The Yucatán Peninsula offers travelers tropical delights, awe-inspiring wildlife, and ancient cultures aplenty. With delicious foods and friendly people, it’s the perfect destination for wanderlust discovery.
But there’s another place that offers much of the same, but also something a little different: New Zealand. The Land of Middle Earth has many overlaps with Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula; let’s explore just how travel-worthy both places are.
New Zealand: Campervan Adventures
New Zealand has one big advantage over the Yucatán Peninsula: its sheer diversity. The country is bigger than most people realize, and it also has distinct landscapes and seasons. You can go skiing and down to the beach on the same day.
The best way of exploring this jaw-droppingly beautiful country is by campervan (as long as you stick to the left-hand side of the road!). It allows you to keep to your own schedule, soak in the atmosphere, and really create your own adventure.
In the Yucatán Peninsula, you’ll find remnants of the impressive Mayan civilization, with the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza one of the archaeological highlights. If you ever dreamed of being Indiana Jones (or, well, just enjoy archaeology!), this one’s for your bucket list.
New Zealand is home to a living old civilization, the Māori. Calling the islands home since the fourteenth century, they currently account for 15% of the country’s population. NZ has many sites to visit, including the iconic city of Rotorua.
Fancy a Game of Chance?
A little-known fact: both NZ and the Yucatán Peninsula are known for their great affinity for gambling. In Mexico, people were long under restrictions from betting activities, and once lifted, the floodgates opened. Again, New Zealand offers a variety of options, with table games and slot machines being local favorites. For example, if you wish to play roulette in NZ, get started here and play in SkyCity casino, one of the biggest entertainment centers in the country. However, in the Yucatán Peninsula, your best bet (no pun intended!) is to explore the local casinos in Merida, the party city of the area.
Yucatán Peninsula: Delicious Food
To conclude, if there’s one thing Mexico has over the Kiwis (sorry, New Zealand!) is the delicious food. Warning: you will gain weight whilst you’re away. The Yucatán Peninsula, in particular, has some yummy cuisine:
- Sopa de Lima. Simple, yet beautiful. This dish is essentially the region’s answer to chicken noodle soup. Featuring a unique tangy kick, it’s a must-try.
- Cochinita Pibil. Perhaps the most popular dish in the region. It’s a baby pig that has been marinated overnight, using bitter orange juices, a variety of spices, and then wrapped in banana leaves. Cooked in an earthen pit, you can’t leave without having tried it.
- Huevos Motuleños. You’ll never want to have a regular breakfast after this. Again, simple ingredients, yet the result is mouth-watering. Eggs, beans, plantains, cheese, and tortillas = breakfast heaven.