What Is Mexico Famous For? 19 Things You Didn’t Know

Mayan Ruins, fiery cuisine, and tequila sunrise-sipping beachfront bars—Mexico is known for many things.

But there’s more to Mexico than meets the eye – it’s not just tacos and tequila! Mexico’s rich history and unique cultural identity makes it the perfect destination for tourists looking to explore something new.

From traditional festivals to ancient ruins, there are plenty of places in Mexico that deserve a visit!

Whether you’re vacationing in Mexico or just looking for a taste of the country from afar, there are so many things that make this Latin American nation so special.

Ready to learn more? Here are 19 things you didn’t know Mexico is famous for:

1. Chichen Itza

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chichen Itza is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world and a must-see for any visitor to Mexico.

This ancient city was once the capital of the Maya civilization, and it remains a testament to the culture’s engineering and architectural prowess.

Visitors can explore the ruins of temples and marvel at the craftsmanship of the Thousand Stone Columns.

But the real highlight of Chichen Itza is El Castillo, a towering pyramid that casts a shadow in the shape of a serpent.

Every year, on the spring and autumn equinoxes, this shadow snakes down the side of the pyramid to meet with the head of a massive statue at the base.

It’s an amazing sight and one that you won’t soon forget.

el castillo chichen itza
el castillo chichen itza

2. Tacos

Mexico is famous for its delicious tacos! From street vendors to top-tier restaurants, tacos are an integral part of Mexican cuisine and can be found everywhere, from beachside shacks to high-end eateries.

Whether you like them simple or loaded with all the fixings, you’ll find no shortage of options when it comes to tacos in Mexico.

3. Day of the Dead

Otherwise known as Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebrates life and honors the deceased with traditional folk music, dance, colorfully decorated altars, food, and more.

Held on November 1st of every year, this festival dates back to pre-Columbian times and is still an important part of Mexican culture today.

Just remember – it’s not a day of mourning, but rather a joyous occasion!

(Psst.. it’s also an excuse to indulge in delicious Mexican food like tamales and pan de muerto!)

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4. Coastal Towns

Mexico has some incredible coastal towns that attract tourists from around the world. With its beautiful sunsets and palm-lined coasts, this country has something for everyone.

From the hip party towns of Cancun and Cabo San Lucas to the more laid-back beach communities of Tulum and Puerto Vallarta, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to relaxing on Mexico’s stunning beaches.

Mayan Ruins in Tulum
Mayan Ruins in Tulum

5. Tulum

And let’s not forget about Tulum, a walled city with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea.

Located on the Yucatán Peninsula, this ancient city was once a major center of Mayan culture, and today it attracts visitors from all over the world who come to explore its history and architecture.

The Tulum Archaeological Zone is home to a number of important Maya structures, including the well-preserved Temple of the Frescoes. This temple is one of the most iconic buildings in Tulum, and it is famous for its mural paintings.

Visitors to Tulum can also explore the many cenotes in the area, which are natural sinkholes that were once used by the Maya for ritual purposes.

In addition to its historical significance, Tulum is also known for its stunning natural scenery. The town’s pristine beaches and lush jungle vegetation make it the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.

6. Cenotes

Mexico is a land of many natural wonders; however, one of the country’s most unique features are its cenotes.

These natural swimming holes are formed when limestone bedrock is eroded by water, creating a series of deep pools.

The cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula are especially well-known, as they offer a refreshing break from the heat of the Mexican sun.

Visitors can take a dip in the cool waters and even explore the cave networks that some cenotes contain.

7. Chocolate

Mexico is a land of many delicious culinary delights, but one of its most beloved exports is chocolate. This luxurious treat has been enjoyed by people all over the world for centuries, and it all started in Mexico.

The first chocolate was made by the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, and it quickly became a favorite of the Aztecs, who believed it was a gift from the gods, and they treasured it accordingly.

When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico, they were amazed by this delicacy and quickly began to trade it back to Europe. Today, Mexican chocolate is still prized for its rich flavor and velvety texture.

Whether it’s enjoyed in its traditional form or used in creative new recipes, there’s no doubt that chocolate is one of Mexico’s greatest gifts to the world.

Playa Norte Isla Mujeres Mexico
Playa Norte Isla Mujeres Mexico

8. Gorgeous Beaches

With coasts on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Mexico’s charming selection of beautiful beaches are gems that need to be explored.

Located on Isla Mujeres, Playa Norte is a picturesque beach that offers white sand and turquoise waters.

Home to world-famous resorts, Cancun features a stunning selection of beaches with crystal-clear waters.

Mexico’s most Instagrammable beach is found in Tulum, where the ancient Mayan ruins blend with the soft, powdery sand and Caribbean blues.

Don’t forget about Playa Zicatela, one of the most beautiful beaches in Oaxaca! This gorgeous beach offers incredible sunsets and a laid-back vibe for those seeking some R&R.

Whether it’s lounging beneath swaying palm trees in Playa del Carmen or savoring cervezas and snacks while watching the sunset in Los Cabos, people looking to experience an unforgettable day in the sand will find their paradise in Mexico.

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9. Coffee

Mexico is one of the largest producers of coffee in the world. In fact, it’s the tenth-largest producer of coffee, producing more than 3 million bags of coffee per year. That’s a lot of caffeine!

But what’s even more impressive is that Mexico produces the most organic coffee in the world. So if you’re looking for a delicious cup of organic coffee, there’s a good chance it came from Mexico.

Mexican coffee is known for being rich and flavorful, with a deep body and a dark color. It’s also known for being relatively inexpensive, which is why it’s so popular around the world.

So next time you’re looking for a great cup of coffee, be sure to check out the coffees from Mexico. You won’t be disappointed!

