Mexican sights of interest
The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the main temple of Mexico, dates back to 1531. Legend has it that in that year, in winter, an image of the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant named Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac. The man told his vision to the bishop, but the latter, alas, did not believe him.
The Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City
The Palace of Fine Arts is located in the historic center of Mexico City and is rightfully considered one of the main symbols of the Mexican capital. A large part of the architecturally magnificent building is occupied by the concert halls of the opera house.
Located in Mexico City’s Coyoacán district, the house, though briefly, was the home of Leon Trotsky, who fled the Soviet Union. Here were the last months of the famous revolutionary’s life and here he was murdered in 1940 by order of the NKVD.
Mexico City Cathedral
The Cathedral is in the heart of Mexico City. Not a single tourist lucky enough to visit the Mexican capital has yet been able to pass by this majestic temple. The tall basilica of Mexico City’s oldest Catholic cloister can be seen from afar.
Monte Alban, located 9 km east of Oaxaca city, is an archaeological site and is a UNESCO cultural heritage. For thousands of years, Monte Alban was considered the most important socio-political and economic center of the Zapotec civilization.
– Beach recreation on the coast of the Caribbean Sea.
– Individual and group sightseeing tours of different duration.
– Combined tours: uniting countries and types of recreation into one unforgettable trip!
Frida Kahlo Museum
The museum of the most famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is located in the house where she was born, grew up, and spent her whole life. Along with Frida Kahlo, her husband, the equally famous moral artist Diego Rivera, also lived in the house.
Mexico is the site of one of the Earth’s most grandiose and amazing volcanic systems, comparable in its enormity only to the Eastern Range of Kamchatka or the giant Alley of Volcanoes in Ecuador.
The “ghost town” of Teotihuacan is located 40 km northeast of Mexico City. Teotihuacan is an ancient settlement, which is about two thousand years old and literally translated from the Aztec language as “the place where the gods touch the earth.
Tulum is an extraordinary place on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula which consists of three parts: the ruins of the old Mayan city – the main “feature” of the area, the Indian village of Tulum Pueblo, and the tourist and entertainment area that stretches along the road
The Chapultepec Palace in Mexico City is worth a visit not only because it is the former residence of Mexican emperors and a true architectural masterpiece. Such a panorama that opens here will not be seen during a visit to any other sights.
Rest in the best hotels in Cancun and Riviera Maya
Chichen Itza is the grand center of the Maya-Toltec civilization, which absorbed the knowledge, beliefs, and ideas of these peoples about the universe and the world around them. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Kukulkan Pyramid located there has been declared one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
El Meco Archaeological Site
This archaeological site is actually right in the territory of Cancun, 8 kilometers from the city center and almost right on the coast. It is not the largest of the sites around Cancun and it does not compare with Chichen Itza, but it is very easy to reach.
El Rey Archaeological Site
This site is located about 25 km from the city center, on the opposite side of Nichupte. El Rey was inhabited at least as early as 900 B.C. All that remains of the once large settlement today are the ruins of 47 stone buildings.
It went like this: the American photographer Giles Healy was making a film about the Lacandona (Mayan descendants) and one day noticed that the men of the tribe were performing rituals in some abandoned temples in the middle of the jungle.
Interactive Aquarium in Cancun
Swimming with sharks, kissing sea lions, hand-feeding or diving with dolphins is worth going to one of the best aquariums in Mexico for. It is located in the heart of Cancun, and here visitors can get the full range of experiences by taking a direct part in the show.
Mexico’s Copper Canyon National Park is often compared to the Grand Canyon in the United States. And no wonder: the deep, dangerous gorges in the middle of the hot desert and connected to each other by six picturesque rivers make a truly powerful impression on everyone who finds themselves here.
A quick glance at the 46m high, futuristic building is enough to realize that visitors are in for a treat. It looks like a giant anvil or a skewed hourglass encased in shiny aluminum plates.
National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City
The National Museum of Anthropology is the most famous museum in Mexico City and perhaps in all of Mexico. At least two million tourists visit it every year, making this Mexican attraction one of the most visited in the world.
Nevado de Toluca
At the foot of Nevado de Toluca stretches low-growing jungle, with oak, pine and spruce forests on the mountain slopes, at 4,000 m the colorful subalpine meadows begin, and even higher are only bare rocks and stones covered in moss.
