Hidalgo State, Mexico

Located in eastern Mexico, the State of Hidalgo is named to honor Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla a key figure in the Mexican War of Independence. When Benito Juarez created the state in 1869, he selected Pachuca de Soto to be the capital city. The state is a treasure trove of cultural, archeological and eco-tourism sites. Hidalgo is also home to a number of native cultures, the descendants of 19th century Cornish miners and a Jewish enclave that traces its roots back to the 16th century.

Visitors to the area will marvel at the ancient wonders found at the Tula archeological site, the old haciendas that reflect a bygone era, the mountain ranges and natural hot springs.

Basaltic prisim Canyon at Hidalgo, MexicoThe Mountain Corridor is designed to whet the appetite of eco-tourists. Guests will experience different climates, ecosystems and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extreme sports. The Water Park Corridor takes visitors on a scenic journey through the natural thermal springs and spas. You can also enjoy the area’s water theme parks that take advantage of the state’s rivers and lakes. The Corridor of the Four Elements is designed around activities that include the elements of air, water, fire and earth. These include hot air ballooning, fishing, iron working and hiking. The Hacienda Corridor takes patrons on a tour of estates from the 16th to the 19th century, providing a look into the area’s cultural past. The Tolteca Corridor enables you to experience the great archeological site of Tula as well as a number of 16th century monasteries. There are mesmerizing flora and fauna species as well as exceptional canyon views of the Biosphere Reserve in Barranca de Metztitlan.

Visitors can sample the local cuisine that includes pastes and pulque while enjoying one of the many cultural and religious festivals in Pachuca. There you will see the textiles and embroidery of Tenango de Doria, the indigenous culture of the Otomies found in Ixmiquilpan and the handicrafts found in the stalls of Mineral de Chico. Hidalgo is also famous for Spanish style furniture, jewelry, pottery and metal working.

You can explore the cave paintings in Huichapan; visit the Monastery of San Francisco in Pachuca, or taste one of the many native gastronomic delights, such as the state dish, barbacoa. Tourists to Hidalgo can explore the cultural history of the state as they experience a flourishing modern economy.


Guanajuato State, Mexico

The mountainous central Mexican state of Guanajuato has a lot to offer visitors. Natural wonders, extreme sports and archaeological and historical sites lend the area fascination, and its proximity to Mexico City gives it convenience. While the state has established several tourist routes featuring everything from history to handicrafts, the area's three main cities also make first-class holiday destinations.

The City of Guanajuato

Guanajuato, MexicoGuanajuato City's most unique feature is the underground tunnels that function as a road system. The state's capitol city, it is built on terrain so hilly that almost every part of the city is on a grade. Guanajuato developed from the consolidation of the area's silver camps. The city's churches, theaters and museums, the revolutionary monuments and the silver mines are all worth visiting, and Guanajuato's night life absolutely sparkles. Visitors should also consider taking the funicular to the top of the city's highest mountain to see the statue of Pipila and the breathtakingly panoramic landscapes.

San Miguel de Allende

La Parroquia and Templo de San Rafael San Miguel de Allende, MexicoThe beautifully preserved facades in central San Miguel are only a few of the beneficiaries of the 1926 declaration making the town a National Monument. The city is famous for its artists' colonies, and the classes at its art institutes are first rate. Churches and the Botanical Garden are well worth a visit, and operators in the surrounding hinterland can arrange horseback riding, hiking, bicycling, boating and hot-air ballooning as well as adventure sports. San Miguel is a shopper's paradise, offering not only artwork but personal and household items in shops or open-air markets. Local pewter is a particular bargain.

Dolores Hidalgo

Dolores Hidalgo Church, Guanajuato, MexicoThe cradle of Mexican Independence is the small city of Dolores Hidalgo about an hour outside Guanajuato. It was here, in 1810, that Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla raised a group of peasants and led them under the standard of the Virgin of Guadalupe, in an uprising that spread into the Mexican War of Independence. The town is full of history. Visitors can tour the Independence Museum and see the statue of Hidalgo in front of the church from which he gave the Grito as well as the Erre Hacienda where the insurgent army had its first headquarters as well as Hidalgo's home. Every night the city stages a recreation of the Grito from the church, followed by a light show.


