The ‘Pueblo Magico’ town of Patzcuaro, Michoacán (Mexico)

The Pueblo Magico town of Patzcuaro, Michoacán (Mexico)

One of the prettiest little towns I was going to see on my recent trip to Mexico was the town of Patzcuaro. Located in the state of Michoacán, it is one of 83 “Pueblo Magicos” (Magical Towns) designated by Mexico’s Tourism department. The designation is meant to promote towns around the country that offer visitors a “magical” experience – by reason of their natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance. Click here to see a listing of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos.
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Things to See and Do in Mexico City (Part 2) – And why Teotihuacan was a massive disappointment

Things to See and Do in Mexico City (Part 2) – And why Teotihuacan was a massive disappointment

I’m going to get into trouble for this post.

I’ve previously written about Mexico City (Part 1) and how impressed I was. It’s a HUGE city and really can only be explored bit by bit. Last time we (my Mom and I) stayed in the historic center and explored some of the neighborhoods using the Hop On/Hop Off bus (which is a great way for the first timer to get a feel for Mexico City).

This time we stayed in an Airbnb apartment outside the Historic Center and were a little more adventurous getting around. We also visited the famous Mesoamerican ruins of Teotihuacan, a place I was dying to see after having previously visited Monte Alban (outside Oaxaca) and Cholula (outside Puebla). As you can probably guess by the title of this post, the experience was a letdown. I’ll explain that in this post as well as cover where you should go instead to get a more rewarding Teotihuacan experience. I’ll also add a few things (including 3 museums) to my list of things to see and do in Mexico City. [Read more…]

Changing my mind about San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

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A couple of years ago I visited San Miguel de Allende. I wrote a post on my visit at the time, saying that it was a pretty place, that it was well equipped as a Western retirement spot, but that I had found it overly ‘gringorized’. A few people weren’t happy with me saying that.

Coming back recently to visit my mother I have to admit I really loved my time there. What changed? A couple of things, most not really not having to do with San Miguel itself. [Read more…]

Things to do and eat in Oaxaca, Mexico. And the Poverty issue.

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I had a hard time writing this post on Oaxaca, maybe because I have contradictory feelings about the city that I still haven’t resolved in my mind. On one hand I love the size of the city, geography, food, and relative tranquility of Oaxaca. And it has tons of colorful buildings, impressive churches, as well as some great sites of interest in the surrounding area. There are lots of things I really like about the city. On the other hand I had a hard time with the economic disparities of Oaxaca, little things that  – similar to walking around with gum stuck to the heel of your shoe –  bothered me just enough for me to say that I don’t love the city. I’ll address that in detail further below. [Read more…]

The Spectacular Archeological Site of Monte Alban, Mexico

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Above: view of complex from Platforma Sur

Monte Alban is one of the top 5 archeological sites in Mexico (the other 4 are Teotihuacan, Palenque, Chichen Itza, and Uxmal). But Monte Alban is special because of its spectacular geographic location; on a 400 meter plateau, it has 360-degree views over the valleys surrounding it including, on one side, the city of Oaxaca. [Read more…]

Photo Essay; The Colors of Oaxaca

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Above: Santo Domingo church viewed through Flame tree.

One of the many things I love about Mexico are its vibrant colors. The city of Oaxaca is not different, in fact the colours seem even warmer, more tropical than those further up north. I’ll have a detailed post on Oaxaca coming up, but in [Read more…]

The History and Highlights of Cholula, Mexico

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 (above Photo credit: visitmexico.com)

About half an hour from downtown Puebla, the town of Cholula (which is included in Puebla’s administrative area) is both a historical and scenic highlight in the region. Built here starting around the 3rd century BC is the Great Pyramid of Cholula (also known as Tlachihualtepetl), the largest pyramid ever built, even surpassing the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. It has a base of 450 by 450 meters (1,480 by 1,480 ft) and a height of 66 m (217 ft) and, according to the Guinness Book of Records, it is both the largest pyramid as well as the largest monument ever constructed anywhere in the world with a total volume estimated at over 4.45 million cubic meters. [Read more…]

Highlights of a visit to Puebla, Mexico

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This city was an afterthought when planning my trip to Mexico. It ended up being a highlight.

Puebla, the 4th largest Mexican city with a population of 1.5 million, is located 75 miles from Mexico City. The Historical Center (named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987) is packed with colorful colonial buildings, churches, monuments, and the most beautiful zocalo (main square) that I’ve seen in Mexico.

This city is probably the most underrated and overlooked in Mexico. In this post I’ll cover the highlights of our recent visit to Puebla (lots of photos below). [Read more…]

Top 10 lists according to AeroMexico

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Above: AeroMexico magazine, April 2014 (Image credit: AeroMexico)

Inflight magazines are usually full of bland, commercial content. I rarely look at them except to study the maps and plane/airport information in the back sections. But flying back from Mexico yesterday (and I’ve got some interesting posts coming up over the next few weeks) I ended up getting absorbed by AeroMexico’s Aire April edition. Interesting, controversial and even shocking (think AeroMexico’s editors allowed something to go through unfiltered, maybe mistakenly. More on that below). [Read more…]

Visiting beautiful Guanajuato and Queretaro, Mexico – and how to lose 5 lbs in 2 days

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Mexico is the place of names I can’t remember or pronounce. Guanajuato translates (from the indigenous Indian language in this area) as “hilly place of frogs”. It was the richest Mexican city in the 18th [Read more…]

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