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A new look at Mexico

Mexico is the perennial favorite international destination for U.S. vacationers, according to the annual Travel Trends Survey conducted by Travel Leaders. Still, many of those travelers don’t venture beyond Mexico’s “sun and sand” destinations along the Mexican Riviera and Riviera Maya. To encourage visitors to discover more of what Mexico has to offer, the country’s tourism board has launched a new campaign called “Mexico, The Place You Thought You Knew.””Mexico is not only sun and beach; we have culture, we have history,” said Gloria Guevara, tourism secretary for Mexico. She also noted that Mexico has 29 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Sites.To help tourists discover more of Mexico, the tourism board created 10 “routes” that visitors can follow. The routes showcase a combination of Mexican food, culture, history, art, antiquities and nature. For example, the “Colonial Experience” route takes visitors through the central part of the country. The itinerary includes Zacatecas, where rich silver mines attracted colonists; San Luis Potosi, where the Mexican Revolution began; and San Juan de los Lagos, a sanctuary visited each day by thousands of Catholic faithful.If you love the flavors of Mexico, the “Thousand Flavors of Mole” route may be for you. The route travels through the southern part of Mexico, visiting cities known for their delicious cuisine. San Pedro Actopan hosts the National Mole Fair each year to celebrate the complex and delectable sauce, most often served with chicken, turkey or pork. The city of Puebla is known for its signature mole sauce, mole poblano, and for chilies en nogada (stuffed chilies covered in cashew sauce). In Oaxaca, you can enjoy many varieties of mole, as well as Oaxaca cheese, tamales wrapped in banana leaves and hot chocolate spiced with cinnamon and almonds.If routes such as “The Art of Tequila and Music Under the Sun,” “Wine Country and the Aquarium of the World” or “The Huastecas and Their Outstanding Beauty” sound intriguing, talk with a travel professional about following a route through Mexico.

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