Sharing is Caring!

The rich Mexican culture has empowered UNESCO to name at least 35 Mexican landmarks as ‘World Heritage Sites’. There are 27 cultural sites, 6 natural sites, and 2 mixed sites (geography with the architecture mixed in) according to UNESCO. Scores of ancient civilizations such as the Aztec, Inca, Mayan, Olmec, and Zapotec have contributed to the modern ways of traditional Mexican life. According to archeologists, there have been ancient stone tools found at various famous landmarks in Mexico that suggest human existence for at least 23,000 years! These famous landmarks in Mexico are definitely worth a visit on your next trip to Mexico. 

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarksAside from its ancient ruins, Mexico is also well-known for its stunning churches, “Day of the Dead” celebrations, its food and drink (think tacos and tequila or a margarita), and its style of music (Mariachi). As well as its stunning beach destinations (Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo), scuba diving, impressive cities to visit, and its hard-core drug cartels.

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Mexico is also a historic and cultured country that I absolutely love to visit. It is the 14th-largest country in the world and 11th most populated country with more than 121 million people living there. This beautiful country lies just south of the United States of America and is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea. So let’s review a few of the most famous Mexican landmarks.

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Famous Landmarks in Mexico:

✦ Chichen Itza

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula Region

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

I am sure everyone has heard of this famous Mexican landmark located not too far from Cancun on the Yucatan Penninsula. It is one of the most visited ancient ruins in all of Mexico. After having been on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2007, the glorious Chichen Itza site was named one of the new seven wonders of the world! Archaeologists believe that the Chichen Itza was a high-powered city in 600 AD, during which time they built the four clusters of this pyramid.

Mayans believed that a feathered serpent god helped create the world they lived in. It is here where they wished to honor it with a temple. The original Temple of Kukulkan was built by the Toltecs and later added on to by the Mayans.

In a recent discovery, archeologists found an underground river at the bottom of this grandiose temple. Chichen Itza is the largest of all the Mayan cities. It has been found that if you clap your hands at various points (such as at the Ball Court), you will hear echoes or other unusual sounds. This is a cool thing that the guides will show you if you decide to take a visit to the ancient ruin.

You can take a day trip easily from Cancun or most places within the Riviera Maya on the Yucatan Penninsula. There are many tours that pick you up at your hotel or you can rent a car and drive there.

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks


Places to eat and stay in the Yucatan Peninsula:

Foodie Heaven: Benazuzu, Cancun Mexico

Hyatt Zilara Cancun: A Relaxing Getaway For Adults


Chacchoben

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula Region

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins in Mexico

Chacchoben is located in the Yucatan Penninsula, south of Tulum. It is one of the lesser-known Mayan ancient ruins. This primarily because of its tropical forest location. It is believed that the first human settlements date back to between 700 and 1000 BC. It became one of the largest religious communities of the Mayan people by 360 AD.

Also known as the “place of the red corn”, it was discovered in 1942 by a farmer who built his house nearby. He protected the site until 1972 until it was brought to the attention of the Mexican government. It is now officially an ancient ruin of Mexico. One of the most unusual things about Chacchoben is that it has no inscriptions or ornamentations on the buildings. This is the perfect famous Mexican landmark to visit while you are staying in the Riviera Maya region. It is about a 2-hour drive from the city of Tulum.

Tulum

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula Region

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

On the Caribbean coast of Mexico, the town of Tulum offers seaside Mayan ruins, sandy beaches, and many undersea caverns and cenotes. The Tulum ancient ruin site is the 3rd most visited ancient ruins site in Mexico. This mythical place is situated along the Riviera Maya and was originally built to be a fortress. The Mayans knew they needed protection and choose to build an overwhelming fortress to keep an eye on possible invaders.

Tulum was also considered a port and a trading post for the Mayan people between the 11th and 16th centuries BC. You can visit this ancient ruin and famous Mexican landmark while staying in the city of Tulum. 


Recommended Reading about Adventure Parks in the Yucatan Penninsula:

Gliding Thru Hidden Worlds

Xcaret, What is it?

The Ultimate Xel Ha Travel Guide – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Xcaret, Mexico: The Adventure Park You Will Enjoy the Most!

Behind the Scenes: Cancun Xcaret’s Espectacular


✦ Mayápan

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula Region

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Mayápan was the last civilization in Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors and the wealth that came along with them. It is located in the Yucatán Penninsula near Merida and was a walled city of about 14,000 people, with 5000 people or so living outside the city walls. It was the ancient center of Mayan culture, as well as the political capital of the region from about the 1220 – 1440 AD.

Today, remnants of more than 4000 structures lie inside the defensive walls. Its main building is a replica of the Castillo de Kukulkan is its most impressive structure. This structure is known as El Castillo Pyramid or the Kukulcan Temple. Murals showing scenes of war have been located on the interior walls of the temple. This is a fantastic famous landmark in Mexico to visit while staying in the city of Merida.

