Where better to holiday in the sun than in the land of the Aztec sun gods? Tourists are amazed by the scale of the pyramids to the sun and moon at Teotihuacan, an hour from Mexico City, but if you want to escape the tourist trail, then try the tips below.
Trade the busy beaches of Cancun for the serene Highlands of Chiapas
In Mexico’s most southern state, near the border with Guatemala, you can move from jungle to pine forest, colonial city to indigenous village, and take in the Lacandon Jungle or El Triunfo and Selva El Ocote Biosphere Reserves. The cloud forest of El Triunfo offers a number of trails and has an ecotourism coordinator. The adventurous can canoe, or race white water rapids within a stone’s throw of Mayan ruins. The descendants of the Mayans still live within sight of the Tacana volcano in the Parque Hidalgo, Tapachula, which rises to over 4,000m. If the sea does still call you, head for San Cristobal and the Pacific coast.
Bus or bike with the Guia Roji road map.
If you are seeking an over view of Mexico, travel by bus is cheap but to feel the scenery change go by bike. Suggested routes include the Caribbean coast from Cancun to Mexico City, taking in Tulum, Merida, Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, Oaxaca and Puebla. Or try the Pacific coast via Acapulco, Puerto, Escondido, Zipolate, Oaxaca, Pueblo and Mexico City.
Group bike rides with advocacy groups are offered by Colectivo Ecologista Jalisco in Guadalajara, and Bicitekas in Mexico City.
Volunteer in the Yucatan Peninsula
A number of agencies including Original Volunteers offer opportunities to work teaching English in children’s homes and community centres. For anyone medically minded there are openings with the Red Cross. Costs fall from £95 in the first week to just £50 per week. A large number of language schools throughout Mexico offer CELTA and TEFL courses if you need training, or there are opportunities for trained teachers at colleges and universities for one to two years.
Whether long or short your holiday in the Mexican sun will brighten your life.