Mexico travel guide - The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and what to see

Direct decendants of Mexico

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Acapulco
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There are great beaches, the water is always warm, and the sun always shines. But when it doesn't, there's always nightlife until it rises again.

Perfectly situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains, Acapulco offers an abundance of ecological wonders. Whether touring the destination’s lagoons, jungles, islands or estuaries or traversing the shores of the Acapulco Bay, the destination’s 360 days of sunshine and distinctive ecosystems afford visitors an ideal backdrop for eco-adventure.

You would probably not expect this, but the city of Acapulco goes back about 2000 years ago. It was founded by the Nahua Indians who were the predecessors of the Aztecs. When Cortes arrived in Mexico, Acapulco was an important trading post.

Diego Rivera´s Mural in Acapulco By TourByVan Acapulco Diego Rivera´s Mural in Acapulco By TourByVan Acapulco
photo by: Belen Oscar
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Baja California
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Baja California is that 1300 kilometer long arm that dangles down from the US border between the Pacific and the Gulf of California. The whole of the peninsula consists of rugged and nearly uninhabited mountains.

The desert landscape is fascinating and the scenery is extremely beautiful. Most travelers find Baja a magical place of blue skies, fresh air and solitude. A great get away form the crazy land of California.

Tijuana, a city with a population of over 1 million is located on the Pacific and is the most important border crossing. The San Ysidro/ Tijuana crossing is the busiest border crossing in the world. The town boomed in the 1920s when hollywood stars came here for a drink and, if willing to put up with hordes of drunk American college students on weekends, it is still a great place for nightlife. Try stopping by at some of the grills of the side of the highway where they will serve up the best of  fresh fish tacos.

Ensenada is the third city of Baja and is a leading seaport. It is a great city, beautiful and fully equiped to serve tourists and travelers.

La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur. It is a fast growing city, but still a quite relaxed place to stay. It is an excellent base for exploring the south end of the peninsula. Cabo san lucas is a big resort with many tourist facilities in the south.

East side of the Catalina boulder field along highway 5. East side of the Catalina boulder field along highway 5.
photo by: Jason Barnes
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Chetumal
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Founded in 1898, and located on the shores of the bay of the same name, Chetumal ("place of abundant red cedar", in Maya) is the capital of Quintana Roo. The city is attractive and its location on the main road south from Yucatan to Belize makes it a place many travelers end up spending some time in.

The closest thing to a real "sight" is the Museo de la Cultura Maya (Tues-Sun 9am-7pm; US$4) on Héroes, near the corner of Mahatma Gandhi. Although it has very few original artifacts, the numerous interactive displays and models provide a good insight into ancient Maya society, mathematics and cosmology.

Chetumal is a good place for making daytrips to beaches and Maya ruins in the area.

Ciudad juarez
City
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Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's fifth largest city, is located on the Mexican (Chihuahua) and American (Texas) border. Only a few minutes from the city of El Paso, Texas, it's a very lively city with lots of entertainment, sporting events and nightlife.

There are a number of colonial churches which are well worth a visit. Directly across from the Main Plaza, Our Lady of Guadelupe has very old paintings and altars. The Cathedral next door, neo-clasical facade of recent construction, is built where the old graveyard used to be.

For a great shopping experience head for the Mercado Tipico or the Mercado Juarez. The Mercado Tipico is a beautiful colorful old city market filled with art-folklore-music and of course mariachis. This very liked tourist spot always has something exciting going on. Don't leave Cd. Juarez visiting it. The Mercado Juarez is the oldest city market. It features curious shopping, groceries shopping, authentic Mexican food and music, played by mariachis and "norteno" groups. This is also a must visit!

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This Ciudad Juárez Travel Guide will help you plan your trip to Mexico and discover all the great attractions that can be found. Ciudad Juárez remains one of the fastest growing cities in the world, but has yet to become a pioneer in tourism.

Accommodations

Quality Inn: The Quality Inn located in Ciudad Juárez is one of the better places to stay in the area. Prices are very affordable and good service is a plus. A free shuttle and breakfast are available.

La Quinta Inn & Suites: La Quinta Inn & Suites is located in a convenient historical district. Prices are reasonable and amenities include a continental breakfast, free parking, a swimming pool and a business center. This hotel is pet friendly and it has 24 hour security guards. Choose from 89 rooms and 15 suites.

Places to Visit

Ciudad Juárez Cathedral: The Ciudad Juárez Cathedral is located downtown and offers great insight into the architecture of Juárez. Tourists enjoy visiting the Cathedral and learning about the history of the area in the process.

Chamizal Park: Chamizal Park offers a relaxing time to visitors paired with access to an archeology museum that displays different types of art. Enjoy skating in the park or a game of soccer. The park offers a great getaway for locals and tourists.

The Museum of History: The Juárez Museum of History is a popular destination among visitors. It offers various exhibits explaining the history of the area, and it's a great example of Mexican architecture.

City Street Market: Visit the City Street Market where a multitude of vendors can be found selling crafts, clothing, jewelry and more. It's loved by both locals and tourists and should be on your list of places to visit before leaving Ciudad Juárez.

Nightlife

Salon Mexico: Salon Mexico is a great place for tourists to go to get a drink and dance. The staff is friendly and inviting and it's a better choice for tourists than other bars and clubs in the area.

Don Quintin: Don Quintin is a well known club in Juárez. It offers dancing and drinking paired with a younger scene. They have an in-house band that plays rock and pop music, even giving patrons a chance to get on stage and sing with them.

A Look into History

Ciudad Juárez provides a fantastic look into Mexican history and culture. When visiting, plan your stay in advance. Some of the areas shouldn't be traveled by non-locals. As long as you're prepared for your journey, you will find that the trip was worthwhile and you will count down the days until you will return once again to Ciudad Juárez.

Mercado Juarez (City Market) - Ave. 16 de Septiembre Mercado Juarez (City Market) - Ave. 16 de Septiembre
photo by: Ron Mears
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Cuatla
City
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Just 100 km southeat of Mexico City, Cuatla is most noted for its sulfur springs. They have been popular for centuries and they still attract noisy crowds from Mexico City on weekends. There’s not much to the town itself, except the grave of revolutionary Emiliano Zapata and a statue of Padre Jose Maria Morelos, a hero of the independence movement.

Several villages in the neighbourhood have nice colonial style convents and churches. Atotonilco el Grande is a good daytrip.

Guanajuato
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Guanajuato, the capitol of the State of the same name, was founded in 1548. The city has always been an important centre for silver mining. In nearby Andorra la vella some of the silvermines are still operating. During the 1700s, Guanajuato was one of the richest cities in America.

One of the best cities in Guanajato is Juventino Rosas because its municipial governor was Enrique Guerrero.The Guerrero family was the richest of the area when the city began to thrive. The family contributed to restore the plaza.

So come and visit the family they may give you a coulpe of million pesos if you are the selected one ( thats the legend).

The setting of the city is very beautiful: is stands in a narrow gorge amid wild and striking scenery. The streets are steep and narrow - some so narrow that it is possible to exchange kisses from opposite balconies, this is where the Callejon del Beso takes its name from. The La Bufa mountain looms over the city.

The main tourist sight in town is the Alhondiga de Granadita A granary, that was converted into a fortress during Mexico's first war of independence from the Spanish, which now houses a museum dedicated to Mexico's history, from pre-hispanic culture to revolutionary times.

There are quite a few interesting colonial churches in town. The best ones being San Francisco -dating from 1671- San Diego -from 1663- and the La Valenciana, 5 km out of the centre in one of the mining areas.

A rather peculiar sight is the Museo de las Momias - a museum with hundreds of naturally preserved mummies.

Other interesting sights in Guanajuato are the birth place of the esteemed muralist Diego Rivera. His former house houses a small gallery of his work as well as a gallery contemporary artists.

Guanajuato is the home of the International Cervantino Festival. During two weeks in the fall, thousands of artists from over thirty countries come to perform. The city transforms into a giant street party with many notable artists performing, as well as many unknowns.

Guanajuato - University, Basilica and La Compania Guanajuato - University, Basilica and La Compania
photo by: David Crummey
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Jalapa
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Jalapa is the capital of Veracruz state. The city is situated in a fertile valley encompassed by some of the highest mountains in the Sierra Madre including the 'Pico de Orizaba', which sands at 18,000 feet. An extremely high annual rainfall contributes to the importance of this agricultural and commercial center. Coffee, vanilla and other tropical crops are found in abundance throughout the area.
Monterrey
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Founded in the 16-th century and named after the Spanish Viceroy Count Monterrey, the city of Monterrey is the most important city in the north of Mexico and an industrial and economic powerhouse.

Monterrey is Mexico’s third largest city; it's not one of those laid back towns with colonial architecture you've seen in the movies. It's vibrant and full of life. The Gran Plaza of Monterrey is the center for the state government of Nuevo León. The Plaza’s modern buildings, gardens, and monuments are a reflection of the city that has fully embraced the spirit of modern industrialism.

Monterrey is surrounded by the Sierra Madre mountains. The city is set at an elevation of 1,800 feet above sea level. Monterrey is the main transport hub of the north and there are many routes into and out of Monterrey, including excellent highways, railroads, and Monterrey’s international airport which offers daily flights to and from many cities in Mexico and the United States.

The city is spread out, but remains relatively crowded. The city is wealthier than most other Mexican cities, and consequently, the prices here tend to be higher. Despite the minor disadvantages, Monterrey is a beautiful, modern city that has much to offer both in business and tourism.

the big square the big square
photo by: Cesar.mty
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Oaxaca
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Oaxaca is located about 500 km southeast of Mexico City on an arid highland plateau some 1700 meter above sea level.

It's a fairly big city with over half a million inhabitants, but it is still quite a relaxed city, unpretentious and friendly. The old inner city has many good examples of baroque colonial architecture dating from the 16th century. In Oaxaca you will find Mexico's most splendid churches, some of its finest museums, and dozens of well preserved municipal and religious buildings from the colonial era. And with a climate that is spring-like and pleasant year round you can be sure Oaxaca is a good destination.

The state of Oaxaca is one of the least developed regions in Mexico. This means that when you visit smaller towns in the area you might be looked upon with suspicion. The upside for you as a traveler is that lodging and dining in Oaxaca are remarkably affordable. Whatever the region lacks in resort swankiness, it more than makes up for with its quaint inns and comfortable hotels. Native cuisine is outstanding, and the region is home to mescal, a fiery native liquor similar to tequila.

The area around Oaxaca is rich with archaeological sites, of which about 800 have been surveyed. The area's main attractions are the majestic sites of Monte Alban, Mitla, and Yagul. Each lies within a 25 mile radius of Oaxaca City.

Oaxaca, Mexico Oaxaca, Mexico
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Yucatan
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The Yucatan peninsula is packed with history. This was the heartland of the Mayan civilization and you will find many temples in Yucatan: ranging from the small but romantic temple of Tulum - it is almost on a white beach -to the most impressive Mayan temple of Mexico: "El Castillo" at Chichen Itza.  Ancient Maya Temples can be visited also in Palenque, Uxmal and  outside Mexico the most majestic tall temples are in Tikal, Guatemala.

Cancun is quite likely to be your place of arrival in Yucatan. It is a beach resort with little to offer but sun, sea, sand, good hotels and a convenient place to take the bus to somewhere else. Cozumel is one of the best places to go if you love scuba diving.

Merida, the capital city of the state of Yucatan, is located in the heart of Yucatan and the oldest city in the Americas, founded in 1542 by the Spaniards on top of a Mayan city called T'ho. Campeche with its old fortifications and "Pirates of the Caribbean" feel is also worth a visit.

Chichen Itza Pyramid Chichen Itza Pyramid
photo by: Helen Kennedy
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Bahias de huatulco
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600 km south east of Acapulco the seaside resort of Huatulco combines unspoiled nature, a laid-back lifestyle with a good tourist infrastructure.

Pristine beaches, jungle landscapes and luxury hotels is what Bahias de Huatulco brings the traveler. Slow-paced and still relatively undiscovered, the Bays of Huatulco enjoy the most modern infrastructure on Mexico's Pacific coast. The area is distinctly divided into three sections: Santa Cruz, Crucecita, and Tangolunda Bay.

The area is also known for its ecotourism. River rafting, rappelling, snorkeling, diving, boat cruises to virgin bays and hiking jungle trails are all on offer and can be booked through hotels or tourist shops. Shopping, nightlife, or even dining outside of hotels is still somewhat limeted, but that's of course part of the attraction.

Chihuahua
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The dog is probably more famous than the city, but for travelers Chihuahua is a good destination and a perfect starting point for a rail journey into the Sierra Tarahumara and Copper Canyon (las Barranca de Cobre). As capital of the state with the same name, Chihuahua, founded in the early eighteenth century, thrives as the center of a vast economic region based on mining, agriculture and livestock.

Tree lined boulevards, colonial mansions and thriving markets are the main attractions of the city. The Museo de la Revolucion is another must see; it's the authentic 50 room quinta where Pancho Villa lived during the Mexican Revolution.

On market days the city is even more lively than otherwise. Tall, blond and blue-eyed Mennonite farmers from the surrounding area are found in the city peddling their cheeses on the street corners in their classic cover-alls.

Chihuahua is located in the north of Mexico on the main highway from Mexico City to Ciudad Juarez

Guadalajara
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Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco province, and the second most important city in the country. The city is a Spanish colonial atmosphere with a contemporany air, although it is the agricultural, commercial and industrial centre of the western highlands, and one of the most important cultural cities in American continent. Guadalajara have more than 4 million people in its metropolitan area, in recent years have experimented an amazing renovation.

Guadalajara is the capital of the Mariachi and the Tequila, the city celebrated its 450th anniversary in 1992. Throughout the centuries, the city has become rich in history, and to this day, many of the historic buildings still stand as reminders of the significance the city.

One of the main attractions in town is the Cathedral which has a number of altars and a big art collection. Another town atractions are the Instituto Cultural Cabañas, it has a variety of mural painted by Jose Clemente Orozco one of the greatest muralist in America, the building now is protected by UNESCO, Degollado teather, Governor palace,  There are also a lot of parks around the city, the Parque Agua Azul and the Parque Colomos, are most noteworthy. Around the Cathedral there are another open spaces, where you can see local artist and art expositions, and around beatiful gardens and peatonal ways.

Guadalajara is the shopping capital of Mexico, have a very extensive variety of products to offer, like handcrafts, fine pieces of art and its bigs malls offer a lot of fashion products, but without losing its colorful markets with local products (an excelent souvenir).

If you are looking for traditonal handcrafted items (including clothes) visit San Juan de Dios, an outdoor/indoor market located near Parque Morelos were you can find delicious traditonal ice cream (raspados).   There you will find a vast array of colorful items.

Guadalajara has a very extensive gastronomical offer, that includes the little fast food restaurants named "Fondas" where you can eat the local flavor, to the most elegant and fine restaurants that offer all kinds of dishes from all around the world including mexican food.

