Mexico is a spiritual powerhouse of the Americas, beyond the image of mariachi music and tacos. A vast and diverse land, its history stretches from the ancient Olmec, Maya, and Aztec over thousands of years, though the arrival of Cortés and three centuries of harsh Spanish rule. Mexico is able to surprise at every turn for all its familiarity; making the mistake of reducing it to a beach resort is like identifying the United States with Las Vegas. Beaches and beach life, of course, rank high as a reason to visit. Add to the mix of ancient sites and vibrant indigenous culture, the world’s largest city’s cosmopolitan communities and effectively exported cuisine around the world.