Sundays at the Plaza

In Cancún, Culture, Los Cabos, Play, Play, Play, Play, Playa del Carmen & Tulum, Puerto Vallarta by Belen Molina

We don’t blame you for wanting to take full advantage of the resort experience offered at some of Mexico’s most exclusive destinations. Award-winning restaurants, magazine-featured pools, a world-class level of service, and a variety of activities to keep you busy and entertained from sunrise to sundown await you. So, why would you ever want to venture outside of the resort?

While enjoying a great variety of Mexican food poolside, and learning about the history of tequila at one of the tequila tasting events offered at your hotel might give you a taste of Mexican culture, there’s no better way of experiencing the cultural riches of a particular Mexican town than by spending a Sunday evening at the plaza, or town square.

In Mexico, the plaza is considered the heart of a traditional town, a large public space that is usually located right across the street from the main town’s church or cathedral. At its center there may be a fountain, a monument, a gazebo, or a garden. The plaza is usually surrounded by small local shops and eateries, as well as important government buildings. At the plaza you will often see open markets, people gathering, people playing music, and political or cultural events taking place.

Sundays at the plaza are the busiest, but they are also the best day to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the most of what the town has to offer. Since more than 80% of Mexico’s population is Catholic, a lot of people gather at the plaza on Sundays after mass. You’ll see big families walking over to church, girls wearing dresses, boys wearing button-down shirts, and grandmas wearing a shawl over their head. While people attend mass, vendors gather right outside the church, waiting.

Authentic Mexican street food abounds in the plaza. Try the traditional Mexican ice cream known as nieve de garrafa, which originated during the Spanish conquest and was later perfected using techniques brought from Italy. Or how about some shaved ice covered in regional fruit syrups, also known as nieve raspada? From the delicious fried-dough pastries known as churros to the famous Mexican street corn, or esquites, that are served with sour cream, cheese, fresh lemon juice, and chili powder, you are in for a culinary treat.

Take a seat at one of the benches surrounding the center of the plaza while you enjoy your food. Watch the children laugh and play as they feed the pigeons that have gathered outside the church. Take it all in as you enjoy the lively marimba music that is welcoming you to this place, this space, this moment. Trust us, it will be worth it.


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