Head to Mexico for Día de los Muertos
Day of the Dead (or Día de los Muertos) seems to be ever on the rise as a Halloween theme. Painted faces, decorated skulls and vivid flowers are becoming more and more mainstream in America and the rest of the world, while in Mexico it all dates back nearly 3,000 years. This multi-day Mexican holiday where family and friends celebrate deceased loved ones is a surprisingly uplifting and happy tradition.
WIth Day of the Dead upon us, plus the fact that Mexico City is now a global trending destination, what better time to explore Mexico's cultural heritage, culinary prowess and fascinating ancient history?
To help you find the best spots in Mexico to do so, we've dug into our own internal data*, dividing recommendations by Booking.com customers into three relevant topics; culture, history and cuisine.
The Mexican destinations that scored most highly for those categories are listed below…
Top 3 for Fabulous Food
Seafood features prominently in Tepic dishes; you’ll see a variety of succulent species from shark and sea bass to shrimp and oysters. And lots and lots of grilling.
The capital city of the Mexican state of Baja California has an unusual hybrid cuisine. Its huge Chinese diaspora has influenced culinary traditions so much so that you’ll get fresh Mexican grilled fish and meat dipped in moreish Asian sauces.
Sit down at a restaurant table in Córdoba to a bowl of cut limes and a cerveza followed by a distinctly Spanish meal. But you can still get the most Mexican of experiences (and dishes). Córdoba is also famous for its coffee.
Top 3 for Cracking Culture
San Juan Teotihuacán
This holy city is an awe-inspiring display of the technological prowess of its ancient inhabitants. All thanks to its main attraction – the Teotihuacán complex of imposing pyramids laid out on detailed and fascinating geometric and symbolic principles.
Pachuca de Soto
Though often a launch pad for the nearby mighty mountains of Sierra Madre Oriental, the capital of Hidalgo state has more than enough going for it to entice you to stay. The town centre of brightly-coloured, oddly-arranged houses rises and falls over steep hills, from the top of which you get a great panorama.
Hugely culturally important, this unassuming, small town was the birthplace of the Mexican independence movement.
Top 3 for Heaps of History
Instantly recognizable as the home of the eponymous spirit, Tequila is a firm tourist favorite for that reason. Museums are dedicated to its tradition of distilling the blue agave plant, which has been produced since the 16th century, and tours of distilleries are very popular.
Tlaxcala de Xicohtencatl
The city of Tlaxcala has a very visible colonial history, marked by monuments such as the elaborate baroque Basilica of Our Lady of Ocotlán. On Constitution Square, you can admire murals that depict local history. And if you’re interested in Mexican artist and feminist icon, Frida Kahlo, the Art Museum of Tlaxcala houses some of her early paintings.
A mind-blowingly sophisticated complex built by the ancient Mayans, Chichén Itzá is a well-known historical site. And as one of the most visited in Mexico, you’d be best advised to go earlier in the day to really enjoy the intricate stone carvings and vast pyramids. The Mayans’ astronomical knowledge is astonishing; they were so advanced that they could predict solar eclipses. And at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the morning and afternoon sun casts a light-and-shadow illusion of a serpent on the side of one of the staircases.
*Our data experts looked at recommendations for cuisine, culture and history. All destinations included had to have over 50 recommendations.