The Top 10 Must-See Spots in Mexico

This post is long overdue. I spent a year teaching in Mexico, and fell in love with this marvelous country. ❤IMG_8369It’s full of charm, unique character, and countless hidden gems around every corner.IMG_20160419_235742As such, I’ve come up with a list of the top 10 must-see spots in Mexico that everyone should add to their bucket list. 😀

10. Morelia

Morelia’s captivating Spanish architecture and its wealth of cultural sites makes it the perfect hub for exploring the region of Michoacán.IMG_20160518_090607Witness the annual migration of Monarch butterflies in Angangueo at Sanctuary El Rosario. 24912431530_6fde1607b7_zWander the candlelit cemeteries near Patzcuaro for Día de Los Muertos.IMG_20160522_181945Appreciate deep religious devotion at Templo de las Rosas.IMG_20160421_210632Marvel at Morelia’s pink stone cathedral and pop inside for a free symphony performance.IMG_20160512_071714Eat red, white and green pozole: a pork and white corn soup, topped with avocado and crunchy radish.IMG_4352 (1)

9. Guanajuato

Take a ride up Guanajuato’s funicular tram to admire this colorful city. 😀img_45821Stroll the cobblestone streets with student musicians, singing folk songs and reciting local legends.IMG_20160604_002110Lick the plate clean at Truco 7, devouring a plate of enchiladas verdes.16781235537_9dbcdddc0b_bBecome mesmerized by the gardens at Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel.IMG_20160628_092542Visit neighboring San Miguel de Allende, named one of the world’s most beautiful towns.IMG_3920End with a historic stroll through Dolores Hidalgo, and refresh in this palate pleaser of avocado ice cream.24581176623_60b92b9cfd_z

8. Pachuca

View Pachuca’s striking architecture from the center of their stunning central plaza.IMG_20160511_195723Better yet, take in the view from atop their monumental clock.img_7109Visit Las Prismas Balsaticos, a natural rock ravine in Huasca del Ocampo.IMG_20160523_142528Explore the historic Spanish mining hacienda of Santa Maria Regla, also the filming location for The Mask of Zorro.PicsArt_07-08-09.05.34Thanks to Cornish influence, indulge in a buttery beef filled pastry, and the obligatory siesta that follows. 😛img_7279

7. Valladolid

Valladolid’s pastel colored buildings and wide cobblestone streets make it an ethereal town, and the perfect hub for exploring the surrounding Yucatán Peninsula.

Marvel at this city’s colonial charm by wandering the San Bernadino Convent.
IMG_20160526_003114 (1)Swim in their striking cave pools, especially Cenote X’keken.19778969439_a6dec192ff_zVisit the ruins of Chichén Itzá.IMG_20160613_085402Hike the jungle ruins of Coba.IMG_20160406_115839Wander the beachfront Mayan ruins of Tulum.IMG_20160401_191704Scuba dive Dos Ojos, one of the largest underwater cave systems.IMG_20160519_090907Visit Rio Lagartos Bioreserve and view flocks of pink flamingos.IMG_20160225_151408Visit nearby Akumal and snorkel with sea turtles.11222058_10104480344420747_5159409919179163770_nGlide alongside gentle whale sharks off the island of Isla Holbox. FBOOK7 (1)Support marine conservation at Cancun’s underwater museum.IMG_20160326_104048Take a ferry to Cozumel and scuba dive the vibrant coral reefs of Punta TunichIMG_20160407_085651

6. Huasteca Potosina

This region, nicknamed “La Huasteca,” is known for extreme sports and bizarre sights.17153263507_2d8543786a_oEnjoy whitewater rafting in Río Tampaón.IMG_20160707_090342Visit the mystical surrealistic gardens of Xilitla.IMG_8753Rappel and jump off waterfalls with Huaxteca Expediciones.
IMG_20160402_173544Fall down a rabbit hole into Wonderland, spending a night at Casa Caracol.IMG_8789_zps0slrpyej

5. Mayto

This tiny beach town provides you the ultimate escape, yet remains in close proximity to lively Puerto Vallarta. IMG_20160419_010935Lounge by the pool and watch for dolphins swimming in the Pacific.IMG_20160324_090714Help rescue baby sea turtles.img_7679Learn about sustainable living and make fresh goat’s cheese at Rancho Sol y Mar.img_7775Crack open a coconut and drink straight from the tap. 😉img_7957Drink cheap beer and eat fresh oysters on the beach.img_7914End each day with a sunset walk along the miles of gorgeous coastline.IMG_20160401_093313

4. Oaxaca

Oaxaca has fantastic handicrafts, is a culinary mecca, and holds a wealth of natural wonders.

