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What I've seen in Mexico
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2014-03-30 18:49:36 | Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Keywords: Biosphere, Historic, Mayas, monument, pre-Columbian, pre-hispanic, professional sport, pyramids, Ruins, summary, UNESCO
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 Monarch butterfly biosphere reserve, the natural highlight of my Mexican journey.

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 16th century monasteries, visit Xochicalco and the UNAM campus. I took a tour to visit the very impressive site of Teotihuacan, 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 the historic 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 world-famous Chichen 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.

Related posts:
Southern Guatemala
Joya de Cerén
Chichén Itzá
Historical Centre of Oaxaca and Monte Albán


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