Explore Mexico

Enjoy opportunities of being in the right place at the right time

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Have a rest and relax

Get out of a daily routine

Seek for peace and simple resting while introducing yourself to new horizons.

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Tickets & Passes

Half-day Tours

Bus Tours

Full-day Tours

Top Attractions

Water Activities & Tours

Casa Cenote

Beautiful, underwater sinkholes flooded with light, the cenotes of Riviera Maya, Mexico are a natural wonder and a sight to behold. Though there are many throughout the region, Casa Cenote is uniquely located in a mangrove forest close to the sea. It can be thought of as almost an underwater jungle with its algae-covered mangrove forest and soft sands. As it is mostly open to the sky, it is less enclosed than neighboring cenotes and often has more aquatic life to see. The cenote connects one of the world’s largest underwater river systems to the ocean. Because of this, it is possible to see both fresh and saltwater fish. The unique combination of clear freshwater conditions and underwater caverns and formations make this an interesting spot for scuba divers and snorkelers. Streams of light penetrating the water from the surface add to the beauty and intrigue visible from both above and below.

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Wildlife & Zoos

Africam Safari

With more than 2,500 animals and over 300 species, the Africam Safari makes for a thrilling day out and it’s earned a reputation as one of Mexico’s leading zoos. The majority of animals are free roaming within the park, and visitors can either drive through the safari trail or take a bus tour, enabling close interaction with many of the animals. Lions, Bengal tigers, rhinos, elephants and giraffes are among the most popular residents, while the herds of zebra, deer and antelopes often venture right up to the cars.Additional highlights include an Adventure Zone, where it’s possible to spot Mexican wolves, kangaroos, meerkats and red pandas, alongside a bat cave, butterfly pavilion and botanical garden; a thrilling treetop zip-line course; a bird and falconry display; and a boating lake, as well as a restaurant, café and souvenir shop.

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Water & Amusement Parks

Selvatica

Close your eyes and think of Cancun; now what exactly do you see? More than likely it’s white sand beaches in front of large resorts, where cobalt waters lap the shore and palm trees sway in the breeze. For as enticing as beaches and water might be, there’s an entirely different side of Cancun that offers just as much excitement; a place where you swim in turquoise waters set miles inside of the jungle, and literally race through the jungle canopy to feel the breeze in your hair.At the famous Selvatica Eco-Park, an hour south of Cancun, visitors can infuse their beach vacation with a shot of jungle adrenaline. Clip into a harness and race through the trees on the 12-line zipline adventure, or test your nerves on a bungee swing while staring out over the forest. If you’d prefer that a motor generate the speed—rather than regular old gravity—crank the throttle of an ATV while splashing through dirt and mud.

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Water Activities & Tours

Medano Beach (Playa Médano)

The water may be wild elsewhere, but at Medano Beach - or Playa el Medano - there’s miles of safe, calm swimming and beach fun for all the family. Los Cabo’s most popular beach is a long, long stretch of beach towels, sun umbrellas, beach volleyball, pleasure boats and beach bars. Resorts and high-rise apartment buildings line the sands, offering beachfront restaurants and bars. Beach vendors stroll the sands selling everything from sombreros to jewelry, and when the sun goes down the beach turns into Los Cabo’s nightlife hub.

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Water & Amusement Parks

Xplor Park

Xplor Adventure Park is an exciting, thrill-inducing amusement park in the Riviera Maya that creates its “rides” from the environment around it. At the park you'll get the chance to raft or swim through underground river rapids with cave stalactites hanging above you; jump in an off-roading amphibious vehicle and explore large underground caverns and jungles; and zipline high above tree canopies. Xplor allows visitors to experience the natural habitat of Mexico and all it has to offer in one place, and there's even an after-dark option to explore the land and river once the sun goes down.

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Well-known Landmarks

Six Flags Mexico

Perhaps the most popular (and most recognizable) amusement park in the world, Six Flags is a rollercoaster theme park filled with comic, cartoon, and mythological characters and never fails to impress both the young and the young-at-heart. Packed with rides that thrill and delight, Six Flags Mexico has a total of 48 rides from which to choose, eight of them mind-bending, exhilarating roller coasters with two of them being water rides that soak and surprise.Located on the southern edge of Mexico City, Six Flags Mexico is the only Six Flags operating in Latin America, and has a huge draw. Known for its comic and cartoon themes, Six Flags Mexico City is laid out like a minor city. Stroll with your family through Pueblo Mexicano (Mexican Village), Pueblo Frances (French Village), Pueblo Polinesio (Polynesian Village), Hollywood, Pueblo Suizo (Swiss Village), Pueblo Vaquero (Cowboy Town) and El Circo de Bugs Bunny (The Bugs Bunny Circus).

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Water Activities & Tours

Chileno Beach (Playa Chileno)

One of the premier beaches in the Cabo San Lucas area, Chileno Beach offers sun-seekers unrivaled beauty, deep seclusion, and some excellent snorkeling opportunities. Protected by the Chileno Bay, the waters here are calm, warm, and clear, and the reefs that lie just offshore act as home to an abundance of sea-life. It’s no wonder that Chileno beach is one of Cabo’s most celebrated treasures, as a visit to the beach here is close to what you get in the rich Caribbean. Chileno beach is a popular stop for those looking to do a bit of underwater exploration or to laze on the sunny shores of this secluded escape. Still, there are few accommodations to be found here (bathrooms aside), so if you’re planning on making the trek to Chileno Beach yourself, it’s best to bring your food and snorkel gear yourself, unless you’ve planned to take a tour of the area.

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Water Activities & Tours

Los Arcos National Marine Park

One of the most popular snorkeling destinations in the Bay of Banderas is Los Arcos. The protected marine park has all manner of treats in store for avid snorkelers and divers. There are islands to visit, reefs to dive, tunnels to swim through and caves to explore, providing plenty of the arches and grottoes that give the park its name. The marine life is stupendously varied, from clownfish to rays, octopus and lobsters and angelfish. Organize a day cruise for relaxing at sea and peerless diving and snorkeling in the caves of Los Arcos.

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Water Activities & Tours

Balandra Beach (Playa Balandra)

The untouched shores of Balandra Beach are, without a doubt, some La Paz’s most beautiful. With warm waters sheltered from the Pacific Ocean and a sandbar that stretches from one side of the bay to the other, it’s the perfect beach for swimming and wading in calm, crystal clear waters. Because locals have worked tirelessly to prevent commercial development from ruining the natural beauty of this protected area, travelers will find few amenities on Balandra Beach. There are no accommodations, restaurants or other services here. And while this may mean visitors have to carry enough food, water and supplies for a day at the beach, it also means travelers will get to experience the breathtaking white sand wonder of one of La Paz’s last untouched beaches.

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Well-known Landmarks

Xcaret

A theme park that can be equaled to Mexico's "ecopark" version of Disneyland, Xcaret has natural and cultural attractions for visitors to the Riviera Maya region. The river that flows through the Mayan ruins and the subterranean river in Xcaret park offer swimming and snorkeling, coral reef diving, and dolphin encounters. See the turtle nesting site, manatees, butterfly pavilion, bat cave, island of jaguars, and the orchid greenhouse among many sites that make up the diverse ecopark.

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See different sceneries

See different sceneries worldwide

Discover a vast number of beautiful places in our planet that you may not even know about yet.

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Nature and Wildlife Tours

Bus Tours

Full-day Tours

Half-day Tours

Top Attractions

Places of Natural Beauty

Sierra de la Laguna

Cabo is known for its pristine beaches, but if you’ve come to this seaside town looking for an outdoor adventure, you won’t be disappointed. Poised on the cape of the Baja California at precisely 23.5 degrees latitude, the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range is the rugged escape for those visiting Cabo San Lucas and looking to explore the great outdoors. See the surrounding landscape and explore the area’s granite peaks and oak and pine forests; this Baja Californian mountain range offers a wealth of hiking, backpacking, canyoneering, climbing, and bouldering to satisfy even the most ardent outdoorsman. A variation from the quiet beaches of Cabo, the Tropic of Cancer literally dissects the Sierra de la Laguna range and so though tropical, the elevation keeps the climate relatively cool – and that makes for great for outdoor fun.