Swim in the calcified pools of Hierve El Agua.IMG_20160526_131136Marvel at the Zapotec carvings in Mitla or the ruins of Monte Albán.PicsArt_07-08-02.00.29Take a cooking class in a traditional Oaxacan home.17772328591_db82860638_zAdmire the vibrant street art.IMG_20160331_194008Savor creamy guacamole topped with crunchy, salty grasshoppers. Yes, you heard me right.16800416588_7cd56bb503_bWhile you’re at it, take a shot of mezcal, the smokey sister of tequila and a specialty in this region. Enough to put hair on anyone’s chest. Ole! 😉IMG_20160610_154231

3. San Cristóbal de las Casas

Centered in the heart of Chiapas, this mountain village is a real cultural whirlwind, full of thriving ethnic communities surrounded by lush jungle landscapes.IMG_20160626_101041Swim in the turquoise pools of Cascadas Aguas Azul.IMG_1290 (1)Visit the Mayan ruins of Palenque.IMG_20160528_090449Cruise through Sumidero Canyon.IMG_20160404_090454Watch shaman ceremonies and learn about ethnic communities in San Juan Chamula.IMG_20160622_224527Tempt your taste buds with pork tamales, cooked in a banana leaf, and topped with a spicy chili sauce. 19966521612_e6df6ffd3f

2. Querétaro

This region known as “El Bajio” is the heart of this country, with stunning architecture and unbeatable hospitality, it’s one of the safest areas in Mexico. Safe enough to even bike in heels. 😉IMG_20160527_112311Begin early by climbing La Peña, a monolith in Bernal.IMG_20160418_072035Drink wine and horse back ride in Tequisquiapan.IMG_4411Eat blue corn gorditas full of fungus. Trust me. They’re delicious. 😀16368016503_4228594e70_bGo ATVing in the Sierra Gorda Bioreserve.
IMG_20160619_092716Visit the pre-Colombian ruins, Las Ranas, in hillside San Joaquín.IMG_20160521_114225Make friends with the local cactus man and eat nopales stuffed with sausage, onions and chillies.17209818602_740828ba45_bCheer with avid fans at a soccer match, and learn a Mexican swear or two. 😛10660343_10104201579512857_6226731926775674502_nEnd with a stroll through Museo Regional, and admire the colonial architecture of this charming historic town. IMG_20160511_080127

1. Mexico City

This major metropolitan city is an urban splendor, with lush parks, the most museums in the world, and the most delicious food you’ll ever find.IMG_20160609_125745It’s also the perfect home base for many incredible weekend escapes. 😀favoriteTake a hike in Nevado de Toluca, a stratovolcano filled with two picturesque lagoons.IMG_20160408_123930Take a day trip to the vast ruins of Teotihuacán.IMG_20160706_095847Get muddy in Guerrero by spelunking in Grutas de Cacahuamilpa, one of the world’s largest cave systems.
TERRA 3 Expediciones 20 (1)Visit the magic town of Malinalco and view their rock-carved Aztec ruins.IMG_20160516_195549Visit nearby Tepotzotlán and climb El Tepozteco.IMG_20160419_170830Soar over Valle de Bravo, one of the top spots for hang gliding.11018827_10104030385686657_4005657945375700291_oTake a weekend trip to Puebla.
IMG_20160325_003101While you’re there, eat lots of mole, especially mole poblano. 😀 IMG_9091 (1)Oh yeah, and eat tacos.17596088864_f4c71b5d90_oLots of tacos.
17035707541_373832a80c_bAll the tacos. 😀ice-cream-lip-tacos-0221

When all is said and done, order yourself a michealada and enjoy this moment. You’ve just realized how completely amazing Mexico is. img_9121

Hope this was enough inspiration to get you packing your suitcase. 🙂

Take care and until next time.

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