Mexican Music: Past and Present

Mexico is a country that is filled with different cultures and traditions. From food to traditional dress and festivals, there are many different flavors and colors to experience throughout the country. And the music you can find there is no exception.

Of course, most of the modern popular music in Mexico is what you might expect… the same sorts of contemporary pop music found throughout the rest of the world. The pop streaming in Mexico comes from all over the world (and in particular the U.S. and the rest of Latin America) but some of the big, internationally recognized Mexican pop stars, most celebrated in their native country and in the rest of the world include Thalía, Paulina Rubio, Maná and Luis Miguel. And although pop is what you may hear popularly in restaurants, stores or on the bus, people in Mexico, just like people everywhere else in the world of course, listen to all different kinds of music.

That being said, each region in Mexico does have its own particular musical past and present. So, take a look at some of the most popular travel destinations in Mexico, the traditional music that comes from those regions and the kinds of music you might hear there today:

Playa del Carmen:

Live Music Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is famous for lovely beaches and an exciting nightlife, and is found in the state of Yucatan, in the south east of Mexico. The Yucatan has an interesting musical history with influences from Cuba (the bolero) and Colombia (the bambuco). But the region is most well known for the famous “Trova Yucateca.” The trova became popular in the late 19th century and mixes Caribbean rhythms, sweet sounding guitar and poetic vocals to create lovely duets and a true folk tradition from the region.

Of course, if you go to Playa del Carmen today, you might not find as many places to listen to a trova. Now, Playa is known for its many live music venues and for the possibility of seeing almost any kind of music you want right up close and personal. From rock to electronic, to traditional, to punk, to indie, to everything in between, and with venues on the beach to the city center and beyond, there is an eclectic mix of almost every type of music imaginable playing live almost any night of the week in Playa del Carmen.


Mariachi band Oaxaca

Because of the mix of many cultures in Oaxaca, traditional music from the area is filled with diverse influences and different sounds. While a huge percentage of Oaxacans are indigenous, Spanish and African cultures have also been very influential in the region throughout history. The danzón, a style of music that began in Cuba, and which integrates influences from Spanish, British and African beats and rhythms, became very popular in Oaxaca and is still commonly played in plazas for dancing. Oaxaca is also known for its variation of the Son, the Son Istmeño, sung in both Zapotec (an indigenous language from the region) and Spanish, with both indigenous and Spanish rhythms. The area is also known for the marimba along with its famous brass bands beginning with German immigrants and later developing their own distinct Oaxacan flavor.

Modern day Oaxaca is still teaming with musicians and buzzing with music. You’ll hear street musicians wherever you go – mariachi bands might play in the city’s main square (the Zocolo) blowing trumpets and strumming guitars, or you may hear accordions, mandolins, and more guitars as you wander through the city’s old town. If you’re looking for some live music, you will find excellent venues with everything from jazz to rock n’ roll, to salsa to the famous and traditional brass bands Tambora Oaxaqueña throughout the city.


Wind band Guanajuato

Traditionally, Guanajuato is known for wind bands. Brass instruments like trumpets, trombones and tubas along with woodwinds like clarinets and saxophones, and percussion instruments come together to create this kind of music. Wind bands in Guanajuato play a diverse range of music including popular folk music, sones and danzones.

Today in Guanajuato, you can see an interesting mix of traditional and contemporary music. The city is particularly famous for its callejoneadas, informal street processions in which musicians put on traditional dress from the region and walk through the town’s narrow streets, serenading anyone who happens to be around. Most commonly, callejoneadas are led by student minstrels who perform Mexican folk music that tells stories and shares the city’s history with people throughout the old town and city center. Catching a callejoneada en route is a great way to experience Guanajuato’s history reinterpreted today.


In Mexico the range and diversity of culture to be found is exciting and inspiring. Music is just a little piece of the cultural and historical pie, but it is a tasty way to experience the country and to understand the different regions that make it up. What is your favorite kind of Mexican music? Where do you go to enjoy it?

