Region: Pacific Coast / Filter: attraction


Just beyond the Plaza Villabongin, you see one of the symbols of Morelia, its aqueduct, built in the late 1700s to supply water from nearby springs for the growing city. It stretches for an impressive 2 kilometers and has over 250 dramatic high arches in excellent condition, which, wh... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Another of Don Vasco’s dreams was to build an extraordinary cathedral, which he designed to be three times larger than the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. With that in mind, he built the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de La Salud on a gentle hill about two blocks from the p... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Basilica de Nuestra Señora de La Soledad (Church of the Virgin of Solitude) is a beautiful 16th-century church, whose ornate façade is studded with statues. The church is most famous for its shrine containing Oaxaca’s patron saint, the Virgin of Solitude. Th... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Go under the aqueduct and continue ahead on La Calzada Frey Antonio de San Miguel. The street was named by Father Antonio de San Miguel who commissioned the aqueduct to be built. This pedestrian esplanade is lined by beautiful 18th-century mansions, which during its heyday housed... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

This is the home where one of Mexico’s most famous leaders, Benito Juárez, lived as a servant during his youth and the furnishings reflect the style of that period (early 19th century). Benito Juárez, a Zapotec Indian born in the nearby village of San Pablo Gue... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Its largest and oldest park, the Parque Agua Azul, not only has Casa de Las Artesanias where some of the best handicraft items made in the state are displayed and sold. There is always something going on here—concerts, outdoor theater, festivals, etc.—and it’s a grea... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Not attributed to Don Vasco, but certainly a place you won’t want to miss, especially if you are into shopping for crafts, is the Casa de Los Once Patios (House of the Eleven Patios), a 17th-century Dominican monastery just a half block off the Don Vasco de Quiroga Plaza. The or... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A wonderful excursion from Palenque is a visit to the Casacadas de Agua Azul (Waterfalls at Agua Azul). When planning your day you might want to consider an early start and perhaps ask the hotel where you are staying to pack you a lunch and plan to have picnic here (there are also m... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

La Catedral: The cathedral, dating back to 1528, is tucked on the northwest corner of the Plaza Principal in San Cristóbal De Las Casas. Father Bartolomé de Las Casas, for whom the city was named, was the church’s first bishop. The exterior is brilliantly painted... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The core of old Guadalajara stretches for seven blocks and is laid out like a cross. At its western end is the Plaza Guadalajara, dominated by a stunning cathedral; at the southern end of the cross is the Plaza de Armas, enhanced by a park with a lacy wrought-iron bandstand where conc... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A convenient spot to start your explorations of Morelia is on the (above-mentioned) Avenida Francisco Madero at the Plaza de Armas, nicknamed Plaza de Los Mártires (Square of the Martyrs), in honor of two leaders of the Revolution of Independence who were executed here. Th... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The Church of Zihacantán: You will see when you visit the Church of this small village that the worshipers sit on chairs and the mens’ garb is exceptionally colorful with brilliantly embroidered vests. The pagan beliefs of the indigenous people creep into their religio... 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, traditiona... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

San Juan Chamula: The main sight in San Juan Chamula is its church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Here, in a simple white church with turquoise-colored trim, you find the pagan beliefs of the indigenous Mayan people intermingled with the Catholic faith. You step into the dimly ... 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) afte... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

El Palacio (The Palace): This huge, imposing complex is quite unlike others in the Mayan world. It looks more like a structure one might expect to find in Europe, with a slender, tall watchtower, a labyrinth of intricate rooms, a series of inner courtyards, galleries faced by c... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you want to shop for handicrafts, you can drive or take a taxi out to Tlaquepaque, an artists’ town located in the suburbs about 9 kilometers from the center of Guadalajara. This once-small crafts village is now all but smothered within the growing sprawl of the city, but at ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Iglesia de San Nicolás: The Church of San Nicolas is located on the northeast corner of the Plaza Principal in San Cristobal de las Casas. ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Mercado: About two-blocks behind the Templo de Santo Domingo in San Cristóbal De Las Casas is a huge, outdoor city market, open every day of the week, filled with vegetables, fruits, herbs, medicines, dry goods, hardware, chickens, pigs—just about anything you could pos... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

(Museum of Morelos’s Later Home), Avenida Morelos Sur 323: This is the home where José María Morelos lived in his later life. This museum shows furniture, personal objects from his life, a wonderful old kitchen, and many displays about the War of Independence, in w... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

(Museum of Morelos’s Birthplace), Corregidora 113: The home where Morelia’s native hero, José María Morelos, was born in 1765. It is now a library and a museum showing mementos of his life. A torch burns eternally in memory of Morelos.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

