|Mexico is a rich country in terms of history and people, even if it's not that rich in financial terms. It is the country in the Americas with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites sites (32), most of them (27) are related to history or culture. Its territory has been the home of very important civilizations for more than 3 000 years. Each of the major civilizations who occupied the current Mexico territory left important traces through their abandoned cities. In their apogee, many of those cities were amongst the largest of the world in their time.|
Out of the 32 UNESCO WHS,
I visited a total of 23, including two natural ones: the Monarch
butterflies reserve and Sian Ka'an. Because I had so many sites to
visit, I mostly concentrated my time in Mexico around those sites.
In the North, I saw
many ancient ruins like Paquimé,
my first visit in Mexico. Then I took the only passenger train in
Mexico, the famous El
Chepe certainly one of the most scenic train
ride in the world going through the magnificent Copper Canyon. I
visited the agave
landscape and took a few shots of tequila, in
the city of Tequila, while visiting a distillery. In Guadalajara,
I was also able to visit the impressive Hospecio
Cabañas and witness the wonderful
celebrations of the Día
de Muertos (Day of the deads) one of the
richest traditions in Mexico.
Then I visited a series of
important colonial Hispanic cities in Central Mexico. I first
explored the historic
centre of Zacatecas, before exploring the incredible historic
town of Guanajuato, my favourite town of all Mexico! I was then
highly disappointed by the fortified city of San
Miguel de Allende but was happy to visit the historic
monuments zone of Querétaro and its impressive aqueduct. I then
reached the capital of Michoacan to visit the historic
centre of Morelia which was also my departure point to visit the
butterfly biosphere reserve, the natural highlight of my Mexican
Street in Guanajuato.
I spent most of December
in Mexico City. I didn't like the city itself, as you can read again
in my first
impressions, but I loved using it as a center point to venture
all around it. First, there was of course the historic
centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco in the South of the
megalopolis. Then with the help of local contacts I was able to
visit one of the early
century monasteries, visit Xochicalco
and the UNAM
campus. I took a tour to visit the very impressive site of
which is the most visited pre-Hispanic site in Mexico! While in
Mexico City, I attended two popular cultural events, both part of the
Mexican identity: the Lucha
Libre and the corrida.
Lucha Libre, Mexican wrestling.
I began the new year in
Puebla and I visited its historic
centre. I then reached the Atlancitc coast to go to Veracruz.
No site to visit in that city but I used it to do a day trip to visit
centre of Tlacotalpan, a very unusual colonial city with its
columns everywhere. I ventured North of the Veracruz state to visit
the very beautiful city of El
Tajin. I then took a first night bus in Mexico to reach Oaxaca.
I visited its historical
centre and Monte Alban.
I visited Palenque,
my first Maya site, before reaching the Atlantic coast again and
visit the historic
fortified town of Campeche which stunned me with its incredible
colours! I ended February visiting Uxmal
on a day trip from Merida.
In March, I visited the
Itzá, and it was very impressive. I then rested a bit in Cancun
before visiting Sian
Ka'an, a biosphere reserve, from Tulum. I concluded my stay in
Mexico in the city of Chetumal at the border with Belize, where I
went to watch a Mexican
movie of course, to experience it Mexican style.
I really enjoyed all my
visits in Mexico and I look forward to continue my exploration of the
Mayan world in Guatemala.
El Castillo, jewel piece of Chichen Itzá.