Mexico City is one of the most popular and largest cities in the Americas. Situated on the ruins of the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, it attracts tourists and travelers from across the world for its rich cultural heritage, colonial architecture, and spicy cuisine.
There are a large number of popular activities, stunning rental homes in Mexico as well as amazing cultural experiences to explore and enjoy. Here we share a couple of attractions in Mexico.
Centro Histórico, a historic center
Spanish conquerors destroyed great Island City Island on Lake Texcoco that was built by the Aztecs. The Spanish drained the lake and made a “city of palaces” over the ruins. Thus, one gets to see a blend of the past and the present in the 10-acre historic center which boasts of several museums, temples, and cathedrals. Visit the city’s main public square, The Zócalo and Palacio Nacional, home to the president’s offices. You get to see Renaissance, neoclassical and baroque architectural style in the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral.
Teotihuacan, with powerful architecture
Another ancient archaeological site to see in Mexico is Teotihuacan, which is situated towards the northeast of Mexico City. The UNESCO World Heritage site is a model of urbanization and city planning reflects how subsequent cultures followed architecture. The towering and awe-inspiring structures of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon boast of the most powerful artistic centers in Mesoamerica.
Volcán Paricutín offering awesome views
Volcán Paricutín is not older than 80 years, and the volcano offers extraordinary views from its summit. It is about 2800m in height and provides a good place to trek. The standard route taken by most trekkers is via San Juan church where they can see colorful offerings of candles and flowers on the altar. One can trek on foot or horseback, but the whole experience is a long one but rewarding. Enjoy local delicacies and blue corn quesadillas sold by a number of food stalls on the way. The route would take you through avocado groves, wildflowers and agave fields.
Museo Nacional de Antropología
Museo Nacional de Antropología is an extension of the Bosque de Chapultepec, and two-level display halls surround the long, rectangular courtyard of the world-class museum. The ground-floor is dedicated to pre-Hispanic Mexico while the upper gallery showcases Mexico’s indigenous descendant’s lives and the contemporary cultures. The exhibits are displayed with an explanatory text translated into English. Take advantage of the free guided tours and proceed counterclockwise around the courtyard.
Bosque De Chapultepec, the largest park
Chapultepec is the largest park in the Mexico City and spans across 1,600 acres. The Monument of Young Heroes, honoring six young cadets stands at the main entrance of the park. Explore other attractions of the sprawling park such as the Tamayo Museum, botanical gardens and National Museum of Anthropology.
Templo Mayor, the center of the universe
The Templo Mayor is believed to be on the precise spot where the Aztecs saw their figurative eagle settling on a cactus with a snake in its beak. Aztec believed that this was the center of the universe and the Temple is the symbol of Mexico today. What we see today in the temple are several sections that have been added to the temple during different phases. Huitzilopochtli’ shrine, who was the Aztec war god lies in the southern half. Chac-Mool, a reclining figure before a shrine lies in the northern half. Spaniards had demolished the entrance to the temple site. Ongoing excavation continues to reveal major pieces and make new discoveries. Tlaltecuhtli, the goddess of earth fertility, was uncovered recently just towards the west of the temple.
Xochimilco, the Venice of the New World
Xochimilco, the “Venice of the New World” is a network of canals that weave through man-made islands. Xochimilco means” where the flowers grow,” and it is rightfully named as you come across floating gardens made by farmers. Reed rafts are slathered with mud and used to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers by the farmers. These gardens have rooted with time and have become islands. Take boat rides and go through the waterways, enjoying drinks and snacks. The floating city of Xochimilco is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site as it is the only remaining example of the old-fashioned pre-Hispanic land use of the lagoons in the Mexico City basin.
Guelaguetza, open-air Auditorium
You can enjoy Oaxacan folk dances that are staged in the large, semi-open-air Auditorio Guelaguetza on the first two Mondays. Watch those magnificently costumed dancers perform a succession of lively and comical traditional dances. Those dancers come from different regions of Oaxaca State, and when they finish, they toss offerings of produce to the crowd. The unbelievably colorful pineapple dance by female dancers of the Papaloapan region is the climax.
Día de Los Muertos, a pre-Hispanic tradition
Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead is a pre-Hispanic tradition that is celebrated October to November each year throughout Mexico. Thus if you happen to be in Mexico during this time, do not miss out on the tradition where you get to see the streets in a splash of color. One can view the sculptures of fantastical beasts and offerings to dead loved ones as Ofrendas from their homes, cemeteries, and public spaces. The altars are decorated with bright marigolds, food and drink and skulls, and other gifts to welcome the dead. Join thousands of spectators lined sidewalks and balconies.
Other favorite activities in Mexico include exploring the Frida Kahlo Museum and famous Metropolitan Cathedral. Stroll through the Central University City Campus or the National Palace presidential residence and the Palace of Fine Arts that are well known for their architecture.
Your trip to Mexico would be incomplete if you didn’t try the regional cuisines. Start with the vibrant street-food scene where you can taste local delicacies at modest prices made from fresh and organic ingredients. Adventurous eaters can order traditional dishes or try other delicacies such as dried grasshoppers. Blanco Colima in the heart of Mexico City’s makes for an exquisite atmosphere for the cuisine and offers a range of gastronomy tours. You can even join some cooking classes and learn more about Mexican cousins.
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Disclaimer: This is a guest post.