Visiting Comalcalco Ruins

Comalcalco: The Edge of the Mayan World

The overlooked ruins of Comalcalco in Tabasco state are remarkable for a couple of reasons. Not only did they mark the very western edge of the Mayan civilization, but Comalcalco is the only Mayan city to have been built of brick instead of stone. The ruins are both well-preserved and largely void of crowds, making

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Parque Museo La Venta

Parque Museo La Venta: Experiencing The Legacy of the Olmec

Whether you’re visiting ruins built by Maya, Zapotec, Aztec, or another of the myriad of Mesoamerican civilizations, you’re almost guaranteed to encounter things like pyramids, ball courts and hieroglyphic inscriptions. But where did this broader Mesoamerican culture originate? Based on our current understanding, it all started with a group known as the Olmec. For more

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Visiting the Jungle Ruins of Yaxchilan and Bonampak

Situated deep in the jungle near the border with Guatemala, Yaxchilan and Bonampak are two of Mexico’s most geographically remote Mayan ruins. But with the number of tour groups visiting each, they’re far from well-kept secrets. Nevertheless, exploring the once-mighty city of Yaxchilan and its ally Bonampak, known for its stunning ancient murals, is a

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Toniná Pyramid

Toniná: Exploring the Lost Pyramid City

Overlooking the Valley of Ocosingo in the state of Chiapas is one of Mesoamerica’s largest and most unique structures. The Toniná Pyramid consists of seven tiers, many of which are home to temples, palaces and monuments. As such, it shouldn’t just be considered a large pyramid, but an entire pyramid city. The pyramid rises up to

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Visiting Palenque Ruins

Visiting Palenque: Touring The Magical Jungle Ruins

With its well-preserved buildings and gorgeous jungle setting, few archaeological sites can rival the magic of Palenque. The surviving structures largely date back to the 7th century AD, many of which housed elaborate tombs of the ruling elite. Situated by the modern city of the same name in the state of Chiapas, visiting Palenque is

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Things to Do in Bacalar Guide

A Guide to Bacalar: The Lagoon of 7 Colors & More

While it may be hard to believe, one of Mexico’s most beautiful waterfront towns still remains off the beaten path. Bacalar and its stunning Lagoon of Seven Colors can still be experienced without the crowds and touts of other Riviera Maya sites – but maybe not for much longer. In the following Bacalar guide, we’ll

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Visiting Dzibanché Ruins

Kohunlich & Dzibanché: Quintana Roo’s Hidden Mayan Gems

While millions of international tourists flock to Quintana Roo each year, the state remains home to hidden gems that fall well under the radar. In Quintana Roo’s south, right near the border with Campeche, are two well-preserved but underrated Mayan sites that are worth the extra effort to see. In the following guide, we’ll be

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Visiting the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve

Visiting Calakmul: Pyramids & Wildlife in Southern Campeche

Despite being one of the most powerful Mayan cities in history, Calakmul only attracts a fraction of the attention of sites like Chichén Itzá. Located deep in the jungle about two hours by car from the town of Xpujil, it’s easily one of Mexico’s most isolated Mayan sites. But those visiting Calakmul will be rewarded

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Visiting Chicanná Ruins

Xpujil-Becán-Chicanná-Hormiguero: Exploring Río Bec

The region of Río Bec, situated in modern-day southern Campeche, was among the most prosperous and densely populated parts of the Mayan world. No less than 45 Río Bec sites have been discovered in total, though only several are accessible today. While most tourists stay in Xpujil to visit the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, even closer to town

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Visiting Edzná Ruins

Visiting Edzná: The House of the Itzaes

About 50 km southeast of Campeche lies the former mighty city of Edzná, one of Mexico’s most under-appreciated Mayan ruins. Known for its unique five-story pyramid, the site is not only well-preserved, but it just gets a fraction of the tourists of places like Uxmal. Those visiting Edzná in the early morning can expect to

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Campeche Guide

A Guide to Campeche: Mexico’s Most Underrated City?

