Mexico

Though it's getting a bit of a bad rap thanks to a few resort incidents in recent years, Mexico is still a favourite destination for sun seekers and intrepid travellers alike. Boasting thousands of kilometres of pristine beaches - many of which have not yet been gobbled up by foreign companies building 'resort dreams' out of the sand - Mexico can be heaven for those looking for warm weather. And though it is the climate that is frequently sought, Mexico has oh-so-much more to offer. From quaint colonial towns to the mega-behemoth-a-tropolis that is Mexico City, from the beaches to the jungles and from the Aztec ruins to the Mayan ones, Mexico offers up something for everyone. This country truly is one of the most amazing countries in the world, with an eye on modernity, a foot in antiquity and the rest of the body weaving in and out of both to the trumpeting rhythm of a mariachi band. A trip to Mexico includes a list far too many 'must-sees' to be included here comprehensively, but some WBB staff favourites include the Aztec ruins at Teotihuacan near Mexico City, home to some of the largest pyramids in the world; the almost unbelievable National Museum of Anthropology in the heart of the capital; the resort town of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California; countless locales in and around San Luis Potosi, including Tamasopo, home to a very cool lagoon and natural rock bridge; and the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal in the Yucatan, which is sometimes overshadowed by its more famous and nearby cousin, Chichen Itza. Yes, Mexico truly is a traveller's dream, and with so much to see it do it's questionable whether you could see and do it all in a lifetime, let alone in a weeklong visit or a yearlong trek. ~ Samantha McDonald-Amara


A Loose Guide to Oaxaca for the Gastronomically Intrepid

Tell a Mexican you’re going to Oaxaca and you will undoubtedly be hit with a barrage of delectable recommendations: moles, tamales, posoles, quesillo and chocolate, to name a few. While it’s true that Oaxaca is a culinary thrill for anyone into new flavors, the state is also home to a few special treats for the exceptionally adventurous of tongue and steely of stomach. Oaxaca de Juarez, the artsy oasis of a capital city at the junction of the Valles Centrales, teems with dining options, from classy, sit-down restaurants that serve plates worth a small fortune in pesos to budgeting itinerants, starving artists and penny-pinching English teachers, to crowded street stalls with standing room only, where one is often forced to reach over a few shoulders to retrieve one’s tacos. Mind the taxi traffic. The city’s pervasive population of North American snowbirds keeps the gourmet places abuzz with English chatter about whatever entertains those who move to a foreign country and never bother to learn the language. Places like these tend to incorporate traditional Oaxacan delicacies into their bourgie, impeccably presented plates: some grasshoppers in your guacamole, maybe. They’re easier to stomach that way.

profileback2

 Full name: United Mexican States

 Population: 114.97 million (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Mexico City

 Largest city: Mexico City

 Area: 1.96 million sq.km. (758,449.4 million sq.  mi.)

 Major languages: Spanish, Indigenous    Languages

 Major religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant,  other

 Monetary unit: Mexican Peso

 GDP per capita: US $15,100

 Internet domain: .mx

 International dialling code: +52

 Source: CIA World Factbook