Best Day Trips from Madrid

Madrid is a fantastic city that could fill your days and nights with exciting discoveries, new corners to explore, tasty treats and lovely sights. But sometimes the ever-stimulating city streets call for a bit of a breather. And even if they don’t, even if you’re so enthralled by the mad city of Madrid that you never want to leave, there are a few quick day trips to beautiful towns around the capital city that are truly worth a visit. Check out some of our favorite day trips from Madrid and how to get there.


View of Toledo

View of Toledo

Toledo will bring you back in time. Its winding cobblestone streets will lead you through the history of three different cultures elegantly woven together to create an ancient Christian, Muslim and Jewish town with Visigoth and Roman roots. Toledo is known for having been a space where these three cultures coexisted peacefully, making it a city brimming with interest and history. Explore the Cathedral and tip your head back in awe at the Gothic architecture and the stunning works of art by greats like El Greco and Velazquez; then take a tour of the Sinagoga del Tránsito for a look into Spain’s Jewish heritage, or the Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz to see the remains of a mosque from the time of Arabic rule. Don’t miss the famous El Greco Museum to see works by one of Spain’s most recognized artists (and a native of Toledo), then wander up to the Alcázar fortress, overlooking the city and the mote-like Río Tajo that surrounds it for a little lesson in history. Try the city’s famous marzipan and maybe even buy a handcrafted knife or sword commemorating Toledo’s artisanal past.

How to get there:

High Speed Train (AVE):

Take the fast train and get to Toledo from Madrid in only 35 minutes (approximately).

Where to buy tickets: or at Atocha Train Station

Depart from: Madrid, Puerta de Atocha Station

Duration: 35 min. (approx.)

Arrive: Toledo Station

Approximate return trip cost: €20.60


The bus is a great option for those on a budget who don’t mind a slightly longer ride. It takes about an hour and a half from Madrid to Toledo.

Where to buy tickets:

Depart from: Madrid, Plaza Elíptica (metro station/intercambiador)

Arrive: Toledo Bus Station

Approximate return trip cost: €9.40-€12.00

**Keep in mind that both the bus station and the train station are a little outside of the city center. Take buses 5, 5D, 51, 61, and 62 from the train station or lines 5 or 12 from the bus station to the center (or take a walk – it’s about 15 minutes on foot).


Segovia's Roman Aqueduct

Segovia’s Roman Aqueduct

Segovia with its famous cochinilo (roasted suckling pig), the incredible Roman Aqueduct that might just make your neck ache as you gaze up at all its glory, the views of the arid Castilian landscape from the incredibly Disney-princessesque, stunning Alcázar, the absolutely beautiful Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral, the Palacio Real… the list goes on and on. All of the sights to see and the great food to enjoy will leave you with a full day in Segovia. But even if you feel more like lounging, the city’s small town charm will enchant you from the moment you get there until the time when you grudgingly have to leave. This small city is definitely worth the short trip from Madrid.

How to get there:

High Speed Train (AVE):

Take the fast train from Madrid and get to Segovia in only about 30 minutes.

Where to buy tickets: or at Chamartín Train Station

Depart from: Madrid, Chamartín Station

Duration: 30 min. (approx.)

Arrive: Segovia Station

Approximate return trip cost: €13.20 (prices vary, it’s best to check out the Renfe website for accurate prices)


The bus from Madrid takes about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Where to buy tickets:

Depart from: Madrid, Moncloa (metro station/intercambiador)

Arrive: Segovia Bus Station

Approximate return trip cost: €14.24

*Make sure to choose a direct bus for an easier and faster trip.

El Escorial

Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial


El Escorial is a spectacular small city to explore. The main attraction is the incredible monastery and for very good reason. The enormous building complex that holds the monastery is also used as a burial place (its incredible Royal Pantheon) for royalty beginning with Charles V in the 16th century when it was constructed, a royal palace, college and breathtaking library. Not to mention the grounds around the giant complex are filled with gardens, pools and plazas to explore. However, after you’ve finished the grand tour of the monastery, the rest of the city is filled with great restaurants for excellent Spanish (and other international) cuisine, little shops to stroll through and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Since it only takes about an hour to get there and is in the beautiful Guadarrama Mountains of Madrid, San Lorenzo de El Escorial is definitely a day trip from Madrid that’s worth making.