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Wildlife & Zoos

Ría Lagartos

Love flamingos? Then head to Ría Lagartos, a little fishing village in the Mexican Riviera that is home to Parque Natural Ría Lagartos, a stunning park and biosphere reserve.Ría Lagartos Park is situated alongside a long estuary, and more than 380 bird species reside here, including tens of thousands of flamingos, who treat Parque Natural Ría Lagartos as their breeding ground. In addition to the pink feathered bird, visitors can see egrets, herons, pelicans and falcons. If visiting at the right time of year, you also may get to see sea turtles coming up on shore to lay their eggs on the beach. Ría Lagartos is also a great place to do some fishing.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Las Caletas Beach (Playa Las Caletas)

The private beach resort of Las Caletas is a day-trip destination like no other for spoiling the senses.The former home of maverick movie director John Huston, this tropical beach haven is surrounded by protected rainforest and palms.There’s everything you could possibly need for a relaxed, luxurious day at the beach. Chill-out in a hammock, de-stress with a soothing massage, take a guided diving or kayaking tour, snorkel with sea lions, learn to cook paella or stroll through the bird-filled orchid gardens.Las Caletas can also be visited at night for a magical dinner under the stars and Mexican dance show.

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Geological Formations

Arch of Cabo San Lucas (El Arco)

Nature has carved some amazing formations at Los Cabos, and El Arco is perhaps the most famous.A signature icon of Los Cabos, the limestone arch carved by time, tide and wind runs down to the water’s edge and into the sea. From a distance the formation looks for all the world like a dragon, and up close the arch frames sky, sea and sand for picture-perfect photos.Take a cruise by day or sunset for views of El Arco from the water, and look out for sea lions basking on the shore.

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Gardens & Parks

Coyuca Lagoon (Laguna de Coyuca)

Eager for an escape into untamed nature, just 10 kilometers (6 miles) from bustling Acapulco? Cruise north toward peaceful Coyuca Lagoon, a world away from the high-rise hotels and crowded beaches. The freshwater lagoon spreads across some 72 square kilometers (28 square miles), and is particularly important for migrating birds. As your boat slides past the lush jungled shore - featured in movies such as Rambo, Tarzan, and The African Queen - you will come upon several small islands that act as sanctuaries for colonies of pelicans, herons, storks, and other species.Most tours include a fabulous seafood buffet featuring the bounty of both the sea and lagoon. If you've got cooking facilities at your hotel or villa in Acupulco, ask your guide about stopping in the tiny town of Embarcadero to pick up the freshest seafood possible.

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Scenic Landmarks

Tule Tree (Arbol del Tule)

A tree so fat it seems to strain against the confines of the surrounding square, the Árbol del Tule is at least 2000 years old, which makes it one of the world’s oldest living entities. El Tule is a Montezuma bald cypress (Taxodium mucrunatum), a tree the Aztecs cultivated as an ornamental and a source of medicine. Hoary yet flourishing, the giant has a mesmerizing quality: The bark is so thick and gnarled that various growths have nicknames, including “the pineapple,” “the elephant,” and “Carlos Salinas’s ears” (a reference to former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari).El Tule is located in the village of Santa María del Tule, 13 km east of the capital. The square surrounding the tree features souvenir shops, snack stands, and the usual army of roving vendors.

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Gardens & Parks

Punta Sur Eco Beach Park (Faro Celerain Ecological Reserve)

Part of the Cozumel Reefs National Park (or Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel) Faro de Punta Celerain, also known as Punta Sur, Ecological Park offers some of the best diving and snorkeling around Cozumel. If you want to dive, go through one of the island's many dive operators. If you'd just like to snorkel, however, you can rent equipment and guides right here.In addition to the undersea attractions, Punta Sur has broad, beautiful beaches (the reef is well offshore, so you can splash around safely), great seafood, and shady hammocks. If you're up for a some terrestrial exploration, you could climb the Faro de Punta Celerain (Celerain Point Lighthouse), with great views, or visit the tiny Mayan shrine to Ixcel, the fertility goddess, known as Tumba de Caracol. Punta Sur also has interesting wetlands, a magnet for migratory birds in April and May, and home to lots of crocodiles year-round.

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Learn while traveling

Educate yourself while traveling

Witness diverse culture of people and learn history on the go.

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Classes & Workshops

Tickets & Passes

Half-day Tours

Full-day Tours

Eco Tours

Bus Tours

Top Attractions

Religious Architecture

San Juan Bautista Church (Parroquia San Juan Bautista)

San Juan Bautista Parish is a church located in the Coyoacan neighborhood of Mexico City that is one of the oldest churches in Mexico City. San Juan Bautista is a Catholic church known for its blend of baroque and colonial architecture. It is a focal point of the historic square Plaza Hidalgo, which attracts many visitors of the city. In 1934, the church became a National Monument of Mexico.San Juan Bautista church dates back to the late 1500s, when it was constructed during the Franciscan order. The whitewashed and stone exterior still dates back to the 16th century. Inside, however, not much from its early days remain, though a recent reconstruction was done that strived to stay true to the church’s original aesthetics. The renovation has returned the church to a glorious splendor of art and decoration. As you walk down the long nave, you’ll do so under a spectacular carved ceiling that has relief designs sculpted into it.

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Religious Architecture

Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan (Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan)

Credited with making peace, ending plagues, healing broken bones, and raising the dwindling waters of Lake Chapala, the Virgin of Zapopan is the official patroness of Guadalajara and the state of Jalisco, defender “against storms, lightning, and epidemics.” The tiny painted statue is crafted of wood and hardened corn husks. Brought to Jalisco in 1541 by a Franciscan missionary, she was the first Catholic icon to gain widespread acceptance from the region’s native tribes. In times of need, the virgin is removed from her sanctuary and paraded through the city. “The Queen of Jalisco” is credited with hundreds of miracles and civic accomplishments. When Mexico achieved independence from Spain, the new government named her “General of the Army of the State,” and, with due pomp and ceremony, dressed her appropriately in a tiny general’s sash.

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Religious Architecture

Templo Expiatorio del Santisimo Sacramento

Spiked with spindly spires and decorated with fine stonework, the Templo Expiatorio is one of Guadalajara’s iconic churches and a striking example of neogothic style. The first stone was laid in 1897 and construction was completed in the 1930s. Inside, the ambiance is dreamy. Graceful multilayered arches frame an altar backlit by massive stained glass windows and crowned with a giant yet simple gold chandelier. Beams of colored light cast by the stained glass cut through smoke and dust motes, and the air smells of incense, candles, and flowers.

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Buildings & Structure

Angel of Independence (Monumento a la Independencia)

Built in 1910, this iconic monument commemorates the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the nation’s War of Independence. Its towering stone column stretches high into the Mexico City skyline and both drivers and pedestrians can see its golden angel statue as they move about the popular Paseo de la Reforma.Once a monument of commemoration, travelers will now find that the Angel of Independence has become a common meeting place for locals and the gathering spot for protests and celebrations—particularly after the Mexican national soccer team wins a match. The base of the monument also serves as a mausoleum and final resting place for a number of Mexican war heroes.

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Well-known Landmarks

Labna

Labna is an excellent site for archaeology lovers and architectural buffs with its Mayan building ruins that were built in the ancient Puuc style. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula by the larger Uxmal ruins, Labna is a compact structure hidden within the Puuc Hills. Though smaller than some of the other Mayan ruin compounds in Mexico, it is impressive nonetheless. Labna was once used as a ceremonial center by the Mayans during the pre-Columbian era.Labna’s impressive Gateway Arch is still standing today, and visitors can stand under it and walk through it while marveling at its intricate construction. It is believed that this arch was used to signify the start of the area of the ancient village where the priest and the elite people of Labna lived. Relief designs are etched into the side of the arch, providing impressive details that visitors love taking pictures of.

