxurious facilities. Other alternatives, like green hotels, hostels, guesthouses, apartments, campsites, and Couchsurfing, are present in Mexico. Green hotels are very affordable and often follow various sustainable measures like hiring local staff, using organic items, using renewable energy sources, etc.
You must follow such advice while visiting and exploring Mexico. The reason is that they will help you maintain your trip budget while helping you create a memorable trip. You can also keep your carbon footprint minimal, which will help you in traveling responsibly. These actions will also show respect to the locals and nature, which will result in creating some memorable times.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air of this country is not good enough to be considered as healthy. If we focus on the stats, it shows that Mexico's air pollution is about 81% of all pollution levels. The leading cause of air pollution in this country is the high traffic emitting carbon and other harmful chemicals in smoke. Many Mexican people prefer buses, cars, motorcycles, and other diesel or petrol-operated vehicles as their primary means of transport. Therefore, it causes a great demand for transportation, which creates traffic and air pollution. Another type of pollution that is at a high rate is noise and light pollution. According to various investigations and studies, the main reason for the noise and light pollution is increasing tourism and traffic rates. Clubs and bars that are open for the whole night cause too much light pollution as electricity keeps running the entire night driving unnecessary use. Late night clubs and bars use high decibel speakers, which creates a lot of noise. Due to the increased traffic, there is an increase in noise pollution from vehicles' horns and engine noise. Another reason which came forward in this investigation was the industrialization and regular construction work, which required drills and heavy machinery, thus creating a lot of noise. Noise pollution can cause stress insufficient sleep, which increases the chances of depression and low activeness of the body due to disturbed daily routine; it can be a significant reason for a headache. As a responsible traveler, it is your duty not to contribute to increasing air pollution and noise pollution. It would be best to avoid motorized cars and use electric vehicles as they don't require non-renewable resources and are friendly to the environment. Their engines do not make much sound if compared with motor-operated vehicles.
Respect the Culture
Mexico's culture reflects Mexico's history. It is a beautiful a blend of Spanish and other Mexican cultures. The culture of this country is said to be inhabited before 10,000 years. During Spanish rule in Mexico, people of Europe, Africa, and Asia came with a different culture. If we focus on religion, we can say that the Spanish rule and colonization transformed Christianity as the main religion; however, in 1917, the constitution declared Mexico a secular country that created an imposing law known as the anti-clerical law churches. Further, the government provides financial help to the churches, and the Church can't participate in public education. When there was a survey that happened in 2010, 95% of the total people living in Mexico were Christian, out of which 89% were Roman Catholic. Therefore, Christmas is the national holiday of this country, and the students get a vacation during Easter.
Findings also showed that 3.52 % of the population states that they don't have any religion. Mexico is also known for its art, tradition, and folk styles, mostly Spanish craft. Many of ancient art includes pottery, which is made of clay and includes handwork. This country's art also has cotton garments, shawls, and outer garments that have colorful embroidery. There are baskets and rugs made by hand.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Chichen Itza, Tinum: Chichén Itzá is the main archaeological sites of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. It sits in the municipality of Tinum, in the state of Yucatán. It consisted of a city or a ceremonial center, which went through various constructive periods and influences from the different peoples that occupied it. It is a renowned and vital relic of the Mayan civilization. The main buildings that remain there correspond to late classic or early post-classic dating back around 800-1100 AD. It came on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1988. On 7th July 2007, the Temple of Kukulcán, which sits in Chichén Itzá, became part of the modern world's seven wonders. It was a private initiative without UNESCO based on the support of millions of people living around the Globe.
- Acuario Inbursa, Mexico City: Revive the experience of knowing the Inbursa Aquarium, Interactive Aquarium, and the new temporary room "Sharks: The Kings of the Ocean," for a single price and with all sanitary measures. In this incredible experience, you will be able to meet more than 14,000 specimens of 350 species such as sharks, penguins, rays, jellyfish, axolotls, various reptiles, and more, on tour through two aquariums and more than 50 exhibits. They also have a Conservation Center and Reproduction Laboratory, where they make great efforts to preserve marine life. The primary mission is to generate passion, interest, and awareness towards the aquatic world's wonders through the family coexistence spaces that inspire the visitors to have an environmentally friendly lifestyle. For this, they are determined to work under the concept of "edutainment," which adds education plus entertainment. This aquarium is spread over an area of 3500 square kilometers and started operating in 2014.
