If there is anywhere in the world that knows how to embrace the Halloween spirit, it would undoubtedly be Mexico. Although locals know this day by another name—Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead—this three-day Mexican holiday is a popular celebration honoring deceased loved ones and ancestors for people of Mexican heritage everywhere. This is also the holiday depicted in award-winning animated film, “Coco,” where a young boy goes searching for his family roots while serenading the audience with some tearjerker tunes along the way. If you were as mesmerized by the scenes as we were, read on to learn more about the vibrant country of Mexico from a local Superuser!
Vamonos a Mexico!
With 9,597 edits and counting, David Abarca enjoys helping others discover new places using his expertise as a Superuser level 6. As a life-long history lover and explorer, David especially likes to search for historical sites and secret bars using Foursquare City Guide. Along with his fellow Superusers in Mexico, David maintains the places he visits by ensuring the address, hours and other important information are accurate and up-to-date.
True to his local roots, David takes every opportunity to introduce visitors to his hometown of Mérida, the capital and largest city in the Yucatàn region known for its rich Mayan history and diversity of cultures. A hub of cultural heritage, the city is often the starting point for exploring other ancient Mayan cities or fresh cenotes, as well as haciendas, which are ancient henequen fiber factories. You can visit these beautiful spots to eat some authentic Mayan cuisine or take a dip in the pools that were used as cisterns to gather water 100 years ago!
For a taste of local cuisine, David would bring visitors to La Chaya Maya, a traditional Mayan restaurant with a wide range of dishes for an affordable price. A must-try traditional dish is the Poc Chuc, which are thin charcoal-grilled pork pieces flavored with sour orange typically served with fresh tortilla so you can make tacos. For dessert, you can try the Dulce de Calabaza, a candied squash or pumpkin topped with cheese.
Looking for margaritas and cocktails? Check out Malahat, a hidden speakeasy with delicious cocktails, burritos and live music not even most locals know about. If you need more restaurant recommendations in the Yucatan region, check out David’s Foursquare List featuring some of his favorite places to eat.
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A hub of cultural heritage, Merida, Mexico is often the starting point for tasting authentic Mayan cuisine and exploring other ancient Mayan cities or fresh cenotes.
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Outside of his hometown, the one spot not to be missed on a trip to Mexico would be the Cenotes, which are cave-style holes in the ground that were formed by meteorites. Considered by the Mayans to be portals to the underworld, they are filled with clear water that you can swim in. Whether you decide to swim or not, the sight alone will take your breath away.
David’s hometown and heart may be in Merida, but he enjoys exploring other cities and countries. In fact, one of his favorite travel destinations outside of Mexico is Argentina, another Spanish-speaking country known for its beautiful landscapes (Patagonia, anyone?) and the cheap and delicious cuisine.
Many thanks to David for his insider guide to his hometown and sharing his experiences discovering interesting places by using Foursquare City Guide and Swarm. Buen viaje!
Mexico SU Community: Twitter