13 Must-See Wonders of Mexico
The natural and cultural wonders of Mexico are everywhere to be found in this large and extraordinary country. So much, that I couldn’t limit myself to name just the 7 Wonders of Mexico, and had to include 13 of them.
Keep reading to learn about the 7 Wonders of the Ancient and the Modern World. What are they? Who chose them? And why should you visit them? Then, get ready to discover one of the most amazing countries in the world, a place full of natural ancient pyramids, stunning canyons, sacred underground rivers, and colorful bodies of water.
What Are the Wonders of the World?
The original 7 Wonders of the (Ancient) World were selected by Greek travelers who were impressed by outstanding human creations that showed great imagination and advanced technical skills. They included the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus, the Temple of Artemis, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
The 7 Modern Wonders of the World were chosen in 2007 by an online contest organized by a Swiss company. After millions of votes were counted the new Wonders of the World included the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal in India, the city of Petra in Jordan, the Colosseum of Rome, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru, and the Mayan site of Chichen Itza.
Why Are They Worth Visiting?
For one, they’re all UNESCO World Heritage sites, which means that they’re extraordinary pieces of creativity and imagination that deserve to be protected and admired. By visiting the wonders of the world, you can learn about the most impressive elements of different cultures and understand them better.
But this article isn’t about the world, but about Mexico. Does Mexico have a Wonder of the World? What are some of the natural Wonders of Mexico? How about the cultural Wonders of Mexico?
With all this in mind, I’ve put up a list of not only the 7 Wonders of Mexico but of the 13 Wonders of Mexico that you can’t miss when visiting this beautiful country.
13 Must-See Wonders of Mexico
I’ve compiled this list including mostly natural wonders of Mexico, but I had to include at least the two most extraordinary cultural wonders of Mexico, and I’m starting with one of them:
1. Chichen Itza Wonder of the World Mexico
The 7th Wonder of the World Mexico is the ancient Mayan site of Chichen Itza, located in the Yucatan Peninsula, in Southeast Mexico.
Among the plentiful Mexican archaeological sites, Chichen Itza is widely recognized as the most extraordinary of them all, and with good reason. It’s a well-preserved city that showcases architectural marvels and ancient secrets.
The most impressive structures include an observatory, a Mayan Ball Game court, and the famous Castillo (Castle) also known as the Chichen Itza Pyramid, from where the feathered serpent of Kukulkan descends twice a year during the equinoxes. Nowadays, it receives over 2 million visitors per year.
2. Sumidero Canyon
Known in Mexico as El Cañón del Sumidero, this is one of the most breathtaking natural wonders of Mexico. Located in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, this canyon is part of a national park that covers over 50,000 acres and follows the Grijalva River.
The Sumidero Canyon was formed around the same time as the Grand Canyon in Colorado, U.S., about 35 million years ago, and its tallest walls rise above the one-kilometer mark.
3. Cenotes: The Sacred Underground Rivers
Below the surface of the Yucatan peninsula in southeastern Mexico, a huge and complex network of underground rivers runs from one extreme to the other of the peninsula.
The Maya thought that these rivers, called cenotes, were sacred. A kind of door into the infraworld.
Nowadays, they’re one of the main tourist attractions in an area filled with tourist attractions and one of the most unique natural wonders of Mexico.
4. Hierve el Agua
Literally meaning “water boiling,” Hierve el Agua are amazing petrified waterfalls located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
This natural wonder features three natural pools where visitors can take a swim and no, contrary to what their name may suggest, the water of these pools isn’t boiling.
Hierve el Agua is a feast for nature lovers as it offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and really, just to see these petrified waterfalls is impressive enough.
5. Copper Canyon
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known in Spanish as Las Barrancas del Cobre and you can find them in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.
One of the most beautiful natural wonders of Mexico, las Barrancas del Cobre is a system of canyons four times bigger than the famous Grand Canyon of Colorado.
A picturesque train travels across the Copper Canyon filled with small towns populated by the indigenous Tarahumara people. A series of archaeological sites filled with about 300 petroglyphs add to the extraordinary experience of visiting this spectacular place.
6. Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
One more of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Mexico, the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is a protected area of 56,259 hectares near Mexico City.
Every autumn, millions of Monarch Butterflies from North America come to spend the winter. When spring arrives all the butterflies go back to Eastern Canada on a trip across North America of up to 8 months.
If you plan to visit this amazing spectacle of nature, make sure to do it during winter to not miss the butterflies.
7. Cacahuamilpa Caves
Located in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park is one of the largest cave systems in the world.
The caves were discovered in 1834 by a shopkeeper who hid inside them from the Mexican authorities. The caves are filled with spectacular lit stalactites and stalagmites.
8. Agua Azul Waterfalls
Las Cascadas de Agua Azul are located in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, just about 133 km from the tourist town of San Cristobal de las Casas.
A combination of carbonated salts dissolved in the water of these majestic waterfalls give it its characteristic white-blue color. You can swim in these gorgeous waterfalls, as they are mostly shallow and calm waters.
9. Las Coloradas
Las Coloradas are a series of spectacular pink-colored lakes located inside the Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve in the Yucatán peninsula.
The lakes get their color due to the high levels of salt coming from the salt factory in the area, and the place attracts thousands of flamingos that use it as a stopover during their year-long migration journeys.
The road that takes you there from nearby Cancun is one of the most naturally amazing you can find in the world, and the pictures you can get here will be among your most popular on Instagram.
The second and last of the cultural wonders of Mexico included in this list, Teotihuacan means “City of Gods” and is located just 50 kilometers from Mexico City.
This ancient holy city from a culture that existed before the Aztecs, features two of the most impressive pyramids in all of Mexico: the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. If you visit Mexico City, you have to take a short ride to Teotihuacan.
11. Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
Also known as the Great Mayan Reef, this is one of the favorite natural wonders of Mexico among scuba diving enthusiasts. It extends for over 700 miles along the southeastern coast of Mexico, as well as the coast of Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.
It’s the second-largest reef system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
12. Bacalar: The 7 Colors Lagoon
La Laguna de los Siete Colores de Bacalar is a fascinating body of water that surprises visitors with its amazing variety of colors.
Located in the southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, halfway between Cancun and Belize, Bacalar is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders of Mexico.
Practice non-motorized water sports, navigate its nearly 55 kilometers of extension, and relax in one of the many small hotels on its shores.
13. Marietas Islands
To close this list of wonders of Mexico, I’ve chosen the gorgeous Marietas Islands. Located in the state of Jalisco in Central Mexico, near the resort town of Puerto Vallarta, the Marietas Islands are both a National Park and romantic tourist spot.
These two uninhabited islands of volcanic nature, have been called the “Mexican Galapagos” for its outstanding biodiversity, highlighted by French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau back in the 1960s.
Nowadays, the islands are famous for the Playa del Amor or “Lover’s Beach,” which has a hole on its roof that the legend says was created when the Mexican army used the islands as targets for bombing exercises.
Visit Mexico and Practice Your Spanish!
If you want to know more about the wonders of Mexico, it’s a good idea to keep working on your Spanish before traveling to this spectacular Latin American country.
Speaking the language makes the experience even more enjoyable, as you can easily communicate with the locals and understand their culture better.
Sign up for a free class to practice your Spanish before your trip to Mexico, our teachers are from Guatemala, the class is 1-on-1, we offer tailored packages and flexible scheduling.
Join one of the 40,000 classes that we teach each month and you can experience results like these
“This is the best way for your kid to learn Spanish. It’s one-on-one, taught by native Spanish speakers, and uses a curriculum.”
– Sharon K, Parent of 3
“It’s a great way to learn Spanish, from native Spanish speakers in a 1-on-1 environment. It’s been fairly easy to schedule classes around my daughter’s other classes. The best value for us has been ordering multiple classes at a time. All the instructors have been great!”
– Cindy D, Parent of 3
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
– Erica P. Parent of 1
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