Perfect is not a word I throw around lightly.
I’ve experienced wonderful sunsets, amazing scuba adventures, and even a few pretty awesome weekend trips. But a perfect vacation, now that’s something that doesn’t come around too often.
Though that is exactly the word, I would use to describe every trip I’ve made south of the border and into Mexico.
With every trip, I feel that the word, perfect, just becomes more and more the perfect word to describe my visits to what has quickly become my favorite place to be.
And with as many times as I’ve grabbed my passport, loaded the suitcases, and said hola to a perfect vacation, you would think Mexico would have run out of surprises. But no, every time, Mexico shows me something new that I just had to experience. Whether it was watching baby turtles swim out into the ocean, the smell of fresh masa wafting into streets as the sun goes down, or even the feeling of exploring ancient ruins, Mexico has always had something new to share with me.
So, in that same spirit of sharing, I’d like to give you my secrets for a perfect vacation in Mexico…
Embrace the Local Cuisine…
I consider myself lucky being able to live in a place where Mexican food doesn’t mean a trip through a drive-thru. As a fan of all things taco and mole, I thought I had it made. Or at least kind of made.
That was until my first meal in an authentic Mexican restaurant. Which brings me to my first secret…
Or at least try everything.
Amazing food in Mexico is just a fact of life. From street vendors selling fresh tacos to five-star restaurants offering their own twist on Mexican staples, the food in Mexico is, well, perfect.
The sheer amount of amazing things to try will keep your mouth full, your stomach happy, and you looking for a spot to take a mid-afternoon siesta.
And the beauty of Mexican cuisine is in its ability to take the ingredients that are readily available and create dishes that are completely unique. There really is a dish for every moment.
Need something to help you get over a night of too many margaritas?
There’s always a simple yet tasty menudo to get you back into the vacation spirit.
Want to cool down and escape the summer sun?
A plate of fresh ceviche with avocados is your ticket to seafood paradise.
Looking for something to sweeten up your morning coffee?
A couple fresh conchas and some pan dulce will fix your craving for sweets.
I could go on…
So, secret number one, enjoy the food and enjoy as much of it as you can.
Bring a Little Yearning for Exploration…
The very first time I went to Mexico, I was so taken aback by the beauty of the beaches, I almost couldn’t peel myself away from the cabanas.
I’ll gladly admit, the sheer relaxation of spending an afternoon enjoying a margarita while watching the waves is something in itself. But if you only lounge around hotel pools and beachside cabanas, you’ll miss the more adventurous side of Mexico.
And that’s the side of Mexico you’ll want to experience.
It’s a side that is full of ancient ruins, massive cenotes waiting to be explored, and more than a fair share of exciting moments that are just a short trip outside of your accommodations.
If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t mind a little dive out in the ocean, then you have to experience one of the best snorkeling opportunities in all of North America, an up close and personal meeting with a whale shark.
Swimming beside those peaceful giants is something you just have to experience to fully understand. Simultaneously being in awe yet comfortable around a massive shark is the kind of thing that Mexico can offer anyone who is willing to step a bit outside of their comfort zone.
So, of course, bring your flip-flops and favorite book to read while you laze about the Mexican coastline. But also bring your sense of adventure because that is where Mexico really has the most to offer you.
So secret number two, say adios to your comfort zone and hola to once in a lifetime experiences.
Don’t be Afraid to Practice Your Spanish…
This could very well apply to any place you visit while on vacation, but we aren’t just talking about any place, right? So that said…
Brushing up on your Spanish skills, or even trying it out for the first time, will open a whole different side of Mexico to you.
Now I’m not saying you have to enroll in some college courses and learn the ins and outs of Spanish grammar before booking a flight. Just simply grab a phrasebook or spend a couple nights rehearsing sentences from a language app. However you want to do it, just make an attempt to learn some Spanish.
Doing so will give you not just the ability to order the perfect taco, which it totally does, but give you a more authentic experience.
And it’s the little things that count in life, like haggling with a market vendor or ordering another round in Spanish that will make the experience that much more of a true Mexican vacation.
Even it’s just a well-rehearsed “Una mas” after a delicious margarita, being able to throw in a few Spanish phrases allows you to more fully embrace the beauty of Mexico.
Bonus Secret For the Perfect Vacation…
Ok maybe this is not so much of a secret but it’s still something just as important. And certainly as necessary for having the perfect Mexican vacation as everything else…
You can’t have the perfect vacation unless you go!
So if you really are looking to fall in love with another country while making memories you can take back home, why not start with Mexico?
And while you’re there, discover your own definition of the perfect vacation.