- National Museum of History, Mexico City: The National Museum of History represents Mexico's history, from the Tenochtitlan’s conquest to the Mexican Revolution. Its rooms display a diversity of representative objects from four centuries of Mexican history. The museum is in the Castle of Chapultepec, whose construction began in 1785 under the Viceroy of New Spain, Bernardo de Gálvez. The museum has 12 permanent exhibition rooms that present the country's historical trajectory, from the conquest to the Mexican Revolution, and 22 places in the area known as Alcázar. The recreated chambers of Maximiliano and Carlota and President Porfirio Díaz are present. The Assault on Chapultepec Castle is another attractive place in this museum.
- Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City: The Palacio de Bellas Artes, also known as the Palace of Fine Arts, is a cultural center in Mexico City. It has always hosted some notable events in dance, music, opera, theatre, and literature. Many significant exhibitions of sculpture, photography, and painting also take place here. It started working in the year 1934. It also has a seating capacity of 1,936 people at one time. The Palace has a mix of various architectural styles. Art Nouveau dominates the outside, while Art Deco dominated the interior architecture of the Palace. It became an artistic monument by UNESCO in the year 1987. Every week on average, the Palace welcomes about 10,000 visitors. The palace gallery is known for its murals as well as many exhibitions and performances hosted here. Some of the works kept here include Leonardo Bistolfi's career and music, the Virile age, Andre Joseph Allar, and many more.
- Copper Canyon, Sierra Tarahumara: The Copper Canyon is a system that consists of seven canyons. It is present in the Sierra Tarahumara in the southwest of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The canyon system covers 60 thousand km² that is four times larger in extent and approximately twice the Grand Canyon's depth in Colorado in Arizona, in the United States of America. The Copper Canyon is where the Chihuahua al Pacífico train route, known as "El Chepe," goes through. On the Divisadero-Los Mochis section, the train goes deep into the mountains to cross the rugged geography, passes along precipitous cliffs, crosses 86 impressive short and long tunnels, and 37 spectacular bridges that run through mighty rivers. It is an important transportation system and a tourist attraction. Today, roads from Chihuahua's city take approximately five hours to reach this canyon. Flying over the canyons via a helicopter will offer you a spectacular aerial view.
- Floating gardens of Xochimilco, Mexico City: Xochimilco is one of the must-visit cities in Mexico. It is mainly famous for its canals, which are very long. Due to this, some consider Xochimilco the Venice of Mexico. In Mexico, these floating gardens go by the name Chinampas. The colorful canal boats also attract several visitors every year. Moreover, there is also an island of dolls here, which attracts a lot of people. Besides the Island of dolls and canal boats, most tourists also gather here due to this part's historical significance. You will also find many floating musicians, but you will have to bargain with them to make them play for you at reasonable rates. There is also a greenhouse for people who love a quiet and peaceful place. If you want, you can also visit the haunted city, a fully fun-packed place for every person.
- Coyoacan, Mexico City: Currently, it is a municipality in Mexico. Coyoacan used to be a Mexican village in the past, but presently, it is a popular tourist destination for weekends and is a historic center in Mexico. The name of the town means the Palace of Coyotes in Spanish. It is a popular tourist destination on weekends. Moreover, here, you will get a fantastic variety of street foods. The street vendors here sell all kinds of dishes, from soups, tortas to pozoles and many more. One more delicious item sold here is hotcakes, which come in the shape of humans or animals. Another critical building popular among tourists here is the Parish of San Juan Bautista, built between 1520 to 1552. National Arts Center is present here which also contains two theatres, a school of cinema, painting, dance, engraving and many more activities.
- Guanajuato: Guanajuato, officially called the Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato is one of the thirty-one states. It has 46 municipalities. It is in the north-central region of the country, bordering Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí to the north, Querétaro to the east, Michoacán south Jalisco to the west. With 30 607 km² of surface, it represents 1.6% of the national territory's total, being 22º in extension. In 2015, it became the sixth most populated entity —behind the State of Mexico, Mexico City, Veracruz, Jalisco, and Puebla.
- Zocalo, Mexico City: It is popularly known as Zocalo or Plaza del Zocalo. It is the primary and essential square in the center of Mexico City. It is also a historical place as, during the colonial period, it was the main center of the ceremonies in Tenochtitlan's important city. The square has become the central place for cultural events. It is the result of the government who is trying to enhance the tourism of the country. There is also an ice skating rink free to use for the people or tourists during winter. The ice rink has a total length of 3200 meters square. The very famous Festival De Mexico is an annual event consisting of programs related to academics and art. Various concerts by popular groups and singers give their performances here.