How to get there:

Cercanías (Train):

Taking the train from Madrid to El Escorial is easy and leaves often from many stations throughout Madrid. It is a stop on the C-3 line of Cercanías (the close-to-Madrid train lines).

Where to buy tickets: At the following metro stations where you can also get on the train:

Chamartín, Nuevos Ministerios, Atocha

Use the ticket machines or buy at the stations’ ticket offices.

Depart from: Madrid, Chamartín, Nuevos Ministerios or Atocha stations (look for signs for Cercanías)

Duration: 50 min. – 1 hr. 10 min. (approx.)

Arrive: El Escorial Station

Approximate return trip cost: €6.80 (prices may vary)


Buses #661 or #664 take about an hour from Madrid.

Where to buy tickets: On the bus or at an estanco (tobacco kiosk) close to the bus station. There is a tobacco kiosk inside the Intercambiador de Moncloa metro/bus station (make sure to have cash to pay at the estanco – sometimes they don’t accept credit cards – and close to exact change to pay on the bus).

Depart from: Madrid’s Intercambiador de Moncloa metro/bus station

Arrive: El Escorial Bus Station

Approximate return trip cost: €8.40



Wall of Ávila

Ávila is a gorgeous little medieval town and the perfect place to feel like you have wandered into a fairytale or at least back to the Spain of old, where castles, walled cities, kings and cathedrals dominated the landscape. It is home to Santa Teresa de Ávila and has an astounding number of churches, monasteries and convents exhibiting beautiful Romanesque and Gothic architecture. But the city wall, the most intact and complete in Spain, is the real stunner, and especially at night when it is illuminated with golden lights. Don’t miss the Puerta del Alcázar to experience the wall in all its glory. And after getting your fill of walking to see all of this UNESCO World Heritage city’s sights, don’t forget to try some of its traditional treats like yemas de Santa Teresa, a sweet made with egg yolks and sugar, or the many recipes made with judías de El Barco de Ávila (beans from the region).

How to get there:


The train from Madrid to Ávila takes between an hour and forty minutes and a little over two hours.

Where to buy tickets: or at Chamartín Train Station

Depart from: Madrid, Chamartín Train Station

Duration: 1 hr. 40 min. – 2 hrs. 3 min. (approx.)

Arrive: Ávila Station

Approximate return trip cost: from about €17 to €20


The bus to Ávila from Madrid can take anywhere from about an hour and twenty minutes to two hours.

Where to buy tickets: or at Madrid’s Estación Sur de Autobuses Méndez Álvaro

Depart from: Estación Sur de Autobuses Méndez Álvaro

Arrive: Avila bus station

Approximate return trip cost: €14


Of course the capital of Spain is an incredible city to explore and could keep you entertained for as long as you’re in the country. But some of these day trips from Madrid are not only easy, they are to some of the most beautiful small cities and towns in Spain, they can be made easily in a day and they will inspire you with their beauty, history and culture.

City Slicker or Nature Lover: Find Your Spanish Paradise This Summer

Are you a city slicker or a nature lover? Check out the best destinations for learning Spanish this summer whether the big city and bright lights are what make your heart sing, or long beaches and thick forests are really where you feel at home.

City Slickers Unite:

Madrid (Spain):

Madrid city center, Gran Via Spain

Madrid is one of those magical cities that woos you with its old fashioned traditions and keeps you enthralled and excited for more with non-stop energy. This is a great city for urbanites. It is filled with cultural attractions, it is high-class and grunge all at the same time, there is never a dull moment (except maybe Sunday afternoons when most madrileños are resting after their big Sunday lunch), and it is full of surprises around every corner. Madrid is a city where it is easy to experience all of the latest trends and get lost in tradition all in the same day. Its architecture, restaurants, parks, museums and city streets will make you happy you went with a city for your Spanish abroad experience.

