Friday, August 26, 2011

MEXICO-General

(includes Aguascalientes, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Guanajuato (but not San Miguel de Allende), Jalisco, Michoacan, Morelos, Oaxaca (except municipality), San Luis Potosi, Sonora, Tlaxcala & Veracruz)

AGUASCALIENTES
Aguascalientes
Sight & Sites
Museo de Aguascalientes – 505 Calle General Ignacio Zaragoza (Centro); 011-52-44-9916-7142; aguascalientes.gob.mx/temas/cultura/espacios/museos/m_aguas.aspx or sic.gob.mx/ficha.php?table=museo&table_id=223; art museum; paintings & sculptures (including some by Jesús F. Contreras); also paintings by Gabriel Fernández Ledesma & works by Saturnino Herrán (“El más pintor de los mexicanos y más mexicano de los pintores”).



CAMPECHE
Campeche
Hotels
Hacienda Puerta Campeche – 71 59th Street; 011-52-1-98-1816-7535; luxurycollection.com; colonial-era houses done in urbane style; 15 guest rooms; huge bathrooms; sun-drenched daybed; pools flow through porticos from room to room and are capped with floating hammocks; ask driver to take you to nearby Edzna ruins.
Hacienda Uayamon – Carretera Uayamon-China-Edzna, km 20; 011-52-1-98-1813-0530; haciendasmexico.com/uayamon.



CHIAPAS
Frontera Corozal
Sights & Sites
National Park of Bonampak – off Highway 307; mayan-ruins.org/Bonampak; Mayan ruins.
National Park of Yaxchilan – 25 kms down Río Usumacinta from Frontera Corozal (only reachable by lancha (colorful, long boat with sun cover and powerful outboard motor)); mayasites.com/yaxch.html; Mayan ruin.

Palenque Town
Sights & Sites
National Park of Palenque – just off Highway 114; whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=411; prime example classic period Mayan sanctuary (500-700 CE).

San Cristobal de las Casas
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Café Museo Café – 10 Calle Maria Adelina Flores; 011-52-1-96-7678-7876; museodelcafe.blogspot.com; freshly brewed coffee draws you into this 3-room coffee museum; when you’re finished with museum, head to central café for cafe chiapaneco.
Bars & Nightclubs
Café Bar Revolucion – 11 Avenida 1 de Marzo; 011-52-1-96-7678-6664; myspace.com/cafebarrevolucion; drinks and live music in evening.
Perfidia – 23 Calle Maria Adelina Flores; 011-52-1-96-7678-1209; perfidia.com.mx; art crowd; Perfidia Sangrienta and mojito are best drinks in town; garden lit up at night.
La Vina de Bacco – 7 Calle Real de Guadalupe; 011-52-1-96-7119-1985; lavinadebacco.com; town’s only wine and tapas bar.
Hotels
Casa Felipe Flores – 36 Calle Felipe Flores; 011-52-1-96-7678-3996; felipeflores.com; premiere boutique hotel; 5 rooms; beautiful decoration and courtyards.
Restaurants
Café Bar Revolucion – 11 Avenida 1 de Marzo; 011-52-1-96-7678-6664; myspace.com/cafebarrevolucion; good breakfasts and lunches.
Dona Ame Tamales – 28 Calle Diego de Mazariego; 011-52-1-96-7613-1241; Chiapanecan tamales are main offering; also, try chamula (stuffed with pork and steamed in banana leaf) and chipilin (cooked in corn husk with chicken and bitter chipilin plant).
El Mercadito – 11 Avenida Diego Dugelay; 011-52-1-96-7678-0210; 4 booths open for lunch; true Chiapanecan, distinct from Oaxaca moles and Yucatan habanero; try pork azado (falling-apart meat chunks in rich, chili-based sauce that is also delightfully sweet); chile rellenos stuffed not only with pork but also raisins; and plantain croquetas, ordered as side dish, fried, smoky goodness with tangy cheese.
La Vina de Bacco – 7 Calle Real de Guadalupe; 011-52-1-96-7119-1985; lavinadebacco.com; town’s only wine and tapas bar.
Perfidia – 23 Calle Maria Adelina Flores; 011-52-1-96-7678-1209; perfidia.com.mx; art crowd; empanadas and baguettes; exceptional food; garden lit up at night and from which can see stars.
TierrAdentro Café – 24 Calle Real de Guadalupe; 011-52-1-96-7674-6766; tierradentro.org.mx; airy, courtyard-like restaurant run by Zapatistas; try light, tomato-y soup studded with nopales cactus chunks.
Services
iPod Tours – 2-B Avenida Belisario Dominguez; 011-52-1-96-7631-6367; ipodtours.com.mx.
Shopping
Nemi Zapata – 57-A Calle Real de Guadalupe; 011-52-1-96-7678-7487; fair trade crafts.
Sna Jolobil – 42 Calzada Lázaro Cárdenas (in Plaza Santo Domingo, between Navarro & Nicaragua Streets); 011-52-1-96-7678-2646; snajolobil.com; weavers’ co-operative in Templo de Santo Domingo complex; highest high-end textiles, organized by origin town and priced according to work involved, with bedspreads reaching into $Ks.
Taller Leñateros – 54 Calle Flavio A. Paniagua; 011-52-1-96-7678-5174; tallerlenateros.com; local publications.
Sights & Sites
Café Museo Café – 10 Calle Maria Adelina Flores; 011-52-1-96-7678-7876; museodelcafe.blogspot.com; 3-room coffee museum; try central café for cafe chiapaneco.
Galeria Studio Cerrillo – 19-A Calle Tonala; 011-52-967-678-5727; studiocerrillo.com; contemporary Mexican arts; associated with Saatchi galleries.
Kinoki – 22 Avenida 1 de Marzo; 011-52-1-96-7678-0495; forokinoki.blogspot.com; cinema that provides current film runs as well as private rooms in which can rent DVD players and movies.
Museo de la Medicina Maya – 10 Avenida Salomon Gonzalez Blanco; 011-52-1-96-7678-5438; medicinamaya.org; covers animal and plant use in indigenous health care; also grows, produces, and sells traditional treatments through its pharmacy.
Museo/Galeria Elisa Burkhard – 2 Avenida Yajalon; 011-52-1-96-7678-7728; museoelisa.wordpress.com; hybrid museum-gallery that showcases local artists as well as founders’ works.
Templo de El Carmen – Calle Hermanos Dominguez y Avenida Hidalgo.
Templo de Santo Domingo – Avenida General Utrilla (north of Calle Dr. Navarro); 011-52-1-96-7678-6570.

