Interesting Colonial Cities Within Mexico

March 27, 2015
Michael Ryan
Aztec Ruins in Mexico

Aztec Ruins in Mexico

Many people believe that a visit to Mexico should consist of visiting the stunning beach resorts.  This is not so as there are several cities within Mexico that have been declared heritage sites by the UNESCO.  These cities offer visitors interesting marketplaces, spectacular colonial architecture and other cultural events throughout the year.

Do something different and go beyond the white-sand beaches and blue waters by exploring some of these interesting cities.

Mexico City

This is Mexico’s capital city and is known as one of the oldest American cities, which has been occupied continuously.  The city was originally discovered by the Aztecs during the 1300s.  When the Spaniards arrived in the area during the 1500s, they constructed their buildings atop the ruins of the Aztec capital, named Tenochtitlan.

This city offers visitors a range of shopping, entertainment and sightseeing options.  There are several free tourist options and a walking tour of the city makes for an interesting outing.


If you are looking for a larger city to explore, Puebla is the place to go.  However, it is possible to explore the historical center of the city on foot.  The city is placed on a plateau which is close to the two volcanoes, Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl.  Many of the religious colonial structures have been preserved, such as the cathedral which dates back to the 16th Century.  There are many houses in the area which date back to this time, along with the palace of the archbishop.  The blend of American and European styles can be seen in the historical center of the town.


City of Guanajuato

During the colonial era, Guanajuato was a silver mining town.  It is a predominantly student city, but some of its winding roads are underground and along with the small plazas within the city, it offers visitors an intimate atmosphere.  The student population gives it a vibrant feel and it hosts a very important annual cultural festival during October.  The artist, Diego Rivera, was born in this town and his residence became a museum, which is open for visits.  Some of the other sights to see in this city include the stunning view from the monument of El Pipila and the Mummy Museum.


Queretaro is situated about two hours by car from Mexico City.  This is a prosperous manufacturing colonial city, however it retains the tranquil atmosphere of yesteryear.  It was founded during 1531 and has retained the original patterns of its streets, including the street plan which was introduced by the Spaniards.  It has also retained the winding alleys which were popular in the residential areas of its original inhabitants.  The city contains several religious and civil Baroque monuments dating back to the 17th and 18th Centuries.  There are several day trips to undertake from this city, where you can visit vineyards and old haciendas.


Edzna Site in Campeche

Edzna Site in Campeche

Campeche was founded during 1540 and became popular as a port.  Due to the constant attacks on the city by pirates, it became necessary to build a defensive wall during the 17th Century.  The colonial buildings in this city are very pretty as they are all painted in various pastel shades, set against the grey stone of the city walls, bastions and gates.

The city is situated to the southwest of Merida and is placed northeast of Villhermosa, on the Gulf of Mexico.

There are several activities to participate in within Campeche.  You can take a day trip to Edzna, where there are Mayan ruins to explore.  There is a museum you can visit which is placed in one of the bastions constructed for protection against the onslaught of pirates.


Monte Alban, an archaeological site close to Oaxaca City and the city of Oaxaca have both been declared heritage sites by UNESCO.  Oaxaca is the capital city of the state of Oaxaca.  It was founded during 1642 and is an indication of a typical colonial town planned by the Spanish.  The area is prone to earthquakes and the size and solidity of the buildings bear testament to this.  The archaeological site of Monte Alban is placed atop a hilltop and was once the capital city of the Zapotec inhabitants.

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende was previously a mining town, but over the years it has become a town favored by the artistic community.  Its stunning architecture indicates the exchange of cultures that happened between the Amerindians, Spaniards and Creoles.

It is an interesting town bearing witness to the integration of different cultures and a walking tour throughout the city will make for an interesting few hours.




Morelia is a beautiful city, which is filled with colonial building constructed with pink quarrystone.  It is the capital of Morelas state and used to be named Valladolid, however the name was changed to honor Jose Maria Morelos de Pavon, the independence hero.  The city hosts a candy museum, hence people think of it as the candy capital of the country.  The candy museum is a must-visit for tourists to the area.  Day trips include visits to the butterfly reserves or to Patzcuaro, which are close by.


