The Best Vacation Locations in Mexico

The Best Vacation Locations in Mexico
When you think of vacationing in Mexico, you probably think "spring break" and "co-eds gone wild." So it might surprise you to know that there is so much more to Mexico than just Cancun, Acapulco and resorts. Mexico has 31 different states, each with different stories and landscapes fit for any adventurer.

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

The Mexican state of Chiapas is known by many Americans as a combat zone and home to the Zapatista rebels. But much has changed in the last 15 years, and Chiapas is a much safer place to visit. San Cristóbal de las Casas is located near the Tzotzil Maya communities of Chamula, and Zinacantán, and a half-day bus ride from the Classic Maya ruins of Palenque, so it is the perfect outpost for your adventures through Mayan ruins. This city of nearly 100,000 has the feel of a Spanish colonial town deep in the heart of Indian territory. The indigenous population of the city is 35 percent, but San Cristóbal is the trading post for many communities dotting the surrounding mountains. To visit San Cristóbal is to experience truly authentic indigenous Mexican culture, both modern and ancient.

Barrancas del Cobre, Chihuahua

Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon in English) is a group of six canyons in the southwestern most part of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. This is a truly rustic Mexican experience. Even the train ride into the canyons offers amazing panoramic views of the dramatic landscape. Lodges and hotels are inexpensive and often offer food and bus rides from the train station, but they are charmingly simple in their offerings--expect wood-burning stoves. Not only do the Barrancas del Cobre offer you stunning views and hiking opportunities galore amidst the indigenous Tarahumara community, which has remained unchanged for nearly 1,000 years. Reservations and navigation in this area can be difficult, so consider going with a tour group such as Canyon Travel, which offers relaxed adventures into the canyon. But if you're prepared for an all-out adventure, it is completely possible to do it independently.

Guadalajara, Jalisco

If you want to stray off the beaten path, but aren't interested in the rustic, indigenously populated areas of Chihuahua and Chiapas, then Guadalajara might be more your speed. Of course, it is no Acapulco or Cancun, but it offers some of the more common creature comforts such as hot water and air conditioning. Guadalajara is Mexico's second largest city and the capital of the tequila-state, Jalisco. In the area surrounding Guadalajara, explore ancient archaeological sites, museums, shopping and of course, tequila. The region is known as the tequila state because the volcanic soil covering most of the area provides perfect conditions for the blue agave plant, a central ingredient to the production of tequila. As such, there are plenty of opportunities for volcano and mountain climbing near Guadalajara, particularly near the town of Tequila, Jalisco. There are other active volcanoes in southern Jalisco, but climbing is restricted for safety reasons.


Article Written By Anne Marie LeFevre

Anne Marie LeFevre has been a freelance writer since 2009 and works full-time as a copy editor in New York. She has been published in "Vox" magazine and the "Missourian" in Columbia, Mo. LeFevre holds a Bachelor of Magazine Journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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