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Mexico Cities


Acapulco was one of Mexico’s first beach areas to become popular. It is no wonder these early tourists were captivated, since Acapulco has a stunning natural setting. Today, the aura of secluded bliss in the downtown area of Acapulco has faded behind rows of high-rise hotels (many of whic... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

We cannot resist mentioning a side trip to Alamos. Although not located in the Copper Canyon, Alamos is a Colonial jewel very much like El Fuerte and shares a similar heritage. The Hacienda de Los Santos, a remarkably charming, beautifully decorated hacienda abounding with antiques and exquisit... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From Uruapan, go north for about 13 kilometers on highway 37, turn left, and continue for another 20 kilometers to Angahuan. Here you will find plenty of guides eager to rent you horses and guide you to see the covered town (a 6-kilometer round trip). Arrangements can be made also to take you u... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leaving Chetumal, head north on highway 307 in the direction of Cancún. The highway traces Lago Bacalar (Lake Bacalar), a narrow but very long lake stretching for 104 kilometers. It is fed from underground cenotes, so its water is crystal-clean and quite remarkable in color, shading from... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Today your train adventure begins. The official time for the train to leave El Fuerte for the Copper Canyon is 7:40 am, but the train is rarely on time. Request a wake-up call at the reception, and ask what time you need to leave for the train. When you make your reservation, request the entire... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The southern tip of Baja has long been popular with wealthy sportsmen, such as the late Bing Crosby, who fly down in their private planes for deep-sea fishing. Happily, what used to be almost a private playground for the super-rich is now available for everyone. However, the area still caters t... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Another outstanding archaeological site highly recommended, as a side trip from either Puebla or Tlaxcala, is the city of Cacaxtla (A.D. 600–900). If you are in the least interested in delving into the rich accomplishments of the Indians prior to the arrival of the Spanish, this site... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The small port city of Campeche, located on the Gulf of Mexico, 178 kilometers southwest of Mérida, makes a great outing. Be sure to include, at the same time, the nearby archaeological site of Edzná (see below). At the heart of Campeche is a colorful small Spanish Colonial town w... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cancún makes a convenient starting point, since its international airport has numerous planes arriving daily from other Mexican cities, the United States, Canada, and Europe. It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago there was practically nothing here except long stretches of ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Costa Alegre, considered one of Mexico’s greatest undiscovered treasures, is becoming a favored hideaway both for celebrities and the wealthy seeking seclusion in a natural paradise. Alternatively referred to as Costa Alegre (Happy Coast) or Costa Careyes (Turtle Coast) after the many sea... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

On the coast southwest of Mérida you find the small village of Celestún where fishermen still pull their boats up onto the wide sandy beach at night as they have done for generations and lining the waterfront are simple restaurants featuring the catch of the day. This is a ve... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Owned by the Balderramas, who own most of the hotels and organize most of the tours in the Copper Canyon, the Misión adds a whole new dimension to your canyon experience. As with the other Balderrama properties, a stay here is very easy to set up since one phone call to the head office (... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Throughout the following Classic Period (A.D. 300–900) some of these Yucatán sites faded but the area still remained a part of the amazing cultural development of such well known Mayan jungle cities as Tikal, Palenque, and Copan. Amazingly, the Yucatán region did not share i... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The large ruined city of Cobá lies about halfway between Tulum and Cancún, and is situated 40 kilometers inland from the coast at the end of a good road. It is built around a group of five small lakes that once provided water for a region of perhaps 50,000 people. The presenc... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you want to combine a bit of archaeology with your beach holiday, you can drive about an hour east of Manzanillo up into the lush mountains to Colima. This is a clean, attractive working city with a pretty Colonial plaza where you find the excellent Museum of Archaeology. Originally, this ex... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Located just 20 kilometers off the coast from Playa del Carmen, Cozumel is Mexico’s largest island (measuring 52 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide). This still-unspoiled island remains only moderately developed; the rest is wild jungle populated by iguanas, foxes, deer, and other wil... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

