12 Things Mexico Is Famous For

things mexico is famous for

Mexico is known as the land of extremes with its dense rainforests and deep canyons. Mostly covered in mountains, Mexico is famous not just for its rich natural resources but for its vibrant culture. It’s home to a great many artists and jawdropping beaches. Whether you want to snorkel in the vibrant reefs, go scuba diving, see archaeological wonders and beautiful architecture, or participate in a cultural event, Mexico is the place to be. There are literally hundreds of things that you can do in the country! Have a look at its best beach house rentals and eco hotels to kick-start your trip. Get to know this country more by reading our in-depth list of things Mexico is famous for.

1. Mayan Temples

Chichen Itza 3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daniel Schwen used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Maya was a Mesoamerican civilization by the Maya people and is notable for its logosyllabic scripts, art, mathematics, astronomical system, and many more. There are thousands of Mayan sites in Latin America, and many are located in Mexico. One such site that is prominent is Chichen Itza, a pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people during the Terminal Classic period. Now a UNESCO site, these ruins are located in Yucatan’s municipality of Tinúm. Chichen Itza is one of the most frequented landmarks in the country and has recorded over 2.6 million visitors in 2017.

2. Cenotes

cenote | cancun | mexico.
Source: Photo by Flickr user alyssa BLACK. used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Cenotes are natural sinkholes that occur from the collapse of limestone bedrocks, revealing groundwaters. Mexico’s peninsula of Yucatan is where this pit is often associated, since the Maya people commonly used the water for their daily supplies and, sometimes, for sacrificial offerings. These sinkholes are naturally enchanting and have been points of interest for visitors. The famous cenotes do have open water pools, like in Chichen Itza, but most of these pits are relatively small and do not have exposed water.

3. Margarita

Mexican Sugar margarita
Source: Photo by Flickr user VisitPlano used under CC BY 2.0

What is Mexico known for that we may all relate to? The answer is margarita. Delicious, refreshing margarita. It ismade with lime juice, tequila and Cointreau - is one of Mexico’s famous cocktails. Served in a glass with a salted rim, this beloved drink seems to have several origin stories. One is attributed to a beautiful girl who was allergic to alcohol except for tequila. So the bar owner created something for her with tequila as the main ingredient. Margarita was then born. Another story is of a bartender at Hussong’s Cantina who liked to experiment with drinks. This new drink was served to the daughter of the German Ambassador called Margarita Henkel. Since she was the first one to taste, it was named after her. We may never know the true history of the margarita but one thing is certain; this remains Mexico’s prominent drink.

4. Delectable food

Mmm... breakfast quesadilla with eggs and chorizo
Source: Photo by Flickr user jeffreyw used under CC BY 2.0

Mexican cuisine, made mainly with fresh ingredients, is flavorful and affordable. They are well-loved all over the world. In fact, the US alone has over 30,000 Mexican restaurants. The cuisine varies by region: The North, for example, is known for its meat dishes while the Pacific Coast region is popular with the seafood; and you’ll find savory tamales and tortillas in the Oaxaca region. Do not leave Mexico without trying a few of their popular and delectable dishes such as the Chilaquiles, a breakfast dish made with fried corn tortillas and topped with red salsa, chicken and fried egg; Churros, an awesome dessert and they have the best in Mexico; and Tacos al pastor, made with strips of pork, onions, pineapple, coriander leaves and a corn tortilla.

5. Tequila

Tequilas hechos en Jalisco, México
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Adrián Cerón used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Another thing Mexico is known for that perhaps we all enjoy is tequila! The tequila industry in Mexico is more than a billion dollars. Out of 10 liters of tequila produced, about 7 of these are exported abroad. No wonder Mexico is dubbed as Tequila country. This popular distilled spirit, often served with lemon and salt, should not be taken lightly though as it can give someone a serious hangover. But do you know that a tequila made with 100 percent Agave plant without undergoing a chemical process can never give someone a hangover? With or without a hangover, remember that when it comes to alcohol, moderation is still key.

