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Travels in Mexico

Probably my favorite thing about living in Mexico—among many favorite things—is that a short drive, bus ride, or flight can take you to a whole other world.

Every corner of Mexico has pretty towns, ancient ruins, and natural areas like sunny beaches, lush jungle, and towering mountains.

Below are some photos from my travels during the past four months.

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Next to the town of Xilitla, in a mountainous sub-tropical region called the Huasteca Potosina, the surrealistic garden Las Pozas is a fascinating place to explore. Built (but unfinished) by the eccentric English artist and art patron Edward James between 1949 and 1984, Las Pozas is a series of poured-concrete structures and buildings surrounded by jungle at the foot of mountains, which even has big waterfalls and swimming holes.

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You can climb on practically everything, and every path going through deeper jungle leads to more structures, most overgrown by creeping forest. Mysterious and bizarre, it reminded me of visiting ancient ruins, though with a different history and architecture, of course.

The entire Huasteca Potosina region has streams and waterfalls, some for swimming and jumping.

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Closer to where I live, the Nevado de Toluca volcano—its native name is Xinantecatl—is a scenic and very high place to do some hiking.

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Two lakes are inside the huge crater:

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This dry flower grows all over the slopes of the volcano:

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Sierra Morelos park is right next to the town of Toluca, about an hour away from the volcano:

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Small homes, farms, and even some ancient ruins can be found on the slopes of the mountains.

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Below is Calixtlahuaca, the ruins of a Pre-hispanic city:

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Far away at the easternmost part of Mexico are the white-sand beaches and turquoise water of the Mayan Riviera on the Mexican Caribbean coast. Below is Puerto Morelos, about halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen:

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The virgin in the Cozumel public market:

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A little to the south of Playa del Carmen is Punto Venado, which has excellent mountain bike trails through the jungle and along the coast. On my ride I saw crocodiles, lots of iguanas, and a big family of coati—something like a tropical raccoon that lives in the trees in groups, like monkeys.

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Flamingos and other birds in the Xaman-Ha Bird Sanctuary near Playa del Carmen, in the Playacar gated community:

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And of course the world-famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza:

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On the other side of Mexico on the Pacific coast, the beach-lined bay of Acapulco is a five-hour drive from where I live, perfect for a long weekend. You can get a nice, reasonably-priced hotel right on the beach with views like this:

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Sunset over the ocean at Acapulco:

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Thanks for visiting. Stories to follow for some of these places…

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