The Touropia tourism website published a feature entitled “10 Top Tourist Attractions in Mexico” (click here to see it). Here are the sites they mentioned, along with my comments:
- Teotihuacan, a mysterious and impressive archaeological site located north of Mexico City. The two biggest structures are the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon.
- Chichen Itza, a Maya city located on the Yucatan Peninsula. It includes such structures as the Castillo pyramid, the Temple of a Thousand Columns, and the Ball Court (best-preserved in Mesoamerica).
- Tulum, another Maya site, right on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
- Copper Canyon, a network of canyons in the mountains of Mexico’s western Chihuahua state. It’s actually deeper than the Grand Canyon.
- Palenque, a Maya city in the state of Chiapas. It was the home of the ruler known as Pacal the Great.
- Los Cabos, a beach area at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.
- Cozumel, an island right off the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
- Día de los Muertos, Oaxaca. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is the Mexican version of the Catholic All Souls’ Day. It is observed in various ways throughout Mexico, and Touropia lists the Oaxaca observance. Other lists might include the observance on Janitzio Island, in Lake Patzcuaro, Michoacan.
- Guanajuato, capital of Mexico’s central Guanajuato state. Its downtown was constructed in colonial times.
- Acapulco, Mexican resort city on the Pacific Coast.
In this list, four of the attractions are pre-Hispanic archaeological sites, one is a colonial city, two are natural scenery sites, two are coastal resorts, and one is a festival.
One of the fun things about such lists is disagreeing about them. For example, somebody in the comments section wrote “What about Guadalajara?!”
Seasoned Mexico travelers of course would be able to draw up their own lists. There is so much to see in Mexico.
In a more specialized vein, Touropia has its own list of the “7 Most Amazing Pyramids of Mexico” (click here). I noticed that my wife and I have visited four of them (1, 2, 3 and 5). Here’s the list, with my comments:
- The Temple of Kukulcan (referred to above as el Castillo) at Chichen Itza – This pyramid was so precisely constructed that on the first day of spring and the first day of fall, the light and shadow show the form of a serpent descending the pyramid.
- Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan – This is the biggest one at that site, and the tallest pyramid in Mexico.
- Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacan – This is the other big pyramid at Teotihuacan.
- The Pyramid of the Magician at Uxmal – A Mayan site on the Yucatan Peninsula.
- The Nohuch Mul Pyramid at Coba – This is the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula. The entire Coba archaeological site is very interesting, as the tourist walks through the jungle to encounter the various sites.
- The Great Pyramid at Calakmul – Another archaeological site on the Yucatan Peninsula.
- Pyramid of the Niches at El Tajin – On the Gulf of Mexico Coast, this was possibly constructed by ancestors of the Totonac culture.
Another Mexican pyramid that could be on the list is the Pyramid of Cholula, which is the world’s biggest pyramid by volume. I remember when we visited, we were able to walk through it.
A casual observer, however, might not even realize that the Cholula pyramid is a pyramid. It has been overgrown with vegetation and looks like a hill, and there is a Catholic church on the top.
Touropia has another page entitled “10 Best Places to Visit in Mexico.” You’ll note that several are on the other top ten listed above.
- Chichen Itza
- Mexico Beach Destinations (there are so many).
- Mexico City (see here, here, here and here)
- Copper Canyon
- Taxco, Guerrero (famous for its silver)
- Merida (on the Yucatan Peninsula)
- Puebla (east of Mexico City)
On the general subject of Mexican tourist attractions, I invite the reader to peruse my recent Mexconnect article on the topic of the state of Guanajuato, with photographs. It’s entitled “Camino de Guanajuato” and you can access it here.
By Allan Wall
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