Uayamon
Hotels
Hacienda Uayamon – KM 20, Carretera Uayamon-China-Edzna; 011-52-1-98-1813-0530; luxurycollection.com/uayuamon.



CHIHUAHUA
Chihuahua City
Sights & Sites
Museo Histórico de la Revolución – 3010 Calle 10a (Santa Rosa); 011-52-1-61-4416-2958; chihuahua.gob.mx/turismoweb/Contenido/plantilla5.asp?cve_canal=357&Portal=turismoweb; in Pancho Villa’s mansion.



COAHUILA
Cuidad Acuña
Restaurants
Restaurant Bar Las Playas – Guerrero 1745 (centro).



COLIMA
Colima
Hotels
Hacienda de San Antonio – Municipio de Comala; 866-516-2611; haciendadesanantonio.com; set on 5K acres lush vegetation, surrounded by lagoons and rivers.
Sights & Sites
Volcan de Fuego – active volcano.



GUANAJUATO (includes Marfil & Mineral de Pozos)
Dolores Hidalgo
Hotels
Hacienda El Gallinero – km.3.5 Carretera Dolores Hidalgo a San Felipe; 011-52-1-44-2455-5335 (cell phones 011-52-1-44-2168-1257, 011-52-1-44-2113-9966 & 011-52-1-41-5103-9406); haciendaelgallinero.com; quality B&B; beautiful, genuine & unique hacienda, built in 17th Century, located on private, 45 acre nature reserve, in very heart of Mexico; between Guanajuato & San Miguel de Allende on old Silver Road, close to both Leon & Queretaro airports.

Guanajuato
Hotels
Alma del Sol – 3 Calle del Sol; 011-52-1-47-3733-5423; casaspirit.com; quality B&B.
La Casa de Espiritus Alegres – 1 La Exhacienda la Trinidad (Marfil, 3 kms from downtown Guanajuato); 011-52-1-47-3733-1013; casaspirit.com; smaller downtown property is Alma del Sol, across from La Compañía church; atmosphere and folk art abound in idiosyncratic “house of happy spirits,” 16th Century colonial hacienda; each room has own fireplace; grounds so lovely you won’t want to leave; partly folk textile gallery/museum and has only 4 units (2 of which are 2-bedroom suites) and open rooftop terrace with broad vista.
El Secreto de Pozos – 6 Jardin Principal (Mineral de Pozos); 011-52-1-44-2293-0200; elsecretomexico.com; only 3 rooms; all rooms have wood burning fireplaces, luxurious bedding, and include continental breakfast; in-room massage services, as well as access to temezcal (sweat lodge), hiking, mine exploration tours & numerous other services.
Restaurants
Casa del Conde de la Valenciana – Carretera Guanajuato-Dolores Hidalgo, km 5; 011-52-1-47-3732-2550; historichotelsmexico.com/hotels/casa-del-conde-de-la-valenciana-restaurant/index.html; opposite La Valenciana church.
Las Mercedes – 6 Calle de Arriba (San Javier); 011-52-1-47-3733-9059; guanajuatoesparati.com/lasmercedes; innovative Mexican cuisine served high above city.
Real de la Esperanza – Carretera Guanajuato-Dolores Hidalgo, km 5; 011-52-1-47-3732-1041; next to La Valenciana church.
Shops
Alfareria Tradicional – Ex Huerta de Montenegro s/n; 011-52-1-47-3731-0389; gorkypottery.com; Gorky Gonzalez’ ceramics.
Sights & Sites
Alhondiga de Granaditas – 6 Mendizábal; 011-52-1-47-3732-1112; sic.conaculta.gob.mx/ficha.php?table=museo&table_id=1004; old granary, where important revolutionary events occurred.
Teatro Juarez – Jardin de la Union (Siopena); 011-52-1-47-3732-0183; cultura.guanajuato.gob.mx/teatro.php; opera house.
Diego Rivera Museum – 47 Positos; 011-52-1-47-3732-1197; guanajuatomuseums.com; Diego Rivera’s childhood home.