About two hours east of Barrancas, the train stops in Creel. The town is not especially attractive, but the surrounding area is lovely. About half-an-hour’s drive from the train station, you can stay in the Sierra Lodge, a small hotel built on a rise just above the river. Here you feel a ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cuernavaca, located 90 kilometers southwest of Mexico, is a popular weekend getaway for many wealthy Mexicans, some who have sumptuous second homes here. Due to its excellent climate, Cuernavaca is called “The City of Eternal Spring” and has been a favorite retreat since the time of... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Although its central square is quite attractive, Dolores Hidalgo is not nearly as pristinely picturesque as San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, or Pozos. However it is worth a visit—especially for those fascinated by Mexican history or interested in purchasing Talavera tile. It was in Dolo... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The Copper Canyon is so remote that for many years it was inaccessible to tourists. Only a few rugged individuals made their way by foot or on horseback to enjoy the spectacle of this masterpiece of nature. The situation changed dramatically in 1961 when the Chihuahua al Pacífico Ra... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Guadalajara is often called the City of Roses. Guadalajara is a huge, modern, cosmopolitan city with over 5 million inhabitants. It is studded with shady parks, statues highlighting small plazas, tree-lined boulevards, fine museums, world-class restaurants, handsome residential areas, large de... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

You can easily stop to see Guanajuato en route from San Miguel de Allende to Guadalajara, however since this quaint, picturesque town deserves more time that a quick visit, we suggest including it as a day’s outing from San Miguel de Allende. Because parking is a nightmare here (the stree... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Travel the distance north from Loreto to Laguna Ojo de Liebre at Guerrero Negro, a journey that should take approximately five hours. Upon leaving Loreto, the road travels inland from the Sea of Cortez, cutting a path through desert forested by cacti and then a mountain canyon, which opens up o... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Commonly referred to as the Bahías de Huatulco (Bays of Hautulco), Huatulco is based around nine bays and 35 kilometers of beaches. After the tremendous success of Cancún, the Mexican government looked for an equivalent site to start a new tourist destination on the Pacific C... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Only 13 kilometers offshore and easily accessible by ferry from Cancún, Isla Mujeres, just 8 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide, is a laid-back reprieve from Cancún’s conspicuously commercialized action. This is an island of white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, comple... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you want to extend your stay in Chichén Itzá, you can take a few side trips. Among the nearby places we suggest are Izamal, an early Spanish Colonial town with a church and convent built on top of one of the Yucatán’s highest pyramids, and the Sacred Cave of Balank... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leaving Xpujil, it is 62 kilometers farther east on 186 until you see the turnoff to the right to Kohunlich, which is about a 15-minute drive off the main highway. The special features here are an impressive pyramid, the Temple of the Sun (also called Temple of the Masks), whose steps are flank... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Located 183 kilometers north of Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, where Cortés landed in 1535, means “peace” and this port town does indeed have a peaceful feel. A rather large city with 200,000 inhabitants, La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur, with a library, anthropology mus... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The town of Loreto, the oldest town in Baja California, its first capital and home to its first mission, enjoys a spectacular setting on the Sea of Cortez looking out to the Coronado Islands, with a backdrop of the magnificent Sierra de La Giganta mountain range. It is an easy trip into town fr... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The southern tip of Baja is commonly referred to simply as Los Cabos. A sportsman’s paradise, Los Cabos basically consists of twin towns: Cabo San Lucas (to the west) and San Jose del Cabo (to the east). The 33-kilometer strip of land joining the two towns is called The Corridor.  Once a bar... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Located west of Cuernavaca, the impressive hilltop site of Malinalco (A.D. 500–1521) was inhabited over the years by various groups of people but reached its peak during the final years of the Aztec Period (c. A.D. 1475–1521). The ruins are reached by climbing almost a mile up a win... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Manzanillo? Never heard of it? Except to the Canadians, who come in droves during their bitterly cold winter, Manzanillo is a relatively unknown destination. It’s located on the west coast of Mexico, about 250 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta. Manzanillo doesn’t have the pizzazz ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Mazatlán, “land of the deer” in the ancient Nahuatl language, offers 20 kilometers of sandy beaches. Hosting more than one million visitors each year, it is definitely geared towards tourists looking for casual, value-packed vacations. Most of the hotels here are high-rise an... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Excuse us for not giving an exact location for your next few nights’ sojourn, and instead rather vaguely saying your destination is the “Mérida area.” After pondering where to suggest you stay, it was impossible to recommend just one place. You can, of course, choose a ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

