Culture

Mexico City Is One Of The Must-See Cities In The World And Here’s Why

Mexico City is one of the biggest cultural capitals of the world, with incredible art, architecture, and beautiful sights to see. The bustling city, which is one of the most populated places on earth, offers centuries of history dating back to the Aztec empire that once stood there. It’s one of the most exciting places to visit, and has some of the most delicious food you can ever try. And best of all, it’s affordable.

Here are 20 reasons you absolutely must put Mexico City on your list of places to travel to!

20. Pujol

CREDIT: pujolrestaurant / Instagram

One of the most famous restaurants not just in the entire country, but the world. So much so that it was featured on an episode of “Chef’s Table.” Their mole, made with hundreds of ingredients and slow roasted to perfection, has become their most renown dish, though the rest of the menu ain’t too shabby. Come for one of those life changing meals you’ll talk about forever.

19. La Pulqueria

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This cool little punk bar serves the unofficial drink of the city, pulque, in a variety of flavors. Housed inside of an old three story house, La Pulqueria offers live music and place to try some of the best pulque in the city. It’s a perfect spot to kick off your night.

18. El Moro Churreria

CREDIT: churreriaelmoro/ Instagram

Are you ready to absolutely lose your mind over some churros and chocolate calentito? Then look no further than El Moro, a chic and hip little cafe that makes the most delicious sweets you’ll ever have the pleasure of tasting. And since CDMX is a walking city, you don’t have to feel too guilty.

17. Lardo

CREDIT: olympialui / Instagram

Another one of the city’s best restaurants, led by a chef once voted the best chef in Latin America, the small neighborhood restaurant offers Mexican-Mediterranean cuisine in an adorably chic and beautifully-designed space. Totally grammable food and decor!

16. Stroll Around La Condesa

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Considered one of Mexico City’s hippest neighborhoods, La Condesa has great bars and restaurants that can be found along its tree lined streets. Rent a bike and check out the neighborhood, including a picnic in Parque Mexico and grub at Tacos Gus.

15. Xochimilco

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A huge series of floating gardens can be found in Xochimilco. Board one of their color barcas and take a nice, long, leisurely trip surrounded by nature, music and food. You can literally hire a mariachi or norteño band as it floats past you on a barca, then buy the most amazing Mexico City-style quesadillas you’ve ever had in your life.

14. Museo Nacional de Antropología

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The Museum of Anthropology is one of the most incredible architectural marvels you’ll lay eyes on. While the museum itself boasts fascinating ancient artifacts and exhibits that delve into past cultures and Mexico’s history, the building itself is worth the trip. There a huge indoor waterfall structure that will make your moth drop.

13. Zócalo

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The main square of the Mexico City’s centro historico is surrpunded by beautiful historic buildings and the famous cathedral. La Casa de las Sirenas is the spot to grab a drink at and look upon the entire square. It’s a great place to see some history.

12. La Ciudadela

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This mercado de artesanias has everything you could ever want to buy, from artisan made leather purses, shoes, and hand spun wool dolls, to clothing, toys, and glassware. It has everything you can expect, and then some! And you can grab a delicious snack or drink from one of the many little cafes found inside, perfect for a shopping break.

11. Palacio de Bellas Artes

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The palace dedicated to preserving and holding Mexican art and culture is famous the world over for being home to a large scale mural painted by famed artist Diego Rivera. That alone is worth a visit, however there’s performances that will blow your mind from renown professional dancers and gorgeous art exhibits.

10. Dinner at Rosetta

CREDIT: Rosettamexico / Twitter

This beautiful, colonial-style restaurant offers some of the best food in the city. It’s warm and dimly lit, making it the perfect spot for a romantic date. But if you want an amazing dinner with friends to kick off the night, this is your spot also.

9. Pyramid of the Sun

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This well-known pyramid in the ancient city of Teotihuacan is one of the largest in the world. Climb to the top of the pyramid and see what the ancient people once looked upon. It’s a breathtaking place.

8. Chapultepec Castle

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Chapultepec Castle is located on top of Chapultepec Hill within one of the largest parks in all the world. Inside you’ll find a fascinating history museum and incredible views. It’s definitely worth the visit. Plus there’s a zoo nearby.

7. Mercado Medellin

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This market situated in Colonia Roma is perfect for food lovers who want to try a little bit of everything, and take some snacks and ingredients home. Sit at a counter for some antojitos or buy yummy snacks from all over Latin America. Either way, your stomach will be happy.