Queretaro
Hotels
La Casa de la Marquesa – 41 Madero (Centro Historico); 011-52-1-44-2212-0092 or 877-372-5123; lacasadelamarquesa.com; among oldest and most beautiful houses in Queretaro; built in 1756 for Marquis de la Villa del Villar del Aguila; restored to former glory by teams of art historians and restorers.
Restaurants
Restaurant Di Vino – 12 Andador 5 de Mayo (Centro Histórico); 011-52-1-44-2214-1273; divino.com.mx; Italian.



JALISCO
Guadalajara (includes Tequila, Tlaquepaque & Tonalá)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Cafe PalReal – 113 Lope de Vega (Arcos Vallarta); 011-52-1-33-1983-7254; facebook.com/Palreal-606607812766205; open-air coffee shop & restaurant; special is lonche de pancita (pork-belly sandwich with avocado & green tomatillo sauce); hummmingbirds (chuparosas flit around bougainvillea).
La Cafeteria – 1700 Libertad (Moderna); 011-52-1-33-3825-7936; facebook.com/La-Cafeteria-Casa-Fuera-de-Casa-151002294950259/; in old stucco house nestled among French mansions; shaded patio; coffee.
Bars & Nightclubs
Black Sheep – 1872 Calle Libertad (Americana); 011-52-1-33-3825-7000; theblacksheep.mx; attached to hostel; popular; can play pool or sit on street-side patio.
Cantina La Fuente – 78 Pino Suárez (Centro Historico); 011-52-1-33-1496-4837; es-la.facebook.com/pages/La-Fuente-Cantina-Centro-Guadalajara-Jalisco/302923003072503; rustic, smokey, venerable dive bar with friendly crowd & music on request; founded in 1921; centerpiece is bicycle abandoned by drunk patron in 1957.
Evva – 1528 Avenida de las Américas (Country Club); 011-52-1-33-1562-0609; evvaclub.com; trendiest current nightclub; roof-top pool = wet bar; serves food.
La Tequila – 2830 Avenida Mexico (Ladron de Guevara); 011-52-1-33-3640-3440; latequila.com; 2-story brick building with upstairs patio where can watch soccer; drink menu has 11 pages mezcals, sotoles (distilled agave spirit) &, of course, tequila; always ask for Cuervo Reserva.
Hotels
Hotel Demetria – 2219 Avenida de la Paz (Lafayette); 011-52-1-333-818-0060; hoteldemetria.com; all-suite, ultra-contemporary boutique hotel near Guadalajara Cathedral, San Juan de Dios Market & Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan; chic suites with modern, urban decor; walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads & free Wi-Fi; some with living rooms, balconies, free-standing tubs and/or floor-to-ceiling windows; few have 4-posters beds & 2-floor options add terraces with hot tubs; complimentary breakfasts; high-end restaurant, outdoor rooftop pool & gift shop selling local crafts.
Solar de los Animas – 14 Calle Albino Rojas #14 (Tequila); 011-52-1-37-4742-6700; hotelsolardelasanimas.com/hotel-tequila.
Restaurants
La Antigua Casona – 14 Calle Albino Rojas #14 (Tequila); 011-52-1-37-4742-6700; hotelsolardelasanimas.com/hotel-tequila; phenomenal.
Birrieria las 9 Esquina – 384 Avenida Colón (Las Nueve Esquinas); 011-52-1-33-3613-6260; las9esquinas.com/ingles/inicio.php; specializes in birria, meat stewed in its own juices until so tender melts in your mouth; delightful, semi-open-air restaurant covered in blue & white tiles, renowned far & wide for being king of birria; 2 main offerings here birria de chivo (steamed goat) & barbacoa de borrego (baked lamb); for dessert, must try jericalla, egg custard.
La Cafeteria – 1700 Libertad (Moderna); 011-52-1-33-3825-7936; facebook.com/La-Cafeteria-Casa-Fuera-de-Casa-151002294950259/; in old stucco house nestled among French mansions; shaded patio; brunch.
Hueso – 2061 Efraín González Luna (Centro Historico); 011-52-1-33-3615-3591; huesorestaurant.com; name is Spanish for “bone”; all-white interior is curiosity cabinet of 10K animal bones; global cuisine with emphasis on flavor.
i Latina – 3128 Avenida Inglaterra (Vallarta Poniente); 011-52-1-33-3647-7774; i-latina.mx; near railroad tracks; among Guadalajara’s most beloved restaurants; found-object decor.
Restaurante La Chata – 126 Avenida Ramón Corona (Las Nueve Esquinas); 011-52-1-33-3641-3489; lachata.com.mx; for great breakfast; popular with locals.
La Tequila – 2830 Avenida Mexico (Ladron de Guevara); 011-52-1-33-3640-3440; latequila.com; 2-story brick building in which high-end interpretations of traditional Mexican fare served; can watch soccer on upstairs patio.
Tortas Toño – 3160-2 Tierra de Fuego (Providencia); 011-52-1-33-3642-8739; tortastono.com.mx; popular chain with hangover cure: torta ahogada, chicken or pork sandwich on crusty French bread.
El Zarandeao – 6569 Calle Volcán Popocatépetl (Zapopan); 011-52-1-33-1368-5566; elzarandeao.amawebs.com; utilitarian warehouse setting belies excellent Nayarit cuisine, with emphasis on fresh seafood; worth special trip.
Services
Sin Fin de Servicios – 2773 Calzada Lázaro Cárdenas (Horizonte); 011-52-1-33-3123-3240; 011-52-1-3123-2849 and 011-52-1-33-3123-9018; sinfindeservicios.com; will arrange drivers, other services (Lucha Libre tickets).
Shopping
Carlos & Albert – 159 Calle Independencia (Tlaquepaque); 011-52-1-33-3642-1634; facebook.com/carlosandalbert; contemporary & traditional versions of Mexican folk art.
Galeria Bernabe – 83 Calle Hidalgo (Tonalá, maybe #29); 011-52-1-33-3683-0040; mexicoartshow.com/bernabe.html; ceramics shop that makes hand-painted tableware (94-piece set takes 3 months to make and costs $12K).
Galeria Sergio Bustamente – 238 Calle Indepencia (Tlaquepaque); 011-52-1-33-3639-5519; 011-52-1-33-3639-1272 and 011-52-1-33-3659-7110; coleccionsergiobustamante.com.mx; Tim Burton-like sculpture.
Galeria Rodo Padilla – 139 Calle Indepencia (Tlaquepaque); 011-52-1-33-3657-3712; rodopadilla.com; ceramic depictions of Mexican folk symbols.
Jose Dávila Studio – 464 General Arteaga (Colonia Artesanos, in old gym across from metalwork shop); 011-52-1-33-3124-9498; josedavila.mx; to see only; prohibitively expensive, well-regarded modern sculpture.
Mercado San Juan de Dios (Mercado Liberta) – 52 Avenida Javier Mina (Centro Historico, at corner Calzada Independencia); 011-52-1-33-3618-0506; sanjuandedios.com.mx; labyrinthine, massive market that sells pretty much everything (candy, jewelry, lucha libre masks, mariachi suits - even caged birds); best foraged for its street food, in particular its tortas ahogadas made with crispy rolls drowned in spicy pork stew.
Tianguis – Tonaltecas (Tonalá); tianguistonala.com; open-air market; twice weekly, along main thoroughfare, vendors set up handicraft booths: flowers, glass sculptures, wood carvings etc.
Sights & Sites
Arena Coliseo – 67 Calle Medrano (Analco); 011-52-1-33-3617-3401; cmll.com/?p=2986; Lucha Libre!
Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan – 152 Calle Eva Briseño (Zapopan); 011-52-1-33-3633-6614; zonaguadalajara.com/basilica-de-zapopan; built in 1730 & home to Nuestra Señora de Zapopan; petite Virgin statue visited by pilgrims year-round; during Fiestas de Octubre, Ks kneeling faithful crawl behind as statue carried here from Guadalajara’s central cathedral (Virgin receives new car each year for procession, but engine never turned on (thus remaining virginal) – instead it’s hauled by men with ropes); early evening, when local families throng plaza outside & streams of pilgrims, nuns & monks fill pews, is magical time to be here; attached to Basilica is Museo Huichol (Museo Huichol Wixarica de Zapopan), exhibiting Huichol handicrafts.
Catedral de Guadalajara – 10 Avenida Alcalde (Centro Historico, alternatively, Avenida 16 de Septiembre between Morelos & Avenida Hidalgo); 011-52-1-33-3613-7168; guadalajara.net/html/templos/03.shtml; city’s most beloved & conspicuous landmark with distinctive neo-Gothic towers built after earthquake toppled originals in mid-19th Century; begun in 1558 & consecrated in 1618, building almost as old as city; time your visit right & you’ll see light filter through stained-glass renderings of Last Supper & hear working pipe organ rumble sweetly from rafters; interior includes Gothic vaults, massive Tuscan-style gold-leaf pillars & 11 richly decorated altars given to Guadalajara by Spain King Fernando VII (1814-33); glass case nearest north entrance is reliquary, containing blood & hands of martyred Santa Inocencia; in sacristy, which attendant can open on request, is La Asunción de la Virgen by Spanish artist Bartolomé Murillo in 1650.
Estadio Chivas – Avenida Circuito JVC 2800 (El Bajio, Zapopan); 011-52-1-33-3777-5700; estadioomnilife.com.mx; home to CD Guadalajara (Chivas); soccer.
