Mexico is a large country with diverse and very different areas and states. I have visited a few different areas and they all had their own charms.
Cuernavaca is the capital of the Morelos state and is known as the ‘city of eternal spring’ for its appealing climate which remains between 20-30 degrees almost all year round. In the centre of the city, you’ll find a few tourist attractions such as the palace of Cortés which is now home to the regional museum. There’s also a small garden called Jardin Borda which often hosts events and performances. To the East of the centre, there’s a larger park called Chapultepec which is great place to escape for a walk amongst the wildlife or around the large lake where you can also hire a paddle boat. What I love about Cuernavaca is that it isn’t a popular tourist destination. The city is almost untouched and you can experience normal everyday life instead of feeling like a foreigner. Malcom Lowry made this city his home for 2 years in 1936 and his life in Cuernavaca inspired his novel Under the Volcano, a book which captures the experiences of a British foreigner in everyday Mexican life.
A short bus ride away from Cuernavaca is the city of Puebla. The bus leaves almost hourly and you can buy the ticket at the station for around 290 Mexican pesos. This city is well known for its beautiful cathedral and museums such as the Amparo Museum, which features pre-Hispanic artefacts as well as exhibitions. I visited an incredible Juan Rulfo photography exhibition last year which gave details about the life and previous experience in photography of the famous Mexican writer. The museum also has a beautiful rooftop bar and café from which you can see Puebla Cathedral. You can read more about my visit in Weekend Away in Puebla.
Taxco is again a short bus ride from Cuernavaca. This small town is one of my favourite places to visit because of it’s small cobbled streets and surrounding mountains. You can visit many small silver shops here to buy jewellery as Taxco is famous for its silver. Also, you’ll find Pozas Azules just a half hour taxi ride away where you can swim in the natural waterfalls and pools. Read more about my visit in Taxco, Mexico.
- Mexico City
The capital is the most populated city in North America and, having been founded by the Aztecs, it is historically and culturally fascinating. There are many attractions here such as the house of Frida Kahlo, which you should pre-book tickets for as it is often sold out. From Chapultepec Castle you’ll get a great view of the city and see why it’s the most populous as it stretches out before you. Visiting the castle, you’ll learn more about the fascinating history and see many pieces of beautiful art work from different eras.
Tijuana is a city on the US border. The most interesting thing about visiting Tijuana, for me, was the freedom with which we were able to cross the border into the San Diego. Many people make this journey including workers and school children who have to wake up incredibly early and begin their walk which often includes waiting in long lines as early as 5am. You can also see the stretch of the border up close at Playas Tijuana, where the wall has been decorated with paintings which advocate peace and freedom. Aside from the border, Tijuana is famous for its cultural centre or CECUT also features a gallery which is free to visit on Sundays a theater and an IMAX cinema.
Monterrey is a vibrant city North of Mexico City. The city is stunning as it is surrounded by mountain ranges where you can hike at sites such as Chipinque and, on a clear day, get a great view of the city from the top. Although it’s a challenging hike, it’s very popular and people often bring picnics to enjoy at the top. There’s also a huge Mexican flag in the city, from which you can see the surrounding city and mountains from every angle. One of the famous mountain ranges is called Cerro de la Silla as it is shaped like a horse saddle. Another attraction is Fundidora Park where you can visit Horno 3 Museo de Acero an interactive science museum. Here you’ll learn about the steel mining industry in Monterrey, you can also go to the top of the chimney for yet another beautiful view of the city. From within the park you can take a boat through the canal and back to the Museo de Historia Mexicana in the centre with a tour guide to tell you more about the park on the way.
This beach side city is built around a bay. The beaches are lined with beach clubs and bars where you can relax and enjoy a few days of partying and sunbathing. Although it used to be a much more exclusive beach resort, Acapulco is still a popular getaway and is a 4-hour bus ride from Cuernavaca. Here you can see the famous cliff divers at La Quebrada, where professional divers jump from the cliffs at regular times each day. I would recommend going in the evening for the evening shows, between 7 and 9pm, and watching the sunset over the cliffs.