Few places can offer the mystery that pervades Mexico. Boasting some of the most beautiful and romantic spots on earth, Mexico makes for a perfect honeymoon destination. It’s a diverse destination, too, and has something to offer to every couple. No matter you want a madcap travel experience filled with activity or a quiet, peaceful getaway where you can be alone, just the two of you, Mexico can make it happen.
For the active couple, Barceló La Jolla de Mismaloya in Puerto Vallarta is just what the doctor ordered. This all inclusive paradise includes five-star dining, various watersports, and organized excursions like mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, and snorkeling. And if you want to relax, you can catch some rays next to one of Barceló’s four swimming pools or indulge in a spa treatment. It’s the ultimate Mexican Riviera experience and an amazing honeymoon experience all rolled into one.
If a relaxing honeymoon is more your speed, then head to Cancún for a stay at the Le Meridien Resort and Spa. This resort offers a wide variety of excursions and activities, but you’ll find it difficult to leave the spa, which offers just about every spa treatment and amenity known to man. When you’re not being pampered in the spa, you can relax by the beach or lounge poolside while enjoying the amazing scenery. But be sure to rouse yourself in time to catch a trip out to the famous Mayan temple of Chichen Itza or to the beautiful flooded caves of Dos Ojos.
Sometimes, you just want to get away from it all. After the hustle and bustle of a wedding, you and your beloved may just want to withdraw from the world and enjoy one another’s company. Hotel Azúcar in Veracruz is the perfect choice for a secluded getaway. The hotel features twenty-two bungalows, which are entirely candlelit, for maximum romance, but feature air conditioners, for maximum comfort. By day, you can explore the beach on horseback, enjoy a dip in the pool, or indulge in a healing spa treatment. And at night, you can have a romantic dinner starring some of the best seafood that Mexico has to offer.
While Mexico may not have the corner market on romance, it can certainly hold its own in this area. And when so many of its hotels and resorts offer amazing honeymoon vacation packages, you’ll understand why so many couples in love have fallen in love with Mexico.
Just a few hours flight from the West Coast to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazadlan, & Alcapulco. The thought of a Mexican honeymoon or vacation often conjures up images of either riding a burro through a sleepy town or partying with college students on spring break. While both of these experiences can be found in this diverse country, there is more to Mexico than tacos and tequila (both of which are, by the way, of unparalleled excellence in Mexico). Whether you’re looking for an all inclusive experience or a quiet getaway, Mexico is a great place to travel.
It’s no secret that the party scene on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula is legendary. Located in the southern part of Mexico, the Riviera Maya is under 5 hours & from the Midwest or East Coast just a few hours. Riviera Maya is home to countless all inclusive resorts and hotels. It’s no wonder that resort cities like Cancún are such popular vacation destinations for college students. But the Riviera Maya isn’t just for party kids. The family-friendly town of Playa del Carmen also boasts its fair share of all inclusive resorts and is the hub of travel in the Riviera Maya. It also offers some of the world’s best scuba diving at the nearby island of Cozumel. And ancient Mayan temples such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and Tulum are open to the public. There’s something for everyone in the Riviera Maya.
The Pacific Coast of Mexico can hold its own, too. The Mexican Riviera has its own array of beach towns and tourist destinations with all inclusive resorts galore. From Ensenada to Acapulco, there is a vacation to suit every travel taste in the Mexican Riviera. Ensenada boasts some of the world’s best surfing, not to mention other watersports. Acapulco’s night life is world-renowned, but Cabo San Lucas gives it some hot competition. If it’s a quiet beach getaway you’re looking for, the Mexican Riviera can offer you miles of pristine shoreline for your viewing and playing pleasure.
If a metropolitan vacation is what you’re looking for, then Mexico City is the ultimate destination. The largest metropolitan area in the Americas also boasts more museums than any other city in the world. The food scene in Mexico City is absolutely astonishing. The city is overflowing with gourmet restaurants featuring cuisine from all over the world. But the home team is well-represented, too: there are countless restaurants dedicated to the preparation of food from all thirty-one of Mexico’s states. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional six-course French meal or a hot street taco, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for when you travel to in Mexico City.
The country of Mexico is a diverse place with tons of things to see and do. Whether you want to travel the rainforests and jungles or enjoy a leisurely vacation by the beach, Mexico has options for you. Here are the top 10 attractions that this culturally diverse and geographically rich country has to offer.
10. La Bufadora, Ensenada, Baja California. Literally translated “the Blowhole,” La Bufadora is the second largest of only three marine geysers in existence. When ocean waves and air are trapped in an underwater cave, the force spouts air and water upward.
9. Mare y Terra Tacos, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. No vacation in Mexico is complete without the authentic taco stand experience. Located on Federico Medina and Francia, there’s always a big crowd around this little stand.
