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Mexico: From Cancun to Mexico City

November 2021 – January 2022

On my last Mexico trip from October 2019 to January 2020, I spent most of my time in the Yucatan Peninsula. This time I traveled during two months from Cancun to Mexico City and about another month in the area around Mexico City, which boasts many interesting colonial cities.

Table of Contents

Valladolid

After a night in Cancun, I traveled to Valladolid, which I liked two years ago.

With the guacomole and a Corona beer, I had truly arrived in Mexico.

Mexicans have a special relationship with death. Skeletons will accompany me on the whole journey.

Uayma

The small town of Uayma, 14 km from Valladolid, is known for its magnificent church.

This woman proudly showed me her embroidery.

Merida

Two years ago I was also in Merida.

The cathedral of Merida

Quinta Montes Molina Museum

The magnificent estate of the Montes Molino family on the Passeo de Montejo is now a museum that shows the life of the upper class at the beginning of the 20th century.

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Ateneo de Yucatán MACAY

The passage of the Museum of Contemporary Art

Zona Arqueológica de Mayapán

This Mayan city dominated the region for about 250 years beginning in the 12th century. At its peak, 15,000 people lived in the city.

Campeche

Campeche was the last city I visited two years ago.

Fort San Miguel

The fort, located 4 km from Campeche, was completed in 1802. Today it houses a museum with Mayan finds from the area.

Palenque

On the way to Mexico City, Palenque in the state of Chiapas, 360 km from Campeche, was the first unknown stop for me. The small town serves as a starting point for visiting the nearby Palenque Archaeological Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It reached its heyday in 400-800 AD and was the center of an empire that stretched across what are now the states of Chiapas and Tabasco. The site covers an area of about 1 km2 and is surrounded by forests.

Palenque Archaeological Zone

The Templo de las Inscripciones is the most impressive structure.

Roberto Barrios Waterfalls (Cascadas Roberto Barrios)

About 40 km from Palenque, water cascades over several waterfalls. The waterfalls are located in the jungle and there were hardly any tourists to be seen. A great excursion!

After a few days in Palenque, I took the bus 200 km further to San Cristobal de las Casas.

San Cristobal de las Casas

The town is located at 1’940 m.a.s.l. in the highlands of Mexico. Dozens of indigenous tribes inhabit the area. The indigenous people of Mexico are ubiquitous here, often displaced from their ancestral lands. Because of the altitude, temperatures were so low after sunset that a thick sweater and jacket were necessary.

The night market where indigenous people sold their goods

Markets

A hot chocolate from local cacao beans

View from the church Iglesia de San Cristóbalito

Comitán

I wanted to visit the El Chiflón waterfalls before the crowds. Therefore, I traveled to the nearby town of Comitan and stayed overnight.

In the main square, the trees are cut in geometric shapes.

Cascada El Chiflón

The waterfalls were impressive! Different paths allowed different views of the falls.

Tuxtla Gutiérrez

I spent three nights in the capital of the state of Chiapas.

Cañón del Sumidero

The main reason for my stay in the city was the nearby Cañón del Sumidero. The boat tours start only a few kilometers from the city.

The impressive canyon was created by the erosion of the Grijalva River. The rock walls are up to 1,000 meters high.

Crocodiles also live in the canyon.

I was in the boat with a group of Mexicans.

Of course, the Virgin of Guadeloupe must not be missing in the canyon.

Zoo Zoológico Miguel Álvarez del Toro (ZOOMAT)

Back in Tuxtla Gutiérez I visited the zoo Zoológico Miguel Álvarez del Toro the next day. It is said to be one of the best zoos in Latin America and specializes in animal species of the state of Chiapa. And indeed, it was worth visiting. It is located in a vast forest. Besides tapirs, I saw quetzals, macaws, jaguars, ocelots, spider monkeys, wild boars, peacocks, otters, snakes, amphibians and many other animals.

By night bus I traveled 580 km further to Puerto Escondido at the Pacific coast.

Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido is one of the main tourist resorts on the Pacific coast. Surfing beginners will find ideal conditions here. There are also a few bays that are protected enough and suitable for swimming. The main beach Playa Zicatela is several kilometers long. Unfortunately, at the time of my stay, the red flag was hoisted on the beach. Thus, I could not swim.

Sunset at Playa Zicatela

Laguna Manialtepec

One morning shortly after sunrise I made a trip with a group to the lagoon Manialtepec, 17 km away. By boat we watched the water birds and enjoyed the silence of the lagoon.

Afterwards we were invited for breakfast at the family of the boatman.

A typical Mexican morning meal with tacos and the dark beans.

I traveled on to the small village of Mazunte, 74 km to the east.

Mazunte

The place is quiet and compact with a few nice beaches.

Excursion to the humpback whales

Whale watching tours are offered from Mazunte. Soon we saw humpback whales

and dolphins

Laguna Ventanilla

The Ventanilla Lagoon is 4 km away from Mazunte. During a guided tour I saw crocodiles, water birds and iguanas living in and around the lagoon.

After the tour we visited an organization for the protection of turtles. The freshly laid turtle eggs are dug out and hatched in the sand at the organization in a controlled manner.

When the little turtle cubs hatch, tourists can pay to put them on the sand and watch them head for the sea. This is to better protect the young, as usually many are eaten by birds shortly after hatching before they reach the sea.

I wonder if this effort is really necessary for the protection of the animals or if this is rather a tourist attraction under the guise of animal protection.

I stayed at Mazunte in this extraordinary open room.

I was at the computer in the early afternoon when suddenly the whole environment and my room became covered with a thick pesticide smoke. A few hours later, I felt the symptoms of poisoning. At dinner in the restaurant I could not eat a bite, lost consciousness, fell and injured me. The following night I was vomiting continuously and also the next days I felt weak and could not eat anything.

Later it turned out that there had been a dengue fever case in the place and therefore the surrounding area was sprayed. The manager of the guesthouse believed that no one was in the guesthouse and did not warn the guests about this action.

Fortunately, the blood and urine tests in the following days and weeks showed no abnormalities, so I probably overcame this poisoning without any permanent damage.

Zipolite

I continued to the next coastal town, Zipolite, 6 km away. The place is known as a nudist beach, but by far not all beachgoers were nude (me neither).

Beautiful sunsets

Breakfast on the beach

Oaxaca de Juárez

I liked the capital of the state with the same name very much, that I stayed for one week.

Catedral Metropolitana de Oaxaca

Artificial and natural models

Textile Museum

This museum displays historic textiles from the state of Oaxaca and advocates for the preservation of craftsmanship.

Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

This church is the most beautiful in Oaxaca. It was built from 1570 to 1608 as part of the Dominican Monastery.

The family tree of the founder of the Dominican Order, Santo Domingo de Guzmán

Pre-Christmas celebration of the city

I ate several times at the excellent restaurant Tr3s 3istro Restaurant & Oyster Bar. A wonderful octopus!

Two weddings took place on the same Saturday.

The large figurines and the cloth ball seem to belong to a Mexican wedding.

Monte Albán

Located just a few kilometers from Oaxaca City, this Zapotec archaeological site is one of the most impressive in Mexico with a great view from one of the pyramids. During its heyday from 300 – 700 AD, the city had 25,000 inhabitants.

Sunday market in Tlacolula de Matamoros.

The market in Tlacolula de Matamoros, 30 km from Oaxaca, attracts buyers and sellers from all over the area and is wonderfully authentic.

I did not miss this typical food. The soup is called barbacoa chivo and contains goat meat. The pre-Columbian drink is called tejate. It is made of corn flour and cocoa and is lightly sweetened with sugar syrup.

Santiago Matatlán

Besides the world-famous tequilla, Mexico has another high-proof drink: mezcal. Both are produced from the agave plant. In the case of mezcal, however, the agave hearts are first smoked in a hole in the ground.

