At the end of our Baja trip, we took the ferry to Mazatlan and then the inland highway back to Laredo, Texas. We didn't do much exploring during this portion of the trip, but what we learned was that there is a LOT more to see and do in mainland Mexico than there is in the Baja.
The majority of our first winter was spent on the Baja Peninsula between (A) and (B).
The next winter, once again we were planning on the southern U.S. but this time Glen and Steve invited us to join them for mainland Mexico. We hummed and hawed, but eventually decided that we would probably never do it on our own so we joined them once again.
Our second winter in Mexico.
And then we were hooked.
I don't think there's one single reason we would rather come to Mexico, however there is a combination of reasons that for us make Mexico far better than the southern U.S.. In no particular order...
The Weather. In the southern U.S., good weather is not guaranteed. Yes, California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida typically have the best weather in the U.S., but it can be cold, wet, and windy. Mexico on the other hand has a lot of choice depending on what you're looking for, and it's pretty much guaranteed. Want blue sky and sunshine with temperatures every day of 32C (90F)? Head for the Pacific Coast between Acapulco and Puerto Escondido. It's pretty much guaranteed that's what you'll get every single day of the winter. Want cooler daytime highs? Head inland only a few hours and you'll be up in the mountains where things get a little cooler.
The Prices. From food to fuel to booze, everything is cheaper in Mexico. Although if you hang around in touristy areas that have a lot of "gringos", you will pay more than you need to. If you try and do things the way the locals do, you can get by on very little money compared to the rest of North America.
The People and their Culture. This one is hard to explain unless you've been here to experience it. Because really, we have met wonderful people all over North America. But for some reason, the Mexican people have a different attitude towards welcoming strangers. They are exceedingly warm and hospitable people. Of course you won't really experience this in places like the Cancun beach zone, or Puerto Vallarta. But that's one of the reasons we stay away from those types of places.
The exploring. We'll agree that there's lots to see in the warmer parts of the U.S., and some time we want to explore New Mexico, more of Texas, and we've never really seen much of California. We would like to see more of those places. Florida isn't our style, and we've seen and done as much as we want to do there. But when you've seen the ruins at Palenque, or the monarch butterflies in the mountains of Morelia, you realize how much more there is to offer down here.
The main palace at the ruins of Palenque.
Thousands of monarch butterflies weigh down the tree branches.