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Well-known Landmarks

Sayil

Sayil is a distinguished Mayan ruins site in the Puuc Hills of the Yucatan, located a short drive from the larger ruins of Uxmal. Sayil is a part of the same UNESCO World Heritage site as Uxmal and is a prominent Mayan ruin due to its royal origins. It is believed that Sayil was once ruled by a royal dynasty, and the palace ruins on its grounds are still impressive to behold today. Visitors can wander through the ruins and also make a stop at the observatory, another of Sayil's top sites.It is estimated that Sayil was settled around 800 AD and at one point had a population that reached upwards of 10,000. Visitors to Sayil can soak up this ancient history and get a feel for what life was like during the time of the Mayans while steering clear of the larger crowds at some of the other more popular Mayan sites. The site's jungle location also adds to the exotic, off-the-beaten-path allure.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Diego Rivera Mural Museum (Museo Mural Diego Rivera)

No trip to Mexico City is complete without a stop at Murales de Diego Rivera. Here, visitors can see the country’s most famous work of art by perhaps the nation’s most beloved artist. The massive fresco “Dream on a Sunday Afternoon in the Alamdea” was painted in 1947 and originally housed in the grand ballroom of the Hotel del Prado, before damage from a major earthquake sent the mural to its current location.Measuring 15 meters by four meters, Rivera’s well-known mural depicts epic moments in Mexico’s history and includes famous political leaders as well as commonplace citizens. A nearby sketch identifies the multiple historic figures represented in Rivera’s masterpiece, and while it’s possible to see the fresco in a matter of minutes, visitors should allow at least an hour to truly enjoy the rich details this great work has to offer.

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Religious Architecture

San Jose del Cabo Church (Parroquia San José)

This iconic Catholic Church located in the heart of Cabo was founded in 1730. Its brilliant white bell towers and striking interior pay homage to the life and death of Jesuit priest, Nicolas Tamaral, who was martyred on the site where this building now stands. The church remains a destination for travelers seeking an escape from the festive city streets and sandy stretches of scenic beach. Those looking for a taste of history can learn about the destruction that took place during a major hurricane in the early 1900s and see what remains or the original walls, mosaics and façade on a tour of the church.

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Buildings & Structure

Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres

On the north side of the Guadalajara Cathedral, you’ll find a little park that contains the Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres, or the Rotunda of the Illustrious Jaliscans. Ringed by bronze statues and flowering trees, the neoclassical rotunda houses the remains of the state’s luminaries. Inside the rotunda, the coffin of Enrique Díaz de León, the first rector of the University of Guadalajara, sits in state. You’ll also see urns containing the ashes of Jalisco’s honored dead; additional empty urns await their occupants. A crypt below the floor contains the mummified remains of General Ramón Corona, who defended Mexico during the French invasion, served as a popular reform governor, and was murdered in 1889.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

El Caracol (Zona Arqueológica El Caracol)

El Caracol translates to “snail” in Spanish and in this case refers to the spiral staircase that winds through the interior of this ancient Mayan observatory.Part of the Chichen Itza archaeological site, the observatory is believed to have been built as early as the ninth century. The stone ruins, built on a large square platform, once functioned as an astrological observation site. It was constructed to rise above the surrounding jungle so that Mayan astronomers could have unobstructed views of the skies and see a 360-degree panoramic of the stars.The site has since been rebuilt and has undergone renovations to align with astrological events. Windows were built to view and track the movement of Venus, the sun, the moon and other celestial events. Venus was of particular significance in Mayan culture and was believed to be the twin of the sun.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Fort of San Diego (Fuerte de San Diego)

Though you chose Acapulco for its beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife, the Fort of San Diego (or El Fuerte de San Diego) provides a fine, air-conditioned dose of cultural enrichment perfect for the entire family. The fortress itself, though small, is an excellent example of classic Spanish defensive architecture, built in 1616 to repel increasingly brazen attacks by British pirates on the deep-water port. Its five photogenic stone arms topped with turrets, once protected galleons that connected the Americas to Asian ports. Today, they are filled with objects from that era, a part of the Museo Histórico de Acapulco. The permanent collection is solid, and the museum also exhibits shows traveling from elsewhere in Mexico.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Hospicio Cabañas

Past the eastern end of the Plaza Tapatía, you’ll find the Hospicio Cabañas Cultural Institute. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the massive stone building was constructed in 1805, but its fortress-like appearance gives it a more ancient air. Bishop Juan Cruz Ruiz de Cabañas y Crespo founded the institute as an orphanage and home for the elderly and homeless. He called it la Casa de la Misericordia, or The House of Mercy. Interrupted occasionally by major wars and revolutions, the building functioned as an orphanage for nearly two hundred years until 1980, when the children were moved to a more modern location. Today the gracious old building hosts art exhibits, art and music classes, and an art cinema.

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Well-known Landmarks

San Gervasio Mayan Ruins

The Island of Cozumel was first incorporated into the Mayan Empire around 0 AD, and was apparently a thinly populated backwater, primarily important as a ceremonial island for women from the mainland. Although 24 archaeological sites have been identified, most are small and as yet unexcavated. The San Gervasio Ruins, dating to around 300 AD, are by far the largest and best developed for tourism, but still won't impress tourists hoping for the grand pyramids of the Mayan Imperial Cities. Adjust your expectations, however, and the sacred gardens of Ixcel, the Goddess of Fertility and Rainbows, are a serene escape. Most of the low, stone structures cluster around a central plaza, which archaeologists suspect was enhanced with wood and adobe building. The main temple, however, was probably the large Ka'na Na building, located close to the cenotes, or natural wells. There are several other intriguing ruins scattered throughout the jungle, all awaiting your personal interpretation.

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Well-known Landmarks

Ek Balam

Ek Balam is one of the largest Mayan ruins in Mexico and is what’s left of an ancient town. The ruins date back from 100 BC to 1,200 BC and are remarkably well preserved. Situated about 100 miles from the popular tourist destination of Chichen Itza, Ek Balam isn’t quite as popular as its massive neighbor, making it less crowded and giving you more of a chance to experience the wonder of the Mayan culture as it was thousands of years ago. The focal point of Ek Balam is the 96-foot-tall Acropolis, which served as the temple for the ancient Mayan village. Note the large monster at the entrance to the pyramid; this is said to be guarding the underworld. Climb to the top of the Acropolis for views of the surrounding jungle, and learn why Ek Balam wasn't discovered for so many centuries. Many more buildings are on the grounds and ready to be explored as well. The name Ek Balam translates to "black jaguar," and you can see motifs of the animal on the sides of some of the buildings.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Museum of El Carmen (Museo de El Carmen)

Ex-Convento del Carmen is a former monastery that now houses a museum. It was built in the 17th century and features a simple colonial church style of architecture that has a serene quality when walking through it with a peaceful courtyard.The museum at Ex-Convento del Carmen is home to a variety of religious artwork, most notably paintings from the 16th century through the 18th century. Another interesting – and possibly eerie depending on your outlook – aspect of a visit to Ex-Convento del Carmen is found in the crypt. Down there, you’ll encounter a collection of remarkably well-preserved mummies. These 12 mummified human corpses are a highlight of most people’s visit to Ex-Convento del Carmen so be sure to travel downstairs to the crypt to find them before departing. The mummies also make Ex-Convento del Carmen a more kid-friendly site to visit as children will be enthralled by the real-life mummies.

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Religious Architecture

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)

At the historic heart of one of the world's most populous cities, is the first and largest cathedral in the Americas, seat of the Archdiocese of Mexico, and a wonder to behold. The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral - or Catedral Metropolitana - is a symphony in stone, composed over 4 centuries into manifold facades, displaying textbook Neoclassical, Renaissance, and wedding-cake ornate Mexican Baroque (Churrigueresque) styles.Within its fantastic bulk are sheltered some 16 chapels, several alters and retablos, a fine parish church, and a choir, each an inspired work of art replete with gold gilt, fine paintings, and sculptural details. Above it all, 25 bells - measured in tons - ring and sing to the city all around.

