When it comes to Mexico, people usually decide for Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Oaxaca or other Southern states, especially, when this is their very first time in this beautiful country. I would lie if I said that South wasn’t my favorite part of Mexico, but what about the other states? Today I would like to take you to some less touristic but definitely equally worth seeing states of Mexico!
Puebla, the City of Angels
After leaving Oaxaca state and heading to the North, you can rather go to Guerrero, Veracruz or Puebla. I decided for Puebla first, because I had heard a lot about the capital of this state and I couldn’t wait to visit its beautiful cathedral.
The first thing I noticed once I arrived was the fact that Puebla wasn’t very different from Oaxaca. It’s a more European and modern city, but still with a lot of colonial heritage. According to legend, the bishop Julián Garcés had a dream about where to build the city. In this dream, he saw a valley with woods and meadows crossed by a clear river. While he was contemplating this scenery, he saw a group of angels descend from heaven and trace out the city. He took some of the brothers out in search of the place shown in the dream. This legend is the source of Puebla’s original name, Puebla de los Ángeles, and its current nickname Angelópolis (literally, City of Angels).
Puebla is a perfect destination for one day, because you can visit the most emblematic spots of the city by walk. You can’t miss Zocalo with its impressing Cathedral and the colonial architecture of the city centre, but remember there are also some very unusual buildings in Puebla that are worth taking a look at, for example Casa de los Muñecos. For the adventure seekers there is also a cable car to take a ride with!
You cannot leave Puebla without trying its delicious local cuisine, especially mole poblano. This chili-chocolate source served with rice and meat is one of the national dishes of Mexico and there is no better place to try it than in Puebla, where it originally comes from.
Cholula and the Great Pyramid
If you are in Puebla and you have some extra time, you should dedicate one day for Cholula and climb the Great Pyramid, the largest pyramid known in the New World, on the top of which stands out the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios sanctuary.
What personally impressed me the most wasn’t the pyramid and neither the sanctuary itself. It was the view of Popocatepetl Volcano. You can also see the Iztaccíhuatl, Pico de Orizaba and Malinche Volcanoes from the top. 4 volcanoes in one place!
On my way back I found a wonderful mural with one of my favorite quotes of Frida. She was such a strong and inspiring woman and her story is simply one of a kind.
“Si yo pudiera darte una cosa en la vida, me gustaría darte la capacidad de verte a ti mismo a través de mis ojos. Sólo entonces te darás cuenta de lo especial que eres para mí”.
Cuernavaca, The City of Eternal Spring
Even though Morelos is one of the smallest states of Mexico, you should include its capital in your itinerary. Also called The City of Eternal Spring because of its warm climate and the profusion of flowering plants in its parks and gardens, Cuernavaca is often forgotten by the tourists and it’s a real shame. The main attractions of the city can be explored on foot, so it could be a great alternative for a one-day trip from Mexico City.
You can start your day from exploring the central squares of Zócalo and Jardín Juárez, surrounded by colorful markets, restaurants and coffee shops. Dedicate a couple of hours to visit Palacio del Gobierno, the Cathedral and Palacio Cortés and finish your day in Jardín de Borda. When I visited Cuernavaca at the beginning of November, the streets were filled with La Catrina figures as it was right after El Día de los Muertos. Remember that the temperate clime of the city lasts all year round, so find that one day in your calendar and enjoy the Cuernavaca’s colonial-era elegance.
Acapulco and sunset over the ocean
Sometimes being on the road for weeks and waking up very early every single day makes that your body and mind seek for a break. Edwin and I always say that traveling should be half and half. It’s important to find a balance between touring and relaxing.
Situated in the heart of Guerrero state, Acapulco will offer you everything you need to charge your batteries. The hotels are much more affordable than in Cancún and the views are equally beautiful. Enjoy the morning beach, jacuzzi afternoons and night walks as long as you want. You can also sing up for a bay cruise, try some local drinks and dance on the board for hours. For me it was one of the best days during my stay in Mexico. I witnessed one of the most breathtaking sunsets in my live and I danced salsa on the boat. Sounds like a dream, right? It was my dream and I made it come true!
Taxco de Alcarón, Mexico’s silver capital
There is one more place worth visiting before you head to another state. Taxco de Alcarón, a small city in Guerrero state is mostly known for its silverware, colonial architecture and narrow alleyways.
As a former silver-mining city, most of the silver workshops in Taxco offer everything from handcrafted individual pieces to mass-produced souvenirs for tourists. The items are priced by weight, depending on the quality of the silver. If you are not a big fan of silver jewelry, you can still get lost in the cobblestone streets of Taxco and take pictures of the rust-red roofs or visit some museums. If you have a minute, you should visit Santa Prisca Church – located on the eastern edge of the Zocalo, this rose-colored Baroque cathedral is considered one of the most beautiful churches in the entire Mexico.
Taxco is also a particularly special place to experience the Semana Santa parades. Holy wooden crosses and sculptures from the churches are carried through the city by men in black robes as part of the procession. On the other hand, the Procession of the Virgins includes hundreds of Virgin Mary sculptures paraded through the streets by young, veiled women in white and kids dressed as angels. It reminds me the Easter processions I saw in Andalusia and believe me, it’s a simply unforgettable experience.
Mexico is an enormous country, so when you are going to plan your trip, make sure you won’t miss some less known destinations as well. I hope this article convinced you to put Guerrero, Puebla and Morelos states on your list! I could write books about Mexico and never get bored, but any article or any book would never explain the beauty of this places if you don’t go there and experience it on your own! And if you are looking for more information about other Mexican destinations, check our articles about Yucatan, Chiapas and Oaxaca. 🙂