Celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day in Cancún

Posted on December 1, 2009 by

From the southern tip of Latin America, Buenos Aires in Argentina, we traversed mountains, crossed salt flats and walked with wildlife to get to Cancún in Mexico. Just a few days before returning to Spain, we ended our 4-month long trip with a big bang – celebrating the nation’s biggest festival in Cancún.  Downing the world’s best tequila and feasting a storm, we were ready to party with the locals like there was no tomorrow.

Children holding the Mexican flag with pride

tn_IMG_6557There is a different side to Cancún that many holidaymakers don’t see – one that is rich in Mexican culture, flavors and colors. In downtown Cancún, you’ll see the real Mexico: street tacos stands, Spanish street signs and local old men adorning sombreros (traditional hats).

Flags of green, white and red were all over the place, as well as  lights lit up in the nation’s representative colors. Children waved their flags in pride and danced on the streets to folklore music.

It’s not everyday that you get to see locals let their hair down, and celebrate their love for their country. I was so ecstatic to be there that I was chatting up every single person who happened to stand next to me! A boy in particular kept giggling while answering my endless questions!

street vendors

As everyone gathered at the city’s main plaza,  we watched performances and traditional dances put up by the locals. Pushing through the throngs of crowd, we passed endless rows of street tacos stalls and souvenir stores bursting with energy.

Street food stall

At midnight, we stood amidst the crowd at the plaza, counting down to the moment we’d all been waiting for. Almost in unison, everyone shouted out loud heartily, ‘VIVA MEXICO!’ It was a triumphant moment when emotions ran high, strangers hugged and gave their best wishes.

Gathering at the main plaza

Back in our resort, a huge dinner and performances were organized for the celebrations, with buffet dinner laid out with authentic Mexican cuisine. Surprisingly, they tasted almost as good as the street food we had in Tulum, equally spicy and feisty! Of course, who could forget tequila – the birth child of Mexico.


some meat for fajitas

People cheered, danced and sang along to the mariachi band – a joyful atmosphere surrounding us. The traditional dance performance was entertaining, splashing up the stage with bright colors and costumes.

Mariachi band

traditional arts

local folk dance

dance performance

This marks the end of our Latin America trip after four fulfilling months exploring the amazing continent of stunning landscapes, rich culture and fascinating people.

Next up – Spain! I’ll be writing more on my life in Southern Spain, stay tuned.


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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

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