With my trip to Cuba around the corner (I'll actually be there when this is published), I've been reflecting on past travels. Then a friend posted a question on social media asking where to travel in Mexico. I started reminiscing about my 2015 cross-country trip. For me, driving through Mexico was one of the best experiences of my life!
Some of the best locations for a unique and wonderful experience are in Mexico, specifically in Cholula, San Luis Potosi, and San Miguel de Allende. Of all my travels, Mexico is toward the top of the list with beautiful scenery, striking architecture, and glorious weather! Here are 3 gorgeous, historic Mexican cities I was delighted to witness, if only for a few brief days.
1. SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MEXICO
The first truly spectacular town we happened upon was San Miguel de Allende. The city's steep and narrow cobblestone streets were not made for automobiles, which is part of the charm. It also tells the age of the place...OLD...like 16th century old.
San Miguel de Allende is a city that manages to be both quaint and cosmopolitan at the same time. Once an important stop on the silver route between Zacatecas and Mexico City, its historic center is filled with well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. With its narrow cobblestone streets, leafy courtyards, fine architectural details and sumptuous interiors, San Miguel de Allende is arguably the prettiest town in Mexico. Read more
According to forbes.com, the city took top honors at Travel + Leisure magazine’s World's Best Awards 2016, where it was named “No. 1 City in Mexico and Central and South America” and No. 3 in the overall category of "World´s Best City."
Do you want to learn more about shooting night photography? Then go to my post 5 Reasons to Start Shooting Night Photography | Nightscapes.
Morning Stroll in San Miguel
2. CHOLULA, MEXICO
I had only heard of Cholula because of the hot sauce, but never connected it to this beautiful Mexican city outside of Puebla. I was able to book a room at one of the coolest hotels we stayed at in all of Mexico, Hotel Villas Arqueológicas Cholula. It's located directly across the street from the Great Pyramid of Cholula. The image below is what you see when you walk out the front door. Really cool!
Cholula is best known for its archaeology park, which is host to Mexico’s largest pyramid—Pyramide Tepanapa. It’s also the world’s largest pyramid by volume; bigger in that sense than the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. At its zenith, Cholula was the second largest city in the land after Tenochtitlan. It is thought to have been an important religious and cultural center at the time. The city fell to the Olmecs sometime around 600 AD, and again to the Toltecs about three hundred years later. By the time Hernan Cortes arrived during the early part of the 16th century, the city was under heavy influence of the Aztecs. Read more
3. SAN LUIS POTOSI, MEXICO
On the way back through Mexico we considered staying in San Miguel de Allende again since we loved it so much. Eventually our adventurous side took over and opted for a new city, San Luis Potosi. Being an architectural photographer made me extremely happy with that decision. The town is filled with multiple different plazas littered with historic cathedrals. Among them are the Plaza del Carmen, the San Francisco Garden with its temple, Fundadores Plaza, The Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, and more. The image below is of the temple in the Plaza de San Francisco.
The city of San Luis Potosi owes its early importance to the discovery of a large silver and gold deposit in 1592. Though its mines never rivaled those of Guanajuato or Zacatecas, the city became an important administrative and commercial outpost. In the 17th century it assumed the role of Mexico’s most important northern city, whose domain once stretched from Louisiana to New Mexico. It is a metropolis that combines its mining past with the magical touch of beautiful buildings from Mexico's colonial past. In 2010, the historic center of the city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read more
These days any mention of Mexico travel on social media seems to always get one negative response, statement it's unsafe, etc. These comments used to upset me and I'd want to respond, explaining how welcoming and utterly breathtaking the country is. However now I've realized that all of these people speaking so loudly against Mexico travel have one thing in common...never having traveled to Mexico!