By Mike Vondruska
7 Interesting Places To Visit In México That You Probably Never Heard Of
When you take a deeper look into the experiences you can have in México, you may be pleasantly surprised. This country has so much more to offer visitors than just hugging the coastline at one of the many advertised touristy beach resorts.
Once you start to explore México’s interior, you will begin to discover many interesting places.
Here are 7 notable locations I have visited which stand out in my mind from my exploration travels throughout the country of México.
#1 BATS FLYING ALL AROUND YOU / SOUTHERN CAMPECHE
There is a huge cavern in Campeche state that is not marked on any tourist map. The only sign is the one on the road which you see in this photo.
There is a clearing in the woods just off this road where about 6 to 8 cars can park. From there, it is a ¼ mile hike to the rim of a deep ravine where the entrance to this cavern is located at the bottom.
You arrive just before dusk and wait on the rim. Finally as it is almost too dark to see, you start to hear the sounds of bat wings flapping.
Hundreds of thousands of bat wings. Maybe a million or more.
These bats are leaving the cavern and have to first fly their way out of this deep ravine. They fly in a circle pattern ever so slowly ascending around and around the perimeter of this ravine until they finally reach the rim where you and a few other brave souls are standing. Once reaching the top, these thousands upon thousands of bats zoom out in every direction to hunt for their evening meal.
And as you stand there all you can do is hope that what you learned in school is really true; that bats have a great built-in radar system.
Because at that moment, they are zipping past you at very fast speeds.
These bats are literally flying within inches of your body. In fact, as I stood very still, one of the bats actually came so close to me that it nicked my ear with its wing.
Yea, that’s how close they can get.
For the curious & adventurous traveler, it’s an unforgettable experience!
#2 LEATHER, LEATHER & MORE LEATHER NAOLINCO, VERACRUZ
After an hour’s drive north of the capital city of Veracruz state on a winding 2-lane road, you will arrive at the small rural town of Naolinco. At first glance, it looks pretty much like most of the other small sleepy towns located in this higher altitude region of this Mexican gulf coast state.
However, as you start to wander through this town, you rapidly realize that it is filled to the brim with store after store after store where leather products of all kinds are being sold. Leather shoes. Leather boots. Leather hats. Leather purses. Leather jackets. Leather . . . EVERYTHING!
I was amazed that I would find all these modern shops and mini-malls in such a small out-of-the-way town. It is literally a leather shopper’s paradise!
Naolinco is inconveniently located but soooo worth the winding road trip to get there for a great day of wandering, browsing, and S H O P P I N G in this rural Veracruz México town!
#3 MUSEUM OF MAYAN CULTURE / CHETUMAL, QUINTANA ROO
The modern and very interesting Museum of Mayan Culture is located in downtown Chetumal in the southern tip of Quintana Roo state. If you were to travel any further south, you will be at the border checkpoint for entering the country of Belize.
This museum has many educational exhibits to really give you a much better understanding of the Mayan culture. There are 3 floors which is significant in itself. The upper floor represents the Heavens as the Mayans saw it. The main floor represents their world on Earth.
And the subterranean level has an entire display where you can actually walk down to visit the Underworld to learn about the different challenging tests the Mayas believed they had to go through in order to reach a place of eternal rest in the afterlife.
For curious travelers who search for learning opportunities when visiting a foreign country, they will definitely enjoy the knowledge they will gain about the ancient Mayan world when exploring this museum in southern Quintana Roo.
#4 MEXICO MAGIC TOWN OF JEREZ / ZACATECAS
I discovered something that I found quite out of context in the Pueblo Mágico town of Jerez in Zacatecas state.
In the center of town there is a beautiful theatre with similarities to the Ford Theatre which is located in Washington DC. You may recall, that’s the theatre where Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play on April 14, 1865.
Both of these theatres have a similar Elizabethan architectural style on the outside. Inside, there are arches, gallery areas, private box seats, and a stage that protrudes out toward the audience.
When I visited the Teatro Hinojosa in Jerez, there was some kind of town meeting taking place in the theatre.
My small travel group and I sat quietly in the back balcony watching their proceedings and at the same time tried to visualize President Lincoln and his wife sitting in their private box not knowing that John Wilkes Booth was about to change US history by his actions that April evening.
I never thought I would be thinking about the fate of Abraham Lincoln while I was exploring this Pueblo Mágico in the México state of Zacatecas.
But I did.
#5 ZONA DEL SILENCIO / CHIHUAHUA
The Zone of Silence is located in Chihuahua state in the Chihuahuan Desert. This dry arid region contains a very strange history and somewhat spooky aura.
Many UFOs have been spotted there. Several meteorites have crash landed there. Cell phones don’t work. Compasses go haywire.
On July 11, 1970, a US military test rocket which was programmed to fly to a base in New Mexico overshot its intended destination and kept going several hundred miles south into the Chihuahuan Desert and crashed in this Zone of Silence.
The US military are still baffled as to why this missile went AWOL.
Oh, and one other note to consider. This Zone of Silence is located on the same latitude as the Bermuda Triangle and the Pyramids of Giza.
It’s things like this that make you go . . . Hmmmm
#6 ZOOFARI ANIMAL CONSERVATION RESERVE / AMACUZA, MORELOS
In the state of Morelos 40 miles south of Cuernavaca, I discovered a large animal conservation reserve where you can view bison, monkeys, tigers, giraffes, jaguars, and more in an open environment.
This conservation reserve is called Zoofari. They take in animals from zoos from around the world who for whatever reason, could not afford to maintain them any longer.
Unlike a regular zoo, Zoofari has created a spacious haven for these beautiful animals to roam. There are over 1500 of them.
To help fund their operation, they have created great experiences for the public to view some of these animals up-close to learn more about them.
I invite you to view this video I created when I was there. Click Here
#7 TONINA IS ONE OF THE TALLEST PYRAMID STRUCTURES IN THE WORLD / CHIAPAS
Most people have never even heard of the archaeological ruins of Toniná located not far from the town of Ocosingo in México’s Chiapas state
The main reason is that it’s inconveniently located so not a lot of people take the time to go there. On top of that, most of the tour companies in that region of México don’t even bother to include it on their itineraries because of it’s off-track location.
Of all the many archaeological ruins sites I have visited throughout the country of México (and I have explored a lot of them), this site is one of my top two favorites.
HERE IS SOMETHING INTERESTING TO KNOW
Depending on what research you read, some “experts” believe that this ancient city ruins site is the tallest in the world.
So to be fair to the “other experts” who disagree, let’s just say it is in the top 3 tallest in the world.
What I do know for a fact is that it has some of the steepest steps of any pyramid I have ever climbed to get to the top. No handrails . . . just don’t look down.
In my opinion, the scary climb is worth it just to see the beautiful panoramic view of the countryside from the top.
If you are interested in going or if you are a travel reseller and have adventurous travelers in your client database list, give me a holler. My México tour design team and I can create a tour which includes this most interesting archaeological site.
So there you have it.
7 Interesting Places to Visit & Things to Do in México that You Probably Never Heard Of.
There are so many more locations I have encountered in my travels which could have been added to this article. It was actually a little challenging to just narrow it down to seven.
If you have specific questions about México locations to visit or would like to create a custom tour, just give me a holler. My México tour design team and I would be happy to assist you. Click Here
Nos Vemos en MEXICO! / See You in MEXICO!