To celebrate Mexico’s annual Dia de la Independencia national holiday, Azimo has come up with six brilliant reasons to pack some pesos and head for Latin America. Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico, but he obviously hasn’t experienced any of the wonders he’s shutting out.
And if you’re celebrating Independence Day by sending money home to Mexico, use the promo code: ESMEXICO and get 10€ straight into your Azimo account! Chido güey!
1. It’s not all burritos
With such a wonderfully diverse landscape, it’s no surprise that Mexican food is full of contrasts. Mexico gave the world the 3Cs – chocolate, chillies and corn. Cocoa was discovered by the Mayans as long ago as 900 AD. Then Columbus turned up and the rest is history. Corn was first cultivated in Mexico, most chillies come from here, and it’s also the world’s largest exporter of the humble tomato, with 21% of the global market. Stuff that in your burrito and eat it.
2. It’s UNESCO World Heritage heaven
Mexico is home to an astonishing 34 UNESCO World Heritage Sites spread across the country, which is only one less than India and more than Greece and Argentina put together. And it’s not just the Mayans on show. There’s a huge variety of heritage on display beyond the pyramid headliners, ranging from the exceptional colonial architecture of Oaxaca’s historic centre to the agave-lined landscape of tipsy Tequila.
3. The wildlife is out of this world
Mexico isn’t just diverse, it’s Megadiverse – one of a group of 17 countries singled out for having the highest density of biodiversity in the world. It’s home to more than 200,000 species, from wolves, jaguars and pumas to axolotl (Mexican walking fish), horned lizards and spotted bats. But the weirdest wildlife name has to go to the small but ferocious Sarcastic Fringehead fish. You have been warned.
4. It’s home to one of the seven wonders of the world
Spend a day at the stunning ruins of the ancient city of Chichen Itza, once home to the most important Mayan settlement in Central America, and it’s easy to understand why they were voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The standout structure is the Temple of El Castillo, a pyramid with 365 steps in all, one for each day of the Mayan solar calendar. Chichen Itza was eventually swallowed up by the surrounding jungle until restoration restored its ancient glory in the 20th century.
5. The Gulf of Mexico is a sea of diversity
The ninth largest body of water on the planet stretches between Mexico, USA and Cuba, covers some 600,000 square miles and reaches down to an eerie depth of nearly 15,000ft at its darkest point. All of which means there’s an awful lot of room for some rare marine action – one of the don’t-miss attractions is the chance to dive with giant whale sharks off hippy-chic Isla Holbox. It’s just 60km north of Cancun but feels like a whole new world.
6. It gave birth to one of the 20th century’s finest artists
Mexican painter and feminist icon Frida Kahlo was one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, and together with husband Diego Rivera made up Latin America’s most glamorous arts couple. Seriously injured in a bus crash in her youth, Kahlo took up painting while confined to her bed. Influences behind her soul-searching work include surrealism, ancient Aztec beliefs and Mexican folklore, but ultimately it’s her own tragic story that dominates the raw brilliance of her stark self-portraits.
Gerardo C Lerner/Shutterstock.com
Looking to send money home to Mexico? Visit our dedicated Mexico country page to get started and enjoy Azimo’s brilliant rates.
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