Campeche is usually talked about as a base for visiting the nearby ruins of Edzna. Many are surprised, then, to encounter a beautiful colonial city with enough attractions to keep one occupied for several days. Not only is Campeche one the most charming cities of the Yucatán Peninsula, it’s arguably one of the most underrated

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Day Trip to Progreso

A Day Trip to Progreso: Ruins, Salt Flats, Cenotes & More

My original plan for my day trip to Progreso from Mérida was simple: relaxing on the beach, exploring town and grabbing some food before heading back home. But it was just the previous day that I’d learned that aside from the beach, Progreso’s surroundings are home to four unique sites, all of which can be visited

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Visiting Mayapán Ruins

Mayapán: The Last of the Great Mayan Cities

Located about 50 km south of Mérida, Mayapán could be considered the last of the great Mayan capitals. But despite its historical importance, the site remains well off the tourist trail. What makes Mayapán unique is that its major buildings are all jam-packed into a single area, giving it one of the Mayan world’s most picturesque ‘cityscapes.’  With that

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Visiting Kabah Ruins

Visiting Kabah: Deeper in The Heart of Puuc

Located 30 km south of Uxmal, Kabah is just one of several Mayan sites in the Puuc region, named after the nearby Puuc hills. But aside from Uxmal, the other Puuc sites including Labná, Sayil and Xlapak are all closed at the time of writing. As disappointing as that may be, it gives one the

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Visiting Uxmal Ruins

Visiting Uxmal: The Pyramids in the Heart of Puuc

Located 62 km south of Mérida, Uxmal is one of Mexico’s most outstanding archaeological sites. Not only are its structures monumental in scale, but many are adorned with some of the most beautiful stone friezes of the Mayan world. And with fewer visitors than Chichén Itzá, visiting Uxmal is a must if you’re hoping to have

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Things to Do in Izamal Guide

A Day in Izamal: The Magic Town & Its Massive Pyramid

Mexico is full of fascinating archaeological sites, while the country is home to dozens of charming towns designated by the government as Pueblo Mágicos (Magic Towns). But there’s no place quite like Izamal, where you’ll find massive ancient pyramids right in the middle of a bustling town established during the colonial era. In the following

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Things to do in Mérida Paseo de Montejo

Mérida: The Ultimate Guide

Mérida is fast becoming one of the Yucatán Peninsula’s most popular destinations for expats and tourists alike. As the nearest city to Mayan sites like Uxmal, the Yucatán capital makes for a great base for day trips. But as Mexico’s tenth oldest continuously inhabited city, Mérida is a worthy destination in its own right. Learn exactly why in the Mérida guide below. Also

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Visiting Ek Balam Ruins

Visiting the Ek Balam Ruins & the X’canche Cenote

Located 25 km north of Valladolid, Ek Balam only gets a fraction of the crowds of nearby Chichén Itzá. But it’s easily one of the region’s most remarkable sites. Not only can those visiting Ek Balam climb every structure, but the massive Acropolis contains what’s arguably the best-preserved stucco frieze of the Mayan world. Ek

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Visiting Chichen Itza El Castillo

Visiting Chichén Itzá: Mexico’s Wonder of the World

As crowded as it can get, visiting Chichén Itzá quickly reveals why the ancient Mayan site is so popular. As the most dominant city in the Yucatán throughout the Early Postclassic period (900-1200 AD), its ruins are some of the grandest and best-preserved in all of Mexico. While best known for its spectacular pyramid, the overall site

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Convent of San Bernardino de Siena Valladolid Guide

A Guide to Valladolid: Churches, Cenotes & Folk Art

Located right in between Mérida and Cancún, Valladolid is the closest city to Chichén Itzá, one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. But Valladolid, officially recognized as a Pueblo Mágico, is very much a destination in its own right. In the following Valladolid guide, we’ll be covering the town’s top highlights, including fascinating churches,

