Did you know the sights of Mexico, and of course its glorious beaches actually help make the country, the 10th most popular holiday destination in the world? Interesting right? Usually when we think of the sights in Mexico, we picture Mayan pyramids, tall Aztec temples and those golden sandy beaches. All are fabulous, but it is more than this that brings flocks of visitors year after year. Here are 7 Magnificent Sights of Mexico:
It is easy to forget that, especially if we’re focused on getting to one of the lovely beaches, Mexico is actually a very mountainous country and much of it lies above 3,200 feet. One of the most gorgeous sights in Mexico is the Valley. Ringed by the volcanic ranges of the Sierra Madre Oriental, Occidental and del Sur, the peaks of which can reach 5,000m, this highland plateau is magnificent. Scientists reckon the valley has been inhabited for 12,000 years, and today, it is the location for the largest urban area in the Western Hemisphere – the capital, Mexico City.
We all agree that the Grand Canyon is one of the most amazing wonders of the world but did you know that Mexico trumps it? Parts of Copper Canyon, which is in the state of Chihuahua which borders Arizona, are deeper and wider than the Grand Canyon. The canyon system was cut by six rivers which converge to create the Rio Fuerte which eventually flows to the Sea of Cortez. The Copper Canyon gets its name from the distinctive color of the canyon walls. One of the best ways to see one of the most popular sights of Mexico is by train – a fabulous 15 hour journey which takes you through 86 tunnels and over 37 bridges, reaches heights of 2,400 meters and offers the most spectacular views.
Humans are mad! Those that take part in extreme sports are probably slightly madder than those of us who don’t but surely high up in the crazy stakes are the cliff divers of Quebrada. These professional divers throw themselves off a cliff 125 foot high into the sea, which can be as little as 6 feet deep when they hit the water, depending on the wave. Although the quest for more and more extreme sports has seen La Quebrada wane in its power to awe, the divers are still one of the most fascinating and hold your breath things to see in Mexico.
In the Sierra de San Francisco Mountains in the northern part of Mexico, there are more than 250 pictographs created by the Cochimi people. Created between 100 and 1300 BCE, the rock paintings are incredibly preserved and magnificent in their creation. Featuring religious and mythical images, some of the human figures portrayed are 2m tall. Not very accessible, but it remains one of the incredible sights in Mexico and, one of the most important collections of Pre-Columbian art.
As I said earlier, some of the best sights of Mexico are the Mayan Pyramids. The Pyramid of the Magician in the ancient city of Uxmal, in the Yucatan Peninsula, is definitely among the best. 40 meters tall, and standing on an unusual elliptical base, the imposing stairway is banked by carved friezes and leads to interior chambers at the top. The inner temples feature carvings that have fascinated archaeologists and historians for decades.
There are so many sights in Mexico City that it is difficult to nominate one, but if there’s one that sums up the capital, it is the Plaza de la Constitucion, popularly called Zocalo. One of the largest public squares in the world, the Zocalo is even more fantastic if you think of it in context of being in one of the most densely populated, densely built cities in the world. The square measures 830 by 500 feet and is a simply paved space dominated by the permanent single, huge Mexican Flag at its center.
Although a festival, rather than a permanent attraction, the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in the city of Oaxaca (pronounced something like wha-ha-ca), deserves its billing as one of the top sights in Mexico. The city’s cemeteries are lavishly decorated with flowers and ornaments as relatives and friends prepare to present their offerings of remembrance. At night, the candle lights around the tombs and altars add an ethereal glow and cast shadows that give the impression of being the spirits of the departed.
This short list will never be able to do justice to the wealth of sights in Mexico but it’s given you a flavor. Fabulous country, fabulous sights, fabulous people; Mexico deserves its place in the top 10 tourist destinations.
Top Image Source: comptois.com
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