Although we can not travel anywhere these days, we can still feel part of the joy travel brings. And one way of doing that is remembering our past holidays. We can do it by scrolling through old photos, catching up with friends, or watching old travel videos. We have been checking off every single item on this list, in search of some peacefulness in these uncertain times.

This got us thinking of what makes a holiday truly memorable, at least by our definition of memorable. After thinking back on more than 40 trips, ranging from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, we have found the one. That would be our 10 days holiday to Mexico, and the many great memories we made.

The main purpose of our trip to Mexico was to attend our friends’ wedding, but we did extend our stay for a bit longer to explore the country. Our first stop was Mexico City for 4 days, followed by Tulum for another week.

Here are the few things we believe make a holiday memorable.

Friends

“Good times and crazy friends make the best memories.”

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This was the first time we planned a whole trip together with our friends: flights, accommodation, and some of the activities. Traveling with a friend is more enjoyable, especially when you have many layovers and a long flight ahead. Sometimes, in our travels, we tend to follow a certain kind of pattern, on accommodations and activities. Sharing this with friends can take you out of your comfort zone, and open you up to new experiences. The experiences and adventures you share with your friends will become cherished memories. Especially when you get the opportunity to share a special event with them. 

One of the memories I hold dear from this trip is that of my friend helping me conquer my fear of jumping into the water. Traveling with friends will make even weathering a tropical storm more manageable! What else is there to do when it’s raining outside and the electricity is out than enjoying a cup of tea and a chat.

Delicious food

Everything seems a little bit better accompanied by delicious food. It helps a lot if you have a local or a very experienced traveler pointing you in the right direction, as was our case. There are so many options to choose from, and you can easily feel overwhelmed, as Mexico City is the 5th largest city in the world. We enjoyed all our experiences with Mexican food, from the simple meals (homemade tacos, our hotel breakfast) to the more complex ones (a delightful wedding dinner at a hacienda). Too many things to try in such a short stay! Just as impressive was our culinary experience in Tulum, which has many great options, suited for every type of budget. Here are a couple of restaurants that made an impression on us, and to which we would go back whenever we’re in Mexico again.

Kitchen Table Tulum — an eco-friendly restaurant with mostly outdoor sitting, offering a selection of grilled dishes. When we traveled to Mexico they were just starting up, and the restaurant was a new concept, so getting a table the same day was not a problem. I would recommend making a reservation if you’re thinking of trying it out. We made our way to this restaurant twice, and even experienced the start of a tropical storm while enjoying our dinner. It is a bit on the pricey side, with a 3-course dinner plus drinks costing about 35 dollars. Please note these prices might have changed since the time of our visit.

Another very special restaurant, La Zebra. This was a recommendation from one of our friends, with the note that here we will find the best tacos we’ve ever tried. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical at first, but the tacos were indeed AMAZING.

Culture and history

One of our favorite things to do when visiting a new country or a new city is to explore as much as we can by walking. It’s a good way of getting a glimpse of a normal day in the city. Mexico City is a very large city, and our time here was quite short, but we did try to explore a few neighborhoods such as Condesa, Roma, and Coyoacan. 

We were very fortunate to have some activities planned by our friends and took a full day trip to Teotihuacan. Teotihuacan is an ancient city located outside of Mexico City. The sheer size of the architectural site and the pyramids are very impressive, and makes one feel rather small. Be prepared to hike up the many stairs to the top of the two pyramids: Pyramid of the Moon and Pyramid of the Sun. You will feel tired, but you won’t regret it! You will get a direct view of the Avenue of the Dead. For those passionate about history, the National Museum of Anthropology can keep you busy for the better part of an entire day.

Beautiful new places

We only got to explore a sliver of Mexico City, so I am confident we will make our way back to this impressive city whenever possible. Its rich culture and history make it a place where there is always something interesting to experience. There’s so much more to see in Mexico City and around the country.

In past years, Tulum has become one of the most sought after destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula. I think this is true, it was a destination worth visiting, with a lot to offer. For those that enjoy a little bit of adventure, head out to one of the many cenotes around Tulum where you can test your diving skills.

What were the key ingredients to your most memorable holiday? Leave us a comment!

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