Territory

Wonders of Mexico

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. / Jay Galvin, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue    States of Mexico

Mexico is divided into 31 states and 1 federal district.

Federal district
  • Ciudad de México
States
  • Aguascalientes
  • Baja California
  • Baja California Sur
  • Campeche
  • Chiapas
  • Chihuahua
  • Coahuila
  • Colima
  • Durango
  • Guanajuato
  • Guerrero
  • Hidalgo
  • Jalisco
  • México
  • Michoacán
  • Morelos
  • Nayarit
  • Nuevo León
  • Oaxaca
  • Puebla
  • Querétaro
  • Quintana Roo
  • San Luis Potosí
  • Sinaloa
  • Sonora
  • Tabasco
  • Tamaulipas
  • Tlaxcala
  • Veracruz
  • Yucatán
  • Zacatecas

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Mexico

Geological wonders

Sistema Zacaton

Tamaulipas

Unique karst field created by thermal acidic waters heated by volcanic heat. Contains world’s deepest water-filled sinkhole, the 339 meters deep El Zacatón sinkhole with 319 meters deep lake, and floating islands. Poza Seca is one of the unique travertine capped sinkholes of Sistema Zacatón – here the formerly open sinkhole has sealed itself with a limestone lid. Most likely it hides unknown life forms, not investigated.

El Zacaton and Nacimiento spring
Naica Cave of the Crystals

Chihuahua

Cave with giant selenite crystals up to 12 meters long and 55 tons heavy. Air temperature in the cave is up to 58 °C high. Now flooded.

Cave of the Crystals, Mexico
Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows)

San Luis Potosí

The largest cave shaft in the world – enormous 49 x 62 meters wide hole, 372 meters deep. Famous due to a group of green parrots who have to fly ascending in circles around the cave until they get out of it.

Swifts in Sótano de las Golondrinas, Mexico
El Zacaton sinkhole

Tamaulipas

World’s deepest water-filled sinkhole, 339 meters deep sinkhole with 319 meters deep lake. Floating islands in the lake.

Poza del Zacatón, Mexico
Cenote Angelita

Quintana Roo

Unique water-filled sinkhole with a ghostly layer of hydrogen sulfate at the depth of some 30 m and seawater below it.

Diving in Cenote Angelita
Parícutin

Michoacán

This newly-born volcano appeared in a cornfield in 1943 and grew 336 m tall over one year, finally achieving a height of 424 m in 1952.

Parícutin
Citlaltépetl (Pico de Orizaba)

Puebla

The most prominent mountain between Colombia and Yukon, 5,636 m high stratovolcano. The 7th topographically most prominent mountain in the world. Contains permanent snow.

Citlatepetl (Pico de Orizaba)
Hierve el Agua

Oaxaca

One of the highest single travertine terraces formed by thermal springs. This bright white stone “waterfall” is 12 – 30 meters high.

Hierve el Agua

Biological wonders

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

Michoacán, Ciudad de México

Wintering habitats of the monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). Some trees are covered with a thick layer of millions of butterflies.

Wintering of monarch butterflies near Angangueo
Árbol del Tule

Oaxaca

One of the stoutest trees on Earth, Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum). Girth 36.2 m, diameter 11.62 m, height 35.4 m. Discounting the buttresses of the trunk the diameter – 9.38 m. Volume 750 m³. Age estimated to be 1,400 – 1,600 years. Sacred Zapotec tree.

Árbol del Tule, another aspect of trunk which shows that the trunk has elongated form

Archaeological wonders

Teotihuacan

México

One of the largest ancient cities in the world with numerous monuments of architecture and art. Established sometime around 200 BC and was abandoned in the 7th – 8th centuries AD. A hugely impressive monument of urban planning is Avenue of the Dead. Pyramid of the Sun is the third largest ancient pyramid in the world. Height – 71,2 m. Pyramid of the Moon is an older pyramid from 200 – 450 AD, 42 m high.

Avenue of the Dead in Teotihuacan, Mexico
Palenque

Chiapas

Ruins of a Mayan city that flourished in the 7th century AD. The city is located in the middle of the jungle, on the hill overlooking the coastal plains. Another is the fact that Palenque contains some of the finest known Mayan architecture and artwork. The most interesting structures are the Palace of Palenque and Temple of the Inscriptions with important records of the history of the city and sarcophagus of Pakal – ruler of the city.