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Visiting the Tulum Ruins

Touring the Unique Seaside Ruins of Tulum

While Tulum may be one of Mexico’s most-visited archaeological sites, it’s hardly the largest or most spectacular. But what makes visiting the Tulum ruins truly special is their stunning seaside setting. Out of all the Mayan cities constructed throughout Mesoamerica, this is the only one built on a cliff overlooking the water. Tulum functioned as a port

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Visiting the Cobá Ruins

Visiting the Cobá Ruins and Its Massive Pyramid

Situated 42 km northwest of Tulum, Cobá, known for its towering pyramids, was once the prominent city-state of the eastern Yucatán Peninsula. And today, visiting the Cobá ruins is a must for those basing themselves in the Tulum area.  To learn more about reaching the ruins, you can learn more below. But first, a bit of history: The

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San Gervasio Ruins Cozumel

Visiting Cozumel’s San Gervasio Ruins: The Abode of Ixchel

When looking at lists of the top Mayan sites in Mexico, the San Gervasio ruins will seldom get mentioned. And perhaps justifiably so, as the site lacks the magnificent pyramids or relief carvings of Chichén Itzá and Uxmal. But for those with an interest in Mayan history and culture, San Gervasio makes for a rewarding

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San Miguelito Ruins Cancun

Cancún’s Overlooked Ruins: San Miguelito, El Rey & Punta Sur

Not many people realize that one can find ancient Mayan pyramids right in the heart of Cancún’s Hotel Zone. As far as Mayan ruins go, San Miguelito isn’t much to write home about, but entry is combined with the excellent Museo Maya. Just several minutes away, meanwhile, is yet another interesting archaeological site known as El

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Mexico City Toy Museum

Celebrating the Ordinary at Mexico City’s Nostalgia Museums

The nostalgia industry is big these days. As our lives become increasingly focused on accomplishing tasks by tapping our thumbs against glass screens, more and more people are longing for the physical. It wasn’t too long ago, of course, when all of our possessions could be touched, held or collected – just not downloaded. Tapping

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Museo de el Carmen Mummy Room

Meeting the Mummies of the Museo de El Carmen

Underneath an old convent in the southern suburb of San Ángel awaits one of Mexico City’s most peculiar attractions. The former Carmelite convent, which dates back to the 17th century, is now known as the Museo de El Carmen. It hosts a large collection of Spanish Baroque paintings and ancient religious relics, while the building

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Temple of San Francisco Javier

Tepotzotlán: Searching for Magic in a Pueblo Mágico

Admittedly, I’d never even heard of Tepotzotlán until a day or two before my visit. I had a fairly long list of small towns nearby Mexico City that I wanted to see, but sadly, most of them were still recovering from a powerful earthquake from a few weeks prior. After some last-minute research, I discovered Tepotzotlán

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Tula Atlantes

Tula: Mesoamerica’s Missing Link

Between the abandonment of Teotihuacan and the emergence of the Aztec Empire, central Mexico was dominated by another powerful group: the Toltecs. But we still know relatively little about them. The Aztecs sung the Toltecs’ praises, considering themselves to be their heirs. And they even repeatedly visited their former capital of Tula to learn (and

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Pyramid of the Sun Teotihuacan

Ascending the Ancient Pyramids of Teotihuacan

Two thousand years after they were built, the pyramids of Teotihuacan remain among the most awe-inspiring and also most mysterious structures in the Americas. Even today, archaeologists and historians are still scratching their heads over who exactly built the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon and the Quetzalcoatl Pyramid. Regardless, these monumental

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Mexico City Street Art

Street Art: Mexico City

The Mexico City street art scene is thriving nowadays, with the rest of the world beginning to take notice. But looking at the country’s history, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Mexico has long been tolerant, if not downright encouraging, of creativity in public spaces. There was the Mexican muralist movement of the

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Templo Mayor Ruins Mexico City

Uncovering Mexico City’s Aztec Past

In 1978, local electric company workers digging near Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral made a discovery that would change the city’s urban landscape forever. It was a massive stone disk depicting the dismembered body of the goddess Coyolxauhqui. According to ancient mythology, she was killed and turned into the moon by her brother Huitzilopochtli, the patron deity of

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