- Cozumel: It is a Mexican island, the third largest and the second most populated ones in the country. It is about nineteen kilometers from the Mexican coast, in the Caribbean Sea, and sixty-two kilometers south of Cancun. It constitutes among the 11 municipalities of Quintana Roo. Cozumel once was part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves included by UNESCO. Sitting in the Mexican Caribbean, Cozumel is a flat island formed of limestone from the reefs. There are cenotes formed by water filtration through the limestone for thousands of years. You can explore them by swimming or through snorkeling and diving. You will find different marine species here that will make your Mexican experience worthwhile.
There are a lot of things which are worth exploring in this beautiful country. Exploring something new in a city or the state you are visiting helps you learn about the place. It also helps a person mentally because there are many hidden things; exploring and finding them can give you a sense of achievement. It also motivates a person and helps in giving them the energy to go on exploring. There are many historical and ancient sites to explore, like museums where you can learn about historical cultures, richness, and many other historical elements. Other than this, there are national parks where you can explore flora and fauna and can enjoy among them. Beaches are best to explore marine life and other aquatic creatures like crabs, jellyfish, whales, fishes, turtles, etc.
There are many city parks built in each of the Mexican cities. They have many different unique features, which makes them popular among the Mexican people. These parks are great for morning or evening walks as they provide fresh winds and the right environment. Other than this, you can also explore the greenery of those parks. The parks are free for public use, but you might be charged for parking. You can reach these city parks by public transport. In some of the gardens, there are badminton, basketball, and tennis courts built for sports. These parks can also serve as the right picnic spot or if you want to spend some time with your partner, parents, or family. There are vendors available outside the parks for beverages and snacks. In some of the gardens, there are public canteens for meals or snacks. These parks have a spotless environment because the cleaning staff is very regular in maintaining it. Other than this, the locals feel their responsibility to keep these parks clean; therefore, sometimes, they are also seen cleaning the parks. You must maintain that cleanliness, and you must not harm any tree, flowers, or plants of these parks.
- Parque México, Condesa
- Parque Hundido, ry clean en Insurgentes
- Parque Alameda, Centro Histórico
- Parque Lincoln, Polanco
- Parque Masayoshi (La Pagoda), Coyoacán
There is at least one Mexican national park in each city; therefore, there are many national parks in the entire country. National parks are for conserving wildlife and nature; consequently, you can see many species of different types of plants. Along with various plant species, there are many types of animals and their species present in this park. There are many tours that a driver and a guide accompanies so that you can gain knowledge from experts who know those parks deeply. There is a camping tour available in most gardens that allow enjoying in the national park at night with various people. You can also make friends there if you are traveling alone. National parks often serve as a good vacation trip with friends or family. National parks help get in-depth knowledge of various plants and animal species and know how to conserve nature and its elements. There are many representations and short clips of plants and animals' lifecycle, including their food, source of food, and many other things. The best and the most popular national parks are listed below and in which cities they are present.
- Sumidero Canyon National Park, Chiapas
- Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park, Guerrero
- Islas Marietas National Park, Nayarit
- Basaseachic Falls National Park, Chihuahua
- Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park, Puebla
- Lagunas de Montebello National Park, Chiapas
- Nevado de Toluca National Park, State of Mexico
- Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, Quintana Roo
- Palenque National Park, Chiapas
- Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, Monterrey
Beaches play an essential role in providing relaxation. A beach is a place that is close to a water body. Most of the beaches consist of sand. Beaches have many benefits. Walking on the beach is more beneficial than walking on a concrete track. After all, when you step on the sand, you make many efforts because your legs pierce in the sand. Walking on the beach can reduce your stress and calm your mind because the cool sea breeze provides positive energy. You can discover your creativity skills by making new drawings or building a sandcastle of many shapes. Sunbathing on a beach can help you get ample vitamin D, which can cure many skin-related diseases. However, you must note that too much sunbathing can damage the skin by causing sunburn; therefore, you must apply some sunscreen, which will help you protect yourself from the sun. There are many beaches in this country. You can also find some beachside bars and restaurants to enjoy different dishes and beverages along with the sunset and waves.
- Acapulco, Guerrero
- Balandra Beach, La Paz
- Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit
- Medano Beach, Cabo San Lucas
- Isla Holbox, Yucatan Peninsula
- Puerto Vallarta Beach, Jalisco
- Zipolite Beach, Oaxaca
- Yelapa Beach, Jalisco
- Playa Las Gatas, Zihuatanejo
Landmarks are extremely important for a country. It serves as a major tourist attraction of the town. It also serves as a substitute for a particular place you want to visit. These landmarks include various monuments built in ancient times, which reflects the richness of ancient architecture. Other than this, some cities have evidence of dating back to ancient times. There are pyramids in this country which serves as the main tourist attraction of cities. Most of the revenue comes from these landmarks. Some landmarks are human-made, and some are natural. There is a butterfly biosphere where there are many species of butterfly which are for the exhibition. These landmarks can be reached easily as most of them have public transport services.