Durango State Mexico

Durango is the fourth largest of Mexico’s 32 states. Roughly translated, Durango means fertile land, many rivers, surrounded by mountains. Landlocked, Durango is located in northwestern Mexico, about 6,100 feet above sea level, covering approximately 47,000 square miles.

Durango’s population is estimated at over 1,600,000 people, most of whom are Roman Catholic and Spanish-speaking. Settled in the mid 1500s by Basque Spaniards, Durango was recognized as an official Mexican state in 1825.

Mountains Durango, MexicoMexico is the world’s largest producer of silver. The state of Durango, which originated as a mining town, is the third largest producer of silver among Mexico’s 32 states. Durango also produces iron, gold and copper.

Travelers to Durango will enjoy an average temperature of 70 degrees F. With surrounding mountains including the Sierra Madre and the bordering Chihuahuan Desert, Durango offers stunning scenery, archeological sites, canyons, rivers, forests, historic districts, museums, cultural attractions and authentic settings used in western movie productions. Durango also touts itself as the birthplace of Poncho Villa, the notorious outlaw who rose to fame during the Mexican Revolution.

The capital of Durango is also called Durango and is Durango’s largest city, with an estimated population of 500,000. Located in south-central Durango and settled in 1563, the city of Durango is recognized for both its commerce and tourist attractions. Travelers to Durango should definitely include a trip to the capital city for all it offers.

Durango’s capital is especially noted for its historic district consisting of over 1000 buildings displaying various styles of architecture. The Durango Cultural Complex includes numerous museums such as the National Institute of Anthropology and History and the Institute of Culture of the State, with artifacts from the Mexican Revolution on exhibit. Western movie fans should check out the Museum of Movies. Another must-see is the 18th century Basilica Menor Cathedral with its dome, towers, gorgeous painted ceilings, sculptures and ceramic art.

Located near the capital city is another tourist favorite, the restored 19th century Hacienda de la Ferreria. Tourists can also visit the nearby Chalchihuite ruins which date back to 100 A.D. There is also an accompanying museum at the site.

While in Durango, travelers should take in the many additional attractions Durango has to offer from parks, winding trails and waterfalls to lakes and rivers, all ideal for biking, camping, kayaking, fishing and other adventure sports.


Campeche State, Mexico

The Mexican State of Campeche is situated on the western side of the Yucatan Peninsula. Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Belize and the Yucatan state, the state has many historic colonial and Mayan sites as well as a rich biodiversity.

Campeche, the capital, was founded in 1540 and was one of the most important ports of New Spain. Cultural tourists can experience historic religious sites, such as the late 16th century Church of the Apostle James and the San Luis Obispo Monastery in Calkini. The 17th century monastery was constructed over the remains of a Mayan temple. The main cathedral in Campeche, the Church of Saint Francis, marks the spot where the first mass was held on the American mainland. There are numerous Mayan archeological sites waiting to be discovered, such as Calakmul and Pyramid of the Five Floors.

Mayan Ruins of Calakmul, Campeche, MexicoEco-tourists who explore the marvelous Mexican countryside will find a number of ecosystems that range from savanna to rainforest and from coastal to inland. There are coral reefs, mangrove and hardwood forests. Observers of the rich wildlife will note various bird, reptile, aquatic species, deer, rabbits and armadillos. The Calakmul Biosphere is a reserve that consists of moist forests, aquatic vegetation and deciduous trees. The Laguna de Terminos is teeming with sea bass, small sharks, turbles and storks. The lagoon is ringed by a series of smaller lakes and borders the Gulf of Mexico. You can also explore the caves of Chuncedro and Xculhoc.

There are numerous festivals held throughout the year. The history festival attracts thousands of artists and academics to celebrate the culture and traditions of the region. The largest festival is Carnival, a city-wide religious celebration, that features traditional folk dances, such as the Baile del Pavo and tropical jaranas. You can sample the Mestizo and Mayan influenced local cuisine as you observe traditional dances and listen to the folk music of the region. One of the best places to find seafood is in the town of Ciudad del Carmen.

Visitors to Campeche will find a wide variety of water sports. In the coastal cities and towns, you can swim, snorkel or just enjoy the sun on beaches, such as Mar Azul, Isla de Pajaros and Costa Blanca. In the interior, guests will enjoy water parks that take advantage of the area’s rivers and lakes.

