Yupper, I’ve gotten around Mexico.
But, lets get a perspective of how big Mexico actually is. Most think it’s not a huge country, but let’s put that into perspective.
Or compared to the U.S. It definitely covers a few of the states. Mexico is 20% of the size of the U.S.
Mexico is the 13th largest country in the world.
The following is a close track of where I’ve traveled to, in Mexico. I’ve covered quite a lot, but still have missed a much of what Mexico has to offer.
Here are “guesstimated” maps of where I’ve traveled to in Mexico
The driving around the southern portion of Mexico:
Or you could call me “The Breeze”
The middle portion of Mexico:
Then there’s more of “middle” Mexico. I’ve traveled slowly through Mexico, and quite happy that I did that.
Then there’s the northern part of Mexico, where I entered from the U.S.
This entails 18 months of travel in Mexico.
4 months in Cancun. A Mecca for the tourists coming to Mexico.
3 months in Tapachula – having my teeth worked on. Only reason I can see coming to Tapachula is if you’re doing a border crossing. Not much to do or see in or around the city.
A month in Creel, a base to travel throughout the Copper Canyon or Barrancas del Cobra – a series of canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon.
1 month in Oaxaca. A beautiful city that definitely worth a visit.
Couple weeks in Culliacan, Palenque, San Cristobal de la Casas.
Slow travel along the western side of Mexico. ( slow travel = days in a variety of town)
Slow travel along the eastern side – Yucatan, and Tobasco area – the location of most of Mexico’s oil rigs.
The places I would go back to:
Creel – a great base for exploring the Copper Canyon
Chihuahua – I wasn’t in the mood for a big city, so I just stayed a night. But, it’s got a lot of history and its the beginning of the Copper Canyon on the eastern side.
El Fuerte – the beginning of the Copper Canyon on the western side. Spent a night, but it’s got history and plant of things to do around the area.
Guachochi – the beginning of the Copper Canyon if your coming up from the south. Nice little town with lots to do.
Hidalgo Del Parral – Poncho Villas favorite town in Mexico, until he got assassinated there. Lots of history and interesting area to tour.
If you’re this close to the Copper Canyon when visiting these towns, don’t miss the chance to take the train through the Copper Canyon. The only passenger train in Mexico, it’s worth every dime spent and the time to take the train ride.
It is the most remote part of Mexico. If you can time it right, take the trip during the rainy season – you’ll see so many waterfalls, you’d think they were the most common thing on earth!
Oaxaca – lots of history and things to do.
San Cristobal de Las Casas – again, lots of history and plenty to do in the area.
Campeche – an old town built around a Spanish fort. Lots of history. If you’re into photography, the bay’s got a lot of abandoned boats that’s great for photography.
Merida – old town, not that far from Cancun History, bird watching in a couple spots. Good area for things to do and see.
Palenque – Mayan ruins is what’s it’s close to. But if you go to this town, be sure and stop by the Aluxes Ecoparque – a great place for birds, alligators, monkeys and more birds!
If you want beaches and tourists, these are places to go:
Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Acapulco, Puerto Ángel (They are in the process of trying to build this up for a major tourist attraction), and Puerto Vallarta -probably the most “western” town in Mexico. Hotels have most of the beaches blocked and you’d never know you were in Mexico if you din’t leave the town.
Any small towns along the western or eastern coast line.
The eastern portion is less developed because the eastern side has the oil influence.
Western side has the surfing.
Eastern side has great beaches that are mostly unused and pristine.
Anything you want to see – birds, waterfalls, raging rivers, pristine beaches, remote camping areas, history – they are all to be found in Mexico .
I’ve traveled around for over 18 months and have not had any problems.
I have driven around in a 1998 for Explorer Sport and have been in places not to many foreigners go. All I’ve met are kind hearted people, working for a living.
Close to 1 million American have retired in Mexico. It’s much cheaper than the U.S., and the publicity of how “dangerous” it is way out of proportion.
Using common sense – don’t do drugs, don’t get drunk, don’t go to the strip clubs and the poorest sections of the major towns. Don’t walk around flashing expensive cameras or jewelry.
I keep a very low profile. I eat mostly where the locals eat, stay in lower priced hotels, or rent “normal” homes and apartments where the average worker lives in Mexico.
I do have a car, computer and an expensive camera. But, I limit the “visual” on the camera and the computer. No need tempting people with an easy robbery.
Mexico’s really a great place to visit.
As I previously mentioned, whatever your searching for on a vacation – beaches, history, bird watching or nature – Mexico has it all.
The friendly people are just the icing on a wonderful “cake”.
So, that’s my take on what I’ve seen of Mexico.
Do you have questions about driving in Mexico?
Questions about where to go?
Feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.
As a side note, some interesting statistics from “If it were my home”