Welcome to the land of ancient civilizations! If you think, this is the only major draw of this world-renowned, let me tell you that you are mistaken. Mexico is also a modern developing nation and so you can be assured of different types of highlights and adventures in Mexico. In this article, I am going tell you about those attractions in Mexico, which I visited during my second visit.
My journey started from the Acolman village located at 24 miles to the north of the capital before Teotihuacán. This is famous for its beautiful 16th century monastery of San Agustin Acolman. Currently, to attract more tourists, the building is now converted into a museum housing religious paintings and artifacts.
Tepotzotlán was my next target located at a distance of 27 miles from the capital. One of the famous tourist attractions in Mexico is here – the remarkable Churrigueresque Church of San Francisco Javier. Just look at the facade adorned with over 300 sculptures of angels, saints, plants, and people. See if you can plan for September visit on whose 8th day, a festival is held on a close by hill where there is an Aztec shrine devoted to the god of feasting and drinking. In this festival, Aztec dancing and an Aztec play are the highlights. Or else, come during the third week of December when in the pastorellas, you can come to know about the experiences of Mexican pilgrims who are on the way to Bethlehem.
At 41 miles is Toluca that is in a valley ruled by the snowy Nevado de Toluca that is now a dead volcano. If you are interested, see its two craters called the Sun and the Moon. Attractions here are interesting museums in its Cultural Center devoted to archaeology, folk, and modern art; the Indian villages of Metepec, and Chiconcuac; Calixtlahuaca that is an Aztec site at 5 miles offering a round pyramid dedicated to the god of wind; and the spa town of Ixtapan de la Sal at 50 miles with ideal hot springs.
Cuernavaca at 56 miles from the capital is known for its flanking two large squares amidst which the town stands. On one square is the Palacio de Cortés since 1538, which is now a museum housing the frescoes by Diego Rivera. Look for the Cathedral that is since the 16th century, the 18th century Borda Gardens, and the Indian market vending sandals, leather goods, and straw articles. Located at a distance of 25 miles from Cuernavaca is Xochicalco. This is regarded as one of the most charming ceremonial centers of the nation where many tourists come to explore its Building of the Plumed Serpent.
Then, Tula is at a distance of 59 miles from the Mexico City. Formerly, the capital of the Toltec empire; this area is full of architectural attractions called the four basalt Atlantes, which are 16 feet tall figures supporting the sanctuary’s roof atop the Templo de Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli (Temple of the Morning Star) and represent Quetzalcoatl – the morning star as an armed Toltec warrior.
Now, it was the time to visit Tepoztlán that stands on the valley floor and is flanked by steep and jagged cliffs that become pink in the afternoon. Mythically, it was here that Quetzalcóatl, the Aztec serpent god took birth here. The main attraction here is on a cliff at 400 m above the town, which is a pyramid dedicated to Tepoztécatl who is the god of the harvest, fertility and pulque (a light alcoholic drink). Do climb to the pinnacle that takes an hour and is also an arduous one. However, you are really rewarded with the extensive views over the town, valley, and hills. In the town center, visit the fortress looking Dominican church and monastery. If you enter from the market side, check out the arch adorned with a golden mural showing local gods and history made from seeds, stones, and other natural products.
At 100 miles from the Mexico City, Taxco is famous for its designation as a national monument. The main strength of the town are its silver mines and so you can go for some silverware and jewelry shopping here. Even more interesting are the narrow and snaky paved streets and the Church of Santa Prisca and San Sebastián that is the best example of the Churrigueresque architecture decorated with a reredos in gold leaf and a myriad of statues and ornaments. Check out for the colonial houses such as the Casa Humboldt, Casa de Borda, and Casa de Figueroa. And above all, do take up the exciting ride of a cable-car from Los Arcos at the northern end to reach the peak of the Monte Taxco or zipline adventure in Los Cabos. You will be astonished to have awesome view over the valley and surrounding mountains. Lastly do not miss the Cacahuamilpa Caves to the north.