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Well-known Landmarks

Uxmal

The Mayan pyramids and monuments of Uxmal are particularly well preserved, and considered some of the most beautiful in the Yucatan.Scattered across the archaeological site are stepped pyramids, palaces, ball courts and quadrangles. Perhaps the best known structures are the stepped Great Pyramid and the unusually rounded Pyramid of the Magician.A nightly sound and light show brings the magic of Uxmal to life, focusing on the Pyramid of the Magician.

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Religious Architecture

Guadalajara Cathedral

The heart of every Mexican city is its cathedral, and Guadalajara is no exception. Officially known as the Basílica de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora de la Santísima Virgen María, the Guadalajara Cathedral towers over the city’s central plazas. A mishmash of Gothic, baroque, Moorish, and neoclassical styles, the building is atypical for a Mexican cathedral, and its unusual design has made it an emblem of the city.Since 1561, the massive cathedral has weathered eight earthquakes, two of which did serious damage. An 1818 quake demolished the central dome and towers. The distinctive tiled towers you see today date back to1854. The interior is awesome in the original sense of the word; the stained glass windows are reminiscent of Notre Dame, and 11 silver and gold altars were gifts from Spain’s King Fernando VII. But it’s not all just finery --- the cathedral also has its share of macabre relics.

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Religious Architecture

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe)

Puerto Vallarta’s Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe was built over the course of several decades in the first half of the 20th century.Built in rustic pink stone, to a neo-baroque design, one of the prettiest details is the crown that tops the church bell tower.The liveliest time to visit the church is December 1 to 12, when crowds celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with street processions, festive food and mariachi music.The festival coincides with the anniversary of the founding of Puerto Vallarta, so locals have even more reason to celebrate.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Pantaleón Panduro Museum (Museo Pantaleón Panduro)

Every year Mexico holds a prestigious nationwide ceramics competition. The tradition was started in 1977, and the contest has nine categories and a coveted President’s Award. If you are at all acquainted with Mexico’s fine folk art traditions, it should come as no surprise that the winning entries exhibit great innovation and a mind-blowing level of detail.The Museo Pantaleon Panduro in Tlaquepaque houses over three decades of winning entries, and the collection is a true testament to Mexican ingenuity. Centered around a courtyard, vaulted hallways branch out into 27 galleries, where visitors can view everything from avant-garde crucifixes to the finest examples of traditional pots and dishes.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Kabah

This minor archeological site on the Puuc Route south of Merida is worth visiting to see its Palace of the Masks, an ornate structure covered with hundreds of masks of the same figure: the rain god Chaac. This repeating motif is rare in Mayan art and perhaps illustrates the importance of water—or the lack of it some years. There are no underground cenotes in this area, so rainfall was the only source of water.Artifacts have been found here going as far back as the third century BC, but most of what remains was built between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was abandoned soon after and was empty when the Spanish conquistadores arrived.Some of the sculpted elements of the site have been whisked off to various museums, but several low stone buildings and pyramids remain. Since Kabah is in a region dotted with other ruins, it’s usually a quick stop as part of a multi-site tour.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Museo del Templo Mayor (Templo Mayor Museum)

The Mexican flag refers to a vision dating to the 13th century, telling Aztec seers to seek an eagle on a cactus, devouring a snake, and build their temples there. The wandering tribe finally found their sign atop an island in Lake Texcoco, and built the mighty city of Tenochtitlán upon it.Fast forward 7 centuries, to a 1978 electrical problem close to the Zócalo, Spanish Colonial heart of Mexico City. Workers, digging into the soft earth, uncovered a massive, eight-ton stone depicting Coyolxauhqui, Aztec goddess of the moon. Archaeologists who had long suspected that the Templo Mayor, or Great Temple lay beneath this neighborhood, were vindicated. Throughout the 1980s, Spanish buildings were cleared away as excavation revealed an unprecedented wealth of treasures from every corner of the Aztec Empire. The old pyramid was decapitated by the Spanish advance, but much remains: walls of stuccoed skulls and enormous carvings dedicated to Tlaloc, god of storms.

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Sights & Landmarks

La Quebrada Cliff Divers

Acapulco's iconic attraction, made famous in Elvis flicks, Ray Austen stunts, and every cheerfully scrawled holiday postcard sent home ever since, are La Quebrada Cliff Divers. Beginning in the 1920s, these brave young men and women began leaping for the crowds some 45 craggy meters (150 terrifying feet) into a wave-crashed inlet just 4 meters (13 feet) deep. And that's if they time it just right.The ritual begins with a prayer at the shrine to La Virgen de Guadalupe, carved into the cliff-top platform. Then, the divers carefully calculate when their target will have enough water to soften their fall. Finally, they leap. First in the afternoon, and as the sun sets, again. The final dive of the night plunges past torches into a sea of fire (lit with flaming gasoline), no easy feat.

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Religious Architecture

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe)

The Patron Saint of Mexico, and of all the Americas, is the Virgin of Guadalupe. According to legend, she appeared to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin on December 9, 1531. In his vision, she was a teenage girl of indigenous complexion, and spoke to the recently baptized Aztec in his native Nahuatl. There, atop Tepeyac Hill, she asked him to build a shrine in her honor. When the Spanish priests refused to believe Juan Diego's tale, she gave him a sign: Roses in December, and the miraculous painting, echoed all over the world, and still revered today.Today, the Shrine of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic religious site on Earth, and pilgrims attribute to her image all manner of miracles. They pack the enormous basilica, designed to offer a fine view of her image from anywhere within, asking her help with everything from relationship woes to healing terminal cancer.

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Well-known Landmarks

Teotihuacan

Just north of Mexico City are the mysterious Teotihuacán Pyramids, built beginning around 300 BC as the centerpiece of an enormous city, often compared to ancient Rome. They were inexplicably abandoned centuries before the arrival of the Aztecs, who called the ancient architectural marvel the "Birthplace of the Gods."Neither they, nor modern archaeologists, have been able to unravel the secrets of these massive ruins, presided over by the third-largest pyramid in the world. Constructed according to precise astronomical measurements, and filled with the bodies of sacrificial victims, it was perhaps a place where bloody rituals were performed to keep the end of the world at bay. But no one really knows.Thus, this mystic spot is one of the most enigmatic, as well as impressive, archaeological sites in North America. Its vast stone expanse of humbling temples are still covered with rich and detailed stone statues, even faded paintings.

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Experience fun and excitement

Have a good time

Travel long distances just for fun and explore places where being happy is a way of life.

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Tickets & Passes

Top Attractions

Buildings & Structure

Diego Rivera Mural (Exekatlkalli)

Formerly known as Exekatlkalli (the "House of the Winds") the Mural Diego Rivera was once the home of Dolores Olmedo, the final lover of Mexican master artist Diego Rivera. He spent the last years of his life with her here, and in 1956 created his final mural. It is an outstanding piece, made of mosaic tiles, and depicts at its center Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent of the Aztec religious pantheon. Other figures include a frog (a reference to Dolores' pet name for him) and a hammer and sickle, symbolizing his continued commitment to communist ideals. There were plans to turn the Mural Diego Rivera into a museum, and for several years the interior was conserved, including several sketches and paintings by Rivera. However, the house was recently sold, though the Mural Diego Rivera, outside, remains in public view, the cultural pride of Acapulco.

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Geological Formations

Rio Secreto Nature Reserve

Kept hidden from the public until 2007 and strictly adhering to its sustainable tourism model, the evocatively named Rio Secreto, or “Secret River,” is deserved of its reputation as the best kept secret of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. A dramatic series of caves carved out by the flow of an ancient underground river, the Rio Secreto is most famous for its large half-sunken cavern, one of few in the world that is accessible to non-professional divers.Venturing underground, visitors can explore the eerie passageways that once formed part of the mysterious, yet much talked about Mayan underworld; swim in the fabled underground river; and admire the unique natural caves, dripping with stalactites, stalagmites and strikingly colored mineral formations.

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Geological Formations

Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich

Mayan for "Giant Bird Cage", Nohoch Nah Chich is an accessible cenote, a series of underwater caves, popular for diving day trips from Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The Nohoch Nah Chich streches 5 miles (8 kilometers) inland, making it the world's second largest underwater cave system. Diving among the delicate white geological formations is for experienced divers only, and is assured to be the experience of a lifetime for diving enthusiasts.

