MEXICO

MUSEO NACIONAL de ANTROPOLOGÍA

museo_39Opened in 1964, designed by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, the Museo Nacional de Antropología, in the Bosque de Chapultepec, is a stunning place to visit. I spent an entire day quite happily there. The collection of pre-Colombian art is unequalled.VIEW GALLERY

CAMINO REAL-MEXICO CITY

Mexico City17

CAMINO REAL HOTEL was designed by  architect Ricardo Legorreta. This space is considered a Hotel-Museum for its beauty and art collection. It opened in July 1968. MEXICO CITY is one of the world’s great cities, the largest Spanish speaking city in the world, 9 million (greater Mexico City 21.2 million). Mexico’s capital is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Amerindians (Native Americans), the other being Quito. VIEW GALLERY

BASÍLICA de SANTA MARÍA de GUADALUPE

Virgen de Guadalupe Shrine03 Legend has it that a brown-skinned Virgin appeared miraculously to an Indian farmer, Juan Diego, in 1531. The shrine to La Virgen de Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic shrine in the Americas. It’s lovely old Basilica (early 1700s) had to be superseded by a modern building due to the numbers of worshipers. On view is the main object of veneration, Diego’s tunic upon which is the image of the Virgin.   VIEW GALLERY

TEOTIHUACÁN

DSC07011

The holy city of Teotihuacán (‘the place where the gods were created’) is situated some 50 km (30 miles) north-east of Mexico City. Built between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D., it is characterized by the vast size of its monuments – in particular, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, laid out on geometric and symbolic principles. Teotihuacan extended its cultural and artistic influence throughout the region, and even beyond. The site covers a total surface area of 83 square km (32 sq mi) and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico.VIEW GALLERY

ANGANGUEO

Angangueo_03Angangueo is located in Eastern Michoacan and  is noted for its history of mining and the location of the Monarch butterfly Biosphere Reserve. It is located in high rugged forested mountains, with the town in a small canyon. Founded after a large mineral deposit was discovered in the area in the very late 18th century, the mines gave out in the 20th century. VIEW GALLERY

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

DSC00486

West of Mexico City, in the highlands of the state of Michoacan, we stayed at the charming mountain village of ANGANGUEO. From here we visited two magical sanctuaries of wintering Monarchs, EL ROSARIO and CHINCUA. It is amazing to see the butterflies, although in such diminished numbers. They are threatened with extinction due to the loss of milkweed, their only food (thanks to Monsanto and their herbicides). Our trip was organized by the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture.  VIEW GALLERIES

VALLE DE BRAVO

Valle de Bravo_36On our return to Mexico City from Michoacan we stayed at the Alvándaro Resort in Valle de Bravo, visited the charming colonial Pueblo Magico de Valle de Bravo at the edge of a large man made lake and had our bus break down, eliminating a stop in Toluca and missing out on the famous Botanical Garden there.VIEW GALLERY

PUERTO VALLARTA – BANDERAS BAY HUMPBACK WHALES

DSC01890

Humpback whales winter in Banderas Bay off of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It is in this bay, 41 X 37 kms, that they mate and breed during the winter months. They are huge, 50′ long, 80,000 lbs. We were entertained by their joyful breaches, undulating moves and especially by their complex songs, part of the male’s mating behavior. They are only heard in Banderas Bay from mid-December- late March. VIEW GALLERY