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You are here : Home > Pictures and tips for a good travel > Mexico

Mexico

 

  • General information
  • List of the main archaeological sites,
  • Some infos about scuba diving sites
  • Forecast information

General information

Cancun, about 10 hours by plane from Paris, will be our departure point to visit Yucatan. To arrive till there we flied over Bahamas, Bermudes, San Salvador Islands; the speed of the plane was about 710km/h , the altitude 11690 metres and the temperature outside the plane -55°C . To know more about the flight Paris-Cancun.

Once you're arrived, everything changes. The weather is definitely milder than in France. On the Atlantic side and especially in the Riviera Maya, it's really hot and the sea temperature is almost always higher than 26°C. Paradoxically, in the north/north-west of Cancun, on Mexican Guf side, the temperature is not so mild. Surely, the sun beats down hard, but in winter, under the shadow or in the sea, it's really cooler, even colder, than in the other side.

In the Yucatan Peninsula, i suggest you to visit some archaeological sites like :

For what concerns beaches, we'll make a detour to Holbox Island , to Playa Del Carmen city and, because it's unforgettable, to the beach of the Tulum site. For the hotels, i propose you the Villas Paraiso Del Mar hotel on Holbox Island and the Cabana Banana in Playa Del Carmen. I'll give you the details of the guest houses in Coba ! No light in the "bathrom", no hot water in the morning (and sometimes no water at all...), a anthill found in the second bed in the early hours, mosquitos everywhere...

 

I added also some hotels of the Riviera Maya, to give you the possibility to find a good collocation there as well: Hotel Akumal Beach Resort, the Carribean Playacar Club, the Rivieara Maya Club, the Imperial Las Perlas hotel, the Oasis Cancun hotel.

 