In one of the channels of the “place of flowers” Sochimilco, filled with the guitar chime and the sweet voices of the mariachos, hides the gloomy Island of Puppets. It is said that a little girl, daughter of fisherman Julián Barrera, the only man living on the island in the early ’50s, once drowned here.
The sights of Mexico, a country known for its tequila, spicy cuisine, mariachi bands, endless soap operas, Hollywood movie smugglers and human-sacrificial Aztecs, are extremely diverse and go far beyond the usual notions of a state where cacti are part of the daily diet and worms are added to bottles of hard liquor.
About 67 national parks, of which at least 12 are some of the most beautiful places in the world, provide a unique opportunity to admire the picturesque nature and see many rare representatives of flora and fauna live. Numerous cultural sites, where the main value is the ancient Indian cities, will delight history buffs. The beautiful architecture, with well-preserved examples of colonial style, interesting museums and huge paintings of muralists, which are painted on the walls of Mexican buildings of the first third of the 20th century, will impress even the most fervent travelers.
Even Mexican holidays can be considered as attractions. For example, one of the most famous, the Day of the Dead, dedicated to all the dead and celebrated in the fall, is even protected by UNESCO. Tourists from all over the world come to see the sugar skulls and get acquainted with the traditions of the celebration. Another popular celebration is the Mexican Carnival in early March.
If you make a hit list of the top ten attractions in Mexico, the Copper Canyon in the state of Chihuahua is sure to be on the list. This Mexican natural wonder is located in the mountains and consists of six separate canyons, which together are larger and deeper than the American Grand Canyon in Arizona, which is one of the deepest on the planet. Since time immemorial, it has been home to the Tarawumara Indian tribe, known for their endurance and running ability. Now the natural landmark, with all the waterfalls and forested vertical canyon slopes, forms a national park.
Another attraction worth going to Michoacán state, located between the capital Mexico City and Guadalajara, for is the Danaida Monarch species butterflies. From late November to March, these beautiful creatures migrate to winter in the local Mariposa-Manarka Reserve and literally blanket the local vegetation. Tourists who come to the reserve see a unique phenomenon, surrounded by a million wings of brightly colored butterflies.
Visitors also come to Mexico in winter to watch humpback and gray whales on the Bay of Bahia de Banderas, and in summer to admire sea turtles. The latter are worth the trip to Puerto Vallarta, on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and the state of Oaxaca.
In addition to turtles, in Oaxaca you can find the world’s thickest tree called Tule. It is many centuries old. According to the most conservative calculations – one and a half thousand years. According to the legends of the Aztec Indians, the tree was planted by the god of winds himself.
Cultural attractions in Mexico are so diverse that almost anyone can find something to interest them. If you make a list of must-see places, Teotihuacan would be listed first. This oldest city in Mexico with two pyramids of the Moon and the Sun existed long before the Aztec civilization. It still remains a mystery, and the new archaeological findings only add to the mystery. Chichen Itza is another interesting place to visit. As a Mayan cultural center, it is located on the Yucatan Peninsula. For lovers of Indian culture, you should also go to Palenque, a Mayan city in Chiapas. Ruins of Monte Alban, Ushmal, Eck Balam, Coba, and Tulum settlements complete the picture.
Sightseeing in Mexico: 30 the most beautiful and interesting places
The rich historical and cultural heritage of the Maya, Aztec and Spanish civilizations annually attracts a huge number of tourists from all over the world. Its temples and archaeological complexes, palaces and cathedrals amaze, delight, and fascinate. Mexico is a hot, sunny and hospitable country, where you can get an unforgettable experience.
Tours to Mexico
Historical and Archeological Monuments of Mexico
From a historical and archeological point of view, the most valuable monuments represent the culture of the ancient Mayan and Aztec peoples. Today, the pyramids and ruins of ancient cities are reminders of once advanced civilizations and powerful empires.
There are about 200 archaeological areas open to tourists. They may differ depending on the culture and traditions of the tribes that represented them, but none of them will leave inquisitive tourists indifferent.
Today it is called the “ghost town,” while the Aztecs called it “the place where the Gods touch the earth. The remains of the vast archaeological complex are only 50 kilometers from Mexico City, the capital of the country. The city reached its heyday in the 5th century, when its population grew to 120,000 people. It is unknown why the city fell into decline, but beginning in the 7th century it was abandoned by its inhabitants. Since then, the giant city remains uninhabited, but filled with tourists.
