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EXPLORING THE WONDERS OF CENTRAL MEXICO: A TRAVEL GUIDE

If you are looking to discover more than just Mexico's beautiful beaches and experience its rich history and culture, then you won't want to miss exploring the inland areas, where you can find fascinating archaeological sites from the Aztec culture. Mexico's inland is full of historical and cultural treasures that are definitely worth seeing, making it a destination that is not to be missed.


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Best Things to Do in Mexico City

Mexico City is the 5th largest city in terms of population. It's huge and overwhelming in the beginning, especially when you are biased about its safety like I was. I only spent a little time in Mexico City (I mostly used it as a stopover to transfer from one coast side to the other) but was lucky to have a friend that had shown me around and introduced me to Mexico City's top spots.


Teotihuacan Pyramids

While I was staying in Mexico City for a few days visiting the Teotihuacan Pyramids belonged to my highlights. It's approximately an hour by car away from the city and for only 80 Mexican Pesos (4$) you can enter the huge city of Teotihuacan.


Teotihuacan was built over 2000 years ago and belonged to one of the largest cities in the world at the time. It is estimated that around 100,000 people in the city lived. In total, there are several large structures, such as two pyramids, a temple, and a citadel. The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest and most famous pyramid in Teotihuacan and covers an area larger than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.


Normally, you can hike up the pyramid, but unfortunately, the path was closed due to Covid-19.


Museums in Mexico City

For those who are interested in Mexico's rich history and culture, the capital city offers travelers many museums to learn more about it. Here are some of the best museums in Mexico City that you may want to visit:

  • National Museum of Anthropology: This is home to an extensive collection of artifacts of the Aztec, Maya, and Olmec culture.

  • Frida Kahlo Museum: This museum was the former home of the iconic Mexican artist Frieda Kahlo. The museum displays many of her paintings, personal items, and photographs.

  • National Museum of Art: Here you find Mexican art from the colonial period to the present day.

  • Soumaya Museum: The building is home to international and Mexican art and artifacts.

  • Palace of Fine Arts: Located in the heart of Mexico City includes a theater and several museums.

  • Dolores Olmedo Museum: This museum is home to an impressive collection of pre-Hispanic art.

  • National History Museum: As the name already says, this museum offers a great insight into Mexico's history from the pre-Hispanic era to the present day.


Best Things to Do in Palenque

It’s a small town located inland in the middle of the tropical jungle in the state of Chiapas. The best way to get there is either directly from Mexico City with a flight to Villahermosa and a bus or for those who are visiting Tulum by a night bus (you can book your transfer here: https://www.ado.com.mx.


Palenque Archaeological Site

One of my main reasons to visit this town was the Mayan ruins in Palenque which are located in the middle of the jungle. Depending on where you staying, you can either take a bus, taxi, or even take a walk to this attraction.


The Mayan ruins in Palenque are one of the most impressive and well-preserved. For only 35 Mexican Pesos (2$) you can dive deep into the Mayan culture and read more about their interesting lifestyle.


Waterfall Tour

While being in the middle of the jungle, doing one of the many waterfall tours is a must while in Palenque. In total, I did two tours.


During my stay in Palenque, I did the tour that brought me to the Roberto Barrios Waterfalls. You have the option to book a tour as I did, go by yourself in your car (if you have one), or by public transportation. I do not recommend taking a taxi since the taxi drivers will probably rip you off (you can try if you're very good at haggling and speaking Spanish).


The waterfall is beautiful, perfect for having a refreshing swim and enjoying the sun.


The other tour I did, and simultaneously is the perfect way to get to your next destination, was the Tres Cascadas Tour (a tour to three waterfalls named Misol-Ha, Agua Azul, and El Corralito), where the transfer to San Cristobal de las Casas was included and makes the drive to the town bearable.


You get picked up in the morning by a car, which will bring you to your first destination: the Misol-Ha Waterfall. The ride itself from Palenque takes around 30-40 minutes. Arrived at the destination you have approximately 30 minutes to explore the waterfall, take your pictures, and admire the flora and fauna of the jungle.


Back in the van, you drive around an hour to the next waterfall and my highlight of the tour, the Agua Azul Waterfalls. As far as I can remember we spent around an hour and a half here, where you were able to get all the way down and back. After exploring Agua Azul it's time to get back to the van and drive for another two and a half hours to El Corralito. This will be your last stop before your final destination. It's also the perfect place and the last option for having your lunch. Fortunately, you find many restaurants that offer local cuisine.


💡 I recommend packing some changing clothes in your daypack and getting into dry clothes after visiting the last waterfall. It makes the rest of your drive more comfortable.


After you had your lunch, have taken a swim next to the waterfalls it's time for the last drive through the curvy road, and after another 1.5-hour drive you finally arrived in San Cristobal de las Casas.


Best Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas

The town in the mountains (bring some warm clothes with you!) is charming and small. It's known for its many churches and vibrant art scene.


Since I got sick during my stay here in San Cristobal de las Casas I didn't do much here and spent most of my short two-day stay in my hostel room, recovering. However, I did a few things.


Exploring the Town

Having a walk and exploring the town is one of my favorite things to do while being in a new place. I spontaneously walked by the many churches and the main square. Walking is also best for enjoying colonial architecture and experiencing the daily life of a local.


Although I haven't seen much in San Cristobal de las Casas, my two-night stay was enough for me, since the churches weren't really special (or as a European, I'm spoiled by the churches in Europe). There was another church, which was famous for beheading a chicken in front of you as a ritual, but I wasn't interested in watching this spectacle. You also can do another waterfall tour, but after Palenque, I had seen enough for that time.










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