- Ángel de la Independencia, Mexico City
- Monte Alban, Oax
- San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuanto
- Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Michoacan
- Great Pyramid of Cholula, Puebla
- Uxmal, Yucatan
- Zipolite, Oaxaca
- El Tajin, Veracruz
- Bonampak Murals, Chiapas
Museums are the place that many people want to visit. It helps us to learn about various things of different categories in-depth. Museums are known for preserving history, and Mexico is a place with many historical artifacts, monuments, arts, incidents, and many more. There are museums for ancient literature which have most of Spanish history. Museums are a fun way of learning as a visual image helps us understand better than text. You can comfortably spend a day in a museum. Some of the museums have amusement parks with few rides for children to enjoy there.
- National Museum of Death, Aguascalientes
- Tijuana Cultural Center, Tijuana
- Tijuana Wax Museum, Tijuana
- Tijuana Trompo Museum, Tijuana
- Museum of San Miguel Fort, Campeche
- Museum of Mayan Medicine, Chiapas
- Chilaquiles: It is a trendy dish in Mexico, which is a typical breakfast dish amongst the Mexicans. The base ingredient of this dish is corn tortillas. After cutting the fried tortillas, they either use green or red salsa as the topping. Then they put pulled chicken or scrambled eggs on top of the salsa topping. At last, they garnish the dish with cream or cheese.
- Pozole: It is a soup, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients and is different from other soups. You can also get vegetarian soups under the name pozole. The vegetarian version has plenty of spices and herbs. The base ingredient is hominy corn. The non-vegetarian version consists of chicken and pork. Onion, lime, lettuce, radish, and chili are the garnishes for the soup. The traditional taste comes from brewing it for hours on low flame.
- Tostadas: This Spanish word's literal meaning is 'toasted.' It is a corn tortilla that they fry in boiling oil till they become golden and crunchy. They come in two versions. In the first version, they only serve fried tortillas, while in the second version, they top the tortillas with refried beans, seafood, cooked meat, cheese, and ceviche.
- Chiles en Nogada: It is one of the lost patriotic dishes of Mexico. It is so because this dish contains all the three colors which are there on the flag of Mexico. Pablanochilies represent the green color as they have a filling with a mixture made with fruits, spices, and meat. The pomegranate seeds represent the red color, while the cream sauce with a base of walnut represents the white color of the flag. It is a must-try dish in Mexico.
- Enchiladas: It is a historical dish that dates back in history as old as the Mayan Times. The base ingredient of this dish is the corn tortilla. Traditionally this dish uses corn tortillas, but now the use of flour tortillas is also becoming popular. Cheese, seafood, meat, vegetables, and beans are the filling of these tortillas. Sometimes, the locals use all of these ingredients as fillings, while it is the customer's choice. After stuffing, they either cover or dip the tortillas with chili sauce.
- Paloma: It is one of the cocktails which is highly popular in Mexico. It is simple, as well as refreshing. The base ingredient is tequila, consisting of juice or grape soda, lime, and tequila Blanco. Spicy Mexican dishes often accompany the drink.
- Kahlua: It is a liqueur that has a flavor similar to coffee. The base ingredient of this drink is the Arabica variety of coffee beans. Kahlua also serves as the base ingredient in many famous cocktails: B-52 or the White Russian. The people of Mexico especially love this drink.
- Margarita: This drink is famous all over the world, but it originated in Mexico. The base ingredient of a margarita is tequila. The traditional method of making a margarita is by mixing triple sec, lime juice or tequila, and salt on the glass's rim. It comes in two types of servings; frozen or on the rocks. It also has many variations or flavors. Some of them are classic; strawberry, mango, and many more.
- Horchata: This drink is also famous in many parts of the world, but Mexican horchata has a variation that makes it stand out from other horchatas available. Mexican horchata has enormous popularity globally. The two main ingredients are cinnamon and rice. If we go to the texture, the drink is creamy and sweet. Traditionally, the locals either drink it cold or with some added sugar for sweetness.
- Mexican Coke: Coke is a globally available drink, and it is easy for everyone to presume that coke has the same taste globally. But, there is a difference in Mexican coke because of its different production methods. The difference is that the sweet substance used to sweeten Mexican coke is cane sugar. Initially, corn syrup was the substance used to enhance it, but the authorities stopped its use. Due to sugar cane, the coke gets a naturally sweet taste that is void of artificial sweeteners.
