Latin America Travel & Tour Information
- Mexico City
- Archaeological Sites
- Oaxaca de Juárez
- Taxco de Alarcón
- San Cristóbal de las Casas
- San Miguel Allende
- Monte Alban
- Chichén Itzá
- Ixtapa - Zihuatanejo
- Los Cabos
- Puerto Escondido
- Playa del Carmen
- Puerto Vallarta
It is perhaps the deafening silence surrounding the American barroque-styled Guanajuato Cathedral, or maybe a dive among thousands of multicolored fish in the Mayan Riviera. Probably the amazing shadowplay cast by the Mayan feathred serpent at the Chichén Itzá pyramids, the inviting turquoise blue beaches in Yucatan and the Pacific, or who knows if because of the delicious traditional dishes of Oaxaca. The truth is that you will never forget Mexico.
Latin America throbs and sparks in Mexico, in a dazzling mix of cultures, beautiful colonial towns, heavenly beaches and the diversity of landscapes shaped by desserts, mountain ranges and jungle. Its enourmous archeological wealth treasures the legacy of extraordinary cultures: the Aztec, the Mayan and the influence of the Spanish.
Whether for a short time or a long sojourn, you should get to know this country and schedule your trip to make the most of it.
Mexico´s central region is characterized by colorful cities, colonial towns and countless archeological sites.
Regardless of your time, sightseeing through Mexico City or the DF will reveal a mix of little surprises to make you get the real feel of the place. There are several museums and archeological sites within the boundaries of the city itself, in addition to the peaceful artistic gardens, plazas and parks which adorn the colonial neighborhoods. The Old Town is the place to start the visit, and especially at the afectionately named ?El Zócalo? Plaza. Many an impressive building rise around this wonderful square, such as the Fine Arts Palace right on the rim of Alameda Park. A bit beyond, the Paseo de la Reforma, featuring a majestic contour with a wide scenic avenue, leads you to Chapultepec Park´s grand entrance, an amazing place and the biggest park in the world which harbors a great deal of the city´s attractions like the Antropology Museum. Another short walk to the outskirts will take you to the Xochimilco Hanging Gardens, an exclusive attraction of Mexico City. The nearby ruins of Teotihuacan, lying barely 40 km from the city, are a must on the way through Mexico. While strolling the Avenue of the Dead and admiring the imposing Pyrmid of the Sun and the Moon and The Citadel, it becomes evident that the Aztecs considered this city a sacred place.
Guanajuato makes for another excellent destination, a university and bohemian city full of architectonic and cultural treasures. Much of its prosperous mining past still remains in our days: elegant colonial mansions, plazas and churches around its old town, which earned them UNESCO´s World Heritage Site status. Adding up to colorful streets like the Callejón del Beso, this city posseses some exotic underground tunnels that sneak their way from one end to the other. Guanajuato is internationally known for its Festival Internacional Cervantino (Cervantes International Festival), which summons famous artists and hosts a wide spectrum of cultural events.
Nature takes the shape of lush jungle in this part of the country. Here it is possible to swim either in the Pacific or in the Gulf, regardless of the excellent eco-oriented choices.
The city of San Cristóbal de las Casas lie in the state of Chiapas. This city, strongly influenced by the American barroque style, carries the tangible legacy of the local cultures: tzotzil and tzeltal. It also offers interesting museums like the Na bolom with exhibits from the Chiapaneca culture. Another option is the Centro Cultural Museo de Altos de Chiapas, located inside the former Santo Domingo Convent, which shows the life and history of the city through a collection of everyday life utensils. Among the natural attractions, there is the Huitepec ecological reserve, ideal to inmerse yourself in photography sessions.
Taxco de Alarcón, is a colonial town internationally known for its silver crafts. This place is still labeled as the Mexican Silver Capital, even when these days mining is no longer its mainstay. So it is well worthy to visit its museums: Viceroyalty Art and Silver Crafts in order to have the best idea of the town´s mining days. The picturesque streets and roof-tiled colonial mansions, the well-lit plazas and the majestic Santa Prisca Cathedral will cast a spell on any visitor.
