Mexico’s colonial heritage is a diverse mixture, composed of European and indigenous roots. Through combining old traditions with modern practices, it offers visitors an opportunity to experience the unusual among the familiar. Colonial cities in Mexico bring to mind images of sunny beaches, majestic cathedrals, restored haciendas with beautiful architecture and landscaped gardens, where one may rest during the late afternoon…
The country’s colonial cities are also energetic, and alive with activity. Many are cultural centers in their own right and each one has a series of local events and festivals. Both, local residents as well as foreign tourists equally energetic celebrate those events. It is impossible not to join in those celebrations, once you experienced the atmosphere!
Mexico’s colonial wealth stems originally from silver mining and the development of local haciendas between the 16th and 19th centuries. Today, they are centers where culture, art and crafts, farming and tourism thrive.
Attractions in Mexico’s colonial cities are as diverse and intimate as the cities themselves. Here is a highlight of some of the main attractions you can enjoy:
Most of the larger colonial cities in Mexico have at least one cultural center. Those usually offer a range of events and activities including local history studies, dance, costumes, and special cultural activities related to the local indigenous heritage of the region. Another way to explore Mexicos rich history is through local art. Mexican artisans are extremely talented craftspeople and they sell their art to locals and visitors all over the country. Sometimes via street stalls, and sometimes at craft markets specially set up dedicated to promoting Mexican art and culture.
Learning Spanish by attending a residential Spanish course is the best way to learn the language. Colonial cities throughout the country are the go-to location for language schools as more visitors choose to mix learning with pleasure in Mexico.
Some of Mexico’s most exciting festivals take place in colonial cities. For example, the “Guelaguetza” in Oaxaca, the infamous “Day of Dead” is particularly poignant in Patzcuaro and Oaxaca. However, no matter which time of year you visit Mexico, you’ll find a great choice of festivals to celebrate during your stay.
Mexicans have long been keen traders – the Spanish were already amazed by the markets of the ancient city of Tenochtitlan. Today ancient traditions remain alive across Mexico. Attending the beautiful variety of local markets is a highlight of any visit to Mexico! You’ll find a great variety of markets in Mexico’s cities offering products including arts, crafts, local foods, herbs and spices, and much more.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Mexico is the big choice and diversity of experiences it offers its visitors. Although Mexico is often associated with its world-class beaches and resorts, delve deeper and you’ll also find a rich colonial history. Archaeology centers offer unique insights into important aspects of history. Educate yourself outside of museums in a breath-taking capital city, or explore the many destinations which offer inspiring nature and adventure activities.
To learn more about colonial culture in Mexico, explore places where you can enjoy cultural experiences in Mexico.
This post was written by AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth.