Learn about Mexico and its six distinct tourist regions.
Mexico possesses a rich culture steeped in tradition, and travelers who visit Mexico can learn much about the country. Busy resorts typically come to mind when Mexico is mentioned, yet the country has much more to offer visitors willing to travel and explore. Thirty-two states offer diverse destinations, allowing for a unique vacation experience. According to VisitMexico.com, Mexico's official tourism site, the country is divided into six main tourist regions: Northern Mexico, Central Mexico, Southern Mexico/the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan-Peninsula, the Pacific Coast and the Baja California Peninsula. Each region offers a more innovative vacation than popular resorts and gives visitors a unique experience. Beyond resorts and beaches, Mexico also offers natural deserts, colonial cities, mangrove swamps, Mayan ruins, coral reefs, submerged caverns and culinary traditions.
The Northern Mexico region is best known for extreme weather with summer temperatures teetering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and winter temperatures dropping near freezing. Tourists can travel in cable gars and take in grand views of the area -- from colonial buildings in Zacatecas to the ruins of Paquime in Chihuahua to barren natural deserts in Durango. Amateur photographers will appreciate the region as will campers looking to camp in untouched sites. Those interested in camping in Northern Mexico (or any other part of Mexico) should visit CampTheWorld.com.
Central Mexico is best known for its cultural opportunities and for being the site the nation's capital, Mexico City, a city offering Mexico City architectural richness in its Historic Center. For those interested in archeology, Central Mexico features four unique natural ruin areas. The area is also known for its numerous forests, rivers, and caverns, so it's a great place for those interested in water activities such as scuba diving and rafting. Those touring Central Mexico may ride in a gondola in Xochimilco, visit volcanoes in Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl or catch the running of the bulls in Aguascalientes.
For those seeking an eco-friendly experience, Southern Mexico offers lush experiences in semi-tropical environments. Flanked by the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, Olmeca offers visitors opportunities to swim with Atlantic spotted dolphins, view manatees or whale sharks. EcoTravelMexico.com has several naturalistic trips for tourists such as wildlife safaris and kayaking. The area also offers sport fishing and rappelling in its Verzacruz strip.
The Yucatan Peninsula portion of Mexico is best known for the city of Cancun, a tourist mecca with luxury hotels, clubs and nightlife. When most think people think of Mexico, they envision Cancun and its golden beached resorts -- but the Yucatan Peninsula offers even more than this. Composed of three states, the area is known for its rich Mayan archeological structures, and the region still imposes many Mayan customs. Also located in the area is the Great Mayan Reef, which is the second largest reef in the world. Scuba diving and deep water guide tours are common activities in the area.
The Pacific Coast region of Mexico is the hottest temperature-wise and is famous for the Mazatlan carnival in the state of Sinaloa. Traditional Mexican crafts and customs are common in the area, and tourists often purchase multicolored crafts and beads. The Pacific Coast is generally regarded as the area of Mexico with the most integrated mixture of tourism and natural culture.
Known for its golf courses, many luxury hotels and restaurants offer accommodations for visitors of this area. The area is divided between two states. The popular city of Tijuana is located in the state of Baja California and is known for its art festivals and thriving nightlife. The state also offers vineyards in the nearby city of Ensenada. Baja California is also known for gray whale watching and fishing. Baja California Suris the second state in this region and is known for its nature reserves and beach resorts.