Colonial Cities of Mexico

Oma H. Barnett

Many of Mexico’s cities still retain wonderful architecture along their cobbled streets from the country’s colonial history. The following are just some of these cities worth visiting on your bargain holidays to this amazing country.

Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco – 350 miles from Mexico City

Known as ‘The Pearl of the West’, this is Mexico’s second largest city and is the birthplace of tequila and mariachi music. Explore the many historical sites and museums the city offers and combine your visit with some relaxation on the beautiful beach at Puerto Vallarta, just a 3 hour drive away. Interesting places to visit in Guadalajara include the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cabanas Cultural Institute, the Government Palace where a law abolishing slavery was passed in 1810, the Museum of Huichol Indian Handicrafts, the Institute of Jalisco Handicrafts and the Museum of Journalism and Graphic Arts. If you have shopping on your mind visit Tlaquepaque village where you will find many craft studios, glass-blowing workshops and shops, and an experience not to be missed is a visit to the Mercado Libertad, Latin America’s largest covered market.

Puebla – 80 miles from Mexico City

Puebla de Zaragoza is one of Mexico’s oldest cities and is famous for its Talavera pottery and magnificent colonial buildings. The city has some of the best preserved colonial architecture in the country; hence it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Just 6 miles from Puebla you will find Cholula where you can see the world’s largest pyramid, The Great Pyramid of Cholula which is topped by the Virgen de los Remedios church. The Africam Safari Park is about 10 miles from Puebla. Covering an area of 500 acres, the park is home to lions, tigers, rhino and giraffes who roam freely in natural surroundings.

Morelia, the state capital of Michoacan

If you are interested in colonial architecture and local culture, this is the city to visit. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Morelia has more than 200 historical buildings, many of which are made from pink quarry stone before taking a leisurely stroll along the plazas and through the pretty gardens. Among Morelia’s beautiful historical monuments are the cathedral and the aqueduct which are both worthy of a visit. About 6 miles from Morelia are the mineral waters at Balneario Cointzio which offer a welcoming swim after a day of wandering around the city.

Meridan, the state capital of Yucatan

Known as the ‘white city’ because of its white stone buildings, Meridan makes a great base from which to explore the natural attractions and historical sites of the Yucatan Peninsula including Chichen Itza and Uxmal. Take the 56 mile trip to the Celestun Biosphere Reserve where you can see the amazing flamingos, sea turtles, monkeys, crocodiles, jaguars and the pretty white-tailed deer. The city has a distinct Caribbean atmosphere and is well-known for its tasty Mayan cuisine.

Taxco in the state of Guerrero

Located in the mountains to the south of Mexico City, Taxco is known as Mexico’s ‘silver city’. This quaint colonial town sits between Mexico City and Acapulco. Taxco is a picturesque town with small cobbled streets lined with red-tiled roofed whitewashed houses and is the place to buy some great silver jewellery on your last-minute holidays to Mexico. Visit the Museo de la Plateria where you can learn about the process of crafting silver and marvel at the displays of fine silver items.

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