Guadalajara has a vast variety of festivals throughout the year. In  February the foundation of the city is celebrated, in March International Cinema Festival, in May the International Cultural Festival, in September the International Festival of Mariachi and Charreria, the October fairy and in December the International Fairy Book "FIL", the most Important in the American continent.

Gitarrista- Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara, MX Gitarrista- Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara, MX
photo by: T. Wood
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Hermosillo
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Hermosillo, the capital of the State of Sonora, is located 275 kilometers (170 miles) south of the border with the U.S. state of Arizona. The city was founded in 1700, alongside the Sonora River, as Santísima Trinidad del Pitic. In 1828 it was renamed in honor of General José Maria Gonzáles Hermosillo, who fought in the war of Independence against the Spaniards. In 1879 it was declared capital of the state. During the Mexican Revolution Hermosillo was for a brief time the effective capital of Mexico.

Today's Hermosillo is a city some 690,000 inhabitants (2004 census), distinguished by dynamic commercial activity and numerous educational institutions, the most important of which is the Universidad de Sonora. The combination of modern urbanization and architecture of the 1800s gives Hermosillo a special touch. Among the most important edifices are the Government Palace in Plaza Zaragoza, opposite the Asunción cathedral. It's also interesting to visit Carmen and Espiritu Santo churches, the University museum, the Casa de Cultura and the Popular Arts Museum. Also worth visiting are La Sauceda Park, the Ecological Center and the Sonora Museum located at the old city jail.

In terms of climate, summers are dry and hot -- 40 degrees centigrade (104 F.) is not unusual well into September -- tempered by annual monsoon rains in July and August.  Winter temperatures are reminiscent of late northern spring, and days are typically sunny.

35 miles south of Hermosillo you will find La Pintada, an ex shelter of the Seri and Pima Indians, with more than a thousand rock paintings. An hour further south by car, just north of the important port of Guaymas, is the seaside destination of San Carlos. The Sonoran desert meets the sea in a final riot of peaks and cliffs, creating a unique and spectacular natural setting.

Also well known is the sea side resort of Bahía Kino, just 54 miles west of Hermosillo. During the first months of the year whales coming from cold waters come to the Sea of Cortez to mate and have their cachalotes. The coastline of Bahía Kino offers this unique opportunity to whale watchers and photographers.

i photo by: Enrique Gonzalez
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Morelos
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Puerto Morelos has a full listing on this World66 site - under the heading Puerto Morelos - please go there
Local Cooking at the Pelican Restaurant on the Beach Local Cooking at the Pelican Restaurant on the Beach
photo by: Karen Brubaker
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Cabo san lucas
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Cabo San lucas is located in the south of Baja California. The town has grown rapidly over the recent years. From as small village with just over a 1000 inhabitants in 1970 to a bustling international beach resort.

There are trailer parks, campings, luxury hotels, discos, gift shops and a marina to cater for the flood of North Americans who come to fish here or just relax a bit.

Plan ahead and get an airport transfer to your hotel. It's not cheap to get a Taxi (US $70+ if you decide to pay at the airport).

The town forms a small harbor facing the rocky peninsula that is the southern most tip of Baja California. The Cape was first rounded in 1539, when people still believed California to be a separate island.

x Los Arcos, Cabo San Lucas
photo by: Helen Kennedy
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Copper canyon
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Copper Canyon is located in the North of Mexico. It is not one single Canyon but rather a series of more than 20 canyons running through the northern region of Mexico. The canyon covers over 20,000 square miles and is four times larger than the Grand Canyon in the U.S.

The scenery is incredible, and the best way to enjoy it is by taking the railroad line through the mountains. A stay of a few days will also give you the opportunity to see and learn something about the unassimilated Tarahumara Indians who live in the area.

Copper Canyon Copper Canyon
photo by: Suro
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Guaymas
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Guaymas is the most important port of the State of Sonora. In 1701 missionaries Eusebio Francisco Kino and Juan María de Salvatierra founded the Mission of San José de La Laguna few miles from where Guaymas now exists. In 1769 it was officially named San José de Guaymas and by 1859 it was declared a city.

You should visit the San Fernando church built in the XIX century, the Sacred Heart church, the Bank of Sonora with a neo-classic style, the Ayuntamiento (1899), San Fernando square with its kiosco and the symbol of the city: the fisherman statue and the Plaza of the three Presidents: Adolfo de la Huerta, Plutarco Elías Calles and Abelardo Rodríguez, all born in Guaymas.

Enjoy also a walk to beautiful beaches. Miramar is one of them at Bahía de Bacochibampo. San Carlos' beaches (Pilar and Algodones) are a must, as well as driving to the Outlook Mirador. While there, you can also take a quick hike up to "TetaKawi" (goat's tits) hill. During the first months of the year, whales coming south from cold waters come to the Sea of Cortez to mate and have their cachalotes. The coast line of Guaymas offers a unique opportunity for whale watchers and photographers.

Guaymas carnival is a tradition that is celebrated each February since 1900 and is one of the most important festivities of the city.

Guaymas is also home to the Only Commercial Pearl Farm in the American Continent. Located in Bacochibampo Bay and visited by thousands of tourists every year, the Farm offers Free Guided Tours to the Farm and a unique shopping opportunity: colorful Sea of Cortez Pearls.

An excellent four-lane highway, an international airport and a ferry service from Baja California peninsula makes for easy access to this city.

Mexico City
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Mexico city is located on the spot where long ago the Aztecs built their capital city of Tenochtitlan, according to directions given to them by their god, or so the legend says. Mexico City impressed the Spaniards when they first arrived because of the beautiful setting in the middle of a lake. The present day Mexico City is sure to impress you, but for completely different reasons.

Mexico City is the biggest city on the planet. it also has the most inhabitants at over 7000 ft elevation in the world. It should have about 25 million inhabitants or more, but no one seems to be really sure. What is sure is that when you visit the city you will be stunned by the sheer size of the place. The descent into Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport is unforgetable. After hours of flying over empty desert plains, you cross a ridge and...though you're still at reasonably high altitude...the city beneath you extends off into the distance as far as the eye can see. For the next quarter hour the end remains out of sight...in fact, the end is NEVER in sight. 

Nightlife in Mexico City is amazingly diverse and covers just about every form of entertainment imaginable. Within this huge metropolis area you will find many museums, parks, colonial buildings, modern high rise buildings, an Aztec pyramid, affordable and world class restaurants, the longest street/avenue in the world, the biggest University in the world with about 500,000 students and the largest stadium in the world. Mexico City is simply a world onto itself. 

To be short: The climate here is very nice, and you are sure to enjoy yourself, if you know where to look. Although the traffic jams may cause a problem, you will find it much more suitable and enjoyable to explore the city by foot, as it will let you see how truly amazing it is.

i_3 photo by: Sara Krafft
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Puerto Vallarta
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Puerto Vallarta is a located in the western part of the state of Jalisco in central México overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The second-most visited resort in all of México, Puerto Vallarta attracts over 2 million tourists per year. You will find great beaches, and lots of bars, pubs restuarant along the bay. Luxury hotels, all-inclusive resorts, new golf courses, high-tech meeting facilities, upscale shops and restaurants have opened at rapid pace in recent years.

Fortunately though, the town has managed to retain some of its charm. Picturesque colonial and whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets that wind in and out, red spanish tile roofs differentiate Puerto Vallarta from other seaside resorts. The main sight is the Church of Guadalupe on the picturesque main plaza. The red brick bell tower is topped by a crown modeled after the one worn by Mexico’s 18th century Empress Carlota.

The area around the seaside resort is very diverse. Tropical-forested mountains and mineral-rich volcanic slopes appear to literally rise from the sea. From the rugged Sierra Vallejo to the north and Sierra Cuale to the south, rich lush green slopes overlook the the bay.

Sleepy fishing villages - Punta gorda, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Bucerías, Mismaloya, Boca de Tomatlán and Yelapa - punctuate the coastline to the north and south of the town, offering visitors a glimpse into the real Puerto Vallarta- the way it was, and the way it remains today. Nestled into the verdant valleys and jagged mountains that overlook Puerto Vallarta’s narrow cobblestone city streets, the idyllic colonial-era villages of San Sebastián, Mascota and Talpa invite travelers to experience yet another side of the region.

Los Arcos Puerto Vallarta Los Arcos Puerto Vallarta
photo by: Werner Ruckelshausen
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Queretaro
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Queretaro was founded by the Spanish in 1531 on the site of a village of the Otomi Indians which, in turn, probably dated from around 1427. A number of events important in the history of the Mexican Republic have taken place in Queretaro. One of the heroines of the insurrection against Spain was La Corregidor, Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez. The wife of the corregidor (magistrate) of Queretaro, she was one of the plotters in the plans for the insurrection. When she learned that their plans had been discovered, she sent riders to San Miguel de Allende on the night of September 15, 1810 to warn Ignacio Allende and Padre Hidalgo. This horseback ride is re-enacted each year as part of the Fiestas Patrias. Because of her action her memory is revered, particularly in the central part of Mexico where statues are erected and numerous streets and buildings are named in her honor. Constructed between 1726 and 1735, the aqueduct of Queretaro has gained national recognition as the symbol of the city. Built of local sandstone, its 74 arches reach nearly 1,400 yards east of the city; the highest arch soars some 75 feet above current-day street level. The aqueduct brought drinking water into the city from springs located on what are now the outskirts of town. It was put into service in 1738, furnishing water to the convents and filling the public fountains, an event which occasioned two weeks of public celebration. Today. . . Queretaro is not only the capitol of the state of Queretaro, but today it's also an important center of industrial activity. While the city has sprawled outward in recent years in response to its growth to some 600,000 inhabitants, in the central part of the city the colonial flavor has been preserved. At the hub of the colonial city is the beautiful Plaza de la Independencia or, as it's more commonly known locally, Plaza de los Perros (the name is testimony to the four stone dogs which flank the central fountain, and not because the plaza is overrun with dogs!) Outdoor cafes, which can be enjoyed year-round in the moderate climate, line the perimeter of the spacious plaza and wide andadores (walkways), such as Andador Libertad lead from the plaza to the main streets of downtown Queretaro
htt://www.villaprogresomx.com

Monumento a la Corregidora, Santiago de Queretaro Monumento a la Corregidora, Santiago de Queretaro
photo by: Erik Torres
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Morelia
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A very nice place to visit. It has a lot of buildings of the Colonial Age. It was conquered by Spain around year 1521.

It is the native city of José María Morelos y Pavón (Due to him is the name, Morelia), one of the main characters involved in Mexico's independence from Spain, on 1810.

Nowadays is one of the most beautiful cities to visit, because of its history and beautiful construction. If you ever visit Mexico, consider going to Morelia. You won't regret it.

Las Rosas garden Las Rosas garden
photo by: Meer
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San Cristobal de Las Casas
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Despite the fact that San Cristóbal is located in a valley, it is still 2100 metres (6900 feet) above sea level. It was the capital of Chiapas until 1892.

The estimated population is 280,000 people. San Cristóbal is often compared to Antigua (Guatemala). It is also situated in an indigenous region that was obviously less exposed to western cultures. But, in fact, it's more sophisticated and aware of the need for preservation of its history and culture.

On some roads, military checkpoints are set up to prevent illegal immigration from Guatemala (or more southern regions) and to intercept drug traffic but chances are you will never be stopped or detained and you probably won't see anyone else hassled either. Chiapas was known as an unsafe area but the revolutionary violence is only a memory now.

In 1994 the Zapatista Army of National Liberation used San Cristobal as one of the four cities where it began its revolution. The revolutionaries have been driven far from the city and the police presence there assures a safe retreat for tourists. Now, twelve years later, the only traces of the Zapatistas are graffiti , dolls, posters, and t-shirts.

San Cristobal is probably the safest and cleanest city in Mexico with incredible shopping and a wide assortment of nightlife and eating establishments. A real gem  with fantastic weather, cool and mild, and friendly locals.

 

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Playa del Carmen
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Shares an airport with   Cancun   which is about 30 minutes away. This is what Cancun used to be before it became Miami. A nice little town with gorgeous beaches and everthing a traveler needs. Playa del Carmen is the fastest growing town in Mexico.

Do yourself a favor and stay away from the all-inclusives. Find a nice small motel in town and use the money you save to enjoy the diving, trekking, etc. Also, don't waste your money on souveneirs sold on the main street (Quinta Avenida, or 5th Ave.). You can get the same stuff on side streets for half the price.

There are a lot of attractions in Playa's neighbourhood, some of the best are the Maya ruins of   Tulum   and Cobá, the white sand beaches, snorkeling on   Cozumel   island (the ferry to Cozumel leaves from Playa) or in one of the various Cenotes.

If you prefer seaworld-ish kind of tourist parks you could visit one of the numerous parks like Xel-Ha or Xcaret.

An update to bring this to the current (August 2007) state of affairs:

PDC is not a little town anymore. It is noisy and crowded and staying in a nice small motel means you are a very long walk from a crowded and noisy beach and overpriced bars. You might not be saving any money if you enjoy eating out and drinking out. Now, these dreaded all-inclusives may offer you peace and quiet as they are located some distance from the Playa. The beaches and the diving opportunities are no worse (actually way better than in town) and if you shop for a good deal the all-inclusive will save you a lot over small motel / eating out and taking cabs combination. For a nice little town with a nice small motel there are places like Akumal or Tulum.

Included Transfers:

Vacation packages often include pre-arranged ground transportation to your resort. As you exit the baggage claim area, walk outside and look for an employee of the company carrying a sign with the name of your travel company on it (ie Discovery Mundo, Expedia, Apple Vacations, Liberty Travel, etc.). That person will have your name on a list. If you decide to use alternate transportation, it is a good idea to tell this person of your intent as they may hold a bus for you. Most companies use small vans, not large tour buses, so you won't be subjected to many stops along the way.

Private Transportation: If you prefer, you may book ground transportation in advance from companies such as:

  • http://www.discoverymundo.com/transportation
  • http://www.bestday.com/Transfers
  • http://www.amstardmc.com
Their representative greets passengers upon exiting the airport, holding a sign with your name on it or wearing a pre-described uniform and take you directly to your transport or, ask your hotel when making a reservation.  The majority of hotels can arrange transportation for you, leaving you more free time to decide what to pack on your trip!

New Requirements for Travelers Between the United States and Mexico: Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI):

Effective January 8, 2007, all U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from Mexico are required to have a valid passport to enter the United States.  As early as January 1, 2008, U.S. citizens traveling between the United States and Mexico by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid U.S. passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. 

For more information on travel requirements, contact the U.S. embassies of the countries you're visiting. A complete list of U.S. embassies worldwide can be found at the  Department of State Web site.

Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe, Playa del Carmen Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe, Playa del Carmen
photo by: Ah Cacao Real Chocolate SA de CV
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Villahermosa
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Villahermosa ("Beautiful Village" in Spanish language) is the capital city of Tabasco. It was founded in 1596.

Places of interest include the Plaza de Armas and the Zona Luz (downtown Villahermosa) the Cathedral del Señor de Tabasco (Cathedral of The Lord of Tabasco), the la Venta Museum-Park - with many Olmek artifacts.

