Mexican tourism has suffered some blows recently, with tourist favorites Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cabo San Lucas, and Oaxaca among areas beset by reports of violence, some against foreign travelers.
Six Mexican states are on the U.S. State Department’s “Do Not Travel” list, along with the likes of Syria and Yemen.
On the other hand, our family — my wife, two adult children, their significant others, and one grandchild — enjoyed a very relaxing three days in the Sonoran town of Rocky Point a few weeks ago, renting a beach house, gorging on fresh seafood, tamales, and guacamole, taking long beach walks, and admiring the sunsets over the Sea of Cortez.
One of our most memorable experiences was being greeted as we arrived by a man who introduced himself as the owner of Peter’s Tamales (his business card for Mexicans probably reads “Pedro’s Tamales”).
Peter told us his wife makes homemade tamales, chile rellenos, breakfast burritos, and other local delicacies, and he could have them at our doorstep by 8:30 the next morning.
How could we resist? We put in our order — and they were some of the best of their genres we’ve ever had.
Our visit to Rocky Point — a three-hour drive west and south from Tucson — happened to coincide with the University of Arizona’s spring break, so things were hopping, though we missed most of the action at night (by design).
We did have lunch one day in town, where we watched a costumed furry “hype panda” getting down to overly loud music on the balcony of a bar across the street from us. It looked hot and exhausting and we could only imagine what it was like to be inside that panda costume.
I hope he/she had a nice cold cerveza waiting at the end of the shift.
All this is by way of introducing today’s guest post by writer Jackie Edwards, who points out some reasons why baby boomers would enjoy a trip to Mexico. I’ll leave the safety warnings to the State Department and the decision of whether or not to go up to you.
But our drive along the “No Hassle Highway” from Tucson was, indeed, free of hassles — and the tamales have never been better.
By Jackie Edwards
From its sandy white beaches to its ancient Aztec and Mayan architecture, Mexico is a wonderful and magical place to visit. It holds everything you could ever imagine for a warm getaway and is exceptionally senior-friendly.
However, traveling to an unfamiliar destination can be overwhelming for anyone. Before you travel, be sure to plan your trip accordingly and check out some of these tips to make sure you have your fun in the sun.
Pick the Right Destination
Some cities in Mexico tend to be overcrowded with youngsters celebrating their Spring Break on the country’s beautiful sandy beaches. This can be extremely rowdy, noisy, and dirty for anyone over the age of 25.
Therefore, avoid destinations like Cancun or Cabo and instead visit the beautiful cities of Mexico City, Oaxaca, or Guadalajara. These areas are rich in history, culture, sunshine, and good vibes.
Enjoy the Food
You might be hesitant to try new foods if you can’t tell the difference between a taco and a tamale, but here is a quick lesson to help you order your first Mexican meal with confidence.
For breakfast, try chilaquiles, which are corn tortillas topped with salsa, scrambled eggs, pulled chicken, cheese, and cream.
You can also order a side of frijoles (refried beans) to keep you energized throughout the day.
For lunch, you might want to try an ancient meat soup called pozole or a traditional corn or flour tortilla filled with meat or other items — i.e, tacos or burritos.
Many baby boomers travel to Mexico simply because of all the discounts available.
The country is known for treating its older adults in style: In Mexico, the age of a senior is considered anyone over the age of 50. So if you meet the requirement, be sure to ask for a senior discount wherever you go. You’ll be able to save on hotels, dining, shopping, taxis, and tourist activities.
Check Out Travel Groups
If you’re seeking adventure, check out some senior travel groups that will take you deep into the heart of Mexico and help you meet like-minded individuals along the journey.
Road Scholar, an adventure tour group geared to travelers over 50, has a “Yucatan With Your Grandchild” tour that explores Chichen Itza and other Mayan wonders.
You can also opt for a Baja California tour and hike, swim, snorkel, and kayak the sea of Cortez.
Another tour company, ElderTreks, offers a similar Baja tour as well as a Lost World of the Mayans tour that takes you on a journey through the ruins in search of crocodiles, monkeys, and the gems of Antigua.
Mexico is rich in tradition, history, and breathtaking views. Do your due diligence and take sensible precautions, but don’t write off all of Mexico as a destination — there’s just too much to miss.
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