Today, (October 7, 2015), I leave for Mexico. While researching my trip, I had a difficult time finding travel blogs or articles about destinations off the beaten path. The internet is full of stuff about beaches and tours, all-inclusive resorts and cruises.
After some scouring, I found some excellent blogs and articles that have helped me in my planning. Since I am such a nice guy, and since my readers are super cool and way too good for a regular Mexican vacation, I am going to share those links here so next time you go to Mexico, you don’t have to research as much as I did.
Mexico Off-The-Beaten-Path Links
Oaxaca and the Guelaguetza Festival
Alison and Don, one of my favorite travel blogging couples, have a series of posts about Oaxaca, Monte Alban and the Guelaguetza Festival that feature excellent photos and great stories. I realize that Oaxaca isn’t exactly off the beaten path, but how many of you have heard of the Guelaguetza Festival or Monte Alban? Don’t feel bad, I hadn’t either.
Kate from Wandering Not Lost has an interesting post about the Pueblos Mancomunados in the highlands near Oaxaca. The villages have built hiking trials, bunk houses and offer tours to the area. Locals volunteer for a year as guides in order to help support the communities. It is a great example of sustainable tourism that benefits the local communities. Check out her interesting post here:
Tim Leffel of the Cheapest Destinations Blog has a great post about Cuetzalan, an idyllic colonial village with few tourists.
“It’s a strange feeling when you get to a destination that seems perfect for backpackers and there are none of them there. After a few days in Cuetzalan, a Pueblo Magico in the northern part of Puebla state in Mexico, I had the rare feeling I’d gotten somewhere before the crowds, that I’ve discovered that elusive place that really deserves the over-used cliches like “hidden gem.” Cuetzalan is no secret to Mexican tourists, but it sure seems to be with foreign ones.”
Batopilas and Urique
When I tell people I’m starting the trip at the Copper Canyon, very few of them know what I’m talking about. In northwest Mexico exists a canyon network that is deeper and larger than the U.S. Grand Canyon.
I knew about the famous train that travels across the rim of the canyon, but I didn’t realize you could go to villages in the bottom. Here are two posts (with harrowing tales of the bus ride) from Barbara at Hole in the Donut about trips to the villages of Batopilas and Urique. She has 15 total posts on the Copper Canyon – it is one of the best resources on the internet about the area.
This place is truly off the beaten path, well sort of. There is no mention of it in Lonely Planet or Rough Guides, but it is clearly visited by many Mexicans based on the Trip Advisor reviews. Its lack of popularity by foreigners may be a result of drug violence a few years ago that has since subsided.
Off-The-Beaten-Path Lightning Round
San Juan Chamala – The Most Amazing Church I’ve Ever Seen and Can’t Show You, by Wandering Earl
Valladolid – A City of Yucatan Cool, by the NY Times
Mineral de Pozos – A Ghost Town Comes Alive as an Artist Colony, by the Chicago Tribune
Mineral de Chico – Mountain town outside of Mexico city with outdoor sports and relaxed, colonial vibe
Real de Catorce, A Little Mountain Town with Real Big Charm, by Adventure Jo blog
Campeche – a colorful village on the Yucatan Peninsula with forts, cathedrals and nearby Mayan ruins.
San Pancho – Our temporary home in San Pancho, by the Never Ending Footsteps blog
Tlacotalpan – A polychromatic colonial village on the Gulf Coast visited by no one
Lagos de Montebello, by Anita’s Wanderings blog
Izamal – From Izamal to Txkobob (Yes, Tixkobob) by Wandering Earl
Hopefully these links will be useful if you are planning a trip to Mexico someday or just want to do some armchair traveling.
If you have links to your blog posts or know of any other must see destinations in Mexico. please share in the comments section.