Campeche is a well-kept secret on the Yucatan Peninsula that is awaiting your discovery.


Colima State, Mexico

The State of Colima lies on the central Pacific coast of Mexico. It is one of the smallest of the 32 Mexican States, at 2004 square miles. Colima is also the name of the capital of the State, a picturesque town that was the third city in Mexico founded by the Spanish after Vera Cruz and Mexico City following the Conquest. The area is off the major tourist routes, so the city and State of Colima very much retain the flavor of Old Mexico. However, as more and more travelers discover the charms of the region this situation will likely change.

Colima State is divided geographically into a northern and southern region, with the north being more mountainous and with a cooler climate, and the south being hotter and more humid along the Pacific coast.

Manzanillo, Colima, MexicoThe port city of Manzanillo on the Pacific coast is Colima State's premier tourist destination, with fantastic beaches and superb hotels and restaurants. Manzanillo also attracts sport fisherman and is known as the World Capital of the Sailfish. Marlin and many other species are also abundant in the waters off the coast, and Manzanillo is host to the Dorsey International Fishing Tournament every year. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities near the town.

Cuyutlan, about 20 miles east of Manzanillo, is another popular beach town. Cuyutlan is the surfing center of Colima due to a local phenomenon called "The Green Wave" in which high breaking waves up to two meters or more in height wash onto the beaches when the conditions are just right.

Comala, about six miles north of the capital of Colima, is another popular destination. This beautiful town of whitewashed buildings and quaint restaurants and shops is known for its handcrafts, painters, wrought iron work and furniture makers. Comala is a cultural center for the local indigenous Nahua people, and the two annual fiestas — Los Paspaques de Suchitlan y Comala, an indigenous celebration of maize held in March, and the Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe, held in December — offer visitors the true flavor and feel of the Mexican cultural experience.

From the standpoint of the traveler, a visit to the State of Colima boasts a little bit of everything without having many of the "touristy" excesses of other areas of Mexico's Pacific coast, and makes for an excellent introduction to Mexico as a destination.


Aguascalientes State, Mexico

Aguascalientes, or “hot waters,” is a Mexican state located in the central-northern region of Mexico, approximately 300 miles northwest of the country’s capital. Aguascalientes also happens to be the capital and largest city in this state. The state itself is one of the smallest in the country, containing about 1 million people, most of them living in the capital.

The area used to be a major silver mining region and its central position made it the railroad hub of Mexico. Currently, it is moving towards becoming a major industrial center. Aguascalientes is known for being one of the cleanest, safest and most relaxed states in Mexico and a great place to visit.

San Antonio de Cabeza, Aguascalientes, MexicoThe most visited tourist attraction is the San Marcos National Fair, which takes place in the capital in April and May. It is the most famous fair in all of Mexico, attracting an estimated 7 million spectators from all over the world. Activities at the fair include bull fighting, cock fighting, concerts, theater, livestock shows, art exhibits and many other cultural events.

Some other things to see in the capital consist of the San Marcos Plaza de Toros, which hosts bull fights, and the El Caracol theme park. Architecture enthusiasts will have no shortage of historic buildings to view, as the entire state is filled with Haciendas, many of them dating from as far back as the Spanish conquest. The historic center of the capital is another place to find beautiful examples of colonial-age buildings. Museums are a further highlight of visiting Aguascalientes, particularly the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Regional Museum of History, both located in the capital.

Those looking for a more nature-oriented visit can find any number of hot springs throughout the state, a feature that Aguascalientes is famous for. The Sierra Fria Canyon, located nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, is a natural reserve filled with pine and oak forests and is perfect for vacationers looking to camp, mountain-bike, fish or hike. Lodging is available in the park for extended stays.

While the capital of Aguascalientes is where most of the action is, there are other sizable cities with their own appeal. Asientos is famous for its old mines and colonial architecture. Calvillo, in the western part of the state, is known for art, architecture, good fishing and mountain climbing. Rincon de Romos is home to many regional festivals and sites of natural beauty.

The central location of this state also makes it the perfect location to travel from if wishing to visit other regions of Mexico. An international airport is located in the capital and the bus system in Mexico is known for being one of the world’s largest and most efficient.


