From the time, I learnt to read I have been fascinated by the mysteries of the ancient world. Mysteries that captivated me the most included stories of the Mayan civilisation and ruins.
It intrigued me the evidence that supports the idea that the Maya possessed superior knowledge and had remarkable scientific achievements not just in astronomy but also agriculture, engineering, mathematics and communications. Even more so the mysterious disappearance of the Mayan civilisation.
So naturally when I was asked why I wanted to go to Mexico the answer was to see the Mayan ruins and I truthfully didn’t know anything about Mexico beyond this.
What I was about to find out though is an endless adventure for the senses. Smoking volcanos, canyons and stunning beaches, mansions in Mexico with modern architecture alongside stone churches.
Mexico had a lot more secretes and surprises then I ever expected.
- This entire Mexico City is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The heart of the city is actually built on top of the conquered ruins of Tenochtitln an Aztec city. This means artefacts discoveries are constantly being made under the streets of Mexico City.
- Some neighbourhoods in Mexico City look like Europe with French, Spanish and Italian style architecture. Mexico City even has gondolas on the southern outskirts. Listed as a World Heritage Site, Xochimilco hosts 110 miles of canals where tourists and locals relax on gondola-like boats.
- Because it is built on a lake Mexico City is sinking, surpassing Venice and its 9 inches during the 20th century, Mexico City has sunk 30 feet.
- Mexico City has more museums than any other city in the world.
World’s Largest Pyramids
- Forget Egypt, Mexico has numerous amazing pyramid, hosting the largest pyramid in the world, the Great Pyramid of Cholula. Cholula is also the largest monument ever constructed in the world.
- In addition and located about 50km northeast of Mexico City is the Pyramid of the Sun (the world’s third largest ancient pyramid) accompanied with the Pyramid of the Moon. It is still possible to climb the original steps of these two amazing pyramids.
One of the World’s Largest Canyons
- The Barranca del Cobre or Copper canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage site in the state of Chihuahua. This canyon system is larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon in the United States. You can explore on foot or catch the train that will take you around the rim of the mountain.
- Mexico is a land of volcanoes, its volcanos form part of the ring of fire
- The most active volcanoes of the country are Popocatepetl, Colima and El Chichon, which had a major eruption in 1982 that actually cooled the world’s climate in the following year.
- Two hours east from Mexico City, Iztaccihuatl Volcano is a popular hike, being Mexico’s third highest mountain it captures views of Popocatepetl, also known as Smoking Mountain.
World’s Second Largest Barrier Reef
- The second largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Reef, begins off the tip of the Mexican Yucatan and extends due south and well past Mexico’s maritime borders.
The Largest Underwater Museum in the World
- The Museo Subacuatico de Arte, located off the coast of Isla Mujeres in Mexico’s Riviera Maya was classified as one of the “World’s Most Unique Travel Destinations” by Forbes magazine. Hidden 28 feet below the ocean’s surface are over 500 life-sized sculptures.
- Some of the most outstanding pieces are The Gardener of Hope, Dream Collector, and Man on Fire.
- This attraction serves two purposes: to promote art and culture in Cancun and the second is to create an artificial reef to boost the area’s ecosystem.
Spectacular Cenote Diving
- The Rivera Maya is home to the longest and most spectacular caves in the world. This destination has scuba divers flocking here from all over the world to see this magical underworld.
World Famous Resorts
- Los Cabos is situated at the southernmost tip of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Known as “Mexico’s Hawaii”, this twin city region (San Jose de Cabo and Cabo San Lucas) is Mexico’s most upscale tourism destination and full of luxury resorts.
- Included in Los Cabos are resorts such as Las Ventana al Paraiso, frequented by A-listers such as Jennifer Anderson, Cameron Diaz and George Clooney. Also, an A-lister destination, Esperanza and the One and Only Pamilla which has also won a staggering number of awards.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World
- Just two hours west of Cancun, Chichen Itzais is considered one of the best Mayan sites in Mexico and has been standing for almost 2000 years. The focal point of Chichen Itza is the 75-foot-tall Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo, or the castle. The temple was created as a physical calendar aligned with the sun and has 365 steps to represent each day of the year. During the spring and autumn equinoxes, the shadow that falls on the pyramid takes the shape of a serpent. As the sun sets, a shadowy snake (along the humps of the stone steps) takes form to join the stone serpent head at the base of the pyramid.
Weather staying a weekend, two weeks, a month or longer, staying in a pampering resort on the Riviera Maya, a budget beach hut on the pacific or a colonial mansion in the highlands, it is unsurprising with this diversity that Mexico is one of the most visited countries in the world.