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, snorkeled in a cave, and learned to shed the lisping Spanish pronunciation that we’d acquired in Spain. In 2016, we returned to Mexico to visit the colorful southern city of Oaxaca, a center of traditional arts, food, and indigenous culture. The weeks before Christmas were filled with special craft markets, processions, and festivals. In 2022, we relaxed in the Oaxacan beach town of Puerto Escondido and plunged into the craziness of the capital, Mexico City.

When we visited

January 2009, December 2016, March-April 2022

Major stops

Merida, Valladolid, Puerto Morelos, Tulum, Sian Ka’an, Chetumal, Oaxaca, Teotitlan del Valle, Puerto Escondido, Mexico City

Memorable Moment

Happening on a nighttime parade with fireworks, big papier mache figures, and dancers in swirling multicolored dresses

Did you know?

Mexico has the oldest university in North America: the National University of Mexico, which was founded by King Charles V of Spain in 1551, 85 years before Harvard.

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