Zacatecas was founded during 1546 when mineral deposits were discovered in the area.  This resulted in the town becoming one of New Spain’s most important mining cities.  The center of the town houses the most magnificent churches, convents which have been abandoned, and stunning Baroque architecture.  One of the most interesting visits is to the cathedral within the city as it offers visitors interesting architecture.


Tlacotalpan is a port town located on the shores of the Papaloapan River within the state of Veracruz.  It was founded during the mid-16th Century.  The town suffered a spate of town fires during the 18th Century and this resulted in town authorities issuing decrees which stated that all homes should have roofs made of tile, as well as large patios to offer adequate space to prevent fires from spreading.  The town does not offer the more traditional Spanish colonial style.  Instead it appears to resemble a more Caribbean look.  The number of trees within private gardens, courtyards and public spaces within the city gives it a special landscape.  The town is host to special festivals and events throughout the year.

Get Your Mexican Auto Insurance

These colonial cities within Mexico are all worth a visit.  Many are within a vehicle drive of each other and if you intend traveling to Mexico by land, it would make for an interesting visit.  Many people who travel to Mexico by car from Canada or the US believe that they do not need to obtain Mexican car insurance, since they already have insurance for their vehicles.  This is untrue.  Mexican car insurance must be held by everyone using the roads within Mexico.

Mexican Insurance

This does not mean that it is a long-winded and tiresome task to obtain it.  You can purchase Mexican vehicle insurance online, at the border post, or possibly from your current insurance provider.  The easiest method is to do it online as it offers you the chance to compare prices and options.  Making the decision to purchase Mexican car insurance at the border post is not viable.  The long queues and being under pressure to continue your journey could result in you purchasing inadequate insurance.You can buy your Mexican auto insurance at this MexinsuranceStore link.

You will have to make the decision to purchase liability only or comprehensive insurance.  Your decision will be based on the value of your vehicle and whether it is under finance or not.  If your vehicle is under finance, your loan provider may stipulate that you have to hold comprehensive insurance.  When you are ready to purchase insurance, you should compare the cost and options available, choose a suitable policy, pay for it and print a couple of copies immediately.  You should carry a copy of your policy with you at all times as this could prevent problems with the local traffic authorities.

9 Comments. Leave new

Kiesha Cisneros

Driving in Mexico is not easy, even if you have already your Mexican auto insurance. One of the difficulties is having no knowledge at all about Mexican law and its driving rules and regulations.

Dylan Hatchett

There are many illegitimate companies in Mexico so be sure you only get car insurance from the RATED Mexican insurance company. Without being properly insured, you are left to fix your own car and you are deprived of your liability insurance limits.

Jewell Garland

Offering good services is rewarding. You will get yourself more acquainted with Mexican culture, practices, way of living, food and others. That vacation may never be the same because of your services to others. Take your Mexican auto insurance online for a safe trip.

Wesley Quinlan

In case you failed to buy your Mexico insurance online, the border is another place to get your insurance. While it may not offer the best choices, it’s still good to buy one from it. At least, you are covered once you step in Mexico.

Cristi Stolz

Aside from auto and road assistance, Mexico car insurance for travelers also offers medical assistance, making it a valuable investment.

Jutta Lennon

If you wish to experience Mexico, go ahead and leave but you’ll be required to have Mexican insurance if you’re going to drive a car on the road and highways.

Monroe Woelfel

As far as I know, there’s a certain age level to follow when it comes to driving. I think Mexican insurance is limited to ages that are at least 21 years old.

Rivka Coward

I love Rocky Point. I’ve been there several times and it mesmerizes me to keep visiting this place. Many precious moments are treasured here.

Victor Mckee

To be able to access Mexico, travelers should show their valid passport including Mexico auto insurance.


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