Top Attractions in Mexico

Me and the marvellous Chichen Itza

Originally posted: November 30, 2013

A few weeks ago, I was able to visit Mexico for the first time and thus, it became my 37th visited (and explored) land. I travelled with the Singelresor group and we were lucky to have one of the best itineraries a group tour could ever have. From the Aztecs site in the old center of Mexico city; the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan; the beautiful town of Merida; the archaeological sites in Uxmal and Kabah; to the magnificent Chichen Itza site, Mexico is definitely a country worth visiting. Here are some of my recommendations in case you would be visiting Mexico in the future:

Chichen Itza: Visiting Mexico wouldn't be complete without visiting the famous Chichen Itza, voted one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World" in 2007. Pictured above is the magnificent Castillo de Kukulcan, Chichen Itza's "sacred mountain".

The Cathedral Metropolitana: This building took around three centuries to complete, from the Spanish Renaissance style to the neoclassical style of the early 19th century. Considered as an encyclopedia of Mexican art, and the biggest cathedral in the continent, this is surely not to be missed.

Palacio Nacional: Located along the Zocalo's east side, this building was built on the site of Moctezuma's Palace and the official seat of power in Mexico. Inside, you will see the interesting murals of Diego Rivera.

The ruins of Tenochtitlan: The Templo Mayor stood at the center of the Aztec universe and is really worth visiting. Just make sure you don't lose your wallets and purse when passing through the crowds on the way to the site.

Museo de Antropologia: Filled with precious items from the Aztecs and the Mayan civilizations, this is probably one of the most interesting museums I have ever been to.

Casa de los Azulejos or "House of Tiles": Built in the late 16th century, this building was renovated in the 1730's for the Condesa del Valle de Orizaba with beautiful carvings and facades covered in blue and white Puebla tiles. And if you feel like dining in while admiring at the beautiful interior, there is the Sanborns restaurant inside waiting for you. We had our lunch there and I thought the price was a bit too much.

The Angel de la Independencia: This is probably the most beautiful of all the monuments here in Mexico City. The golden angel on top of the column commemorates Mexico's Independence.

The Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe: Located in the north of the city, this is definitely worth visiting (you have to visit this place asap) specially because the building has been showing signs that it won't really last that long.

The Basilica Nueva: This was built (and completed in 1976) to accommodate more people from the old Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. Inside, you can find the original image of the Virgen de Guadalupe, with tens of thousands making the pilgrimage every 12th of  December.

Palacio Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts): An extravagant and huge building, this is definitely one of the top attractions here in Mexico City. The entrance is free except for special exhibits.

The sinking Church of San Francisco: The old center of Mexico City is also called the sinking city, and this church is probably the best example of why it is called so. There are wide gaps between the structures and one would notice that the floors right side is not at the same level as the left side.

Torre Latinoamericana: It was Mexico's first skyscraper being built in 1956. From the observatory, you would be able to have a great view of the city so don't miss this.

The gigantic Piramide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun): This is considered as Teotihuacan's foremost landmark, with most parts built around 100 AD. If you feel like going to the top, do so but be careful because some of the steps are really narrow.

The Piramide de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon): This is smaller than the Pyramid of the Sun, but since it is built on higher ground, their tops are actually at the same level. During our visit, some parts were not accessible to visitors.

Merida: Known as "The White City" it is the heart and hub of the Yucatan, famous for its colonial architecture and easy going street life. Make sure you visit the Cathedral of Merida, the oldest cathedral in mainland America, which is very beautiful specially at night.

Monumento a la Patria: A very interesting modern art which is Maya-inspired. Make sure you come with a guide and have him explain all the details of this monument.

Palacio del Governo: Inside you will be amazed by the interior with all the beautiful murals by Fernando Castro Pacheco.

Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Well): It is 60 meters in diameter and appears to have been used only for rituals. Many offerings have been retrieved from it although there was no solid evidence that people were thrown into it as human sacrifice.

Piramide del Adivino (Pyramid of the Magician): This is the first structure you will see when you enter the Archaeological site of Uxmal. Nowadays, visitors are no longer allowed to climb them.

Cuadrangulo de las Monjas (Nunnery Quadrangle): This is a square plaza composed of four buildings that are different from each other and yet form a harmonious whole.

The Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead Feast): If you happen to be visiting Mexico on the first two days of November (just like we did), then you would surely witness how the Mexicans remember their dead relations in a meaningful but festive ceremony.

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