8. La Antigua, Veracruz. This little Mexican town boasts the home of Hernán Cortéz himself. It’s also the site of the oldest church in the Americas, founded by Cortéz in the 1500s. The nearby beaches make for a quiet, secluded vacation.
7. La Quebrada Cliff Divers, Acapulco, Guerrero. This breathtaking display of courage and athleticism is quite a sight to behold. It’ll make you reconsider ever asking, “If all your friends went and jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?”
6. Copper Canyon, Chihuahua. This group of six canyons offers some of the most scenic views in Mexico. The walls of the canyons are green with the presence of copper. You can travel the canyons on foot, bicycle, horseback, or by train.
5. El Arco, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur. No vacation in Cabo is complete without a visit to this iconic rock formation. You can watch the sunset as you lounge with the sea lions that like to gather there.
4. Cozumel, Quintana Roo. This little island off the Yucatán Peninsula offers some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean.
3. National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. This museum is filled to bursting with exhibits of significant archaeological finds, including the original Aztec calendar stone. Just be sure to see it before 2012!
2. Chichen Itza, Yucatán. People travel from all over the world to see this famous Mayan temple, which was recently voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Pristine beaches. White sands and clear waters. Sunny days and balmy nights. These are only a few of the reasons why Mexico is one of the most romantic spots on earth. Couples in love flock to Mexico, and it’s no wonder. Thanks to the booming tourism in many of these areas, competition is fierce, which means that you can drink in the amazing beaches of Mexico at amazing prices. Whether you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful beach or an all-night party, you’re sure to find the vacation you’re looking for in Mexico.
Mexico is famous for its beaches. Whether you choose the wild waves of the west and head to the Mexican Riviera or the lively coral reefs of the Caribbean and head to the Riviera Maya, you’re sure to find romance at the beach. You can spend your days trying new watersports like kayaking, snorkeling, or even scuba diving, and spend your nights dancing to live music with the one that you love. And the food on both coasts is amazing. Nobody does seafood like the Mexican Riviera except for the Riviera Maya. There are few more romantic vacations than a beachside romp in Mexico.
For those who prefer solitude and time alone together, Veracruz is just the ticket. This quiet Mexican state on the Gulf of Mexico enjoys quiet waters and tranquil towns. You’ll be free to enjoy quiet walks along the beach, drinking in the stunning views. The hotels there understand that people who come to Veracruz like to be left to themselves, so many of them have measures in place so that you don’t have to see another soul unless you want to.
If it’s a big city vacation you’re looking for, then you can’t go wrong with Mexico City. This bustling metropolis is filled with bright lights and gourmet cuisine. The views from this lesser known city on a hill are incredible at night. Mexico City is an important worldwide center of arts and culture. You can enjoy a gourmet dinner and catch an opera. You can go to one of the many museums, including the National Museum of Anthropology, which houses the original Aztec calendar stone. And many of the city’s fine hotels offer romance packages designed to help lovers get the best out of Mexico City.
So whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation or a big city love affair, Mexico has the perfect vacation for you. All you have to do is decide what you want, and Mexico will provide the perfect romantic getaway.
In most nonresort towns, there are always one or two restaurants (sometimes it’s a coffee shop) that are social centers for a large group of established patrons. Over time, they become virtual institutions, and change comes very slowly. The food is usually good standard fare, cooked as it was 20 years ago, and the decor is simple. The patrons have known each other and the staff for years, and the charla (banter), gestures, and greetings are friendly, open, and unaffected. If you’re curious about Mexican culture, these are fun places to eat in and observe the goings-on.
You’ll see multitudes of taquerías (taco joints) everywhere in Mexico. These are generally small places with a counter or a few tables set around the cooking area; you see exactly how they make their tacos before deciding whether to order. Most tacos come with a little chopped onion and cilantro, but not with tomato and lettuce. Find one that seems popular with the locals and where the cook performs with brio (a good sign of pride in the product). Sometimes a woman will be making the tortillas (or working the masa into gorditas or sopes, if these are also served) right there. You will never see men doing this — this is perhaps the strictest gender division in Mexican society. Men do all other cooking and kitchen tasks, and work with already-made tortillas, but will never be found working masa.
Nearly all restaurants and bars that serve middle-class Mexicans use filtered water, disinfect their vegetables, and buy ice made from purified water. If in doubt, look for ice with a rough cylindrical shape and a hollow center, produced by the same kind of machinery across the country. Street vendors and market stalls are less consistent. I’ve never gotten sick on any of my travels to Mexico, but people who live there say a good way of keeping your stomach happy is by drinking one of the tiny Yakult yogurt drinks found in the dairy section of just about every grocery store or corner market.