Hospicio Cabañas – 8 Calle Cabañas (Centro Historico); 011-52-1-33-3668-1642; whc.unesco.org/en/list/815; among largest & oldest hospital complexes in Americas; founded in 1791 by Bishop of Guadalajara to combine almshouse, hospital, orphanage & workhouse functions; named for Juan Ruiz de Cabañas, appointed to Guadalajara see in 1796; he engaged Manuel Tolsá, renowned architect from Mexico City, to design structure; Tolsá’s design based on classic examples such as Les Invalides (Paris) & El Escorial (near Madrid); construction continued until 1829 & hospital lasted well into 20th Century, functioning until 1980, when Cabañas Cultural Institute, with affiliated schools for arts & crafts, moved in; interior decoration highlight are monumental frescoes by José Clemente Orozco, including Man of Fire (1936-39); Unesco World Heritage site since 1997.
Colonia Artesanos – area around intersection of Calzada del Federalismo Norte & Avenida Jesus Garcia; vivemx.com/col/artesanos-guadalajara.htm; .
Iglesia de San Francisco de Asís – 295 Avenida 16 de Septiembre (Centro Historico, Las Nueve Esquinas); 011-52-1-33-3-614-4083; vive.guadalajara.gob.mx/es/que-visitar/centro-histórico-historical-center/templo-de-san-francisco-de-as%C3%ADs.html; located adjacent to Parque San Francisco, built by Franciscans 1668-92; exterior includes in its facade Solomonic columns that seem to spiral upward; nave includes baroque retablo above & behind altar.
Museo de Arte de Zapopan – 166 Andador 20 de Noviembre (Zapopan); 011-52-1-33-3818-2575; mazmuseo.com; dedicated to modern art; 4 sleek minimalist galleries hold temporary exhibits, which have included works by Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo, as well as leading contemporary Mexican artists; many interactive exhibits; nexus for numerous cultural activities.
Las Nueve Esquinas (9 Corners) – just south of – & within comfortable walk of – central Plaza de la Liberation (Las Nueve Esquinas); understated working class neighborhood dotted with very worthwhile sites; architectural district with cobblestone streets.
Palacio de Gobierno – 31 Avenida Ramón Corona (Centro Historico); 011-52-1-33-3668-1825; zonaguadalajara.com/palacio-de-gobierno; houses state government offices since 1774; open to the public – just walk in – & enjoy 2 impressive socialist realist murals by José Clemente Orozco; 1937 mural of Miguel Hidalgo dominates main interior staircase, brandishing torch in 1 fist while masses struggle at his feet against twin burdens of communism & fascism; other Orozco mural is in ex-Congreso (former Congress Hall) upstairs, depicting Hidalgo, Benito Juárez & other historical luminaries; on ground floor is well-curated museum about history of Jalisco, including section on tequila cultivation.
Plaza de Armas – Avenida Morelos (Centro Historico); zonaguadalajara.com/plaza-de-armas; on cathedral’s south side; sweet place to rest & absorb surrounding history; frequent free concerts take place on attractive art nouveau bandstand.
Plaza Tapatia – from Teatro Degollado to Instituto Cultural de Cabañas (Centro Historico); zonaguadalajara.com/plaza-tapatia; fabulously wide pedestrian Plaza Tapatía sprawls for more 500m east from Teatro Degollado; stroll on Sundays & find yourself in sea of locals who shop at low-end crafts markets, snack (from both street cafes & vendors), watch street performers & rest on low walls of gurgling fountains.
La Rojeña (José Cuervo Distillery) – 73 Calle José Cuervo (Tequila, take Ruta de Tequila, which passes Volcán de Tequila & Herradura distillery in Amatitán); 011-52-1-37-4742-0050; cuervo.com; oldest distillery in Americas (1758).
Templo de Nuestra Señora de Aranzazú – 295 Avenida 16 de Septiembre 295 (Centro Historico, Las Nueve Esquinas); 011-52-1-33-3614-4083; zonaguadalajara.com/templo-de-nuestra-senora-de-aranzazu; built 1749-52 as part of the group integrated with Convent of San Francisco, street now bisecting complex, with Templo Aránzazu on west side & Iglesia San Francisco on east; baroque & known for beautiful churrigueresque style altarpieces made of carved wood gilded in gold; worth special trip.