Buenos Aires (Argentina):

Buenos Aires City

Buenos Aires is full of old world charm and new world fire. It is a place to enjoy the deep, slow, romantic sights and sounds of tango, then jump into the fast paced streets and experience a diversity of cultures that will keep you entertained days on end. It is a city that many people visit and then make their permanent home, inspired by its creativity, excellent cuisine, great shopping, exciting night life and surprises around every corner.

Barcelona (Spain):

Barcelona is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe. It is filled with modern ideas, people from around the world, a rich mix of cultures and the latest in cuisine and fashion. It is the perfect place to get blown away by the gaudy Gaudi architecture, go out for new age tapas, see live music at night and stroll through the exciting streets. You can wander through history in the Gothic Quarter, experience Catalonian transformative cuisine, then get back to the basics with a simple stroll under the Spanish sun along the boardwalk or the Mediterranean Sea.


Nature Lovers (throw caution to the wind):

Tenerife (Spain):

Red mountain in Tenerife

Tenerife is a tropical paradise. But its long sandy beaches and crystal clear waters are only part of its magnetism for nature lovers. Many of the island’s diverse and interesting landscapes are protected, keeping them beautiful and pristine for those who want to get down and dirty with nature. The most eye catching and impressive of its natural stunners (including dark volcanic rock, and misty tropics alongside stretches of soft sand and splashing waves) is Mount Teide, a still active (although the last activity was at the turn of the 20th century) volcano and the site of some of the best hiking in Spain. There are plenty of ways to get off the beaten path in Tenerife.

Playa Jacó (Costa Rica):

Surf lovers get ready for your destination. If you like to catch a wave, Playa Jacó will not let you down. It is famous for being one of the best surf destinations in the world. There are also plenty of underwater delights to explore with snorkeling, so those who aren’t quite ready to catch the big ones will still have plenty of fun in the water. And when you come up for air you will discover an incredible medley of both black and white sand beaches, exciting jungles with rare species and a diversity of biology (both plant and animal life) that won’t leave any room on your camera for pictures with friends. Playa Jacó is the perfect place to get back to basics and nature while at the same time having the chance to enjoy a vibrant and lively beach town.

Oaxaca (Mexico):

Oaxaca nature

Oaxaca is a place to get overwhelmed by nature. The city is filled with creative artisans, indigenous traditions, yummy Mexican cuisine specific to Oaxaca, markets and festivals. But outside of the city is where you will really be inspired if what you’re looking for is to breathe in fresh mountain air and stumble upon an incredible amount of biodiversity. As one of the five highest ranking locations in the world for endangered species and the region in Mexico with the most diversity in animals and plants, there is never a dull moment in Oaxaca for nature lovers. Venture out into the small towns around the city and then a little further, into the mountains for incredible hikes, horseback riding and biking.

So where do you fall on city-country spectrum? Or maybe you like both equally well! If so no need to fret, study Spanish in more than one destination this summer and get a little of everything on your Spanish adventure.



Sacromonte: the Mecca for Flamenco


Sacromonte, which is actually known as Sacramonte by those who live in the area, is a famous neighborhood in Granada whose most important characteristics are the cave houses you can find there. The real origin of these caves is not clear, but they are definitely there and have served as homes to inhabitants since the 16th century, coinciding with the expulsion of the Muslims and Jews from Spain, a population that subsequently united the nomadic gypsies who arrived in Granada.

This ethnic variety is still clear to see today. Flamenco was a highly developed art form in Sacromonte, more than anything because of the gypsies, where improvised parties were common, along with the impulse toward new artistic currents which attracted bohemians and those interested in art in general.

Today, Sacromonte still has its reputation as the “Mecca for flamenco,” even if the parties for fans and followers of flamenco are less frequent, since it is now more common for shows to be put on for tourists in the city in order to make money, than to have a traditional flamenco party with fans who come to the caves to enjoy a night of rhythm.

Even so, it is still possible to enjoy the best flamenco in the caves of Sacromonte. Some, like the Cueva de la Rocío have adapted to the times and offer the music and dance show along with a dinner menu so that visitors can spend a complete, enjoyable evening there.

