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Mexico

A guide to its main attractions
by piero scaruffi
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Selected by piero scaruffi | Back to the travel page | Suggestions | Pictures of Mexico
Ratings are from 0 to 10 (world's wonder)

Central

  • Ciudad de Mexico/ Mexico City
    • Catedral y Sagrario, noblest ecclesiastical building in the Americas (7)
    • Palacio Nacional, 205 meters wide facade (3)
    • +Templo Mayor, Aztec ceremonial center (6)
    • Museo Mural Diego Rivera, containing "El Sueno" (4)
    • La Profesa, baroque church (3)
    • Tlatelolco, Aztec city (5)
    • Pedro Ramirez Vasquez's Museo Nacional de Antropologia, one of the world's great museums (closed mondays) (8)
    • Tenayuca, Aztec pyramids of 1200 AD (6), near village San Bartolo reachable from Autobuses del Norte
    • Felix Candela's Church of Miraculous Virgin (1955)
    • Universidad Nacional (1950) (architect Carlos Lazo, murales by Rivera et al, ++Central Library, etc)
    • Palacio Nacional (murale by Rivera)
    • Santa Fe: Agustin Hernandez's Complejo Calakmul (1994) "La Lavadora" (45 minutes by bus from Tacubaya station), Arcos Bosques and SAn Josemaria Escrivia church (Note: in 2010 it was forbidden to take pictures of the Lavadora, but you can take great pictures of it from the church)
    • Torre Mayor (2002)
  • Teotihuacan, most important pre-Aztec city (10): Pyramid of the Sun, Temple to Quetzalcoatl
  • Tepotzotlan: Museo Nacional del Virreinato with Convent of 16th c, main baroque building in Mexico with + Capilla Camarin/Domestica (7)
  • Tula or Tollan, ruins of the ancient Toltec capital (8)
  • Cacaxtla, ancient Olmec city (7)
  • Xochitecatl, ancient city of (1000-400 BC) (7)
  • Puebla: La Immaculada Conception cathedral (6)
  • Cholula (2)
  • Tlaxcala: Basilica de Ocotlan with + dome of the camarin (6)
  • Citlatepetl (hike to the top in may/june)
  • Toluca: Nevado de Toluca (extinct volcano, fourth highest mountain, can be hiked any time of the year) and Teotenango, ancient Matlazinca city (5), and Calixtlahuaca, ruins of the ancient Toltec city (6)
  • Xochicalco, ancient fortress (7)
  • Taxco: Santa Prisca (5)
  • Malinalco, Aztec ruins (5)
  • Popocatepetl, second highest mountain, november-february (7)

North of Mexico City

  • Guanajuato (370 km northwest of Mexico City): La Valenciana (4)
  • Morelia, third largest city (3) with La Trasfiguracion de Cristo, cathedral
  • Mapimi (Durango): Puente de Ojuela

West

  • Guadalajara, second largest city (3) with Hospicios Cabanas
  • Cuitzeo, Sta Maria Magdalena church (2)
  • Yuriria, San Pablo convent (3)
  • Queretaro, colonial town with imposing churches (Santa Clara, Santa Rosa) and convents (5)
  • Zacatecas, baroque cathedral (6)
  • La Quemada, ruins (4)
  • San Luis Potosi, El Carmen church (4)

East

  • Cempoala, ancient capital of the Totonacs (7)
  • El Tajin, most important ruin of the Totonacs (8)
  • Veracruz (2)

South-west

  • Oaxaca: Santo Domingo (2)
  • Monte Alban, ancient Zapotec ceremonial site (9)
  • Yagul, Zapotec ruins (4)
  • Mitla, Zapotec ruins (5)

South

  • San Cristobal de las Casas (4)
  • Tzotzil villages (8)
  • Villahermosa: Archeological park with colossal Olmec sculptures from La Venta, Museum (7)
  • Palenque, most important Maya ruin in Mexico (10)
  • Bonampak, Maya ruin (6)
  • Yaxchilan, Maya ruin (6)
  • Uxmal, Maya ruin (7)
  • Chichen Itza, Maya ruin (10)
  • Tulum, Maya ruin (5)

Must see

  1. Palenque, most important Maya ruin in Mexico (10)
  2. Teotihuacan, most important pre-Aztec city (10)
  3. Chichen Itza, Maya ruin (10)
  4. Monte Alban, ancient Zapotec ceremonial site (9)
  5. Museo Nacional de Antropologia, one of the world's great museums (8)
  6. Tula or Tollan, ruins of the ancient Toltec capital (8)
  7. Tzotzil villages (8)
  8. El Tajin, most important ruin of the Totonacs (8)
  9. Amecameca: hike up Popocatepetl, november-february (7)
  10. Xochicalco, ancient fortress (7)
  11. Cacaxtla, ancient Olmec city (7)
  12. Uxmal, Maya ruin (7)
  13. Cempoala, ancient capital of the Totonacs (7)
  14. Mexico City's Catedral y Sagrario, noblest ecclesiastical building in the Americas (7)

Links


Notes

  • See this page for how to reach many of these sights.
  • The rain season in most of the archeological regions is between june and september.

Main civilizations

PeopleLocation Age Ruins
OlmecSan Lorenzo1250BC - 700 BC --
ZapotecMonte Alban400 BC - 700 AD +++
TeotihuacanTeotihuacan150 BC - 750 AD +++
MayaTikal (Guatemala)100-900 AD +++
TotonacEl Tajin300-1200 ++
MayaPalenque550 AD - 800 +++
ToltecTula950 AD - 1174 +
MayaChichen Itza1000-1250 ++
MayaUxmal1100-1450 ++
AztecTenochtitlan (Ciudad de Mexico)1370-1520 +