Tag Archives: places to visit in Mexico

Playing Tourist — An SOTB Bloggers Compilation

Do I have a treat for you! Last year, the ladies in the SOTB Bloggers group worked together to complete the A to Z Blogging Challenge. We picked the topic of traveling in Mexico.  We gathered our travel posts together and are proud to present Playing Tourist for your reading pleasure.

You’ll be able to enjoy our travel adventures in 45 places across Mexico, including everywhere from the most obscure little towns to the bustling metropolis of Mexico City.

The best part is that you can download Playing Tourist FREE in honor of Virtual Vacation Day! You did know that March 30 was Virtual Vacation Day right? Well, if you haven’t planned ahead, consider this little book your passport to your Virtual Vacation in Mexico.

An original compilation from SOTBBloggers

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Tourist Sites in Mexico

Travels with Grace Book Giveaway

Did you know that February 14 is International Book Giving Day? #bookgivingday Mexico is one of 44 participating countries and I have the perfect book for you to gift a child in Mexico!

Erma Note has written a delightful story about a bicultural 9-year old Grace who lives in Mexico City. Her American cousin Connor is coming to visit and Grace wants to show him all the amazing things there are to see and do in the area.

travels with grace

For those of you that are not in Mexico, you can find Travels with Grace on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. A portion of all book sales is donated to Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage. To learn more about how you can contribute to helping the children of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage, please visit their site here.

Nothing beats a beautifully illustrated hardcover children’s book! So today I’d like to offer a signed copy of Travels With Grace to one lucky winner here in Mexico. Enter HERE.

Note: Winners must provide a mailing address in Mexico to be eligible.

 

Are you looking for other ways to give the gift of reading? You can download bookmarks and bookplates for International Book Giving Day and include them in the books you give today! Take the time to read with a child today!

Be on the lookout for other ways to participate with the hastag #bookgivingday. Check out the official International Book Giving Day site and see if there are any events near you.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Charities and Non-Profits in Mexico, Tourist Sites in Mexico

Virtual Vacation–Ixtapa, Guerrero

Well, with the current gas situation going on, vacation driving becomes a risky venture. Since we are hunkering down in our ol’ ranchito La Yacata, I thought I’d take a virtual vacation this week. Destination Ixtapa, Guerrero.
Ixtapa Island beachEvery couple of months, I’ll see posterboard signs up announcing a group trip to one place or other. Ixtapa is one destination that comes up time and time again.

So why should you head to Ixtapa? Because there’s a beach!  Apparently, the landlocked Guanajuatenses (people from the state of Guanajuato) long for the salt sea air and head to this particular beach by the busload. It’s the 9th most visited beach in Mexico, coming ahead Cozumel but behind nearby Acapulco.

Playa linda Ixtapa 03But Ixtapa is far more than just a pretty beach along the Pacific.

Ixtapa is part of the larger Zihuatanejo de Azueta in the state of Guerrero. The name Ixtapa comes from the náhuatl term Iztal, pa which refers to salt or something white which of course is the perfect name for the salty coastline. It used to be a coconut plantation and mangrove estuary until it became THE place to be sometime in the 1970s. The town was designed by master architects Enrique and Agustín Landa Verdugo.

Mexican Telenovela Marimar was filmed here in 1994 and more recently parts of the 1987 film Hot Pursuit, which is a funny movie to be sure!

Besides your typical beach activities like laying in the sun and splashing about in the ocean waves, there are several other noteworthy tourist attractions.
XihuacanEntrywithRingWhy not swim with the dolphins at Delfiniti? Or visit the Xihuacan Museum and Archaeological Site and see the Soledad de Marciel pyramid ruins? How about a round of golf at the Marina Ixtapa Nautica Golf Club? Or go snorkeling at Isla de Ixtapa? You could always play a little BlackJack at the WinClub Casino or bike the Ciclopista de Ixtapa.

Ah! Now wasn’t that virtual vacation imagining yourself soaking up rays on the white beaches of Ixtapa refreshing? Next time those posterboards go up, I’m going to have to check into the packages offered. It would be nice to get away for a bit.