The name of the main street in line with the ghost town itself, it is called the “Street of the Dead”. Here are the two main religious buildings – the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent.
Tip: If you came to the city on your own and not as part of a tourist group, you can get tips and answers to questions from the rangers, who walk around the entire area. For a full tour you should allocate at least half a day, because the territory of the complex is very large.
➤ Chichen Itza.
This is Mexico’s most famous architectural landmark and is located in the center of the Yucatan Peninsula. In 2007, the former sacred city of the Itza people was recognized as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The name refers to the mouth of the well, while the Itza were the first Mayan tribes to come to these territories around the 5th century.
One of the most grandiose centers of Maya civilization absorbed the knowledge and beliefs of these peoples about the structure of the universe. From the 12th century the city fell into decline and emptiness, for several centuries the monuments of architecture were overgrown with tropical plants, until at the beginning of the last century restoration work was carried out and the city became open to tourists.
The most interesting monuments within Chichen Itza are:
- The Pyramid of Kukulcan, a cult structure 24 meters high and equipped with wide staircases;
- Temple of Warriors and Jaguars with wall paintings;
- Caracol Observatory;
- ball fields;
- The sacred cenote, a huge well of natural origin that served as a place for sacrifices.
In the evening the city is illuminated by colorful illumination, which gives the city an even more mysterious appearance.
Tip: When visiting the pyramid of Kukulkan you should always bring a hat, water and sunscreen. You will have to examine the structure under direct sunlight. Be prepared for iguanas, who show fearlessness to visitors.
Another one of the ancient Mayan cities, which is well preserved to this day. It is located in the northwest of the Yucatan Peninsula.
It is believed that Ushmal was built and changed its appearance three times, the word “three” being the origin of its name. Like the rest of the ancient cities on the peninsula, it went through a period of prosperity and decline and was abandoned by the inhabitants for unknown reasons after the 11th century.
The most interesting sights of Ushmal are:
- The Pyramid of the Wizard or Sorcerer, 38 meters high;
- The Nun’s Court, a convent of 74 cells, the place was named by the Spaniards, but it is believed that in Mayan times it was used as a military academy;
- The Palace of the Ruler, decorated with masks of the rain god and images of a feathered serpent;
- The Great Pyramid, on which climbing is allowed;
- House of Doves.
Tip: There is no village or town near the architectural complex, but there are several hotels in which it is recommended to stay. It is more convenient than getting from the neighboring city of Mérida at a distance of more than 80 km.
➤ El Meco Archaeological Area
The peculiarity of this ancient city is its location close to the coast on the territory of Cancun. This allowed the city to grow and develop actively. It grew from a small fishing settlement into a bustling commercial center. Like other cities, it was suddenly abandoned by the Maya and fell into decline.
Today El Meco is less popular than other ancient cities, but there are green areas where you can take a break from the Mexican heat. The main structure is a pyramid with a temple on top, which offers a beautiful view of the sea lagoon. There are many iguanas and birds in the town.
Tip: The place is worth visiting if you are attracted to the ancient ruins but don’t want to wander around with the crowds of other tourists. El Meco has far fewer visitors. The best way to get there is by cab.
➤ The ancient city of Palenque
The Spanish gave it its present name, and in its heyday in the 7th and 8th centuries it was called Lakam-ha, “the Great Water.” For centuries after its decline, the city was hidden under tropical thickets, but today much of it has been restored. Six kilometers away is the modern city of the same name.
The most interesting structures of Palenque are concentrated in the group of the Temples of Christ. These are the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Cross, and the Temple of the Leafy Cross. Attracting and grandiose Palace, the former residence of the rulers of the city. Architectural monuments are decorated with numerous bas-reliefs. Another reason why tourists love Palenque is that they are allowed to climb the pyramids.
Tip: When visiting Palenque, be sure to pay attention to the bas-relief image resembling an astronaut’s spacesuit. Many consider it evidence of a visit to Earth by aliens from outer space.
➤ Monte Alban
The ruins of this city are a monument to the architecture of one of Mexico’s indigenous peoples, the Zapotecs. The Zapotec civilization belongs to the most ancient pre-Columbian civilizations. Located among the mountain peaks the city had not only commercial and religious, but also strategic importance.
