The southern Mexican states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero are historically the poorest in the country. Yet the region has long been noted for its unique and fascinating atmosphere. A traditional refuge of indigenous culture, the southern states are blessed with stunning natural beauty, splendid architecture and vibrant, colourful cuisine. With that in mind, here are 15 photos of southern Mexico that will make you want to book your tickets now.
The Mayan ruins of Palenque in Chiapas may be Mexico’s most stunning archaeological wonder. The elegant temple structures are very well-preserved and the surrounding jungle teems with all manner of exotic wildlife: from panthers to parrots.
Over the past decade, the town of Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca has established itself as one of Mexico’s top surf destinations. Famed for the break known as the “Mexican Pipeline,” the town offers incredible waves and beautiful scenery.
The state of Chiapas boasts El Chiflon waterfall, one of Mexico’s most splendid natural sights.
The waterfalls of Agua Azul, which literally means “blue water,” are also found in Chiapas. The location boasts a series of stunning cascades that vary in size.
Hierve el Agua, which translates as “the water boils,” are a series of stunning rock formations which are formed by fresh water springs. The rocks resemble cascading waterfalls and are situated around 43 miles (70 kilometers) east of Oaxaca City.
The Sumidero Canyon is a stunning natural wonder located in Chiapas. A soaring yet narrow canyon, the area boasts plentiful plant and animal life so visitors flock to the photogenic site all year round.
In 1994, the Zapatista army took up arms to draw attention to the plight of Mexico’s impoverished indigenous peoples. The movement also established several autonomous communities in the state of Chiapas, which focus on providing education and healthcare to residents.
The women of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are world famous for their colorful traditional dress, which was famously adopted by the artist Frida Kahlo.
Tuc-Tucs are still a popular mode of transport out in the pueblos of Oaxaca.
Oaxaca City is famed for its colourful traditional markets, which are the focal point of the region’s exciting culinary culture.
Caldo de piedra, or stone soup, is a delicious fish stew that is brought to the boil with the help of a piping-hot stone.
Chapulines, or grasshoppers, are served as a crunchy snack in markets across Oaxaca.
Mexico is the home of 23 different species of parrot, many of which live in the jungles of Chiapas.
The Mexican howler monkey is native to southeastern Mexico.
The jaguar is the largest cat species in the Americas. Around 4,000 of the creatures live in Mexico, many of them in the tropical forests of Chiapas.