The Cuevas los Tarantes is another location in Sacromonte where visitors can enjoy food and gypsy shows like flamenco. However, as many tourist experiences have shown, these places are much more expert in dance than in food. So it’s a good idea to go to the city center to enjoy better quality, traditional food from Granada.

Furthermore, the fame of the caves of Sacromonte is adapting to new times. There are now some that are also hotels that cater to tourists who want to live the flamenco experience from the inside out, spending a few days alongside their neighbors.

Those who have the opportunity can also take flamenco classes which are given in many of the caves in Sacromonte. The most outstanding students even get to perform at parties with a big turnout.

Mallorca is the Best Place to Live in the World


2015 has been a noteworthy year for the Balearic Island of Mallorca (Spain), since it was officially considered, the best place to live in the world by the publication The Times. It certainly has enviable weather, an exquisite quality of life and many cultural and leisure activities that make it a preferred tourist destination for people from around the world. But is it good enough to want to live there year-round? We’ll take a look at the five main reasons why Mallorca is the best place to live in the world.

Based on the analysis completed by The Times for considering Mallorca the best place to live in the world, the first thing to take into consideration is the climate. The average temperature on the island is 65ºF; with an average low of 46ºF and on very few occasions it drops below 41ºF. Or in other words, it has a mild climate all year, with highs in the summer that don’t exceed 86ºF except on hot Mediterranean days. This allows for very agreeable visits at any time of year, without the dreaded cold winters of other coastal areas, or the suffocating, hot summers of some of the other most famous tourist destinations.

Another one of the most important characteristics according to The Times is its international connectedness. It is important to take transportation into consideration when looking for a new place to live, and the Palma de Mallorca Airport connects the island with a large number of countries year-round. This means that both receiving visitors as well as traveling to other destinations is cheaper and easier than in other places in the world; something to take into consideration, most of all on an island where mobility is a vital factor.

The diverse social atmosphere is another aspect of Mallorca that stands out. Almost half a million people live on the island and the expat community, far from being mere visitors, has established itself.  With stores and businesses of their own they have grown both the economy and the cosmopolitan diversity of the island.

We should also value the island’s historic center which is just as impressive as those in other Spanish and Mediterranean cities. Its history has been perfectly conserved since the 13th century. Although they display more recent history, it is also recommendable to see fishing areas with architecture that is typical of Mallorca, and exclusive to this area of the world.

Finally, Mallorca stands out for its cultural character. Because people from so many different places visit the island, the multicultural influence there is like no other in the world. This fact has made Mallorca an international place of interest for art without precedent. Museums, art exhibitions, theater, concerts… There are cultural activities to highlight on Mallorca almost every day of the year, making the island an irresistible place of interest for art lovers in general.

The Machu Picchu You Haven’t Seen


The lost city of the Incas, the mysterious and emblematic Machu Picchu (Peru) attracts millions of visitors every year. Some are history buffs, some are adventure seekers, many are looking for inspiration. Because of this we have chosen a few interesting facts that will grab your attention for sure.

1. The city was never discovered by the Spanish conquistadors. A testament to this fact is that there are no references to Machu Picchu in accounts from the time.

2. The mysterious ritual stone Intihuatana, may be a sophisticated sundial…  But it was almost destroyed when a crane fell on it while filming a beer commercial!

3. The city was not only inhabited by the Incas, remains belonging to inhabitants of villages on the shores of Lake Titicaca more than 300 kilometers away were also found in the city!

4. Why did the Incas abandon Machu Picchu in the 16th century? There are a few different theories… It could have been because they interpreted divine signs telling them to do so, or because of a dispute between King Viracocha and his son Pachacuti, or the fight between the Incas and the Antis (inhabitants of the Amazon Region)… but recently the theory that says Machu Picchu was abandoned by the noble Incas who, after the Manco Inca rebellion (1536), decided to establish themselves in Ollantaytambo is becoming more popular.

5. How did the Incas manage to move those huge stones and work them with such exactitude? There’s no shortage of people who talk about extraterrestrials, but we should keep in mind that the three main buildings in the complex were constructed very close to the quarry and stones like hiwaya that is harder than granite have been found, which could have been used to shape the gigantic blocks of stone.