6. Casa de Frida Kahlo

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The hone and final resting place of iconic artist Frida Kahlo is an absolute must when visiting Mexico City. It’s beautiful garden is the necessary calm you need after a day of walking, and the incredible original paintings by the artist will take your breath away. There’s also an exhibit of her clothes and accessories, and if you look closely for a brass sculpture shaped like a toad, what you’ll actually be finding is the urn holding Frida’s ashes.

5. Mama Rumba

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Wanna get down to some salsa music in one of the most exciting, lively bars in the city? Mama Rumba is the place to go. Bring your dancing shoes and, most importantly, your hip-shaking moves.

4. Museo del Objeto del Objeto

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A museum dedicated to objects, there are fascinating exhibitions – both permanent and temporary – that celebrate and pay homage to the artistry of the every day objects we interact with in our lives. It may seem strange, but it’s a fun, quirky, and fascinating space. They once even had a exhibit dedicated to – ahem – erotic objects.

3. Plaza Garibaldi

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You can’t visit anywhere in Mexico and not hear mariachi music. It’s just not allowed. And in Plaza Garibaldi, you can hear beautiful music while enjoying great drinks and food. It’ll fill you with pride and happiness.

2. Leon Trotsky Museum

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For those of you who are into politics and political history, a visit to the Leon Trotsky Museum is also a visit to the place where the famed revolutionary was also assassinated. It’s not for everybody but if you’re into political science you’ll be happy as a clam.

1. Luis Barragan House and Studio

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While his name is not a household one, Luis Barragan was one of the greatest minds in modern architecture. A visit to his home and studio is a chance to wander into the mind and process of a design genius. Plus, it’s absolutely stunning.

This is only the tip of the iceberg! There’s so much more to explore that you’ll be so sorry to leave this incredible city. Perfect! That just gives you an excuse to plan another trip!

Drop Everything You’re Doing And Take A Look At This Ridiculous National Park

Culture

Drop Everything You’re Doing And Take A Look At This Ridiculous National Park

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Today’s agenda: the rugged, beautiful Torres Del Paine. Or, according to one early visitor, “one of the most spectacular sights that human imagination can conceive“. 

And it’s a solid flex. This UNESCO world biosphere reserve is, in fact, one of the most uncontaminated places on the planet. Every casual shot of it deserves to be slapped on a bottle of fancy mineral water. 

Everyone from backpackers, adventure junkies and Pinterest users seem to fall in love with its otherworldly mountains, lakes and glaciers at first sight. So here’s everything you NEED to know about this slice of heaven. 

Torres del Paine National Park sits in Chile’s Región de Magallanes.

Credit: Google Maps

This 1810-sq-km park is for sure one of South America’s best.  

The closest major town to it is Puerto Natales – about a four hour ride away. If you’re coming from Chile’s capital, Santiago, just hop on a plane to Punta Arenas and bus on over. 

And its landscape is to DIE for.

Credit: WilliamPatino.com

Landscape? More like dreamscape.  

The lay of the land is some of the most unique and diverse you’ll ever lay eyes on. Just imagine snow-capped horned peaks and mirror lakes. Waterfalls, emerald forests, rivers and gleaming glaciers. Are you keeping up? 

All thanks to earth movements from over 12 million years ago that shaped these unusual landforms. The resulting jaw-dropping scenery has us all eating humble pie.

Their massive granite towers – or torres – will take your breath away.

Credit: AdventureWomen.com

A definite highlight of this park is to see the torres (or towers), themselves. It’s named after them after all (Torres del Paine = Towers of Paine). 

These three granite peaks loom over the Patagonian terrain in true tower fashion; imposing and impressive. Even on a misty afternoon, the clouds swirling around the highest peak of Paine Grande (3,050m), are a sight to behold.

It’s full of majestic glaciers that you can WALK on top of. 

Credit: Corey Rich

Oh yes, and Torres Del Paine park is chock-filled with glaciers. 

Like the one in that photo, called Grey Glacier. We’d argue its more of an unreal icy blue, with jagged bumps and crevices that paint a surreal shape against the mountainside. You can ice trek your way across it, because that’s apparently, totally a thing. 

And there are plenty of glaciers to go around. 

There’s also Torre Glacier at the foot of Cerro Torre. 

Credit: Dreamstime.com

This white and turquoise masterpiece is full of ice caves and deep holes that were carved out by water. Climbing it will earn you one heck of a view of Cerro Torre, Torre Egger and other wintery wonders.

Fun fact, because glacier ice is so dense, it absorbs every other color of the spectrum except blue. Hence glaciers often seem to almost glow with an ethereal blueness. 

Speaking of blue – the park is full of lakes and waterfalls in EVERY shade of it.

From ghostly greyish blue to a vivid aquamarine – this park seems to be making its way through the colour wheel. 

