Are you longing to experience something amazing, something awesome, something incredible, outside of Africa? Then Mexico is the natural choice to visit! 

 

The main asset of the Mexican hospitality industry is its wonderful people. Mexicans are known to be kind and generous.  We love to share our country with visitors from abroad. This always gives us a sense of enjoying life more intensely.

Have you been dreaming of exploring beaches and jungles? Then picture the Riviera Maya, with its Caribbean beaches, the pyramids of Tulum  that transport you into the Mayan world, and the sacred cenotes (natural pits resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock) to reach the underworld of ancient gods and goddesses.

 

If you rather prefer altitudes, Mexico has several mountain ranges. Why not explore these impressive landscapes by way of the Chepe Train in Chihuahua and visit the Raramuri and Tarahumara villages; or travel from San Luis Potosí to Veracruz through the various scenery of the Huasteca.

If what you really enjoy is the desert, you cannot miss the Vizcaino or the Sonora deserts and the route from San Luis Potosí to Monterrey which is a showcase of semi-desertic vegetation. Karoo lovers will know what I mean.

Or maybe you are a lover of animals, and will be fascinated by the Monarch butterflies  on the border between the states of Mexico and Michoacán, or the Caguamas  (Loggerhead turtles) on the Pacific coast. Are you a whale fan? Eight of the eleven whale species migrate to the Gulf of California to give birth. Also known as Mar de Cortés, this enormous estuary is considered the Aquarium of the World, hosting 80% of Mexican marine diversity.

 

Are you an architecture enthusiast?  Mexico’s archaeological sites are breathtaking: from Chichen Itza in Yucatán to the Yacatas in Michoacán, from Mitla and Monte Albán in Oaxaca or El Tajín in Veracruz, and let´s not forget Teotihuacán where the ancestors of the Mexica culture settled around 200 B.C.  You will also be amazed by the Mexican Baroque Style in Mexico City, Puebla, Tepotzotlán, Querétaro, Guanajuato, San Luis and Zacatecas. (Photo of the Capilla del Rosario in Puebla ). 

Does the urban lifestyle attract you?  Then Mexico City will surprise you. A valley located at 2,240 meters above sea level surrounded by volcanos, being one of them the mighty Popocatépetl, which is still active. Going west, you’ll find Guadalajara, the cradle of Mariachis and up north the industrial capital Monterrey,  both contrasting cities with proud traditions. When visiting, don’t forget to go and watch a football match, as these three cities are the headquarters of the main football teams—the country’s national sport.

Perhaps what you are really looking for is to mesmerize your gourmet spirit with various culinary delights. Mexican gastronomy was inscribed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. It is not only pride and tradition, it is a variety of flavours, colours and spices. Popular dishes, like Mole,  are prepared differently depending on whether you find yourself in Puebla or Oaxaca. Each region has its own culinary offer. 

Ancient Mexicans domesticated maize 8,000 years ago. They added shells to create a malleable dough that allows for the creation of countless maize-based dishes—tortillas, quesadillas, tamales,  atole, tostadas, gorditas… you name it! 

When speaking of the gastronomic flavours of Mexico, we cannot forget to mention tequila, mezcal, sotol, pulque, xtabentun, as well as various beers and wine, all depending on the region you will be visiting.

 

Don’t think twice! Mexico and its megadiverse destinations are waiting for you!

 

Visit Mexico! In Mexico, tourism is a very relevant industry and its numbers suggest it is a very attractive country to visit for international tourists. To put this into perspective, Mexico was ranked 7th by arrival of international tourists and 16th by income from foreign exchange, according to the 2018 International Tourism Ranking.  

 

According to the Mexican Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR), by the end of 2021, 30.7 million international tourists will have arrived to the country, with an economic uptake of around 18 billion dollars and an average hotel occupancy of 45.9%. Here are some important facts about the tourism industry in Mexico:

 

Within the tourism sector, the employed population totaled 3 million 931 thousand people in the period April-June 2021. 

