Top 10 Attractions to visit in Mexico
Going on a trip to Mexico? You might have already bought your tickets, arranged for a dog sitter and accommodation-wise, you’re practically settled; all you have to do now is pick among your top three houses for rent in Mexico. Except for one thing—where do you go? There are tons of attractions, so it just might drive you crazy choosing where to go. To help you out, here are the Top 10 Attractions in Mexico, which you must visit for sure.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Copper Canyon
Located in up north of Mexico in the state of Chihuahua, Copper Canyon is in the midst of the Sierra Madre mountain range and is actually four times larger than its more famous, American cousin, the Grand Canyon. The Copper Canyon is also one of nature’s greatest gifts, with its rusty verdant coloring of its walls, allowing the canyon to truly live up to its name. There are several ways to get there, but the most popular and most recommended is the train, which will take 14 hours as it starts in Chihuahua City, go through the desert and ascends into the Sierra Madre range towards Copper Canyon.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Chichen Itza
If you’ve always wanted to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World, then now is your chance because Chichen Itza is on the list. This UNESCO World Heritage site is divided into two parts: the South Zone(dating back to 7th century) and the Central zone (dating back to 10th century). See the El Castillo, the stepped pyramid dedicated to Kukulcan, the feathered snake god. It has a total of 365 steps and is 98 feet tall. You’ll also want to see the Sacred Cenote, a large sinkhole that was for ceremonial use only, thus why artifacts and human sacrifices have been unearthed from its waters years ago. Stay overnight and arrive early the next day to avoid the sun’s heat and the massive day trip crowd.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Teotihuacan
Just around an hour away from Mexico City is Teotihuacan or “City of the Gods” where, according to legend, is where the gods converged during the creation of mankind. The largest Mesoamerican city, it once housed up to 150,000 people at its peak and is where you can find some of the largest pyramids on Earth. It was one of the most powerful and influential cities of pre-Columbian America, with evidence of its influence extending throughout the empire and beyond the regions. The city was centered on the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, two structures you must visit during your visit. Wear comfortable shoes, since it’s a large space and you will definitely be doing a lot of walking.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Rio Secreto
Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets Mexico has is not something seen above ground, but below. The Rio Secreto or ‘Secret River’ is indeed a secret not many tourists know about. Located near Playa del Carmen, Rio Secreto will be unlike any cavern or river you have ever seen. You’ll be taken a few kilometers into the jungle after the briefing and during the hour and a half trip, you will explore around 600 meters of a cave. The waters are crystal clear and you cannot help but be in awe of the thousands of stalactites and stalagmites formed over millions of years. Truly this mystic maze of caves is a wonder from Gaia herself.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Chapultepec Castle
North America may have many castles, but only one that has actually been occupied by royalty. The Chapultepec castle was built in 1725 and more than a hundred years later in 1864, Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota, made it their official residence. After his death, the castle fell under different government organizations over 60 years. In 1939, it was decreed to be the new seat of the National Museum of History and was reopened as such in 1944. In recent times, it was used as the site of the 1996 Academy Award nominated film, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Chapultepec is a mix of beauty and history, with its spacious themed rooms, and stained glass windows melding with the artifacts and showrooms. Yes, an absolute treat for lovers of beauty and history.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Palenque
In the 7th century, a small city in southern Mexico flourished under the ruling of a limited number of rulers. Sadly, in the 8th century, Palenque ceased to be and was engulfed by the surrounding jungle. It might not be as powerful as other towns of its era, but its treasures lie within its ruins. In 1987, it was declared a World Heritage site, mainly due to it being an excellent example of the Mayan era thanks to the architecture, the expert craftsmanship of mythological being surrounding the structures and the sculptures found around the area. Today, it is said only ten percent of Palenque has been uncovered, the rest is still nestled by the thick jungle, awaiting discovery by man.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
The migration of the Monarch butterfly is a quite a spectacle. Imagine… millions of monarch butterflies undertake a 3000-mile journey from Northern America to the warm ground of Southern America. Most of these butterflies can be found in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you wish to see them, visit during January and February since the population will be at its peak at this time or at the end of February/first week of March for the Festival Cultural de la Mariposa Monarca.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Museo Nacional de Antropologica
Clocking in at two million visitors annually, the Museo Nacional de Antropologica is the most visited museum in Mexico and also the largest. An assortment of archaeological and anthropological items can be found here, including the ‘Stone of The Sun’. The ground floor is delegated to the permanent, Mesoamerican exhibit which has around 8,000 artifacts while upstairs is the more modern exhibit, depicting how present day descendants of the Mayans, Incans and Aztecs live. It is open daily, except on Mondays.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Templo de Santo Domingo De Guzman
If you are interested in baroque architecture, you might want to pass by the Templo de Santo Domingo De Guzman in Oaxaca, Oaxaca. Construction began in 1575 and was finished around 200 years later. In 1972, it became a regional museum and underwent a full restoration in 1993 and finished in 1999. The conservation efforts were worth the six years of waiting as the church is completely stunning, using up to 60,000 sheets of 23.5 karat gold leaf. The archway is an absolute work of art, with its raised stucco depicting figures wrapped with vines, thus depicting the ‘Tree of Life’. Today, it is now the Cultural Center of Oaxaca; it has art pieces and Mesoamerican artifacts including the contents of tomb seven in Monte Alban.
Top 10 Attractions in Mexico – Playa De Amor
When the phrase “bomb site” is mentioned, the immediate images your mind will conjure are ones of devastation, disaster, and death. What it would never think of is an idyllic paradise in Playa De Amor, one of the Marieta Islands in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In the early 1900s, the Mexican government used the uninhabited verdant island as a bomb testing site and continued to do so until the 1960s after protests from international organizations halted the operations. The aftermath was pure beauty, a hidden beach accessible only by a water tunnel, linking it to the Pacific Ocean. Today, it has some of the clearest waters on the planet and advanced planning is required since you must have a permit first before going to this gorgeous hidden beach.
Millions of tourists come and go over the years, and each and every one of them will leave Mexico with a special place for the country in their hearts. Visit Mexico to see these places and find out why.
About the author – Seb
Seb is a travel enthusiast that loves to share his knowledge about all things travel. He has made a lot of mistakes along the way and wants to help you to avoid these mistakes and simply enjoy your travels.