In modern parlance, the Zapotecs pursued a tough policy toward neighboring territories, receiving tribute and expanding their influence. By the end of the 9th century it had lost its importance. The central square of the town is well preserved as are the buildings built of stone for various purposes.
Tip: if you are going to visit Monte Alban, it is better to have water and a snack, as there are no cafes or restaurants nearby.
Palenque is a small, quiet town in the state of Chiapas in the south. For a long time it was a typical, unremarkable province, gaining city status only in the middle of the 19th century. It was made famous by the ancient ruins of a Mayan city discovered by Father Antonio Solis.
In the city itself, the central historic part and the temple are interesting. Nearby are picturesque waterfalls. But most tourists come here to admire the ancient ruins nearby.
Tip: Palenque is the best place to visit for tourists who want to feel the color of the Mexican province. You will not have a problem with accommodation as there are many hotels for every taste.
Since the late 18th century, the palace in Mexico City has changed its purpose several times. It has been used as an imperial residence, a military academy, an astronomical observatory, and today functions as the National Historical Museum.
Tip: be sure to climb to the roof of the castle. There is a huge garden with alleys, trees and flower beds.
The Mayan City of Tulum
Another ruin of an ancient city is located near the resort of Cancun. A distinctive feature of the city is its location on a high cliff. It is the only Mayan city that was enclosed by a wall. The main building is Castle El Castillo. It is located just off the coast of the Caribbean Sea and supposedly served an additional role as a lighthouse for ships.
Tip: When visiting the ruins you can take your bathing gear with you, there is a very cozy beach in a small cove with white sand.
➤ San Fransisco de Campeche
The fortress city is located in the bay of the Gulf of Mexico. It was founded by the Spaniards on the site of a Mayan settlement in the 16th century. Thanks to trade with Spain, the city quickly became rich, although more than once it was attacked by pirates.
The main attractions of the city are:
- The central square of Socalo;
- Campeche Cathedral, one of the first Baroque temples in Yucatán;
- Jesus Church;
- Sea Gate, the main entrance to the old town;
- Santiago Bastion with its Botanical Garden.
Tip: In the city, pay attention to the colorful colorful houses, and admire the beautiful sunset in the Gulf of Mexico, the goal of many photo tours.
➤ Templo Major.
This unique open-air museum in Mexico City opened in 1987. It contains many artifacts related to sensational finds in and around the capital. Here you can see everyday objects and utensils of ancient peoples, sculptures, jewelry, images and figurines of deities.
During the guided tour, you can learn how the ancient peoples of Mexico lived and what were the achievements of their civilizations.
Tip: Foreigners are allowed free admission on Sundays.
The most famous and majestic temples are in Mexico City.
➤ Mexico City Cathedral
Huge, ancient and magnificent. These three qualities are united in the Cathedral of the nation’s capital. It was built in Baroque, Renaissance, and Neoclassical styles at once and traces its history back to the end of the 16th century.
The temple is located in the very center of Constitution Square. The beauty of the interior decoration of the cathedral is not inferior to the external grandeur. Among the finishing materials used were gold, marble and ivory.
Tip: When you visit the cathedral, be sure to observe the specific dress code, which provides for closed clothing.
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The basilica belongs to the most revered temples of the city. According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared on this spot and commanded the construction of the temple. According to legends, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe saved the locals from various troubles.
However, historians claim that there was an ancient Aztec sanctuary and sacrifices were made here. The basilica was built in Baroque style and was rebuilt several times.
Tip: The temple has a library, museum and souvenir store.
Temple of San Felipe Neri
The temple is a Roman Catholic parish church founded in the late 16th century by the Jesuits. The first assignment was almost completely destroyed by a flood, in its place was erected a new temple in the Baroque style with elements of Gothic and Neoclassicism.
The building embodies a harmonious combination of strict canon and luxurious decoration. Today the church is a Declared Monument of History and is under the protection of the state.
Museums and theaters in Mexico
The country is known not only for the ruins of ancient cities and monuments of the greatest civilizations. It also has a vibrant cultural life.
National Museum of Anthropology
The museum is located in the western part of the city, on the territory of the park. It features a rich collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. Most of the exhibits are related to the Mayan culture. The museum consists of two sections: anthropological and ethnographic and occupies two floors. In total, there are 11 exhibition halls.
Tip: When visiting the museum, you should also check out its library, which has over 300,000 volumes.