Me encanta Mexico, I love Mexico. I’ve never hidden the fact that Mexico is one of my favorite countries. I first visited when I was 16 and spent the summer living with a host family as an exchange student in the colonial city of Queretaro. Although I haven’t visited recently (2008 was my last trip there), I adore everything about it from its incredibly warm people to its mouth watering cuisine to lastly, its exceptional sites. I’ve swam in the stunning Caribbean Sea, climbed to the top of el castillo (the castle) at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, experienced incredible nightlight in the ever chaotic capital city of Mexico City and had my mouth afire at a charming restaurant located in the zocalo of Cuernavaca. But with as many experiences as I’ve had in Mexico, I still want mas (more). There is so much of the country I’ve never seen, so much of mi Mexico lindo (my pretty Mexico) I still want to experience. So for this Wednesday’s wishlist, I would like to return to Mexico and since that is so broad, just about any of the below will do.
Oaxaca-I’ve been midly obsessed with the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca after I first came across a high school exchange program that was located there. Although it took me a while before I learned how to correctly pronounce its name (wah-ha-ca), it’s entranced me all these years. It’s home to some of the best markets in the country selling such marvelous wares as the famous black clay pottery and beautiful weavings. It’s also located near to the popular ruins of Monte Alban, a pre-Columbian city that was once home to more than 30,000 Zapotecs. Yes, Oaxaca is a city I would love to visit.
Merida-While I didn’t grow up directly on the coast, I still lived close enough (about 90 minutes) and for this reason I love any coastal city. Nothing compares to the smell of ocean air. I think it’s this reason I’m so desparate to visit Havana, Cuba-a Spanish speaking city in the Caribbean. Merida is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatan and is home to one of the largest historic districts in the Americas, behind only Mexico City and Havana. Its tropical climate make it a place where guyabera shirts and Panama hats are a common sight worn by the locals. Although many visitors use it as a base to explore Mayan ruins that are located in the Yucanatan Peninsula, I would certainly make time to see and experience all there was, especially sampling the famous Yucatacan cuisine.
San Cristobal de las Casas-While I would say enough American tourists are familiar with the cities of Oaxaca and Merida, San Cristobal de las Casas is more unknown in their travel planning due to its somewhat removed location and at times inaccessibility as there are no longer any direct flights from Mexico City. It’s a city located in the extreme southern state of Chiapas which was the site of the indigenous Zapatista Uprising in 1994. Although no longer the capital of the state, it’s still considered the cultural capial and is home to narrow cobblestone streets, roofs covered in red clay tile and a Spanish colonial layout that is much preserved still.