Uxmal

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula Region

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

UNESCO claimed Uxmal as a World Heritage Site which is found along the Yucatan Peninsula in 1996. This archeological area was inhabited at least 3,000 years ago. This area has huge grounds that are occupied by various buildings, temples, and structures. Visitors will admire the ancient ruins of the Governor’s Place, House of the Turtles, South Temple, and Pyramid of the Magician. This famous Mexican landmark is a great place to visit while you stay in Merida.

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Famous Landmarks in Mexico:

Palenque

Located in the state of Chiapas

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Ancient Ruins of Palenque against the blue sky, Maya city in Chiapas, Mexico

The archeological site of Palenque was first opened to the public in 1987, after being named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. After intense studies of the Palenque people and site, it has been discovered that they were a political group who loved to dominate and rule. Many frescos have been found throughout the burial sites and temples.

Under the Temple of Inscriptions lies the burial site of an ancient leader, Pakal. The on-site museum gives guests access to Mayan glyphs, pottery, and ancient carvings. I can recommend this ancient ruin and famous Mexican landmark for a visit while staying in the city of Chiapas.

Xochicalco

Located in the state of Morelos

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Located in the Morelos state of Mexico is the ancient city of Xochicalco. It is also known as “In the Place of the Flower House”. It is situated on top of a large hill. Several elements from the Aztec, Zapotec, and Olmec cultures were used to build this 9th century AD city. The main purpose of this ancient city was trade, using the Pacific Ocean as the main port. In 1999, UNESCO announced Xochicalco as a World Heritage Site and qualified it as a famous Mexican landmark.

✦ Mitla

Located in the state of Oaxaca

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Also located in the state of Oaxaca is the most important religious center for the ancient Zapotec culture known at Mitla. It is a fascinating ancient ruin that was built and evolved from 900 BC to 1521 AD. It is famous for its elaborate mosaic fretwork that adorns the facades of the buildings and tombs.

I had a chance to visit this famous landmark in Mexico when I stayed in the city of Oaxaca. Honestly, this area of Mexico for me is fascinating and worth a visit. If you ever get a chance, be sure and stay in Oaxaca City and take day trips to the various landmarks in the area. I especially loved a day trip to Hierve el Agua


Want to read more about Zipolite Beach in the state of Oaxaca?


✦ Monte Albán

Located in the state of Oaxaca

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Monte Albán is located in the state of Oaxaca not too far from Oaxaca City as well. It is one of the earliest urban centers in Mesoamerica. This was the center of Zapotec culture for nearly 1000 years. It was founded sometime around 500 BC and inhabited until 750 AD. It contains remnants of many impressive structures such as the Main Plaza, the Ballgame Court, and numerous stone carvings. I also had a chance to visit Monte Albán when I visited Oaxaca City as well.


More Recommended Reading about Mexico:

Zihuatanejo, Mexico: Simply Paradise Unplugged


Great Pyramid of Cholula

Located in the state of Puebla

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

The Great Pyramid of Cholula is the largest pyramid in the world standing at 180 feet high! This famous and most-beloved Mexican landmark has at least half a million visitors each year! This pyramid is located in Cholula near Puebla. It was built as a religious center. Similar to the construction of the Egyptian pyramids, this one was built in four stages and over a period of hundreds of years. The pyramid has three main buildings (along with other smaller buildings), the main courtyard, altars, ancient mural paintings, and burial sites. When staying in Puebla, this is the perfect ancient ruin to visit.

✦ Pyramid of the Niches

Located in the state of Veracruz

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

Located in the state of Veracruz, Mexico lies the Pyramid of the Niches in the city of El Tajin. This city rose to power between 800 and 1200 AD. At one time, it was the most important center of the Mesoamerican northeast. Of course, its most impressive ruin is the Pyramid of the Niches that rises to 65 feet tall with 7 stairs that lead to the top of the landmark.

Formed from blocks of stone, there are 365 steps, suggesting the astronomical calendar to track the days of the year! Today it is one of the least visited famous Mexican landmarks and ancient ruins sites primarily because of its humid jungle location.

Famous Landmarks in or near Mexico City:

Mexico City today is a thriving metropolis, but before it was the vast city it is today, it was the old Aztec capital. One the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, they built a second city on top of the ruins of Tenochtitlán. If you have a chance to visit Mexico City, you would be remiss if you didn’t get a chance to visit at least one of its famous landmarks listed below.


Take an Overnight Day Trip to San Miguel de Allende from Mexico City


Catedral de Metropolitana de la Asuncion (Cathedral)

Located in Mexico City

Zocalo cathedral Photo by Adrian Sampson WA, USA / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

This Mexico City Catedral de Metropolitana de la Asuncion is one of the most recognized and famous landmarks in Mexico. This cathedral stands at 220 feet high and has one large dome. Construction of this cathedral began in 1573 AD and was completed with Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Plateresque styles in 1813. Four beautiful statues of Saint Peter, Paul the Apostle, Saint Andrew, and James the Just are engraved in the main facade of this cathedral. There are 16 chapels within this cathedral, each dedicated to different saints such as Saint Isidore, Saint Peter, and the Immaculate Conception.

