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Mexico’s astounding array of options can excite, entice, or even overwhelm many first-time visitors. Grand colonial cities, small indigenous villages, thriving urban metropolises and the crumbling ruins of ancient civilizations all feature heavily in Mexico’s multi-faceted cultural life. Mexico City is one of the world's great capitals and with a staggering 22 million inhabitants, it's one of the largest too. A riotous celebration of chaos, culture and style, attractions run the gamut from gritty urban cityscapes to indolent Aztec canals. Beyond the city limits there are the graceful colonial cities of Taxco, Puebla and Cuernavaca, as well as stunning archaeological sites like Teotihuacan and Tula. Mexico’s cuisine ranks as the most interesting in The Americas ranging from fiery chillies to pork wrapped in banana leaves and cooked underground.Read more
Southern Mexico is the country's most popular tourist destination and it's not hard to see why. Mayan ruins, dense jungle, white sand beaches, islands, coral reefs, indigenous villages and colonial cities – the south has it all. Be sure to check out the fine towns of Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas, Campeche and Mérida, as well as the ruins of Palenque, Uxmal and Chichen Itza. If you want beach time, Tulum is southern Mexico's most hip destination, but there are also plenty of mega-resorts nearby, including Cancun.
The north is a vast and daunting land of deserts, mountains and endless lonely highways. Don't miss the Copper Canyon that competes with Arizona's Grand Canyon for sheer jaw-dropping grandeur. A network of immensely beautiful colonial cities grace the interior of Mexico, including Guanajuato, Zacatecas and Querétaro. Built on the prodigious wealth of silver mining, many of them and their buildings have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Western Mexico is a bastion of national traditions, such as tequila, mariachis and the Mexican hat dance. The best place to enjoy all of them is Guadalajara, Mexico's second city. But indigenous culture is richly represented in the west too, with scores of evocative Purepecha villages perched upon the shores of Lake Pátzcuaro. The Pacific coast is a truly vast and legendary stretch of shore with everything from glitzy high-rise resorts to chilled-out bastions of hippy culture. Ramshackle fishing communities, quiet enclaves and blissfully isolated beaches are plentiful, perfect for slinging a hammock and soaking up the sunset.
The Gulf coast may not be as beautiful or popular as the Pacific, but it is wonderfully verdant and free from tourists. Don't miss the steamy, hedonistic port of Veracruz, the archaeological wonder of El Tajín and the urbane university city of Xalapa.
Places of interest in Mexico
Chichen Itza is one of the most spectacular of the Maya sites. El Castillo, a giant stepped pyramid dominates the...
Few cities can boast such an impressive setting as La Paz. Architecturally, the city is no beauty. There are few...
Mexico City is a formidable beast – a sprawling chaos of humanity where life and death are played out in a shifting...
Oaxaca state is a place of brilliant colours, rich indigenous heritage and mouth-watering culinary traditions. At its...
Built at the height of the Classic period surrounded by jungle, Palenque is one of the most beautiful of all the Maya...
The Maya-Toltec ruins of Tulum are perched on coastal cliffs in a beautiful setting above the azure sea. The ruins...