Viva La Mexico!
Mexico is a largely misunderstood nation.
The war on drugs in Mexico paints a violent picture over the entire country.
The truth is Mexico is a spectacular country full of magical landscapes and home to a beautiful culture.
Yes there are areas in Mexico you should avoid.
I would also tell you to avoid certain areas in my home city of Baltimore.
Baltimore has more violent activity than 99% of Mexico
While mainstream tourism has fallen off because of the news, experienced travelers are exploring this country more than ever.
If Mexico is not on your consideration list, it should be.
Mexico is one of the largest countries by geography in the world.
There is no way you can cover it all in one trip, or even ten.
The best way to experience Mexico is to pick one activity and focus your time on that.
Let the culture and atmosphere find you while you pursue learning a new skill.
Check out this list for some of the top SFT trips to take in Mexico.
Have a better one?
Let me know.
When people mention Mexico, the first drink to come to mind is the Margarita.
Mexico is so much more complex than that.
First off a real Margarita is a far cry from that tequila and sour mix abomination your local sports bar serves.
It's a delicate drink that requires skilled hands to master.
The quality of the tequila has great importance.
But tequila is not the only spirit from Mexico.
Mezcal includes a much broader range of spirits from the region.
Learning how to work with Mezcal as a bartender is like learning you had a third arm your whole life.
You will be amazed at all the extra things you can now do.
Free diving is actually my favorite way to explore the ocean.
My several scuba certifications allow me to go where free diving can't, but free diving feels a lot more natural.
Of course it takes time to get to a level where you can really enjoy it.
For me it was when I could hold my breath for 3+ minutes.
It can take months to train yourself for that.
This makes it a great skill to focus on while enjoying the country's coastal gems.
If I had a dollar for every person who told me they wanted to become fluent in Spanish...
Spanish is the fourth largest language in the world.
Not only could learning Spanish help you better mingle with the locals in Mexico, but it could also set you up for more meaningful travel to other Latin countries in the future.
Spanish holds tight to it's Latin core so it is also opens the way to learning other languages.
Cacao beans have been a part of Mexico's culture's since before the existence of Ancient Greece.
While chocolates may be associated with Europe, the use of Cacao started in South/Central America.
If you're a fan of chocolate, then this is the place you'll want to roll up your sleeves and get elbow deep.
Start with exploring Cacao as it was originally consumed.
As a beverage.
Then go crazy and experiment.
What will your next chocolate creation be?
Pottery dates back thousands of years in Mexico.
While the earliest forms of pottery in the region were unspun ceramics, the European pottery wheel has been popular in mexico for a long time.
Pottery has been deeply integrated into Mexican culture.
Each region has their own variations making pottery an excellent means to explore the country.
Two of the largest ancient civilizations in the world roamed across Mexico for thousands of years.
The Aztecs or Mexicas, and the Mayans.
These two cultures formed massive alliances to protect themselves from each other.
These civilizations were in many ways far more advanced than their European counterparts.
While these genocide and disease wiped out most of these ancient cultures, there is still much to be learned from them.
Luchadors hold a legendary status in Mexican culture.
The sport of Lucha Libre wrestling has been a part of the culture for a while, but it is not as old as most of Mexican Culture.
The sport dates only to the early 1900's.
Lucha Libre classes are not as commercialized as Muay Thai in Thailand, but there are classes around.
The instructors take the are very seriously, so be prepared to have to prove yourself if you really want to become a Luchador.
Futbol, or as us American's call it, soccer is one of if not the biggest past times in Mexico.
Many youth play the sport all day every day.
If you want to take your futbol skills to the next level, be prepared to face some real talent.
Don't be surprised to struggle against kids.
The best part of learning this sport is the comradery.
I don't know of a better way to meet locals and make friends.
You'll soon be going off on local excursions and seeing the real Mexico as only the locals know.
Easily the most iconic dish from Mexico.
If you want to learn how to make a real taco, this where you'll learn.
Traditional tacos are a fair bit different from their California counterpart.
You'll still be able to recognize the taco from a mile away, but the ingredients used are not the same.
Pick up a few different recipes while you're there and then call me up.
I'm an excellent taste tester.
Mexico has produced its fair share of world renowned art.
Painters like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera put Mexico on the map.
The Mexican street art scene is also worth exploring.
If you are passionate for art, this is a great place to let your creativity soar.
There are plenty of art classes to be found around Mexico, but if you're going to be there awhile, look to join an artist's guild.
Mexico has a thriving coffee culture.
It has likely spun off of the ancient cocoa culture as many popular Mexican coffee drinks incorporate chocolate in one form or another.
Coffee farming is also popular in Mexico.
There are plenty of coffee farms up in the mountains for you to explore.
Mexico has thousands of miles of coastline.
The region most famous for surfing in Mexico still has to be the Baja Penninsula.
The best part of surfing in Mexico?
While it has as good of surf as any country, you can often have entire stretches of beach to yourself.
It's also one of the cheapest locations to learn.
The guitar has made its way into many cultures, but to me the guitar has always been home in mexico.
Maybe it's the image of mariachi playing at the local restaurants, or maybe it's the day dream of strumming a tune while relaxing in a park on a siesta.
To me Mexico and guitars are like PB&J.
Spear Fishing is high on my list of sports to master.
While it seems more violent than fishing, I find it to me a more sustainable means of harvesting from the ocean.
You only keep what you can carry.
You are facing the fish on equal grounds.
I could go on and on about how great it is.
The warm tropical waters around Mexico make it a great place to learn.
You won't have a hard time finding spear fisherman around.
More than likely someone will be willing to take you out and show you how to catch your first fish.
While there are cheaper places in the world to scuba dive, there are few places with as much activity as Mexico.
Cozumel is probably the most famous diving region, but there are plenty of Pacific hot spots too.
I say there are cheaper places but that's not to say Mexico is expensive for scuba.
There are dozens of affordable options.