Culture

Pagebreaks – 3 Slices Of Heaven In The Mexican Beachside You Have To Visit

For decades, Mexico has been one of the main destinations for global tourism. The country offers amazing beaches where visitors can find both natural beauty and experienced hospitality workers who make their living by providing unforgettable experiences. We have selected 13 beaches that can cater for any kind of visitor and for budgets of all sizes. Remember that old Corona ad, “From where you would rather be”? Well, we would rather be in one of these slices of heaven.

1. Costa Careyes
Located in: Jalisco
Good for: high end, luxury traveling, honeymoons

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This relatively recent development is located in the Mexican state of Jalisco, so you can also visit the city of Guadalajara or the many tequila haciendas in the region. This beach is pristine and hasn’t been developed as much as classics such as Acapulco or Cancun. It is pricey, but ideal for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon… you might leave the room for a bit just to witness the stunning sunsets. You can find more details here: https://www.careyes.com/.

2. Puerto de Veracruz
Located in: Veracruz, Gulf of Mexico
Good for: old fashioned Mexican charm

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Veracruz is one of the oldest cities in Mexico, the port where the Spanish started the development of the new colony. The old port has been revitalized in recent years, and you can experience the charm of jarochos: you can smoke a cigar while sipping a cafe con leche in the traditional La Parroquia. You can also listen to nostalgic regional son jarocho or join old folks in a communal dance known as danzon. 

3. Bahia de Los Angeles
Located in: Baja California
Good for: those who love the stunning desert/ocean combo

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Less developed than beach towns such as La Paz and Los Cabos. This is a dream for those who love the combination of desert and sea. The Gulf of California bathes beaches that are red and feature spectacular rock formations crowned by cacti and succulents that defy the laws of gravity. A surreal but soothing destination. 

4. Isla Holbox
Located in: Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula
Good for: just relaxing on a hammock as the waves caress the sand

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This island north of the Yucatan Peninsula is truly heaven on earth. It is part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, so it is not highly developed. The island is separated from the mainland by a lagoon which features flamingos and pelicans. Good to know: no cars are allowed on the island.

5. Isla Mujeres
Located in: the Caribbean Sea, near Cancun
Good for: snorkeling and scuba diving

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Another paradisiac highlight in the Yucatan Peninsula. This island has amazing beaches such as Playa Norte, plenty of resorts and scuba diving and snorkeling experiences. Even though it only has 4.22 km², it has it all: a lighthouse, Mayan ruins and even a sanctuary for sea turtles. 

6. Puerto Vallarta
Located in: Jalisco
Good for: going out and sleeping in!

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This traditional beach destination captivated filmmaker John Huston when he shot The Night of the Iguana here. Elizabeth Taylor, who was tagging along with her then-husband Richard Burton, also fell in love with the dramatic landscape, food and good vibes of this awesome place, which is also famous for its vibrant nightlife. A perfect alternative for those who find Cancun and Los Cabos to be just a bit too touristy. It is near the Tequila region, so a little stop is in order.

7. Mazunte
Located in: Oaxaca
Good for: cheap and low key hippie vibes

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This has been the de facto destination for Mexico City natives that just want to relax by the beach and eat some delicious Oaxacan food. Even though it is now a bit more developed than some would wish, it still retains a mystic but relaxed atmosphere. People feel so at ease that it is sort of a nudist beach: if that is your thing, clothes away! Seriously, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

8. Mazatlan
Located in: Sinaloa
Good for: spectacular scenery and delicious seafood, Sinaloa style

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An oldie but goodie. This resort town borders the Pacific shoreline in the state of Sinaloa. It was an impressive boardwalk or malecon that covers 21 km. Old Mazatlan is a 19th-century colonial jewel with gorgeous architecture. If you are into big-game fishing, this is the place to be. You can also eat some amazing Sinaloa seafood. A taco gobernador, anyone? (if you are wondering, it has shrimp, black beans, a secret spicy sauce, and melted cheese, all in corn tortillas of course!). 

9. Playa Ventura
Located in: Guerrero
Good for: relaxing times and amazing food in a rustic environment

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Near the legendary but now dangerous Acapulco lies this beach which is visited by turtles and offers a rustic experience. Food is just great: pescado a la talla and lobster smothered in chili and butter. What is not to like? We hope it keeps that rustic feel and that development doesn’t translate into big resorts. 

10. Los Cabos
Located in: Baja California Sur
Good for: sea life watching

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A classic destination full of top-end resorts, but also the home of a charming town and plenty of spectacular animal sightings. You can take a whale watching tour or watch seals basking in the Baja sun. There are of course plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. And by the way, you might spot one of the many Hollywood A-listers who have made Cabo their preferred holiday spot. While you are here, why not rent a car and travel up the Baja peninsula all the way to the wine region near Ensenada?