MICHOACAN
Capula
Shopping
Juan Torres’ Catrinas – La Candelaria (in nearby Capula); 011-52-1-44-3320-5637; lakepatzcuaro.org/Capula.html; catrinas are female skeletons attired in Day-of-Dead style.

Ihuatzio
Shopping
Mario Lopez Torres – 88 Independencia; 011-52-1-43-4344-0779; tzumindi.com/artista.html; animal-shaped furniture from woven reed grass.

Morelia
Hotels
Hotel Villa Montana – 201 Patzimba; 011-52-1-44-3314-0231; villamontana.com.mx/NewAsp; 4 secluded acres in Santa Maria Hills; spectacular Morelia view, including baroque cathedral; cottage-style rooms and suites in gardens and on multilevel pathways form exclusive “mini-village”; superb antiques and art from Europe and Mexico.
Shopping
Mercado de Dulces – Avenida Madero Poneiente (at Valentin Gomez Farias); open daily; try ate (“AH-tay”), slow-cooked guava, pear, or quince and rompope (rum-rich eggnog).

Patzcuaro
Hotels
La Casa Encantada – 15 Dr. Coss; 011-52-1-43-4342-3492 or 619-819-8398; lacasaencantada.com; lively B&B in 18th Century colonial mansion off Plaza Don Vasco de Quiroga.
Hotel Mansion Iturbe – 59 Portal Moreles, Plaza Vasco de Quiroga; 011-52-1-43-4342-0368; mansioniturbe.com; 12 rooms; slightly formal.

San Jose de Gracia
Shopping
Hilario Alejo Madrigal – 60 Calle Morelos; zocalotx.com/HILARIOALEJOSMADRIGAL.htm; makes ceramic pineapples.

Santiago Tzipijo
Shopping
Kevin Quigley – Casa Santiago (in nearby Santiago Tzipijo); casasantiagomex.com; tours for craft sources; also operates tolerable B&B.

Tangancícuaro
Sights & Sites
Lago de Camécuaro National Park – Camino del Lago (located east of Zamora de Hidalgo); tangancicuaro.gob.mx/lago-de-camecuaro; 23.8 acres of protected area including Camécuaro Lake, which is supplied by natural springs; crystal clear water & beautiful vegetation.



MORELOS
Cuernavaca
Hotels
Las Mananitas – 107 Ricardo Linares; 011-52-1-77-7362-0000; lasmananitas.com.mx; colonial-style property 90 minutes from Mexico City; built around gardens and feels like beautiful private home; best mojitos anywhere.



OAXACA (except Oaxaca municipality)
Isla de Janitzio
Sights & Sites
Day of Dead – among Mexico’s most elaborate celebrations.

Mazunte
Beaches
Playa Mermejita – beautiful but undertow too dangerous for swimming.
Playa Rinconcito – best swimming.
Hotels
Oceanomar – Camino a Playa Mermejita; 011-52-01-958-587-6232; on cleverly landscaped hillside site with great views over Playa Mermejita; Italian-owned; gorgeous pool & 5 spacious, well-built rooms with nice craft details, hammock-slung terraces & good bathrooms; restaurant serves quality pasta, fish & meat dishes plus Mexican favorites; 3 minute walk from Playa Marmejita Beach & 10 minutes from Playa Rinconcito Beach; palapa-roof terrace, stunning sea views; turtle museum is 15-minute walk away.
Services
Copalita River Rafting (Ola Verde Expediciones) – Calle el Rinconcito; 011-52-01-958-109-6751; olaverdeexpediciones.com.mx/Rafting_Adventure_tours_Oaxaca_Coast.html.
Sights & Sites
National Mexican Turtle Center – Carretera Puerto Angel, km 10; 011-52-055-5449-7000, ext. 19001; centromexicanodelatortuga.org; aquarium & research center containing specimens of all world’s 8 marine-turtle species (7 of which frequent Mexico’s coasts), plus some freshwater & land varieties; on view in fairly large tanks.
Punta Cometa – rocky cape, jutting out from Mazunte beach’s west end (Oaxaca’s southernmost point); fabulous place to be sunset, with great long-distance views; for beautiful walk to point, take lane toward Playa Mermejita (off Calle Rinconcito) & go left up track immediately after cemetery, to reach community nature reserve entrance after 250m; here take path leading down to right (Sendero Corral de Piedra Poniente), which leads to point in 20-30 minutes via Cometa’s scenic western side; can return more directly by Sendero Principal path; total round-trip walking time from Calle Rinconcito (without stops) is about 1 hour.

