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Sightseeing in Mexico

When in Mexico, you can fill your soul with history and culture, or thrill your heart with romance and beauty. Or get your pulse racing with an adventurous, activity filled holiday. For the culturally inclined, the colonial city tours, and the archaeologically rich sites of the ancient Indians are wonderful experiences.

The colonial cities were built as miniatures of Spain, complete with churches, cathedrals and buildings that reflected Spanish culture. Magnificent museums and monuments bring it all to life. These cities are clustered around five zones: Central Mexico, Oaxaca State, Tabasco and Chiapas states, Yucatan Peninsula and Veracruz state. You can drink in colonial culture at some beach resorts like Loreto, Veracruz and Acapulco and at cities like San Jose del Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. Most of the cities can be visited on day trips by bus, but you can do a more extended tour on your own by car.

Archaeological sites are also mainly found in five zones: the Central Plateau, Oaxaca State, the Gulf Coast, Chiapas state and the Yucatan Peninsula. Each of these regions is inundated with splendid temples, pyramids, castles and other edifices. There are vestiges of Indian culture in villages, ports and towns, which have now developed into cities.

For pre-Columbian culture of the Classic period (200 to 900 AD) visit the magnificent ruins of Teotihuacan – The City of the Gods, Tenochtitlan – the Aztec island capital, Tula – the legendary Toltec military state, and the Great Pyramid of Tepanpapa at Cholula (Central Plateau). Other sites are El Tajin (Gulf Coast of Veracruz state); Monte Alban and Mitla (Oaxaca); Bonampak and Palenque (Chiapas); Tulum, Coba and the mighty city of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan. Here you will find vast native Indian treasures and relics of highly advanced civilisations that used hieroglyphics, astrology, cosmology, and mathematics and expressed themselves artistically through intricate stone carving, pottery, weaving and painting. Tulum displays strong Toltec-Mayan influence in the murals on the Temple of the Frescoes and the Temple of the Descending God. At Chichen Itza, you will be impressed by the famous El Castillo, the Observatory and the Temple of Warriors. The sight of the sun casting its “Serpent like” shadow on El Castillo during the Equinoxes, is an unforgettable sight!

Post-Classic ruins are best found in Tula (Hidalgo state), Chichen Itza, Oaxaca, Tulum and Coba in the Yucatan. These were theocratic and militaristic cultures, much given to ceremony and reverence, a fact which is evident in the edifices that survive.

Mexico City , with its endless sightseeing options and its non-stop invasion of the senses creeps up on you till you seek refuge in one of the many getaways. Vibrant Acapulco with its exuberant beaches and nightlife has a tempo that few other resorts can match. Cancun can, with its tropical beaches and Mayan ruins and the many marvelous getaways that the city offers.

Cozumel is an alluring Caribbean island with a charming Old World atmosphere. A city where you can do some excellent diving or use as a gateway to explore the Tulum Corridor.

The historic city of Guadalajara is a delight to walk through, with its gracious buildings, parks and museums. This is where tequila and Mariachi music originated, and where you can find exquisite fine arts and folk crafts.

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