Only the defoliated agave hearts are used for mezcal production.

Smoking is done in a hole in the ground. First, stones are made to glow by fire. Then the stones are covered with fibers and subsequently the agave hearts are placed on top. On top of this comes a protective layer such as a cloth, or palm or banana leaves. Then the pile is covered with earth.

After three to five days, the long-chain carbohydrates of the plant are converted into short-chain, fermentable sugar. The fibers now rest and are then ground with a stone wheel called a tahona. This is often powered by donkeys. This presses the juice out of the fibers.

Subsequently, the mezcal producer leaves the fibers to ferment for several days. The fermented must is called tepache.

Finally, the mass is shoveled into the furnace and distilled twice. This gives the mezcal its usual alcohol content of 45-50%.

A mezcal warehouse with old vintages in a distillery.

Tasting

Very different flavors result depending on the agave variety, climate and soil. The most common agave variety is Espadin, which is the only one that can be grown agriculturally. The agaves grow slowly. It takes 6-12 years to reach maturity. All other varieties are gathered in the wild and are called silvestre (Spanish for wild). Sometimes a worm of a certain species is added to the finished mezcal in the bottle to provide a special flavor.

Since I love smoky drinks, I was taken with the mezcal. Some of the wild agave varieties have a peculiar flavor, so I prefer mezcal made from the agave variety Espadin.

Day trip to Hierve el Agua

The first stop we made was at Tule, about 10 km from Oaxaca.

Arbol del Tule – The thickest tree in the world

The tree of Tule is a 1’400-1’600 old Mexican bald cypress. With a diameter of 14.05 meters it is the thickest tree in the world.

Hierve el Agua

After an adventurous drive on dusty roads over a pass we reached Hierve el Agua, which means boiling water in Spanish. But here no water boils. Very calcareous water saturated with other minerals drips over the cliffs and creates the petrified waterfalls. The picture shows the 60 meter high El Anfiteatro cliff.

At the top of the waterfall pools and structures have formed. The colors come from the various minerals they contain.

The big mineralized waterfall is even 90 meters high.

After eight days in Oaxaca de Juárez, I traveled on to Mexico City, where I stayed with a Swiss colleague.

Mexico City

Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María de la Ciudad de México

The Cathedral of Mexico City is the largest and oldest cathedral in the Americas. Construction began in 1573 on the Aztec temple precinct, but the church was not completed until 1667, due in part to flooding.

The richly carved Altar de los Reyes (Altar of the Kings) from 1718 to 1739.

The black Jesus

In prayer

Frida Kahlo Museum

Frida Kahlo is the most famous artist in Mexico. She spent most of her childhood and adult life in the blue house (La Casa Azul). The house is now a museum with many of her works.

Palacio Postal

Mexico City’s main post office was built in 1907 and was a state-of-the-art building at the time.

Fonoteca Nacional

This state institution takes care of Mexico’s sonic heritage.

Viveros de Coyoacán

Viveros de Coyoacán is a large park in the south of Mexico City

Men practice bullfighting in the park

Museo Nacional de Antropología

The National Museum of Anthropology displays pre-Columbian art and contemporary Mexican Indian culture. It is the most visited museum in Mexico and huge. If you are interested, you can spend a whole day in it.

Castillo de Chapultepec

A palace already existed on Chapultepec Hill at the time of the Aztecs, but it was destroyed by the Spanish conquerors. Later they built a summer residence. In 1864, Emperor Maximilian had the palace converted into an imperial residence. After the fall of the Second Empire, the castle served as the official seat of government for the presidents of Mexico. Since 1944, the castle houses the ‘Museo Nacional de Historia’.

Some rooms with original furniture of Maximilian have been preserved.

Embarcadero Cuemanco Xochimilco

In the south of Mexico City, countless canals with a total length of 180 km crisscross the landscape. Originally, they were over 1,000 km long and even led to downtown Mexico City.

