Mexico is a fascinating country to visit. There's a rich and diverse culture, spectacular food and a highly impressive landscape consisting of pristine white sand beaches, sprawling deserts, deep canyons and lush green rain forests. Home to approximately 10% of the world's biodiversity, it's one of a select number of countries defined as 'mega-diverse' and is listed as the second happiest country in the world by the Happy Planet Index.
It's no wonder as to why this beautiful nation is the sixth most visited country in the world. There's simply so much for visitors to see and do here. On top of that, wherever you go in Mexico, you'll be able to find a multitude of interesting, local items that you can take home to forever remind you of your time exploring this marvelous country. Below are seven awesome souvenirs we think do a great job of representing the country's rich and interesting culture.
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7 Awesome Souvenirs You Have to Get on Your Next Trip to Mexico
Dia de Los Muertos Figurines
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Celebrated throughout Mexico on the first and second day of November, Dia de Los Muertos is a colorful, vibrant, and festive celebration held to honor deceased family members. During this multi-day holiday, bursts of color and festivity spill into streets and houses temporarily transforming them into brilliant spaces filled with colorful costumes, incense, food and a multitude of brightly colored skulls and other Dia de Los Muertos themed decorations that make excellent souvenirs for travelers.
Even if you aren't traveling to Mexico during the festivities, many of these goods can be found year round. Particularly popular are items depicting the Calavera Catrina - a female skeleton wearing a round brimmed hat who has become the icon of this wonderful celebration of life and death.
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If there is one thing Mexican food is famous for, other than being delicious, it's for being spicy. Over one hundred and fifty different types of chilies can be found here varying in flavors, shapes, smells and tastes. Whether you prefer something sweet and fruity to take home, like the dark, elongate pasilla chili, or something impossibly sharp and hot, like the fiery, red arbol chilies, you'll definitely be able to find it in one of Mexico's bustling markets. After all, it was here, in this spicy food loving nation, where the domesticated chili pepper we all know was born.
Lucha Libre Masks
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Lucha libre, which can be translated as freestyle fight, has been practiced in Mexico as a form of entertainment for over a century. Known for the dramatic, flamboyant and highly acrobatic fighting moves of its luchadores (wrestlers), an abundance of flashy spandex costumes and masks along with outlandish story lines pitting good guys against bad guys. It's authentic Mexican entertainment at its finest. Even if you can't make it to an actual show, you can still easily find one of these masks to take home as a fun and cheap souvenir for family and friends.
If you're looking to find a unique and tasty drink to bring home from your trip to Mexico that isn't tequila or mezcal, you might want to try xtabentún. This ancient Mayan drink produced in the Yucatan Peninsula is made using anise seeds, rum and fermented honey. The honey comes from bees that have fed on the nectar of the xtabentún flower, hence its name. It has a sweet and aromatic flavor, and can be enjoyed on the rocks or mixed into a cocktail, just be sure to pack it into your checked luggage and not your carry on as it would be a shame to have to throw it out at the airport.
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Woven on looms by Mayan women, these colorful, fringed blankets make a wonderful keepsake to carry home after your adventures in Mexico. They are traditionally worn by men as shawls, but are hardy and versatile enough to be used in a multitude of ways: as a throw rug, a bed spread, a table cloth or even a sleeping mat. You can frequently find them being sold in artisan markets around Mexico.
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If your trip to Mexico involves going to a festival or passing through some markets, you should take the opportunity to stock up on some traditional Mexican sweets as they make excellent and delicious food souvenirs to share with friends and family back home. You can chose to buy confections that combine typical ingredients such as nuts, milk, flour and honey or those with rather unique combinations such as tamarind and chili, watermelon, caramel and chili or maybe just some plain old enchilada and chili flavored lollipops.
Aloe Vera Products
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Globally, Mexico is one of the leading producers of aloe vera. It has had a long history of use in the country, and is likely one of Mexico's most well known medicinal plants. As a lot of locally produced aloe vera products can be found here, make sure to take the opportunity to stock up right where this amazing ingredient is sourced. Trust us, after spending all that time under the hot Mexican sun, you won't regret having a few bottles of this highly effective sun-burn remedy on hand.
Whether you're looking to bring home some souvenirs for yourself or for family and friends, there's plenty to chose from when visiting Mexico. Here you can find everything from traditional textiles and crafts, to unique sweets and cosmetics, so make sure to save a little space in you suitcase to pack away a few of the awesome mementos you'll find along your way.