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The Mexico You Don’t Know (but Should)

There’s a lot more to Mexico than Tijuana, the Zocalo and the beaches of Cancun. If you’re willing to range a bit further afield, forego some of the established-tourist-circuit conveniences, and occasionally rough it, you’ll be amply rewarded. Oaxacan mountain villages, jungle adventures among half-excavated ruins and the Holy Land of slow-cooked pork all await, plus a grip of other spots off the beaten path that will give you a deeper look into the soul of Mexico.

In a country that’s been indiscriminately battered by bad press about local insurgencies and drug wars, you’re sure to meet plenty of locals eager to show you the Other Mexico, and to help you find the adventure you’re seeking in their particular corner of the country. Pack your passport, a sense of adventure and a good appetite, and we promise you’ll come home with plenty of good stories to share. Here are 11 amazing—yet virtually unknown to most American tourists—Mexico destinations worth discovering for yourself.

The Mexico You Don’t Know (but Should)

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Matt Jenkins recently spent two years living in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. A former editor at Nature Conservancy magazine and the High Country News, he has also written for The New York Times, Smithsonian magazine, Men’s Journal, and Saveur.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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