On a company trip of my colleague we were on the boat early in the morning before sunrise and enjoyed the silence. Slowly the sun rose and bathed the area in a magical light. Afterwards, we enjoyed a breakfast.

During the day, countless boats with partying people pass through the area.

Axolotls, endemic newts, live in the canals. Due to water pollution, however, these animals, which can grow up to 40 cm long, are hardly found in their natural habitat. The specimen shown comes from an aquarium.

Gourmet Restaurants in Mexico City

My Swiss colleague in Mexico City loves food at the highest level as much as I do. Therefore, it was obvious that we paid a visit to two of the best restaurants in Mexico.

Quintonil

More about our visit to this top restaurant can be found under this link.

SUD 777

Here is a description of our gourmet experience at SUD 777.

Next, I visited a few cities north of Mexico City. My first destination was Guanajuato, 350 km northwest of Mexico City.

Guanajuato

Guanajuato is the capital of the state of the same name. It is located in a rugged area in a valley, so many roads are narrow and two long intersecting tunnels pass under the city. In 1988, the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historic center and nearby mines. Thanks to the mines, the city was the richest in Mexico in the 18th century. The La Valenciana silver mine was the largest supplier of the precious metal at that time.

Due to the lack of guests, I was able to use the whole extravagantly furnished house. The photo shows a living area.

And this was the view of the city from the terrace.

One of the squares of the city

Teatro Juárez

An impressive theater that opened in 1903.

A wedding party in front of the theater.

Mummies Museum (El Museo de las Momias)

After a tax was introduced from 1865 for long-term burials and some descendants could not pay the amount, the bodies of these people were excavated. Thanks to the special soil and climate, many bodies were naturally mummified. The best preserved ones were placed separately in a building. Already from 1900 mummy tourism started and cemetery workers charged an entrance fee to the building. In 1969 the Mummy Museum was officially opened. The museum is very popular. During my visit, the waiting time was 45 minutes.

Just two of the many mummies on display

The people liked it.

Viewpoint Mirador Hacia El Pipila

A beer from a microbrewery fitting for the Mummy Museum. This porter beer tasted excellent.

Cafe ‘La vie en rose’

A French family now lives in Guanajuato and opened this cafe after their daughter fell in love with a local on a trip to Mexico.

San Miguel de Allende

I traveled on to the town of San Miguel de Allende, 76 km away.

After a flu epidemic nearly wiped out the town in the early 20th century, foreign artists discovered the colonial city. Meanwhile, many American retirees, artists and literary figures live there. Tourism, in the meantime, also contributes a lot to the city’ s economy.

The church Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel

The pink neo-Gothic church with its impressive tower was built in the 17th century.

Crucifixion: Worth mentioning is the facial expression of the man on the right.

An alley in San Miguel, in the background the church Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel

A fancy restaurant

Public Library (Biblioteca Publica).

Particularly worth seeing are the ceiling paintings.

Museum La Esquina

This wonderful toy museum, with over 1,000 exhibits, shows the whole variety of toys made by hand in Mexico. The owner has been collecting them for over 50 years.

The bull in front of the Cultural Center Ignacio Ramírez El Nigromante

Fabrica La Aurora

Formerly a textile factory, the sprawling building now houses countless galleries with a wide variety of extremely creative works of art: sculptures, ceramics, paintings, furniture, lamps and textiles.

Although, or maybe because San Miguel is very touristy, I really liked it with its galleries and excellent restaurants.

My next stop was the city of Santiago de Querétaro, or Querétaro for short, 60 km away.

Santiago de Querétaro

The city is the capital of the Querétaro state. Its colonial old town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Church of Santa Rosa de Viterbo

The most beautiful baroque church in the city was built in the 18th century.

The interior of the church is richly decorated and gilded.

Aqueduct

The 1,280 meter long aqueduct with 74 archways transports water into the city.

The convent of Santa Cruz de los Milagros

Plaza de Armas

There is always something going on in the main square.

There are traffic light women here.