It’s also full of the most beautiful lakes, lagoons and rivers, all formed from glacier melt from the nearby Southern Patagonian Ice Field. The most important river is the Paine, which crosses from lake to lake, crashing spectacularly into three stunning waterfalls along the way (like Salto Grande, shown above). 

And guys. You can literally kayak right up to these giant glaciers.

Credit: ecocamp / Instagram

This isn’t your average family kayak trip. Here, you can paddle your way right up close to some of these silent icy giants floating in the lakes. Lakes that are at more than five hundred meters of depth! Phwoar. 

And, we bet you’ve never seen a sunrise like this.

Credit: Thousandwonders.net

Sunrise in this park is probably as good as it gets. Just imagine, the horns of the torres glowing purple and fiery red at early morning as first sunlight catches on the rocks. 

Plus, the park is teeming with life, from owls to armadillos.

What’s more, this park is home to a mindblowing variety of plants and animals. Andean condors wheel through the skies whilst guanacos (a close cousin of the llama) graze in the open steppe. 

Keep an eye out for foxes, Andean deer and even ARMADILLOS. Lucky visitors might even spot a puma or three. The flora is also rich in everything from desert plants to orchids. And birds are plentiful – from woodpeckers, to the great horned owl. 

And it’s a hiker’s paradise.

Credit: IntrepidAdventures / Instagram

Most unsurprisingly, the park is a huge hit with hikers. And there are loads of trail options. There’s the famous W trail that runs through the main tourist attractions, and there’s the lesser-trod O Trail that circles the mountain on a 93.2 km trail.  

Most of the hikes in Torres Del Paine are doable for anyone who comes equipped. So bring your wife, bring your kids. Hike, fish, climb, ice trek, whitewater kayak. Or just gawp at your surroundings. 

You don’t even need to rough it (unless you want to).

Credit: IntrepidAdventures / Instagram

Turns out you can actually hike its most popular trail in relative luxury. By that we mean sleeping in beds, taking actual showers and eating hot meals. Rumour has it you can even get pisco sours en route,  (supposedly served up with a tiny chunk of glacial ice).  

Happy campers just need to book their place in advance, but there’s no shortage of camping grounds. There’s even a ranger station that sells food! 

And good news is you can head there year-round.

Credit: Tom Alves

The usual peak period for travellers is from October into April when it’s warmest. There’s more sunshine, less rain, and the days are longer. 

In autumn and winter, sure temperatures drop and it’s more prone to rain. However you’d be likely to spot more wildlife and soak up a whole other level of peace and quiet (and cheaper entry!) 

Now excuse us as we book flights. 

Read: Here Are Some Hikers Of Color Who Will Inspire You To Travel The World And Explore Nature

The Natural Wonders Of Mexico Are Straight Up Out Of A National Geographic Dream

Things That Matter

The Natural Wonders Of Mexico Are Straight Up Out Of A National Geographic Dream

Hierve el Agua Natural Petrified Rock Formation in Oaxaca, Mexico / Pintai Suchachaisri / Getty Images

So, it’s the end of summer break, and it’s back to the daily grind. Or is it? After all, spring break will be on its way in no time! And you know what that means? You’ve got time to travel, babes. We know you want to go to Mexico, so we’ve saved you the hard work of researching where the best places are to go in Mexico to see it in its natural glory.

Find out where you should go next with our list of natural wonders in Mexico!

1. Lake Chapala, Jalisco

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Being the largest freshwater lake Mexico has to offer, Lago de Chapala is one hella gorgeous body of water to spend your time around. It’s home to thousands of indigenous plants and animals, which means that it’s just teeming with unique wildlife that’ll liven up your ‘gram. That being said, you should be aware that the lake is also a sacred location for the Huichol Indians of Mexico’s southwest – so make sure you’re respectful!

2. Nanacamilpa, Tlaxcala

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We’ve written about the wonders of Nanacamilpa before, so of course, we have to mention it here, too. It’s home to a forest just filled with fireflies when it’s warmer, setting the place aglow with their tiny butts. The locals are working on preserving the firefly population, so it’s best to follow the rules when you’re on tour for the fireflies: no using your phone, and no talking.

3. Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca

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Hierve el Agua has one of the strangest optical illusions that will have you questioning your existence. Is it a waterfall, or a rock formation? If you chose rock formation, you’d be right! The mineral pools in the area are absolutely gorgeous, and not too far from ancient canals that are thought to have been built by the Zapotecs around 2,500 years ago.