Mexico's tap water is not fit for drinking as it has mini pollutants that contaminate water and makes it unfit for drinking. On reading the stats, which showed that 96% of this country's surface water has different impurities in it. Water pollution in the city is very high. The main reason behind it is the chemical discharged from the industries into lakes and rivers without filtering. On getting mixed with different water bodies, it pollutes it, making it unfit for drinking purposes. Mexico's government is very lenient regarding pollutions; therefore, many industries escape from penalties and legal procedures. Even the wastewater of the municipal area is not treated correctly. This country's primary water source is surface and groundwater, which makes 457 million cubic meters. Seven rivers flow across this country, providing enough water to Mexico.
Among these seven rivers, two rivers are the largest on the Pacific and Atlantic coast. This country's precipitation is up to 773 meters, out of which 77% of these falls between June and October. It cannot be a reliable source of water as rainfall can vary from month to month. So the tap water is not fit for drinking. Therefore, you can buy plastic water bottles readily available in the entire country, but using these water bottles will increase your plastic consumption, which is also harmful to nature. Therefore, you must not use a single water bottle made up of plastic. Instead, you can buy a refillable bottle and refill it whenever you need it. If you live in an apartment where you have to do your things independently, you can contact the nearest water dealer to get a filtered water supply.
Activities involved in various tasks help create a memory and gain new experiences from different activities. There are activities related to multiple things like discovering new species in national parks. You can also visit museums to enjoy various ancient arts, literature, music and many more. Adventure lovers can perform many water sports like discovering marine life through snorkeling, scuba diving, and many others.
- Visit Museums
- Visit ancient pyramids
- Visit monuments
- Visit National Parks
- Perform water sports
- Safari tour
As Mexico is a tourist country, there are many accommodation options available in each city. Some hotels provide luxury rooms and top-class facilities at high rates. Therefore, we can say that different accommodation options are available. The pricing depends on the facilities they offer and where they are present. Other than this, they also depend on the cost or the rent they charge. People who want luxurious facilities can go to booking resorts which offer excellent facilities at a high price. Accommodation in this country comprises four major categories: green hotels, camping areas, hostels, guesthouses, and apartments. These different categories are best for people in different situations.
Green hotels are different from regular hotels as they have a certification of greenery by the state or central government or any regulatory body working under the government. These hotels adopt every eco-friendly measure they can. These hotels generate electricity with the help of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. These hotels are not easy to maintain; therefore, they enjoy several privileges from the Mexican government. These restaurants serve organic dishes made of ingredients untouched by any chemical pesticides for fertilizer. These dishes have many health benefits that do not harm the digestive system. Other than this, Green hotels maintain their farms or set-up deals with local farmers for getting organic and fresh items. Bedsheets and towels made up of natural fabrics, including silk, linen, cotton, and many others, are present in such hotels. Shampoo and soap have organic and herbal compounds. These types of hotels have limited use of plastic.
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you are a solo traveler and are in search of a pocket-friendly accommodation option with only essential services provided, then you can check in a hostel. Most hostels in Mexico offer shared rooms with another partner; therefore, you can make new friends in the hostel. You can even go out exploring Mexico together as this will not make you feel lonely. Sometimes it happens that any traveler of a different country comes and accommodates in the hostel. It can help you with learning new languages and interacting with people. Some of the hostels provide a one-time meal as a complementary service. Hostel rooms can be fun if you come here with friends. Some hostel closes by 8 P: M at night; therefore, before checking in, you must confirm the rules and regulations of the hostels.
Guesthouses are also excellent options for people traveling with their loved ones or in a group. You will find that these guesthouses come in different price ranges. They are fully-equipped with all types of electronics, furniture, appliances, and other items that a person might need. Unlike hostels, these guesthouses will provide you with more privacy and an independent environment.
An apartment is a flat which is available for sale. There are some apartments which are available in each city of this country. These are semi-furnished apartments with a modular kitchen where you can make your food rather than bringing from outside without any guarantee of quality and hygiene. Apartments will give you private space to spend with your loved ones together without any disturbance. There are some apartments built near the beaches or lakes, and you must try getting a top-floor flat, as it will give a scenic view of sunset and sunrise every day which you can enjoy with a morning coffee, tea or evening beer. The chilly winds from the sea will always keep your apartment fresh. Apartments are best when traveling in a group like family, friends, or partner for a longer duration. Apartments also provide enough security as most of the building has CCTV cameras and guards. There are many side facilities like a fitness studio, yoga studio, indoor sports area, etc., in apartment complexes and buildings. Some of the luxury apartments also offer a hygienic swimming pool as the staff cleans it regularly.
