Where stories begin
Colourful, cultured and filled with treasures natural, ancient and modern, Mexico has so much more to offer visitors than beach resorts, fiestas and food filled with the complex spice of a hundred varieties of chili.
Sandwiched between the USA and the smaller countries of Central America to the south, Mexico is a larger and more varied land than you might think. Eight times the size of the UK and boasting 10,000km of coastline, it's a place of rocky, cactus-spiked deserts, dense jungles and misty cloud forests, rushing rivers, volcanoes, sandy beaches and ancient ruins.
No holiday to Mexico is complete without a visit to the enormous, energetic national capital - Mexico City. Spread out on a high valley (around 2000m above sea level) smack in the heart of the country, DF or CDMX, is the most populous city in the whole of North America, easily dwarfing LA, Toronto and even New York. It's also the New World's oldest capital, and pre-Columbian remains of the twin 14th-century cities once known as Tenochtitlan and Tlaltelolco can still be seen alongside its elegant colonial buildings and modern bustle.
Away from the dazzling distractions on the capital, Mexican holidays come in two types. The all-inclusive resort hotels of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and the island of Cozumel lie dotted along the Atlantic coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and continue a tradition of beach-hotel relaxation that first emerged in their Pacific cousins, Cabo and Acapulco. By contrast, a tour of Mexico's interior reveals a world of jungle-clad temples like Chichen Itza, and cities like Oaxaca where cultural heritage and cuisine are carefully preserved by the local population. Take this path to discover vast cave systems like the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa, forests filled with mating fireflies and the verdant forests of Michoacan's Rosario Sanctuary, where millions of Monarch butterflies end their annual southward migration.