The Spanish Language Blog

Mexico is an enormous country, where cultures with thousands of years of history live together with a modernity that keeps an eye to the north while continuing to treasure its traditional values. It's a country to get away to and enjoy: dreamy beaches (on the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts), impressive pre-Columbian era archeological ruins, and unique traditions. Also, Mexican folklore is widely known and appreciated, not to mention its cooking!

Let's take a look at ten recommendable places for relaxing and enjoying weather and the friendliness of the Mexican people, in Spanish of course. Creating a list of recommended places always presents the problem of where to begin. That's why in our attempts to be fair, we're relying on good old fashioned alphabetical order...

1. Acapulco

On the coast of the state of Guerrero, 390 kilometers from Mexico City, this is one of the most internationally known vacation destinations in Mexico. The Acapulco Bay, in all its magnificent beauty, invites us to dive into its warm waters. (Nearest don Quijote Spanish School in Mexico: Oaxaca).

2. Cancun

This is without a doubt the number one vacation destination in Mexico. Located in the state of Quintana Roo, (the eastern-most state of the country) this city has quickly developed from a small isolated fishing town into the most important tourism center in Mexico, which guarantees an international atmosphere and first-class hotel facilities.

An example of just how popular this destination is; the airport here receives an average of 200 international flights per day. White sand beaches, modern hotel resorts and a subtropical climate with an average temperature of 270 C. all year round, all invite us to relax here.

3. Guanajuato

We find this colonial gem, capital of the state with the same name, in Mexico's interior. The city of Guanajuato reached a high level of development in the colonial age due to gold and silver found in the region. In the beginning of the 19th century, Guanajuato witnessed a great victory for revolutionary insurgents, headed by the priest Father Hidalgo, over Spanish troops when they took over the Alhóndiga de las Granaditas and massacred troops and civilians who'd taken refuge inside the building. It's one of the most relevant moments in the country's history.

Today, Guanajuato is an important university city and home to the Festival Cervantino, probably the most important artistic presentation in Mexico, and even in all of Latin America. This is the perfect place to study Spanish and enjoy tradition, art and culture in all its dimensions.

4. Mexico City

The capital of the republic is also the oldest metropolis in America and the second most populated city in the Americas after Rio de Janeiro. The Distrito Federal (or deefe as Mexicans refer to the city) features two areas that are listed as UNESCO world heritage sites: the Historic Center, where for example we find: the Metropolitan Cathedral, an American archeological treasure, the National Palace, where we can view Diego Rivera's frescos, offering observers the story of the Mexican Revolution in images.

The second area is the Ecological park Xochimilco. The park is like a small Venice-turned-garden. The city also has many museums: the National Museum of Anthropology, The National Museum of Art and the National Museum of History. All of Mexico can be found in el deefe, as long as you know where to look. (Nearest don Quijote School: Oaxaca)

5. Monterrey

In the state of Nuevo León, in the north of Mexico, we find one of the most important cities in the country due to its strong economy, trade and industry. Its tourist attractions are not just limited to its architecture, which joins colonial and modern styles, Monterrey is known as "the city of mountains", as the city is like a fortress surrounded by mountains... and by impressive sites such as the Cascada Cola de Caballo National Park and the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, one of the biggest in the country. The balance of urbanism and nature makes Monterrey an ideal place to visit in Mexico. (Nearest don Quijote School: Guanajuato)

6. Oaxaca

The capital of the state with the same name, on the isthmus that unites the body of the country with the southern peninsula of Yucatan, this is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico. It has maintained its ancestral traditions, its vibrant arts and its way of life. Rich in archeological sites, we'll make our way through baroque temples, 16th century convents, colonial era buildings and numerous museums... it's a city of calmness and culture, a city that invites us to experience customs and traditions with its residents, chatting with them in Spanish. (Nearest don Quijote School: Oaxaca)

7. Playa del Carmen

In the state of Quintana Roo, just a few kilometers from the tourist center of Cancun, we find a place that offers the best of the Caribbean coasts, with endless white sand beaches and emerald blue waters where you can touch bottom with your eyes and observe its gorgeous natural marine life on the sea floor. The city maintains the advantages of a small town. It's a place where you can sit back on a terrace and enjoy wonderful weather and a sense of peacefulness floating in the air. Or you can take a short boat trip over to the Island of Cozumel, an island that invites us to go diving in its tropical waters. Playa del Carmen is a place for relaxing, and concentrating on Spanish in a quiet environment, a nice contrast to the hyperactive commotion of mass tourism destinations. (Nearest don Quijote School: Playa del Carmen)

8. Puerto Vallarta

In the heart of Banderas Bay, on the Pacific coast of the state fo Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta is "laid back" center for tourism and eco-adventure. The beaches here remind us of movies like the classic "la noche de la iguana" (Night of the Iguana), especially if we take a walk on Playa Mismaloya. Enjoying the stunning sunsets that have made it famous is one option for way to cap off our Spanish class at the school Solexico. At night we can go for walks on the lively Playa de los Muertos, to the south of the pier and the Cuale River. (Nearest don Quijote School: Guanajuato)

9. Santiago de Querétaro

This is the capital of the state of Querétaro, whose name comes from the Tarascan Querendaro, later adopted by the Spanish and used in its current form. The city, declared an official UNESCO world heritage site in 1996, offers the visitor a perfectly preserved baroque area with perfectly arranged clean streets and proverbial peace and quiet. Along with the harmony and safety of the old town, Santiago de Querétaro is also a successful city: the University of Aeronautics in an international leader in its field and the booming economy make this the third wealthiest city in Mexico, only behind Mexico City and Monterrey. (Nearest don Quijote School: Guanajuato)

10. Xalapa

For many, this city located in the state of Veracruz, with its engaging cultural activity, is the most beautiful in Mexico. The vibrant culture here has lead many Mexican people to know the land of the jalapeño chili peppers as "the Athens of Veracruz", not due to any architectonic similarities, but due to tireless, unstoppable and nearly permanent cultural activity. Culture is everywhere in Xalapa: numerous museums, omnipresent art exhibits, constant concerts, libraries, bookstores, theaters, movie theaters... This is one cultural center we won't want to miss. (Nearest don Quijote School: Oaxaca)

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