This collection of contemporary art is housed in one of Oaxaca’s most historic buildings, the 16th-century Casa de Cortés, supposedly commissioned by Cortés himself. Here you find paintings of some of Oaxaca’s most famous artists including Rodolfo Morales, Fr... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Don Vasco wanted to make Pátzcuaro an important religious, cultural, and political center. He decided the town needed a university and so, in 1540, chose a site a block from the main square and founded the Colegio de San Nicolás, which claims to be the second-oldest... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

This striking museum is connected to and part of the Santo Domingo Church, being housed on two floors of the former monastery attached to the church. (If you have visited Oaxaca previously, do not be confused—it used to be called the Museo Regional.) Here you find a breathtaking... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Museo del Ambar: San Crisóbal de Las Casas is famous for its amber, and about four blocks west of the Plaza Principal, there is an excellent Amber Museum ensconced within an old convent. There are many examples of jewelry, but my favorite pieces are the exquisite amber carvin... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

(State Museum), Guillermo Prieto 176: This tiny museum was the home of Ana Huarte, wife of Agustín Iturbide who was briefly Emperor of Mexico after the execution of Maxmillian. The museum displays archaeological artifacts representing pre-Colombian history and jewelry made by T... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Museo Na Bolom: Located ten blocks northeast of the Plaza Principal in San Crisóbal de Las Casas, is the Na Bolom Museum, which was the home of Frans Blom, a Danish anthropologist, and Trudy Duby, a Swiss photographer and journalist. They came to San Cristóbal de Las C... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A stroll down the block from the palace, in a building enhanced by interior courtyards, you find the Museo Regional de Guadalajara, which displays a wealth of exhibits including religious art, paintings, Colonial furniture, portraits, pre-Columbian artifacts, fanciful carriages, potte... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

(Regional Museum of Michoacán), corner of Allende and Abasolo: Originally a private mansion where Emperor Maxmillian stayed during his visits to Morelia, this museum displays many pre-Columbian ceramics, Colonial arms, and paintings. Of special interest are Indian codices (most... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

To complete your visit to the Mayan City of Palenque be sure to stop by the fine Museum of Palenque, which you passed on the right side of the road as you drove into the site. This museum contains many objects of jade, stone, and pottery excavated at the city. In addition, in a... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

This museum, located two blocks from the Plaza Bora, on Calle Porfirio A. Delgado, features William Spratling’s collection of silver and pre-Hispanic art. It seems every building has its silver shop. You cannot go more than a few steps before finding another one (at last co... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Nigromante 75: This handsome, baroque building, formerly a 17th-century Jesuit college, is now the tourist office. Stop in here for maps, information on places to see, and events going on during the time of your visit.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Facing onto Avenida Francisco Madero, catty-corner across from the cathedral, is the 18th-century Palacio de Gobierno. Formerly a seminary that educated many of Mexico’s most important statesmen, it has been used as the government building since 1867. Step inside to view the swe... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Palacio Municipal: The Municipal Palace in San Cristóbal De Las Casas stretches across the entire west side of the Plaza Principal. This dramatic, long, two-story yellow building, fronted by a parade of colonnades, was built in the late 19th century as the government house. ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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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 hist... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

In addition to its historic center, Guadalajara has many other attractions for the visitor including many parks. Its largest and oldest, the Parque Agua Azul, not only has gardens, an orchid house, an aviary, and a butterfly sanctuary, but is also home to the Casa de Las Artesanias&nb... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

This small plaza in the center of town is a photographers’ delight—the epitome of what one imagines the perfect Mexican square should look like. It is tiny (there isn’t much room to spare in Taxco), but as pretty as can be with shade trees, the typical bandstand, w... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The core of old Guadalajara stretches for seven blocks and is laid out like a cross. At its western end is the Plaza Guadalajara, dominated by a stunning cathedral; at the southern end of the cross is the Plaza de Armas, enhanced by a park with a lacy wrought-iron bandstand where conc... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A convenient spot to start your explorations of Morelia is on the (above-mentioned) Avenida Francisco Madero at the Plaza de Armas, nicknamed Plaza de Los Mártires (Square of the Martyrs), in honor of two leaders of the Revolution of Independence who were executed here. Th... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

This tree-studded main plaza in the heart of Oaxaca is truly a gem. For the price of a beer or a cup of coffee you can sit at a café table and watch the colorful world of Oaxaca—with Indian, mestizo, Spanish, and gringo faces passing through the busy plaza. You could sit ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The core of old Guadalajara stretches for seven blocks and is laid out like a cross. At its western end is the Plaza Guadalajara, dominated by a stunning cathedral; at the southern end of the cross is the Plaza de Armas, enhanced by a park with a lacy wrought-iron bandstand where conc... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The core of old Guadalajara stretches for seven blocks and is laid out like a cross. At its western end is the Plaza Guadalajara, dominated by a stunning cathedral; at the southern end of the cross is the Plaza de Armas, enhanced by a park with a lacy wrought-iron bandstand where conc... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Mariachi music originated in the state of Jalisco, in which Guadalajara is located, so it is no wonder that you hear so much of it here. “Mariachi” derives from the French word for marriage, and it originated during the brief period when the French controlled Mexico, ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If for no other reason, Pátzcuaro would be worth a detour to see its stunning Plaza Don Vasco de Quiroga, in our estimation one of the two most beautiful squares in Mexico (our other favorite is the plaza in Tlaxcala—see Mexico & Beyond itinerary). This parklike ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