Leave a comment

Filed under Tourist Sites in Mexico

Playing Tourist–Uriangato, Guanajuato

Uriangato, Guanajuato is Moroleon’s neighboring town and also believes itself to be a city.  They are so close they share the Calle de Ropa (Clothing street) and have been involved in recent land disputes over the Moroleon/Uriangato border. However, the culture between the two is centuries apart. Moroleon is on its way to becoming an unimaginative merchandising metropolis while Uriangato still has bonfire festivities.  

The name Uriangato (which to me sounds suspiciously like something that translates as cat pee) actually comes from the original Purepecha name of the settlement which was anapu-nani-hima-huriata-hari-jatzhicuni-anandini.  This translates roughly as Lugar donde el sol se pone levantado (the place where the sunset occurs on top) and refers to the fact that the western surrounding hills do not allow the sun’s rays to reach the town center from the early afternoon on, causing it to look like sunset most of the day. Apparently, the conquering Spanish could not pronounce the name and dubbed the area Uriangato.

Back in the year 940 or so, the area was inhabited by the Chichimecas and Otomies under the general jurisdiction of the Purepechas of Yuriria. At the time of the Spanish conquest in the 1500s, Uriangato was considered a border area dividing the Chichimeca and Purepecha domains.  In 1529, the area and its inhabitants were gifted to Juan de Tovar.  In 1549,  Fray Diego de Chávez founded la Congregación de Nativos (The Congregation of Natives), with the supposed goal of bettering the lives of the indigenous left in the area.  On February 20, 1604, King Felipe the Third decreed that the area would henceforth be known as the town of San Miguel Uriangato.

The monument in honor of Hidalgo and his forces passing through on the way to Morelia.

During the Mexican Independence War, Uriangato’s only involvement was allowing Hidalgo and his troops to pass through on their way to Valladolid (Morelia) on November 14, 1810.  There’s a monument in the town center marking that they too were part of the “Ruta de la Independencia.” (Road to Independence).

The animosity that still exists between Moroleon and Uriangato apparently began in the early 1830’s. There were some issues with vendors from Uriangato who wished to set up stalls in the area that is now known as Moroleon and were prohibited by locals. Neither city has forgotten.

In 1918, Uriangato was attacked by bandits under the leadership of J. Inés Chávez García.  The town rallied and drove the bad guys away. Venustiano Carranza himself sent his congratulations to the town officials. The Aniversario de la Heroica Defensa de Uriangato (anniversary of the Heroic Defense of Uriangato) is commemorated on June 24.

1918 was also the year that the Spanish Influenza hit Uriangato. During the months of October and November of that year, 25 to 30 bodies were buried daily with an estimated total death toll of 1500 residents.

The town tradition of the Globos de Cantoya (hot air balloons) began in 1928 as part of the festivities honoring San Miguel the Archangel during La Octava Noche.  I have not gone to see this particular aspect of the San Miguel tradition, not being a big fan of balloons and all, but the sawdust artistry of the tapetes (carpets) is really amazing. This is a relatively new tradition begun in 2009. The other major aspect of these celebration days are the candiles (bonfires). Nearly every household has a burning ocote fire in front of their home lit to guide San Miguel through the town. It’s an eerie experience. (See also Fogatas, tapetes, and San Miguel Arcangel ) The Fiesta de San Miguel Arcángel runs from September 19 to October 6 culminating in a procession over the tapetes with the image of San Miguel the archangel to and from La Iglesia de San Miguel Arcángel.

You can find something for everyone–zombie, Guadalupe and pot shirts for sale here.

The first rebozo (shawl) textile factories in Uriangato were opened in the 1960s leading to the eventual creation of 4 km of street vendor stalls that continues on into Moroleon.  I find the whole shopping experience overwhelming.  I mean really, 4 kilometers of clothing? However, this is a big draw for people from other areas who buy quantities of clothing and then resell it in their own stores.

During the Christmas season, which is observed from December 16 to December 30, Los Enanitos Toreros (midget bullfighters) never fail to make an appearance.  Not something you are likely to see in Moroleon.

So if you like shopping, pageantry and midget bullfighters, you won’t want to miss stopping by Uriangato.

 

  

 

8 Comments

Filed under Tourist Sites in Mexico