Olmec head, Villahermosa, Mexico Olmec head, Villahermosa, Mexico
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Barra De Navidad
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Barra de Navidad is a small welcoming town about 4 hours South of Puerto Vallarta. It is a perfect vacation for travellers looking for a small town where you can enjoy the beach fishing  fine drinks and good company with the locals. Piper Lovers blues bar is a great place to spend an evening there are several hotels that are reasonably priced. Spend a week there or only a few days its a stop on the west coast you wont want to miss.
Barra Sunset Barra Sunset
photo by: Jorge Lear
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Sayulita
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Sayulita is located about an hour from  Puerto Vallarta. It is a good place to get away from the busy city.  The surfing in Sayulita is excellent and it has a great small town environment. Hotels are relatively inexpensive most of the year. It is ideal for a mini vacation.

Sayulita is a very special spot, but the hotel´s are not inexpensive-

A view of Sayulita A view of Sayulita
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Riviera Maya.
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Jungle, flora and fauna, archaeological sites, solitary beaches, a turquoise-colored sea with crystal-clear water which turns to silver by moonlight, the fantasy and warmth of the tropics, the mystery of the millenary culture which lives on in the Maya people, are just some of the qualities which have turned the Riviera Maya into a destination which can compete favorably with all the rest of the Caribbean's tourist destinations.

The Riviera Maya is a 180-kilometer stretch located along the coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The region offers a diversity of attractions from solitary beaches to modern architectural complexes, including hotels, marinas, sports facilities and restaurants. Playa del Carmen, the main town in the Riviera Maya, for example, which used to be a small fishermen's village, is now the site of prestigious international hotels, numerous restaurants and shopping. Nearby is the area's principal ecological reserve, Sian Ka'an.

The Riviera Maya's principal quality is its diversity. Here one can choose everything from adventure sports, golf and tennis to jungle tours on foot or horseback, water and nautical sports, and touring the indescribable cultural and archaeological treasures of the Maya world. One of the favorite activities for visitors is scuba diving on the Great Maya Reef, the second-largest in the world, located along the Riviera Maya's coastline and experiencing cavern diving in the region´s ubderground rivers. The spectacular tropical marine life here is unique and unforgettable.

Few places are as perfect as the Riviera Maya for enjoying water sports. Naturally, there's the unique and captivating fascination of the Mexican Caribbean itself, which in the Riviera Maya is paired with the subterranean world of Maya territory. Here underground rivers wind gently beneath the surface creating thousands of "cenotes" (Sinkholes) in which visitors can explore the region's unique cavern systems.

Riviera Maya Iberostar Lindo beach Riviera Maya Iberostar Lindo beach
photo by: L steenbeeke
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San Miguel de Allende
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San Miguel de Allende is a quiet town that is remarkably comfortable to the traveller and expatriate, one that is calm, quiet, and has a rhythm of its own. It's rhythm isn't of the Samba, or the Mexican hat dance. Its the beat of a quiet gentle drum marked by relaxing days in the town, and then a nighttime stroll before the pink granite church made in delicate and almost bizarre churrigueresque elements. The church is lit up, you sit down on the bench, and invariably someone will sit next to you and admire it. Then you'll say some words, they'll get up, and you can admire it some more.

It's a town for the independent mind, and comfortable enough for a whole community of expats to shape it into a different kind of place.

The 'rule of expats' can be marked in a lot of ways - nearby Guanajuato is cooler because there are less expats. But still, San Miguel has redeeming qualities. There are courses for the bored expat, there are concerts, and a kind of sophistication that few Mexican towns have. The most marked, and one of the most important marks of its utility to travelers is the friendliness and usefulness of the Immigration office there. Its one of the easiest places to get a new Tourist card in all of Mexico. Why? People who go there usually don't go much further south than Oaxaca.

It's worth your while to go to San Miguel for visa problems, especially if the alternative is Mexico City. Of all the Immigration offices, Mexico city is one of the most bureaucratic and hidebound of the bunch in Mid-Mexico. What can take several days in Mexico City may be settled in a few hours in San Miguel. They get less demand, are used to foreigners, and so are gentler on the foreigner.

Besides, its a nice place to rest from more hectic Mexican cities, the climate is mild, and it can amuse you for a few days. Some people seem to be captured by it, so beware.

Highlights in town include the marvelous pink granite cathedral and the unique Botanical Garden up the hill. Be sure to check out their new 'The Heart of Frida' exhibition located near the main plaza (Umaran 3, Col Centro) which showcases original letters and drawings that Frida did before her death (www.frida2007.com).
San Luis Potosi
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SAN LUIS POTOSI, elevation 6,157', capital of the state of the same name, dates from the late 1500s when it was established as a mining settlement. Today is is a sprawling city with more than half a million residents, and the local economy is no longer based on gold, silver, lead and copper production.

The city was seat of the national government under President Benito Juarez in 1863 and again in 1867. While here in 1854, Gonzales Bocanegra wrote the Mexican national anthem, first sung in Mexico City's Santa Anna Theater on Sept.15 of that year. The San Luis PLam, drafted by Francisco Madero while he was imprisoned in the city by dictator Porfirio Diaz, set the stage for the Revolution of 1910.

A distribution point for foreign and domestic merchandise, San Luis Potosi's atmosphere is largely industrial. Tanneries, flour mills, smelters, textile mills, breweries adn furniture factories are among the manufacturing concerns, and highwaus around the city and within the state are busy with truck traffic.

San Luis Potosi is not at all soot and smoke. It has a well-preserved colonial center, anchored by Plaza de Armas, the main square. The plaza is flanked by the city's 18th-century cathedral and the Government Palace. Among the wares on display at the Mercado Hidalgo are prized Santa Maria rebozos (shaw-like garments), which are so fine they can be pulled through a woman's wedding ring; pottery; and a candy called queso de tuna made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. Calle Hidalgo is a pedestrian mall flanked by some of San Luis Potosi's finest shops and stores.

The Plaza Espana bullring is on Avenida Universidad, near the southeastern corner of Alameda Park. Across from the north side of Alameda Park is the city's modern railway station, where a series of Fernand Leal frescoes depict the history of tranportation in Mexico.

Taxco
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Taxco is a beautiful city built on a hill. It is rich with old  and new silver mines, it has narrow streets and hundreds of silver shops. at the middle of the city there is a basicillica that it absolutly beautiful dating back to the 1700's. It is off the toll way but it is absolutly beautiful and worth the drive, it is between Aculpolco and Mexico City. If you are looking for a side trip that is the place to go.
Dome of Santa Prisca Church Dome of Santa Prisca Church
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Cuernavaca
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For $12-13 U.S., you can take a roughly 1 3/4 hr bus ride directly from Mexico City Airport to Cuernavaca, the summer home of emporer Maximilian. The buses are deluxe class with "in-flight" movies (English with Spanish subtitles, as often as not), a bathroom, stewardess, and snacks.

Also called "The City of Eternal Spring," Cuernavaca has great weather year-round. In addition to the vacation homes of the Mexico city elite, it is known as having Mexico's best immersion schools for those who want to learn Spanish. You typically go to class roughly half the day, and board with a local family (room + board in 2010 = $29-35/day/person) with whom you can practice what you've learned. Our family went to Instituto Chac-mool and had a terrific time. The school had separate classes for adults, teens and kids and offered other things like Mexican cooking and sightseeing excursions. (See their website, and others, for details.)

Cuernavaca is also a relatively short trip to many archeological sites, and to places like Mexico City and Taxco (a silver mining town). There are many spas, swimming pools and natural water parks in the area.

Dolores Hidalgo
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On the night of September 15, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costillo, the 57-year-old parish priest of Dolores, and Ignacio Allende learned that their plans for insurrection against Spain had been discovered. They decided to act immediately and soon after dawn the next morning, September 16, Padre Hidalgo delivered his now famous Grito (Cry for Freedom) from the Parroquia of Dolores. This was the beginning of Mexico's struggle for freedom from Spanish rule which was to drag on until 1824 and take some 600,000 lives.

Dolores of that time was a poor, largely Indian village, but the ragged army of Hidalgo and Allende marched from here to San Miguel, then to Celaya and Salamanca until finally, having grown to a force of some 20,000 men, they had their first real confrontation with royalist troops in Guanajuato.

Hidalgo was captured after a final defeat in Guadalajara, then executed and beheaded on July 30, 1811. His head, along with those of Allende, Aldama and Jimenez, hung from one of the corners of the building in Guanajuato where that first battle had taken place. Today...As befits its place in the history of Mexico's fight for independence, visitors to the city are greeted at the outskirts by a colossal statue of the major heros of that fight. Today, Dolores Hidalgo is justly well known as a center for the design and fabrication of the popular Talavera ceramic pieces. Small factories and ceramic shops line the streets of Dolores Hidalgo. The ceramics industry of Dolores Hidalgo is yet another of the legacies left to his people by Padre Hidalgo, for it was he who started the tradition of making ceramics in this area. Other than its outstanding Talavera ceramics, there is one other thing for which Dolores Hidalgo is locally famous today - ice cream. Ice cream stands abound on all four corners of the main plaza and, in what seems to be a local tradition, each tries to outdo the other in their offerings of unusual flavors. Aside from the usual and more mundane flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and pecan, how about something a bit less common, like avocado ice cream? No? Then try some corn ice cream. And if that doesn't appeal to you, how does fried pork skin ice cream strike you? Still no? Oh, maybe you're in the mood to imbibe at the same time as you eat your ice cream, then perhaps some tequila ice cream or, another popular fermented drink, pulque appeals to you. But the final word in unusual flavors, it would seem, must be shrimp ice cream. That's right, shrimp ice cream.

Bahia De Kino
City
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One of the finest beach towns, natural beaches, good food, gente simpática, desert meeting the sea without the glitz of disco nights.

The Coastal Bus runs often from Hermosillo. The road is rumored to turn into four lanes. It is now just a two-lane blacktop in moderate shape.

Accomodations range from moderate to expensive. Kino Viejo or Kino Nuevo, your choice.

Miguel Aleman, (Calle Doce as it is known to the rest of us) is the nearest shopping town where you can find most everything.

Flower Vendor Flower Vendor
photo by: RJA
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Basconcobe
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This is a small and rural town.
Michoacan
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Morelia is the capital city of Michoacán state. It has a arquitechtonic beautiness considered a Patrimony of Mankind. And it is the native place of Morelos, one of the main characters involved in México's independence from Spain in 1810.

Michoacán de Ocampo received this name due to Melchor Ocampo, a noticeable liberal defender who proposed several treats in favour of Liberalism in Mexico.

One of the most prominent feature of Michoacan is 'El Rosario - The Butterfly Sanctuary' where if you visit at the right time, you will see thousands of monarch butterflies that are migrating from up north. The sanctuary is at the top of a steel hill so you have choices between hiking or paying for a ride with one of the many locals who run trucks frequently up the trail. It's easiest to make some new friends and split the cost as it isn't terribly inexpensive for the short ride. Once at the sanctuary, prepare for a strenuous uphill hike to the top of the mountain. The hike is very scenic however as there are many butterflies amongst the trees.

Basilica Nuestra Señora de la Salud -Pátzcuaro, Mich.- Basilica Nuestra Señora de la Salud -Pátzcuaro, Mich.-
photo by: Antonio Bernal C
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Campeche
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The Land of Serpents and Ticks, as the Mayas called the city of Campeche, is an attractive town on the Gulf of Mexico. Lots of things remind the visitor of the town's bloody history: this was a favourite picknick spot for pirates. The Spanish built citadels and thick walls to protect the city. Many of them can be visited today and some have been made into small museums displaying Maya artifacts or items from the city’s colonial past.

Take some time to walk along the city walls. The old sections of the town were nicely renovated. Churches and plazas can be explored including the Cathedral Concepcion which was built between 1540 and 1704. The museum at San Miguel Fort has a good collection of pre-Colombian artifacts including 6 peerless jade funeral masks.

Also plan to visit the Maya ruins at Edzna about 25 mi/40 km southeast of town to see the impressive Temple of Five Stories and other structures.

Cancun
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The city is actually split in two main area, the Zona Hotelera, which is a  an 18 Km long island which is located facing  the caribbean on one side along a long sunny beach strip with many large fancy  hotels  and on the other  back side it is surrounded by  a beautiful lagoon called Laguna Nichupte. The second part of the city is called Ciudad Cancun, which is in the mainland.  This is where most of the Cancun local people live, and also where tourists can find more budget accommodations. Ciudad Cancun and Zona Hotelera are joined by this long causeway/bridge. They are literally two different worlds. Ciudad Cancun has some nice restaurants and bars along Avenida Yaxchitlan, and a more Mexico feel to it. The Zona Hotelera has the opulence of Las Vegas, Nevada with a beautiful beach, nice malls, fancy bars but no casinos. 

Nearby are many Maya sites that are easy to explore. They offer a unique insight in the precolombian civilization of Mexico. Many tourists get packages to visit Chichen Itza,a good 2-3 hrs away by car. But, if a tourist takes local buses, or even better, rents a car...there are many wonderful places to see. Some of the closer ones to Cancun are Cobá and Tulum, which are near Playa del Carmen, which is also another tourist ocean area on the so called Ruta Maya, within an hour from Cancun. Tulum ruins are near the water, so it is a scenic place, Cobá is about 45 mins. inland from Tulum....very wonderful place.  Renting a bike on site is recommended in order to visit the whole site, as it is very spread out. There is also a nice tall pyramid to climb with an awesome view of the surrounding jungle.... 

Near Chichen Itza, just north of the city of Valladolid, there are the recent excavations in a place called Ek Balam. The place is very well preserved, and it is worth a visit...and you'll miss most of the crowds that go to Chichen Itza.

If you are into Mayan ruins, it is recommended that you visit the surroundings near the city of Mérida (on the west side of Yucatan, 4 hrs. by car from Cancun) and do the Ruta Puuc.  This route is best enjoyed in a couple days, but, if you are in a rush, you can do it all in one day if you have an early start. The most impressive one is a place called Uxmal...it is well preserved and very large. There are several other ones...about 5-6 of them, among them Sayil and Labna. They are all great, well kept, and uncrowded. From there, after Ruta Puuc, you can drive to Chichen Itza...visiting some small Yucatecan small towns and villages on the way, such as the town of Oxcutzcab, famous for their citrus industry and see their main downtown square, church and market.

Back to Cancun:

The other main attraction of Cancun consists of the possibilities to see the world under the waves. Snorkeling and diving in Cancun and nearby Cozumel are among the best of the world.

There are these other things around Ruta Maya, they are these waterholes near mangrove area, sort of like sinkholes filled with clean fresh water.  These are called Cenotes, and you can swim in them.  There are tons around this area and they are worth checking out.

