Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco
Mexico City is exceptional for its unique sixteenth century architecture built atop what was once the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan. Mexico City is still home to various Aztec ruins as well as the beautiful colonial architecture that makes up the historic center of the capital. Xochimilco is located roughly 30 kilometers outside of Mexico City and is home to an impressive canal system as well as various urban and rural structures built centuries ago.
Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán
The ancient civilization of Monte Albán was inhabited by a number of different indigenous peoples for more than 1,500 years and today is home to the ruinous terraces, dams, canals, and pyramids that were built so many centuries ago. Oaxaca is an exceptional colonial city because of its historic architecture and impressive town planning that shows the precautions taken during construction in an area vulnerable to earthquakes.
Historic Centre of Puebla
Located at the foot of the Popocatepetl Volcano is the colonial city of Puebla famous for its centuries-old religious structures such as the colonial cathedrals and palaces that have been preserved today. The city is also decorated with houses sided with ceramic tiles demonstrating the blending of American and European architectural styles.
Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque
The ruins of Palenque demonstrate the typical architecture created during the Mayan classical period during the middle of the first millennium CE. The various structures contain decorative sculpture work, a prime example of the astonishing Mayan creativity scattered throughout the region during this period.
Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan
Known for its immense pyramids such as the famous Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, Teotihuacan was built between the first and seventh centuries of the Common Era and was one of the most significant cultural centers in all of Mesoamerica. Today its ruins are enjoyed by visitors from all over the world.
Located on Mexico’s stunning Yucatán Peninsula is the Sian Ka’an, a lush biosphere reserve consisting of tropical forests, mangroves, marshes, and a far reaching marine reserve complete with barrier reefs. The reserve is a habitat for a wide range of plant and animal life including over 300 bird species. Nature lovers will truly enjoy their visit to the Sian Ka’am Biosphere Reserve.
Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines
Once the world’s leading silver city, Guanajuato was founded in the early 1500s and is today one of Mexico’s many colonial gems. Prosperity from the surrounding mines strongly influenced the city’s lavish structures and elaborate Baroque architecture. Some examples include La Compañía and La Valenciana churches which are considered by critics to be two of the most beautiful colonial structures in all of Latin America.
Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza
Known for its vast Mayan ruins, Chichén Itzá is located in the north central part of the Yucatan Peninsula and is home to countless structures dating back to the first century CE. Recently added to the list of Wonders of the World as well, Chichén Itzá has been a popular stopover for tourists from all ends of the world.
Historic Centre of Morelia
Morelia is yet another energetic city characterized by its superbly maintained historical district with over 200 colonial structures. The city is also recognized for its impressive city planning thanks to the Spanish influence of the 1500s and still follows the very same street layout. Today, Morelia is a bustling city with rich parks, plazas, fountains, and cathedrals.
El Tajin, Pre-Hispanic City
El Tajin is famous for its unique architecture, more elaborate than the typical Pre-Hispanic structures of Mesoamerica, with its columns and tiers carefully carved and sculpted. The famous Pyramid of the Niches is a midsize structure that is exceptional for its six terraces and hundreds of small niches. There was originally a temple atop the pyramid that hardly exists today.
Historic Centre of Zacatecas
Zacatecas was yet another city that benefitted heavily from the strong silver industry of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The town has since preserved the many religious and civil buildings such as its widely known cathedral built in the mid 1700s. The cathedral is an important structure because it demonstrates a fusion of both European and indigenous architectural qualities. The city was built into a narrow valley and offers visitors a number of beautiful landscapes and views.
Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco
Inhabited from 100BCE until roughly 1300CE by a civilization that is no longer found in Mexico, Sierra de San Francisco has superbly preserved some of the world’s most impressive rock paintings. Because the area located in Mexico’s mountainous desert is so difficult to access, these paintings of human figures and animals have been left mainly untouched. The most impressive elements are the various colors used, their precision, size, and the vast number of sites where the paintings have been discovered.
Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino
Located in the Baja California peninsula, El Vizcaino is home to a number of important ecosystems that play refuge to grey whales, harbor seals, California sea lions, northern elephant seals, blue whales, and four species of endangered sea turtles. The coastal lagoons are protected reproduction and wintering sites that also provide visitors with a breathtaking natural attraction.
Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl
This World Heritage Site is made up of 14 well-preserved monasteries resting on the slopes of the active Popocatepetl Volcano in southern Mexico. These monasteries are important historic monuments because they demonstrate the unique style of architecture practiced by the first group of missionaries to the area in the early 1500s.
Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro
The colonial city of Querétaro is another of Mexico’s many historic cities full of well-preserved monuments and other breathtaking structures. However, Querétaro is unique because it was once home to both the Spanish settlers as well as various indigenous populations. For that reason, the city maintains various unique qualities such as its use of a firm, geometric street grid from the Spanish and a series of twisting allies characteristic of the indigenous tribes.
Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal
Located in Yucatán, Uxmal is one of the many ruined Mayan cities attracting many tourists all year round. The large city is home to a wealth of structures including pyramids, temples, palaces, and residences. The structures are believed to have been built between the years 700CE and 1100CE though scientists have not yet performed in depth excavation to uncover more specific details.
Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara
Built in the early 1800s, this structure was created as a shelter for the underprivileged and maintains many unique structural qualities that reflect this fact. A century later, various walls were covered with the now famous murals of José Clemente Orozco. The immense structure continued to be used as a hospice until 1980 when the site was taken over as a cultural monument.
Archeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes
This only partially excavated archaeological site displays the impressive adobe skills of the smaller civilizations of northern Mexico. The Zone of Paquimé was once an important trade area between these smaller tribes and the larger Mesoamerican empires of the southern regions. However, with the arrival of the Spanish, the tribes of this region quickly vanished forever.
Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan
Added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its sophisticated blend of Spanish and Caribbean traditions, Tlacotalpan is a beautiful river port on the Gulf Coast. The town is filled with historic buildings and its original urban layout with wide streets and various plazas and open public spaces.
Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco
One of the many archaeological sites of Mexico, Xochicalco is exceptional for its especially well preserved state. However, what is now a historic monument was once a bustling cultural, commercial, and political center that met its demise around the same time as many of Mexico’s famous Pre-Hispanic cities between 650CE and 900CE. Today, Xochicalco is a popular tourist destination for visitors from all ends.
Historic Fortified Town of Campeche
The historic town of Campeche has become well known for its impressive fortifying structures found along the town’s coast as protection from the Caribbean pirates of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The well preserved fortress’s many elevated points are a great example of the military architecture used throughout the colonial period.
Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche
Located in the heart of the tropical jungle, Calakmul was once a Mayan city inhabited for twelve centuries before the arrival of the Spanish. Today, the city’s ruins are an important historic site offering a look into the ancient Mayan civilization with its many structures and lavish artworks such as the various stelae found throughout the site.
Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro
This series of five extravagant missions was constructed during the mid 1700s and essentially made up the end of the era of Christian conversion in Mexico before spreading north to the United States. The most notable quality of the missions is their lavish facades, a balance of Spanish and Pre-Hispanic artistry that still stands today.
Luis Barragán House and Studio
Built not long after World War II in 1948, the house and studio of Luis Barragán represent a unique modern design almost unheard of for its time. The cement house consists of three levels transforming traditional elements into a design that has since had great influence on architecture all over the world.
Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California
Made up of well over 200 islands and their surrounding marine habitats, this protected area is home to some of the richest marine life and biodiversity in the region. The Gulf region is home to nearly 900 different fish species, 90 of which are endemic to the area as well as 40% of the world’s marine mammals. In addition to this breathtaking marine life, the gulf is lined with sandy beaches and beautiful landscapes.
Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila
The famous agave plant has been used for more than 2,000 years to produce fermented drinks in northern Mexico and with the creation tequila has become part of Mexico’s widely known heritage. Today, Mexico and tequila come hand in hand which has led to the protection of a large part of the agave farms as well as the industrial buildings still used today to produce Mexico’s most famous spirit.
Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México(UNAM)
A collaborative work by more than 60 architects, engineers, and artists, the campus at UNAM was an impressive breakthrough of modern art and architecture of the twentieth century. Today, the impressive landscapes and engineering techniques are internationally recognized as one of the first modern movements in Latin America.