Monte Alban

Monte Alban, Mexico

Monte Alban, Mexico

Monte Alban is one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica. Its ruins are located in the southern part of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico within the municipality of Santa Cruz Xoxocotlan. Oaxaca City, the state capital, is approximately 6 miles east of Monte Alban. The ancient city had been the political and economic center for almost a thousand years. Founded about 500 B.C. it dominated much of Oaxacan highlands until it lost its power and was abandoned around 500 A.D.

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Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City, Mexico

Oaxaca City, Mexico

Oaxaca City, also known as Oaxaca de Juarez, is the largest city and capital of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It is located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains from the base of the Cerro del Fortin to the banks of the Atoyac River. Oaxaca is a tourist town, featuring colonial-era buildings built with the native green stone and archeological sites such as Monte Alban, named a World Heritage Site in 1987.

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Zipolite

Zipolite, Mexico

West End Zipolite, Mexico

Zipolite Beach is located on the southern coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is largely a beach community within the municipality of San Pedro Pochutla. Zipolite is one of the few beaches in Mexico where you will find nude bathing. It became famous in the ’60s and ’70 as a hippie hangout replete with drugs and a free-love attitude. Today it is popular with foreign travelers and backpackers.

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Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido is located on the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is a tourist attraction for surfers, families and backpackers. Besides its beaches Puerto Escondido has areas for fishing and bird watching. The town is located in the municipality of San Pedro Mixtepec. Every November there is a surfing competition at Zicatela Beach that has increased world awareness of Puerto Escondido.

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City of Veracruz

Veracruz, Mexico

Veracruz, Mexico

The city of Veracruz is a port on the Gulf of Mexico in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. It was named by Hernan Cortes in 1519 “True Cross” as he landed on Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion. Now it is the principle port for most of Mexico’s imports and exports. The culture of the city is a blend of Spanish and Afro-Cuban, especially in the local cuisine which has more European influence than the rest of Mexico. Veracruz is the home of the “son” style of music, influenced by African and Caribbean music and is popular throughout Mexico, Latin America and the United States.

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Tlacotalpan

Tlacotalpan, Mexico

Colorful Tlacotalpan, Mexico

Tlacotalpan is located in the eastern coastal region of the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Tlacotalpan is a World Heritage Site, chosen in 1998 because of the architecture which reflects the fusion of Spanish and Caribbean in its wide streets, houses in many colors, and beautiful old trees in both public and private spaces. The name is from the language Najuatl and it means “place between two rivers.”

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Puebla City

Cathedral in Puebla City, Mexico

Cathedral in Puebla City, Mexico

Puebla City is located southeast of Mexico City in the state of Puebla, Mexico. It is the fourth largest city in Mexico and is an industrial hub and a World Heritage Site because of its history and architectural styles. The most notable attractions are the Zocalo, a tree-filled plaza with many sculptures, surrounded by the City Hall, Casa de los Munecos and the Catherdral. Nearby is El Parian an arts and crafts market. The best known mole is named for this city, Mole Poblano. And every year on the fifth of May Puebla celebrates the defeat of the French in 1862. This holiday is also celebrated in the U.S. but is not widely observed in the rest of Mexico.

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Orizaba

Orizaba, Mexico

Orizaba, Mexico at Dusk

Orizaba is located 20 miles from Cordoba, its sister city, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Its name comes from the Nahuatl language meaning “valley of happy waters.” One of the notable sites of the city is El Palacio de Hierro (The Iron Palace). Designed by Eiffel and built with 600 tons of steel it is now longer used as the city hall but is a tourist attraction. Other tourist attractions include the Church of La Concordia and the State Art Museum.

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Los Tuxtlas

LosTuxtlas, Mexico

LosTuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve is located in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas mountain range on the southeastern coast of Veracruz, Mexico. The Sierra de los Tuxtlas contains volcanos mostly extinct but the San Martin Tuxtla erupted as recently as 1793. Hundreds of cinder cones can be found throughout the Sierra.

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La Malinche

La Malinche Volcano, Mexico

La Malinche Volcano, Mexico

La Malinche National Park is located in Central Mexico in both the state of Puebla and Tlaxcala. La Malinche, Matlalcueitl volcano, is part of the Tran-Mexico Volcanic Belt is in the park and popular
with climbers and mountaineers. You will find cabins, camping and recreational facilities on the volcano.

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