6. In Machu Picchu, you can get your passport stamped with an image of the city… an interesting memento from your trip!

We hope you liked these interesting facts about the mysterious city. But we hope even more, that you love this magical place as much as we do!

Museums to See in Madrid


People are increasingly drawn to Madrid. The capital of Spain is starting be a city that can hold its own against other cultural capitals, in terms of both cultural interest and important museums. So what are the most essential museums to see in Madrid?

Museo del Prado: Don’t miss the chance to stroll through one of the best art galleries in Europe. The Museo del Prado was inaugurated in 1819, and in its almost two centuries of history, it has compiled over 27,000 referential works of art within its walls. It also includes an amazing collection of works by Spanish artists like Goya and Velázquez.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía: More commonly known as the “Reina Sofía” it has an amazing collection of modern art including works by Dalí, Juan Gris, Joan Miró and of course, Picasso. In fact if you want to see Picasso’s masterpiece, Guernica, you’ll have to come here.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: This museum houses a wonderful private collection that allows visitors to stroll through different periods in art history. Flemish and Italian masterpieces and modern art stand out among the collection.

National Archaeological Museum of Spain: Recently reopened after remodeling that took six years to complete, this museum is all the rage this season. Its biggest draw is that it knows how to mix modernity into its exhibitions and technology with some of the most ancient pieces in our history.

Museum of Romanticism: This small, charming museum is home to a nice collection of works, furniture and decorative pieces from Spain’s romantic period, a tumultuous period both politically and culturally.

Of course there are many other museums in Madrid that we encourage you to see. A trip to the city dedicated to seeing its art collections, natural history and even geology museums can keep you more than entertained for the whole trip.

The lesser-known Sagrada Familia


The Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous monuments in Spain and the most important one in Barcelona. It’s world-renowned, everyone wants to see it, and everyone knows its story. But there are some details that only a few people know. Want to know what they are?

1.As you know the Sagrada Familia is still not finished; but did you know that Gaudi planned to let his work be adapted by new architectural styles that would arise after his death?

2.Initially it was going to be a neo-gothic temple. In fact originally the architect was going to be Francesc de Paula Villar, who ended up rejecting the project because of a disagreement with Barcelona’s city hall. And that’s how the project ended up in Gaudi’s hands!

3.Some of the ideas for this great monument were originally from a different project Gaudi was working on… a hotel that was never built, which would have been located in NYC!

4.Have you noticed that the Sagrada Familia barely uses any straight lines? Gaudi hated them; he said, “in nature, straight lines don’t exist”.

5.There are no original plans or mock-ups for this work of art. All of the sketches and notes that Gaudi made were burnt during the Civil War.

6. Perhaps for this reason there is a certain amount of controversy when it comes to the Sagrada Familia. Some critics think that the works being carried out are too “stylized” and would not be to Gaudi’s liking.

7. Legend has it that during the construction of the Sagrada Familia famous architects such as Gropius went to visit Gaudi to learn the secrets of his construction. But the genius didn’t have time to receive them! Could this be the reason his style is so unique?

As you can see, everything has come together perfectly for this monument to be completely unique, and it’s a monument you can’t miss if you’re passing through Barcelona.

Why Menorca is One of the Best Places in the World

Recently, Mallorca was declared the best city to live in in the world. But, this island’s little sister, Menorca, doesn’t fall far behind. It is one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and it’s not only an ideal place to live, it’s also a great place to visit, satisfying the tastes of all kinds of tourists, regardless of what they’re looking for.


Menorca is known as one of the most relaxed islands in the Balearic Island chain. But in reality, this notion comes from comparing it with the louder, neighboring island of Ibiza. La isla blanca (the white island) is known internationally as one of the epicenters of electronic music in the summer, and by comparison, the almost nil party atmosphere on Menorca may make it seem “boring.” But it definitely is not.