Museo de Arte

The art museum is housed in the former convent of San Agustin. The building is considered one of the most important baroque works in Mexico.

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Querétaro MACQ (Museum of Contemporary Art)

Museo Regional

The former Franciscan monastery now houses the Regional Museum.

Chapel on the Cerro de Campagnas in honour of Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico

This is where the Emperor of Mexico, Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, was executed by the troops of the Mexican Republic. He is said to have distributed tips to the gunmen so that they would spare his head.

Tequisquiapan

From Queretaro, I took a day trip to Tequisquiapan, 60 km away. The spruced-up town is a popular tourist destination for the inhabitants of Mexico City and Querétaro.

A woman spruces up the Parroquial Santa María de la Asunción church.

Winery Los Rosales

The winery Los Rosales is located 16 km outside of Tequisquiapan. I liked the sweet red wine best.

La Redonda Winery

7 km further on, I also visited the La Redonda winery, which was larger and attracted many more people. The open restaurant was very busy over the festive season. The wines tasted were good, but not excellent.

San Sebastián Bernal

I travelled on to the small town of Bernal, 60 km away.

Peña de Bernal

Bernal is known for the world’s third largest monolith, after the Rock of Gibraltar and Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro. It is 433 metres high.

Of course I climbed the rock as far as I could, but a climb to the top was not possible.

On the way up …

View from my hotel

The picturesque church

Many day tourists strolled through the alleys. The place was almost deserted in the evening.

Folk Restaurant

The Folk Restaurant is worth mentioning. The Mexican chef and cook spent a year learning in France. She explained to me the ingredients and preparation of each course. The first course was a cactus salad, followed by ravioli on a pesto sauce with small pieces of cacao and smoked local cheese. For dessert, she served me the original cake from Santiago de Compostela in Spain, but further enhanced with an almond liqueur injection and ice cream on top. Wonderful! I came back another day.

Another reason for the Bernal visit were the two wineries Viñedos Donato and Bodegas De Cote, located 13 and 10 km from Bernal.

Viñedos Donato Winery

I was given a private tour in English and was even able to taste a wine straight from the barrel. The winery impressed me and the wines were also a delight.

The restaurant also looked inviting. Unfortunately, I was not yet hungry in the morning.

Winery Bodegas De Cote

This winery was a class above. The tour was very informative. The group visited the growing grapes and the guide explained the production machinery. We also visited the room where the wine was stored in wooden barrels. The tasting included cheese and savoury biscuits. The wines were excellent and accordingly expensive.

Since the restaurant has an excellent reputation, I decided to have a dessert that late afternoon. In the center is the Chocolate Mousse with an interesting color and to the right and left is a melon strawberry ice cream. The wine was an excellent Gewürztraminer sweet wine.

To escape the mass tourism and inflated prices over the end of the year, I traveled to my colleague in Mexico City on December 31, 2021 and stayed a few days.

Valle de Bravo

This small town on the Avándaro reservoir is only a 2-hour drive from Mexico City, making it a popular weekend destination for well-heeled people from Mexico City.

I came here mainly to meet a French colleague who offers tandem paragliding flights and flies a lot himself.

La Peña Mirador

At Lake Avándaro

The town

Parish of St. Francis of Assisi

Cemetery of Valle de Bravo

Paragliding with my colleague Olivier

Monarch Butterflies: Piedra Herrada Sanctuary

There is a protected area for the Monarch butterflies about 30 km from Valle de Bravo.

Millions of these supposedly fragile creatures fly over two generations with the wind in the fall from Canada via the USA to Mexico to mate. The males die in Mexico and the females make their way back toward Canada in March. They also die on the way, but their young eventually reach Canada again. It is unknown how the monarch butterflies find their way south and back over generations.

The guides playing cards during a break. Visitors can only ascend to the Monarch butterflies in a group with a guide.

Velo de Novia Waterfall

A 7 km hike, first through an affluent suburb of Valle de Bravo, led me to the Velo de Novia waterfall (in english bridal veil). The waterfall is located in a nature reserve with forest and a few paths. A magical place!