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Go for a new adventure

Discover top adventure travel spots

Reward yourself with an opportunity to explore the nature in different and more radical way.

Top Activities

Outdoor Activities

4WD Tours

Nature and Wildlife Tours

Extreme Sports

Top Attractions

Wildlife & Zoos

San Jose Estuary (Estero San José)

This stunning sanctuary located between San Jose del Cabo and the Marina is home to hundreds of species of indigenous birds and colorful wildlife. Nature lovers flock to this protected body of fresh water for sunrise kayak journeys and relaxing sunset hikes. It’s popular among birdwatchers, thanks to a peaceful habitat that attracts these wild winged creatures. Travelers say that although damage from the most recent hurricane is still apparent, the San Juan Estuary remains an impressive and worthy destination for visitors looking to escape back into nature and experience the beauty of Mexico. Lucky travelers may spot local fishermen returning with the day’s catch or giant turtles wandering along the shores where strong waves lap the sand.

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Geological Formations

Cenotes Sac Actun

Intrepid travelers can test their limits—and their nerves—while navigating the channels of Sac Actun Cenote System—the longest underground river network in the world. Located in the jungles of Tulum, visitors descend into the river via an ominous looking rock well, complete with a well-worn wooden ladder. Because it’s rather remote and difficult to access, Sac Actun proves an ideal destination for travelers looking to explore the beauty and mystique of Mexico far away from the crowds.Known by locals as the Pet Cemetery because of the large number of animal fossils, Sac Actun Cenote holds a spiritual place in Mayan tradition and offers travelers spectacular views of hidden waterfalls, dark caverns dripping with stalactites as they swim through fresh water streams. Snorkeling options are also available for those looking to check out the scene even further below the surface.

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Water Activities & Tours

Cenote Dos Ojos

The Mayans called this breathtaking underwater destination a sacred well. Today, travelers call it a once-in-a-lifetime SCUBA diving experience. That’s because open water certified divers can explore the incredible caves and underground rivers that have been around for nearly 7,000 years. Some 300 miles of connected underwater passageways create what can only be described as a truly natural wonder. Visitors can get an up close look at the remarkable ecosystems that exist only here and float through clear blue waters in a landscape filled with rocky stalactites and stalagmites.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Iztaccihuatl

A trio of craggy peaks looming in front of the still-smoking mound of Popocatepetl volcano and clearly visible on the horizon from Mexico City, the Iztaccíhuatl Volcano is one of the capital’s most iconic landmarks and a popular choice for hiking and camping excursions. Named for its resemblance to a sleeping woman, Iztaccíhuatl translates from the Nahuatl language to “white woman,” with the three peaks said to appear from a distance like the head, breasts and feet. Reaching a height of 17,000 feet (5,230 meters), the Iztaccíhuatl Volcano measures in as Mexico’s third-highest peak, and scaling the permanently snow-capped summit offers impressive views over the neighboring Popocatepetl and the Valley of Mexico below. Most hikes start out from La Joya at 12,000 feet (3,700 meters), from where a range of technical and non-technical hiking trails run up the mountainside, taking about three to four hours to reach the summit.

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Water Activities & Tours

Banderas Bay (Bahia de Banderas)

Beautiful Banderas Bay - or Bahia de Banderas - is just one of the reasons why Puerto Vallarta is such a highly sought-after beach resort destination. The Pacific Ocean bay is Mexico’s largest, lapping the two Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit. Its long beautiful coastline runs for 42 miles (68 km), 25 (40) of them in Puerto Vallarta. Banderas Bay is the number-one location for sports and eco adventures on the water, from parasailing and surfing to yachting from the port’s ritzy marina. Whale-watching in these waters is also popular, especially December to April when the whales come here to calve. Get out on the water of Banderas Bay in a sea-kayak, or cruise to one of the many islands dotting the bay.

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Water Activities & Tours

Bay of Cabo San Lucas

The Bahia de Cabo San Lucas is the cape’s hub for water sports and beach activities. Rent jet skis and kayaks at Medano Beach, or hang out at the resorts lining the long stretch of sand overlooking the bay. Take an underwater snorkel tour of the bay and nearby Sea of Cortez, or go diving off the Chileno reef or Cabo Pulmo Marine Park. There are charter boats for sports fishing in the world’s marlin capital, or more gentle cruising in a glass-bottom boat on the bay at sunset. For youngsters, what could be better than a cruise aboard a pirate buccaneer’s cruise, me hearties.

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Water Activities & Tours

Pelican Rock

Even though this spot is named for the pelicans that clumsily land on the rocks, it’s the animals and action beneath the water that warrant all the attention. Here, at this protected swimming spot by “Lover’s Beach” and the famous rocks of “El Arco,” snorkelers, swimmers, scuba divers, and cliff jumpers all play together in the tropical sun outside of Cabo San Lucas. The rock is popular with Los Cabos snorkeling tours, and snorkelers have the chance to see frogfish, goatfish, lobsters, nudibranchs and even some white tipped sharks. Strap on a tank and head 60 feet down to find schools of silvery jacks, or climb up 15 feet up the side of the rock before splashing in the waters below. A small, protected section of shoreline is exclusively reserved for swimming, and colonies of sea lions bark and lounge on the craggy rocks offshore.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Palancar Reef

The star attraction of the Cozumel Reefs National Park - or Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel - not to mention Jacques Cousteau's television show, which quite literally put Cozumel on the map - is Palancar Reef. Actually composed of 4 separate coral reefs, it is home to sea turtles, rays, nurse sharks, barracudas, moray eels, lobsters, crabs, and a keleidescope of colorful fish.Boats leaving from Playa Palancar take snorkelers out to the shallowest parts of the reef, about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from shore. Scuba divers, however, have several world-famous spots to explore. The Palancar Caves are probably the most famous attraction, with huge brain corals and swim-through tunnels. Palancar Horseshoe is another massive formation of huge corals, some partially damaged in 2005 by Hurricane Wilma. Less experienced divers can visit Palancar Gardens, a shallower spot with mellow currents.

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Geological Formations

Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil is a tropical cenote located in the Yucatan region of Mexico, just a few miles away from Chichen Itza. A sinkhole filled with water, Ik Kil is one of the most popular cenotes for travelers to the eastern coast of Mexico thanks to its lush surroundings and easy accessibility. Cenote Ik Kil is not partially covered by earth like many cenotes but is instead open to the sky; sunlight streams down and hits the water, making it a bright teal color, from which it gets its nickname: Sacred Blue Cenote. Vines hang down from the rock walls, and gentle waterfalls also make their way down the sides of the encompassing circular wall, which stretches up 85 feet around the surface of the water, giving the cenote a more exotic feel.Stairs down one side of the rock wall lead to a ledge from which you can get in the water to swim. The water stretches down 130 feet; while swimming, keep an eye out for the catfish that call the cenote home.

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Celebrate a special occasion

Go for a romance travel

Escape from home routine and find a romantic place to celebrate your special occasion.

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Tickets & Passes

Half-day Tours

Full-day Tours

Top Attractions

Fun & Games

Casa Herradura Tequila Distillery

With a history dating back to 1870 and a reputation for producing some of Mexico’s finest tequilas, the Casa Herradura Distillery is among the most famous of Jalisco’s many tequila distilleries. A family-run hacienda located at the center of tequila country, Casa Herradura lies just outside of Amatitan and is devoted to preserving traditional hands-on production methods alongside modern processing techniques. The most popular way to visit the Casa Herradura Distillery is with a ride on the Tequila Express train from Guadalajara, an historic railway route set against a backdrop of blue agave fields and sweeping mountains. Exploring the vast distillery, visitors can discover the secrets of tequila production, from harvesting and crushing the agaves, to the fine art of fermentation and distillation.