For the afternoon meal, the main meal of the day, many restaurants offer a multicourse daily special called comida corrida or menú del día. This is the most inexpensive way to get a full dinner.
In Mexico, you need to ask for your check; it is considered rude to present a check to someone who hasn’t requested it. If you’re in a hurry, ask for the check when your food arrives.
Tips are about the same as in the U.S. You’ll sometimes find a 15% value-added tax on restaurant meals, which shows up on the bill as IVA. This is effectively the tip, which you may augment if you like. Just make sure you’re not tipping twice.
To summon the waiter, wave or raise your hand, but don’t motion with your index finger, which is a demeaning gesture that may cause the waiter to ignore you. Or if it’s the check you want, you can motion to the waiter from across the room using the universal scribbling motion against the palm of your hand.
desayuno — Breakfast.
comida — Main meal of the day, taken in the afternoon.
cena — Supper.
botana — A small serving of food that accompanies a beer or drink, usually served free of charge.
entrada — Appetizer.
sopa — Soup course. (Not necessarily a soup — it can be a dish of rice or noodles, called sopa seca [dry soup].)
ensalada — Salad.
plato fuerte — Main course.
postre — Dessert.
comida corrida — Inexpensive daily special usually consisting of three courses.
menú del día — Same as comida corrida.
Degree of Doneness
término un cuarto — Rare, literally means one-fourth.
término medio — Medium rare, one-half.
término tres cuartos — Medium, three-fourths.
bien cocido — Well done.
Note: Keep in mind, when ordering a steak, that medio does not mean “medium.”
Miscellaneous Restaurant Terminology
cucharra — Spoon.
cuchillo — Knife.
la cuenta — The bill.
plato — Plate.
plato hondo — Bowl.
propina — Tip.
servilleta — Napkin.
tenedor — Fork.
vaso — Glass.
IVA — Value-added tax.
fonda — Strictly speaking, a food stall in the market or street, but now used in a loose or nostalgic sense to designate an informal restaurant.
Popular Mexican Dishes
a la tampiqueña — (Usually bistec a la t. or arrachera a la t.) A steak served with several sides, including but not limited to an enchilada, guacamole, rice, and beans.
adobo — Marinade made with chiles and tomatoes, often seen in adjectival form adobado/adobada.
albóndigas — Meatballs, usually cooked in a chile chipotle sauce.
antojito — Literally means “small temptation.” It’s a general term for tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, and the like, which are usually eaten for supper or as a snack.
arrachera — Skirt steak, fajitas.
arroz — Rice.
bistec — Steak.
bolillo — Small bread with a crust much like a baguette.
buñuelos — Fried pastry dusted with sugar. Can also mean a large, thin, crisp pancake that is dipped in boiling cane syrup.
cajeta — Thick caramel sauce made from goat’s milk.
calabaza — Zucchini squash.
caldo tlalpeño — Chicken and vegetable soup, with rice, chile chipotle, avocado, and garbanzos. Its name comes from a suburban community of Mexico City, Tlalpan.
caldo xochitl — Mild chicken and rice soup served with a small plate of chopped onion, chile serrano, avocado, and limes, to be added according to individual taste.
camarones — Shrimp. For common cooking methods, see pescado.
carne — Meat.
carnitas — Slow-cooked pork dish from Michoacán and parts of central Mexico, served with tortillas, guacamole, and salsa or pickled jalapeños.
cebolla — Onion.
cecina — Thinly sliced pork or beef, dried or marinated, depending on the region.
ceviche — Fresh raw seafood marinated in fresh lime juice and garnished with chopped tomatoes, onions, chiles, and sometimes cilantro.
chalupas poblanas — Simple dish from Puebla consisting of handmade tortillas lightly fried but left soft, and topped with different chile sauces.
chayote — Spiny squash boiled and served as an accompaniment to meat dishes.
chilaquiles — Fried tortilla quarters softened in either a red or a green sauce and served with Mexican sour cream, onion, and sometimes chicken (con pollo).
chile — Any of the many hot peppers used in Mexican cooking, in fresh, dried, or smoked forms.
chile ancho — A dried chile poblano, which serves as the base for many varieties of sauces and moles.
chile chilpotle (or chipotle) — A smoked jalapeño dried or in an adobo sauce.
chile en nogada — Chile poblano stuffed with a complex filling of shredded meat, nuts, and dried, candied, and fresh fruit, topped with walnut cream sauce and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.
chile poblano — Fresh pepper that is usually dark green in color, large, and not usually spicy. Often stuffed with a variety of fillings (chile relleno).
chile relleno — Stuffed pepper.
chivo — Kid or goat.
cochinita pibil — Yucatecan dish of pork, pit-baked in a pibil sauce of achiote, sour orange, and spices.
col — Cabbage. Also called repollo.
consomé — Clear broth, usually with rice.