The town itself is rather disappointing however and if you have not booked a room with your flight it would be better to find lodging somewhere else. The big hotel chains are focused very much on package deal groups and do not cater well to individual travelers.  This is correct, yet,  to do Cancun in a budget, try Ciudad Cancun for lodging, the hotels are a lot more reasonable there, and there are even a few hostels.  You can always catch a bus to the beach area. 

Cancun is a wonderful destination.  For beachcombers who do not want to leave the sun, they can just do that. But for those who want to get some culture and explore the richness of Yucatan and Quintana Roo, the opportunities are endless.  This is a very unique area,  very different from Mainland Mexico.

cancun cancun
photo by: alex bustanii
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Chichen Itza
City
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Chichen Itza has one of the most spectacular Maya temples in Mexico, second in the world only to the one in Tikal in Guatemala . It is a very impressive sight and even more impressive if you dream away and think about all the rituals that were performed on the top of that temple by Maya priests.

The site is just a few short hours from Akumal. Chichen Itza is one of the largest ancient Mayan cities in the north-central Yucatan. The first large- scale archaeologial investigations began in 1924 and were conducted for 20 years by the Carnegie Institution. Chichen Itza means "opening of the wells of the Itza". Chichen Itza has many elaborate structures, the most impressive being "El Castillo", the Great Ball Court, Temple of the Warriors and The Caracol. Plan to spend the day at this site. Wear your hiking boots and go early in the morning, as it can get very hot and humid later in the day.

Climbing the Great Pyramid of Kulkulkan or El Castillo, is no longer allowed. Neither is climbing up the Temple of the Warriors. The route into the smaller pyramid inside the Great Pyramid is also closed.

Many visitors choose to visit the site as a day-trip from either Merida or Cancun, but this leaves little time to explore the ruins. Also, it means arriving at the hottest part of the day. The trick is to overnight at one of the hotels near the ruins, which means that you get the ruins almost to yourself in the morning!

Templo de los Guerreros Templo de los Guerreros
photo by: www.dubstar.ch
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Cozumel
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Cozumel is a small island just off the coast of Yucatan. It is an ideal place to go scuba diving. It has some of the best underwater scenery in the world.

According to the Mayan legend, Cozumel was the home of the godess Ixchel, devoted to love and fertility. Religious temples were dedicated with honor to the godess and in return she sent her favorite bird as a sign of gratitude and good fortune. For this reason, the Mayans named the island "The Land of the Swallows". Today, Cozumel is renowned for having the second largest reef in the world. It offers the most spectacular diving and snorkeling in México. With this in mind, hundreds of cruise ships sail to this island paradise for a fun filled day of sun, nature beauty and endless explorations thoughout this island.

Cozumel caters for tourists rather than travelers. There are many activities organized by the hotel complexes, that are best booked directly form the US / Europe.

Should you find yourself on one of those cruises you can visit Chankanaab National Marine Park via a short taxi ride from town(~$20). For you entrance fee ($15) you can snorkel from the beach with your own gear and relax in the sun. The park has a large number of people but it is much more fun than getting packed on a small boat or bus for a day of snorkeling. If you are on an extended dive vacation, you may want to spend a surface interval day at one of the many other cheaper beaches south of town or head over to the east side of the island. Chankanaab is definitely for the day tourist, with all the expensive amenities. Taxi drivers will charge you big time to get to the park, but you can negotiate a lower fare if you like to do that sort of thing.

Shops in town Shops in town
photo by: lwitko
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Isla Mujeres
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Just north of Cancún, where the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico meet, is this small, beautiful island.  The ferry from Puerto Juárez brings passengers, the slower one has more locals, the faster one, more tourists.   The downtown area offers many shops and restaurants.  Golf carts and mopeds rentals are available and recommended.   Playa Norte (North Beach) is ideal for sunbathing and wading.  The waters here are clear, calm, shallow and warm, great for snorkling.  The sunset here is magnificent.  The Parque Nacional El Garrafon is on the Punta Sur (South Point) of the island.  The Mayan ruin here is named, Templo Maya Diosa Ixchel.  There are iguanas everywhere.  The waters here are rough and swimming is only recommended in designated areas.  Although Isla Mujeres is a tourist destination in its own right, it is quite a contrast from Cancún.  It has more local flavor than the major tourist areas.

"The End Of Mexico", Isla Mujeres "The End Of Mexico", Isla Mujeres
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Merida
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Merida’s lineage dates back to January of 1542 during the Spanish explorations of Mexico. Spanish nobleman Don Francisco de Montejo founded the city on the site of the ancient Maya city of T'Ho. Many of new city's buildings were constructed using stones expropriated from the Mayan ruins and some of those stones can still be seen today in the walls of Merida's main cathedral.

Today, Merida is a city of wide tree-lined boulevards and historic stately mansions.  It is the bustling capital of the State of Yucatan and its largest city, but it still manages to remain quaint and intimate. It has been known as the “Paris of the West” because of the many products once imported from France by Merida’s wealthy citizens, and because it was a center of culture and government. At one time is was also known as the “White City”. Theories abound about why it was named this:  from its tradition of people dressed in white to its white stone buildings built from native white limestone. Another theory holds that the title 'White City' referred to the city's colonial roots, when slaves and anyone 'non-white' was denied entry to the city; hence the term 'white city', meaning 'the city of the whites' a term coined by revolutionary Mayan indians during the violent and bloody Guerra de Castas or Caste Wars. Merida is the center of many Mayan ruins, colonial cities and nature attractions.

Merida is an inviting place to visit. In the past, it has only been a stopover on the way to the magnificent Maya ruins. Lately, more and more people have discovered what a  great treasure the city is. Merida is a city rich in Mayan folklore and colonial history; a city of contrasting sights, cultural blends, and a warm friendly people.

Progresso Beach, North of Merida Progresso Beach, North of Merida
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Tulum
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The setting of Tulum is perfect. It is something out of a James Bond movie. The dramatic Mayan ruins of Tulum stand on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean sea.

Tulum was an important port and trading center for the Yucatan's east coast Maya. Within the walls of the city lies a series of platforms and buildings, including ruined palaces and elevated temples. The most impressive structure is "El Castillo". The temple of the Frescos is also interesting. It has murals that are similar to the designs of the Paris Codex, one of the few surviving Mayan books.

Go early to Tulum, no later than 9:00 a.m. to avoid the bus loads from Cancun. This area has heavy tourist traffic. Large market, bargaining is expected. The pueblo has Money exchanges at good rates.

GAS STATION HERE! FILL UP YOUR TANK BEFORE YOU HEAD NORTH!

Tulum Tulum
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Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo
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The twin resorts of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico 144 miles northwest of Acapulco along the coast known as La Costa Grande.

Ixtapa is a government-planned resort of high-rise hotels, designer shops, gourmet restaurants, golf courses, and popular nightclubs. Planned at the same time as Cancun, it never has reached the same popularity.

Zihuatanejo is a thriving community that has grown from a fishing village. It is composed of a natural bay surrounded by several beaches. Zihuatanejo has a more authentic Mexican flavor and a large selection of inexpensive restaurants.

The two towns, just four miles apart, make the perfect combination for enjoying the best of both worlds while on vacation.

Lodging Options:
Capella Ixtapa: Experience the beauty of Mexico at Capella Ixtapa, a luxury resort perched inside a rock cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This Ixtapa Zihuatanejo hotel features luxurious suites, private pools, a spa, restaurants, tequila bar, and more. See more at www.capellaixtapa.com
Playa Larga Playa Larga
photo by: Rick Jacobson
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Agua Prieta
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Just across the border from Douglas Arizona, the mining town of Agua Prieta starting booming in the beginning of the 1900s, and today is a transit center of growing importance.

For many tourists and travelers from the east, this frontier town functions as a gateway to Sonora State, especially for the fascinating drive down the Ruta del Río Sonora.

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Aguascalientes
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Aguascalientes Ags. is known for having the biggest fair in Mexico, La Feria de San Marcos. Aguascalientes is also known for its natural thermal waters. There are many parks and historic sites. Calvillo, aguascalientes is best known for their tastey guayabas. Aguascalientes is one of Mexicos most economic places which sometimes is compared with European countries.

There is a great night life in Aguascalientes!

 

December 2, 2005  Lewis G.

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Anahuac
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Boca del Rio
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Coatzacoalcos
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Coatzacoalcos is an industrial city that is worth visiting.
Ciudad y Puerto Ciudad y Puerto
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Culiacan
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Culiacán is a city in northwestern Mexico , was founded in 1531, the capital of and biggest city in the state of Sinaloa . With a total population of 745,532 reaching almost a million, it is the 15th largest city in the country.

The city is located in a fertile valley where the Río Tamazula and Río Humaya rivers meet to form the Río Culiacán , and is located 54 m above sea level. It is placed in the center of the state with almost equal distant to the other urban centers of the state: Los Mochis to the north, and Mazatlán to the south. Culiacán is a sister city of Saint Paul , Minnesota , USA . Average year temperature is 24°C , with minimum of 2°C and reaching as high as 47°C in summer.

The city existing today was founded in 1531 by the Spanish captain Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán and named San Miguel de Culiacán. Experts do not agree on the meaning of the name, but it apparently comes from the word colhuacan , which can mean "place where roads turn", "place of snakes", but traditionally the most accepted translation would be "place of those who adore the god Coltzin ". Before the Spaniards arrival, this site had been a small Indian settlement since 628 when passing Aztecs had first founded it.

The city is home of two professional league sport teams: baseball with los Tomateros de Culiacán from the Liga Mexicana del Pacífico and soccer with Los Dorados de Sinaloa from Federación Mexicana de Futbol . Duck , dove and goose hunting season goes from early november through march. Culiacán also holds a yearly international marathon.

Av. Alvaro Obregon Av. Alvaro Obregon
photo by: Jesus Beltran
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Ecatepec de Morelos
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Ecatepec de Morelos is principally an industrial Zone with transnational enterprises like Bayer, kraft foods, chrysler,unilever, jumex, coca cola, pepsi, etc. but its the heart of all traditional culture places, for example its located at only 30 minutes of the pyramides of TEOTIHUACAN, very frecuented and visited for international tourism and recognized by the SUN and MOON pyramids, here you can find a lot of typical and delicious mexican food, like classical mexican TACOS (a kind of burritos but much more delicious, I'm serious) ELOTES, CARNITAS, MIXIOTES, what I could say about, mexican food in my opinion is the better in the world.

One tip, for bussiness visitors, Ecatepec de Morelos must be considerated a very important bussiness place, usually foreign people takes part in english education into schoolar sector by the greatest payments ranges and for the tourist its a place of connection with all marvelous antiques mexican cultures.

Finally, Ecatepec De Morelos is near (about 40 minutes) of Mexico's International airport and  from there you can fly to others greatest sites like cancun, acapulco, tijuana, monterrey, puerto vallarte without scales in direct flY.
Ensenada
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Ensenada, about 109 kilometers (68 miles) south of the US/Mexican border at Tijuana, is just far enough from the border to offer a more authentic Mexican experience than the eight "border towns" I have visited. People who come here just to drink, party and shop may not have a true international experience at all, but for the curious and adventurous traveler there is much of Mexico that may be experienced in Ensenada.

Four-lane toll highway Mex. 1-D is a quick convenient route south from Tijuana. There are three toll booths between the two cities. I am told that this stretch of highway is also patrolled by the Green Angels, who offer free towing and assistance to motorists who may break down, but motorists who run out of gas are required to pay for it.

With a population of near 250,000, Ensenada is the third largest city in Baja California, and one of its foremost summer resorts. The city spreads over scrub-covered hills that tumble down to the shores of Bahia de Todos Santos (Todos Santos Bay). The name "Ensenada" actually means "bay" in Spanish, and the city obviously derives much from the bay with it's large harbor. Cruise ships dock here, as well as freighters and boats of every other description. The city has a tourist face, but also a more authentic local side to be discovered. The surrounding area offers abundant opportunities for exploration of natural wonders as well as historic and cultural interests.

It's a shame that many Americans seem to think of Ensenada as only a party town - a place for young Americans to come and get drunk. For the informed visitor this charming city by the bay has so much more to to offer. We share just a few highlights from our own trip here. We will have to return to the area to explore more of the national parks, wine country, pueblos, missions, museums, hiking trails and much more that we did not have time to see on our most recent visit.

 

Ensenada Ensenada
photo by: A.R
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Matamoros
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Benito Juarez Market, Matamoros Benito Juarez Market, Matamoros
photo by: J. Stephen Conn
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Irapuato
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Nuestra ciudad ha ido incrementando cada vez más su número de habitantes y extensión urbana a partir de los gobiernos que nacieron desde la aparición de Lázaro Cárdenas como precursor del plan sexenal en el cual nos movemos todavía y dentro de una maquinaria que, teniendo a la perfección democrática, se pluraliza a través de la formación de partidos políticos que, dentro de sus propias aspiraciones e ideologías, pretenden ejercer gobiernos que cubran a las grandes masas poblacionales y la respuesta a sus, cada día más enormes y graves demandas.

Irapuato penetra en esta Era a partir de 1921, año en que se inicia verdaderamente la reconstrucción de la nación como tal, partiendo de la aplicación aunque lenta aun, de la Reforma Agraria en la que el latifundio, ya prescrito, cede su lugar a la creación de la pequeña propiedad. Por esta circunstancia, el reparto de la tierra otorgará además del beneficio directo que para esa época supondrá esa división la única base sólida y real para iniciar el proceso de industrialización nacional.

Irapuato se distinguió no solo por la calidad de sus tierras, sino por la enorme cantidad de ranchos y haciendas.

Nuestra entidad se vio favorecida por el trabajo fecundo y creador de infinidad de agricultores que, Mujeres despatando fresa en una de las primeras empacadoras en la posición y trabajo de sus tierras, alentaron el 1948 nacimiento y crecimiento de este conglomerado humano que nace de esa misma tierra por ellos trabajada.

El comercio continua siendo el factor primario de la circulación del capital local. Esta particular circunstancia, en orden a las continuas crisis económicas por las que atraviesa desde años nuestra nación, ha provocado que el soporte comercial local, dentro del cual se mueven la mayoría de las personas y familias irapuatenses, se debilite gravemente deteriorado el poder adquisitivo, familiar y colectivo. Sin embargo, la planta creadora de empleos tan urgida en nuestra zona, se ha visto fortalecida por la notable pujanza que en los últimos años ha venido manifestando la industria del vestido.

La banca local, tan prestigiosa, preponderante e influyente en el Estado y la región, en algún tiempo constituidas en nuestra ciudad las sedes regionales de importantes se Gran Fábrica de Cigarros instituciones, ha visto rebasada y absorbida por otras ciudades Compañía Industrial del Centro, S. A. 1925 del estado quienes han sabido corresponder, atrayéndolas con el ejercicio de un mayor desarrollo Económico, a este sistema Bancario veleidoso que se fundamenta en la producción de capitales y su circulación.