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Buildings & Structure

Governor's Palace (Palacio de Gobierno)

Just south of the cathedral and facing the pretty Plaza de Armas, you’ll find the imposing governor’s palace. The two-story building is massive, baroque, and beset with snarling gargoyles, but the façade is far less interesting than the building’s illustrious history and unique interior.The palace was completed in 1790. Father Miguel Hidalgo occupied the building in 1810, during the Mexican War of Independence. A radical priest with a taste for wine and women, Hidalgo crusaded for human rights; it was here in the governor’s palace that he issued his famous proclamation to abolish slavery. Later, during one of Mexico’s numerous small civil wars, Benito Juarez, “Mexico’s Abraham Lincoln,” also occupied the building. When opposing forces entered the city, Juarez was captured outside the palace and very nearly executed. The guns of a firing squad were lined upon him when the novelist Guillermo Prieto jumped forth to shield Juarez.

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Theatres & Cinemas

Degollado Theater (Teatro Degollado)

Across from the Guadalajara Cathedral, the Teatro Degollado looms in stony, neoclassical glory. Corinthian columns form a massive portico topped with a marble relief of Apollo and the nine muses. The length of the building’s rear wall is adorned with a stylish sculptural depiction of Guadalajara’s history; a fountain runs along the base.The inside is even more over-the- top, with five tiers of gilded balconies and a ceiling frescoed with scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy. A red-and-gold color scheme is augmented with frippery, including a fearsome golden eagle above the stage. The eagle holds a chain in its beak: as legend has it, the theater will stand until the day the golden eagle drops its chain.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes)

Considered one of the world's most beautiful buildings, the Mexico City Palace of Fine Arts - or Palacio de Bellas Artes - is a harmonious synthesis of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Baroque styles, a style sometimes called "Porfiriano," after architecture-obsessed Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, who commissioned the project.The exterior, surrounded with gardens, rises in elegant columns and domes above the cool, green Alameda Central. Inside, it is an exceptional art exhibition, filled with a permanent collection of statues, murals, and other outstanding ornamentation. In addition, there are regular world-class art exhibitions open to the public.In addition to its daytime attractions, you can appreciate the building's acoustic excellence by enjoying a performance at its National Theater. International artists appear regularly, but try to catch Mexico City's own Ballet Folklórico de México Compania Nacional or National Symphonic Orchestra.

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Buildings & Structure

Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec)

North America may not be known for its regal royalty or holding court, but Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City—the only palace on the continent—is definitely the real deal. Located more than 7,000 feet above sea level, Chapultepec has housed sovereigns, served as a military academy and was even an observatory. In 1996 the castle was transformed into Capulet Mansion for the movie Romeo and Juliet, too.Until 1939, Chapultepec Castle served as the presidential residence. Then a new law moved it elsewhere and the castle became home to both the National Museum of History and the National Museum of Cultures instead. A stroll through these halls, followed by a tour of lush castle grounds is a perfect way to spend a Mexico City afternoon.

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Fun & Games

Mr. Sancho's Beach Club Cozumel

Find everything you need for a relaxing and fun day at the beach with an all-inclusive day pass to Mr. Sanchos Beach Club Cozumel. Situated on a private, 1,500-foot-long stretch of white-sand beach, Mr. Sanchos has all the usual beach amenities like umbrellas and lounge chairs, as well as an infinity pool and an Aqua Park with inflatable climbing structures and water trampolines. Day passes include all you can eat and drink from the restaurant and bar, and there are abundant activities available for an additional fee, including parasiling, ATV tours, massages and horseback riding.

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Places of Natural Beauty

La Roqueta Island (Isla de La Roqueta)

Sun worshiper and deep-sea divers flock to the shores of La Roqueta Island, where travelers gather to snorkel, kayak and lounge in the balmy Acapulco heat. A handful of restaurants and a small zoo keep non-beach bums entertained, but visitors agree it’s the island’s golden sand beaches, brilliant blue waters and incredible ocean views that make this a popular stop for tourists.Though regulars warn the beaches of La Roqueta can get crowded, most agree the busy shores are actually perfect for people watching. And the island’s cool, laidback vibe still makes it easy to relax and unwind—even in high season. Travelers can chill out on beach chairs or saddle up to the rafts of local seashell salesmen in search of the perfect souvenir, while more adventurous sorts can hike a network of trails that lead to stunning scenic overlooks or cliff jump from one of the island’s rocky peaks.

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Buildings & Structure

National Palace (Palacio Nacional)

The seat of Mexico's federal government since the age of the Aztecs (at least), the National Palace - or Palacio Nacional - is a working building, and many offices are off limits to visitors. You can, however, pass through the enormous baroque facade dominating the eastern side of the Zócalo and enjoy some of its ample interior.Though the arcaded courtyards and fountains are fine examples of Spanish colonial architecture, you're here to see artist Diego Rivera's triptych of murals, "Epic of the Mexican People." From the creation of humankind by Quetzalcóatl, the Feathered Serpent god, and subsequent rise of the Aztecs, Rivera plunges you into the horrors of the Spanish Conquest - rape, murder, slavery, and finally, mercy to the defeated survivors. In the final piece, Mexico's resistance to invasions by France, the United States, and corporate robber barons including Vanderbilt, Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan, are depicted.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Marietas Islands (Islas Marietas)

Never has a bombing ranged looked so beautiful than at Mexico’s Marietas Islands. Here off the coastline of Nayarit outside of Puerto Vallarta, these two volcanic, bird-covered rocks hold hundreds of scars caused by years of bombing by Mexico’s early military. Thanks to conservationist’s efforts, however—most notably Jacques Cousteau—the Mexican government agreed to protect the islands, rather than blow them up. Today, what remains of the islands above and below water is nothing short of astounding. Schools of colorful reef fish swarm in Technicolor clouds on the reefs, and sea turtles, dolphins, and enormous manta rays are regularly spotted near shore.

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Sights & Landmarks

National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) isn't your average university. The Mexico City-based school was started in 1551 by King Philip II of Spain (at which point it was called the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico) and is the oldest university in North America and the second oldest in all the Americas. Today, it is the largest university in Mexico and has a strong emphasis on research and cultural impact. UNAM isn't just for students, though; travelers to Mexico City who love history will also enjoy visiting this prestigious school.The main draw for visitors is to see the Central University Campus, which wasn't built until the 1950s. The Central University Campus is a work of art in and of itself thanks to its modern architecture that features the focal point of a massive block of a building with the side adorned in murals done by Diego Rivera, Diego Alfaro Siqueiros and other prominent artists.

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Try exciting meals

Experience a variety of food on the trip

Escape from ordinary everyday meals and reward yourself with delicious and special gourmet dishes.

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Wine Tastings

Beer & Brewery Tours

Lunch Cruises

Brunch Cruises

 

Mexico

25 Featured Attractions

Religious Architecture

San Juan Bautista Church (Parroquia San Juan Bautista)

San Juan Bautista Parish is a church located in the Coyoacan neighborhood of Mexico City that is one of the oldest churches in Mexico City. San Juan Bautista is a Catholic church known for its blend of baroque and colonial architecture. It is a focal point of the historic square Plaza Hidalgo, which attracts many visitors of the city. In 1934, the church became a National Monument of Mexico.San Juan Bautista church dates back to the late 1500s, when it was constructed during the Franciscan order. The whitewashed and stone exterior still dates back to the 16th century. Inside, however, not much from its early days remain, though a recent reconstruction was done that strived to stay true to the church’s original aesthetics. The renovation has returned the church to a glorious splendor of art and decoration. As you walk down the long nave, you’ll do so under a spectacular carved ceiling that has relief designs sculpted into it.

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Religious Architecture

Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan (Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan)

Credited with making peace, ending plagues, healing broken bones, and raising the dwindling waters of Lake Chapala, the Virgin of Zapopan is the official patroness of Guadalajara and the state of Jalisco, defender “against storms, lightning, and epidemics.” The tiny painted statue is crafted of wood and hardened corn husks. Brought to Jalisco in 1541 by a Franciscan missionary, she was the first Catholic icon to gain widespread acceptance from the region’s native tribes. In times of need, the virgin is removed from her sanctuary and paraded through the city. “The Queen of Jalisco” is credited with hundreds of miracles and civic accomplishments. When Mexico achieved independence from Spain, the new government named her “General of the Army of the State,” and, with due pomp and ceremony, dressed her appropriately in a tiny general’s sash.