: A block north of the Plaza Don Vasco de Quiroga is another plaza that goes by several names: Plaza Chica, Plaza de San Agustín, or Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra. This is a bustling square with many shops and commercial buildings around it. The activity really picks up on Friday m... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The core of old Guadalajara stretches for seven blocks and is laid out like a cross. At its western end is the Plaza Guadalajara, dominated by a stunning cathedral; at the southern end of the cross is the Plaza de Armas, enhanced by a park with a lacy wrought-iron bandstand where... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Plaza Principal: Your first sightseeing target in San Cristóbal De Las Casas should be the main square (zócola) which is located in the heart of the city. For later sightseeing, note that the streets all change names as they pass through the square. Sit on one of the ben... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From the cathedral, turn right onto Avenida Francisco Madero and continue walking for about nine blocks. You will come to a triangular plaza with a park, the Plaza Villabongin, which has a fountain featuring a handsome sculpture of three bare-breasted Indian women holding baskets of f... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Four blocks from the Plaza de Armas is a museum you must not miss—its stunning archaeological collection is outstanding, with over 1,000 pre-Hispanic works of art beautifully displayed in a handsome mansion. The collection was given to the town by Rufino Tamayo, a famous artist ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

One would never dream of finding such an incredibly beautiful church as Santa Prisca tucked away in a small mining town, but then most towns didn’t have such a wealthy benefactor as José de La Borda. When the word trickled to Europe that silver had been found in the New... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Santo Domingo, built by the Dominicans in 1670, is a dazzling baroque church. The exterior is handsome with twin bell towers crowned with brightly colored tiles, but there is little hint on the outside of the opulence within. It was here that Pope John Paul II blessed a huge crowd whe... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

(Church of San Diego), Continue walking down La Calzada Frey Antonio de San Miguel. The street dead-ends at the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Church of San Diego), an 18th-century church that is my favorite in Morelia. The exterior is rather staid and totally belies... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Just across from the church of Santa Prisca is a silver museum run by a local silversmith. At first glance it seems more like a shop, but what is interesting is that on exhibit are award-winning pieces of jewelry. It is fascinating to see the superb designs and craftsmanship in these ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

On Plaza de La Liberación is the stunning Teatro Degollado. With its rich red and gold ornate interior and rows of balconies, it is compared by many to Milan’s jewel, La Scala. All forms of art are presented here including opera, jazz, classical concerts, and ballet. This... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Templo de Las Inscripciones (Temple of the Inscriptions): This towering pyramid that dominates the landscape is named for the stone hieroglyphic panels found within. In 1948, a Mexican archaeologist, Alberto Ruz, discovered a steep hidden stairway leading from the floor of the el... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Templo de Santo Domingo: You must not miss this spectacular 16th-century ex-convent, which is located in San Cristóbal De Las Casas about five blocks north of the Plaza Principal. The baroque façade of the pale peach-colored church is richly embellished with intricatel... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Templo del Conde (Temple of the Count): This temple is named for Jean Frederic Maximilien de Waldec, an eccentric German count who lived here for a year in 1832 in a small temple tucked at the top of this high pyramid The count brought along his mistress, who must have been qui... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Templo y Exconvento de Las Rosas (Church and Convent of the Roses), Santiago Tapia, between Galeana Nigromante and Guillermo Prieto: Facing a small park called Jardín de Las Rosas, the Convent of the Roses was built in the 16th century for Dominican nuns, then later became... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

(Church and Convent of Saint Francis), Fray Juan de San Miguel 129: This church and convent, built in dramatic Spanish-Moorish style, are some of the oldest buildings in Morelia, dating back to 1525. Today the convent houses the Casa de Las Artesania, a museum displaying and selling h... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Textile Market: On the west side of the Templo de Santo Domingo in San Cristóbal De Las Casas is a remarkably interesting craft market. Here the local villagers come to display their handicrafts. The array of colorful wares to buy is overwhelming. Beautiful shawls, hand-embro... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Toniná: This is a relatively small archaeological site, but well worth a visit. To add to the magic, you might be the only tourists there. Toniná was one of the last functioning Classic Mayan cities, surviving almost 100 years beyond the demise of the others. To enrich... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended