Mexico's colonial heartland is where Mexico was born. Wander the cobblestone streets of its charming colonial towns and cities and retrace the steps of Mexico's founding fathers in cities like Guadalajara (the birthplace of Mariachi), Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende.
In Mexico's colonial heartland, you can visit mountain pueblos that time forgot one day, and the next be soaking up the cosmopolitan culture of a UNESCO world heritage city. Take a brief tour of the magical country below:
3. Mexico Colonial: Monarch Reserve
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Michoacán: Every autumn, millions of Monarch butterflies make their way from Canada and the northern US to the pine forest of this corner of Michoacán, where they hibernate for the winter. Seeing these little creatures fly in swarms over hills and highways and canyons flutter in front of your face, and completely cover the trunks of all the pines in front of you is a surreal and beautiful experience.
You can access the butterfly reserve from three places: El Rosario, Sierra Chincua and Cerro Pélon.
Photo: Scott Clark/Flickr