List of the main archaeological sites

1 AGUA AZUL
Situated only few kilometres from Palenque, this succession of waterfalls in the middle of the forrest fully justifies its reputation of enchanting site
2 BECAN
In the halfway between Campeche and Chetumal, key point for visiting lots of small archaeological sites as Xpujil, Chacana, Becan or Rio Bec.
3 CACAXTLA
The exceptional state of conservation of the frescos of Cacaxtla site will charm all those keen on history.
4 CAMPECHE
this colonial city still conserves a part of its walls, which now house some museums. The tour of the lookout posts will offer you a panoramic view of the city.
5 CANCUN
The famous Mexican capital of the seaside stay offer you a big variety of night entertainments. The beach lovers surely will prefer Playacar, at one hour car (south direction) .
6 CANYON DU SUMIDERO
Some kilometres from Tuxtla Gutierrez, there's the Sumidero Canyon, with its 1 kilometre wide fault that you can visit by boat.
7 CHETUMAL
In the surroundings, the superb Bacalar lagoon invites you to take a rest in a charming setting. The Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve houses screaming monkeys, caymans, raccoons, butterflies and many Maya ruinsied in the tropical jungle.
8 CHICHEN ITZA
The most famous Maya archaeological site : the Kukulkan pyramid, the pelota field (the biggest in Mexico), the observatory, the hugeCenote (sacred well) where were found many golden and jade offerings.
.
9 CHOLULA
Cortès destroyed all Cholula temples, replacing them with churches. The view of many bell towers, from the top of the highest american pyramid, will make you understand the importance of this ancient ceremonial centre .
10 COBA
Recently discoverd, Coba site contains about 6500 building, just 10% of which have been cleared away by the virgin forrest. The style of the constructions is similar to that one in Tikal (Guatemala).
11 CUERNAVACA
The ancient capital of Cortès the Conqueror has such a pleasant climate that it's used to be called "the city of the neverending spring". There you'll see the old Cortès' palace, the cathedral and tha amazing Borda gardens.
12 EL TAJIN
Unrecognized archaeological site, its numerous niches collocated on faces of the pyramid are really unique in Mexico.
13 GUADALAJARA (and its surroundings)
Guadalajara offers a big variety of interests (museums, colonial monuments , night life, etc.). Place of origin of Mariachis and Tequila, you won't miss the festive atmosphere of the city. some kilometres away, Chapala lake, the biggest in Mexico, is surrounded from hills and lined from lots of little villages. You can end the day visiting the village of the Tequila and see some of its well-known distillery.
14 GUANAJUATO
Builded on the hillside, this picturesque village was founded during the 16th century, at the time of the discovery of some rich silver mines. The cultural life of the city is intense, the museums are numerous.
15 JALAPA
Situated in the halfway between high plateau and the coast, famous for its coffee production and its superb anthropology museum. An obligaty stop if you didn't have the possibility to visit the one in Mexico city.
16 JANITZIO
Janitzio island, in the middle of a immense high-altitude lake, will permits you to have a wonderful view of the lake and you'll also have the occasion to discover the handling of the butterfly net, utilized by traditional fishing.
17 MERIDA
Nicknamed Merida the White One, the old Maya capital has conserved its colonial past. the market overflows with craftsmanship and many traditional shows liven up the nights.
18 MEXICO
Megalopolis which cultivates the contrasts: moderne buildings border on archaeological sites and the colonial buildings are et les bâtiments coloniaux sont omnipresent. Coloured markets deserve a special mention.
Because of the intense traffic, we suggest you to rent a car the day of your arrive to Mexico.
19 MITLA
Some kilometres from Oaxaca, you'll be surprised by the temples' original decoration. Many street vendors will propose you to buy tissues and potteries made in surrounding villages.
20 MORELIA
Discover the capital of Michoacan. Busy university city, Morelia felicitously mixes spanish and colonial styles.
21 MONTE ALBAN
Perched at the edge of a hill overlooking the surrounding valleys, this wonderful site presents large esplanades, well-kept temples , son jeu de pelote, an observatory, etc.
22 OAXACA
In the middle of the Sierra Madre range of mountains, this extraordinary city has a well-preserved colonial architecture : church baroques facade are amazing. If you'd like to find some traditional costumes, check out the huge city market.
23 PALENQUE
In the heart of the jungle of Chiapas, the Maya site of Palenque lies down more than 20 km². The most important monuments are the temple of inscriptions and the pyramid.
24 PAPANTLA
Next to the site of El Tajin, place of origin of the Voladores. This bird-men jump from the top of a polere-creating an ancient precolombian ceremony.
25 PATZCUARO
Museums and exhibitins will teach you the mysterious origins of the native population and the local craft industry (high-quality copper, laquerwork and tissues ).
26 PLAYACAR
On the board of a small fisherman village it has developed a nice hotel area on one of the most beautiful Caribbean beaches;
27 POZA RICA
City next to El Tajin archaelogical site..
28 PUEBLA
UNESCO's World Heritage, it has more than 70 churches and 1000 colonial residence; rosary chapel, majestic cathedral and Santa Rosa convent are some obligatory visits.
29 QUERETARO
Colonial city; the forged iron balcons and the white wall will remind you the spanish colons which exploited the surrounding mines.The city is famous for the opal extraction.
30 SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS
One of the main city of Chiapas, San Cristobal charms all its visitors. The coloured market, the colonial churches and the indian villages on the higher slopes will leave you an unforgettable souvenir.
31 SAN MIGUEL ALLENDE
You'll discover the artist community wha had charmerd by this colonial village and its very agreeable climate.
32 TAXCO
The silver city has been builded on the side of the mountain. Its paving streets and colonial houses give a matchless charm to the city. The silver work is omnipresent in the numerous shops.
33 TECOLUTLA
Small seside station on the coast of Mexican Gulf, next to Papantla and to El Tajin archaelogical site.
34 TEOTIHUACAN
Teotihuacan huge site will impress you with the size of the Sun and Moon pyramids and with the immense "Avenue of the dead"
.35 TLAXCALA
Little charming colonial city, capital of the smallest country of Mexco, 30 kilometres from Puebla.
36 TULA
In the north of Mexico city , this small toltec archéologique site is famous for the 4 stone atlantes climbing the lookout post on the top of a pyramid.
37 TULE
A short stop in Tule village will give you the possibility to see one the oldest tree in Mexico.This village is situated in the middle of a Maguey cactus field, plant which is used in the fabrication of Mezcal, the local alcohol l.
38 TULUM
Little Maya site famous for its castle dominating the Caribbean Sea
39 TUXTLA GUTIERREZ
Capital of Chiapas, known for its zoo and Sumidero Canyon hich is in the surroundings.
40 UXMAL ET LA ROUTE PUUC
Uxmal is one of the principal Maya site of Puuc way. The magician pyramid, the majestic governor palace or the nones quadrilateral will charm you. In the jungle around you'll discover some sites, as Kabah.
41 VERACRUZ
Its carnival is the 3rd most important in the world. The marimba orchestras of zocalo compete with the tinkling of the teaspoons of the customers of the Parroquia Café. In the direction of Mocambo, man beaches invite you to have a rest.
42 VILLAHERMOSA
The Venta garden-museum in Villahermosa contains the famous olmec heads: statues 2 metres high which weigh 24 tons.