Couchsurfing means to stay at someone's house without any charge, but in exchange, you have to help them in their daily chores. There are many hosts in this country as most people live alone and are always searching for any person who can live with them. You can also make friends who may help you reveal many things about the city you visit. Crime rates in Mexico are very high; it is the reason why Couchsurfing may not be a good option for a tourist. There are chances that the host is part of a mob or a gang. It may cause you a lot of trouble as these people may cause you harm. Before setting a deal with a Couchsurfing host, you must read the reviews of previous Couchsurfers. It will help you find if living in a person's home is safe or not. Also, ensure that you keep your valuables safe, as there are chances that the host or other tourists steal them.
Camping in various places in this country is available, but the availability of camping grounds is less because many people are trying this. However, there are still camping sites open in major cities of this country. The camping area is often green, which makes it more adventurous to camp. This type of accommodation is not entirely reliable because you will quickly get bored with it. It is suitable for trying it for 3 to 4 days or a week maximum. You can even make friends with other people who come to camp. For winters, rather than using a bonfire, you should use an electric heater, which operates on batteries. It is because bonfire causes many carbon emissions in the form of smoke. You must be aware of many insects that can cause irritation or itching to your skin in summers; therefore, you must carry proper precautions with you while camping.
|Baja California (Baja California, Baja California Sur)|
The western peninsula, which borders the U.S. state of California
|Northern Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas)|
Includes the expansive deserts and mountains of the border states; mostly ignored by tourists, this is "Unknown Mexico"
|The Bajio (Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, Querétaro)|
Historic states in a traditional silver-mining region
|Central Mexico (Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico State, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz)|
Center, surrounding the capital city
|Pacific Coast (Chiapas, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, Oaxaca)|
Tropical beaches on Mexico's southern coast
|Yucatan Peninsula (Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Yucatán)|
Jungle and impressive Mayan archaeological sites, along with the Caribbean coast
- Acapulco - A sophisticated urban beach setting known for its top-notch nightlife, elegant dining, and nightmarish traffic. Many of the older (pre-1990s) concrete structures have suffered tropical decay.
- Cabo San Lucas - A resort city on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, is known for its beaches, water-based activities and nightlife.
- Cancun - One of the worlds most popular and famous beaches, known for its clear Caribbean waters, its lively party atmosphere, and its wealth of recreational facilities. During Spring Break it is noted for drinking, sunburns, and debauchery.
- Guadalajara - A traditional city, capital of Jalisco state, and the home of mariachi music and tequila. Guadalajara is blessed with perpetual spring weather, and its colonial downtown is graceful and sophisticated.
- Mazatlan - Lively Pacific coast town, Mazatlan is a shipping port, a transportation hub with ferries to Baja California, and a beach resort destination with miles of sandy shore. It is a popular Spring Break destination due to its variety of affordable lodging options. Mazatlan's Carnival is the oldest in Mexico and one of the largest in the world.
- Mexico City - Capital of the Republic, one of the three largest cities in the world, and a sophisticated urban hub with a 700-year history. In Mexico City, you will find everything from parks, Aztec ruins, colonial architecture, museums, to nightlife and shopping.
- Monterrey - A large modern city that is the commercial and industrial hub of Northern Mexico. Monterrey enjoys a dry, mountainous setting and is known for its high-quality educational and transportation infrastructure.
- Playa del Carmen - A popular tourist destination. Cancun's "little sister."
- Puerto Vallarta - A resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast, known for its beaches, water sports and robust nightlife scene.
- San Luis Potosi - Located in central Mexico, a colonial city that was once an important silver producer, but today, relies on manufacturing for its economic base.
- Taxco - In central Mexico west of Cuernavaca, this nice steep mountain town was once a major silver producer, and now has a strong place in the trade of decorative silver, from cheap fittings to the most elegant jewelry and elaborate castings.
- Tijuana - Mexico's busiest border crossing for pedestrians and private vehicles, and a long-time bargain Mecca for southern Californians due to its proximity with San Diego.
Getting There and Moving Around
There are many ways of traveling to Mexico. These ways are both direct and indirect. You will find that they are not only affordable but efficient in reaching your destination on time. The most straightforward way to get to Mexico is by taking a flight to any city in the country. There are many airports present in the country, and they have connecting routes to different cities of the world. Since Mexico is a North American country, roadways are also available for low-budgeted travelers. You will need to show your Visa or passport at the border. If you are going to try indirect ways like long-distance buses, rental cars, trains, boats, etc., you need to be careful as the crime rates are very high, and local thugs and mafia members often create problems for both locals and tourists.
For moving around Mexico, there are different modes of transports available. These transports include bicycles, rental cars, public buses, metro trains, ferries, and domestic flights. You will find that these options are very cheap but may not be suitable all the time. Instead of going for motorized vehicles, you should opt for electric-operated cars and bikes. It is because these vehicles don't cause any pollution.