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Religious Architecture

Templo Expiatorio del Santisimo Sacramento

Spiked with spindly spires and decorated with fine stonework, the Templo Expiatorio is one of Guadalajara’s iconic churches and a striking example of neogothic style. The first stone was laid in 1897 and construction was completed in the 1930s. Inside, the ambiance is dreamy. Graceful multilayered arches frame an altar backlit by massive stained glass windows and crowned with a giant yet simple gold chandelier. Beams of colored light cast by the stained glass cut through smoke and dust motes, and the air smells of incense, candles, and flowers.

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Buildings & Structure

Angel of Independence (Monumento a la Independencia)

Built in 1910, this iconic monument commemorates the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the nation’s War of Independence. Its towering stone column stretches high into the Mexico City skyline and both drivers and pedestrians can see its golden angel statue as they move about the popular Paseo de la Reforma.Once a monument of commemoration, travelers will now find that the Angel of Independence has become a common meeting place for locals and the gathering spot for protests and celebrations—particularly after the Mexican national soccer team wins a match. The base of the monument also serves as a mausoleum and final resting place for a number of Mexican war heroes.

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Sights & Landmarks

El Tuito

A small and charming Mexican town located just an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta, El Tuito draws visitors with its slow-paced, traditional vibe. With only one main road, you’ll find that most of this village’s attractions are centrally located and make for easy walking. The main plaza is home to the majority of the town’s activity, as well as the main church and El Tuito’s historical center.Note the Spanish colonial homes with their unique orange glazing, try the local artisan cheeses for which the area is known, sample delicate pastries from the local bakery, note the murals at the city hall and stop by the Church of St Peter, which boasts a giant boulder as its main alter. El Tuito is a great day trip from Puerto Vallarta if you’re looking for an authentic dive into the true Mexican town experience.

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Well-known Landmarks

Labna

Labna is an excellent site for archaeology lovers and architectural buffs with its Mayan building ruins that were built in the ancient Puuc style. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula by the larger Uxmal ruins, Labna is a compact structure hidden within the Puuc Hills. Though smaller than some of the other Mayan ruin compounds in Mexico, it is impressive nonetheless. Labna was once used as a ceremonial center by the Mayans during the pre-Columbian era.Labna’s impressive Gateway Arch is still standing today, and visitors can stand under it and walk through it while marveling at its intricate construction. It is believed that this arch was used to signify the start of the area of the ancient village where the priest and the elite people of Labna lived. Relief designs are etched into the side of the arch, providing impressive details that visitors love taking pictures of.

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Well-known Landmarks

Sayil

Sayil is a distinguished Mayan ruins site in the Puuc Hills of the Yucatan, located a short drive from the larger ruins of Uxmal. Sayil is a part of the same UNESCO World Heritage site as Uxmal and is a prominent Mayan ruin due to its royal origins. It is believed that Sayil was once ruled by a royal dynasty, and the palace ruins on its grounds are still impressive to behold today. Visitors can wander through the ruins and also make a stop at the observatory, another of Sayil's top sites.It is estimated that Sayil was settled around 800 AD and at one point had a population that reached upwards of 10,000. Visitors to Sayil can soak up this ancient history and get a feel for what life was like during the time of the Mayans while steering clear of the larger crowds at some of the other more popular Mayan sites. The site's jungle location also adds to the exotic, off-the-beaten-path allure.

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Sights & Landmarks

Gringo Gulch

Antique, charming, historic—all of these have been used to describe this quaint little neighborhood in Puerto Vallarta. Known as the site where the first settlers decided to live, Gringo Gulch offers spectacular views of downtown Puerto Vallarta and the Rio Cuale. A steep, staircase-slung hillside dotted with white-washed villas, this is one of the most romantic and captivating neighborhoods in this 500-year-old town, and it also served as the site of Richard Burton’s film Night of the Iguana, starring Elizabeth Taylor. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this neighborhood, see its numerous beautiful mansions and experience some of the best views in Puerto Vallarta.

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Sights & Landmarks

Polanco

For visitors looking to experience how Mexico’s other half lives, there is no better place than Polanco. This upscale neighborhood in the Miguel Hidalgo borough of Mexico City is home to some of the wealthiest and most influential families in the country. The city’s most luxurious hotels, priciest restaurants and swankiest clubs line the streets of the five colonias that make up this district.Major malls like Antara Polanco and Plaza Carso attract patrons in search of true destination shopping, while a stroll down the high-end Avenida Presidente Masaryk provides a taste of Polanco’s most expensive real estate and window-shopping at some of the neighborhoods exclusive boutiques. But Polanco is more than just luxury. Visitors can wander through Chapultepec and Parque Lincoln, or get a taste of culture on a visit the National Museum of Anthropology and the Modern Art Museum in the neighborhood as well.

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Fun & Games

Casa Herradura Tequila Distillery

With a history dating back to 1870 and a reputation for producing some of Mexico’s finest tequilas, the Casa Herradura Distillery is among the most famous of Jalisco’s many tequila distilleries. A family-run hacienda located at the center of tequila country, Casa Herradura lies just outside of Amatitan and is devoted to preserving traditional hands-on production methods alongside modern processing techniques. The most popular way to visit the Casa Herradura Distillery is with a ride on the Tequila Express train from Guadalajara, an historic railway route set against a backdrop of blue agave fields and sweeping mountains. Exploring the vast distillery, visitors can discover the secrets of tequila production, from harvesting and crushing the agaves, to the fine art of fermentation and distillation.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Diego Rivera Mural Museum (Museo Mural Diego Rivera)

No trip to Mexico City is complete without a stop at Murales de Diego Rivera. Here, visitors can see the country’s most famous work of art by perhaps the nation’s most beloved artist. The massive fresco “Dream on a Sunday Afternoon in the Alamdea” was painted in 1947 and originally housed in the grand ballroom of the Hotel del Prado, before damage from a major earthquake sent the mural to its current location.Measuring 15 meters by four meters, Rivera’s well-known mural depicts epic moments in Mexico’s history and includes famous political leaders as well as commonplace citizens. A nearby sketch identifies the multiple historic figures represented in Rivera’s masterpiece, and while it’s possible to see the fresco in a matter of minutes, visitors should allow at least an hour to truly enjoy the rich details this great work has to offer.

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Buildings & Structure

Governor's Palace (Palacio de Gobierno)

Just south of the cathedral and facing the pretty Plaza de Armas, you’ll find the imposing governor’s palace. The two-story building is massive, baroque, and beset with snarling gargoyles, but the façade is far less interesting than the building’s illustrious history and unique interior.The palace was completed in 1790. Father Miguel Hidalgo occupied the building in 1810, during the Mexican War of Independence. A radical priest with a taste for wine and women, Hidalgo crusaded for human rights; it was here in the governor’s palace that he issued his famous proclamation to abolish slavery. Later, during one of Mexico’s numerous small civil wars, Benito Juarez, “Mexico’s Abraham Lincoln,” also occupied the building. When opposing forces entered the city, Juarez was captured outside the palace and very nearly executed. The guns of a firing squad were lined upon him when the novelist Guillermo Prieto jumped forth to shield Juarez.

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Sights & Landmarks

La Condesa

International restaurants, popular nightclubs and trendy bars line the shaded streets of Condesa, an up-and-coming district in the Cuauhtemoc Borough of Mexico City. Just west of Zocalo, this youthful neighborhood is known for its attractive residents, fashionable businessmen and innovative artists. Its quiet cafes, unique galleries and stylish boutiques offer an ideal way to spend a leisurely afternoon in the city, and Art Deco architecture dating back to the early 20th Century makes for picturesque strolls.Stop by the Trolleybus Theater, where abandoned trolleys provide a creative space for inventive theater and art shows, or wander over to the well-known Parque Mexico. Previously a racetrack, this green space has since become the center of the district and is recognized by the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, as an important part of Mexico City’s unique charm.

