Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

It’s just a few short weeks until Mexican Independence Day, on Sept. 16, (not Cinco de Mayo, of course) with many festivities kicking off the day before.

On this day in 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rallied Mexicans to rebel against Spanish colonial rule. Mexico pulls out all the stops to celebrate its culture, pride, history, and, most importantly, its independence. If your clients are traveling to Mexico over the holiday, here’s what they can expect and where they can celebrate.

Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato

If you’re going for the historic moment, then your stop has to be in Dolores Hidalgo. A quick trip outside of San Miguel de Allende, it was here that Miguel Hidalgo made the revolutionary “cry of independence,” also known as the grito de independencia.

A festival takes place every year on the 15th in honor of the call to arms, which is full of music, local food, dancing and other events. For travelers who prefer to remain in San Miguel de Allende, the celebrations are dynamic as well, with music, parties and a night sky that blazes with fireworks.

Mexico City

Your clients can party like a chilango (Mexico City local) if they are spending mid-September in the capital. One of the top spots to take in the activity will be the zocalo, or the central plaza in the Centro Historico. The open square hums on Sept. 15 with people who come to see the president appear on the balcony of the Palacio del Gobierno to commemorate el grito. Following this, the party flows well into the early hours with free concerts.

Travelers can also celebrate on the Paseo de la Reforma, specifically at the Angel de la Independencia monument. Watch the angel light up with the colors of the Mexican flag, and the sidewalks fill with revelers.

In Coyoacan, the Jardin Cenetario is the place to be. This plaza explodes with activity for the holiday with live music and delicious street food. It’s far less crowded than the zocalo but equally energetic.

Yucatan Peninsula

In the state of the Yucatan, specifically Merida, the Plaza Grande comes alive on Sept. 15 with traditional food and a ceremony led by the state governor. A free concert follows, and the next day a civil and military parade takes place.

In Cancun, the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach is hosting a massive party at its La Joya restaurant, where the venue will dish out Mexican specialties alongside a live broadcast of the celebrations in Mexico City. Live music and other entertainment will be part of the program, which costs about $50 per person.

For those who aren’t going to the party, head to Avenida Tulum on Sept. 15, where thousands gather at midnight to hear the grito and the ringing of the bell. There will be mariachi music, fireworks, food and folk dancing.

In Riviera Maya, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts will throw a beach party with games and a traditional rodeo.

The official festival of Playa del Carmen flows down Fifth Avenue and culminates in front of City Hall with dancing and live music. 

Mexico's West Coast

Celebrations kick off in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, on Sept. 15 with fireworks at City Hall. On the 16th, a parade marches through downtown Zihuatanejo. The nearby Barcelo Ixtapa will treat its guests to the Night of Grito party with mariachi music, dancers and Mexican cuisine.

Barcelo Puerto Vallarta will have its own street party in Mismaloya beach, but the city itself will celebrate in the main square on the 15th. On the 16th, military and local bands lead a parade through the streets. 

Acapulco will have a celebration on the evening of the 15th, with street food stalls and entertainment surrounding the zocalo.

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