#2 in secluded places: discover Mexico

Mexico

Last week we started Bliu Bliu’s Secluded Places travel section with Spain. This week we wanted to travel far far away, all the way to another Spanish speaking country – Mexico. A country that lies between the USA and Central America and owns a lot of it’s magnificence to its diverse landscape of sandy beaches, smoking, snowcapped volcanoes, wildlife-rich caves and lagoons, cactus-strewn deserts and steaming jungles. Mexico isn’t just famous for its breathtaking nature – it was home to some of the most incredible ancient civilisations that walked this planet while Spanish colonialists have left their mark too.

All in all, Mexico is definitely on top of our bucket list. Finding beaches in Mexico is easy, so we hope that you will find these secluded places interesting!

Copper Canyon & Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway, Chihuahua

Mexico

If you think that we mistakenly took a picture of Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA, you are wrong! In fact, Mexico’s Copper Canyon is four times the size of Grand Canyon, is narrower, deeper, and more verdant.

Located in the middle of the legendary Sierra Madre Mountains of the northwestern state of Chihuahua boosts of it’s nature, culture and history. With it’s six distinct canyons, six rivers that merge into the Rio Fuerte and empty into the Gulf of California, caves, mountains, biodiversity and importantly pre-hispanic, Tarahumara and the Mestiza cultures Copper Canyon is definitely worth a visit.  

train coper canyonTo explore Copper Canyon you can choose between hiking, biking, driving or horseback riding. However one of the best way to explore the most the Canyon has to offer is by Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway that runs between the cities of Mochis and Chihuahua

This 14-hour journey is full of truly breathtaking views of forests, lakes, colorful mountain faces, indigenous cities, 86 tunnels and 39 bridges.

Yaxchilan, Chiapas

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When it comes to visiting ancient temples in Mexico most of the tourist head to Chichén Itzá, Mérida or Tulum leaving magnificent Yaxchilán behind. The ruins of an ancient Mayan city, beautifully preserved are only accessible by boat which is one of the main reasons why the place is quite secluded.

Yaxchilán is located on the south bank of the Usumacinta River, in Chiapas. It was a significant Maya center during the Classic period (250-900 C.E.) and a number of its buildings stand to this day. The elaborate carved stone lintels above each doorway makes Yaxchilán stand out from other temples and ancient ruins around Mexican. The lintels provide a lengthy dynastic record in both text and image.

The fact that this site is only accessible by boat it good for two main reasons. One, it keeps it well off the main tourists track and two, a boat trip makes half of the fun.

The Crystal Cave, Chihuahuan Desert

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Buried 300 meters below Naica mountain in the Chihuahuan Desert, the Crystal Cave contains some of the largest natural crystals ever found: translucent gypsum beams measuring up to11 meters long and weighing up to 55 tons.

The Crystal Cave was discovered by Industrias Peñoles mining company while expanding the Naica mine which contains some of the world’s largest deposits of silver, zinc, and lead. All together 5 chambers containing smaller and larger crystals were discovered to date forming a network of subterranean caverns beneath Naica.  

These crystals has formed because most of the caves was submerged in mineral-rich water with a very narrow, stable temperature range—around 58 degrees Celsius. At this temperature the mineral anhydrite, which was abundant in the water, dissolved into gypsum, a soft mineral that can take the form of the crystals.

The mining company keeps pumping water out of the caves which is good and bad. If they stop, the cave will be submerged under water which will make accessing them impossible, however will preserve them from deteriorating and let crystals start growing again.

Cenote Pet Cemetery, Quintana Roo

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Hundred miles of water filled tunnels beneath the limestone surface in Yucatán Peninsula form Mexica’s cenotes, natural underground reservoirs that are unique to this place.

One of these cenotes is Pet Cemetery which gots it’s name due to various animal skeletons found in the cenote including lower jawbone of a tapir as well as the fossilized remains of an extinct prehistoric camel.

This cenote belongs to the second longest underwater cave system in the world, Cenotes Sac Aktun. Most part of Pet Cemetery is very shallow with a depth of about 3 to 6 meters. It is one of the most decorated cenotes with white delicate formations such as stalactites, stalagmites and columns in an amazing clearness of water creating a mirror like effect in a crystal palace.

So if you are an experienced diver, Pet Cemetery is right up your alley.

The underwater river in Cenote Angelita, Yucatan

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Another one of Mexico’s unique water formations is the beautiful and haunting underwater river of Cenote Angelita. This mist-like river complete with trees jutting from its depths, is found almost 100 feet below the surface of Angelita cenote.

The underwater river is formed when the fresh top water meets the exposed salty groundwater. The different density levels in the two waters causes them to layer. The result is a breathtaking convergence of two habitats.

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The overall effect is a somewhat jarring, yet achingly beautiful and majestic sight that has drawn cave divers from far and wide to experience the unreal phenomenon for themselves. The sight of this bizarre swirling river contrasted with the totally clear water around it is truly stunning.

Here you can expect to experience the most amazing scuba dive of your life.

Cosmovitral Botanical Gardens, Toluca

photo1A former marketplace, the Cosmovitral Botanical Garden is home to over 500 species of plants primarily native to Mexico, a number of fountains and bridges scattered throughout the landscape. But it’s mostly famous for its colossal works of stained glass art that some say outshine the beauty of the flora inside. Over 71 individual glass works form the windows displaying several themes relating to man and his understanding of the universe.

While it attracts over 500 – 600 visitors a day, only 5% of them are foreigners. So if you love arts, make sure you include Cosmovitral Botanical Gardens to your itinerary.

The “Frozen Waterfalls” of Hierve El Agua, Oaxaca

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Hierve el Agua is one of Mexico’s most beautiful natural wonders that you probably haven’t heard of. Located in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, these natural mineral springs are a sight you need to see.

The mysterious waterfalls appear to be frozen into the side of cliffs. In reality, these “waterfalls” are mineral formations that have accumulated over thousands of years. Atop the cliffs are turquoise bathing pools that offer incredible views of the surrounding landscape.

 

AND DON’T FORGET TO PRACTICE YOUR SPANISH WHILE IN MEXICO!