In vast, diverse and wonderful Mexico, there are so many beautiful pueblos (Spanish for small towns) for you to visit. Whether you’re staying in Cancun on the Riviera Maya or looking for a breath of fresh air from Mexico City, it’s easy to step of the tourist path and discover a true sense of Mexico. Meet local people, explore markets, take in wonderful views, try authentic food and immerse yourself in Mexican life. Mexico even has many Pueblos Magicos which are small towns and villages which have received extra funding from the government to bring more tourism to their unique part of the country.
If you’re thinking of embarking on a real Mexican adventure and venturing away from the resorts, beaches and big cities, here is our guide for visiting the more rural towns throughout the country.
Before you go:
Plan your trip! Do some research beforehand so that you have an idea of where you’re going and what to expect. Find out whether you’ll be visiting during any special festivals or events. For example, Day of the Dead celebrations which take place at the end of October and beginning of November are popular times to visit to experience local customs! There will be small festivals taking place throughout the year too!
Mexicans are some of the friendliest people on the planet and there are some very safe parts of Mexico but it’s always wise to be cautious. Be mindful and respect traditions and you shouldn’t run into any problems. However, there are some places that are not recommended for visitors so it’s worth finding out about the safety in the area before you go.
What to take:
You can’t drink the tap water in Mexico so make sure you take enough water with you for your day of exploring. Mexico is hot so take more than you think you need! Also, go eco-friendly and take your own water bottles so that you’re not buying plastic bottles while on the road
Think about what money you will need. While you can pay by card in the big cities, it’s likely that you won’t be able to do so in the small pueblos. Take some cash, Mexican pesos, with you for food, tipping (if you’re traveling with a guide and/or driver) and souvenirs. And while we’re on the topic, the small towns are where you’ll find some of the best handmade items in Mexico – take our advice and don’t haggle. The price will accurately reflect the work that goes into making these beautiful and traditional handicrafts.
How to make the most of your visit:
Embrace the local way of life. By visiting smaller towns and villages you will truly get a flavor of Mexican life. Try the local food (you won’t find a Burger King here), practice your Spanish (it’s unlikely the locals will speak English) and take some time to learn about the place you’re visiting. Also, don’t give yourself a strict timetable, things go slower in Mexico. Your tour is unlikely to stick to any schedule and if you’re traveling solo, give yourself time for things like ordering food, topping up gas and asking for directions. Nobody will be in a rush to get anywhere…