While Mexico City will probably keep you very busy during your visit there are other places to see nearby if you want to get away from the city. Mexico is a country rich with culture so finding interesting activities in this region of the country is not difficult. So what are the places that you should see within a couple of hours of the largest city in the country?
Puebla And Cholula
The City of Puebla is a very popular destination in the Mexico. Fortunately for you not every tourist makes it a part of their trip. The architecture in the city, especially in the center of town impresses those who love colonial style. Check out Capilla del Rosario while you are in town. This church is worth the trip in itself. The church may rival any other religious sight that you may see anywhere in the world. Zocalo de Puebla is also an architectural wonder as well so make sure to have a coffee in one of the many restaurants with tables outside for people watching.
Once you have finished seeing Puebla you can take a taxi ride to Cholula. Cholula is a small town but it is a popular destination in central Mexico. That is because Cholula is the home of the most voluminous pyramid in the world. Nothing in Mexico or other world destinations compares to the pyramid in Cholula. There is another reason that this pyramid is special and that is that when the Spaniards arrived they built a catholic church on top of it. The site is a representation of what happened to the Mexican culture after the colonization.
You can get to Puebla by taking a bus from Taxqueña in the south of Mexico City or from the TAPO station. There are also a few bus tour companies which have day trips to Puebla and Cholula. You will know that you are getting close when you see the Popocatépetl, which is an active volcano right outside of Puebla and the second tallest peak in the country.
Teotihuacan is the largest archaeological site in the region and one of the most important ones in the country. If you are visiting Teotihuacan then make sure to bring sneakers because it is a large site. It takes less than an hour to get there from the bus station to the north of the city, and the trip is one of a lifetime. Teotihuacan is also one of the few archaeological sites in Mesoamerica which had a drainage system.
Though it does take less than an hour to get to Teotihuacan by bus, it can take more than 4 hours to see the site without stopping much. it is possible to get to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun and just about half way up of the Pyramid of the Moon. While climbing the pyramids is a very popular activity, people who are afraid of heights should think twice about making the climb. Going to the top is tiring, but the problem is on the way down. The angle for the steps makes it easy to trip and fall so if you are not so sure about climbing on the way down, then simply sit down on each step until you reach the bottom; you will probably see others making their way down the same way.
The Pyramid of the Moon's climbing area is lower, but the incline is actually worse. the good news is that when you do climb either pyramid you get the best view of the site and though scary you should probably still try it.
Xochimilco is not away from Mexico City, but because it is so far south in Mexico City it will feel like it is. Xochimilco is worth spending the day especially going in one of the mariachi boats on the lake. There are many canals which have earned Xochimilco the nickname of "Mexico's Venice" but you should not expect something that looks like Venice. Xochi as it is known to the locals will take you to places which are not accessible by car, but only through the canals. You may see the creepy House of Dolls which is an island home with hundreds of dolls adorning it.
Once you finish your boat ride there are other things you can do in the area. Shopping is great for tourists as you will find that the variety of souvenirs is big and the prices are just right. there are also a lot of small restaurants that serve traditional food. The only thing that you do have to remember is that if you decide to go into the market or walk around the area is that pick pockets do their thing around Xochimilco so do not wear jewelry, flash money around or trust anyone with your camera or other valuables. All that you need to do to get there, is to take the Metro to Taxqueña and then the light rail to the last stop.
Feria De Mole
If you love the taste of Mexican Food then you should make it a point to visit in the month of November. The town of San Pedro Atocpan in the south of Mexico City holds the Feria the Mole (Mole Fair) each year in November. You will be able to see live entertainment, get some great hand crafted souvenirs, see some shows put on by indigenous people, get on rides and the main attraction the Mole food. Mole is a spicy chocolate based sauce and the restaurants that set shop in the fair know how to cook it.
One of the heart stopping shows that they always have at the Mole fair is the "voladores". This is a show where four to five people climb a pole and tie themselves to it by their feet. the pole starts rotating and they let go which leaves them hanging by their feet and rotating at a high-speed. The "voladores" was an indigenous ceremony and it is still practiced in a few places. The only way to get to the Feria de Mole is through buses from the south of the city, mainly from Xochimilco. The ride is over an hour-long depending on traffic conditions.