I follow my tour guide down a shadow-filled lane, and the sounds of car horns and traffic start to melt away. In its place, we hear a soft, almost inaudible music – some kind of trumpet, we guess? The percussion and horns grow louder, and we exit the shady side street into an enormous square, filled with hundreds of mariachi bands.

It’s like we’ve entered an alternate universe run by Mexican musicians, each playing similar yet distinctly different tunes. We’ve arrived at the Plaza Garibaldi, a surprise my tour guide chose to end to our first night in Mexico City. Each evening, the city’s mariachi bands belt out glorious ballads for locals and tourists alike, with bellowing voices and animated hand gestures. Their ostentatious costumes are all unique in their own way, from the suave suits to their flashy sombreros, and the best part? You can soak it all up from the al fresco restaurants and bars surrounding the plaza, while sipping on local tequila.