34 In Mexico

10 Things That Surprised Me About Mexico

In all honesty, Mexico has been pretty low on my list of travel destinations. With all the negative press coming out of the border towns, and the wild partying in Cancun, I had never really considered Mexico as somewhere I would want to visit. Of course, I was biasing an entire country on a few small areas, which is bad! Don’t do that! But after some research, and a two week trip to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, I can wholeheartedly say, I’m in LOVE! Heading to an area of Mexico that is much less populated by tourists, I didn’t know what I was walking into. I was surprised by many things, these 10 being the most notable on my adventure in the Mexican desert.

10 things that might surprise you about mexico

1. The Bugs (or lack thereof)

Most places I’ve been that bring a warmer climate also bring bugs, so many bugs. Creepy crawly spiders and giant bee-like things. And for some reason, bugs love me. I can get bitten 25 times while standing next to someone who doesn’t get bit at all (true story). So you can probably guess that I was pleasantly surprised by the low number of these critters during my stay. Of course there were a few, and I got quite a few bites, but nothing to freak out my normally skittish self! Keep in mind, we were visiting in March, so maybe they just weren’t out yet? Whatever the reason, it was alright with me!

2. Nobody Speaks English!

While staying in a town of only 14,000 people, I was surprised to find that very few people speak fluent english. Even at our resort, the majority of staff knew only very basic English, which led to some interested attempts at conversation. My boyfriend knows zero Spanish, and my knowledge goes as far as a few sentences. So if you’re planning on visiting a smaller Mexican town, maybe brush up on the language a bit, or at least bring a phrase book along with you.

10 things that might surprise you about mexico

3. It’s Very Safe

I was a little worried about visiting a rural town, as Mexico is sometimes given a bad rep and made out to be a dangerous place. You do need to be more vigilant while visiting, but this can be said for visiting any new place. Everyone is very friendly and willing to help a lost tourist in the downtown streets.

4. The Juxtaposing Landscapes

Loreto… Where the mountains come to swim, and the sea and desert meet.

Most tropical locations I have visited are flat, flat, flat, with the ocean being the main attraction. In Mexico, that is not the case. The first thing I noticed while hopping off the plane was the mountains. They seem to just shoot up right out of the sea and form a jagged horizon everywhere you turn.

10 things that might surprise you about mexico

5. The Marine Life

The Baja Peninsula of Mexico runs down the western side of the country and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. We were staying on the Sea of Cortez side, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen so much ocean life! Blue whales, sea lions, sea turtles, common dolphins, bottle-nosed dolphins, puffer fish, the list goes on! You can stand on the shore and see fish swimming around a stones throw away.

10 things that might surprise you about mexico

6. The Humidity

Most places I have visited with a hotter climate end up being extremely humid. The kind of humid where you feel sticky all the time and can’t wear makeup for fear of it melting off your face. Mexico, or at least, the more western side of Mexico, is not like that. It’s hot, don’t get me wrong, but a drier kind of hot – which makes sense given it’s a desert…

10 things that might surprise you about mexico

7. They Put Refried Beans on Everything

Nachos, sandwiches, wraps, burritos, just a dolup on the side of the plate. You name it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, and they added a nice touch to all the dishes I tried. But if you don’t like them, definitely make sure to specify that with the waiter.

8. It’s Not as Cheap as You’d Think

At least for Canadian’s like myself. With the exchange rate being around 13:1 when I travelled there, I was thinking I would be living like a king! Unfortunately, that was not the case. The prices were very comparable to Canada, with meals averaging out to around $25.00 Canadian. Of course there were many cheaper places, and many more expensive ones, but on average, it was like being anywhere in North America.

10 things that might surprise you about mexico

9. Small Towns = No Young Travellers

If I have to hear, “wow it must be very quiet for you two in Loreto” one more time… It’s well known that the majority of young travellers head to the party towns while in Mexico. But, I didn’t realize just how true this was. We saw very few other young couples while travelling, the majority of tourists being over 50 years old.

10 things that might surprise you about mexico

10. Whales Are a Huge Tourist Attraction

We coincidentally visited Loreto during its Blue Whale Festival, when the blue whales are migrating through the Sea of Cortez. This brought many tourists to the area in hopes of seeing the largest animal on earth. You can also see killer whales on the sea as well. On the Pacific side of the Baja, you can take tours to watch grey whales and humpbacks too! We were lucky enough to see several blue whales up close on two tours we did!

10 things that might surprise you about mexico

Mexico is an amazing country with activities and sights everyone will enjoy. Although it wasn’t my top travel destination a month ago, now I definitely plan on visiting again!