Mexico is well-connected to all major cities of the world. Many airlines have regular flights to Mexico City. Therefore, we can say that the air route and connections are quite good. The various airports in Mexico provide both national and international flights. These flights are affordable, and you will get excellent flight services. These airports have shuttle buses that can help you reach your hotel or the city center. While booking a flight to Mexico, ensure that you book a flight that directly takes you to your destination. Do not prefer a transfer flight unless there is no option left. The air pollution caused by the running of an aircraft from one city to another city is more than the total breakdown from motorized-cars. It is the reason why anyone should prefer direct flights. Transfer flights usually cause more air pollution as they travel to different destinations before reaching the final goal. Also, transfer flights may cause you many issues such as time waste, delay in flights, wrong seat booking, etc.
There are different types of buses that run inside and outside the Mexican border. There are public buses, private buses, mini-buses, airport shuttle buses, tour buses, etc. You will find that these buses are so efficient that they can meet all the tourist requirements. If you want to reach Mexico, then long-distance buses are available from any city in the United States. These long-distance buses are air-conditioned and well-furnished to provide comfort and convenience to the travelers. They run at high-speed, and the chances of accidents are meager, as these buses' drivers are highly professional and experienced. Then there are public and private buses. These buses offer services inside the country only. These buses are great for traveling to different cities or states at affordable prices. Another type of bus that runs in most cities is tour buses. These buses are for tourists as they cover all tourist spots in a city like museums, monuments, parks, landmarks, cafes, restaurants, and even hotels. These buses come with a driver and a multilingual guide and efficiently provide an excellent Mexican experience to the tourists without overcharging them.
Like most cities, trains stopped working in Mexico in the mid of the 20th century. You will find that presently freight, short line, and passenger rail lines are present in Mexico. These trains have limited reach but are efficient in reaching different cities in Mexico. The San Diego Trolley is one railway service that runs from San Diego's downtown to the California-Baja California border. It is useful for reaching Mexico as it is safer than roadways. You will find that most locals depend on these trains to travel to other cities, but not in a town. The Mexican government plans to establish new high-speed trains and other rail connections, but the president and other authorities often cancel them. Therefore, trains are not suitable for moving around a city; instead, they will only help you reach some towns.
Hitchhiking is possible in Mexico, but the one reason that it is not a preferred choice of tourists is the crime rates. Because of the high crime rates, mafia activities, the locals and tourists avoid asking for rides from strangers. Even many locals don't stop for any unknown person on the highway or roads. Therefore, hitchhiking is a big challenge. Some locals will help you out, but the chances of meeting such people are relatively low. Another challenge, while hitchhiking is the language barrier. Since most of the people speak Spanish, they won't understand English properly. It would be best if you keep a translating tool like Google translator or other applications with you. You can also opt to learn some Spanish phrases before visiting the country. The best chances of hitchhiking are with buses, trucks, and other heavy vehicles. But most buses or public vehicles will demand some money in exchange after dropping you at your destination. Therefore, ensure that you make it clear to the driver that you have no money. Some drivers will not help you, but they will provide you with some cash or food you can use to reach your destination.
Other ways for reaching and moving around Mexico include rental car services like Uber and other private companies. These companies often overcharge tourists, so they must not get trapped in their trap. You must prefer a taxi booking app to avoid any inconvenience. Rental cars are not the best choice for traveling as they are usually petrol or diesel-operated. These fossil fuels emit harmful greenhouse gases that make the air quality poor. Therefore, you must not use such rental car services unless they are electric-operated ones. The electronic rental cars are better choices as they run on a widely available renewable energy source; electricity. These cars are cheaper and more efficient in reaching your destination. Ferries, cruise ships, and boats are other options for getting to Mexico and move around the country, but they operated on selected water bodies. The chances of these water transports being illegal are higher. Therefore, you must rely on roadways, railways, and airways to reach and move around in Mexico.
Sustainable shopping is present in Mexico as the communities are not well-developed and often rely only on available items. There are many trade restrictions from the Mexican border to other countries; therefore, sustainable shopping is becoming popular. You will find that most urban areas like Mexico City have more international stores like Gucci, Prada, and other brands. The other rural and town areas are the places where sustainable shopping is widely popular. Its popularity is that the locals prefer using hand-made items and other locally available products that support other people of their communities.
On the other hand, the urban areas offer some sustainable shopping places such as food markets, flea markets, eco-fashion shops, and second-hand shops. These shops are widely popular as the locals are from low-income groups and can't always afford every brand new item. These places are run by local farmers, hawkers, gardeners, bakers, artisans, fishers, and producers. Therefore, the pricing of the items in these places is reasonable.
