Traveling to a new Spanish-speaking country is always exciting, especially if you try to learn specific Spanish vocabulary words so you can get the most out of your vacation. You should also do some research beforehand, to seek out new foods, off the beaten path locations, and local flavors. If you do a little preparation, you can understand the people more deeply by getting immersed in their culture, food, and history; you’ll achieve that by learning the name of their most traditional eats, drinks, and places. Today we’ll talk about all the special things you can experience while on your Mexican vacation.

Mexican Food

Here are some must-try dishes so you can have an exceptional culinary experience.

A sauce with prehispanic origins and over 50 varieties, primarily made with chile and many other spices. It is very well known in every state, though it’s traditional in Oaxaca and Puebla. We suggest first trying the most popular ones: mole negro and mole poblano.

Tender pork is taken from different parts of the pig. You can order a specific part or a mix. Try it in a taco with lime on top. Traditional of Michoacán.

This extravagant word refers to a representative dish of Veracruz, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potosí. It is considered the biggest tamal (tamale): people cook a gigantic zacahuil, from which they serve you a smaller portion; though there are also individual-sized portions. It’s made of corn dough, with a mix of different chiles (like the chile guajillo and chile ancho), pork or chicken meat inside, and wrapped in banana leaf.

Classical of Monterrey, this is a special dish of baby goat. Its meat is very tender and it’s usually eaten in tacos.

You can find them in every state and in every corner of Mexico City. They are pieces of fried tortilla, with sauce, chicken, cheese, and cream on top; some people serve them with eggs or meat, instead of chicken. The most common sauces for chilaquiles are green and red sauces.

This is seafood and you’ll find it at every beach. The most popular ones are shrimp, octopus, oysters, and crab. You can also have a seafood cocktail, which is prepared with ketchup, olive oil, salt, avocado, lime, and a mix of seafood. You can also eat patties stuffed with your favorite seafood.

Mexican Drinks

What is a great dinner without the perfect beverage?

This Mexican alcoholic beverage is from Tequila, a city in Jalisco. It comes from the fermentation and distillation of the blue agave plant. There are different types: 1) white (blanco): it’s colorless, with a pure flavor and smell, because it comes completely from the blue agave; 2) young or gold (joven u oro): its color is caramel, and it has oak extract and sugar-based syrup that smooths its flavor; 3) restful (reposado): it stays in the barrels for about 2 months, and it has a pale color with a smooth flavor; 4) aged (añejo): it stays in the barrels for a year, so it has a woody flavor, with an amber color; 5) extra aged (extra añejo): it stays in the barrels for 3 years, so it develops a strong woody flavor with a touch of vanilla.

This is the Spanish word for beer. You’ll find the light beer, which has a small amount of alcohol and a fresh flavor; and the dark beer, which has a bittersweet taste that makes it stronger to your palate.

Made with tequila, triple sec, lime juice, ice, and salt around the goblet. You can find it everywhere, but it’s especially known for its fresh flavor which makes it great for a beach getaway.

It is a very special drink with a lot of history and facts. It comes from the agave plant. It has a thick texture and a strong, sour taste. It is very nutritive since it contains a lot of proteins and vitamins, and it helps fight anemia and insomnia.

Mexican Music

Next time you visit one of these places, don’t forget to hear the music that distinguishes them.

Traditional of Guadalajara, but you can listen to it all around the republic. UNESCO proclaimed Mariachi music an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The musicians wear a classical regional suit, based on the charro suit. They play string instruments. The most common ones are the guitar, guitarron and trumpets. With Mariachi, you can give a serenade, you can liven up parties and events, or you can have them at a funeral.

Very famous in Chiapas. The main instrument is also named marimba, made of wooden boards that are hit with drumsticks. The sound is soft and, no matter the song that is played, it’s always going to have light tropical sounds.

Son Jarocho
Veracruz is the state representative of this music genre. It is accompanied by a dance called zapateado, which consists of hitting a wooden platform with special shoes. The most important instruments are requinto, jarana, tambourine, and harp. All of this creates a festive sound.

Jarana Yucateca
From Yucatán also has a dance style. It is a couple’s dance, and they do the zapateado on a very small dance floor. The instruments are trumpets, clarinets, saxophones, guiros, trombones, and kettledrums; they create a loud and joyful sound. Sometimes, they stop the jarana and they say a “bomba”, which is a rhyme that contains a compliment for the dance partner or a joke that makes the public laugh; “bombas” tend to be humoristic and have a mocking tone.

Places to Visit

Las pirámides de Teotihuacán
Here you’ll find the pyramids of the sun and the moon. It’s an incredible tourist site. They are one hour away from Mexico City. You can take the bus or even an Uber.

A city in Guerrero. It is best known for its silver jewelry, so much so that they even celebrate a National Silver Fair, in which they have a national silver competition. You can visit the Church of Santa Prisca, which has a baroque style; see the Cristo of Taxco, a monument more than 15 meters high, that also serves as a lookout, because it is located on a hill; or take a tour through the Prehispanic Mine of Taxco, which is more than 500 years old, but wasn’t discovered until 2013.

Museo Nacional de Antropología
The National Museum of Anthropology is located in Mexico City, and it contains the history of the country. It has 22 permanent rooms to see and some temporary exhibitions. The topics they present are wide, from prehispanic art to the culture of indigenous towns today. Mexico City has over a hundred museums, so you can also visit another one.

This means beaches. The most popular ones are as follows: Acapulco, famous for La Quebrada, a diving cliff with the height of 45 meters; Cancún, where you’ll see white sand, turquoise water, and maybe even the Nichupté lagoon; and Puerto Vallarta, where you can take a walk on the boardwalk and observe the many sculptures and Huichol art that exists there.

Pueblos Mágicos
In English: Magic Towns. These are beautiful places that have a lot of history and culture. There are many, some of the most famous ones are: San Miguel de Allende, in Guanajuato; Pátzcuaro, in Michoacán; and Taxco, in Guerrero.

You are now ready for your trip to Mexico!

Finally, you have the Spanish words that will make your trip through Mexico more enjoyable. Now, all you have to do is pick a place to visit, plan your Mexico trip and order the food and drinks above. As you can see, vacation days also work as a way of improving your Spanish language skills and your cultural comprehension.

If you want to learn more about Mexico, here’s another blog that answers frequently asked questions about Mexico. If you’re interested in increasing your Spanish fluency, take a trial class with one of our Spanish tutors.