10. Tequila & Mezcal

Tequila and mezcal are two of Mexico’s signature spirits. Tequila is made from blue agave plants and has a distinctive flavor that makes it popular for both shots and cocktails.

Mezcal, on the other hand, is made from a variety of different agave plants, and it has a smoky flavor that sets it apart from other types of tequila.

Whether you like your tequila neat or in a cocktail, there’s no denying that both of these Mexican spirits are worth trying. You may just find that they’re your new favorite drinks.

Tres Generaciones Premium Tequila
Tres Generaciones Premium Tequila

11. Sombreros

Okay, we know what you’re thinking already – cliché much? But there’s no denying that when you think of Mexico, chances are one of the first things that come to mind is the iconic sombrero.

The traditional hat has become an important part of Mexican culture and they are often worn by Mexican farmers and ranchers to protect them from the sun.

These days, sombreros are also commonly seen at Mexican fiestas and celebrations.

While they may look like simple straw hats, sombreros are actually quite complex creations. The traditional Mexican sombrero is made of woven palm leaves, and it can take hours to make one by hand.

No matter what the occasion, a sombrero is sure to add a touch of fun and flair. So next time you’re looking for a unique souvenir, be sure to consider a sombrero!

12. Teotihuacán

One of the most popular attractions is the pre-Columbian archaeological site located in the Basin of Mexico, Teotihuacán.

What makes Teotihuacán stand out among other places in Mexico is its large Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, as well as its immense Avenue of the Dead.

Even though you won’t bump into any ancient Aztec or Maya civilizations these days, it’s still very much worth a visit if only to admire the atmosphere and aesthetics.

All we can say for sure is that once you step inside this ancient city, you’ll find yourself wishing your summer vacation never ends!

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13. Natural Wonders

Mexico offers some of the most beautiful and majestic glimpses of nature. From stunning deserts to lush forests, Mexico is home to a diverse amount of flora and fauna.

Not only that, but its coastlines feature awe-inspiring rocky cliffs and crystal-clear waters that you can explore by boat.

But it goes even further than that; Mexico is also known for boasting incredible cave systems full of fascinating formations, unrivaled starry night skies perfect for stargazing, and amazing wetland sanctuaries abundant with wildlife.

Some unique natural wonders in Mexico include:

  • the breathtaking Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
  • the mysterious Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
  • the grandiose Copper Canyon
  • El Arco de Cabo San Lucas and its awe-inspiring rock formations
  • the lake of seven colors at Lago Bacalar

It’s no wonder why many travelers venture to Mexico looking for undiscovered sights to take in – you certainly won’t be disappointed!

Cenote in Tulum Mexico
Cenote in Tulum Mexico

14. Food and Drinks

If you love your food, Mexico won’t disappoint. Traditional Mexican cuisine is full of flavor and unique ingredients like mole, cactus, and huitlacoche (corn fungus!).

And of course there’s tequila – a drink that dates back to pre-Hispanic times. Sip it responsibly and make sure to try the regional variations – from blanco (silver) to reposado (aged).

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could sample some mezcal – an agave-based spirit with smoky notes.

No matter what your preference, Mexico has something for everyone’s taste buds! Just don’t forget your stretchy pants…

15. Wrestling

Wrestling (lucha libre) is another popular part of Mexican culture – and probably one of the last things you’d expect to find in this country.

But trust us, Mexican wrestlers (or luchadores) are serious business here!

Mexican wrestling combines elements of traditional wrestling styles with colorful characters and storylines. It’s an amazing spectacle that you have to see to believe.

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16. Mariachis

Mariachi music originated in Jalisco, Mexico, in the 1850s and has since become a national symbol of Mexican culture.

Today, mariachi bands can be found playing at weddings, funerals, quinceañeras, and other special occasions throughout the country.

The vibrant style and sound of mariachis make them a must-see when visiting Mexico, as they bring life and color to any gathering with their festive tunes!


17. Cinco de Mayo

Mexico and its culture has much to offer, especially on the fifth of May. Cinco de Mayo is an iconic holiday that celebrates a victory won over the French army in 1862.

The buzz of mariachi music fills the streets during this festive national occasion as people rejoice in their heritage, while traditional dishes such as tacos, tamales and guacamole flow like a river.

18. Cultural Diversity

Mexico is a country of rich cultural diversity, with many different languages and customs coexisting in harmony.

From the Nahua people of Central Mexico to the Huichol tribes of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico’s indigenous cultures are an integral part of its national identity.

You can also find mestizo Mexicans, descended from a mix of indigenous and Spanish ancestors. The majority of the population in Mexico is Catholic, but there are other religious minorities such as the Mormons and the Jews.

Food is one of the best ways to experience Mexican culture. From tacos al pastor to nopales (cactus) dishes, you’ll find plenty of delicious options that reflect the country’s diverse cultural heritage.

And if you like music, be sure to check out some traditional mariachi bands or listen to some norteño music for a real taste of Mexico!

Whatever your interests may be, it’s easy to see why Mexico is so beloved for its vibrant diversity.

19. Stunning Architecture

When it comes to landmarks, Mexico has some real showstoppers that draws visitors from all over the world.

Here are some of the most famous landmarks and attractions you can explore in Mexico:

The Basílica de Guadalupe is a major landmark in Mexico, and one that is visited by millions of people each year. This stunning Catholic church is located in Mexico City, and is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe – the patron saint of Mexico.

Mexico City’s Zócalo is another amazing landmark in Mexico, and one that has seen plenty of history! With its colorful colonial buildings and bustling atmosphere, it’s no wonder this city square draws millions of visitors each year.

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral is an impressive sight – the largest cathedral in Latin America. Its majestic baroque architecture is stunning and will leave you speechless.