Of all the places to go to in Mexico, experiencing the authentic Mexico can be arduous. It’s easier to grab a 6-night Mexican vacation package to Cancun or Cabo San Lucas than fly into the hinterlands via Mexico City, Mexico.
When planning a trip, think about the real Mexico for your travel destinations. Expect to go beyond mariachis and spring breakers and their body shots.
I chose Ixtapan de la Sal, two hours south of Mexico City, the home of the aztecas, the true Mexicans. I found a true destination spa bargain there but the town was worth visiting as well. During my trip, the town celebrated a Lenten fiesta over several days, exploding fireworks, eating festival pan dulce, or fresh-baked sweet breads, and parades, include a horse parade.
Discovered in 1364 by Pacific Indians who traded the salt from local thermal springs, the town stands on hills with cobblestone streets and red tile roofs, one of Mexico’s 100 colonial cities.
Here’s one of the pleasant Mexican restaurants in town, especially if you’re into orange.
This is a spa town and this little mercado stands outside two spas and a water park. Spa goers nicknamed this market Rodeo Drive.
During the Lenten fiesta, Mass was going on non-stop to standing room crowds at the Cathedral Santiera.
In the festival market stalls, bakers set up ovens to bake the characteristic pan dulce for the fiesta, the aroma wafting all over town.
Dancers performed non-stop during the festival weekend; here dancers depict Crusaders fighting for the Church.
Over one thousand proud vaqueros flooded the town on horseback for the Horse Parade on Sunday.
A detail of the handmade saddles and the vaqueros‘ expert artisanship.
A lady rider. They really like orange in this town.
Here is the view from my window overlooking the golf course of Ixtapan Spa Resort and Hotel, destination spa and true spa vacation bargain.
Got trepidations about going to Mexico? I felt very safe walking around town during my spa week. But Mexican vacations right now may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
But if you can stand taking another road traveled, I highly recommend it. My authentic week in Mexico went beyond my expectations. I came back relaxed and rejuvenated. And that was the point of taking off over the border.
If You Go to Mexico
Check out these links if you plan to visit Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico: