Too often lumped in with North America, Mexico is a country that stands out on its own.

Cities That Should Not Be Missed

Wishful Thinking

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  • Added on: July 9th, 2013
Hi All,

My husband and I are planning a long-term trip and plan to start in Mexico. We will fly from Fresno California to Guadalajara and then travel overland. So, I would like to know what are your not-to-miss cities south of Guadalajara and why. We are interested in all types of experiences but like best those that are active. Thanks for your help with this. We want to have an open itinerary time-wise but don't want to miss must sees.

greyeyedman

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  • Added on: July 12th, 2013
What is your idea of long term? 6 months, 2 years, until you die? Makes a diff. Here is my list... not in order and I don't feel like explaining in detail. You can look the places up. BTW... since you mention cities realize that there are lots of small towns that won't fit.

My bias... I prefer Mexico south of Mexico City. More Indian.

Queretero... heart of the Bajio. BTW.. if you don't know what the Bajio is do some research. Guanajuato...not really a city...more like a mid sized town. But totally charming. Try to go during the Cervantes festival. This is a town you walk in. Visit the cemetary. Eat flan and cajete. Tula.. just for the Toltec ruins but since you are starting in the north saves back tracking from DF. As to DF. It can be overwhelming. The smog kills my eyes after about a week. If you are doing a looping trip then hitting it a couple times might be good. To me the #1 thing is the Anthro museum in Chapultepec park. Take a full day. This is the finest anthro museum in the hemisphere. I know.. I've been to all. The park itself is neat. MANGO POPSICLES. DF is loaded with museums. Some for every taste. You can buy anything in DF. Go to the Saturday market in San Angel. Some of the best artwork and handicrafts in Mexico. I walk around the two plazas talking to the artists. Bought some incredible pieces. Food... anything you like and there will be a restaurant or 50 for it. The Zocalo is the center of town and the center of the country and it's history. Spend a few hours or days wandering around nearby La Merced market. Block after block of everything a local needs. You will be overwhelmed. Nearby cities/towns... Puebla and Cholula. MOLE. Architecture. Pottery. Other direction... Taxco. SILVER. If Disney built a Mexican town this would be it. From a good stand point. Cuernavaca... it's down from it's heyday. Beaches... not a big fan. Further south go to Zipolite. They keep trying to turn it into a mega resort but fortunately hurricanes come through every few years. Oaxaca. My favorite city in Mexico. Art, handicrafts and food. A combination of Mixtec and Zapotec cultures. In its long valley are numerous small villages. Each specializes in a particular handicraft. South of Oaxaca... San Cristobal de las Casas. The center of Indian life in southern Mexico and your first stop in the Mayan world. Like Oaxaca there are numerous small villages in the area. Palenque...town isn't much. Designed for the tourists. But the ruins are a must see. I tie it with Copan, Honduras for second in the Ruta Maya. Tikal, Guatemala being hands down the best. BTW.. from Palenque you can arrange transport to Tikal. A neat journey. Villahermosa.. hot and humid but worth at visit. Olmec. Merida is my second favorite Mexican city. Day trip to Progresso. I avoid the mega resorts of Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Built with laundered cash from the cartels.

OK... huge country but I'm tired. Also... your description of interests was vague. For detailed info..give details yourself.

ThisWayToParadise

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  • Added on: October 7th, 2013
I live in San Miguel de Allende, and it definitely shouldn't be missed. It's like a piece of Italy came to Mexico. Charming cobblestone streets, amazing inexpensive restaurants with food of all kinds, not just Mexican. Everyday there seems to be a celebration of sorts, and fireworks every night. Many people who visit here either wind up moving here or they dream about it.
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Wishful Thinking

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  • Added on: October 7th, 2013
Thank you for the responses. Our trip is planned for a year maybe longer. We are traveling south for as long as it takes us to get to the southern tip of South America. If it takes a year that is fine. We will decide what's next when we get there. I didn't mean cities literally but rather cities/towns/villages/sites. I love to do research and will definitely follow up on the leads that have been given to me.

zoomcharlieb

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  • Added on: October 24th, 2013
I am starting to buy from a factory down in Morelia and will be exploring the surroundings there in MId late November and will report.

Lucy Stanmore

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  • Added on: July 29th, 2014
I would recommend Veracruz for the beaches, Oaxaca for the cultural and historical experiences and for the gastronomy and San Cristobal de Las Casas for the mountain area surrounding it.

Wildcat1982

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  • Added on: July 31st, 2014
To all those traveling or recently travelled in Mexico...what exactly is going on with the safety situation? I grew up in Southern California and spent many years up until 2007 visiting TJ and Baja with no reservations and no problems. I left CA to live in rural Africa between 2008-2011 so I feel very out of the loop on the safety situation for independent travelers in Mexico nowadays. All I know is no one is going to Tijuana anymore.

Can someone shed some light on this?
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Ddrezner

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  • Added on: August 20th, 2014
As far as I'm concerned, the drug wars are not quite over yet, though they will be.
This means you are safest south of Mexico City, where I have heard of almost no trouble. The border towns you mentioned have been no go areas for years. I was in Juarez a year ago, and a cab driver that lived there told me there was trouble erupting again.

However, I was in Zacatecas recently, and there was no trouble there. In general, you will be safe if you stay away from the extreme North, and I did here of trouble in Morelia, which is a shame. People I know had no problem in Guanajuato, by the way.
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