Mexico travel photography
Why Mexico? Aren’t you scared? These were some of the skeptical questions people asked us when we were planning our trip. Yes, the drug war is very real and we experienced first hand the continual “presence” in many parts of the country. We were taken out of our comfort zone several times – some experiences more light hearted than others, but hey that’s what makes a trip more exciting!
All of that aside, what struck us most was the total passion for life the Mexican people have.
Mexico is such a diverse country. Not only geographically, but historically and culturally too – there is just so much to admire. It creates a great backdrop for travel photography.
Mexico, always conjures up visions of beautiful fabric, sombreros, tequila, chilies, colourfully painted buildings and old Ford “pick-ups” with at least 5 people in the front and a pig on the back. We saw loads of these scenes… and more!
Understandably, just as with all countries – there are many stereotypical experiences to be had in the touristy towns, but head out into the countryside, and you see the real Mexico…where age old traditions are still in practice, where you can experience genuine hospitality and partake in some gastronomic delights that would make most tummies do a loop. We were also fortunate enough to be in Mexico for the Dia De Los Muertos festivities – but that deserves a whole blog post on its own, so watch this space.
Our photographic journey began in Mexico City. We picked up our hire car here, and headed east to Cholula passing the live volcano of Popocatepetl on the way.
Our next stop was the languid colonial town of Tlacotalpan – we were really sorry we only had one night here – although another night and we may have been eaten alive by killer mosquitoes!
The next morning we set off for San Andreas Tuxtla – the heart of Mexican tobacco country. After a quick detour into the jungle at Nancigaya for some traditional Shaman treatments, we realized there was no way we were going to make it to Campeche before dark, so we had an impromptu stopover in Acayucan.
From here we headed for the coast, tightly hugging the Gulf of Mexico and hugging our wallets even tighter as they were rapidly diminishing in pesos with all the toll roads we had to pass through.
We went through some swampy areas that had recently been flooded – scenes that just seemed so un- Mexican. Finally after a very long day of travelling, we arrived in the coastal town of Campeche. We were here for a few days, so it gave us the opportunity to not only explore the town, but also to head out to some of the outlying villages where we had some of our most authentic experiences.
From Campeche we travelled back down inland to Palenque where we visited the ancient Mayan ruins set within jungle like terrain. The town of Palenque, although very touristy had a nice vibe.
From Palenque, the idea was to head down to San Cristobal. When looking on a map, it seemed very do-able in a days’ worth of travelling. But nothing could prepare us for the condition of the roads. Not only were they steep and windy, they were sometimes totally washed away. All in all it was quite a hairy day of travelling. Once again we realized we would not make our final destination before dark, so we decided to stop off in the town of Ocosingo. I don’t think a single tourist has ever set foot here, as we got an amazing amount of perplexed stares from the locals!
The drive from Ocosingo to San Cristobal was very beautiful. We climbed quite a bit passing through villages shrouded in mist where people were going about their early morning business.
San Cristobal is a very pretty town with elegant buildings, shiny cobbled streets and lots of shopping!
Our next stop (just to break the journey was Tehauntepec. By default, this was probably one of our favourite stopovers. We got to experience the Mexico that most tourists will never get to see and it was GREAT!
Our next port of call would be Oaxaca and the Day of the Dead celebrations – something we had been looking forward to so much. The scenery changed quite dramatically and it was definitely becoming more desert like. We were in Oaxaca for 5 nights, so we really had plenty of time to take in the celebratory vibe, explore the town and drive to some of the outlying villages.
We left our hire car in Oaxaca and took the overnight bus back to Mexico City where we spent some time before flying back home.
We took so many photographs, and it was really hard to narrow them down to sum up 3 weeks’ worth of travelling. But here are some of our favourites…
Adios, Hasta luego!