Puerto Ángel
Beaches
Playa La Boquilla – unpaved road or, better, go by boat; lovely for outing; on scenic bay about 5km from town; good snorkeling; great hotel & restaurant on beach.
Hotels
Bahía de la Luna – Playa La Boquilla; 011-52-958-589-5020; bahiadelaluna.com.

San Augustinillo
Beaches
Playa San Agustinillo – tiny beach zone with several small hotels as well as fantastic, swimmable beach (just mind sometimes strong currents) & good fishing; about 1300 meters long, facing open ocean; divided into 3 sections by rocky outcroppings that jut out from beach into Pacific Ocean; sand is gold, medium grain; offshore waters are warm with green & blue tones; far west end is called Playa Rinconcito, which is relatively well-sheltered & considered safest for swimming; easternmost section is Playa Aragon & has both strong waves & strong undertow; fishermen offer area boat tours, as well as rental for sportsfishing; from June to December it is possible to see Olive Ridley turtles laying their eggs on this beach.

San Pedro Pochutla
Beaches
Zipolite – nude beach.

La Ventanilla
Beaches
La Ventanilla – area is home to about 25 Zapotec families dedicated to preserving ecology of both beach & lagoon & live in small village located on far east end.



SAN LUIS POTOSI
Xilitla (includes Aquismón, Huichihuayán, Tamasopo & Tancanhuitz)
Hotels
Casa de los Peristillos – Las Pozas; architecturalescapes.com; recently restored by architect Christopher Owen in the Surrealist manner, this house on the ground of Las Pozas is now available for rent.
Posada El Castillo – 105 Calle Melchor Ocampo; 011-52-01-48-9365-0038; elcastilloxilitla.com; really only hotel at which to stay; lovely; will arrange guides for Las Pozas; also, see house called Homage to Max Ernst, across street from Las Pozas (appointment through La Posada).
Restaurants
Comedor La Curva – Huichihuayán; 011-52-01-48-9361-4007; facebook.com/pg/Restaurant-La-Curva-De-Huichihuayan-105487056219179/about/?ref=page_internal; at foot of mountains before climb to Xilitla; seafood.
Restaurant Los Cayos – 117 Calle Alvarado; large restaurant on main square, with jukebox, view over palm trees & good, basic food: tostadas, carne asada, and fantastically crunchy fried chicken; enchiladas huastecas—fried, cheese-filled tortillas topped with red salsa is among house specialties.
Shopping
Albert Rosa Tienda – Huichihuayán; who knows?
Sights & Sites
Aquismón – 45-minute drive from Xilitla; village with pink-&-white church & enchanting park & waterfall.
Cascada de Tamul – Tamasopo; huaxteca.com/en/tamul-waterfall; 345' waterfall; set aside full day for this excursion, as it takes 2 hours just to cross river; Huastecs have inhabited region for Ks of years; Huastec women still wear quechquémitls (folded white cloth head-wraps).
Las Pozas – Camino Paseo Las Pozas (La Conchita, between Ciudad Valles & Tamanzuchale (approximately 40 miles south of Ciudad Valles, just off main road to Mexico City); 011-52-01-48-9365-0176; xilitla.org; Edward James created Las Pozas (“Pools”), more than 2K' above sea level, in subtropical rainforest in Mexican mountains, just outside Xilitla; more than 80 acres natural pools and waterfalls interlaced with towering, concrete Surrealist sculptures; in early 1940s, James went to Los Angeles and then decided he wanted Garden of Eden set up but felt that Mexico was more romantic and had more room; in Hollywood in 1941, his lifetime friend and cousin, Magic Realist painter Bridget Bate Tichenor, encouraged him to search for surreal location in Mexico to express these diverse esoteric interests; in Cuernavaca, he hired Plutarco Gastelum as guide, who took him to Xilitla in November 1945; eventually Plutarco married local woman and had 4 children; James was their ”Uncle Edward,” frequently staying with them in mock-Gothic cement castle Plutarco built (now hotel, La Posada El Castillo); between 1949-84, James built scores of surreal concrete structures with names like House on 3 Floors Which Will in Fact Have 5 or 4 or 6, House with Roof like Whale, and Staircase to Heaven; also tropical beds and plantings, including orchids (there were, apparently, 29K at one time) and various small casas (homes), niches, and pens that held exotic birds and wild animals from around world (James owned many exotic animals and once took his pet boa constrictors to Hotel Francis in Mexico City); massive sculptures up to 4 stories punctuate site; many trails throughout composed of steps, ramps, bridges, and narrow, winding walkways that traverse valley walls; construction cost more than $5M; to pay, James sold his Surrealist art collection; in summer 2007, Fundación Pedro y Elena Hernández, company Cemex, and San Luis Potosí government paid about $2.2M for Las Pozas and created Fondo Xilitla, foundation that will oversee site preservation and restoration.
Tancanhuitz (Ciudad Santos) – town tucked into narrow tree-covered valley, on Sunday.



