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Mexico is a Northern American country known for its diverse landscapes, rich history, vibrant culture and delicious cuisine. The country also has an endless number of museums and galleries that speak of its glorious past and art scene. From the lively vibe of the country’s modern cities to the magical aura of its ancient ruins, colourful Spanish towns to idyllic beaches and a rich underwater world, Mexico presents an impressive range of experiences for its visitors.
Mexico City, the country’s capital is a bustling metropolis known for rich architecture, culture and cuisine. The capital offers grand sights to impress its visitors, like the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Plaza del Zócalo, its main square. Mexico City has more than a hundred museums including the Museo Nacional de Antropología and the Frida Kahlo Museum. The 13th-century Templo Mayor archaeological site and museum, housing Aztec ruins, is another important attraction in the capital.
Teotihuacan, the country’s prime archaeological site is located 50 km from the capital and dates back to 400 BC. The complex contains pre-Columbian ruins of the ancient city including the enormous Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon and Temple of Quetzalcoatl.
The Yucatan Peninsula is located in southeastern Mexico and comprises three states – Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche. This region is known for its impressive Maya ruins, lovely coastline and Spanish era architecture.
Yucatan: Merida and Valladolid are important cities in the state of Yucatan, and are known for their rich Spanish heritage and ancient Mayan ruins. Merida’s noteworthy attractions include the Mérida Cathedral and the Iglesia de la Tercera Orden which feature a unique blend of Mayan and Spanish elements. Valladolid is known for the 16th-century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena and cenotes (natural sinkholes) like Zací and Suytun.
Quintana Roo: The state of Quintana Roo is popular for its Caribbean coastline and Mayan ruins. You will also find great opportunities for water sports and underwater explorations.
Playa del Carmen is one of the country’s most popular resort towns and it also boasts of a stunning palm-fringed Caribbean coastline. The city of Cancun is known for its scenic Caribbean coast featuring glistening white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters. The waterfront area, Zona Hotelera, is the most happening place in the city and is lined with high-end resorts, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Mahahual, once a fishing village, is now a bustling tourist destination, with scenic beaches and lively nightlife.
Campeche: The colourful city of Campeche is one of the safest destinations in Mexico for travellers. When you walk around its stunning old town, with historic Spanish buildings painted in every shade possible, it will be impossible to put down your camera. At every step, you will come across aesthetic frames begging to be captured! The city’s 17th-century fortifications and interesting museums are its other highlights.
The Yucatan Peninsula also houses Mexico’s most iconic landmark, Chichén Itzá, an ancient city that is more than a millennia old. This Mayan complex is home to the magnificent El Castillo pyramid, numerous temples and interesting stone structures.
Guanajuato, the capital of the state of Guanajuato, is a lovely city in central Mexico known for its vibrant and colourful Spanish era architecture. The Callejón del Beso, or the ‘Alley of the Kiss’, is a popular attraction in the city, where the alley is so narrow that people could lean in for a kiss from their balconies. The Museum of the Mummies with its bizarre exhibits and the Alhóndiga de Granaditas art and history museum are interesting places to check out.
Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, is an important centre of Mexican culture, where you can experience Mexico in its truest form. The city is home to tequila and mariachi music, signature Mexican sombreros, charreadas (Mexican rodeo) and excellent cuisine. The Catedral de Guadalajara, lively Tonalá Street Market and a few museums make up the city’s major attractions. Jalisco’s most popular tourist destination is Puerto Vallarta, located along the Pacific coast. It is filled with numerous resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars and boutique shops.
Baja California, is a northern Mexican state popular for its impressive coastline and underwater world. The UNESCO listed Cabo Pulmo National Park, located along its eastern coast, houses one of the Pacific coast’s oldest coral reef systems that is believed to be 20,000 years old. It offers amazing diving and snorkeling opportunities. The stunning island of Espíritu Santo is located just off the coast of La Paz, the state capital. It is popular for rich corals, scenic beaches and sea bird watching.
The state of San Luis Potosi, in central Mexico is known for its rich mining history and Spanish era architecture. The impressive Templo de San Francisco and museums like Museo Federico Silva and Museo Nacional de la Máscara are some of its major attractions in its capital city, San Luis Potosi. The state is also blessed with natural beauty and its stunning waterfalls like Micos, Las Pozas and Cascadas de Minas Viejas are fine examples.
The southern state of Chiapas is steeped in history and culture. A popular attraction in the state is Palenque, which displays the ruins of an ancient Mayan city. The site contains some of the finest Mayan architectural structures and is surrounded by lush jungles. In the Central Highlands region of the state lies San Cristóbal De Las Casas, popular for its Spanish era buildings, most notably the San Cristóbal Cathedral and the Santo Domingo de Guzmán convent which houses the Los Altos Museum.
Oaxaca City is renowned for its excellent cuisine and is a great place to indulge in Mexican dishes. Adding to that, its grand churches and elegant plazas make Oaxaca a vibrant place to explore. The baroque complex of the Templo de Santo Domingo and the bustling markets of Benito Juárez and 20 de Noviembre are the top attractions in the city. Short drives from the city will also take you to ancient ruins of the Zapotec and Mixtec people like the Monte Alban pyramids and Mitla.
The capital of Michoacán, Morelia is a central Mexican city famous for its impressive Spanish era architecture which features pink quarry stone. The Morelia Cathedral with its baroque elements is a fine example of this architecture. The Roman-styled Morelia aqueduct with 253 arches and the Garden of the Roses are Morelia’s other highlights. Two hours away from Morelia lies the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, where you can witness the millions of migrating monarch butterflies that come from the US and Canada, between November and March.
With such an impressive portfolio, that includes a wide range of experiences and attractions, Mexico is surely an interesting destination to explore. Very few countries can match Mexico’s rich history, culture and tradition and its diverse landscapes, which caters to every visitor. You can be sure that the sight of ancient Maya pyramids and the taste of spicy Mexican sauces are something you would not forget in a long, long time!
With over 4000 Maya sites, Mexico has the highest number of Maya ruins in the world.