Category Archives: Mexico

Mexico

 

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Mexico Pictures

Our 2009 trip to Central America began in the Mexican states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo, the great peninsula on the eastern side of the country that juts into the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. There we ate well, saw lots of turtles and tropical fish, had our first encounter with the ancient Maya, and learned to shed the lisping Spanish pronunciation we’d acquired in Spain. Oh, and we got to snorkel in a cave.

 

 

Hola from Mexico!

Hola from Mexico!

We decided to start our travels in Central America in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, famous for Cancun and the nearby beaches of the Riviera Maya. We planned to skip Cancun entirely, but we were still worried that the whole area would be overly touristed. But since flights to Cancun from the United States are… Read More

Dancing in the Streets

Dancing in the Streets

After two nights on the coast we headed inland to the colonial city and regional capital of Merida. Our visit was timed for the weekend, when Merida was celebrating its birthday with a festival of music and dance. The first night featured folk dance and folk music in a pretty little park. We knew we… Read More

I Don’t Understand Other People

I Don’t Understand Other People

Why, when tourists come to a site (such as a Mayan ruin), do they spend more time taking photos of each other in front of the site than looking at it? That seems to be especially true with scenic views. People rush up, and without even really looking at the view, they start snapping photos… Read More

Food in the Yucatan Peninsula

Food in the Yucatan Peninsula

Being foodies, we always pay a lot of attention (maybe too much attention?) to the cuisine of places we visit. What do local people eat, and when and how do they eat it? What do the local specialties taste like? Although you can find staples such as tacos, quesadillas, salsas, and guacamole just about anywhere… Read More

Watching the rain

Watching the rain

Our next stop after bustling Merida was Valladolid, another inland colonial town but much smaller. It’s a good base for visiting several nearby Mayan sites and also supposedly a pretty little town for strolling around. That last bit may be true at other times, but right now, Valladolid is undertaking a massive repaving projects. Nearly… Read More

Our Journey Into the Underworld

Our Journey Into the Underworld

Riding across the Yucatan Peninsula on the bus, you’re struck by the flat landscape and dense, low forest in many different shades of green. There are few farms in sight, and villages are widely separated. Colorful flowering trees and vines abound. But what makes the Yucatan unique is its water. The peninsula has only a… Read More

Gifts from the Sea?

Gifts from the Sea?

As a splurge, Melissa and I recently spent two days at an eco-friendly beach-front place (Boca Paila Camp) in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve south of Tulum, Mexico. With the sea too rough for snorkeling, we spent a lot of time walking on the beach. The off-shore currents in that area bring a lot of… Read More

Our Week in Tulum

Our Week in Tulum

Tulum, the southernmost (so far) of the Yucatan coast’s prime tourist spots, has long been famous among backpackers for its white sand beaches and (formerly) supercheap beach cabanas to stay in. These days, the cabanas have mostly been replaced by high-end, low-rise “eco-hotels,” and the few that are still cheap aren’t very secure. But the… Read More

Life in Oaxaca

Life in Oaxaca

Like countless North American snowbirds before us, we’ve come to the sunny city of Oaxaca, Mexico, for December. Oaxaca (pronounced wah-HAH-kah) sits on a plateau surrounded by mountains in southern Mexico, in the middle of the area where the country narrows as it heads toward Central America. Oaxaca is known for its balmy climate, its… Read More

Ixtlan de Juarez

Ixtlan de Juarez

One day recently we escaped the city of Oaxaca for the mountains that tower over it to the north. An hour’s ride on twisty roads in a shared (collectivo) taxi—three people jammed in the front seats and three in the back—brought us to the mountain town of Ixtlan de Juarez. “Ixtlan” is thought to be… Read More

Oaxaca Scenes

Oaxaca Scenes

In case the weather is turning cold where you are, here are some scenes from the sunny city of Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico. Oaxaca was founded by the Spanish in the 1520s along key trade routes between Mexico City and Central America. Today, this city of 300,000 people is full of Baroque churches, colorful colonial… Read More