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Two Weeks in Mexico's Colonial Heartland

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Mexico's colonial heartland is where Mexico was born. Wander the cobblestone streets of its charming colonial towns and cities and retrace the steps of Mexico's founding fathers in cities like Guadalajara (the birthplace of Mariachi), Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo, and San Miguel de Allende. In Mexico's colonial heartland, you can visit mountain pueblos that time forgot one day, and the next be soaking up the cosmopolitan culture of a UNESCO World Heritage city.
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Av. Benito Juárez 212, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico
One of my favorite parts about Guanajuato, Mexico was exploring the colorful cobblestone alleys and stumbling upon tiny cafes and incredible viewpoints. A guide told me that the government sponsored a program to help beautify the city with bright...
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Coatepec de Morelos, 61531 Zitácuaro, Mich., Mexico
Walk into the past as you climb the hill of this small village to La Iglesia de San Pancho, a restored 16th century Franciscan church that appeared in the classic John Huston-Humphrey Bogart film Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Stay the night at the...
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Carretera a Huetamo km 3+300, San Cayetano, 61512 Zitácuaro, Mich., Mexico
Located 2 km from Zitacuaro, Michoacan, Rancho San Cayetano is an oasis of calm and an excellent base for seeing the monarch butterflies at Cerro Pelón. Lisette and Pablo Span are your kind and efficient hosts who, in butterfly season (October and...
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Calle Venustiano Carranza 16, Zona Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico
Though it was built in 1968, Hotel de Mendoza reflects its 16th-century surroundings. Nestled in the heart of Guadalajara’s centro historico, the hotel features 104 simple yet elegant rooms, with hand-carved, colonial-style...
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Michoacán, Mexico
Every autumn, millions of Monarch butterflies make their way from Canada and the northern US to the pine forests of this corner of Michoacán, where they hibernate for the winter. Seeing these little creatures fly in swarms over hills and highways...
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Calle Cabañas 8, Las Fresas, San Juan de Dios, 44360 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico
This 19th-century complex, originally built as a hospital for the disadvantaged, is host to an impressive display of modern art, most notably a series of frescoes by famous Mexican muralist Jose Clemente Orozco. The collection includes one of his...
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Janitzio, Michoacán, Mexico
In July I visited Patzcuaro in the state of Michoacan in Mexico. On Lago Patzcuaro, there are a few inhabited islands, the largest being Janitzio. This quaint and rustic island is the perfect getaway to spend a day. You arrive by ferry and once...
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Zona Centro, La Palmita, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico
While watching a bull meet its grisly end is not everyone's idea of a pleasant afternoon, the costumes and fanfare accompanying a bullfight are worth the price of the ticket. This bullfight in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, MX featured a...