Legend has it that the Aztecs knew where to build their grand capital, Tenochtitlán, when they saw a majestic eagle consuming a snake while perched on a cactus. For the modern tourist, the signs that you’re in the right place are much less specific. Mexico is a delight for the senses. On a journey to Mexico, the eyes will witness spectacular views from the bottom of Copper Canyon, from a boat off the Baja coast, or from the top of a crumbling Aztec temple. The ears will be privy to the rhythmic sound of rain in the southern tropical forests, the blazing horns and guitars of Mariachi bands, and the frenzied yells of the nation’s many street vendors. The tongue will experience the cutting-edge cuisine of a gastro-pub in cosmopolitan Mexico City, a tamale or sopa de tortilla from a traditional pueblo, or a shot of fine (or cheap) tequila, the national drink. Site of Cortés’s infamous 16th-century conquest of the Aztecs, today’s Mexico is the product of centuries of Spanish influence and proximity to the United States. The most evident contemporary results of its geography are the drug wars that plague the northern border region, whose violence has received international media attention. Despite these troubles, the rest of Mexico is still a destination for international travelers and the country remains one of the most popular for visitors the world over. With its vast terrain and diversity of ecosystems, the nation attracts travelers of all kinds, from rowdy spring-breakers to history buffs to those that just seek peace and relaxation. A trip to Mexico really is a magical experience, offering everything you could possibly want in a vacation—and then some.