Want to find out more about my trip to Mexico? Click here to find out what I packed, and here to find out more on where I stayed.

Over to you: Have you ever been to Mexico? What surprised you? 

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Kat
    March 21, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    This is a very interesting article! I had no idea whales were a huge tourist attraction there! I love the photo of the sea lions – it’s awesome that you got to see so many! I’m adding the Baja Peninsula to my bucket list. 🙂

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks! Yea I had no idea either! But they were super cool 🙂 You should definitely visit!We got to snorkel with the sea lions so cool!!

  • Reply
    Anita
    March 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    After seeing your photos, I need to go back to Mexcio. I didn’t do anything you talked about :O Although I thought it was pretty cheap compared to other destinations (especially US, I am Canadian too). But I guess its better to eat at Canadian prices then to eat the same Canadian food but at American prices 🙂

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 22, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you 🙂 and you should! It was so fun 🙂 And yea it was cheap compared to the US you’re right! Just more expensive than I was expecting!

  • Reply
    chen
    March 22, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    This is such an useful list. Love the part that they put refried beans on everything, haha. I’ve always wanted to go to Mexico but has put it in my schedule.

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 22, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks!! Yea you should definitely go there it was such a fun trip 🙂

  • Reply
    Beatrice
    March 23, 2017 at 6:57 am

    OH wowww… I’ve never been to Mexico, but it looks amazing!!! Loved the pictures 🙂

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 23, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you!! It was lots of fun 🙂

  • Reply
    Glitteroneyes
    March 23, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Nice post .
    I’ve never been to Mexico but I would like to go.
    Beautiful pictures .
    Xo glitteroneyes

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 25, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Thank you! You should go it’s beautiful! 🙂

  • Reply
    Dellany
    March 24, 2017 at 7:33 am

    I love your photos! What a great article! This is perfect to mentally prepare yourself and get an idea for what to expect!

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Reply
    jessica
    March 24, 2017 at 11:06 am

    beautiful photos, looks like it was a great trip….i’m dreaming of beach time (:

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Thank you! It was a lot of fun 🙂

  • Reply
    Ruth
    March 25, 2017 at 4:39 am

    That’s a whole new outlook on Mexico. Great, I’m interested!

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Reply
    Rosey
    March 28, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Great read! Mexico def. has its Beauty side of things. Good read of your experience 🙂

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 28, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Thank you! It’s a beautiful place 🙂

  • Reply
    Tracy
    March 28, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you for such great information about Mexico. I have always wanted to visit but now I want to go even more!

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 28, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 You should definitely visit!

  • Reply
    Delilah
    March 28, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Mexico really is wonderful. I have to go back sometime. I love the food and the refried beans! Enchiladas and margaritas= Mexican getaway bliss.

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 28, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      The food is amazing hey? Such a great place I’m glad you like it! 🙂

  • Reply
    kylie
    March 29, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Your photos are amazing! What camera do you use. I lovvvvvvee mexican food so much, this article has made me hungry

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 29, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Haha I love it too!I have an Olympus Pen E-Pl8 🙂 Great camera for travelling around and blogging!

  • Reply
    C.J. Cato
    March 29, 2017 at 5:11 am

    I live in TX so I have been to Mexico many times. The things you say are all true… and like anywhere, as long as you know where, “not to go” you’ll be just fine.

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Yes I totally agree! Just need to stay smart and you’ll be just fine 🙂

  • Reply
    Wendy
    March 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Beautiful photos and the way you write your travels make people want to jump on an airplane. Mexico is fantastic! My favorite area will aways be The Riviera Maya. Thanks to your article, I now want to go back soon!

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      March 30, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks so much!! I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 I have never been to The Riviera Maya but I will definitely have to do some research into it!!:)

  • Reply
    Lucy
    April 14, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    I love refried beans so it sounds like my kind of place! & I think it’s fab that you and your bf went off the beaten track xx

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      April 24, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Thanks so much!! It was super fun 🙂

  • Reply
    Gudrun C N
    April 15, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    So true! The lack of bugs is also the one that surprised me the most back when I moved here!

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      April 24, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      It’s so awesome hey?

  • Reply
    Julie Cao
    May 9, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Mexico is my favorite country. I have heard many awful things about Mexico before visiting and this post just inspires me to visit Mexico again. I love the food there, but the food is very cheap in my experience. I have never spent anywhere near CAD $25 on a meal there, probably because we traveled to different areas and I am okay with eating street food.

    • Reply
      erynmacgillivray
      May 9, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      Hey! It is so amazing hey? And a lot of the time we were eating in more touristy areas, so they probably were bumping up the prices!

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