Piedra De Molino Waterfall

On the way back I passed the Piedro De Molino waterfall, which is located just off the main road.

A path led up from the waterfall in a forest, which I followed curiously.

Hotel Misión Grand and the waterfall Refugio de Salto

On my map the Refugio de Salto was marked at the end of the path. I was even more surprised when I found right at the Refugio the luxury hotel ‘Misión Grand’, on whose terrace I could enjoy a view of another waterfall called ‘Cascada Refugio de Salto’. The red wine was also a delight.

Puebla

The old town of Puebla is the largest baroque city in the Americas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cathedral of Puebla

The imposing cathedral, like so many in Mexico, is called the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Basílica Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción). Construction began in 1575 and, after some turmoil, was only completed in 1690.

This cathedral is also richly decorated.

The square in front of the church

Church of Santo Domingo

Inconspicuous from the outside, the church of the Dominican Order Templo de Santo Domingo and in particular the Chapel of the Rosary (Capilla del Rosario) is even more impressive. It is considered the highlight of the Mexican Baroque.

All parts except the paintings sparkled gold. Unfortunately, the pictures cannot reflect this splendor. The chapel was extremely impressive. This is what paradise must look like!

Library Palafoxiana

In 1646, Bishop Juan de Palafox y Mendoza donated his personal library of 5,000 volumes on the condition that it be open to the public. Thus was born the first public library of the American continent.

The library impresses with its many old books, the racks and the gilded altarpiece at the end of the hall.

The wheel on the right allows to consult several books without placing them on a table.

Restaurant Casa Barroca

I ate at the excellent Casa Barroca restaurant several times and soon got preferential treatment.

International Baroque Museum (Museo Internacional del Barroco)

Opened in 2016, the International Baroque Museum is on the one hand an architectural gem, but on the other hand the exhibition inside brings out very well all the different aspects of Baroque such as architecture, painting, sculpture, music, literature, science, theater, fashion and dance. The only mistake was the nationality of the famous Baroque architect Francesco Borromini, who was presented in the exhibition as Italian, although he was a Swiss.

In the museum there is a model of the city of Puebla, which shows that the cathedral dominates the city.

Museum Aparo

This private museum is one of the most important in Mexico, with a large collection of pre-Columbian artifacts.

I also liked the contemporary artworks such as this tapestry made with historical techniques showing a microchip.

From the restaurant on the roof terrace of the museum I enjoyed a great view over the city.

Fuerte Park

Fuerte Park is located on a hill a few kilometers outside the city center. It includes two forts, four unfortunately closed museums, a small artificial lake and a restaurant with a view.

The Monument of Ignacio Zaragoza

This monument honors Mexican General Ignacio Seguín Zaragoza, whose Mexican army defeated French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Cholula

The city is located about 12 km from Puebla. The place has been inhabited since the 5th century BC. The great pyramid Tlachihualtepetl was built here from the 3rd century BC to the 9th century AD. It is the largest pyramid in the world with a base area of 450 x 450 meters. Unfortunately, the pyramid was not accessible due to pandemic measures.

Church of San Pedro

This church is located in the main square and was built in the 17th century.

Convento de San Gabriel Arcángel

The Convent of San Gabriel was built in 1529 by the Franciscans over the Aztec temple dedicated to the god Quetzalcoatl.

I had hoped that Jesus would finally be taken down from the cross. Unfortunately, he must remain, because only the Advent wreath was removed.

Church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios

Started in 1592, this church stands on the great pyramid with a superb view over the city. As usual, the Spaniards built their churches on a pre-Columbian sanctuary to show the indigenous people what to believe in from then on.

Regional Museum of Cholula

This museum shows the origin of the city, its surroundings, history and excavated pre-Columbian artworks. However, I liked best the part with the contemporary artworks.

Atlixco

I visited Atlixco, 30 km from Publa, on a day trip. On the main square, all kinds of goods are sold, including cut flowers, for which Atlixco is famous.