You may like to visit Palenque, an archeological site to the northwest of Chiapas and one of the masterpieces of Mayan architecture. It is really worthy to stroll among the colossal temples, such as The Palace, the Temples of the Sun, the Cross and that of the Inscriptions. The ancient city lies within Palenque Park National, a 1 700 ha haven, carpeted with lush tropical forests. Trekking and enjoyment of nature in general come in first line here, besides it is possible to watch birds and howling monkeys. The town of Palenque throbs nearby, where accommodation, food and local crafts are easy to come by. Some excellent tours, focused on extreme sports can be taken from here: ultralight aicraft flights or kayacking down the Usumacinta River, one of the widest in Mexico
Heavenly beaches and impressive Mayan ruins dot the Yucatan Peninsula. Besides, it is considered one of the world´s best diving spots.
A place not to be missed is the city of Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatan, named ?The White City? due to the high concentration of lime-and-pebble colonial buildings. This city offers an amazing array of cultural events and museums like that of Antropology, so it is worthy to devote some of the time to explore the narrow alleys and bright plazas and deeply enjoy the local cuisine and nightlife. This is, no doubts whatsoever, the starting point to explore the whole peninsula, since the excursions will take you to visit the Mayan Ruins and the natural wells or water mirrors, or to take in the natural scenries in Ría Celestún Reserve of the Biosphere, teeming with beautiful pink flamingos.
The Mayan Riviera is located in the state of Quintana Roo, an area covering approximately 120 km, offering a wide range of optional activities. These spots are highly sought after by diving fans due to their enormous reefs and their sealife wealth, as well as the impressive natural wells (water mirrors) and ancient Mayan ruins. One of the chief destinations here is Cancun, a striking city with a 30-km long white sand beach and choices for all tastes: gigantic hotel resorts, hundreds of restaurants, SPAs and shopping malls. Its active nightlife features a great deal of discoteques that make it a hard rival for any other place in the world. Isla Mujeres, right off the coast from Cancun, is a paradise island with equally beautiful beaches and archeological attractions, such as the Temple of Ixchel or the diving zones inside Marino Garrafón Park. Playa del Carmen makes for another perfect place, ideal not only for those looking for a more relaxed spot, but also for surfing, windsurfing or snorkelling fans. There are tours to the Great Mayan Reef to spot hundreds of multicolored fish, or to dive in the interconnected natural wells. The Theme Parks of Xcaret and Xel-Há, together with Sian Ka?án Reserve of the Biosphere, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a must for nature lovers. The lovely orchids, colorful flamingos, mackaws and several other species are the perfect display of Caribbean biodiversity. One of the main archeological sites is that of Tulum, nestled by the sea and practically the only walled-in city of the Mayan culture. These ruins are very well preserved and deserve any visitors´ time and attention.
Many interesting and colorful towns and their delicious cuisine will be a common find along the Pacific coast, without mentioning the beach surfing spots.
A good start is Manzanillo, counted among the chief destinations in Mexico within the state of Colima. Its marvelous port offers its tasty local dishes and the variegated shell necklaces. For swimming and watersports, the Malecón, Tesoro and Miramar beaches are places to go.
Acapulco, in the state of Guerrero, is an international holiday center that counts on a vast hotel network. It stands out for the beauty of its beaches, the peace of Santa Lucia Bay and its impressive skyline.
Puerto Vallarta, capital of the state of Jalisco, whose topography works as a haven for the Pacific winds, endows the place with a special touch. Strolling along the Malecon, an extensive waterfront, diving in Los Arcos or swimming in Playas Gemelas, one of the most beautiful in the region, are some of the local choices. Playa de los Muertos, is by far the most visited and commercial, full of activities and services.
The city of Oaxaca will enchant anyone with its architectonic display of colonial buildings. Its old town, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, treasures the most amazing constructions: the Cathedral, the Soledad Basilica, Santo Domingo de Guzmán Convent and the Macedonio Alcalá Theater. The local crafts are largely colorful and attractive, plus the food is increibly delicious: tamales, moles (meat in chili sauce), quesillo (a cheese based dish) and mescal, the local beverage elaborated from the agave cactus.
