This former Aztec capital is full of incredible sights, rich in culture and home to a famed food scene which is definitely worth discovering while just a short drive away are the colourful floating gardens of Xochimilco, offering a glimpse of the original waterways on which the capital was founded, and the impressive pre-Aztec ruins of Teotihuacán.
Mexico City, founded in 1521 on the ashes of the Aztec island citadel of Tenochtitlán, is a modern and hectic sprawl, home to over 20 million people. It has excellent museums, galleries, markets, cathedrals and plazas, with areas of fine colonial architecture.
Puebla, or City of the Angels, is one of Mexico's oldest cities, founded in 1531 by Fray Julian Garces who apparently saw angels in a dream indicating where the city should be built. 2 hours east of Mexico City, it is a charming colonial city, now a UNESCO world heritage site, particularly popular at weekends. Talavera tiles are a main feature of the architecture which consists of both Renaissance and Mexican baroque buildings and structures, many of which are painted in bright blues, reds and yellows. There are said to be 365 churches, many interesting museums, a lovely main square surrounded by restaurants and cafes, and the Cathedral is noted for its marble floors, gold leaf decoration and very tall bell tower.
With exquisite colonial architecture, fine food, better tequila, bustling cities and beautiful butterflies, the colonial heartlands are well worth a visit. Locals are warm and generous, the streets are perfectly safe, the economy is strong and cultural traditions thrive, especially in the countryside.
The Pacific coast is another ideal beach destination, with year-round good weather. This area covers a beautiful stretch of coastline, including the popular town of Puerto Vallarta, once a small fishing village and still maintaining part of its quaint charm. Along the coast are a scattering of boutique beach hotels, many in very remote locations and offering everything from birdwatching and riding to world-class golf.