Just outside the town rises the hill Cerro San Miguel, where there is a chapel and a view of the town.

Posada Los Alcatraces

On the slope of the hill is the Posada Los Alcatraces, famous for its rose petal salad.

On the grounds, this peacock showed off its feathered splendor.

Cecina – a local specialty at the market

Cecina is grilled meat that has been smoked beforehand. Wonderful! To the right are two tortillas made from blue corn.

Microbrewery ‘Cervecería 5 de Mayo’

Of course, I couldn’t miss a visit to the local microbrewery, which served its beers in a cozy garden.

The ice cream store Ximitl is known far beyond the city for its excellent ice cream. I tried the mezcal flavored variety and was not disappointed.

Xalapa

Located 173 km from Puebla, Xalapa is the capital of the state of Veracruz.

Antropological Museum of Xalapa

The Museo de Antropología de Xalapa (MAX), focusing on Olmec culture, is one of the most important museums in Mexico. The Olmec culture can be traced from about 1500 to around 400 BC along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Numerous meter-high stone heads are on display, whose meaning is unknown.

The statue Señor de las Limas

This figure was found by children by chance in 1965, when they stumbled over the protruding top of the head. It probably represents a grieving father with child or a sacrificer. In 1970, the statue was stolen from the museum and later turned up in a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas, because the well-known statue could not be sold due to its high profile. Now it is back on display at the Museum of Xalapa.

Park Los Tecajetes

The park is an oasis in the city with many plants, a sculpture by the Mexican artist Ignacio Pérez Solano with a fountain, a children’s playground and a circular walking path.

My Hotel Centro Hotel Villa las Margaritas

Xico

The mountain village of Xico, 22 km from Xalapa, is located at an altitude of 1,285 meters. It is a pleasantly quiet place with a few places of interest.

The church Parroquia de Santa María Magdalena

Capilla de Cristo Rey

The chapel is located at the upper end of the village with a wide view over the town.

Las Magdalenas Hotel Boutique

My hotel in Xico – wonderfully historic

Casa de la Cultura and the Clothing Museum

This museum displays countless local costumes of the people living in the area.

On the way from Xico to Texolo Waterfall

The path to Texolo Waterfall, 3.6 km away, passed agricultural areas, including a coffee plantation.

On the way I met this man who was bringing home collected wood.

Texolo Waterfall – Cascada de Texolo

The falling water masses were impressive. In the 1984 movie ‘Romancing the stone’ the gemstone was found behind this waterfall.

The path to the second waterfall over the bridge on the right of the picture was closed after a woman died in an accident.

Veracruz

Actually I wanted to explore the state of Veracruz longer, but because of the bad weather I finally spent eight days in Veracruz, the largest city in the state with the same name.

Veracruz is a port city. Giant freighters docked every day in the nearby port. The city has hardly any museums or other sights to offer and the beaches and settlements within 10 km of the city are run down. At least there were a few good restaurants and hotels.

Cathedral of Veracruz

The cathedral in the historic center was inaugurated only in 1963.

Aquarium of Veracruz

By far the best attraction was the Aquarium of Veracruz, which opened in 1992 and was expanded in 2009. It is said to be the largest in all of Mexico and home to 250 species of marine life.

Tropical gar

A freshwater fish that can also live in slightly salty water

Nurse shark

Barracuda

Sawshark

Lionfish

Trevally

Tarpon

Tiger shark

West Indian manatees

Humboldt penguins

This paella tasted great as the seafood on the coast is particularly fresh.

My three-month trip through the southern half of Mexico came to an end. It is impossible to show all the experiences and interesting photos of such a long trip on one web page.

Mexico is one of my favorite countries because of the many sights, the hospitable people, the good food and the advantageous price/performance ratio.

I flew back to Switzerland where I stayed a few days and completed some tasks. Afterwards, I traveled on to the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.

 

This text is an automatic English translation from the German original by deepl.com