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Wildlife & Zoos

San Jose Estuary (Estero San José)

This stunning sanctuary located between San Jose del Cabo and the Marina is home to hundreds of species of indigenous birds and colorful wildlife. Nature lovers flock to this protected body of fresh water for sunrise kayak journeys and relaxing sunset hikes. It’s popular among birdwatchers, thanks to a peaceful habitat that attracts these wild winged creatures. Travelers say that although damage from the most recent hurricane is still apparent, the San Juan Estuary remains an impressive and worthy destination for visitors looking to escape back into nature and experience the beauty of Mexico. Lucky travelers may spot local fishermen returning with the day’s catch or giant turtles wandering along the shores where strong waves lap the sand.

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Gardens & Parks

Alameda Central

Mexico City Alameda Central was first set aside as public green space in 1592, when Viceroy Luis de Velasco had dozens of alamos, or poplar trees, planted above the city's premier destination. It was not until the late 1700s, however, that it was remodeled to its current glory.The park was first fitted with five fabulous fountains, each echoing the extravagant tastes of Louis the XIV, the "Sun King" of France, which were then surrounded by suitably posh landscaping. Later, President Porfirio Díaz, well known for his architectural achievements, had the Palacio de Bellas Artes built above the park. Today, it is a popular spot, particularly on weekends, when families gather beneath the spreading trees.

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Sights & Landmarks

San Angel

A much loved neighborhood in the southwestern corner of Mexico City, San Angel is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, its small town feel, and its authentic Mexican food, crafts, and culture. People come to San Angel to experience the Mexico City that existed in colonial times. Café culture is popular here, and many choose to spend the day sipping on a café con leche and watching the craftsmen peddle their wares in the public market or during the popular Saturday Bazaar. Colonial architecture marks the town, small taquerias line the zocalo (town square), and the boutique shops that dot the cobblestoned streets are perfect for exploring.Head to the park for a pleasant stroll under the shade of the gum trees, and enjoy life’s passing parade as the locals here do (typically with an agua fresca). San Angel is known as one of Mexico City’s most beautiful neighborhoods, and any of the city’s wealthy elite struck up residence here decades ago.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Coatepec

Coatepec, also known as the serpent mountain, is one of the most sacred places in Aztec mythology. It’s believed that the iconic Mexican tribe came upon this mystical town on their way to Central Mexico, and made it their home for more than 30 years. The Aztecs built an impressive temple on a hilltop here to pay homage to the god Huitzilopochtli. The structure was so loved that when the tribe finally completed their journey to Tenochtitlan, they built a replica of the Coatepec temple at the new site. In addition to its prominent place is Aztec history, Coatepec has a major role in contemporary culture, too. The town is referred to by some as Mexico’s capital of coffee, because the nation’s most popular brews: Bola de Oro and Le Vereda, come from this municipality.

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Water Activities & Tours

Casa Cenote

Beautiful, underwater sinkholes flooded with light, the cenotes of Riviera Maya, Mexico are a natural wonder and a sight to behold. Though there are many throughout the region, Casa Cenote is uniquely located in a mangrove forest close to the sea. It can be thought of as almost an underwater jungle with its algae-covered mangrove forest and soft sands. As it is mostly open to the sky, it is less enclosed than neighboring cenotes and often has more aquatic life to see. The cenote connects one of the world’s largest underwater river systems to the ocean. Because of this, it is possible to see both fresh and saltwater fish. The unique combination of clear freshwater conditions and underwater caverns and formations make this an interesting spot for scuba divers and snorkelers. Streams of light penetrating the water from the surface add to the beauty and intrigue visible from both above and below.

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Theatres & Cinemas

Degollado Theater (Teatro Degollado)

Across from the Guadalajara Cathedral, the Teatro Degollado looms in stony, neoclassical glory. Corinthian columns form a massive portico topped with a marble relief of Apollo and the nine muses. The length of the building’s rear wall is adorned with a stylish sculptural depiction of Guadalajara’s history; a fountain runs along the base.The inside is even more over-the- top, with five tiers of gilded balconies and a ceiling frescoed with scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy. A red-and-gold color scheme is augmented with frippery, including a fearsome golden eagle above the stage. The eagle holds a chain in its beak: as legend has it, the theater will stand until the day the golden eagle drops its chain.

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Religious Architecture

San Jose del Cabo Church (Parroquia San José)

This iconic Catholic Church located in the heart of Cabo was founded in 1730. Its brilliant white bell towers and striking interior pay homage to the life and death of Jesuit priest, Nicolas Tamaral, who was martyred on the site where this building now stands. The church remains a destination for travelers seeking an escape from the festive city streets and sandy stretches of scenic beach. Those looking for a taste of history can learn about the destruction that took place during a major hurricane in the early 1900s and see what remains or the original walls, mosaics and façade on a tour of the church.

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Sights & Landmarks

Zocalo

The heart of any Spanish Colonial city is the central plaza, or Zócalo, and the ancient port town of Acapulco - despite its several modern facelifts - is no exception. The swirl of activity, the live music on weekends, the vendors selling every sort of cheap (and some very nice) souvenirs are all here, mixing and mingling with tourists and locals relaxing in the shade.Like all central plazas, Acapulco's Zócalo is presided over by a Catholic church, in this case Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. Its unusually domed and stellar interior, bookended by two of the least traditional bell towers you'll find in Mexico, were originally part of a movie set, later redeveloped into a parish church and declared a cathedral (temporarily) in 1959. It is the perfect centerpiece to Acapulco's resort-chic collection of Mediterranean, modernist, and other original buildings.

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Geological Formations

Cenotes Sac Actun

Intrepid travelers can test their limits—and their nerves—while navigating the channels of Sac Actun Cenote System—the longest underground river network in the world. Located in the jungles of Tulum, visitors descend into the river via an ominous looking rock well, complete with a well-worn wooden ladder. Because it’s rather remote and difficult to access, Sac Actun proves an ideal destination for travelers looking to explore the beauty and mystique of Mexico far away from the crowds.Known by locals as the Pet Cemetery because of the large number of animal fossils, Sac Actun Cenote holds a spiritual place in Mayan tradition and offers travelers spectacular views of hidden waterfalls, dark caverns dripping with stalactites as they swim through fresh water streams. Snorkeling options are also available for those looking to check out the scene even further below the surface.

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Buildings & Structure

Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres

On the north side of the Guadalajara Cathedral, you’ll find a little park that contains the Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres, or the Rotunda of the Illustrious Jaliscans. Ringed by bronze statues and flowering trees, the neoclassical rotunda houses the remains of the state’s luminaries. Inside the rotunda, the coffin of Enrique Díaz de León, the first rector of the University of Guadalajara, sits in state. You’ll also see urns containing the ashes of Jalisco’s honored dead; additional empty urns await their occupants. A crypt below the floor contains the mummified remains of General Ramón Corona, who defended Mexico during the French invasion, served as a popular reform governor, and was murdered in 1889.

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Water Activities & Tours

Cenote Dos Ojos

The Mayans called this breathtaking underwater destination a sacred well. Today, travelers call it a once-in-a-lifetime SCUBA diving experience. That’s because open water certified divers can explore the incredible caves and underground rivers that have been around for nearly 7,000 years. Some 300 miles of connected underwater passageways create what can only be described as a truly natural wonder. Visitors can get an up close look at the remarkable ecosystems that exist only here and float through clear blue waters in a landscape filled with rocky stalactites and stalagmites.

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Sights & Landmarks

Amatitan

One of the principal tequila-producing towns of Jalisco’s UNESCO-listed Tequila Country, Amatitán has long proclaimed itself the ‘birthplace of tequila’. Many connoisseurs agree that, despite owing its name to the neighboring town of Tequila, the fiery spirit likely found its origins closer to Amatitán, but whatever you believe, there’s no doubting Amatitán’s importance on the region’s well-trodden Tequila Trail.The small town is home to dozens of tequila distilleries, churning out a vast quantity of mescal, mixto and 100% agave tequilas, including well-known brands like Cabo Wabo Tequila, El Jimador, Partida Tequila and Don Eduardo. Many visitors to Amatitán arrive on the historic Tequila Express railway from Guadalajara, combined with a tour and tequila tasting at the town’s legendary Casa Herradura Distillery.

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