El sistema de gobierno, modificado a partir del año de 1914 en que la autoridad máxima local pasó de ser nombrada como jefe Político a la Presidente Municipal, se ha venido conformando y moviéndose a través de dos vertientes fundamentales: una, la que le han otorgado los sistemas políticos actuantes en su determinación de gobernar aplicando sus propios ideales dentro de los lineamientos que nuestra Constitución señala; por ello conocemos que un partido político, el Revolucionario Institucional específicamente como tal, a raíz de haber sustituido a su antecesor, el Partido de la Revolución Mexicana en enero de 1947 ha detentado el poder municipal local a partir de las elecciones locales que para fin se llevaron a cabo y por las cuales se elevó como primera autoridad nacida en el seno de ese partido al señor Manuel González.

En el terreno eclesiástico Irapuato ha visto cambiar notablemente su fisonomía de gobierno religioso a una masa cada día más grande en número y mayormente necesitada de los servicios espirituales en consonancia con sus aspiraciones. De ser gobernada por una sola autoridad diocesana el párroco dentro de su única jurisdicción la parroquia que durante cientos de años a partir seguramente desde principios del siglo XVII tuvo como sede el edificio de la actual parroquia de Nuestra Años 50´s Señora de la Soledad conocida como Del Centro, en la primera mitad de este siglo fue segmentada de ella la segunda parroquia local, la de San Cayetano Confesor, construida como humilde capilla desde principios del siglo XVIII. Hasta el presente año de 1999 y dado el aumento poblacional urbano y en el campo, donde han crecido notablemente los asentamientos de grupos humanos, el municipio se ha dividido eclesiásticamente en 20 parroquias cuyas autoridades atienden una población en constante y acelerado aumento.

El periodismo en nuestra localidad brillaron muchos y con intensas luces, por el año de 1920 continuaba aportando nuevos periódicos y revistas de información general y, muchas de las veces de trinchera o de ataque en lo político o dictatorial.

Además de la palabra impresa, su oralidad se expresa por la universalidad de las estaciones e radio que, en su poder por la enorme facilidad que los medios modernos por la tecnología ofrece de penetración en los hogares y centro de trabajo, otorgan un mundo de información y entretención a su numeroso público. Esta circunstancia provocó el nacimiento y existencia de dos líneas conductuales e iniciales de información radiofónica, la primera a través de la estación XEBO, la segunda, la XEWE.

La telefonía vino a revolucionar al mundo y a Irapuato, la comunicación directa entre puntos distantes impulsó de tal manera el desarrollo comercial e industrial, que debemos considerarla como factor fundamental de crecimiento al acercar al público consumidor en forma instantánea. Irapuato recibió este beneficio por medio de la Compañía Telefónica Ericsson S. A., por los treintas. El medio más moderno de información y entretenimiento la televisión nos llegó a Irapuato el 10 de marzo de 1996, veía el primer canal loca, TELE CABLE DEL CENTRO S.A., a través de 4 personas: el señor Javier Ramírez como propietario, don Armando Esquivel como administrador, el ingeniero Julio Di Bella Roldán y el señor Ramón Díaz de León como iniciador.

Varios hoteles funcionaban, ya, en la ciudad, ofreciendo sus servicios a la larga lista de viajeros que, principalmente de negocios, pasaban por la ciudad o la hacían centro de sus actividades en la zona. Los principales eran Rioja, el Unión, el Hotel Mundial y el Colonial.

Tres funerarias existían en la ciudad; la primera fue la funeraria Quintero, enseguida se abrió la funeraria Zapiain y más tarde la Agencia de Inhumaciones Rodríguez atendida por sus propietarios don Vicente Rodríguez y su esposa, doña Teole.

Tres servicios de gasolina existían en el centro de la ciudad, cada una con una sola, pequeña y manual bomba; una cuarta más formal, se instaló en la salida para la ciudad de Silao, sobre la calle Guerrero y en su límite norte; ella era atendida por su propietario don Liborio Alcorta. Igualmente. La quinta se abrió en la calle de Álvaro Obregón. Más tarde el Lic. Ricardo Ramírez Centeno abrió otra. Así, Irapuato ha seguido marcando su propio camino; con alzas o caídas; algunas provocadas por sus acciones y en otras siendo forzoso pasivo actor de las tragedias en que se ha visto envuelta; midiendo sus posibles alcances en pos de utopías nunca reflexionadas; desatenta a los reclamos que la misma población la autora de los delitos hace un favor de un progreso siempre deseado pero nunca ordenado en función de sus muy amplias posibilidades, los irapuatenses van haciendo su propia ruta desde su remoto pasado. Irapuato sigue haciendo su vida y en lo ordinario de ella se va conformando, como lo expresa Michel de Certeau, en la ótica de su vida, en la cual, tratando de interpretar corremos el riesgo de provocar formas ilusorias de historicidad, de caer en el peligro de ser un extraño del interior pero sin el exterior, si no nos apoyamos en las contribuciones positivas de las ciencias humanas en el conocimiento de la cultura ordinaria.

Jerez Zacatecas
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Jerez Zacatecas is a wonderful place to visit. One must go in toiuijjpoje summer months and go to Las Margaritas a water parkwith two sides it is a good time for all. You must also go to the rancho Santa Feduring the months of December and go during the second week to see the pilgrimage; it is beautiful.
Jardin Rafael Paez Jardin Rafael Paez
photo by: Ing. Jaime Gonzalez
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Manzanillo
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Many tourist destinations in Mexico can offer visitors a spectacular range of uncountable beauties and Manzanillo is one of them. Not only does it have one of the best and most attractive seas of the Mexican Pacific it also possess some of the most spectacular golf courses.

When arriving in Manzanillo the traveler knows he will find multiple options to practice and enjoy the most elegant of sports: golf.

This colorful port bathed by the Pacific Ocean with beautiful bays and an unique sunset is the perfect environment for the most demanding of golf players in order to enjoy the best tournaments.

Not only is Manzanillo located on a spectacular zone for this sport, but it also has great weather for it.

Golf courses in Manzanillo are located in the best areas of the port. Some are located in the most exclusive hotels reason why players not only enjoy the game but also breathtaking scenarios. Most holes not only have great views but also great difficulty, which constitutes a challenge for any player.

Isla Navidad course is a 27 hole one. It's considered one of the best worldwide because it has some of the best facilities in the world. It has a clubhouse, restaurant, cafeteria, bar and a boutique.

Las Hadas golf course is one of the best in the world. It's an 18 hole course and under strict maintenance. Some of the best instructors can be found here. The exuberant vegetation makes a perfect frame together with the Moorish Mediterranean architecture and the combination produces one of the best courses on a world level basis.

Private Club El Tamarindo counts with a professional 18-hole course 6 of them at sea front. Its greens are big, quick and wavy features that contribute to the extent of difficulty and make the game a little bit more interesting. Another special feature of this course is the thick vegetation that has to be crossed when moving from one hole to the other.

Mazatlan
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Mazatlan is a great city to visit.  We have been there twice and are going again this October.  It's just one of the stops for the Mexican Riviera cruise.  It is a city of antiquity and modern as well.  When we visit we enjoy just getting on a bus and going to the end of the line then back.

There's a great central market that has items that can only be from Mexico.  The carnecerías (meat stalls) are open air and have the whole side of beef hanging there to be butchered. It's also a good place for souvenirs that are out of the ordinary.

It is a seaport so there are plenty of places for mariscos (seafood).  In the center of town there is a plaza that sports a typical church, fine arts theater and several street cafes.  Some of the cafes even offer a 3 for 1 Corona deal.  So you can bet we sat and enjoyed that scenenry Mexican style.

Be prepared to walk and if you're really adventurous take a city bus and ride around.  It's a crowded city but the people are great and really love it when a norteamericano tries to speak their language..

You can go almost any time of the year as it's warm and pleasent.  Have fun in old Mazatlan!
Valentinos al medio dia Valentinos al medio dia
photo by: Miriam Nuñez B.
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Naulcapan
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Nueva Rosita
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Nueva Rosita is a city located in northeastern Mexico. It is situated 1,410 feet (430 m) above sea level, on the Sabinas River, 100 km south of the border with the United States

Coal mining led to the development of the city, and since the 1930s it has become a prominent industrial centre.

Historical monumnent in town inculde the Panteón Municipal of the XIX century; the Iglesia San Juan (XIX) the Ignacio Zaragoza school (XX)and the former Presidencia Municipal (XIX).

El templo de San Juan, built in the XIX century is a nice example of local architecture, the La Mansión plant is also worth a look,

There is a museum dedicated to regional history and culture.

The city celebrates its founding in May, in August there is an industrial exposition.

The Los Sabinitos Park is a good place to go for hiking, along the Sabinas river you also find the parcs of Los Gritos and San Antonio.

Nuevo Casas Grandes
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A pleasant small city located in Chihuahua. The two main reasons to visit relate to nearby locations, however: the precolumbian ruins of Paquimé, and the small village of Mata Ortiz, the home of Juan Quezada, Mexico's most honored potter.

Paquimé reached its apogee in the 14th and 15th centuries, played a key role in trade and cultural contacts between the Pueblo culture of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico and the more advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica. The extensive remains, only part of which have been excavated, are clear evidence of the vitality of a culture which was perfectly adapted to its physical and economic environment, but which suddenly vanished at the time of the Spanish Conquest. An ambitious museum on site orients visitors to Paquimé's history and importance.

Mata Ortiz, a bustling lumber milling town in the 1800s, became quiescent and poor after the Mexican Revolution, only to reawaken in recent years due to activity stemming from the artistry of one man, Juan Quezada. In his youth, Juan was struck by the delicate beauty of ancient painted pots he found in a cave in the rugged hills not far from his village. Through a long process of trial and error, he eventually managed to achieve and even surpass the work of his forebears, always using only local materials, and without encumbrance of the potter's wheel. Spencer MacCallum, an American anthropologist, came across three of Juan's unsigned pots that had made their way to a swap shop in Deming, New Mexico, through great effort traced their origin, met the master who had created them, and set out to make his artistry known to the world. Today, some thirty years later, Quezada is internationally known, and under his training several other residents of Mata Ortiz have developed into master artisans. Each has developed his or her own style of color, shape, and finish, while remaining true to the use of local materials and shunning the wheel. The result is varied artistry of the highest level. Visitors to Mata Ortiz can purchase these objets d'art from the artisans themselves.


El Cybernetico El Cybernetico
photo by: Ivan Cardenas
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Nuevo Laredo
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There is no doubt that the best shopping along the entire Mexican border is at Marti's in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico www.martis.com It is filled with exciting fine Mexican arts and crafts, jewelry (gold and silver), fashions, antiques, furniture and fine art. 
Entrance to Marti's Entrance to Marti's
photo by: Pablo Suneson
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Ojinaga
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i photo by: Gcu
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Pirules
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Puebla
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Puebla, a charming and vibrant city of 1.8 million people just 120 km. southeast of Mexico City, is distinguished visually by the numerous examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the city center, and historically by its importance in the Mexican Revolution. The cuisine of Puebla is known world wide for its originality and the quality of ingredients; two of the best known specialties originating here are mole poblano and chile en nogada. The city is also an important center of learning, counting three major universities and several specialized institutes of higher learning.

The city used to be the main southern capital for the Mexican pottery industry, many tile factories still exist. Around the city you can find many examples of this rich ceramic history in the hotels and restaraunts, churches and a permanent exhibition on the Playa de Armas.

Beautiful front view of the Hotel Hacienda del Molino Beautiful front view of the Hotel Hacienda del Molino
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Puerto Aventuras
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Puerto Aventuras, home of the Porto Bello Private Residence Club www.portobelloresorts.com , is a beautiful planned residential community embracing some of countrie's most beautiful coastal attractions. Situated along the famous Riviera Maya, Puerto Aventuras includes 2 large marinas capable of handling 450 vessels, an 18 hole golf course, 1200 condominiums and 600 single family villas spread over over 600 beautiful acres. Today, Puerto Aventuras has 2,000 permanent residents. The Marina area is dotted with wonderful restaurants and open air cafés where you can relax and dine while watching the dolphins play.

Activities:

Big game fishing, golf, shopping, snorkeling, dive, swimming, windsurfing, relaxing, or dining at our world class restaurants. There is something to delight every member of the family at Puerto Aventuras!

Scuba Diving is one of Puerto Aventuras most popular activities. The first time diver can explore beautiful reefs just minutes away. The experienced diver can enjoy the underwater thrills of cenote diving Yearn to shop? Puerto Aventuras numerous shops and boutiques will delight you! Stroll along the Marina and browse charming shops with a delightful range of gifts and luxury items. Also, a short trip to playadelcarmen  provides additional shopping for your enjoyment. www.cancunrealty.net  or www.cancunfractional.com  or www.portobelloresorts.com  or www.puertoaventurasrealty.com or  www.costarealty.com.mx 

Your beautiful Porto Bello PRC gives you access to world class white sand beaches, marinas, golf . . . And so much more! Many of Mexico's most memorable natural and historic attractions are at your doorstep. Explore the exotic ruins of ancient Mayan culture, or taste the nightlife and European ambiance of Playa del Carmen. An unending variety of fascinating attractions await you.

Porto Bello Grand Marina Porto Bello Grand Marina
photo by: Eduardo Muñoz
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Puerto Escondido
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Puert Escondido is a beach resort on the Pacific. Beaches, a great surf and other watersports are the favourite pass-time activities here.

Puerto Escondido is is located some 300 km south of the state capital of Oaxaca.

Puerto Escondido Puerto Escondido
photo by: www.dubstar.ch
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Reynosa
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Reynosa is a Mexican city across the border of Hidalgo, Texas which is in South Texas.  It's a big city with over 500,000 people.
Sahagun Hidalgo
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Salto de Agua
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San Blas
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San Jose del Cabo
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San Jose Del Cabo offers you tranquility and old world charm, wonderful gift shops showcasing the art of Mexico, fabulous restaurants, fishing, golf, surfing and all the night time entertainment you seek. The most famous destiny on Mexico, for all peple.

In San Jose del Cabo its located Suites Las Palmas the hotel, at 20 minutes from the Internacional Airport from Los Cabos and at 33 Km. of the infinity of activities that San Lucas offers. For the tourists who want to enjoy the captivation of San José del Cabo , Suites Las Palmas is definitively where you want to be. With a fresh design and a soft Mexican style in clear colors, the agreeable environment will bring him; tranquility in a pleasant stay with a marvellous personalized service. We have service of wireless Internet in the Lobby. In our Plaza you can find a variety of services: Bank, A.T.M., Drugstore, P.O. Box company, Rolls and developing of photos, Center of copied, Plotter and Internet, Restaurant Casita Cabeña , Beauty Saloon, Cofee Store with Bakery, Newspapers and Magazines and Much more.

Cabo San Lucas is a diverse community that attracts a younger crowd seeking adventure and fun. There are night clubs, bars, restaurants, fishing, tours and almost everything to challenge the imagination. Los Cabos is truly a vacation paradise offering world class fishing, golfing, and surfing. Or you can just relax on one of our many pristine white sand beaches. The historic artist colony of Todos Santos is an easy 1 hour drive to the north, along the scenic Pacific ocean.

