The northern region of Mexico has not had the greatest reputation for the last few years. Many locals will refer to this area as "unknown Mexico," or even "lost Mexico."
Don't let the news scare you, though. While there are certainly some dangerous areas to avoid, the north of Mexico is certainly home to several spots that are worthy of your next vacation.
To begin your sightseeing, you'll want to visit the sophisticated city of Durango. Because of its more than 1000 preserved historic buildings, this city was declared a national monument. Take a trip and enjoy the hot springs, natural wonders and pleasant climate. However, take extra caution when you visit as this area is rumored to be home to several drug cartels
If you're in search for a touch of history, travel to the Barrance de Portillos. As one of the most unique archaeological sites in Northeast Mexico, it is full of stone carvings deep in this isolated and desert region.
For a bit more natural Mexican beauty, take a trip to the state of Chihuahua and see the Copper Canyon. As one of the greatest attractions in the country, this hidden gem is full of stunning scenery, tucked-away waterfalls and villages that seem to be frozen in time. While the rumors of unrest in the north run wild, you'll feel nothing but peace at Copper Canyon.
And if Copper Canyon isn't enough natural beauty for you, the stunning Basaseachi National Park may be just what you're looking for. With well marked trails and one of Mexico's largest waterfalls, there are so many things to see in this park.
The north of Mexico is divided into several regions. Chihuahua is the biggest state in the country while Coahuila is Mexico's top mining state. New Leon is the center of the country's industrial life, and Sinaola is the home of amazing Mexican music. Tamaulipas is the most blue-collar state, and if you're looking to truly immerse yourself in the northern lifestyle, visit the state of Sonora.
To spend a day in a protected oasis, take a trip to Cuatro Cienegas. This natural reserve is home to unique plants and animals living off the cool pools fed from underground water. The "Desert Aquarium," as it's known to the locals, is the perfect place to settle down for an afternoon picnic. Take your meal down to the banks of Rio Mezquite for lunch and a dip. Bring your snorkeling gear with you visit the friendly fish just beneath the surface.
Another popular spot within Cuatro Cienegas is the Poza le Becerra. As one of the largest pools in the whole valley, this area is ideal for camping, swimming and more snorkeling.
For a truly unique and purely Mexican experience, head to Lucha Libre in Monterrey. There's nothing in the world like Mexican wrestling. So when visiting, make sure you take advantage of this opportunity. Lucha Libre is the home of professional wrestling and is sure to provide a show you won't forget.
However, if you can't separate the idea of vacation and the beach, you'll want to hit the beaches of Mazatlan. There are miles and miles of sandy shores complete with jet skiing, waterskiing and parasailing. Be sure to haggle on all of your prices, though.
Food and Dining
You might be a big fan of that Mexican restaurant down the street from your office, but you'll definitely want to try the real thing in the culturally rich northern Mexico. Between fajitas, coyotas, machaca con huevo, quesadillas, burritos, chimichangas, and varieties of nachos, how can anyone go hungry? Be sure to check guidebooks and websites for the reputations of restaurants to avoid any risk of falling ill.
While most cities will have buses, taxis and some even have metro systems, your best bet for traveling through northern Mexico is to rent your own car. The highways in this region are the best in the country, and small populations mean traffic is not a challenge.
If you're more interested in wandering with no rush, look into bicycling or even horseback riding. By taking your time, you'll certainly absorb the north Mexican culture and way of living. Seriously take the time to consider this, as it could be an experience of a lifetime.
Looking for a party hostel in Mexico
? Heading to San Diego