Some of my first travel memories are from Mexico: standing in the surf as a toddler, staring fascinated at iguanas, eating helados from the beach vendors.
I haven’t made it back to Mexico as an adult yet, but it’s on my sooner-rather-than-later travel list. Some of the things I want to discover there are historic: the imposing ruins at Chichen Itza, the zocalos of towns conquered by the Spanish in their bloody takeover, the vastness of ancient Teotihuacan.
But other attractions are naturally made: the diverse, pristine coastline and islands and the Mesoamerican reef that runs along its Caribbean shore; the Barrancas del Cobre, sinuous copper canyons in Chihuahua; the Monarch butterfly reserves in Michoacan.
Still others are man-made, created to pamper and entertain the tourists who flock to beautiful Mexico: staying in all-inclusive resorts in Riviera Maya, learning yoga on surfboards in an infinity pool, shopping in crafts markets, dancing all night in Mexico City.
Ready for more travel inspiration? Check out these awesome images of Mexico:
I don’t know who gets the lovely job of deciding what is the best beach in Mexico, but when you quit, could I have it? Puerto Vallarta is often listed in top rankings of the Mexican seaside, and it’s deservedly popular. Often, though, a more intimate beach than the main one your resort is built on will be just around the corner if you hire a boat for a day or take a beach-hopping tour.
Tired of the beach? (Well, I’m never tired of the beach, but you know what I mean…) How about ruins? (Nope. I don’t get tired of those either!)
The city of Teotihuacan has always fascinated me. The name of the city, the juxtaposition of these colossal ancient ruins so close to the heart of the country, where later leaders chose to put the City of Mexico, the mystery of its beginnings.
If you’re in southern Mexico, maybe a trip to Palenque is in order. Much less grandiose than Teotihuacan, Palenque is a temple and city ruin. However small it seems, though, part of its attraction is that archeologists believe another thousand or so ruined buildings may be waiting to be discovered under the thick jungle that surrounds it.
But, the must-see sights of Mexico for archeologically inclined visitors is supposed to be Chichen Itza. The pyramidal ruins you see here were once the central temple and were surrounded by the most important city of the Mayan region. It would have been a diverse city, important to local politics and trade routes.
And, while you’re in the region, you wouldn’t want to miss the nearby Balankanche Caves, which were sacred to the Mayans. They’re now a museum, housing ancient offerings and other artifacts.
What about natural wonders other than caves-turned-museums? Well, this one’s highest up on my to-see list: the Monarch butterfly migration.
It’s special enough to catch sight of just one Monarch butterfly as it migrates from Canada to Mexico. But what about seeing a billion of them? That’s not a typo–according to Wikipedia, up to 1 billion Monarchs spend the winter at the Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve in northern Mexico. You can tour the biopshere while the butterflies are in season (November-March), and see trees that seem to drip with these gorgeous yellow insects. There’s also a Monarch Butterfly cultural festival, usually held in February.
Have you been to Mexico? What was your favorite place to visit? Share your travel inspiration with us!
Hi! I’m Beth. Thanks for visiting Everyday Travel Stories, a site that celebrates all of the glorious travel opportunities on our planet.