Spanish galleons first visited Estero San Jose at the mouth of the Rio San Jose to obtain fresh water near the end of their lengthy voyages from the Philippines to Acapulco in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. As pirate raids along the coast between Cabo San Lucas and La Paz became a problem, the need for a permanent Spanish settlement at the tip of the cape became increasingly urgent. The growing unrest among the Guaycura and Pericu Indians south of Loreto also threatened to engulf mission communities to the north. As a result, the Spanish were forced to send armed troops to the Cape region to quell the Indian uprisings in 1723, 1725 and 1729.

In 1730, Jesuit Padre Nicholas Tamaral traveled south from Mission La Purisima and founded Mission San Jose del Cabo on a mesa overlooking the Rio San Jose some 5 km. north of the current town site. Due to the overwhelming presence of mosquitoes at this site, Tamaral soon moved the mission to the mouth of the estuary on a rise flanked by Cerro del Vigia and Cerro de la Cruz.Tamaral and the Pericus got along fine until he pronounced an injunction against Polygamy, a long tradition in Pericu society. After Tamaral punished a Pericu Shaman for violating the anti-polygamy decree, the Indians rebelled and burned both the San Jose and Santiago missions in October of 1734. Tamaral was killed in the attack. Shortly thereafter the Spanish established a presidio, which served the dual purpose of protecting the community from insurgent Indians and the estuary from English pirates.

By 1767, virtually all the Indians in the area had died either of European diseases or in skirmishes with the Spanish. Surviving mission Indians were moved to missions farther north, but San Jose del Cabo remained an important Spanish military outpost until the mid-19th century when the presidio was turned over to Mexican nationals.


During the Mexican American War (1846-48), marines from the U.S. frigate Portsmouth briefly occupied the city. A bloody siege ensued and the Mexicans prevailed under the leadership of Mexican Naval officer Jose Antonio Mijares. Plaza Mijares, San Jose's town Plaza is named to commemorate his victory. As mining in the Cape Region gave out during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, San Jose del Cabo lost population along with the rest of the region. A few farmers and began trickling into the San Jose area in the 30s and in 1940 the church was rebuilt.

San Jose del Cabo remained largely a backwater until the Cape began attracting sportfishers and later the sun-and-sand-set in the '60s and '70s. Since the late 1970s, FONATUR (Foundation Nacional de Fomento del Turismo or National Foundation for Tourism development) has sponsored several tourist development projects along San Jose's shoreline. Fortunately, the developments have done little to change San Jose's Spanish colonial character. Local residents take pride in restoring the towns 18th century architecture and preserving its quiet, laid back ambiance.

Courtyard setting Courtyard setting
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San Juan del Ro
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Santiago de Quertaro
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Tehuacan
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Tehuacan is located 120 km from Puebla city, in the state of Puebla.

Tehuacan is famous because of its natural mineral springs which waters posses curative properties.

Tijuana
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Tijuana is located in the northwest of Mexico, at the north end of the Baja California Peninsula,  and it is close to the USA border.  San Diego is about 25 Km north of the border...the actual city at the border is called San Ysidro, which happens to be the south terminus of the San Diego Trolley.    It is the largest city in the territory of Baja California Norte.  Many people go up there from all parts of Mexico, many work at these border manufacturing  factories called MAQUILADORAS.

From a tourist standpoint,  most people cross the border and visit the area downtown at Calle Revolucion, about 6-10 blocks long... this area is full of shopping areas, bars, restaurants, etc...  and then these tourist cross back to the US.  It gets very busy at night...    It is kind of neat just to venture many 2-3 blocks west (around 6th and revolucion or so)...and you get to see more of a local area.  There are local stores, a bakery, a tortilleria, even a catholic church. 

For those who want to venture a little further south, there is the city of Rosarito, some 35 Km south of Tijuana. It used to be a sleepy fishing town, but now it has gotten busier...this is where the ship for the movie Titanic was stationed.   There is a nice beach, and some bars and hotels.    Another 50 Km south of Rosarito is the city of Ensenada.   Ensenada is larger than Rosario, but a lot smaller than Tijuana.  Also on the coast.       For people who are interested in wines,  there is a small wine country east of Ensenada (inland).  It is the Valle de Guadalupe. It is not Napa Valley, but  it is a new growing industry in the area, and perhaps some tourists may want to check it out.

Tijuana has an airport, with flights to other cities in Mexico.   Most of the tourists, however, visit crossing from California, USA.  So, if you have time, it is an OK place to visit for a couple days or so. 

For those tourists entering from the US,  KEEP IN MIND,  going to Tijuana from San Diego is INDEED leaving the USA,  so once you leave, to return,  you will need a NEW ENTRY  to the USA with all the paperwork required.  Make sure all your paperwork is in order BEFORE you walk into Mexico.

It can take an hour or more to get back into the USA and you should be prepared for long queues.

x Tijuana
photo by: Katherine Walton
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Tlaxcala
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A two-hour drive from Mexico City you will find Tlaxcala. Surrounded by three majestic volcanoes - Popocatépetl, Ixtaccihuatl and La Malinche it is the charming colonial capital of the smallest state in Mexico. The elegant main square is surrounded by colonial architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries and sidewalk cafes shaded by a graceful arcade. Baroque churches are plentiful in the city and neighboring villages.

The city of Tlaxcala is a major commercial, industrial, gastronomic and service center.  Its attractions include important civic and religious buildings constructed between the 16th and 19th century.  Among these are artistic and historic treasures, such as the Main Square, Government Building, City Hall and Courthouse, the cathedral, the church and convent of St. Francis and the Basilica of Ocotlan

Just 25 km outside of the city you will find the pre-hispanic archeological sites of Xochitecatl and Cacaxtla, which has some original Mayan murals. For hiking, head for La Malinche State Park. Lodges, picnic areas, hiking trails and food services are available. The 14,500 foot summit of the dormant volcano is reachable by a breath-taking day hike. Other daytrips include the colonial city of Puebla.

"Jorge Aguilar" Bullfight Ring "Jorge Aguilar" Bullfight Ring
photo by: Bob Cox
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Toluca
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Toluca, the capital city of the State of Mexico, is often omitted from the travel trek. However, with a lovely zolaco and truely unique botanical garden, Toluca is worth a short detour. Before your visit, keep in mind that Toluca is not a tourist town and you will find few English speakers at shops and restaurants. This aside (and contrary to other websites that report otherwise), local people are warm and inviting, especially if you make an attempt to speak Spanish.
From Mexico City, buses run nearly every 10 minutes to Toluca. It's a 45-minute trip to the station, from which you should quickly flee. Take a taxi to Los Portales. From there you can walk to most tourist sites. Most vistors go straight to the Cosmovitral, an indoor botanical garden housed in stained glass designed by the artist Leopolodo Flores. The stained glass depicts the human struggle between good and evil and is said by some to the the largest stained glass mural in the world. Whether this is true or not, it's amazing and worth every centavo for admission (10 pesos, roughly 1 USD).
Plaza de los Martires Plaza de los Martires
photo by: Omar Trujillo G.
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Torreon
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Torreon is a modern city located in the north of Mexico in the state of Coahuila, just south of Texas. Our population is over 600,000 and Torreon is part of a connurbated area called "La Laguna" by Gomez Palacio and Lerdo in the state of Durango. We have dry weather and very little rain. We could say that there are just two seasons here: summer and some days of mild winter. The sun shines almost the whole year. Our temperatures range from 25ºC to 40ºC in the summer and from 15ºC to -3ºC in the winter.
Casa del Cerro Casa del Cerro
photo by: Bravo
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Uruapan
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Uruapan was founded in 1553 by Fray Juan de San Miguel. It is located just over 100 kilometers from Morelia and has about 250,000 inhabitants.

The main things to do and see in town are a visit to Eduardo Ruiz National Park for the nature and the waterfalls, La Huatapera for its colonial architecture, the Chapel of the Magdalene, which dates back to the 16-th century.

Daytrips can be made to La Tzararacua: 10 kilometers to the south of town on the road to Apatzingan is La Tzararacua waterfall. Surrounded by lush vegetation, this refreshing site is accessible by horseback or walking path.

Paracho, some 40 km away, is famous for the guitars that are made there. Nice daytrip.

Tzararacua waterfall Tzararacua waterfall
photo by: ACV
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Valle de Guadalupe
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A long time ago, Valle de Guadalupe was known as La Venta and was a station for stagecoaches traveling on the Zacatecas-Guadalajara route.

Embedded in the Altos de Jalisco region, Valle de Guadalupe is the cradle of brave men, intellectuals and beautiful women. This joyful town has clean, cobblestone streets. The only paved street is Main Street, which is an extension of highway number 80 joining Guadalajara with Lagos de Moreno and San Luis Potosí. The town’s tranquility is constantly interrupted by the highway’s intense traffic (mostly large buses and heavy trucks).

History

Historical records indicate that Valle de Guadalupe was inhabited by sedentary farmers living near a small ceremonial center around 600 or 700 AD. The date is estimated from archeological remains found in El Cerrito, which was probably abandoned around 1200 AD. Documentary sources referring to the region, then known as Nueva Galicia, are quite scarce. It was not until we saw an 18th century map that we found Valle de Guadalupe (under its former name of La Venta) as a station for stagecoaches covering the difficult and dangerous route from Zacatecas to Guadalajara. During colonial times, Valle de Guadalupe was settled by ranchers and a few Indians, who did manual labor.

In 1922, Valle de Guadalupe reached the status of municipality. This area was especially important during the Cristero movement (Mexican religious war) since it was (and still is) very religious. It was also the birthplace of many distinguished people and innumerable combatants of the Cristero War.

Valle de Guadalupe Today

The municipality of Valle de Guadalupe has 51,612 hectares and is surrounded by Jalostotitlán, Villa Obregón, San Miguel el Alto and Tepatitlán. It has a temperate climate and a low level of rainfall. Its economy is based on agriculture and ranching. Recently, though, there has been a growing dependence on cash remittances, which many vallenses living in the United States send their families. Due to the large number of migrant workers in the U.S., it is quite common to see cars and trucks with border license plates and many imported items (the traditional “fayuca”).

You enter town from Guadalajara by crossing a picturesque stone bridge, which passes over “Los Gatos” stream, a tributary of Río Verde that surrounds the city.

We keep driving on the town’s only paved street and reach the main plaza, which has a beautiful traditional kiosk - an essential structure of any small plaza. Unlike most Mexican towns, Valle de Guadalupe does not have church, civic and commercial powers all in one single plaza. In this town, the church dedicated (naturally) to the Virgin of Guadalupe is the sole occupant of the plaza. There are a couple of small shops next to the church under some small arches.

The old Posta or Casa de Diligencias (Stagecoach House) is almost in front of the church in the same plaza. Years ago, the place was used as a resting place for travelers and horses of stagecoaches on their way to Guadalajara, Zacatecas, Guanajuato or Michoacán. The building was constructed in the late 18th century and is used today as an elementary school.

There is a bronze statue in front of Casa de Diligencias dedicated to Father Lino Martínez, who is considered the town’s greatest benefactor.

On the plaza’s south side, we can admire some recently renovated arches, under which are several shops and beautiful 19th century houses, where many of the town’s famous people lived.

The municipal palace is located in the second plaza behind the church. It has a beautiful design and the shade of its many trees gives visitors a cool place to rest.

Inside the municipal palace we found the police station and a small museum next to one of the hallways. You can admire beautiful archeological pieces from many parts of the country in the Barba-Piña Chan Archeological Museum.

Something that caught our attention was the lack of a typical Mexican market. The closest thing we found was a small tianguis (mobile market) that operates on only two of the Fridays of the month, the tianguis is very popular because there you can find many things like from food up to clothes and other thins that you might need.

If you enjoy walking, you can explore the narrow cobblestone streets and westwards you will pass another small bridge over “Los Gatos” stream. About 200 meters further, you will see “El Cerrito”, which is the only archeological site in the area. El Cerrito has the corner of a double-bodied pyramid base, studied by Dr. Román Piña Chan in 1980, and dated at 700-1250 AD. The pyramid base is a silent witness of the region’s pre Hispanic people. Today, there is a modern construction (a house) built on top of the pyramid base, which is why you must ask the owner’s permission to visit the site.

The people of Valle de Guadalupe are tall, blond, and very religious like anywhere else in the Altos de Jalisco region. In short, Valle de Guadalupe is a nice place to see picturesque streets, admire beautiful buildings and to enjoy a well deserved break.

Plaza Principal Plaza Principal
photo by: Rodriguez
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Veracruz
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Veracruz is one of Mexico's most popular beach destinations. It has big hotels, lots of restaurants, but for the real Mexico you need to move on to other places.

There are a few historic monuments in the centre that are worth visiting. Veracruz is one of the oldest towns of Mexico.

 

Zócalo at night, Veracruz, Mexico Zócalo at night, Veracruz, Mexico
photo by: www.dubstar.ch
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Viveros de la Loma
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Zacapu
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Zacapu has many wonderful tourist atractions.  It's surrounded by beautiful landscape, people is friendly and it has strong traditions....
Santa Ana, actualmente Santa Ana, actualmente
photo by: Paco Guizar
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Zacatecas
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Although only a day's drive from the Texas border and famed in Mexico for its artistic and architectural treasures, Zacatecas is not well known abroad. A few wise Texans take off to dry, cool Zacatecas (over 8000 ft. altitude) for breaks from Houston or Austin's humid summer heat, but the city does not attract the number of foreign visitors that its beauty and interest merit. So much the better for the traveler who wishes to have a glimpse of modern Mexican life in a genuine Spanish colonial city with a long history, delightfully situated in a gorge between mountain peaks.

Silver attracted Spaniards to Zacatecas in the mid-1500s, and a century later the city was one of the wealthiest in New Spain. Mining flourished well into the 20th century, and continues in the area still. The inevitable result of this prosperity was that Zacatecas quickly became a city of political and religious importance, with the monumental architecture to go with that.

Zacatecas is a city for walking. In the older sections of town most of the cobbled streets are narrow, and somewhat steep, running as they do up, down, and around the hillside on which the city was founded. Down below in what is now the city center, the going is easier, but no less fascinating. Definitely worth a visit is the Catedral de Zacatecas, begun in 1707, and the Templo de Santo Domingo, known for its ornate Baroque interior. Other edifices large and small decorate the city, such as the Palacio de Gobierno and the Palacio de Justicia in Plaza de Armas.

Zacatecas has a full range of hotels and motels, and several very good restaurants serving both local specialities and international fare. The area is important in Mexico's slowly growing wine industry; reds from the Cacholá winery can be quite good, especially as an accompaniment to rich local dishes. A special treat for lodging is the Mesón de Jobito, a carefully restored 19th-century mansion offering large suites decorated in traditional Mexican colonial style, with large windows and balconies. Silverwork is the shopping must for those with money to spare. In addition to the specialist shops, there is the Centro Platero Zacatecano, a silversmithing school proud to sell students' creations.

Also within an hour of Zacatecas is Jerez, a quaint colonial town. A definite visit is warranted to see the cathedral and the plaza lined with old timers and children palying.

 
Museo Rafael Coronel Museo Rafael Coronel
photo by: Marigely Gaytan
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Juarez
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Cuidad Juarez is Mexico’s fifth largest city of about 1.7 million people. Bridges over the Rio Grande River connects Juarez, Mexico with its sister-city El Paso, Texas. Together, they create almost one metropolis destination that shares a close historical bond. In the 16th century, Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate led colonists to the south bank of the Rio Grande which was originally named “El Paso de Norte” which expanded to the north bank of the river. After the Mexican American War and the signing of the Hidalgo Treaty of Guadalupe, the area was split into two cities with Juarez (south bank) belonging to Mexico and El Paso (north bank) belonging to the United States.

Juarez is a colorful, festive city of Old Mexico charm that beckons travelers to inexpensive marketplace shopping, active nightlife, great restaurants, fine hotels and modern conveniences. Here you’ll discover historical museums, old Spanish missions that have stood for hundreds of years and endless attractions like bull fights, rodeos, dog races, golf, polo grounds and old city markets – Mexican style.

When you visit El Paso, you get the bonus destination of Juarez as well where with few guidelines, Canadian and U.S. citizens can freely cross the bridge between the two cities. You can park your car in downtown El Paso and walk across the Santa Fe Bridge and end-up on Avenida Juarez a street of notable history, restaurants, marketplaces and nightlife recreation. Or you can catch one of the El Paso Trolley Company’s “Border Jumper” trolleys and enjoy a tour to Juarez and back to El Paso. The trolleys run frequently and continuously within its operating hours fro the El Paso Civic Center with stops along the way.

The people of Juarez are friendly and welcome tourists with open-arms. It’s a fun place where you can enjoy the Old Mexico charm and shopping for handcrafted goods and jewelry at incredibly inexpensive prices. Here you can barter for the best available price on everything from leather goods to jewelry and even black onyx chess sets.

Nightlife is abundant and the authorities want visitors to have a great time. Do not get wildly drunk. Disorderly conduct and altercations are dealt with in a more strict fashion in Mexico than in the United States. And by all means, do not even consider taking guns, ammunition or drugs into Mexico. If you get caught, getting a release from jail can become a nightmare experience. The rules are simple. Enjoy the attractions of Juarez, behave yourself in a civil manner and respect the laws of the city and Mexico.

Benito Juarez Monument Benito Juarez Monument
photo by: F. Gallardo
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Ciudad Obregón
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Ciudad Obregón, also known as Cajeme, is located on the central southern part of the State of Sonora, 250 miles south of Hermosillo, on the fertile Río Yaqui Valley.

While at Obregón we suggest you to visit the Yaqui Museum, the Public Library, the murals painted by maestro Arteche at the Municipal Palace. Visit also the Nainari Lagoon located on the western edge of the city. Take and enjoy some wonderful scenic drives to: Oviachic dam, Huivulai island and the beautiful beaches located alongside the coast of the sea of Cortez.

Sonora
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The state of Sonora, in the northwestern part of México bordering on Arizona, is a unique and unspoiled destiny of México.

You will find beautiful unpolluted beaches bathed by the Sea of Cortés and surrounded by the Sonora Desert. The western slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental offer a green mountain setting in stark contrast to the desert landscape to the east. Safe modern cities with all the amenities and services you may demand, capped by Hermosillo, the seat of state government, home of the state university, and a thriving commercial center. Old towns such as Álamos, steeped in legend and history, where time seems to have been suspended two centuries ago. 

The state of Sonora geographically offers the best duck, dove and quail hunting, combine with its world famous bass fishing lakes. Sonora is also a bird and whale watching paradise.

An excellent cuisine, typical dishes, music and dances of the Yaqui, Mayos and Seris ethnics are some of the attractions Sonora offers you.

All this with first class services and a warm welcome awaits the visitor for an unforgottable stay.

Indio Yaqui, Ciudad Obregón, Sonora. Indio Yaqui, Ciudad Obregón, Sonora.
photo by: Alvaro Fernández Kaempffer
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San Carlos (Sonora)
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A beachside resort located 9 miles from the Port of Guaymas, 74 miles from Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora and 242 miles from the border city of Nogales, San Carlos offers the visitor beautiful beaches surrounded by the special atmosphere of the Sonoran Desert. Tetakawi Hill, like a lighthouse shows the way with a warm welcome to those that arrive to San Carlos. During the first months of the year whales migrate from colder northern waters to the Sea of Cortez to mate and have their cachalotes. The coastline of San Carlos offers this unique opportunity to whale watchers and photographers. Hills with copper tones, desert vegetation and a deep blue sea invite visitors to explore and discover -- to enjoy the sea and its beaches, sail, fish, relax and dive in a wonderful submarine world. San Carlos has an ideal climate with average high temperatures of 68F° in winter and 95F° in summer.
Danzante
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Danzante is an eco-resort close to Loreto, in Baja de California. It was recently named one of Best of The Best 2005 by Fodor.

Gorgeous place, well run by a couple of seasoned travelers: Michael & Lauren Farley. I went twice so far, and will return soon.

Danzante is a unique eco-tourism destination resort that is 100% solar-powered and surrounded by spectacular scenery....the dream child of Michael and Lauren Farley, well-known authors, photographers, adventure travel guides and expert divers. They have published books on Mexico travel and diving, created underwater documentaries on sharks and whales, explored for sunken Caribbean treasure, managed an exotic animal nature preserve, and have led scuba diving tours worldwide. As your attentive hosts and resort owners, the Farleys will personally customize your vacation to meet your tastes and desires...be prepared to exchange your vacation dreams for lasting memories.

Danzante as seen from the Sea of Cortez Danzante as seen from the Sea of Cortez
photo by: Michael Farley
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Tequila
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The city of Tequila is located just an hour outside of Guadalajara and is the ancestral home of it's eponymous spirit. Located in the fertile foothills of a volcano, the city is surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of Blue Agave from which tequila is distilled.

Every bottle of tequila must be distilled in the area around Tequila, the state of Jalisco and a few other locations listed by the government of Mexico. For this reason, most Tequila distilleries are located here, including the original distilleries of Jose Cuervo, Sauza, Orendain, and other well known names. There is also the Tequila Museum that is open for a small fee.

Tequila is easily accessible by car, but if you think you won't be in the mood to drive back, various tours are available from Guadalajara. There is a train tour called the "Tequila Express" which includes tequila tasting, food and mariachi music from Guadalajara and back. Note that contrary to popoular belief, the "Tequila Express" does not call at Tequila, but Amatitán, which is Casa Herradura's base. If you want to see Tequila, visit Cuervo World or Sauza, which are in that town.

Local second class buses leave Guadalajara for Tequila every 15 minutes from the Old Bus Station (near Parque Agua Azul) and take about 90 minutes to get there.
Blue agaves in the fields about Tequila Blue agaves in the fields about Tequila
photo by: David Crummey
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Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico
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Piedras Negras is a small city of about 200,000 people at the northern border of the Mexican state of Coahuila, Mexico. It is sister city to Eagle Pass, Texas, just across the Rio Grande, and it is 441 km north of Saltillo, capital city of Coahuila, via Federal Highway 57.

Piedras Negras is known as "La Puerta de Mexico" (Mexico's Door), although many visitors find it to be much less touristy than other border towns,  and a visit there seems much more authentically "Mexican." Piedras Negras is the home of the Nacho, a classic Tex-Mex dish of cheeze and tortilla chips. The area surrounding Piedras Negras is ranchland, and also a popular area for hunting game.

Foto del Puente Internacional Foto del Puente Internacional
photo by: Mauricio mendez
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La Paz
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La Paz is the capital city of Baja California Sur, the state that contains Cabo San Lucas. La Paz is a simpler, less touristy destination than Cabo, but has all the amenities. It is a place to relax and get away from the Hard Rock Cafe style of tourist center. The contrast between the harsh and stark desert surrounding the city and the teaming waters of the Gulf is striking.

La Paz can be reached by airlines from Los Angeles, Houston and Phoenix, or by ferry from Topolobampo and Maztlán on the Mexican mainland. You can also get there by flying to San Jose del Cabo and driving for 2 hours up the coast. The road is a little rough, but the scenery is a good insight to the desert that surrounds La Paz.

Situated in a bay off the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), La Paz is intimately connected to the sea. Tourists will find world class fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving here. The area is filled with whales, whale sharks, sea lions, and other large oceanic creatures.

The Old part of the city begins at the waterfront and extends several blocks inland. Here you will find the hotels, shops, and restaurants that cater to tourists and locals alike. The cathedral, central offices, and small shops are typically Colonial Mexican.

 

The Pool of the hotel The Pool of the hotel
photo by: La Casa Jalisco
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Magdalena de Kino
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A prosperous small city of some 40,000 inhabitants situated 80 km. (50 miles) south of Nogales and the Arizona border, Magdalena de Kino is best known abroad as the resting place of the Italian missionary and explorer Padre Eusebio Kino. The priest from near Trento founded numerous missions in the Pimería Alta of what is now northern Sonora and Southern Arizona in the late 1600s and early 1700s, including the well preserved temple at San Ignacio, a few miles east of Magdalena. In more recent history, the city is known in Mexico as the home town of Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta, a highly respected civic leader and politician who was assassinated 23 March 1994 during a stop on his presidential campaign in Lomas Taurinas, a poor neighborhood of Tijuana.

Although most tourists rush by on national route 15, the town is worth a stop. Padre Kino's remains are displayed in a crypt built where they were found in 1966, in what is now the park-like Plaza Monumental, reconstructed at great expense after the discovery. Across the plaza is the graceful Temple of Santa María de Magdalena, where the image of San Francisco Javier is venerated. Numerous small shops dedicated mostly to religious mementos surround the plaza. This oasis of calm in the bustling city comes to life each year in late September and early October as thousands of Mexican pilgrims and members of the Tohono O'odham and Pascua Yaqui tribes near Tucson gather during the religious festival dedicated to San Francisco Javier, and again in May in the festival honoring Padre Kino. Not far from Plaza Monumental is the architecturally interesting Palacio Municipal, at one time the seasonal seat of Sonora state government as political leaders escaped the torrid summers of Hermosillo.

Visitors will find several comfortable motels in and around Magdalena, and a wide variety of restaurants. Among the latter, El Toro merits special mention as for its careful preparation of beef, Sonora's specialty. The little restaurant by the odd name of Chango'S in the commercial plaza is especially good for lunch.
Magdalena de Kino Magdalena de Kino
photo by: LA
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Río Sonora (Ruta del)
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The Ruta del Río Sonora (Sonora River Route) begins just below Cananea, a large and fairly prosperous mining town some 80 km. (50 miles) southeast of Douglas AZ. There Sonora highway 118 sets off to trace an easy day's drive through spectacularly varied countryside and a number of picturesque villages quite different from those encountered along the more frequented national route 15. Historical interest lies in the fact that several villages were founded in the 1600s by Spanish explorers and missionaries, as the river valley provided a convenient route for exploration to the north.

Bacoachi and Arizpe, both founded in 1646, are the first towns of note going south from Cananea. Arizpe has the historical importance of having been a provincial capital in the 1700s, and its colonial church dating from not long after the town's foundation was the first in Sonora to gain Cathedral status.

Due to its elevated situation overlooking the valley to the west and the mountains beyond, its former prosperity from agriculture and the nearby Santa Elena gold mine, and its well preserved historical center, many visitors find Banámichi, dating from 1639, to be the most attractive of the Río Sonora valley's settlements. The central plaza -- a green oasis with an attractive kiosk -- is surrounded by colonial architecture of government buildings and homes, punctuated by the brilliant white presence of the well maintained Temple dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Loreto.

Futher south is Huépac, a mission settlement dating from 1644. Of architectural interest is the imposing 18th-century church, and the Palacio Municipal displays a mammoth femur found in the area. Aconchi is the next town of note, known for production of the tiny fiery chiltepín chile. Visitors are attracted to its 18th-century Franciscan church containing a black Christ figure, and to the thermal hot springs 4 km. to the south, whose waters are thought to have medicinal qualities. Baviácora (1639), also a chiltepín center, is the last of the villages going south on the Ruta del Río Sonora, which can be said to end at the intersection of Sonora highways 118 and 21.
interior courtyard at Hotel Los Arcos in Banamichi, Sonora interior courtyard at Hotel Los Arcos in Banamichi, Sonora
photo by: Thomas Matthews
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Juchipila
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Juchipila is a great small town to visit if you want to get the small village experience. The festive spirit of the Mexicans is present in this town. There are a variety of festivities celebrated throughout the year.   

If you visit during the Winter, you will be surprised to see the countless celebrations happening throughout the village.   There are weddings, quinceañeras, and baptisms, taking place everyday of the week.   You might also be surprised to see the countless number of American vehicles throughout the village.   During this time, many Mexicans return from the United States to visit their relatives. In December you can experience a traditional Mexican Christmas with colorful posadas filled with music, traditional Mexican dishes and deserts, piñatas, confetti, presents and many other wonderful treats that compose a traditional Mexican Christmas.

Mid January the village’s fair starts and the streets and plaza are filled with people,  music of different bandas, food stands, small bars, souvenir stands, mechanical rides, and more.   Throughout this period there are also bullfights and jaripeos which are similar to rodeos.   Everyday you will experience something new and exciting.   Close to the plaza, there is a hotel for your stay.   There are also hotels in some villages nearby.  

For those who like to travel in the summer, you have an opportunity to be present for La Fiesta de Santo Santiago (celebration of Saint Santiago).   La Fiesta de Santo Santiago is truly a unique and cultural religious celebration.  The celebration takes place on the 25 0f July in a village on the out skirts of Juchilila called Moyahua.  Santo Santiago is one of the saints most venerated by the people in Juchipila and its surroundings.  He is believe to have cured and save many of his worshipers.  He is also believed to be mischiefievios if you promise something in return of a favor and don't follow through.

Santo Santiago is venerated by many mexicans that celebrations are not only given in Moyahua, but also in the United Stated by many of his folowers.  For example, every 25 of July a celebration is done in Gustine California.

photo photo by: Ilda Luna
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Puerto Penasco
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Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico AKA Arizona's Beach is a four hour drive from Tucson or Phoenix. Located on the Sea of Cortez (AKA Gulf of California), this resort destination is exploding with high rise codos on the formerly pristine Sandy Beach. The shrimping is declining due to lack of conservation, like many areas in the world. But, hey, you can't stop progress. Rocky Point, as the gringos call Puerto Penasco, is still a great place to go for boating, sunning and anything else you like to do to unwind. There are plenty of hotels as well as houses and condos you can rent by the day, week or month.
Old Port in Puerto Penasco Old Port in Puerto Penasco
photo by: Roger D. Harmon
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Tampico
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Tampico is the main city in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, and the Mexican Gulf's main economic powerhouse.

i photo by: Gcu
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Palenque
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Surrounded by jungle, Palenque is a hot and humid place, the town itself doesn't have any real attractions, but is a good base for various excursions in the state of Chiapas and to go to Guatemala (Tikal for example).

Just a few miles away are the ruins of the ancient Maya city of Palenque. They are well worth a visit or two. If you go in the early morning, the site is even more impressive than during the rest of the day, because mist is surrounding the temples and ruins.

Other attractions close to Palenque are the colourful cascades of Agua Azul, the crystal clear river at Agua Clara and the Misol-Ha waterfall.
Agua Azul, Mexico Agua Azul, Mexico
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Teotihuacan
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The Teotihuacán ruins are located about 50km northeast of Mexico City, it takes about an hour to get from the capital to the archeological site.

Ancient Teotihuacán was built between the first and the seventh century after Christ and was the biggest city of the continent.

La Pyrámide del Sol (Pyramid of the sun) is one of the largest pyramids of the world, its length is about 220m and its height about 70m.
Pirámide del Sol, Teotihuacán Pirámide del Sol, Teotihuacán
photo by: www.dubstar.ch
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Maruata
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Hidden along the Michoacan coast, lies the small town of Maruata. It's relative obscurity and lack of mainstream accomodations leaves it to those of a more adventurous spirit. A favorite of backpackers, campers and Mexican students, Maruata caters to a younger, adventuresome group.

Maruata has two main beaches, the main sheltered beach that looks out onto a small bay, and a smaller beach surrounded by weathered rock monoliths. The latter beach has no breakwater for the large pacific rollers, which break directly on the beach.

The main beach is a famed sea turtle nesting site. Indeed, there is a turtle sanctuary that is adjacent to the tiny town, about 2 miles down the beach. The sanctuary works to prevent the poaching of turtle eggs.

There are palapas with beds available, but only a few. Otherwise, camping is the next form of accomodation. There are only a few toilets, all are

There is a convenience store that sells some food items, but don't rely on it for anything specific. Much of the food spoils rapidly in the warm, humid climate.

There are a few beach "restaurants" that offer tortillas, beans and fried fish, as well as cold beer and Coca-Cola.

There is no direct bus service to Maruata. One must take the bus to Lazaro Cardenas and inform the driver that you wish to stop at Maruata. From there, you must then take a short walk (less than a mile) to the beach, passing through town and through the small stream.

Anahuac Chihuahua
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Located 7 miles northeast of Cuauhtemoc, it is a town of roughly 15,000 people. It´s main industrial business is a papel mill. The town is located near a beautiful lake, "Bustillos". Most of the people are farmers and cattle raisers.
an over the air view of anahuac chihuahua an over the air view of anahuac chihuahua
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Cuidad Monte
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Town in northeast Mexico, known for its birds.
Paracho de Verduzco
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Paracho is located 38 kilometers North  of Uruapan on Highway 37. Located in a rich agricultural region, Paracho is the home of some of the best luthiers in Mexico, if not the world.

Guitar shops  line the main street entering town. But, the best guitars are made by luthiers working out of their homes on the back streets of the town.

In the center of town is a plaza. At one end of the plaza is the Church. Opposite the church are the municipal offices. Along both sides are vendors selling produce, woodcarvings, fresh-cut flowers, and food. The plaza, as in most Mexican towns is the social center.


Luthier Statue on Paracho Plaza Luthier Statue on Paracho Plaza
photo by: R. Jacobson
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Capacuaro
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On Highway 37 midway between Uruapan and Paracho is the small village of Capacuaro.

Located in the center of the Meseta Purepecha region of Michoacan, Capacuaro is known for their carved furniture. The men of the village are mostly carpenters creating chairs, tables, dressers, and many other pieces of hand-carved furniture in Mexican colonial style.

The village is home to a 16th century Parish Church with a facade that features cherubs, flowers, and shells carved in the stone.

Each year in late June the residents of Capacuaro celebrate a fiesta in honor of San Juan Bautista. The fiesta begins on the evening of the 23rd with The Dances of the Moors and a procession through the town and ends on the 25th with a serenade of song and an artisan market.
Furniture Shop Along the Highway Furniture Shop Along the Highway
photo by: R. Jacobson
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Puerto Morelos
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Puerto Morelos has for many decades been a quiet fishing village. In a short period of time, over the last half decade it has seen steady growth in large seasonal homes and deluxe resorts. The steady encroachment by resorts and villas along the northern beaches of Puerto Morelos has not taken away the qualities that made this village attractive in the first place but they have produced more traffic and garbage. As a result there seems to be some decline in fauna activity in the nearby mangroves. But the coral reef off shore has benefited from ecological enforcement and management.
The locals are friendly and many are expatriates that have opened businesses. The food offers are very good and the snorkeling is excellent.
It is only 20 minutes from Cancun's airport and is a perfect place for travelers who want to get to the beach quickly without suffering the riotous crowding and noise of Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. 

You will find a lot of Things to Do and great Day trips as Puerto Morelos is at the start of the Riviera Maya and close to lots of the area's attractions.

The expats even run a charity specifically to help the children and emergency services of Puerto Morelos. El Mundo para Puerto Morelos, and many tourists help out with donations that they bring with them or send. It is a great way to give back to the community which has its fair share of problems. The massive tourism growth of the region is way ahead of  the government's well intentioned ability to support the schools, clinics and emergency services.

This is truly a town with a heart, it will pull you in and might not let you go!

i live in cancun bayview (lagoon view) i live in cancun bayview (lagoon view)
photo by: david morgan
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Rosarito
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Rosarito is a pristine coastal tourist destination famous for its water surfing activities, lifestyle spas, golf courses and high-end shopping malls. The Rosarito Travel Guide offers visitors general information about the destination along with its attractions and accommodation options.

Orientation

Rosarito has a rich ethnic history that is steeped in a deep rooted culture of enjoyment and merry-making. The resort was a prosperous cultivation center for the early Indian settlers who were enamored by its fertile soil and pleasant climate. The Kumiai tribes shaped the early identity of Rosarito and set the momentum for the present day beach retreat with their quirky lifestyle and off-beat ethos. In 1553, the Spaniards frequented Rosarito with the intention of building their churches throughout the California Baja land. The late 19 th century saw a number of ranches  being created to  lend a stunning natural appeal to the thoroughbred rudimentary land that over a period of time metamorphosed into a striking medley of raw innate charm and an ingeniously created high lifestyle destination.

Attractions and activities

Take the super Rosarita-Ensenada Bike Ride that is held twice a year in the month of April and October. It is 50 miles of pure fun and thrill along the coastal belt of Baja. Over 9,000 riders participate in the activity that witnesses an electrifying culmination at Ensanada. There are daylong excursion tours conducted by several private tour organizers that take you for a ride through the dunes of Rosarito along with guided adventure trails and mountain hiking activities. The Northern quarter of Baja is an exceptionally good surfing destination that features infallible water sports conditions. The best time to come here for surfing is during the October  to April, when the swells are consistent in their speed and direction. Go hand gliding, angling or ride a horse on the beaches of Rosarito, while taking in the warm damp sea breeze. The Historic Rosarito Canyon is a breathtakingly gorgeous destination for horse riding purists. Take jet skiing lessons and guided adventure activities or simply sunbathe on the golden sands of the region for a natural sauna session.

Food and Accommodation

For top-notch and genuine Mexican grub, head to El Patio and Los Arcos. Both the restaurants are located in downtown Rosarito and offer robustly spiced local delights with tantalizing sauces and delicately flavored side orders. For home-grown Tacos, Macho Taco and El Poblano are great options. They make some of the most mount-melting and authentic taco creations. Japanese cuisine lover’s, check out Suriyaki opposite Pabellon Mall. It serves the tastiest sushi in the region. For thoroughbred sea-food, Siete Mares and Mariscos Sonora in the downtown area rule for their delicately marinated and lip-smacking, eclectic fish preparations. Visitor’s can’t leave Rosarito without feasting on the restaurants at Puerto Nuevo that serve their signature Puerto Nueve style lobsters. For accommodation Las Rocas Resort and Spa is a celebrated luxury property known for its high-end services and ultra-modern amenities. For vacation rentals, Seaside Reservations Rosarito Beach offers a large selection of holiday villas and condos. Villa Bonisots Vista features a stunning ocean and golf-course view. For Bed and Breakfast, Casa El jardin is a good bet.

Rosarito is an expensive beach getaway that packs a bevy of water sports and other adventure activities in the backdrop of a high lifestyle landscape.

ENTRETENIMIENTO ENTRETENIMIENTO
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Janitzio
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The village of Janitzio is located on the island of the same name in Lago Patzcuaro in the Northern region of Michoacan. It is famous for it's Day of the Dead celebration and for the 40-meter tall statue of Jose Maria Morelos that stands atop the island.

The island is accessible only by boat. Water taxis run regularly from the pier in Patzcuaro.


Streets of Janitsio Streets of Janitsio
photo by: R. Jacobson
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Saltillo
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Saltillo is the capital of the state of Coahuila. In this town and this state lived some of the most important people of the mexican history, such as Gnral. Ignacio Zaragoza, Dr. Francisco I. Madero and Venustiano Carranza father of the mexican constitution

In this city you are able to find beautiful buildings and amazin museums of worldwide quality, like the Museo de las Aves de Mexico (Mexican Museum of Birds) or the amazing Museo del Desierto (Desert Museum)  

Animales Era del Hielo Museo del Desierto Animales Era del Hielo Museo del Desierto
photo by: Carlos Avila Arquin
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Monclova, Coahuila
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This is the accient capital city of the state of Coahuila-Texas
Xochipili Xochipili
photo by: Carlos Avila Arquin
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Cuatrocienegas de Carranza, Coahuila
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Hometown of the heroic Venustiano Carranza, former president of Mexico and one of the greates heroes of the country
Iglesia de San Jose Iglesia de San Jose
photo by: Carlos Avila Arquin
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Netzahualcoyotl
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Have you been been to Netzahualcoyotl Mexico? Please tell us about your experience here.

 

Mexicali
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If you have been to Mexicali Mexico, you can tell our readers about it here~

Naucalpan
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Travels take you to Naucalpan Mexico.What did you like about it? What was interesting for you? Tell us about it.
Isla Holbox - Hostel Ida y Vuelta Camping
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Small Hostel consisting of ten cabins, located near the beach, city center and all services. Surrounded by coconuts, mangroves and palm trees has a rather broad garden. An appropriate athmosphere in which to hang a hammock and take a "sacred nap ", where people can socialize and enjoy their vacation within nature. Warm and comfortable, the hostel offers to backpackers the chance to sleep in hammocks or beds in small wooden huts protected with mosquito net or pitch a tent on soft sand. Some bungalows palafito style with private bathroom to please couples and honeymooners and a fully equipped house, favorite option of families and small groups who want a bit more of privacy, are available as well in the property. Finally, guests can have hot water, fans, kitchen, small snack bar, Wi-Fi, relaxation area and reception in different languages. More information on www.holboxhostel.com.

Banamichi
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Banamichi, Sonora is located on the Ruta Rio Sonora just 3 hours from Bisbee, Arizona 5 hours from Tucson and 2 hours north of Hermosillo.   The small pueblo was founded in 1639 by Bartolome Castonas and Pedro Pantoja, Jesuit missionaries.  The name Banamitzi cames from the Opata Indians of the region and means, where the river turns.

Like all small pueblos along the Rio Sonora, the Catholic church is the primary place of worship.  Nuestro Senora de Loreto Temple, located on the town plaze, was built in the 17th century.  The town square, on the main highway, displays the Piedra Historica, an ancient petroglyph discovered on a local ranch.  Some scholars believe the petroglyph represents a map of irrigation canals.  A gazebo graces the main square in the center of town, Hildalgo Plaza.  Nearby parks, Bacachi and El Baceran, offer natural warm springs.  Aconchi, another pueblo south of Banamichi offers hot springs west of town.  Other activities in the area include mountain biking, horse back riding, bird watching, star gazing, visits to local bacanora stills, local fiestas, horse cart rides, authentic Sonoran cuisine and motorcycle tours.

The principal economy in the area is agriculture, farmng and ranching  Many small local businesses supply goods and services to the residents of this quaint Mexican pueblo.  Many come from far away places to receive Qi Gong multidimensional therapy.

The premier hotel in town is Hotel Los Arcos de Sonora (www.losarcossonora.com) which provides travelers with  ten comfortable modern hotel rooms with private baths, air conditioning and heat, intimate interior courtyard, covered patio with wood burning fireplace, second floor terraza, wi-fi, coffee shop and gift shop. 




Gazebo in Hildalgo Plaza-Banamichi, Sonora Gazebo in Hildalgo Plaza-Banamichi, Sonora
photo by: Tom Matthews
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Tingambato
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Tingambato is a small village in the heart of avacado country in Michoacan. Located on the free road between Uruapan  de Progreso and Patzcuaro.

At first site Tingambato seems to be nothing more than a Pemex station and a couple of tiendas. But, taking one of the streets down the hill will lead to the town plaza and the church.

Continue on beyond the old railroad tracks and find the real treasure of the village. The Tingambato Archaeological Site, a small but interesting, partially-restored collection of Tarascan ruins.

Sacrificial Altars Sacrificial Altars
photo by: Rick Jacobson
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Akumal
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Akumal is a small seaside village located 1.5 hours south of Cancun.

Four different areas contain a mixture of all inclusive hotels, private homes and condominium complexes, many of which are available for holiday rentals. The main town of Akumal has restaurants, boutique shops, area activities and real estate offices.

The Mayan translation of Akumal is "Place of the Turtles", and rightly so. Both Akumal Bay and Half Moon Bay provide visitors with excellent snorkeling/diving opportunities as well as seasonal nesting habitat for a number of endangered Sea Turtles.
Akumal Condo Akumal Condo
photo by: droid
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Todos Santos
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A small town populated by artists and ex-pats, the quaint an friendly atmosphere accompanies the large waves and laid back approach to life. Located on the Pacific side of Baja, Todos Santos houses many art galleries, cafes, and quaint restaurants, making it the bohemian capital of Baja.
Chiapas
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Combined with the Yucatan Peninsula and parts of Guatemala, the state of Chiapas is a central part of the Mundo Maya “Mayan World.” Modern day locals, “chiapanecos”, are descendants of the Maya and still maintain close ties to their religion and customs. From its lush tropical lowlands to its indigenous highlands, Chiapas attracts more travelers and trekkers than typical tourists. Local festivals, exquisite Mayan ruins, diverse nature and a rich blend of colonial and indigenous cultures makes trips to the region fascinating travel experiences. With a landscape that ranges from misty mountains to pine covered hills and dense jungle, Chiapas has an ideal climate for coffee, tropical fruits, and rich biodiversity. The howler monkeys, jaguars, and numerous avian species all occupy your senses when you descend into the lush valleys or climb to the tops of the mountainous peaks.

This state includes the visits worth visiting such as Palenque, Bonampak and Yaxchilan, Agua Azul, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Sumidero Canyon, Tuxtla Gutierrez, and Villahermosa