In Part I of my two-parted series about my personal highlights in Mexico, I already introduced you to some hidden gems and some of the best places to visit in this country. Today I’m gonna show you some more amazing travel destinations, some of which might even not really be considered touristic. When I was travelling around Mexico, I was also super interested in getting to now what’s underneath the surface which is why I tried to avoid being in touristic places too much and talked to a lot of people living in the places I visited. So here are some more of my favourite places that I fell in love with.
Round Trip in Michoacán
Michoacán is a beautiful state. Even though outside of Michoacán people tell you better not to go there because it’s supposed to be quite dangerous, I never noticed any danger, neither did the locals that we met live in a constant state of fear. There may be areas that you should try to avoid but if you stick to the normal routes and the right people, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Actually we had an amazing time in Michoacán. Once again I travelled with my beloved friend Joss and we started in Michoacán’s capital Morelia. It’s a really nice colononial city with cute side streets, a big park and a beautiful old town. It is not too big so we decided to go and discover more of this state. Our next stop was near Erongarícuaro, close to the Pátzcuaro lake. Pátzcuaro itself is a Pueblo Mágico (e.g. traditional small village) that we visited on our way back. You should definitely try some ice cream here as it was on of the best one that I’ve had in Mexico. Anyway, in Erongarícuaro we stayed at a really nice Hacienda in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by nature. It almost felt like being in the Alpes! From there we took a one-day trip to the enchanted lake at Camécuaro. It is a breath-taking place where the colour of the water changes from a deep green to turquoise to blue and seams to has a silver shimmer lying above it. Trees grow directly in the water which makes it look like a forest taken out of a fantastic fairy tale. The park covers a small entry fee of about $50 (ca. 2,50€) and if you can you should avoid holidays and weekends as there will be a lot of tourists. Also you can either bring your own food to have a nice picnic or you buy some delicious traditional Mexican food inside the park.
Roberto Barrios, Chiapas
The stunning clear blue waterfalls of Agua Azul were on my To Do List before I even came to Mexico. This was one of the reasons why I stayed in Palenque. By the way, Palenque is such a beautiful place by itself, which was partly because of the hostel I stayed in. Yaxkin Hostal is surrounded by jungle and has a nice café for breakfast directly attached to it. But let’s get back to the topic. When I was telling people that I would like to see Agua Azul, everyone recommended me to go to Roberto Barrios instead. And after I’ve seen a video proving that it’s just as beautiful, I decided to do so. You just have to ask people in the streets for the camión to Roberto Barrios for which you pay like $40-$50 (2-2,50€). After a 20 minute ride, the camión drops you up in the middle of nowhere but at the end of the street you’ll see a registering point where you have to pay the entrance fee. Then you just keep walking through the jungle for like 15-20 minutes and you reach the most breathtaking waterfall there is. Turquoise water crashing down in beige coloured natural pools. You can jump down the cliffs into the water, explore some small caves or just laze in the sun, letting yourself float in the natural pools. This was definitely a highlight on my trip! Even though Roberto Barrios is cheaper and way less touristic than Agua Azul, I recommend you to get there early if you wanna enjoy some quiet time alone. Oh, right – there are also spider monkeys tumbling in the trees.
Balandra in La Paz, Baja California Sur
The symbol of La Paz in the state of Baja California Sur is a stone formation that can be found at Balandra beach. It once was a natural formation of a stalagmite but after some cases of vandalism, the government decided to fix it with metal. Why the hell ever people think they could just destroy nature will never be something I can understand, but nevermind. Even with the metal inside that is hardly visible, it is still an amazing thing to see. However, this is not the reason why I loved Balandra so much. It is the whole lagoon that I fell in love with. The warm, golden sand, the clear blue, shallow water and the quiet, peaceful horizon makes Balandra a pure oasis. Plus I had a really great experience with nature here as I really did cross the lagoon to reach the other side and was rewarded with being able to walk around truly untouched nature. Those moments are rare and even now, a couple of months afterwards, I still feel the absolute silence and the magic aura that dominated this place. If you wanna read more about Balandra and maybe check out what else to do in La Paz, then please go this way. I also wrote an entry about another place in Baja California Sur, Los Cabos. If you would like to discover this part of the Mexican Pacific with me, then click here.
Mexico City, D.F.
The big city. Millions of people, too much pollution and packed subways. Yes, this is one part of Mexico City. However, the reasons why I loved being in Mexico City are different ones. First of all (and I guess that’s basically a big city thing) you have so many cultural offers. Theatre, art, museums, lectures, cinema and everything that you could think of. With 156 theatres Mexico City has the highest density of theatre places in the whole country. But that’s not all. Nearby Teotihuacán is one of the most incredible Zonas Arqueológicas I have seen, floating on Xochimilco canal with a boat is a great chill activity, the Bosque de Chapultepec is the perfect spot to realx and there are more than enough places to spend a great night out. There’s also a variety of amazing food places and even some really nice vegan and vegetarian places. If you want to experience something typically Mexican, go to Lucha Libre or walk around the immensely huge Mercado de Mercéd. I loved that life in Mexico City doesn’t only center around the Centro Historico but that you have different neighbourhoods that all offer different experiences. Reminded me of Berlin somehow. I had an amazing time in Mexico’s capital and went there three times!
Bacalar, Quintana Roo
This is probably the smallest village I have been to in Mexico. I mean, I did pass some other ones as well but I never stayed there. Bacalar however is famous for its Lagoon of Seven Colours, meaning when the sun is shining, you can see seven different shades of blue in the lagoon. And let me tell, it is as beautiful as it sounds! Clear blue water which isn’t even cold but still cool enough to refresh yourself as it gets incredibly hot in Bacalar. Even though I experienced the strongest heat in Chetumal, Quintana Roo’s capital. Don’t spend any time there, there’s absolutely nothing to see and the only reason you should go there is to take the ferry to San Pedro in Belize from Chetumal. Believe me, I took quite a walk through the city centre and could hardly even find a restaurant. And let me tell you, walking around with such an extreme heat surrounding you is not fun. Better go directly to Bacalar where you can go swimming in the lagoon, the Cenote Azul or the Cenote La Bruja. Incredible places providing a calm, peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. Bacalar was a really nice place to rest for a bit after my exhausting trip to Palenque.