Hall in the south of North America is it swinging and always sunny Mexico† A tour through this versatile country takes you past temples, palaces and pyramids of the majestic Mayans† Along the way you travel through atmospheric colonial villages, illustrious cities, sunny seaside resorts and beautiful nature. Of course, the trip isn't complete without a breath of fresh air on the long white beaches along the Caribbean Coast† Mexico is a country full of must-sees, a rich culture and overwhelming attractions. So pack your bags and vamos!
Also read: The 15 Most Beautiful National Parks in Mexico | From Volcano to Maya
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You will not soon be impressed by a city after you experience Mexico City. Or should I say 'survived'. This gigantic metropolis, located at an altitude of 2240 m, is one of the largest cities in the world. You will come across more than 70 museums, countless churches, parks and monumental buildings. The city has about 20 million inhabitants, spread over extensive neighborhoods and suburbs. So you have to be able to withstand a bit of crowds and chaos.
Tip: To travel in the city, there are several options for transportation. Check it out bookaway.com† They are very active in Mexico and offer many options for buses, minivans, taxis and even boat crossings to islands. Very handy if you want to travel from Mexico City to Cancun in one go, for example.
The most famous place in Mexico City is Zócalo Square, the beating heart and bustling center of the city. Already at the time of the former inhabitants, the Aztecs, this was the place where everything happened. On the square you will find one of the largest cathedrals of the former Spanish Empire, Catedral Metropolitana. Other must-sees include Museo Nacional de Culturas, the National Palace and the Basilica of Guadalupe. The largest park in the city can be found at Park Bosque de Chapultepec, an ideal spot to absorb all the impressions of the city. Also in Mexico City: the last remains of the temple pyramid Templo Mayor, once admired and inhabited by the Aztecs.
Also read: 20 Must Sees in South America | Food for your Bucket List
The Spanish speaking Mexico is a country of contradictions. Large busy cities effortlessly give way to sunny coastal towns. How about snorkeling and diving paradise Cancún on the Yucatán peninsula! Sun and sea, beautifully clear water and a true theater below the surface of the water.
You can stay in the city of Cancún or cross the water to the island of the same name, just off the coast. Near Cancún is the natural aquarium Xel-Ha. The nightlife in the seaside resort is world famous. The best nightclubs and the nicest bars can be found everywhere. Light shows and spectacular entertainment make for an unforgettable evening. Very special is the underwater art of artist Jason deCaires Taylor. His statues and sculptures can be found on the seabed, where they naturally become one with coral polyps, sponges and tunicates. The sea is its own work of art here.
Temples and Ruins of the Maya
You will encounter the past of the Maya throughout Mexico. For example, in Yucatán, south of Merida, are the temples of Uxmal, one of the must-sees in Mexico. The 'Pyramid of the Soothsayer' in particular is a wonderful example of the unique architecture of the Maya.
A little further from Merida is the Chichen Itza temple complex. The various temples and altars have been designed with unprecedented precision. The Temple of Kukulcan is another testament to the genius of the Maya. Using astronomy as a guideline, the Maya managed to turn this temple into a masterpiece.
The mystical town of Palenque has been an ancient Mayan city. The ruin complex here is absolutely magical. The Temple of Inscriptions and the sarcophagus pyramid of Priest King Pakal are among the highlights of your Mexico trip. No doubt.
The volcanoes of Mexico
Of course there is more than chaotic cities and sultry seaside resorts. The nature in Mexico is extremely versatile and surprising. Just go to Orizaba, the highest mountain and volcano of the country. The top Pico de Orizaba – which is actually a crater – is at an altitude of 5636 m. Don't worry, the Orizaba has been a dormant volcano for centuries.
Fancy a tough challenge? Then a climb of this snow-capped volcano is a great option. Via the Jamapa Glacier you climb to 4200 m altitude to arrive at Piedra Grande Hut Base Camp. The view is one to be framed, an absolute must see in Mexico. Another volcano you've probably heard of is Popocatépetl. This smoking mountain rises 5426 m into the air and is located 70 km from Mexico City.
Popocatepetl can also be climbed. In about six hours you will climb over fine volcanic ash, snow and ice until you reach the crater. Descending into the crater is not recommended, the intoxicating sulfur vapors could surprise you with all the associated consequences.
Also read: The 10 Most Beautiful National Parks in Costa Rica | Sustainable ecotourism
The Copper Gorge
You will probably find the most beautiful nature in the northwest of Mexico. Did you think that after the Grand Canyon in the USA no superlatives exist anymore? Think again! The Copper Gorge – also called Copper Canyon – is one of the must-sees in Mexico of unparalleled beauty. We count no less than 20 spectacular canyons together. This area is bigger and deeper than the Grand Canyon so USA, eat your heart out!
To experience the vast landscape up close, you can take the Copper Canyon Express. This train goes to dizzying heights and then descends to hair-raising depths. The train journey is known as one of the most beautiful in the world. One of the absolute must sees!
Also read: Must see: bizarrely beautiful images of Mexico | Estrellas del Bicentenario
Mexican sun & sea
Do you want to enjoy the wonderfully scorching sun and the warm sea water along the coast of Mexico? Then you can go to different places. The aforementioned Cancún is of course a great spot. But the nearby Playa del Carmen is also a fantastic seaside resort where you can enjoy excellent diving and snorkelling. Playa del Carmen is quieter than Cancún and therefore perhaps a better place to recover from your trip.
Cabo San Lucas is located on the west coast of Mexico and is one of the most beautiful resorts in Central America. You will find beautiful rock formations and clear azure water here.
One of Mexico's most famous coastal towns is undoubtedly Acapulco de Juárez. This town, which we mainly know as Acapulco for short, is a relaxed seaside town on the Atlantic Ocean. Swimming with dolphins, coral diving or just partying hard in one of the many nightclubs: Acapulco knows how to entertain you. With sun-drenched beaches such as Playa de la Angosta and Playa de Condesa, you will not be short of anything here. Spectacular are the cliff divers who dive into the sea from a height of 25, 30 or even 40 m. Playa Del Carmen is definitely one of the must-sees in Mexico!
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