- Ryan Cowden
Why You Should Visit Mexico City!
Photo: Mexico City's Zócalo, or main square with the cathedral in the background.
A new booking completed, first thing this morning! This time, a fairly last minute trip to one of the world's great cities: Mexico City.
CDMX, as you'll often see it abbreviated, is the largest city in North America at 22 million, nearly 33% larger than the New York metro area. It is second in the America's in population to São Paulo.
It has been a popular destination recently for travelers and isn't a big surprise why.
The food scene brings together the diverse climates and ingredients of Mexico into an unparalleled array of options. The history in the city is literally everywhere as Aztec ruins have been uncovered alongside colonial façades. Eva Longoria is highlighting the culinary scene of the country in a new series, just as Stanley Tucci did in Italy.
Photo Above: An Aztec food stall at Mercado San Juan.
Grasshoppers, crickets, yep, tried those, but I drew the line at scorpions!
Photos: Taqueria El Turix, Polanco, serving only cochinita pibil tacos, a slow cooked style of pork tacos originating from the Yucatan. You could probably smell these habaneros on the grill all the way from the Yucatan, actually! In Mexico City, sometimes, you let your nose (and stomach) lead the way!
Chapultepec Castle, named for the park in which it is located, is a romantic/neo-classical castle, overlooking the modern towers flanking the Reforma Boulevard. The park is also full of activities and vendors selling all sorts of sweets and treats.
Art is also everywhere. Start at the Anthropology Musuem to visit the collections from all the pre-Columbian civilizations. Some, such as the Aztec and Maya, you'll already have heard of, but there are far more than just those two. Carved deities, pelota goals, elaborate and shimmering funerary masks and of course the centerpiece of it all, is the Aztec Sun Disk. Even the local markets form a canvas for the vivid colors o display inside.
Photos: Casa Azul, Coyoacan; Soumaya Museum, CDMX; a market in Mexico City.
Art continues well beyond a museum. A must visit is Coyoacan's Casa Azul, a home associated with perhaps two of the 20th century's most well known names, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
The shimmering Soumaya museum has a great permanent collection while the Museo de Bellas Artes, quite possibly the most iconic building in CDMX. No visit would be complete without a visit to the enormous mural by Diego Rivera in the historic center while a nighthcap at Plaza Garibaldi brings to performance art to your table as the Mariachi's for hire fill the plaza looking for gigs.
The best daytrip you can do, and probably the easiest, is a visit to the Pyramids at Teotihuacan. The Pyramid of the Sun and nearby Pyramid of the Moon, formed the hub of the largest urban center of the pre-Columbian Americas. It was also the first advanced and urban civilizations in North America and would have been the 6th largest city in the world around the time Rome fell.
The city was built 1000 years before the Aztecs, and had been abandoned for around 6 centuries by the time the Aztecs settled nearby. They ultimately derived much of their iconography, arts, religious interpretations and origin stories out of the long abandoned ruins that they encountered.
Trivia Time: Every wondered what the name Mexico is or where it came from? We call them the Aztecs, but they called themselves and were known regionally as, the Mexica.
Ready to plan a short getaway to Mexico City and explore it for yourself? Schedule a call here to get started: https://calendly.com/avidnomadtravel/initial-travel-planning-consultation