If you're planning to travel to Mexico in July, you should be aware that this is generally the wettest month of the year through central and southern Mexico. It's rainy season, so don't forget to pack a raincoat or umbrella. It generally rains in the afternoons and evenings, but daytime is often sunny and fairly dry, so there's a good chance the rain won't interfere with your sightseeing plans. Mexican schools have their summer holidays during this month, and a lot of Mexicans may be vacationing with their families, so it's a good idea to make travel arrangements in advance if you're traveling to Mexico in the summertime. Read on for the most noteworthy festivals and events taking place in Mexico this month.
The traditional dances of the different regions of Oaxaca state take center stage at this colorful cultural festival. People come from all over the world to attend the celebration, sometimes referred to as the Lunes del Cerro (Mondays on the Hill), because it takes place on the last two Mondays of July in an auditorium on a hill overlooking Oaxaca de Juarez city. Many other activities take place in the region during the two weeks surrounding this festival, including a mezcal fair.
The colonial mining town of Guanajuato is home to one of the largest film festivals in Mexico and one of the most important in Latin America. The festival was originally known as Expresion en Corto, and its focus is on short films, videos, and documentaries. Films are shown at various venues in Guanajuato city as well as nearby San Miguel de Allende. Admission is free for all screenings and events.
A week of festivities commemorating Mexican revolutionary icon Francisco "Pancho" Villa is held in the historical figure's home state of Chihuahua, during the week commemorating his death on July 20, 1923. The celebration culminates in the Cabalgata Villista, a horseback riding adventure that takes participants from Chihuahua to Hidalgo del Parral, covering 136 miles.
Ride your bike through Mexico's main wine producing region, the Guadalupe Valley in Baja California state. Along the way, you’ll pass by 25 wineries in the heart of the valley where the sweet smell of grapes blends with the cool Pacific breeze while the sun warms the rural landscape. The finish line is located at Rondo del Valle vineyard, where you can celebrate your accomplishment at a wine festival, sampling some of the best varieties of the area and enjoying local food and music.
A great number of whale sharks make the area north of Isla Mujeres on the Yucatan Peninsula their home over the summer months. This family-friendly festival showcases local culture and cuisine and allows participants to enjoy some of the water activities that have made this small island a favorite vacation spot: sportfishing, diving and snorkeling tours of the pristine reefs, and of course, swimming with whale sharks, the largest fish in the world and an endangered species.
Durango state's ranching and agricultural roots are celebrated in their state fair with equestrian events, charreadas (Mexican rodeo), and other cultural activities, as well as pop music concerts. Some of the performers who appeared in past years include Jesse & Joy, Napoleon, Pepe Aguilar, Cristian Castro, and Enrique Iglesias.
If you've always dreamed of crushing grapes with your feet, this is the perfect opportunity to do so! Wine producer La Redonda in the central Mexican state of Queretaro hosts their grape harvest festival in the second half of July. Your admission fee includes a wine tasting, commemorative glass, and the chance to feel grapes between your toes.
The sky above the magical town of Patzcuaro in Michoacán state fills with a host of giant paper balloons in the annual paper lantern festival, Cantoya Fest. Local artisans demonstrate their creativity and mastery of the craft and compete for a variety of prize in different categories. Although this craft certainly has Asian origins, for the Purépecha people in Michoacán, it is an important recreational activity that reinforces community bonds.
Festival Internacional de Folclor (International Folklore Festival)
The city of Zacatecas hosts their week-long international folklore festival every year beginning on the last Sunday of July. With the participation of 20 different countries and 10 Mexican states, this festival offers varied representations of culture and traditions in dance, crafts, and cuisine.