Castillo de Chapultepec (Castle)

Located in Mexico City

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

The Castillo de Chapultepec was built in 1785 by Viceroy Bernardo de Galvez and has been used for various purposes. It is located on top of the Chapultepec Hill within Mexico City. This castle was once a vacation home, military academy, presidential home, and now a National Museum. Visitors can marvel at the marvelous mural paintings, colorful corridors, and gold embellishments. The outdoor area has a unique checkerboard pavement and beautifully carved statues. This place is gorgeous, as you can see from the above photo taken from the inside of the castle. It is often called the only real castle in North America!

Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe (Cathedral)

Located in Mexico City

Bazilika de Guadalupe 01

        Photo by Karolja / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

At Least 17 million tourists enter the doors of this famous landmark in Mexico. Compared to other older churches in Mexico, the Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe is fairly new and was built in 1974 and completed in 1976. One of the stunning features of this church is the “covering” of the exterior, which is said to symbolize the Virgin’s mantle. Guided tours are available at this basilica, but people should be mindful when entering because there could be up to 30 masses held in one day.

Templo Mayor (Temple)

Located in Mexico City

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

This stunning temple was the main temple of the Mexica peoples in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. It was considered the most important building in the Aztec culture. Like most temples of the Aztec period, the Templo Mayor was built to have several layers and is very tall. In 1325 AD, the Aztec choose to honor the God of war and the God of rain and agriculture by constructing this magnificent temple. Like other Mexican landmarks, this temple was honored in 1987 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Arqueologica Teotihuacan (Ancient Ruin)

Located in NE of Mexico City

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

The site of Teotihuacan is believed to have been constructed during the year 100 BC and is located northeast of Mexico City. The most symbolic and beloved parts of this Mexican landmark are the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon.

Not much is known about the Teotihuacan people, but it is evident that they knew how to build plazas, temples, and pyramids. The feathered serpent is a mythical creature that is seen throughout ancient history in Mexico. Archeologists have found sacrificial victims are buried beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. This famous Mexican landmark is perfect to visit when staying in Mexico City.


Take an Overnight Day Trip from Mexico City to Cuernavaca


Famous Landmarks in Mexico: Limestone Cenotes, Caves, and Sinkholes:

Not only does Mexico have famous Mexican landmarks and ancient ruins to explore, but they also have limestone cenotes, caves, and sinkholes that are lots of fun to visit as well. These are some of the most unique and natural limestone systems in the world. Many of which are located in the state of Quintana Roo. Quintana Roo is one of the 32 states in Mexico and located along the Yucatán Peninsula. There are many caves with cultural significance among these man-made Mexican landmarks listed.

Famous landmarks in Mexico, Mexico famous landmarks, Mexico landmarks, interesting facts about Mexico, Mexico landmarks, landmarks of Mexico, landmarks in Mexico #Mexico #MexicoLandmarks

✦ Sistema Ox Bel Ha

This underwater cave system, Sistema Ox Bel Ha, is the longest explored underwater cave in the world! It includes 167 miles of underwater caverns! It is located in the state of Quintana Roo.

✦ Sistema Sac Actun

Since the discovery of a connecting passage to Dos Ojos underwater caverns system, Sistema Sac Actun is the longest known underwater cave system. and the second-longest cave in the world.  Many parts of this system are above ground. It is also located in the state of  Quintana Roo.

✦ El Zacatón sinkhole

El Zacatón sinkhole is located in the state of Tamaulipas and is a thermal water-filled sinkhole. It is the deepest known water-filled sinkhole in the world! In fact, its depth has made it a very important dive site. El Zacatón is just one of the numerous sinkholes in the region. There are more than 15 sinkholes, several cave systems, and karst springs in the area of El Zacaton.ZacatonMDrawing by: Daarznieks / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

✦ Gruta de las Canicas

Gruta de las Canicas is located in the state of Tabasco and is known as the “cave of pearls”, as there are literally trillions (or more) of small spherical calcite formations the size of marbles found here. They are formed by the deposition of calcium salts around a grain of sand! They sparkle white!

✦ Cave of the Crystals, Naica

Cristales cueva de Naica

Located in the state of Chihuahua, this cave has giant selenite crystals up to 40 feet long, many weighing as much as 55 tons! It is also known as the “giant crystal cave”. It is connected to the Naica mine and is approximately 984 feet deep. It contains some of the largest crystals ever found.

✦ Sotano de las Golondrinas

Located in the state of San Luis Potosí, and also known as the “cave of swallows”, this cave is the largest cave shaft in the world measuring more than 1220 feet deep! Many of the birds within the cave have to fly ascending in circles around the cave until they can actually reach the top!


Places to scuba dive in Mexico:

Diving Kukulkan, a Cancun Cenote Experience

Scuba Diving Cancun: Cancun’s Underwater Museum


When the time comes for you to choose your Mexican adventure, skip the shopping destinations, and head straight to the famous Mexican landmarks or the caves and sinkholes. Your mind will be in awe as you walk through the stunning ancient ruins of the Mayans and you might be able to climb a historic site at Uxmal. Make the most out of your Mexico trip and visit the legacies that have been created in the world.

 

 

Sharing is Caring!