Menorca offers many different exciting activities. The most well known among them, without a doubt, is snorkeling, a sport that anyone can take part in, and which can be enjoyed anywhere on the island. You can explore the underwater world with the help of a snorkel (although you can’t dive very deep) while you take in the rich abundance of sea creatures living close to Menorca’s beaches. Snorkeling anywhere on the island makes for an absolute visual spectacle, even if you’re only a few feet from shore. Many tourists have only had to get half of their bodies wet and dunk their heads under water to see huge shoals of fish swimming all around them.

Beach lovers will also find unique routes on Menorca. The most popular tourist beaches are accompanied by others that are less well known, or that are slightly more difficult to access since they don’t have access roads and getting to them can require long walks. Because of this, some of these beaches have maintained their status as unspoiled. Those great photos of white sand beaches surrounded by low mountains that can only be accessed by sea were taken precisely on this island.

Menorca also offers a unique cultural experience. You can visit the taulas (meaning “table” in Catalan), architectural concepts built by the Talaiotic Culture, originating on Mallorca and Menorca in approximately 2,000 B.C.E, or in other words, more than 4,000 years ago.

Lastly, Menorca, as we’ve already mentioned, is an island that has been unjustly categorized as “boring.” Its village fiestas and many tourist attractions give color to almost every day of the year. Furthermore, the disco Cova d’en Xoroi sits atop one of the islands cliffs, and offers one of the best views to tourists in a real cave in the mountains that has been climatized. There are morning, afternoon and night sessions, and music practically from Monday to Friday during the entire season. It is one of the most lively and beautiful places to see the sun set high above the sea.

Latin American Cities Accredited as World Heritage Sites

Quito (Ecuador)

Quito (Ecuador)

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized organization of the UN. Its objective is to promote world peace through education, science, culture and communication. The organization is also carrying out an ongoing plan designed to protect “World Heritage”; cultural elements that are considered to be of value to the world. The following are the Latin American sites and cities that have been accredited as World Heritage.


It was recognized as World Heritage in 1978. The city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century over the remains of an old Inca city. Located at an altitude of 2,850 meters, the city’s historic center is the best preserved in all of Latin America despite the fact that it was shook by a devastating earth quake in 1917.

The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, along with the Church of the Society of Jesus, display an artistic example of the baroque school of Quito, in which observers can see Spanish, Italian, Mudéjar, Flemish and Indigenous influences.

Mexico City’s historic center and Xochimilco

This has been a World Heritage Site since 1987. It makes up the original base on which today’s capital city of Mexico was developed by the Spanish in the 16th century. It houses architectural treasures such as the Metropolitan Cathedral (the biggest on the continent), the National Palace, the Zócalo and its Constitution Plaza (the third largest plaza en the world).

Just 28 kilometers from the capital, Xochimilco represents one of the most attractive sites in Mexico, with its series of canals and artificial islands built by the Aztecs in pre-Colombian times.

Oaxaca’s historic center and Monte Alban’s archeological area

The Olmecs first lived here and later the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs over 15 centuries. The canals, embankments and artificial hummocks excavated on Monte Albán’s base are a symbol of a sacred topography.

The city of Oaxaca itself represents Spanish colonial-era urban planning and is one of the richest ensembles of Mexico’s artistic heritage.

Havana’s old town and its system of fortifications

Havana was founded by the Spanish in 1519. Although today it’s a large metropolis with 2 million residents, its old town is made up of baroque and neoclassic elements. It’s a mix of historic periods and a wonderful architectural ensemble where remains of the old city wall continue to stand.

Havana’s old town is one of the most touristic areas of the city given the restoration of many churches, fortresses, and historic buildings. The most notable fortress is San Carlos de la Cabaña, a military complex that defended the city from attacks.

The historic district of the port city of Valparaíso

Given its rich architectural heritage, Valparaíso’s historical center was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 2003.

Geographically, Valparaíso is naturally framed within something of an amphitheater that faces the Pacific Ocean. The urban fabric of the city is woven into the hills that surround it, while the flat areas follow a geometric pattern. An attractive variety of bell towers rise above the landscape. Valparaíso has also effectively preserved infrastructure from the industrial age, such as 15 cable cars.