6. Soap operas

All necessary things for a successful telenovela in Portugal
Source: Photo by user Cornelius Kibelka used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Mexico produces telenovelas or soap operas more than any other country. You may find some common differences in these telenovelas: the good always wins, sacrifices are all worth it, or it’s about the hero’s journey. These telenovelas are usually a lot longer than most shows; most of them have more than 60 episodes. And of course, they usually have happy endings. These soap operas are exported all over the world - in Asia, the US, Central Europe and even Africa. Some of them are even converted into movies. They are that popular.

7. Football/soccer

Soccer Match Mexico Spain August 11, 2010
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ralf Peter Reimann used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Almost 10 percent of the Mexican population plays soccer. The country is also home to hundreds of soccer clubs and about 20k soccer teams. Mexico is one of the countries with the most number of soccer players. Because of its popularity, national teams from the US, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean have played at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium. They have also appeared in 14 World Cups since the 1930s up to the year 2010. Soccer, or football, is so part of their culture that it brings families together and even inspires kids to play.

8. Bullfighting

San marcos bullfight 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tomas Castelazo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Mexico, along with Spain, has great bullfighters and has more rings than any other country. Bullfighting is considered a sport, even children can watch it so long as they are accompanied by an adult. If you want to experience the excitement of watching a bullfight, be in Mexico on a Sunday afternoon. The fight is usually at 4 pm, and at this time, people will be mouthing silent prayers. Bullfighting isn’t for the weak at heart though, and it is extremely dangerous. But watching this sport is definitely one of the things to look forward to especially if you want a taste of true Mexican culture.

9. Great chocolate

Ibarra Mexican Chocolate
Source: Photo by Flickr user TheDeliciousLife used under CC BY 2.0

Do you know that Mexico is the birthplace of chocolate? 4000 years ago, Mexican tribes cultivated cacao and turned the beans into chocolate bars and drinks. The first chocolate ever invented was a beverage made with cacao, honey, corn, chili and other ingredients. Today, chocolates are sweet, bitter and also spicy. For the beverages, they are mostly blended with spices and herbs to make them even tastier. If you’re in Mexico, don’t forget to visit Hacienda Cacaotera where a 50-hectare (124-acre) cacao plantation awaits you. You might get a chance to see how chocolates are made as there are tours for this. And of course, don’t forget to buy chocolates from the biggest brands such as Kakaw, La Broma de Teo and Frucao.

10. A deep religion

The Holy Rosary
Source: Unsplash

About 85 percent of Mexicans are Catholics. The country ranks second as the highest number of Catholics in the world. They have also established a relationship with the Vatican. In fact, the late Pope John Paul II visited the country five times. Being predominantly Catholic, they have religious customs and traditions still practiced today such as the Day of the Dead, where they remember the people who have died by offering funeral sweets, and The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, where they re-enact Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem.

11. Mariachis

Source: Photo by Flickr user Hilary Perkins used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Mariachis represent Mexican culture and music. The Mariachis band consists of four musicians playing violins, guitarron, guitar and a vihuela. They also come in charro suit costumes and are highly popular not just in Mexico but in the Southwest United States too. Also, they are recognized by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Mariachis music originated from the state of Jalisco and derived from the French word for wedding. Today, you’ll see mariachi musicians mostly strolling the streets and in the restaurants. Listen to their music; it speaks of love, death, politics and betrayal.

12. Cancun

Cancun, Mexico
Source: Photo by Flickr user Pedro Szekely used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the best things Mexico is known for is this stunning city. Cancun is widely known for its beaches, vibrant nightlife and beautiful resorts. Expect loads of watersport activities, great dining, island hopping and an active nightlife. They are a beach destination yet you’ll find several souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants in the area. You’ll never run out of things to do. Cancun is a beach lover’s paradise. With its rich marine life, it’s also a haven for people who love snorkeling and scuba diving. When you come to Mexico, include visiting Cancun on your list.

Visit Mexico

All-inclusive resorts and street food markets aren’t the only ones that Mexico is famous for. The country is also home to Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world, situated in the Yucatan Peninsula. These spectacular ancient Mayan ruins will be the highlight of your trip when you do visit Mexico. Make sure that you do not miss the sunrise tour or the evening light where you see the pyrotechnics light up the pyramids. It really is a sight to behold. Visit Mexico soon and tell us about your experience!

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