The food markets operate on specific days of the week only. Over-fishing is becoming quite common globally, and by providing fresh produce once or twice a week, the over-fishing problem lessens. The food markets also have local food stall vendors, gardeners, bakers, and farmers that sell fresh organic items. The flea markets are another common type where locals sell second-hand items at cheap and reasonable rates. These markets also consist of some street food stalls. The second-hand shops and eco-fashion stores are also an excellent choice for finding cheap items for your stay in Mexico. These places are comparatively better places to shop for items than branded stores as they will help you understand the local culture, traditions, and livelihood.
Recycling is available in Mexico. You will find that although the government is lenient in laws relating to pollution and the environment, the locals find it their responsibility to reduce, recycle, and reuse their waste. You will find that there are some recycling units set up in different cities and regions in Mexico. These places are great for finding some cheap and recycled items. Most Mexican people don't recycle their waste, so the landfills are increasing every day. Some volunteering organizations and some cultural groups present in Mexico try their best to make the locals and the tourists aware of the benefits of recycling. The pollution problems are higher in urban areas as the residents of such sites are not responsible and often cause a lot of harm to their environment. You will find that smaller towns and villages are not as tricky as the locals prefer using sustainable sources. Also, they limited supply to products, so they try their best to make the best out of their money. As a tourist, you must try your best to reduce your plastic usage and prefer recycled items. Doing so will help you keep your carbon footprint minimal.
Waste management in Mexico is not proper. You will find that the streets have waste littered over them. Mexico's government is also very lenient and doesn't put penalties or other restrictions on such actions. The Mexican people don't use proper disposal methods as there is a deficiency in the availability of garbage disposal containers. You will not find such boxes in every street, which is why the people often leave their trash on the streets hoping that the garbage truck drivers will pick it up. There are many mob activities present in Mexico. These gangs often cause trouble to the locals and the authority by spraying paint on walls, cars, and houses. They also throw out the trash from the dumpsters. Most locals don't speak against these gangsters as they live in fear of their lives. It is the reason why the standard of living in Mexico is low.
Work and Study Abroad
There are some excellent education and career opportunities in Mexico. You will find that these opportunities are higher in urban cities like Mexico City, Puebla, Guadalajara, and Guanajuato. These cities have some excellent educational institutes and organizations that are often open to foreigners. You will find that the competition is lower than other American institutes, and the chances of getting admission are higher for an international student. The organizations, on the other hand, often look for people to handle their foreign delegates. These organizations offer jobs to tourists that have good communication skills and can speak different languages. To get admission to the educational institutes, you will need to register yourself to see if you can meet all the eligibility criteria. Since there are many historic sites and monuments present in Mexico, courses like history, archaeology, paleontology, and other sciences are good options. You will get to explore historical places and enhance your knowledge.
Some educational institutes have a tie-up with a reputed foreign university. These universities help such institutes in gaining reputation and creating opportunities for the students. These Mexican institutes send some students who are useful in studies to their partnership university. These universities provide specific programs to such students. Another type of student exchange program that runs globally is also present in Mexico. The program helps students from different countries to study and explore a foreign country. Usually, this program facilitates its services to students that provide an excellent donation to them. You can directly get yourself register for it on the internet after fulfilling all the requirements. You will find some fantastic career opportunities in Mexico, but most of them are only in urban areas.
Au pairing is the right way to find accommodation in a foreign city and get paid for taking care of the couple's house and children. Usually, women are the preferable choice, but men too are becoming good options for housekeepers. You can look for such families on the au pairing website, or you can ask the locals. Asking the locals is a better choice. While searching for such a job, you must present yourself as reliable, trustworthy, kind, and well-mannered. If the family finds you suspicious, they will not hire you. Most families take a lot of time before hiring an au pair as the crime rates are very high. Many criminals also try to fraud such families and cause them misfortune by stealing from them or kidnapping their children. Finding a family will be challenging, but it will all be worth it once you find one.
Volunteering activities are great ways to make a city or a country a better place. You will find that the locals often engage in volunteering activities to better live in their area. Various mob activities regularly occur, which destroys property, littering waste, and injury to the locals. It is the reason why many locals participate in volunteering activities to help out their neighbors. Many non-profit organizations and volunteering groups present in Mexico hold weekly or monthly events where locals and tourists can participate. These activities focus on protecting the environment, spreading awareness, helping local families, etc. They are very efficient in doing so, and by participating in their programs, you can become a responsible tourist. Participating in such volunteering activities will give a sense of satisfaction and happiness by helping out someone in need.