Tourism revenue is an important currency addition for Mexico, considered one of the world’s major tourist countries. In 2012, the country had 23.4 million visitors. Most come from the US, but the tourist flow from Europe is increasing. According to COUNTRYAAH, Mexico is the third largest country in the continent of North America.
History and present are woven together in Mexico in a unique way. The ancient Native American cultures still feel alive, while the ruins of their heyday attract large crowds of visitors. Around and in Mexico City there are, for example, Tenochtitlán with its pyramids, the Tula of the Toltecs with their remaining “war pillars” and the remains of the Aztecs Templo Mayor next to Zócalo in the central city.
In the state of Oaxaca in the south lies Monte Albán and Mitla with ruins after zapotecs and mix tecs, and in Chiapas there are Mayan temples in Palenque. On the Yucatán Peninsula, the Mayan ruins are dense; some of the most visited are Chichén Itzá, Uxmål and Tulum. The Spanish colonial era and its architecture can be studied in Mérida on the Yucatán Peninsula, in the “silver city” of Taxco south of Mexico City, and north of it in, for example, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato and Zacatecas.
In the form of nature experiences, Mexico offers everything from desert landscapes in the north to tropical rainforest jungles in the south, from mountains and snow-covered volcanoes to gray whale sanctuary on the Baja California coast. The Pacific Coast also has a number of seaside resorts, e.g. the old metropolis and the resort of Acapulco in the south or the more newly built Ixtapa and Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán further north. The most well-known and popular destination – apart from Mexico City – is the seaside resort of Cancún on the northeastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula.
Aztecs and Mayan Indians had a refined gastronomy that largely lives on. The basis of cooking now which is then corn, chili fruits, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, avocado and spices such as vanilla and cocoa as well as pineapple and papaya.
Despite a strong uniformity, there are local features; In the north, wheat is grown which suppresses the otherwise total dominance of maize, and meat production provides raw materials for roasts and skewers. On the coast there is an abundance of seafood dishes, while tropical fruits in combination with corn and poultry characterize the south.
The chili fruits, which are included in most meals, are usually strong, but there are also milder varieties. In the sauces they are included as an indispensable ingredient. Salsa verde (green sauce) is based on green small tomatoes and green chili fruits, salsa cruda (raw sauce) on red tomatoes, red chili fruit, as well as lime juice and coriander.
Another standing feature is corn pancakes, tortillas, with countless uses. They can be filled (sometimes called taco) with sauce, cheese, eggs, leftover meat, mashed beans or honey. They can also be shredded in soups and saucepans, crumbled into omelets or roasted to tostada. As usual, tamales, cooked by a soft corn dough that is provided with strong or sweet filling and steamed, are often wrapped in the corn casings.
Moles is the name of a series of pots; in common is that chili fruits and usually onions and red and green tomatoes can be cooked into a strong sauce in which meat or poultry can then boil. The dish in front of others, with precolumbian roots, is called mole poblano de guajolote and is turkey bits that have been boiled in a sauce with chili fruits, anise, cinnamon, carnations, tomatoes and cocoa. Seafood is often eaten marinated in, for example, lime juice and is then called ceviche.