The Real Mexico: Cultural Icons You Should Not Miss

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When one does research for a trip to Mexico, all you seem to hear about are the major beach resorts of the Yucatan peninsula or the Pacific hotspots of Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. While this massive nation is one of the most touristed places on earth, most visitors come here with a spring break mentality, content to bake their skin until its matches the consistency of shoe leather and to drink themselves into oblivion.

Being older and much wiser than that by now though, you seek more meaning from your travels, and as such, you want to get to the bottom of what makes Mexico tick. While this nation spans 3 time zones, climate zones ranging from warm temperate to tropical, and more cultural aspects than you could ever take in over a full lifetime, there are essential sights that you should not miss on a comprehensive exploration of Mexico.

Here are a few sights within this captivating country that we think fit that criteria…

Chichen Itza, Quintana Roo State

Let’s get one thing thing clear from the outset: there is nothing wrong with stretching out and relaxing on a picture perfect beach, something that the Yucatan peninsula has in spades. However, the culturally attuned traveler needn’t fear being deprived of historically significant sites here, as this part of Mexico is part of the former homeland of the Mayan empire.

One of their biggest cities was Chichen Itza, much of which has stood the test of time. The trademark building on site is Kukulkan’s Pyramid, or El Castillo, a pyramid which has been touted as one of the new Seven Wonders Of The World due to its astronomical and religious significance, to say nothing of its physically imposing nature.

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan

If pyramids are your thing, then making the journey to Teotihuacan to see the Pyramid of the Sun will be most gratifying. Ranking as the third largest surviving pyramid in the world today, this gargantuan monument likely served as a centre of reverence to one of the gods that the ancient Teotihuacanos civilization worshipped. This pyramid is climbable , but beware: it is higher than you think, so if you are out of shape, think twice before biting off more than you can chew.

The Plazas and Architecture of Guadalajara

If mariachi guitar players, elaborate plazas, and some of the most magnificent cathedrals in Mexico sound appealing to you, then spending time in Guadalajara will prove to be a great decision. Check out the mural called The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in the Guadalajara Cathedral, or relax in a plaza and discover what a real taco tastes like, all while being serenaded by classical guitar ballads played by some of the most charming men you’ll ever meet.

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