11. Punta Cometa and Playa Mermejita
Located in: Oaxaca
Good for: thinking about la inmortalidad del cangrejo

 

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On the way to the charming Playa Mermejita (in Mazunte, see above) you can stop at this spot, which offers the most romantic sunset on Earth. You can also stare at the ocean and the beach and think about your life: nothing like being away from the tribulations of your daily life to reflect on where you are going.

12. Playa Pichilinguillo
Located in: Michoacan
Good for: unadulterated natural experiences

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White sands, tame waves, and blue waters. This is a playa virgen that totally gives us The Blue Lagoon vibes. It is ideal to scuba dive or snorkel, as waters are almost transparent and fish are still unafraid of humans. The lobster here is delicious. Plus, you will be helping the local economy thrive as it is not yet subject to big transnational resort companies. 

13. Playa del Carmen
Located in: Quintana Roo
Good for: a good mix of relaxing and fiesta!

Credit: destino.mochilero / Instagram

People who got sick and tired of how gringo Cancun looks have moved their business to Playa del Carmen, which started out as a “poor relative” and is now a hot spot for nightlife and glorious days at the beach. It attracted European tourism early, so there are plenty of culinary options as some visitors just decided to stay and open their own restaurants! Prices have peaked recently, but it is still a great option for those who believe that Cancun’s best days have passed.

READ: These Latin American Beaches Are The Perfect Getaways For All Of The Beach Bums In The World

Shop embed – Doña Ángela Is An Abuelita Taking YouTube By Storm Through Her Traditional Mexican Cooking And OMG We Absolutely Love Her

Culture

Shop embed – Doña Ángela Is An Abuelita Taking YouTube By Storm Through Her Traditional Mexican Cooking And OMG We Absolutely Love Her

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One of the downsides of online celebrity is the predictability of who will become an influencer. By now, influencers have created a well established culture and even an industry. Some of them even have PR agencies to manage their affairs! By now, influencers in sectors such as fashion and video games have established formulas for monetizing content. This leads to a creative rut and lack of originality, so it is always refreshing with a totally different type of influencer enters the stage!

Enter this abuelita who totally immerses us into her lovely ranch and the traditional cooking methods that are passed down through generations.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

You can´t get more authentic than that! Doña Ángela is from the great state of Michoacan, in Mexico. She has had an unexpected but very welcome success on social media. This is how she was introduced: leisurely walking among her crops.  

She opened the channel “De mi rancho a tu cocina” on August 19, 2019. And her viewership numbers will shock you!

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

In just over a month she has gathered over 300,000 followers and her videos (just 13 in total) have been watched over seven million times. There are plenty of influencer-wannabes who spend months, or even years, deploying carefully curated accounts and never get that kind of following. 

Her secret: absolute honesty and a sense of wholesomeness that is hard to fabricate.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

This glorious abuelita talks to her audience as if we all were her nietecitos chulos. She also loves her land and her cooking with a passion that is impossible to make up. The ingredients are all fresh and the rustic nature of her kitchen is the total opposite of pristine settings used in high-production YouTube cooking channels. In short: es la neta la abuelita. 

Just look at those gorditas fluffing up and up and up… 

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Seriously, if you are not salivating by now there is something seriously wrong with you… or you are not really into Mexican food. 

She walks us through every stage of the process with a nonchalant elegance.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

We love her classic abuelita apron and the way in which she truly enjoys putting classic dishes together. The video series is also an ode for simplicity: you don’t need fancy and expensive kitchen equipment to let magic happen. 

And just look at that sweet, happy, content expression.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

She has her gorditas just as she liked them, con poquita lechuga. Can we just move in with her already?

This is organic AF, ok?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Our amazing cooking master just walks to her crops and harvests flor de calabaza. If you want to buy it at a fancy hipster grocer te va a salir en un ojo de la cara. Hers is a true connection to the soil and an intuitive knowledge of nature. You can’t get more organic than that despite whatever certification or what-e-ver. 

And she prepares whole menus: atolito to go with that fresh flor de calabaza?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

What sommeliers call “pairings” she simply calls the best way to enjoy dishes. With a delicious traditional beverage 

Look at that traditional comal…

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Complete with coal and the marks left behind by countless sessions in the kitchen. 

Damn, that salsa has gotten our juices flowing.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

We are talking about saliva, malpensados, puercos estos. 

And what about a delicious breakfast of eggs bathed in salsa?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

She, of course, gets the eggs from her ranch as well. We seriously can’t think of a better way to wake up. Move over avocado on toast! This is the real deal, ese! 

