Around Mexico City

Although it’s nearly impossible to run out of things to do in the Distrito Federal, there are several options for day-trips or weekends away from the craziness that are easily reached from the city.

The brightest star of these day-trips is the huge pyramids of Teotihuacan, north-east of the city. If you’re really into ruins, there are also the Atlantes, giant statues atop the Toltec pyramids at Tula, further west. Tepotzotlan is a sleepy colonial town between the two, popular with day-tripping Mexicans.

Anyone pining for traditional British cooking will love Pachuca and neighboring Real de Monte, east of Tula. Its 19th century population of Cornish miners introduced the cornish pasty (known as Paste) into the region’s cuisine, as well as soccer to Mexico. Moving southeast and you hit Puebla, the Republic’s fifth largest city, a place of great historic significance with a bustling center, great food and heaps of stuff to see and do. Nearby Cholula is home to Mexico’s largest pyramid (although it’s not as impressive as the ones at Teotihuacan) and a thriving student population.

South of the city, Cuernavaca is a city of weekend retreats and a large expat population, drawn by its good weather and pretty streets. Taxco, further west, is a gorgeous town of cobbled hills and old silver mines, where you can get browse hundreds of shops selling Mexican silver jewelery.

Toluca, the capital of the state of Mexico, is a growing industrial center surrounded by beautiful mountains and home to the countries largest market. The nearby lakeside town of Valle de Bravo is something of an artists retreat, and there are lots of spiritual and outdoor activities on offer.