5 unexpected sides to Mexico you’ve never seen before
When we think about Mexico, two things always come to mind: sombreros, tacos, and colourful processions. But the country is so much more than these stereotypes. Being the third-largest nation in Latin America, there are so many sides to Mexico that travellers wouldn’t know about without having to return to the land many times.
Not sure where to start? Below are five niche yet breath-taking landmarks you should definitely check out when travelling to Mexico for an unexpected adventure.
1. Agua Azul Waterfalls
Located in Chiapas, the Agua Azul waterfalls form a scenic series around Mexico’s historical Xanil River. The first thing you’ll realise when you arrive at this limestone-rich area is that its waterfalls definitely live up to their name, which means “blue water” thanks to its water’s high mineral content. As one of Mexico’s most culturally diverse regions, the location is home to ancient Mayan archaeological sites as well as many indigenous tribes. Don’t forget to hire a tour guide to learn as much knowledge as you can about this heritage site.
2. Cuilapam de Guerrero
When in Southern Mexico, you have to visit Oaxaca, and not only because it hosts the best Day of the Dead processions. The city is, upon deeper discovery, revered for a town called Cuilapam de Guerrero, named after the country’s independent leader Vincent Guerrero. Located in the middle of a valley, Cuilapam sits between Oaxaca and Villa de Zaachila. There sits a roofless ex-convent that doubles as a historical site, as it was where Guerrero had died in the hands of his oppositions.
3. San Cristóbal de las Casas
Located in the southern state of Chiapas, San Cristóbal de las Casas is a town best known for its beautiful colonial architecture. There is the San Cristóbal Cathedral, whose yellow facade glistens in the sunlight like no other. Then, there is the convent turned heritage site Santo Domingo de Guzmán, which also houses Los Altos Museum and its array of textile exhibits. Arguably, none is still as beautiful as Na Bolom, a hotel that is also simultaneously a museum and headquarters of Asociación Cultural Na Bolom, a non-profit organisation that cares for the Chiapas rainforest and the Lacandon Maya. When not too busy admiring these colonial wonders, you can visit the town’s craft markets for some handmade weavings and organic produces.
4. Los Mochis
Los Mochis is the place to go for a dose of Mexican sun and sea. Located in the northern region of Sinaloa, it is home to so many artistic turns and corners. Start your adventure in this coastal city with a relaxing walk at the Benjamin Francis Johnston Botanical Garden, where Sinaloan fauna and flying eagles are abundantly present. Then, boost your knowledge of Los Mochis’s history and contemporary art at Museo Regional del Valle de Fuerte and the Trapiche Interactive Museum of Los Mochis, respectively. Of course, a stay in this city is not complete without stopping by Le Cerro de la Memoria, where a giant statue of Jesus makes for a time-stopping impression with its uncanny resemblance to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
5. Piedra Volada.
You’ve probably heard of the state of Chihuahua, but did you know that it hides a hidden gem called the Piedra Volada? While lesser known compared to Agua Azul, this waterfall is no ordinary site. For one, its name translates into “Flying Rock” or “Flying Stone.” Then, there’s the fact that its tall waters measure a whopping 366 metres in height, making its standout feature of Chihuahua. With its otherworldly rocky surroundings to frame your memories, your time here is definitely memorable.