Tag Archives: tourist attractions 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

 

 

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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.

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Playing Tourist–Puruándiro, Michoacan

Even though we sold the sheep before we made it to Puruándiro de Calderón, it is a town worth mentioning.  In the indigenous language purépecha, the area was called Purhuandirhu which means lugar donde hierve el agua (place of water where the water boils) referring to the hot springs found in the area. The area has an abundance of natural water. The streams Cofradía, Tablón, Jazmín, Laguna, Conono, Colorado, Cazahuate and el Angulo flow into the area. The watering holes Tablón, Cofradía and Agua Tibia are found there. And of course, both cold and hot springs round out the waterways of the area.

While the hot springs are worth a visit, it’s advisable NOT to go during Semana Santa. Not only are the crowds impossible, but there seemed to be armed guards at the entrance way to the hot springs this year. We drove past and right at the Michoacan/Guanajuato border the police set up a checkpoint looking for fuzzy sheep to fleece umm… I mean providing a safe and secure roadway for holiday goers.

With hot spring healing waters, it’s no surprise that the patron saint of Puruándiro is El Señor de la Salud (Christ the Healer) whose feast day is celebrated May 25 with processions, sawdust and flower carpets, fireworks and a traditional dance (with a bit of Roman twist post-conquest) called La Danza del paloteo.

However, how He became the patron saint is not what you expect.  In 1918, bandits tried to attack the town. The townsfolk pleaded that El Señor de la Salud save the town and offered up an enchorizado (a length of firecrackers) to get the good Lord’s attention.  The bandits thought the firecrackers were bullets and decided to not attack the town after all. Or so the story goes.

With so much water, crops and livestock are plentiful.  Thus, one of Puruándiro‘s other primary draws is the buying, selling, feeding and inseminating of animals.

Other attractions include the motocross track, some neat conical buildings used for storing seed, a lienzo charro (rodeo), several hoochie-mama nightclubs and one nigth club.

As you can see, there’s something for nearly everyone (well maybe not) here in Puruandiro!

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Playing Tourist –Huandacareo, Michoacán

We live just a little too far for most people to head to the beach during the annual Semana Santa vacation period. However, we do live close enough to several lakes which have spawned a number of balnearios (pools literally public bathing areas) to console the would-be beach bum. By far, the most visited are in Huandacareo, Michoacán.

Huandacareo is on the northwest side of Lake Cuitzeo. (See Playing Tourist–Cuitzeo) Its name translates roughly as “area of discourse and was given it the area when Cazonci, a Purépecha leader, passed through the area after a victory and was honored by the locales with discourses full of praise.

There is an archaeological site that dates back to 1200 CE. called La Nopalera.  It was a ceremonial site where justice was served and criminals were punished. It was still in use at the time of the Spanish conquest. As you can see from the billboard, it’s also used for Holy Week celebrations, in this case, a concert on Palm Sunday.

But of course, the balnearios are the town’s main revenue-generating attraction. We’ve gone on several occasions. I don’t ever take my camera in, so the best I could do was some pictures from the outside.

There are hotels you can stay at or you can bring or rent a tent and camp out.

The market area has everything you could possibly need to go swimming.

You can get the most amazing gorditas here, not too spicy, not too bland.

Do not enter with dogs, gas tanks, guns, speakers, or intoxicated

I have to say that it is the most expensive and least fun to go during Semana Santa. Prices shoot up from 40 pesos admission to 100 pesos per person. There are so many people crammed in the pools that you are likely to get kicked in the face. And although you aren’t allowed to enter inebriated, there’s nothing in the rules that say you can’t get drunk while you are in the pool. There are just to many people.

But if you can go during the off-season, it is really a nice place to visit.

 

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