Monterrey – ¡Hasta luego!


As this blog is my last, I would like to tell less about my studies, but more about my favorite adventures in beautiful Mexico.
As I mentioned in the earlier Blogs, in my eyes Mexico is underestimated. It has the friendliest people, most diverse nature and can be an adventure for a lifetime. But if people actually travel to Mexico, they most likely travel to Cancun or Playa del Carmen, which are the well-known hotel and party places. Because of their popularity, these places became really touristy and the true charm of Mexico is nearly gone. So here is my top 4 of traveling through Mexico and experience the real Mexican vibe and nature:
1. For Culture: DF, Teotihuacan
2. For Animals: Baja California
3. For Outdoor Sports: Matacanes
4. Out of this World: Real de Catorce

1. For Culture: DF, Teotihuacan
You most likely fly into the capital city Mexico DF, when you are traveling to Mexico. This lends itself to discover the city for a few days, but be prepared that it might take a while to get around, but what else to expect from a city with a population of more than 21 million people.
If you are looking for a fun experience next to all the history of Mexico DF, I totally recommend the floating gardens of Xochimilco, located only 30min away. You book yourself and your friends or family one of the beautiful colored boats and float down the rivers, where they offer you lots of entertainment. You can bring your own drinks and by the time smaller boats show up all around you offering to buy cloths, plants, food or souvenirs and you can even delight yourself with some traditional Mariachi music. It’s simply fun!

Another place to mention is Teotihuacan. Also not far from DF, this is one of the most important places of the Aztec history and the pyramids are still in an okay shape to actually climb them and get an idea of the earlier times. As this place is huge, they also offer hot-air balloon tours, which must be incredible by sunrise (if you can afford it). Understandably this is quite a touristy place, so try to go as early as possible to enjoy the silence and also to avoid walking around in 40 degrees heat on middays. Also make sure, when you are in this area, you visit one of the many typical Mexican towns, such as Aguascalientes or Guanajuato. Only here you experience the real beauty of Mexican life, including delicious food, friendly people and hot Salsa-Rhythms.

 

2. For Animals: Baja California
Something you can only experience in very view places of our planet: in La Paz, Baja California, on the West Coast of Mexico, you can snorkel with whale sharks and sea lions in the wild. As whale sharks are vegetarians, they only eat plankton and actually don’t care about you in the water at all. But anyways, your pulse will fasten and adrenaline is guarantied when they swim up right next to you with an open mouth and a length of up to 14meters. You can go snorkeling with whale sharks in Cancun too, but here it is nearly half price, less touristy and so you get as much time with the sharks as you wish. And there’s another advantage of going to La Paz:
Just one hour further by boat, you reach cliffs on open water. Here is the home of nearly 400 sea lions. This is one of the only kind of sea lions, which is not dangerous, but very playful and you can decide if you prefer to dive or snorkel with them. It nearly seems like the sea lions enjoy the company, so they come up to you, crap your fins and try to play with you. Most times, you will also find sea turtles, dolphins and rays here and to the right season whales as well.
I hope you agree, that there’s not much more to explain why I chose this place of one of my top 4 places in Mexico.

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3. For Outdoor Sports: Matacanes

Matacanes is a specific area 2 hours next to Monterrey, where our University is placed. Outdoor agencies offer cannoning day trips, where you follow a river through the mountains by a mix of climbing, swimming, waterfall jumps and slides. As I am personally experienced with outdoor sports, the advertising of “Extreme sport – physical health necessary” didn’t really impress me. After the first meters already, I changed my mind. This was one of the most extreme and amazing experiences you can do if it comes to action and outdoor sports! You slide down into darkest caves, swim through turquois water, jump waterfalls up to 12 meters, climb huge walls and all of this in great company of about 10 people. I have never thought, there will be a moment in my life where jumping down a waterfall is just another thing, but on this day it became just something super normal. All day long you are surrounded my the most beautiful nature and it gives you time to forget about everything else and just feel full of life. There are different places around Mexico, which offer cannoning, but in my experience, Matacanes is the most extreme you will find here.

 

4. Out of this World: Real de Catorce
In the middle of nowhere in the Mexican dessert, there’s a little town called Real de Catorce. Only reachable with a good car, make sure you also bring enough cash, because the only ATM in town might probably not even work. All houses seem to be ruins and you wonder who’s even living here, but in the morning the whole town awakes and the streets are full of life and colorful markets. Real de Catorce is perfect for a weekend-trip to escape normal life and having a blast, because there’s something else, that makes this place famous: peyote. Known as a holy hallucinating cactus from the early Mexican history, trying peyote today is a great laugh for alternative travelers. You can rent horses to take a ride into the dessert and find yourself some peyote. Dig it out of the ground and try it yourself, but be prepared that it has a horrible taste and might even make you throw up. You can also book a dessert tour for the nighttime to experience millions of stars on the sky. A pictured moment you will never forget.