Mexico is one of the world’s top destinations when it comes to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with twenty-nine—considerably more than any other country in the Americas.
Ancient Mayan temples like Chichen Itza and preserved colonial cities like Oaxaca, tell the story of civilizations long gone, of the period of Hispanic colonization, and a Mexican culture continuing to define itself today.
Historic Fortified Town of Campeche
The town of Campeche was founded on the Mayan village of Ah Kim Pech, a harbor town in the Yucatan peninsula. Modeled after a Baroque colonial town, the historic town centre is protected by a fortified wall used as an important military defense from pirates coming from the Caribbean Sea.
Historic Centre of Zacatecas
The historic center of downtown Zacatecas reminds most visitors of stepping into medieval Spain. The town was prosperous during the 16th and 17th centuries from the silver industry and today it stands as a museum for travelers to discover. Its most popular sights are the stunning Cathedral that stands in the middle of the historic district, and the almost twenty monasteries that have been preserved since the 17–18 centuries.
The Hospicio Cabañas is one of the most unique buildings in Mexico. Located in Jalisco, Guadalajara, the birthplace and home of Tequila, this complex was built in the 1800’s as a shelter and care facility for the disadvantaged. A seamless, simple design is blended with artist Jose Clemente Orozco’s stunning mural masterpieces, creating an environment suited for its specific purpose to uplift humanity.
Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines
Not much farther off from Zacatecas, the historic town of Guanajuato is another showcase colonial architecture at its finest: cobblestone streets, rich neoclassical architecture, and the best examples of Baroque architecture in Central and South America. As the world’s leading silver-extraction centre in the 18th century, traces of the past can be found in underground streets and the 600-metre deep mineshaft, known as “Boca del Infierno.”
The Sian Ka’an biosphere is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. Named “Origin of the Sky” by the Mayan people hundreds of years ago, the ecological centre contains lush tropical forests, mangroves, and rich coral reefs that make a home for hundreds of species of birds as well as land and sea creatures. It’s perfect for a day trip, being a few hours from Cancun and the Riviera Maya, and all activities like kayaking, fly fishing, and tours in the park help the center to fund conservation and educational programs.
Originally published on TripAtlas
Photo courtesy of TripAtals