Coahuila State, Mexico

From mountains to deserts to prehistoric bones, Coahuila’s attractions are many. Translated from the Nahuatl, the name means “Land of the Trees,” but the pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre comprise just a part of its 58,000 square miles. Its varied terrain includes rivers, woodlands and dry scrubland, as well.

Coahuila is the third largest of Mexico’s 31 states and also one of the northernmost. Separated from the state of Texas by 318 miles of the mighty Rio Grande, Coahuila can claim a history millions of years older than that of the Aztecs who named it, for dinosaurs once roamed there, too.

Freshwater Stromatolite reef in Cuatro Cienegas pools, Coahuila MexicoWith the majority of its acreage devoted to desert, Coahuila’s population is concentrated mainly in the larger cities. Saltillo, the capital, is often called “the Athens of Mexico,” yet the interior, complete with colonial-era buildings of limestone and pink quarry, retains an almost small-town feel. Its centerpiece, the enormous Cathedral de Santiago in the Plaza de las Armas, was erected between 1745 and 1800 and is notable for its extravagant Spanish Baroque façade, silver-paneled altars, ceiling frescoes and hand-carved wooden doors.

Of Coahuila’s 29 museums, two of the best can be found in Saltillo. The Museo del Desierto, devoted entirely to the desert, boasts Coahuila’s own duck-billed dinosaur, while the Museo de las Aves de Mexico displays over 760 mounted species of Mexican birds. For those preferring to view their fowl live and on the wing, the offerings of Aventurate Coahuila include a popular bird-watching tour.

Saltillo is also known for its restaurants, a number of which feature both Mexican and international dishes. After grabbing a bite, many find it fun to stop at El Serape de Saltillo and purchase a handmade poncho or rug.


Just 151 miles from Saltillo sits Torreon, the chief metropolis of Coahuila’s Laguna District. This worthy destination is but a morning away by car, and a drive toward the outskirts reveals its iconic showpiece: a 71-foot-tall statue of Christ standing high on the hill, arms outspread to protect the city.


Each September, Torreon hosts its annual Cotton and Grape Fair featuring amusement rides, cultural events, concerts and bullfights. Music lovers should also take note: The Laguna Drum Fest, held every October, attracts some of the best drummers in the world.

With its stark contrasts of city and desert, forest and scrubland, Coahuila offers the visitor a wonderful opportunity to assimilate the culture and diversity of a modern Mexican state.



Chipas State, Mexico

Chiapas is located in southern Mexico. It is a beautiful state bordered by Guatemala, the Pacific Ocean and the Tabasco River. You will find a majestic countryside teeming with rivers, volcanoes and an impenetrable jungle. The exceptional flora and fauna is complemented by scenic waterfalls and ancient archeological sites.

Eco-tourists will enjoy the boat ride through the breathtaking entrance to the Canon del Sumidero. You will witness firsthand the abundant vegetation, migrating birds and picturesque Christmas Tree Falls. Chiapas’ rainforests are home to a wide variety of endemic plant and animal species. The El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve is home to approximately 400 bird species including the rare horned guan, quetzal and azure-rumped Tanager. Visit El Castano and view the tallest mangroves in North America. Take a trip to the Lacandon Jungle. One of the last major tropical rainforests, this diverse biosphere is home to one of the greatest assortments of tropical plants and wildlife in the Americas. Chiapas affords wonderful opportunities for rock climbing, river rafting and mountain biking.

Sumidero Canyon-Chiapas, MexicoCultural tourists can travel back in time on the Mayan Route. You will be amazed by the archeological ruins in Palenque, Tonina and Bonampak. There are original murals depicting the Mayan royal court, musicians and human sacrifice. You can view cave paintings in Sima de las Cotorras and Tuxtla Gutierrez. The Colonial Route has wonderful examples of colonial architecture, such as churches, monasteries and other historic buildings.

The state is home to Mexico’s most diverse indigenous populations. You will be immersed in the music, dance, language and customs of the Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Ch’ols and other groups. Climb 7000 feet to San Cristobal de las Casas and sample the beautiful Mayan handicrafts or travel to the indigenous Tzotzil village of San Juan Chamula. After just a short stay, you will understand why Chiapas is the birthplace of so many famous Mexican writers, painters and sculptors.