When you arrive at the Mexico City airport, don’t pick up a cab at the curb or barter with hustlers in the lobby trying to entice you to use their cars. These are unregulated vehicles. Instead, go directly to the transportation booth and buy a ticket for your transportation into the city.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

About an hour’s drive northeast of San Miguel de Allende (just south of the larger town of San Luis de La Paz) is the Colonial town of Mineral de Pozos, affectionately known by all as just “Pozos.” In the early part of the 20th century this once wealthy mining town was abandon... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Reserve a full day to visit Mitla (A.D. 900–1521), since there are places to see along the way. Mitla is located 46 kilometers east of Oaxaca on highway 190, and your first (quick) stop en route is in Santa María del Tule, 9 kilometers outside Oaxaca. Here you find the famous El Tu... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Morelia, the capital of the state of Michoacán, is an attractive, tidy, modern city with many upscale stores and elegant men and women bustling to and fro. If you circumvent the center of town, you totally miss the best part: its fabulous historic center where you step instantly back to ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Oaxaca, tucked high in a fertile valley 485 kilometers southeast of Mexico City, is one of our favorite places in Mexico. Without a doubt it is one of the most colorful, best-preserved Colonial cities in the country, with the added bonus of a lovely climate year round. It also offers visitors a... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Palenque, one of the most beautiful ancient cities discovered in the Americas, is tucked in the jungle where the Usumacinta River drainage meets the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico. Due to the interest and dedicated scholarship of a number of talented epigraphers and art historians, the his... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Tajin, nestled in the jungle about 295 kilometers east of Mexico City in the state of Veracruz, is one of Mexico’s most important archaeological sites. This once great city was founded by the Totonacs who were the first Indians that Cortés encountered when he arrived in Mexico. Taj... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Pátzcuaro, a small Colonial gem with a strong Indian heritage, is one of our favorite destinations. For the first-time traveler to Mexico wanting to visit just one charming Colonial town, San Miguel de Allende might be a better choice since it is more sophisticated with chic boutiques an... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Playa del Carmen is located on the Riviera Maya about an hour’s drive south of Cancún. Many tourists’ first introduction to the town is when they take a bus from Cancún that drops them off at the bus terminal from where they walk through town to the pier. This part of ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Puebla is a delight: a very special town that is another of our favorite Colonial destinations. Although it has grown into a sophisticated city—the fourth largest in Mexico, it still maintains the rich cultural traditions of its past and the charm of a small town. Located 123 kilometers s... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Puerto Vallarta has a scenic location on the sea with the Sierra Madre foothills behind it, and the ornate crown of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe serving as a photogenic landmark. It is a quaint, picturesque town with cobblestone streets, Colonial buildings, traditional Spanish ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Retrace the drive back from Guerrero Negro, past San Ignacio, to the coast at Santa Rosalia. About twenty minutes south of Santa Rosalia, at the town of Palo Verde, there is a sign for the Posada de Las Flores (sister hotel to the one in Loreto) directing you to turn left and travel 18 kilomete... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The newest tourist area is north of Puerto Vallarta, just across the border in the state of Nayarit in an area of spectacular beauty called Punta Mita. The stunning Four Seasons was the first hotel to be built here, but more are soon to follow. For some reason the beaches here are of superb whi... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

En route to San Miguel de Allende, stop at Querétaro, a city dating back to the 16th century. In the mid-1700s Franciscan missionaries founded a church here, but its real growth evolved from its strategic position as a stopping point on the main road between Mexico City and the flourishi... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

To reach Bahía Magdalena, leave Loreto traveling south on Highway 1, which hugs the coastline. The drive along the coastline from Loreto is spectacular, with Isla Coronado, Isla del Carmen, and the gorgeous blue waters of the bay on your left, and dramatic, jagged mountain peaks rising on your... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If your time is limited, after spending a couple of nights in Palenque return to the Yucatán Peninsula and continue on to Río Bec (see the next destination). However, for those interested in anthropology and delving into the rich culture of the Mayan people, then San Cristó... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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