#63 best destination in the world

 

Hidden Beach, Marieta Islands

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  • Rumored to have been created as the result of deliberate military testing in the early 1900s
  • Involves taking an hour long boat ride with a tour company to get there or it can be swum or kayaked to

 

Cenote Samula

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  • Naturally formed pits created when limestone rock caves are exposed to underground pools
  • Considered a sacred place in Mayan culture
  • Long roots hang down from the skylight inside the cave and nourish the trees above ground

 

Rio Secreto, Riviera Maya

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  • Newly-discovered underground river with thousands of stalactites and stalagmites
  • Very few places in the world have the conditions that make this underground river possible

 

Cave of the Crystals

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  • Cave connected to Naica Mine that is 980 ft deep
  • Some of the largest crystals ever found
  • Largest crystal in the cave is 39 ft in length and 13 ft in width
  • The cave is 136 degrees with 90-99% humidity
  • Without proper protection, people can only endure 10 minutes of exposure at a time

 

Cuicuilco

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  • Ceremonial site dating back to 800-600 BC
  • The region flourished from 700-150 BC
  • One of the oldest buildings in the world

Playa Norte

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  • #9 of the top 25 beaches in the world

 

National Museum of Anthropology

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  • National Museum of Mexico
  • #9 of the top 25 museums in the world
  • Contains archaeological and anthropological artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Columbian heritage such as the Aztec calendar stone

 

Chichen Itza

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  • Was one of the largest pre-Columbian cities built by the Maya
  • City thrived from 600-1200 AD
  • Important example of Central Mexican architectural style
  • Considered a mythical great city in later Mesoamerican literature
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Monte Albán

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  • Large pre-Columbian archaelogical site located on a low mountainous range
  • Partially excavated civic-ceremonial center
  • One of the oldest cities in Mesoamerica
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Malecón, Puerto Vallarta

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  • 12 block, mile long boardwalk lined with numerous sculptures

 

Akumal Beach

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  • Visitors can snorkel and swim with turtles at this well-known public beach with amenities

 

Tumul

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  • Pre-Columbian Mayan walled city situated on tall cliffs, which served as a major port
  • Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya, it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico
  • One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites

 

The Island of the Dolls

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  • Broken and deteriorated dolls of various styles and colors are found throughout the island, originally placed by the former owner of the island, Julián Santana Barrera
  • Julián believed that dolls helped to chase away the spirit of a girl drowned years ago.
  • Santana died in 2001 of a heart attack, close to the same spot where the girl drowned

 

Quetzalcoatl’s Nest

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  • A feathered Aztec serpent god Quetzalcoatl has been turned into a series of condos
  • The architect took inspiration from nature and aims for minimal impact to the environment
  • This location can be accessed through overnight rental stays

 

Cenote Xkeken

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  • Pre-colonial Mayan tradition believed the gates to the beyond lay in cenotes
  • The landscape is dotted with natural sinkholes
  • Since the Mayans believed the holes led to the afterlife, they would often drop important objects into the cenotes
  • You can swim there amongst the stalactites

 

Agua Azul Waterfalls

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  • The water has a high content of calcium carbonate and other minerals, and where it falls on rocks or fallen trees, it encases them in a thick shell-like coating of limestone
  • Local residents reportedly restored the waterfalls after the 2017 Chiapas earthquake has created a crack and led to a temporary reduction of the water flow over the falls

 

Hospicio Cabañas

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  • One of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in the Americas
  • Founded in 1791 in order to combine the functions of a workhouse, hospital, orphanage, and almshouse
  • The design was based on classic examples around Madrid
  • Although it served for a time as barracks in the mid-19th century, the hospital lasted well into the 20th century and continued to function until 1980, when the Cabañas Cultural Institute moved in
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

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  • Part of the reserve is on land and part is in the Caribbean Sea, including a section of coral reef
  • The reserve also includes some 23 known archaeological sites of the Maya civilization
  • Remains of the Decauville railway Vigía Chico-Santa Cruz, which was operated from 1905 to 1932, can be found at several places
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Palenque

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  • Maya city state that flourished in the 7th century
  • After its decline, it was absorbed into the jungle of cedar, mahogany, and sapodilla trees, but has since been excavated and restored
  • Contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings that the Mayas produced
  • Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments
  • The most famous ruler of Palenque was K’inich Janaab Pakal, whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions
  • By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 1 sq mile, but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Xcaret

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  • Opened in 1990 as an eco-archeological park where visitors from all over the world can enjoy Mexico’s biodiversity and cultural heritage
  • Attractions include: Underground rivers, beach, lagoon and pools, tropical jungle trail, and a rotating scenic tower

 

Frida Kahlo Museum

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  • Also known as the Blue House (La Casa Azul) for the structure’s cobalt-blue walls, is a historic house museum and art museum dedicated to the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo
  • Showcases Mexican folk art, pre-Hispanic artifacts, photographs, memorabilia, and personal items
  • The collection is displayed in the rooms of the house which remains much as it was in the 1950s

 

Las Pozas

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  • Surrealistic group of structures created by Edward James, in a subtropical rainforest in the mountains
  • More than 80 acres of natural waterfalls and pools interlaced with towering surrealist sculptures in concrete
  • The creator wanted a Garden of Eden set up and felt Mexico was romantic
  • Massive sculptures up to four stories tall punctuate the site
  • The many trails throughout the garden site are composed of steps, ramps, bridges and narrow, winding walkways that traverse the valley walls

 


 

Costs

all flights $1,089

food $15/day x 23 days = $334

hotel $11/day x 22 days = $242

tickets (all attractions) $406

TOTAL for whole itinerary $2,071