Mexico has 35 places that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of these, there are 27 cultural sites, 6 natural sites, and 2 mixed sites. Mexico doesn’t share any of these places with other countries. Mexico has a large number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and some of the most important pre-Columbian buildings on the Yucatan Peninsula are among them. Most of these ancient cities are within an hour’s drive of modern cities, but others are deep in thick tropical jungles and hard to get to.
Mexico Heritage, includes:
Mexican Historic Sites
Mexican historic sites, such as their dazzling cluster of bright pyramids and ornate stone landmarks, appear to be the extra details that compensate. Some ruins of Mayan cities and Aztec palaces show how proud they were of their past innovations, which are important parts of Central American history.
With the Spanish victory came new ways of putting things together and striking designs for cities. You can learn about some of Central America’s interesting cultures and beautiful cities by looking at this list of Mexico’s most important historical sites.
Chichen Itza was one of the most important and holy Mayan cities on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. In 1988, UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site. During the roughly 1,000-year history of the city, many different ethnic groups have left their mark. Maya and Toltec art and structures made of stone show how these people saw the world and the universe.
The Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza is one of the most important Mayan-Toltec sites in Yucatán because it combines traditional Mayan building methods with new ideas from central Mexico. The Warriors’ Temple, El Castillo, and El Caracol, an elliptical observatory, are some of the buildings that are still standing.
Chichén Itzá is a 4 square mile Maya city in Mexico’s south-central Yucatán state that has been destroyed (10 square kilometers). This place is said to have been a religious, military, political, and economic center. At its peak, 35,000 people would have lived there.
Calakmul, a former Maya city, is now a biosphere reserve in the Mexican state of Campeche. It is in the middle of the Yucatán Peninsula in the south. The place was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2002. The Mayan ruins of Calakmul are in the south of Mexico. They are what’s left of an important Mayan city from long ago.
The ruins of Calakmul are in Tierras Bajas. They are in the middle of a tropical forest. For more than 1,200 years, the city was an important part of the history of this area.
It also has well-kept buildings that show how Maya people used to live in their capital. There are also many different kinds of animals in the area where the land is. This is the third largest in the world. It includes all subtropical and tropical ecosystems from the middle of Mexico to the Panama Canal. It looks different now and is bigger.
Calakmul, an old Mayan city in Campeche, is now 3000 hectares big. The new land is 331,397 hectares, and it is surrounded by a buffer zone of 391,788 hectares. When you add these two areas together, they are the same size as the entire Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.
Mexico Monarch Butterflies
The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is about 100 kilometers northwest of Mexico City. It is made up of rough, forested mountains, and since 2008, the monarch butterfly migration has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Most eastern monarch butterflies spend the winter in places called “sanctuaries” for monarch butterflies. They are in the pine-oak woodland eco-region of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, which is on the border of Michoacan and the State of Mexico, 62 miles (100 km) northwest of Mexico City.
Millions of butterflies come to the reserve every year. From October to March, butterflies only live on a small part of the 56,000 hectares that make up the reserve. The goal of the biosphere is to protect butterfly species and the places they live. Most monarchs that spend the winter in the eastern part of North America may be here.
Estimates say that a billion monarch butterflies could spend the winter here every year. There are between 6 and 60 million butterflies per acre in these colonies, so they are dense. In the state of Mexico, the reserve areas are in the towns of Donato Guerra, Villa de Allende, and Temascalcingo. In the state of Michoacán, the reserve areas are in the towns of Ocampo, Angangueo, Zitcuaro, and Contepec.
Morelia is right in the middle of Mexico’s west side. It is the capital of Michoacán state. In 1991, the Historic Center of Morelia was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Morelia City is between the Chiquito and Grande rivers, at the southern end of the Central Plateau. About 6,400 feet above the sea (1,950 meters).
The Tarascan people lived there before Valladolid was built there in 1541. Michoacán’s capital moved from Pátzcuaro to Valladolid in 1582. It was a very important place for learning and culture when it was a colony. A big part of this was San Nicolás College. In 1540, the college opened in Pátzcuaro.
In 1580, they moved to Valladolid. In 1917, it was renamed Michoacán University of San Nicolás de Hidalgo. During the wars for Mexican independence, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla used the city for a short time as a base of operations.
In 1828, the city was named Morelia to honor José Maria Morelos y Pavón. He was born in Morelia, and he worked to get Spain to stop controlling Mexico. There are more than 200 buildings from the time when Spain ruled Morelia in the Historic Center.
In 1744, people in Morelia were still building the cathedral. The cathedral is a great example of the Baroque style in Spain. The beautiful organ in the Morelia Cathedral has 4,600 pipes and is always the highlight of the annual organ festival. The colonial governor’s palace and a 3-mile (5-km) aqueduct built in 1785 are also very impressive buildings. In Morelia, there are both places that sell things and those that do things for people.
People in Morelia make processed foods, drinks, and things to build with. They also work in the government, schools, stores, and the tourism industry. People in the country grow corn, beans, fruit, sugarcane, and cattle, which they then sell in Morelia. All of Mexico’s big cities are linked to the city by rail, highway, and air.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mexico
- Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco
- Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán
- Historic Centre of Puebla
- Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque
- Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan
- Sian Ka’an
- Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines
- Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza
- Historic Centre of Morelia
- El Tajin, Pre-Hispanic City
- Historic Centre of Zacatecas
- Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco
- Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino
- Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl
- Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro
- Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal
- Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara
- Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes
- Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan
- Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco
- Historic Fortified Town of Campeche
- Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche
- Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro
- Luis Barragán House and Studio
- Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California
- Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila
- Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
- Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
- Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco
- Camino Real de Tierra Adentro
- Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca
- El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve
- Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System
- Archipiélago de Revillagigedo
- Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: originary habitat of Mesoamerica