 

 

 

 

BEACHES YOU HAVE TO SEE
CULTURAL PLACES YOU HAVE TO VISIT
  • Tulum
  • Chichen Itza
  • Coba
  • Kabah
  • Uxmaal
  • colonial cities
  • a Sunday in Mérida
  • pre-Hispanic dance show in X-Caret
LANDSCAPES YOU CANNOT MISS
  • Sian Ka'an reserve
  • Palancar's reef
  • the cenote in Pac Chen
  • Xel Ha ecological park
  • Punta Sur national park in Cozumel
  • El Garrafon national park
  • Pac Chen tropical forrest

 

 

Electric current: 110 Volts. American plugs. Bring an adapter.

Time zone : Varied, depending to the different regions of the country. When it's 5 a.m. in Mexico City or in Cancun, it's midday in Paris.

Language : the official language of Mexico is Spanish.

Health : No obligatory vaccination . The vaccin against hepatitis A is strongly suggested.

Currency : The local currency is the mexican peso , that you can obtain directly there, in the airport, in most of the hotels or in the banks. We suggest you to arrive there with some $US. Credit cards (Visa, American Express, ...) are accepted in the hotels and in most of the shops. Cash dispensers are numerous in the cities.

Admittance : Passeport valid 6 months minimum after the return date. Attention : a departure tax of 20$US for person will be asked at the moment of your departure. Preview this amount in cash.

Adresse of the French Consulate in Mexico : 4 rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, 75002 Paris
Tel. : 01 42 61 51 80

Climate : the coast plains and the Yucatan are very hot and humid regions; on the other hand, the heights in the inlands, as Guadalajara or Mexico city, are drier and more temperate, and the tops are often snow-covered. The hot and humid season last from may to october, and the highest temperature are between june and september.

And here're some forecast information to help you choosing the best period to travel:

Cities Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Acapulco 31 31 31 31 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 31
Mexicocity 21 23 25 27 26 25 23 23 22 22 21 21


average of the maximum daily temperatures in °C (see the temperatures in the world )

 

Here's a temperature board given by a famous tour operator (average of the daily temperatures; add between 5 and 7° to have the maximum temperature). For example, today 25 december 2004, they're 31° in Cancun at midday (local time). And for Mexico city, the temperature is 18° with 3° for the minimum et 20° for the maximum.

Cities Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Mexico city 16 19 21 23 22 21 18 18 17 17 16 16
Merida 24 26 28 30 31 29 26 26 26 26 24 24
Oaxoca 24 25 27 29 31 30 29 29 29 27 26 24
Cancun 25 25 25 25 25 27 27 27 27 25 25 24

 

LEGEND :
  very favourable period
  favourable period
  less favourable period

 

List of some hotels and other place to visit, that i invite you to comment :

 

Diving without breathing apparatus

IN COZUMEL : the cenotes to put all the salt away from your body
If you like diving, Cozumel offers you more than one hundred sites to explore. On the west coast there's a wonderful reef 5 kilometres long. It's Palancar, the pearl of Cozumel. You could admire its magnificent horseshoe coral stones and its many caves. The huge number of coral fishes contributes to the high quality of diving.
Go visiting Playa del Carmen and its colonies of morays and pigfish. If you are beginners, you could start practising diving in the fresh water of the Yucatan's cenotes.

Best period to dive : from november to march

IN SAN JOSE : play with sea lions
In San josé, in the sea of Cortez, become a trainer of sea lion in their natural environment ! This animal has a big pleasure in swooping on you, in slipping away from you, in swimming very close without touching you. Try to get next to them while you're diving: they'll be even more friendly but they will never let you touch them ! This is one of the richest and youngest sea in the world, it has been formed "just" 5 millions years ago because of the continental drift. During thousands of years this sea attracted a lot of sea species (manta,hammer shark, carangues, groupers, turtles,...) coming from North and South Pacific and Caribbean. The species continues to evolve in this isolated environment until becoming endemic species.

Best period to dive : from august to september

 


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