Visit the wonderful zoo in the capital city of Tuxtla Gutierrez or enjoy the wonderful beaches and water activities of Puerto Arista, Playa Linda and Boca del Cielo. Since 2005, cruise ships have docked in Puerto Chiapas. Cruise ship passengers and others can explore the Coffee Route and visit the flourishing plantations and see how this beverage is produced. The area is also known as a major cacao-growing region

Visitors to Chiapas and southern Mexico will find a wonderful mix of history, culture, coffee and chocolate.


Campeche, Mexico

Campeche is located on the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s known as a secret paradise that sits right on the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, gorgeous secluded beaches with salt-like sand makes Campeche appealing, but there are so many other reasons to visit. The first thing you might notice is unique architecture that mixes both Spanish and Mayan cultures. Downtown is historic while the rest of the city is modern. The downtown area features hotels, restaurants and attractions accompanied by palm-tree-lined streets. The more modern areas of the city offer gardens, shops and monuments. Over 250,000 people call Campeche home, but it never feels crowded. There is a lot of land here, which allows for plenty of elbow room.

Campeche Central Park, Campeche, MexicoWhen you go to Campeche, the first place to visit is the Historic Center. This is where you will find a library, shops and restaurants. A 4-hour guided tour is available, which will take you to forts, cathedrals and other areas of interest. What adds to the allure of the Historic Center is that it used to be a center point for Spanish royalty. This is where important parties and ceremonies were held. It was also where politicians gathered. However, that isn’t the case today.

The Campeche Trolley can fit up to 40 people and is a great journey. You will visit the Historic Center, the boardwalk and some smaller neighborhoods. Most of the guides are bilingual. Whether the tour guide is bilingual or not, this is the best way to feel the vibe of the city.

If you would like to see a cathedral that’s at least 400 years old, visit the Cathedral of our Lady of the Conception.

To see forts and walls that used to protect Campeche, visit Land Gate. If you go to the top of the stone walls, you will have great views of the city. There are also tours available, but they’re not necessary. Be sure to see and read about the old pirate guns, pictures and letters.

Campeche is home to a Sound & Light Show every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It begins at 8:30 p.m. and lasts approximately 30 minutes. The theme is Pirates, Indians and Spaniards. You should know that while it’s exciting to watch, the story being told is a sad one.

If you would enjoy a long walk while being able to enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, visit the Boardwalk, which is approximately 3 miles long. If you don’t want to walk, you can ride a bicycle. There is also an area for vehicles.

Other areas of interest include Fort San Jose, the Musical Fountains and the Mayan Culture Museum.


Baja California Sur State, Mexico

The Baja Peninsula contains two Mexican states: Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur. Baja California Sur was called the South Territory of Baja California before 1974, when it became a state.

Facts about Baja California Sur

The capital city of Baja California Sur is La Paz, and major cities are San Juan del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. Baja California Sur is sparsely populated with approximately half a million residents.

Arch at Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, MexicoBaja California Sur is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, on the east. Along the eastern coast is a long mountain chain. Most of the state is arid with the exception of the western coast which is semi arid. The climate is milder and more humid along the mountains. Most rainfall occurs during hurricane season between July and October.


With a coastline of 2,000 kilometers, or 1,250 miles, Baja California Sur affords many opportunities for beach and water activities. Chileno Beach in Cabo san Lucas is a lovely beach where you can snorkel, explore rock formations, and investigate tide pools.

Two other popular beaches in Cabo san Lucas are Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach. These are located very close to one another at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Lover’s Beach is on the coast of Sea of Cortez and a short walk west of it is Divorce Beach, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Swimming and snorkeling are great on Lover’s Beach but dangerous on Divorce Beach.

Also in Cabo san Lucas is Land’s End where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez meet. This area has interesting rock formations, the most famous one being El Arco, or The Arch. You can get to the arch by water taxi or glass bottom boat.

In San Jose del Cabo you can rent sand buggies and explore the desert terrain and mountains. You can swim with dolphins at the Dolphin Discovery Los Cabos near San José del Cabo. The dolphins are in a natural lagoon and you can also take a kayak to interact with them. You might also enjoy a visit to the Estuary and Bird Sanctuary, which is a large freshwater lagoon. Costa Azul, or Blue Coast, is a place where you can go underwater helmet diving, enjoy a zipline ride, or surf.