Latin America is a great destination for backpackers. You don’t have to spend a lot of money for accommodation, food and public transport, people are generally very friendly and open-minded and you can quite easily get around with Spanish. However, it is a good idea to beware of pickpockets and not to carry much cash around. Instead, it is a good idea to make use of online banking systems and easily send money overseas. One of the most fascinating countries to pay a visit while in Latin America is Mexico and its overwhelming capital Mexico City. Below are five great spots to visit when you are visiting this inimitable capital:
The Zócalo, the formal and official name being Plaza de la Constitutión, is the main square in the heart of Mexico City. Over the course of hundreds of years it has seen numerous ceremonies, parades, demonstrations and events. It is one of the largest squares in the whole world. To the north there is the impressive Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary of Mexico City, the largest and oldest cathedral in South America. North-east of the square is the Temple Mayor, one of the main temples of the Aztecs which was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521. It has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1987.
Palacio de las Bellas Artes
The construction of the Palacio de las Bellas Artes, the Palace of Fine Arts, began in 1932. It has become the most important cultural center in the whole of Mexico and has hosted lots of events in art, music, opera and literature. It is located next to the Alameda Park on the West side of the historic center. This building really is a pleasure to the eye.
Museo Nacional de Antropología
The Museo Nacional de Antropología, the National Museum of Anthropology, is located near Chapultepec Park. It contains an impressive collection of artifacts from the time prior to the Spanish conquerors in 1492. The architectural highlight is the huge patio with a pond. In it is a large stone pillar which turns into a large square stone umbrella on the top. Also, it is a great way of ending a tour through Mexico as one can find many historic treasures recovered from the Maya and Aztec ruins that can be visited all over the country.
The archeological site of Teotihuacán is located about 30 miles outside of Mexico City. It harbors large pyramidal buildings, the world-famous Avenue of the Dead, uncountable murals and residential complexes. Archeologists estimate that the city was built in 100 BC and destroyed around the 8th century AD. Its former population is estimated to have amounted to around 125,000 people at the city’s peak.
Xochimilko is one of the sixteen boroughs of Mexico and the third-largest of them. The district was centered on what once was the town of Xochimilko. It is located south of the historic center of Mexico City. The borough’s landscape is characterized by various canals and colorful boats floating on them.
Mexico City is a just a glimpse into the fantastic places to visit in Mexico and is certainly worth spending some time exploring if it happens to be your transport hub when heading out to other destinations. For more fantastic destinations in Central America check out the other places here on TBD!
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