Playa del Carmen is a thriving little beach town on Yucatán Peninsula. It is the dropping-off point for excursions to the temples and tombs of Tulúm, the only Mayan city overlooking the ocean, and to the exquisite coral lagoon of Xel-ha.
Located on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula in the fascinating Mundo Maya Region, Merida provides a looking glass that reveals both colonial influence and the mystique of an ancient civilization. In fact, the city is built on the exact site of an indigenous ceremonial center.
Easily one of the best way to see Merida is by climbing into a calesa - a high-wheeled, horse-drawn carriage. The city is also easily explored by foot. As you amble past whitewashed houses, through lively marketplaces and around the flower-filled Plaza Mayor, you'll begin to feel as if you've stepped back in time. You can also visit one of Mexico's oldest cathedrals, built from the stones of a Mayan temple, explore Paseo Montejo, a Parisian-style boulevard lined with Victorian mansions, and visit the treasure-filled museums.
Wind down with the friendly locals in the welcoming bars and restaurants of the old colonial district. If you want to travel even further back in time, you'll find Merida is surrounded by one of the richest collections of Mayan ruins in Mexico. Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Dzibilchaltun, and more are just a short trip away.
From the Alameda, a leafy center of activity since Aztec times, to the Zona Rosa, a chic shopping neighborhood, Mexico City offers endless options to urban adventurers.
Founded by the Aztecs as Tenochtitlán in 1325, Mexico City is both the oldest and the highest (7,349 ft) metropolis on the North American continent. And with nearly 24 million inhabitants, it is the most populous city in the world. It is Mexico's cultural, political, and financial core -- braving the 21st century but clinging to its deeply entrenched Aztec heritage.
You only need to stand in the center of the Plaza of Three Cultures to visually comprehend the undisputed significance of this city. Here, the remains of an Aztec pyramid, a colonial church, and a towering modern office building face one another, a testament to the city's prominence in ancient and contemporary history. Located at the heart of the Americas, Mexico City has been a center of life and commerce for more than 2,000 years. The Teotihuacán, Toltec, Aztec, and European conquistadors all contributed to the city's fascinating evolution, art, and heritage. Although residents refer to their city as simply México (meh-hee-koh), its multitude of ancient ruins, colonial masterpieces, and modern architecture has prompted others to call it "The City of Palaces."
The central downtown area resembles a European city, dominated by ornate buildings and broad boulevards, and interspersed with public art, parks, and gardens. This sprawling city is thoroughly modern and, in places, unsightly and chaotic, but it never strays far from its historical roots. In the center are the partially excavated ruins of the main Aztec temple; pyramids rise just beyond the city.
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