Palenque, Mexico
Chichen Itza

Yucatán

The major urban center of lowland Maya culture with numerous monuments of world importance and fame. Chichen Itza became an important center around 600 AD and remained such a center until its fall around 1000 AD. Some of the best-known monuments are El Castillo pyramid, the Great Ball Court, Temple de Los Guerreros, El Caracol observatory, Ossario pyramid.

El Castillo pyramid, Chichen Itza
Calakmul

Campeche

One of the largest cities of ancient Maya with remnants of nearly 7000 structures still existing. Largest building – 55 m high pyramid. 117 steles and numerous other important monuments of history and art.

Calakmul, 55 m tall pyramid
Monte Albán

Oaxaca

One of the largest cities of ancient Maya with remnants of nearly 7000 structures still existing. Largest building – 55 m high pyramid. 117 steles and numerous other important monuments of history and art.

Monte Albán, Oaxaca
Great Pyramid of Cholula

Puebla

World’s largest structure, built in the 3rd century BC – 9th century AD. The base of the pyramid is 450 x 450 m, height – 66 m. The volume of the construction material exceeds the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza nearly two times.

Great Pyramid of Cholula
Bonampak

Chiapas

Remnants of an ancient Maya city built sometime around 580 – 800 AD. Contains numerous valuable murals of high artistic value.

Balankanche, painting in the Temple of the Murals
Uxmal

Yucatán

Once an important center of the ancient Maya culture with well-preserved structures. Flourished in 700 – 1100 AD. The architecture of Uxmal is considered to be of very high quality visually and structurally and belongs to the best achievements of the Puuc style.

Uxmal, Adivino Pyramid
Tula (Mexico)

Hidalgo

The largest ancient city in central Mexico in the 9th – 10th centuries AD. Capital of Toltecs at 980 AD, destroyed sometimes in 1168 – 1179. Nowadays preserved complexes of ceremonial buildings in two sites including pyramids, famous columns in the form of Toltec warriors.

Tula, sculptures of Toltec warriors
Mayapan

Yucatán

Ancient center of lowland Maya culture, cultural and political capital of the region in the 1220ies – 1440ies. Remnants of more than 4000 structures, most inside 9 km long defensive wall. Most impressive structure – El Castillo pyramid (Kukulcan Temple).

Mayapan, Temple Redondo
Xochicalco

Morelos

Remnants of a fortified city – an important urban center in 700 – 900 AD. Contains large structures entirely covered with sculptural work of exceptional quality. Observatory in a painted and frescoed cave.

Xochicalco, Temple of Feathered Serpent

Architecture wonders

Xochimilco

Ciudad de México

Unique monument of urban planning inherited from Aztec times. Here has been preserved the network of ancient channels with chinampas – island gardens. Channels are traveled by special boats – trajineras. Channels and islands contain endemic plants and animals including unique salamander – axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

Landscape in Xochimilco
Guanajuato

Guanajuato

A beautiful colonial city with numerous impressive buildings in Mexican Baroque style. Many historical streets are under the ground.

Guanajuato
Historical center of México

Ciudad de México

Unique urban monument uniting prehistoric Aztec architecture with lush Spanish colonial architecture. Zocalo in the center of the city is the second-largest urban plaza in the world after Red Square in Moscow, Russia.

Historical center of México
Tlacotalpan

Veracruz

A beautiful, unique town that earlier was available only from the river. Specific urban planning techniques have been developed to adapt to local conditions, resulting in a unique cultural landscape with low, beautiful, long buildings covered with terracotta tiles and wide streets with many large trees.

Tlacotalpan

WorldYellow Recommended books

This Is Mexico: Tales of Culture and Other Complications


This Is Mexico is a collection of essays on the often magical and mysterious―and sometimes heartrending―workings of everyday life in Mexico, written from the perspective of an American expatriate.

The Rough Guide to Mexico


The Rough Guide to Mexico is the ultimate travel guide to this fascinating nation. With clear maps and detailed coverage of all the best Mexican attractions, this revised, full-color edition features easy to find practical sections, transport details, and detailed color maps. Discover Mexico’s highlights, with stunning photography and information on everything from the shimmering coastline of Baja California and the iconic cactus-strewn deserts of the north to the Mayan villages and gorgeous palm-smothered beaches of the south. Find detailed practical advice on what to see and do in Mexico City, and rely on our up-to-date descriptions of the best hotels, bars, clubs, shops, and restaurants for all budgets.


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