Oaxaca also treasures several archeological sites and natural attractions. A short distance from the city, lies Monte Albán, the ancient capital of the prehispanic Zapoteca culture, which constitues another of UNESCOS´s World Heritage Sites. There is also Mitla, capital of the Mixteca culture, whose constructions show the most peculiar border decorations. In Santa María del Tule grows the impressive Árbol del Tule (Tulle Tree), 42m in diameter and about 2000 years old, and Benito Juárez Park.
In the state of Oaxaca, lies Puerto Escondido with a more rustic and relaxed touch in its hotel resorts, but also with the formal and elegant types. Zicatela Beach, counted among the top three surfing spots in the world, Carrizalillo Beach, an ideal place for diving, Bacocho and Puerto Angelito beaches, are some lovely spots to make you want to go there.
Mazatlan, in the state of Sinaloa to the norwest section of this region, is called ?The Pearl of the Pacific?. A coatal town known for the great diversity of sealife and the beauty of its beaches. Its counts on one of the highest lighthouses in the world, in activity since the year 1800. It is located on top of the Cerro del Creston, from where walking tours along the seaside are one of the best choices to take. This is a largely touristry spot, so it has already earned a name in the hospitality industry due to the quality of the services and the experience with all sorts of guests.
Numerous beaches spot the area, located at different ends of the city: Olas Altas, to be found just a few meters to the south of the old town. There are some monument there and it makes for a pleasant and enjoyable stroll; Playa Venados, Playa Norte and Playa Gaviotas, excellent for surfing and diving.
The Lower California Peninsula shows a different face of Mexico, what turns it into a worthy destination. It is located to the northwestern end of the country, surrounded by the Pacific waters to the west, the still inlets of the Californian Gulf to the east and lined in its center by the Lower Californian Sierra, extending from north to south.
The Sierra de San Pedro Mártir is the ideal starting point, which posseses the Pico de la Encantada (Enchanted Woman´s Peak), the highest in the peninsula and the joint between the Californian Gulf and the San Felipe Dessert.
One of the chief destinations is the Corredor Turístico Los Cabos, a highly developed 33-km area on the southern end of the peninsula. Here is Cabo San Lucas, a marvelous touristic city, where the Pacific and the Sea of Cortés meet and several exclusive resorts and SPAs have been built. Many a cruiseship come in here to enjoy the beautiful climate the whole year round. Diving and watersports are incomparable in these crystal-clear waters, plus the visit to El Arco, an imposing rocky formation that marks the end of the peninsula. But the huge attraction is actually the season of the Gray Whales that wind down to these shores in their mating days.
There are a great deal of beaches and small towns on the eastern side which offer lots of adventure and exquisite seafood like San Felipe and Bahía de Los Ángeles.
Numerous islands can also be mentioned, each one of them with different attractions, such as Guadalupe which welcomes phantastic packs of seawolves; Isla Los Cedros (Cedar Island), a picturesque fishing village, Isla de Todos los Santos (All Saints´ Island), ideal for surfing since some of the biggest waves ever occur here and Puerto Ensenada, to enjoy gray whale sightings in summertime.
Finally, one of the most important cities in this region: Tijuana, known for being the key border city with the US and about which most people ignore its great cultural and historical legacy, together with its service infrastructure.
This is an arid and dry region dominated by desserts and sierras, whose attractions are less known in Mexico. It is basically an industrial area but also features some colonial towns.
Zacatecas is a beautiful colonial city, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its cultural and barroque architectural legacies. This city bloomed during the colonial days, based on mining. Nowadays, this part of the local history can be seen at El Edén, a touristic mine with a 600-m train tour. Furthermore, the flair of its narrow streets and elegant mansions can be absorved on foot or from the air in the phantstic cable railway going up to Cerro de la Bufa.
The Barrancas de Cobre (Copper Cliffs) in the state of Chihuahua, is a 600-km long and 250-km wide Natural Park deeper than the Colorado Canyon. This intrincate and astounding maze of canyons is mostly devoted to the practice of eco and adventure tourism. In addition, there is the mysticism of the Raramuris (Tarahumaras) tribe, their typical crafts and cultural heritage. El Chepe is a famous trainride which offers the best views over the cliffs on its way through.