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Travel Guide Mexico

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Mexico - Travel Guide

Mexico – with impressive traces of three cultures, snow-covered volcanoes, and picturesque, sandy beaches – counts as one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.

Primarily the countless water sport opportunities attract visitors magically.  Windsurfing, wave surfing, diving, paragliding, and deep-sea fishing – Mexico leaves nothing left to desire. 

The capital, Mexico City, impresses with an abundant, diverse cultural offer.  The city is home to over 100 museums, some of which are among the most important in the world.  One of the city’s main attractions is the Plaza de la Constitutión, the oldest plaza of the city – better know under the name Zócalo, the Aztec word for socket.

Teotihuacan is the oldest city in Mexico, the capital of the first, large Mexican civilization.  Breathtaking remnants bear witness to its past importance.  The city of Gods, with its sun and moon pyramid, the temple of Quetzalcoatl, and the citadel is on e of the most important historic excavation sites of the country. 

The old silver mining town of Taxco is home to a wonderful colonial heritage; its cobbled streets form a labyrinth of streets, along with its patriarchal houses and plazas make it one of the most picturesque, inviting towns in all of Mexico.  The entire city was declared a national historic site.

Guadalajara is the second largest city of Mexico.  Here, visitors can find the typical Mexico:  Mariachi music, Tequila, wide-edged sombreros, and the famous Mexican rodeo.  The city offers a lively cultural scene, excellent museums and galleries, and an exciting night-life along with outstanding hotels and restaurants. 

Puebla, elevation 2160 meters above mean sea level, is a typical representative of cities from colonial times.  It is known for its faiences, which decorate church domes and house walls.  These colorful ceramic decorations can be found throughout the city.

Chihuahua offers beautiful buildings from colonial times, among them the Cathedral, government palace, town hall, and Quinta Luz, the Villa museum which holds memory to the revolutionary hero Pancho Villa. 

An unforgettable adventure is a ride on the “Copper Canyon Rail”, a train which ride between Los Mochis and Chihuahua.  It ranks among the most scenic routes in Mexico and leads through 88 tunnels.  It also crosses 38 bridges through the narrow gorges of the Sierra Tarahumara and passes the impressive cliffs of mighty mountain ranges.  The most beautiful view is offered by the Copper Canyon, which is deeper and more exciting than the Grand Canyon.

Near Oaxaca lays mount Alban, the religious center of the Zapoteke culture.  The impressive Plaza Central and many tombs can be visited here.  The treasure of Mount Alban is open for viewing in the regional museum of Oaxaca. 

Absolutely worth a visit is the sunken Maya-city of Palenque.  Here, visitors can tour the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of Inscriptions, under which in 1949 a tomb with the remains of a richly decorated priest king was found.

On the Yucatan Peninsula between the Caribbean Sea and the Golf of Mexico are the most beautiful beaches of the country along with the most cultural sites of the Mayas.  The beaches of Cancun and Tulum are among the best in world.  Xcaret offers Maya remnants as well as a fantastic lagoon, which is absolutely filled with beautiful tropical fish. 

Legendary and visit worthy are the Maya sites of Yucatan are named Uxmal and Chichen Itza.  In Chichen Itza are, among others, the world famous Kukulkan Pyramide, the “snake pillars” of the Warrior Temple, and the Jaguar Temple open for a visit.

The capital of Yucatan is Merida.  It was built in 1542 on the ruins of an old Maya city.  The Cathedral (16th century), the Casa de Montejo, and the archaeological museum are only a few of the sights to visit. 

Tulum is the only archaeological excavation site near the ocean.  From the 15 meter high cliffs there is a fantastic view of the turquoise Caribbean Sea.

Acapulco is Mexico’s most popular and best known beach resort.  The city has changed much and is not for all tastes anymore.  Either way, a visit to the brave cliff divers of La Quebrada should be made.  They chance a jump off a 45 meter high platform into a small pool. 

The vacation islands Cozumel, Cancun, and Isla Mujeres are off the peninsula Yucatan.  They offer sun, beach, and ocean in a tropical setting.  The main attraction of Cozumel is a huge Palancar Reef, an underwater paradise for diving and snorkeling. Cancun has become one of the most popular vacation spots of the country, while the Isla Mujeres is an attraction especially for young tourists.

The Baja California is a wild and relatively undeveloped region.  Its highlights are San Borja, a remote Mission village founded by Jesuits, the Sierra de San Francisco near San Ignacio, a volcanic Plateau with unusual, hidden rock drawings (has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site), and the Sierra de la Laguna, a botanical ferry tale land on the southern tip of the peninsula where aspen trees, cacti, oak trees, and palm trees grow beside each other and mountain streams thunder down narrow gorges. 

Between mountains covered by palm trees and the deep blue Bahia de las Banderas lays the picturesque Puerto Vallarta.  It is a favorite destination for the super rich as well as backpacking tourists.  Here, visitors can find snow-white, palm tree lined sandy beaches, well frequented bars and restaurants, as well as an abundance of art galleries and art shops.  Throughout the whole year, Dolphins play in the blue waters of the cove, between February and April Grind and Grey Whales are often seen.

Another interesting sight to visit is the 245 meter high Basaeachic Waterfall, the second highest in the world.

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Travel Tips

Driving to Mexico

When driving to Mexico there are a number of things that you are supposed to do, though it’s not exactly apparent how you are supposed to know these things. The first thing is to get Mexican insurance before you cross the border. This we thankfully knew. In the small town before the Tijuana border there are a few different insurance options. We went to a couple of places and one was about $30 cheaper so make sure you shop around. Incidentally, the one that was cheaper looked a bit dingier and not quite as well presented but we still got insurance for an adequate amount. The second thing you are supposed to do is stop and get your passport stamped before you cross the border. This we... [more ]

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