Culture of Mexico

Mexico embraces both the traditional and the modern. Its natural beauty, rich history and cultural heritage, combined with alluring beaches and array of recreation, make it an appealing vacation spot for a wide variety of visitors.

Stunning architecture abounds -- from Baroque-style cathedrals to old haciendas converted for modern use. Local artisans keep old traditions alive through their crafts, including ceramics, jewelry, wood carvings and leatherwork. You can still find some artists using the same methods that their ancestors used thousands of years ago to dye and weave the brightly colored textiles for which Mexico is known.

Folklore permeates Mexican culture, as can be seen in its many festivities and fiestas throughout the year, such as el Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) where families decorate tombs and leave gifts for the deceased, who many believe return on this night to spend time with their loved ones.

Cuisine also is an essential element of Mexico's vivid cultural palette. Pre-Hispanic and Spanish influences combine to create the flavorful fare abundant here, like pollo pibil, a Yucatan dish of marinated chicken cooked in banana leaves, and huachinango, a red snapper preparation frequently found in seaside resort towns.

In addition to a strong sense of tradition, Mexico also has a fun-loving side, ideal for the tourist with more modern sensibilities. Beautiful beaches and warm waters make the Mexican coastline a favorite spot for those who love water sports of all kinds -- scuba diving, sport fishing and snorkeling are just a few of the activities available. Add the variety of restaurants, bars and great shopping, and it's easy to understand why Mexico is a popular destination not only for its cultural heritage, but for its joyful spirit.

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