cortes — Steak; in full, it is cortes finas de carne (fine cuts of meat).
cuitlacoche — Variant of huitlacoche.
elote — Fresh corn.
empanada — For most of Mexico, a turnover with a savory or sweet filling. In Oaxaca and southern Mexico, it is corn masa or a tortilla folded around a savory filling and roasted or fried.
empanizado — Breaded.
enchilada — A lightly fried tortilla, dipped in sauce and folded or rolled around a filling. It has many variations, such as enchiladas suizas (made with a cream sauce), enchiladas del portal or enchiladas placeras (made with a predominantly chile ancho sauce), and enchiladas verdes (in a green sauce of tomatillos, cilantro, and chiles).
enfrijoladas — Like an enchilada, but made with a bean sauce.
enmoladas — Enchiladas made with a mole sauce.
entomatadas — Enchiladas made with a tomato sauce.
escabeche — Vegetables pickled in a vinegary liquid.
flan — Custard.
flautas — Tortillas that are rolled up around a filling (usually chicken or shredded beef) and deep-fried; often listed on a menu as taquitos or tacos fritos.
gorditas — Thick, fried corn tortillas, slit open and stuffed with meat or cheese.
horchata — Drink made of ground rice, melon seeds, ground almonds, or coconut and cinnamon.
huazontle — A vegetable vaguely comparable to broccoli, but milder in taste.
huitlacoche — Salty and mild-tasting corn fungus that is considered a delicacy.
jitomate — Tomato.
lechuga — Lettuce.
limón — A small lime. Mexicans squeeze them on everything from soups to tacos.
lomo adobado — Pork loin cooked in an adobo.
masa — Soft dough made of corn that is the basis for making tortillas and tamales.
menudo — Soup made with beef tripe and hominy.
milanesa — Beef cutlet breaded and fried.
mole — Any variety of thick sauce made with dried chiles, nuts, fruit or vegetables, and spices. Variations include m. poblano (Puebla style, with chocolate and sesame), m. negro (black mole from Oaxaca, also with chocolate), and m. verde (made with herbs and/or pumpkinseeds, depending on the region).
pan — Bread. A few of the varieties include p. dulce (general term for a variety of sweet breads), p. de muerto (bread made for the Day of the Dead holidays), and p. Bimbo (packaged sliced white bread).
panuchos — A Yucatecan dish of masa cakes stuffed with refried black beans and topped with shredded turkey or chicken, lettuce, and onion.
papas — Potatoes.
papadzules — A Yucatecan dish of tortillas stuffed with hard-boiled eggs and topped with a sauce made of pumpkinseeds.
parrillada — A sampler platter of grilled meats or seafood.
pescado — Fish. Common ways of cooking fish include al mojo de ajo (pan seared with oil and garlic), a la veracruzana (with tomatoes, olives, and capers), and al ajillo (seared with garlic and fine strips or rings of chile guajillo).
pibil — See cochinita pibil. When made with chicken, it is called pollo pibil.
picadillo — Any of several recipes using shredded beef, pork, or chicken and onions, chiles, and spices. Can also contain fruit and nuts.
pipián — A thick sauce made with ground pumpkinseeds, nuts, herbs, and chiles. Can be red or green.
poc chuc — A Yucatecan dish of grilled pork with onion marinated in sour orange.
pollo — Chicken.
pozole — Soup with chicken or pork, hominy, lettuce, and radishes, served with a small plate of other ingredients to be added according to taste (onion, pepper, lime juice, oregano). In Jalisco it’s red (p. rojo), in Michoacán it’s clear (p. blanco), and in Guerrero it’s green (p. verde). In the rest of Mexico, it can be any one of these.
puerco — Pork.
quesadilla — Corn or flour tortillas stuffed with white cheese and cooked on a hot griddle. In Mexico City, it is made with raw masa folded around any of a variety of fillings (often containing no cheese) and deep-fried.
queso — Cheese.
res — Beef.
rompope — Mexican liqueur, made with eggs, vanilla, sugar, and alcohol.
salbute — A Yucatecan dish like a panucho, but without bean paste in the middle.
sopa azteca — Tortilla soup.
sopa tarasca — A blended soup from Michoacán made with beans and tomatoes.
sope — Small fried masa cake topped with savory meats and greens.
tacos al pastor — Small tacos made with thinly sliced pork marinated in an adobo and served with pineapple, onion, and cilantro.
tamal — (Not “tamale.”) Masa mixed with lard and beaten until light and folded around a savory or sweet filling, and encased in a cornhusk or a plant leaf (usually corn or banana) and then steamed. Tamales is the plural form.
taquitos — See flautas.
tinga — Shredded meat stewed in a chile chipotle sauce.
torta — A sandwich made with a bolillo.