Tourism represented 8.1% of national employment. 

By the end of 2021, the Tourism GDP will have grown by 10.8% in comparison to 2020, and will represent 7.1% of the national GDP.

 

 

Traveling to Mexico. Although Mexico has kept its borders open by way of air travel to visitors with no need to quarantine, when entering Mexico and/or flying within the country you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire letting the authorities know if you have had contact with and/or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.  As is the case in other countries, the use of an electronic vaccination certificate will help to reactivate tourism, and Mexico is planning to implement this in the near future. 

 

COVID -19 protocols. Mexico follows a color-coded mechanism that determines which activities are safe to resume and/or with which restrictions on a state (province)-by-state basis. The color-coded mechanism is updated every two weeks by the federal and state governments with the guidance of Mexico’s Ministry of Health Specialists. 

 

“Punto Limpio”. The Quality Seal of “Punto Limpio V2020” is the maximum recognition granted by the Ministry of Tourism and is endorsed by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of the Tourism Sector. It evaluates the following points: Training of Managers, Hygienic Quality, Good Practices by Business Unit, Quality Assurance, Advice and Validation.

 

Tesoros de México (Mexican Treasures). It is the premium tourism quality program, implemented by the Mexican government to certify boutique hotels and restaurants that guarantee the absolute satisfaction of travelers, and whose high standards of quality preserve the Mexican identity through the culture, architecture and gastronomy of its regions, turning these establishments into emblematic destinations and tourist attractions in their own right. The states with the highest number of “Tesoros” in Mexico are Guanajuato, Puebla, Morelos and Michoacán.

 

Diversification. The Government considers a priority to diversify cultural tourism, so that not only beaches, but magical cities and towns are showcased as well. Mexico is rich in a wide variety of tourism, and has a lot to offer according to one’s preferences, such as archeological, adventure, and cultural tourism, among many other kinds. The extensive variety that Mexico has is showcased below: 

187+ archeological sites

1,386 museums

177,799 historical monuments 

132 magical towns (The “Pueblo Mágico” (Magical Town) designation is awarded to those communities that over time have maintained their original architecture, traditions, history and culture as well as those towns that have been of great relevance to the country’s history).

 

Adding value to our country, it is worth noting that Mexico is considered the 5th most megadiverse country in the world. 

 

Tianguis Turístico. This is the most important event for the Mexican Tourism Industry and is a Business Forum based on pre-scheduled appointments between Buyers and Exhibitors. The City of Merida, in the state of Yucatan, will host the 45th Tianguis Turístico edition, from 16-19 November, 2021. 

 

Merida, nicknamed “The white city” due the common color of its old buildings, features multiple museums, art galleries, incredible natural sites nearby and an amazing culinary experience coupled with the hospitality of its people.

 

Merida, the 2021 host city, invites tour operators and tourism related entities to participate in this highly professional event, where Mexico promotes a wide variety of tourism products that proves its excellence as a destination.

 

For more information, please access the following website: to https://tianguisturistico.com/presencial/en/ 

 

Visa Information. For visa queries please access the following website: https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/sudafrica/index.php/english/visa-for-mexico or contact the Embassy of Mexico at 012 460 1004 ext. 1004, 1015 or 1018 or send an email to info@mexico.org.za copying in consular@mexico.org.za  and local2@mexico.org.za

 

Please note that travelers who wish to visit Mexico (regardless of their nationality or itinerary), holding a valid, multiple entry visa for the United States of America, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom or the Schengen Space countries DO NOT need to apply for a tourist, business or transit Mexican visa.

 

Important websites

 

https://datatur.sectur.gob.mx/SitePages/Inicio.aspx

https://tianguisturistico.com/presencial/en/ 

https://www.visitmexico.com/en/

https://www.visitmexico.com/en/types-of-tourism-in-mexico/pueblos-magicos-magical-towns

https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/sudafrica/index.php/turismo 

https://www.biodiversidad.gob.mx/pais/quees.html