Many cities in Mexico, such as Campeche, celebrate Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16. // © 2017 Campeche Secretary of Tourism
Feature image (above): To celebrate Mexican Independence Day, Bahia Principe will host a beach party with a Mexican rodeo. // © 2017 Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts
Mexican Independence Day is officially celebrated on Sept. 16, but these days, vacationers can take part in the celebrations for several days in September. From traditional recreations and street festivals to lively beach parties and hotel deals, there are many ways to commemorate Mexico’s big day.
The small town of Dolores Hidalgo, in the state of Guanajuato, is known as the cradle of independence. It was here that revolutionary Miguel Hidalgo made the “grito de independencia” — the cry for independence — on Sept. 16, 1810. So, it’s logically a perfect place to celebrate. Every year, a festival takes place on the evening of Sept. 15, accompanied by theatrical performances, open-air dancing and plenty of tasty Mexican food.
A large public event takes place in San Miguel de Allende as well, with traditional music and fireworks. And the celebration is especially grand in Mexico City, where the president commemorates the historic cry from the balcony of the National Palace, as thousands crowd the Zocalo city square. Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, a landmark hotel that sits on the square, offers an Independence Day vacation package, priced at about $419 per person. It includes admission to an Independence Day party, a welcome cocktail, dinner and access to a rooftop terrace to watch the festivities below.
Travelers might also consider a visit to Campeche, where the state governor is among the honored. There is also a reading of the Act of Independence, followed by fireworks, singing and dancing.
The state of Yucatan offers an especially complete and diverse celebration. On the evening of Sept. 15, thousands of people come together on the Plaza Grande in the city of Merida to sample traditional food and watch a ceremony led by the state governor, followed by a free concert by top-selling Mexican balladeer Pablo Montero. The next day, a civil and military parade takes place.
A variety of Mexico beach resorts offer their own unique takes on Mexican Independence Day. Two companies, in fact, are extending their offerings through the entire month of September. Puerto Vallarta’s Casa Velas is treating guests to regional sweets every evening throughout the month. And Brisas Group is offering special rates, events and amenities in September at several properties, including Las Brisas Huatulco, Las Hadas by Brisas and Las Brisas Ixtapa. Included are room upgrades, daily outdoor music, tequila and mezcal tasting and special kids’ club activities that focus on Mexican culture.
In the Riviera Maya, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts will stage a beach party with traditional Mexican games and activities as well as a Mexican rodeo. Desire Riviera Maya and Desire Riviera Maya Pearl resorts will both offer their own adults-only, all-inclusive — and clothing-optional — variation on Independence Day parties, with live music, regional cuisine and tequila tasting sessions.
In Cancun, Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is hosting a festive event at its La Joya restaurant on Sept. 15. The venue will serve Mexican specialties — including “chiles en nogada,” a dish that represents the colors of the national flag — and show a live broadcast of the Independence Day ceremony in Mexico City. Live music and other entertainment are also included in the event, which costs about $50 per person. Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun All Inclusive, meanwhile, will stage a folkloric ballet performance at the main pool and a “Noche Mexicana” production complete with actors portraying famous revolutionary people from history.
In Acapulco, locals and visitors alike join government officials on the Zocalo city square on the evening of Sept. 15 to repeat the cry for independence. A variety of food booths and entertainment will likely keep revelers celebrating Mexico’s independence until the wee hours of the morning.