4. Copper Canyon, Chihuahua

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The name “Copper Canyon” is a little misleading – it’s not one, but a group of six, canyons. The copper part, though? No, actually, that’s also misleading. The area’s known more for its gold and silver deposits. It’s the copper-green of the canyon walls that give Copper Canyon its name. One of the best times of year to visit is usually just after the summer’s rainy season since that’s when the upper region of the canyon blooms with wildflowers – so it’s time to get the ball rolling and make your way there!

5. Marieta Islands, Nayarit

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Formed thousands of years ago by volcanic activity, the Isalas Marietas are a group of small, uninhabited islands just off the coast Mexico. It’s popularity as a tourist destination springs largely from two things: the famous “love beach”, or Playa del Amor, and the fact that the islands have an abundance of marine life just chilling around its waters. Fishing and hunting are prohibited by the Mexican government here, so leave your fishing gear at home.

6. Sumidero Canyon, Chiapas

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Cañón del Sumidero is a deep natural canyon which formed around the same time as the Grand Canyon in the US, meaning that if you’re looking for an impressive canyon in Mexico, this is it. Funnily enough, about 80 percent of the visitors to the Sumidero Canyon are Mexicans themselves, who go for the eco tourism and extreme sports. If you’re less keen on hanging around the water, you could try seeing the Ruins of Berlin, which are also located in the Sumidero Canyon.

7. Espíritu Santo Island, Baja California Sur

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The last time that there was a proper human presence on Isla Espíritu Santo was estimated to be around 9,000 years ago. Whew. More recently, UNESCO declared the site a Biosphere Reserve in 1995, and for good reason: it’s the only known habitat of the black jackrabbit. Plus, the Ensenada Grande beach on Isla Partida was voted the most beautiful beach in Mexico by The Travel Magazine, making Espíritu Santo Island a must-see.

8. Rosario Sanctuary, Michoacán

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Otherwise known as El Rosario, the sanctuary is part of a larger world heritage site known for hosting literally millions of butterflies. The reserve is dedicated to preserving its butterfly population, which means that the Rosario Sanctuary is only one of two colonies in Mexico that’s open to the public. Guided tours are on offer, so it means that you can learn more about beautiful butterflies that frequent the area.

9. Nevado de Toluca, State of Mexico

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Nevado de Toluca is the fourth highest peak in Mexico, after Pico de Orizaba, Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. Classed as a stratovolcano, it boasts two crater lakes on the floor of the basin – the Lago del Sol and the Lago de la Luna – which were created by the volcano’s melting snow. While you’re in the area, look up the Nahuatl legends that explain the mythology behind why Nevado de Toluca looks the way it does.

10. Cenotes, Quintana Roo

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These jaw-dropping, gorgeous sinkholes, created by the collapse of limestone rock, can be found throughout the state of Quintana Roo. That’s not all there is to see in Quintana Roo, considering that it’s got a coastline that serves as one of the best manatee habitats in the world. But, visiting the cenotes is a good start, if you really want to experience the beauty of Quintana Roo.

11. Potrero Chico, Nuevo León

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Rock climbing aficionados, this is the place for you to be! Potrero Chico boasts peaks which stretch to around 2,000 feet, and have some really amazing views at the top. While a lot of the area around Potrero Chico is considered a protected zone, it’s not an actual national park, which means that there’s not as much conservation happening in the area as what there could be.

12. Chinampas, Mexico City

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The Valley of Mexico still has plenty of chinampas, or island farms, that can be seen today. The agricultural practice has been around for almost a thousand years and is unique to the area. These days, produce such as lettuce, cilantro, spinach, cauliflower, celery, mint, chives, rosemary, corn and radish are grown in the chinampas. Whether you can actually try them straight from the chinanmpa is another matter!

13. Las Coloradas, Yucatán

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You’re probably less interested in the actual fishing village, and more interested in touring the pink – yes, pink – lake and salt flats surrounding Las Colaradas. It’s entirely possible that you’ll see flamingoes while you’re hanging around the lagoon, so keep your bird-watching binoculars on you at all times!

14. Basaltic Prisms, Hidalgo

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The Basaltic Prisms of Santa María Regla are basically the Mexican version of Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway, except that the Basaltic Prisms also have two waterfalls running through it. The natural canyon, which was created by the slow cooling of volcanic lava, has been modified with stars, walkways, and bridges so that tourists can easily access the Basaltic Prisms. It’s basically made for you to come and visit!

15. Tamul Waterfall, San Luis Potosi

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The Tamul waterfall is known for its gorgeous, crystal-clear water that’ll make you never want to leave. At 344 feet, the waterfall is one of Mexico’s largest, and is usually accessed by boat. How. Heckin’. Awesome.

So where will you be heading next? Tell us about it on Twitter – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.