Mexico’s Most Famous Landmarks

Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre) Mexico.Mexico remains one of the most popular vacation destinations for families, friends and couples, attracting more than 20 million visitors each year. Boasting palm-fringed beaches, miles of turquoise waters, and adrenaline-pumping adventures at every turn, it’s no wonder so many Americans head south of the border for some much needed R&R.

Endless sunshine and beautiful coastal cities account for much of the country’s tourism appeal, but Mexico’s rich cultural heritage and colonial cities offer interesting landmarks and points of interest.  Did you know that Mexico has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in all of Latin America? From mighty geologic formations to ancient Mayan cities, here’s a roundup of famous landmarks and attractions that are definitely worth exploring. 

Copper Canyon

Affectionately known as the Grand Canyon’s southern cousin, the Copper Canyon is one of Mexico’s most popular natural attractions and is in fact much larger and deeper than its northern counterpart. Located in Northern Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental, this stunning geological wonder is comprised of six separate canyons, which were carved out by converging rivers that empty in the Gulf of California. One of the best ways to discover the Copper Canyon is by hopping aboard the Chihuahua-Pacifico Railway, which climbs over 2,700 feet and passes through 86 tunnels. Adventurous spirits can explore the canyon floor by horseback or mountain bike, with plenty of chances to interact with indigenous Tarahumara communities.

El Arco

If your travel itinerary includes Cabo San Lucas, you can’t miss a boat ride to the area’s most iconic (and romantic) landmark — El Arco. Meaning “the arch” in Spanish, this beautiful rock formation juts from the sea, marking the union of the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. The arch has become a famous attraction for several reasons. Besides its distinctive beauty and geological significance, El Arco also happens to lure large groups of playful sea lions and occasional migrating whales. A sunset cruise to El Arco promises incredible photo opportunities, and water taxis offer cheap roundtrip  transportation from the Cabo marina.

Isla Mujeres

Situated just eight miles from the booming beach town of Cancun, Isla Mujeres (Island of the Women) is the place to go for crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and incredible snorkeling and diving among colorful coral reefs. This island paradise is much more than a tourist hotspot and local landmark, however. Isla Mujeres is steeped in history. During Pre-Columbian times, the island was a sacred spot to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess childbirth. Ferries shuttle day trippers over from Cancun to enjoy the island’s postcard-perfect beaches and unparalleled underwater adventures. The island even has a cool turtle farm that is sure to entertain the kids.

Chichen Itza

The sprawling Mayan city of Chichen Itza is an easy day trip from Playa del Carmen or Cancun. Dating back more than 1,500 years, this Maya complex is one of Mexico’s most well-preserved and popular archaeological sites.  A visit to Chichen Itza promises many chances to marvel at the incredible achievements of this ancient civilization, which produced the hulking Pyramid of Kukulkan and the rounded observatory of El Caracol, which was meticulously aligned with the motions of Venus.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
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Arch of Cabo San Lucas: More than Just a Landmark

Arch at Lands End in Cabo San Lucas, MexicoThe arch of Cabo San Lucas, locally known as “El Arco,” is a distinctive and beautiful rock formation that juts from the sea, creating a perfect arcing portico. Few images can do justice to this well-known landmark, which represents the southernmost extreme of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. El Arco also marks the juncture where the mighty Pacific Ocean meets the Cortez Sea – making for plenty of fabulous photo opportunities, especially at dawn and dusk.

There are plenty of ways to visit the arch of Cabo San Lucas (also known as Lands End), including glass bottom boat tours, water taxis, sunset cruises, and snorkeling/diving tours. More intrepid travelers can even rent kayaks and paddle their way around the rock formations, where pelicans and sea lions congregate among the rocky islets and small but very inviting beaches.

El Arco – an Icon of Cabo San Lucas

Frequently rated as one of the best things to do in Cabo, a trip to El Arco is highly recommended for visitors of all ages. You can hire a glass bottom boat or water taxi near the Cabo marina for the short 20-minute jaunt to the arch, or book one of the all-inclusive boat tours that includes swimming around the rock formations, time at Lover’s Beach, lunch, and snorkeling opportunities.

The calm waters around the arch make it a great site for all kinds of sports, including sea kayaking, jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling and scuba diving.  Los Cabos boat tours that feature a visit to Lands End come in all varieties, but traditionally follow a similar route through Cabo San Lucas Bay, past the rock formations of El Arco into the larger swells of the Pacific Ocean, before heading east along the Corridor. Some boat tour operators feature pirate themes, open bars and more of a party atmosphere, allowing plenty of chances to relax, meet new friends and enjoy the stunning landscapes of the Baja Peninsula.

Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts rave about the crystal clear waters surrounding El Arco, where tropical fish, sea turtles, sea lions and the occasional whale are spotted.

Recommendations for visiting the Arch

If you’re traveling with young children to Cabo San Lucas, consider renting a glass bottom boat to experience the magic of El Arco. Some families love the Pirate Ship tour that includes afternoon snorkeling and an entertaining pirate show that promises to delight the little ones.

Couples may prefer the intimacy afforded by the Jazz and Wine cruise to El Arco – one of the planet’s most beautiful and romantic places to watch the sun set.

Friday, December 2nd, 2016
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