3 weird and wonderful places to go in Mexico

Updated - September 7th 2020

As travel destinations go, Mexico has some obvious plus points, such as incredible weather, affordable food and drink, and some amazing resorts with swim-up bars. But it also plays host to some more unusual tourist draws as well.

We’ve already mentioned 5 awesome and unusual festivals for you to explore in Mexico. This time around, join us as we look at 3 of the weirder natural and archeological attractions that you can enjoy if you decide to take a trip to Latin America.

Catch a glimpse of a Mayan serpent god

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If you’re curious about Mayan culture, then you should try to visit the Yucatan Peninsula. There, you’ll find Chichen Itza, the largest Mayan temple from the era before European colonization. It is believed to have been a hugely diverse city, as there are a wide range of architectural styles across the site.

Time your visit right and you can catch a glimpse of Kukulkan, a feathered serpent deity of Mayan mythology. Twice a year, during the spring and autumn equinox, the sunlight casts a shadow on the pyramid steps of his temple El Castillo that looks like the undulating body of a serpent. If you are too busy to visit during those two particular dates, you can still see the serpent effect during night shows that use artificial lighting to reproduce the sight.

See “the world’s smallest volcano”

As the old saying goes, size isn’t everything! Some people prefer the showy ostentation of a huge volcano, such as Mauna Loa in Hawaii or Ojos del Salado in Chile. But for those of us who like things a little more compact (and easier to photograph), you should visit Cuexcomate.

Situated in the city of Puebla, Cuexcomate is known as the world’s smallest volcano because of its shape. In fact, it is technically a geyser that was most likely formed during geothermal activity resulting from the 1064 eruption of the 2nd highest peak in Mexico, Popocatépetl.

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You can travel down into the “crater” on a spiral staircase to get an unusual view of the inside of a geological formation. The excavated interior often plays host to local cultural events. It’s said that in ancient times, Cuexcomate was a dumping ground for local suicides, and other lost-but-living souls were tossed in as human sacrifices.

Visit a museum… under the ocean’s surface!

Where does museum curation meet conservation and coral reefs? In Mexico, of course! MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) is a huge sculpture project formed in the waters surrounding Cancun. Visitors can strap on the scuba gear and dive into an underwater world of wonder.

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Launched in 2009, MUSA was designed to pull tourist snorkelers and divers away from the naturally formed coral reefs, which were sustaining damage from curious visitors and their boat anchors. The exhibits also provide a new and expanded environment for the local marine life to investigate and inhabit.

MUSA boasts over 500 different sculptures set across three “viewing galleries”. Many of the pieces are representations of human figures, making the seabed look like an eerie world frozen in time. It’s a unique exhibition that is among the most unusual cultural offerings of Mexico!

Of course, the best way to experience hole in wall areas is via vacation rentals. You can find quaint apartments throughout Mexico that let you explore the country similar to locals. Featuring a lot of comforts of being at home and low prices, this will quickly become your favorite form of accommodation when visiting wonderfully weird locales.

Looking for inspiration on Mexican culinary delights? – Check out this post on foods you have to try in Mexico city. 

Planning a trip to Mexico? Get some tips on hitchhiking across Mexico from a fellow blogger.

Also, check out my review of the 25 most awesome hostels in Mexico City. 

Images by D-Stanley, Didier Ortega and 2ilorg, and used under Creative Commons license

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