And look at that pot brewing cafe de olla.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Imagine waking up to the aroma of a hot clay pot containing coffee with piloncillo and spices…. it is like dessert in a cazuelita and Mexico’s answer to all those over-the-top Starbucks jaladas. Give us a cafecito de olla over a frapuccino anytime!

Could she be the beginning of a trend?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

We certainly hope so! The more we know about REAL Mexican grub, the better!

Because classics never get old.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Here she is making arroz a la mexicana, red Mexican rice as the gringos call it. 

Can it get any better?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Spoiler alert: it can’t.

Cancun Has a Major Algae Problem and The Cause Could Be Global Warming

Things That Matter

Cancun Has a Major Algae Problem and The Cause Could Be Global Warming

@newsnest00 / Twitter

For the past several years, Cancun has notoriously become one of The Summer Spots. With promises of cheap beer, crystal clear surf and fun hangs, tourists typically flock to the vacation destination for good times in the spring and summer in troves. The location’s sands, beaches, and resorts are typically packed by this time of year, but a nasty visitor is washing up on the shores of these beaches, scaring off the usual summertime travel industry.

For the past several months, an invasion of seaweed-like algae hasn’t been just an eyesore for tourists, it’s also been a nasal deterrent.

Hundreds of pounds of seaweed-like algae is washing up on the shores of Cancun and it’s ruining the city’s tourist season.

Twitter / @tictoc

The past several months, the sunny resort town has been inundated with slimy, brown seaweed-like algae. It’s name is sargassum and it has washed up all along the coast around Cancun; stretching all the way down to Playa del Carmen and even further to Tulum. With the stench of rotten eggs, the algae smells just as gross as it looks and makes for a pretty unappealing soggy mess. It’s definitely not the sort of beach conditions that encourage tourists to visit.

Though Cancun businesses are feeling the effects of this invasion, the president of Mexico isn’t as concerned. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reportedly called the problem controllable and has only allocated 2.6 Million for the removal of the algae. The removal is a slow process — being shoveled away by city workers — but the lack of resources makes the task even more difficult. Also, the endless onslaught of fresh algae with every tide doesn’t help. Even using front loaders and trucks for the cleanup, the work takes several hours and results in an algae-covered beach only moments later.

Officials aren’t certain what the cause of this algae is but there are clues that point to it being caused by major global issues.

Twitter / @DKaimowitz

Scientists have suggested that the increase in algae is caused by the warming of our Earth because of the global climate change we are currently experiencing. This is the same hypothesis that has been suggested to explain Florida’s Red Tide. Earlier this month, scientists at the University of South Florida used satellite imaging to discover the largest bloom of the algae in the world. It’s being called the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt and it is impacting beaches along North, Central, and South America.

Others believe that deforestation is to blame for the assault of algae on these beaches. Due to the logging and increased use of herbicide and fertilizers by Brazilian lumber companies in the Amazon forest, dangerous runoff flows into the ocean. The nutrients in these fertilizers encourage the growth of the algae; causing super blooms to occur.

In a release about a study of these super blooms, Dr. Chuanmin Hu of the USF College of Marine Science expressed concern about the state of the Atlantic ocean. He has predicted that:

“The ocean’s chemistry must have changed in order for the blooms to get so out of hand.”

Regardless of what the Mexican president and scientists say, locals who face this problem every day are the ones most impacted by the algae.

Twitter / @newsnest00

Tourism in the community has taken a major hit during a time when Mexico is already heading towards a recession. The first three weeks of June, hotel occupancy in the area dropped by 3.4%. Air travel to the city also saw numbers that aren’t as optimistic as Cancun usually sees during this time of year. It only claimed 1.2%, the smallest amount of growth that the area has seen since 2011.

It isn’t just the international travel industry that loses money to the algae. In a city like Cancun, as much as 40% of jobs are tied to tourism alone. Events like this — that impact the beaches so severely — threaten the livelihood of locals. The Mexican transportation industry, local artisans, restaurants, beach resorts, and sight-seeing locations depend on this busy season to provide the bulk of their yearly income. In order to lure travelers, hotels in the area are even running specials. In many places in Cancun, tourists can get as much as 20% off rooms and free transportation to unaffected beaches.

Cleaning up after this mess will take a lot more than a few hundred shovels.

Twitter / @ElCanaco

Reversing the effects of climate change can not really be accomplished on an individual level. Realistically, a single person does not cause this damage. Instead, it is large conglomerations that hurt our Earth with their anti-environmental policies. Until the governments of the world decide to hold these companies accountable, nothing productive will be done to stop this damage.

Right now, we’re seeing this onslaught of algae but who knows what is in store for our environment if we don’t make major improvements soon. It’s more than just our Cancun vacations that are counting on these changes.