SONORA
Alamos
Hotels
Hacienda de Los Santos – 8 Calle Molina; 011-52-1-64-7428-0222; haciendadelossantos.com; in Sierra Madre foothills, between Sea of Cortes and Copper Canyon; in northernmost Mexican colonial villages; built in 18th Century for wealthy silver baron; exquisitely restored; guest rooms appointed with antique Spanish colonial furnishings, plush linens, and wood-burning fireplace; fully equipped gym, 4 sparkling pools, putting greens, archery range, mountain bikes, and full-service.



TAMAULIPAS
Nuevo Laredo
Sights & Sites
Plaza de Toros/Bullring “Lauro Luis Longoria” – 411 Avenida Monterrey; 011-52-1-08-7127-192 & 011-52-1-08-7127-193; portaltaurino.net/plazas/america/mexico/nuevo_laredo.htm; bull fights.



TLAXCALA (includes Huamantla)
Tlaxcala
Hotels
Hacienda Soltepec – Km 3 Carretera Huamantla-Puebla (Huamantla); 011-52-1-24-7472-1466; haciendasoltepec.com; stunning property with stables, swimming pool, tennis courts, and white-tablecloth restaurant; “La Doña” is good room.
Posada la Casona de Cortes – 6 Lardizabal (Colonia Centro); 011-52-1-24-6462-2042; lacasonadecortes.com.mx; comfortable, crafts-filled rooms; not luxurious.
Restaurants
La Casa de los Magueyes – 202 Reforma Sur (Huamantla); 011-52-1-24-7472-2863; homestyle restaurant; try mixiote de Borrego (marinated lamb cooked in maguey leaf paper) and escamoles (ant larvae harvested from maguey roots)
Fonda del Convento – 1 Calzada San Francisco; 011-52-1-24-6462-076; traditional Tlaxcala food, such as rabbit in pulque.
Services
Hacienda & Pulque Tour – Javier Zamora Rios (Hacienda Soltepec owner); Km 3 Carretera Huamantla-Puebla (Huamantla); 011-52-1-24-7472-1466; haciendasoltepec.com.
Sights & Sites
Plaza de Toros “La Taurina” – Calle Allende Norte (next to Museo Taurino); tauroentrada.com; operating since 1870.
Hacienda Casa Malinche – Ex-hacienda Santa Barbara (Huamantla); 011-52-1-24-7100-0872; casamalinche.com; can arrange hacienda tours, as well as trips to Mt. Malinche.
Hacienda Tepeyahualcosee Javier Zamora Rios (Hacienda Soltepec owner); Km 3 Carretera Huamantla-Puebla (Huamantla); 011-52-1-24-7472-1466; haciendasoltepec.com
La Malinche National Park – Carretera 129 (45 kms from Tlaxcala); some easy hiking; 5th highest Mexico peak.
Museo Taurino – 205 Calle Allende Norte (Huamantla); 011-52-1-24-7472; taurino.tlaxcala.gob.mx; bull-fighting museum.
Rosete Aranda Museo Nacional de Titere – 15 Parque Juarez (Huamantla); 011-52-1-24-7472-1033; mexicanisimo.com.mx/anteriores/no2/museos002.html; puppet museum.
Parque Juarez – City Center (Huamantla).
San Luis Obsipo de Tolosa Parish Church – Parroquia de San Luis Obispo.



VERACRUZ
Veracruz
Hotels
Maison Couturier – Apartado Postal 110; 011-52-1-23-2325-0101; designhotels.com/maison; expensive; former agricultural estate in tropical enclave; built by French immigrants in 19th Century; 8 self-contained bungalows and 1 “landowner” suite; clean-lined but luxurious; palm-shaded pool; stone floors and beamed ceilings.

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