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First Time in Mexico

I wish I could have read Genevieve’s enthusiastic endorsement of Mexico before I visited the country for the first time last week, but alas, I only had my family’s swine-flu-and-violence hysteria to turn to. Luckily, I headed south of the border anyway–I’m old enough to know that anything that scares my parents is going to be great fun. Also, I had a work event to attend, and it happened to include five days of sun, sand, and frozen cocktails.

So what’s Cancun like right now? Only twice was I reminded of Mexico’s role in the swine flu pandemic: upon my arrival and upon my departure. My flights were only about 20% full, and Cancun International Airport zapped us with infrared thermometers and symptom surveys to ensure we were flu-free before entering or leaving the country. These checks only took a few seconds, though, and since the airport was virtually deserted, baggage pick-up and check-in took only seconds as well.

Other than those quick tests, the only temperatures I concerned myself with were those of the ocean, air, and pool. The resort I visited wasn’t full, but the vacationers there seemed absolutely at ease as they kicked back and worked on their tans. Any thoughts of the flu floated away while I cozied up to the swim-up bar, and while my view of Cancun was limited to this one area (the resort, not the swim-up bar), the white sand, clear water, mango groves, and friendly people were enough to make me want to return to the Yucatan to explore. And I’d go again tomorrow; Mexico is summer’s best deal, after all!

Photo courtesy of Catherine Sbarra

michelle_doucette

My name: Michelle Doucette

How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at IgoUgo.com.

Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.

Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.

Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.

Comments

Jennifer Gaines
Reply

There are so many great deals to Mexico right now! I am likely heading there in a few weeks to take advantage, but I have not yet told my family. They will freak out, too! Unfortunately, the media has painted a pretty grim picture of Mexico; one that does not match the reality of what people are experiencing in Mexico. Travelers should of course stay away from the border cities, and take extra care to stay healthy — but that is no different than what I have to do riding public transportation every day!

genevieve_brown
Reply

I can’t say enough about the amazing deals to Mexico. I’ve been twice so far this year, but am hoping to go for a third time. I’ve been to Cancun, the Riviera Maya, and Riviera Nayarit. Where to next? I’m thinking Mexico City . . .

Hotelier
Reply

Every year my family goes to Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico. It’s just north of Puerto Vallarta (so it’s much less touristy) and it’s a very nice little town. There is a main resort there called Decameron, and there are several villas , large and small, that you can rent for reasonable prices. If you like activity, it’s right on a beautiful beach on the Pacific wit parasailing, banana boats, fishing tours, and all sorts of other activities. The town is full of places to get classic mexican cuisine, but you can also drive into Puerto Vallarta (about 30 minutes). If you went there you would fly into Puerto Vallarta, where if you try and find extra seats on a charter flight, can get an amazing deal.

Chad
Reply

I am an avid tourism promoter for Mexico. Poor Mexico… if its fragile economy alone has not knocked it on its a##, the narco violence and swine flu scares have given Mexico a complete K.O.!

Mexico holds a special place in my heart as it is where I studied for a semester in college. I have been in large cities, resorts, and small towns.

Of all the places I have traveled I do believe that Mexicans are some of the friendliest folks around.

As for the violence??? Yes… there is truth in what you see in the media. However, if you read between the lines you will see that most victims are somehow involved in the drug industry or have family members involved… from the measley street dealer to the drug lords. Run-of-the-mill tourists are usually not targets. Crime can happen anywhere… use common sense.

as for deals!?!?! WOW ! last month, a last minute Puerto Vallarta getaway was a steal. Airfare only $258 from Indianapolis!!! This type of deal will be extinct once tourims bounces back.

Cabo San Lucas Tours
Reply

There are so many things to do in Mexico matched with its affordable deals and offers. Well, never mind swine flu, just make sure that you are wearing a protective mask to be safe if you are worried about the virus.

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