Are you thinking about doing a tour in Mexico? It’s a great choice! Mexico is a beautiful country with so much to see and do. But, before you come, just make sure you understand a few things about this place.
1) There’s More Than Just Beaches
Many tourists come to Mexico to explore the beaches, and we don’t blame them. After all, they’re some of the prettiest beaches in the world, and the all-inclusive resorts and package tours are enough incentive for anyone to come here. But, please don’t assume that it’s the only place to see in Mexico. In fact, if you only ever come to the beaches, you’re not really seeing much of the country at all.
2) Tacos are Soft and It’s Hard to Find Burritos
Ok, you can get hard-shelled tacos here (tacos dorad0s) but most tacos are served on small corn tortillas and don’t look anything like you might find at Taco Bell. Remember: Tex-Mex and Mexican are two completely different cuisines.
3) Buy from the Locals
Mexico is home to a lot of stores and corporations you’ll find in the United States, like Wal-Mart or Office Depot. But, the locals who sell their own food, furniture, and other products, not only sell for cheaper but are more genuine. If you really want to support these people, buy from them.
4) No, It’s Not Always Warm Here
Where I live in Toluca, Mexico, it’s cold. Freezing? No. But, it’s not like how many people assume Mexico feels. Sure, we get a lot of sunshine, but you better have a jacket or at least a sweater. The beaches are hot, but Mexico is very, very diverse when it comes to her climate. Depending on which part of the country you go to, you’ll need to pack quite differently.
5) The Spanish May Be a Bit Different Than What You’re Used To
Spanish is different in each country of Latin America; there’s no doubt about that. Just like how English is spoken a little bit different in other parts of the world, it’s no different for Spanish or other languages. That being said, Mexico certainly has a lot of words and phrases you won’t hear in other parts of Latin America, so listen closely! It won’t be like your 7th-grade Spanish class.
6) It May Seem Cheap to You, But Not for the Locals
Right now, the Mexican peso is not doing well in relation to the US dollar. This is no surprise, of course, and good news for those coming with US dollars or similarly strong currencies. You might be excited to comment on how cheap everything is here in Mexico, but don’t speak too loudly. For those who live here where the minimum wage is less than $4 USD a day, it’s not quite the same.
7) Mexico City is One of the Biggest Cities in the World
Mexico City is a marvelous city and also one that can be a little overwhelming if you’re from a small town. Luckily, it’s not too crowded, especially compared to cities like NYC or Tokyo, and there are many open spaces. If you go on a tour, you’ll get to see all the amazing gems in this city without missing a beat.
8) Cinco de Mayo Isn’t Really a Thing Here
What Americans celebrate in the U.S. as Cinco de Mayo, has virtually no meaning here in Mexico unless you’re in Puebla, where the battle took place. Likewise, Mexico has its own unique holidays that aren’t quite the same as how they’re interpreted worldwide. For example, El Dia de Los Muertos tends to share similarities with Halloween, but in fact, it’s quite a religious and cultural holiday and should thus be treated respectfully.
Hana LaRock is originally from New York, though has called other places around the world her home for the last two years. She currently lives in Mexico and freelance travel writer. When she’s not working, she enjoys writing, reading, spending time with her dog, and of course, traveling. You can find her at www.hanalarockwriting.com.