Lifestyle Magazine

Culture Vultures Part 2 – Halloween Honeymoon

By Honeymoonblogger

Last week I wrote about great honeymoon destinations for lovers of culture and I’m going to look at a country that is quite popular for honeymoons but has so much more to offer than its amazing and fantastic beaches – Mexico. Also in keeping with Halloween some of these cultural delights have a slightly macabre flavour!

A nation rich in culture, heritage, tradition and natural beauty, Mexico was also home to one of the world’s greatest ancient civilisations – the Mayans – and therefore literally oozing the past.  The Maya are today famous for the remains of their amazing architecture which has been reclaimed by the tropical Mexican jungle.

I’m going to start with one of their greatest monuments which is in fact one of the seven wonders of the world (voted for in 2007), alongside the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal – Chitchen Itza.

Culture Vultures Part 2 – Halloween Honeymoon

This place really is worth the travel and many tourists actually venture out from Cancun which is 100 miles away. Chichen Itza means ‘at the mouth of the well of Itza’ and was a site of pilgrimage for the ancient Maya for over 1000 years.  The pyramid of Kukulcan or El Castillo is the most famous landmark – a temple pyramid dedicated to the Feathered Serpent God Kukulcan. You can also visit the rest of the settlement and a great experience is the Light and Sound show which is held at night lighting up the ruins of the city –it’s even better on a night with a full moon.

Culture Vultures Part 2 – Halloween Honeymoon

If Chichen Itza doesn’t satisfy your appetite for Mayan ruins then also head to the ruined city of Palenque, which has been reclaimed by the jungle.  Palenque is smaller than some other sites such as Tikal or Copan but it has some of the finest examples of Mayan architecture, sculpture and bas-relief carvings in Mexico. Due to the hieroglyphic inscriptions on many of the monuments historians and archaeologists have been able to piece together much of the history of the ruling dynasty of Palenque.

Culture Vultures Part 2 – Halloween Honeymoon

Leaving the Mayans behind why not time your honeymoon to coincide with the Day of the Dead festival (31 October- 2 November) whilst this might not sound too enticing the festival originates from the indigenous peoples of Mexico who believed that the souls of the dead return each year to visit their living relatives – to eat, drink and be merry just as they did when alive. One of the most moving Day of the Dead celebrations takes place on the island of Janitzio in Lago de Patzcuaro. Here early in the morning (on 1 November) the Purepechan Indians embark on a ceremonial duck hunt! At midnight the cooked duck and other delicious food is brought to the cemetery to candlelight. Women pray and men chant making for an awesome spectacle.

Culture Vultures Part 2 – Halloween Honeymoon

Guanajuato is certainly worth a visit and was the home of the famous painter Diego Rivera who was married to Frieda Kahlo. You can visit the birthplace of Rivera which has a good collection of his work which was inspired by his political leanings as a communist.

Culture Vultures Part 2 – Halloween Honeymoon

The name of the city means ‘Place of Frogs’ in the local language and frogs are the city’s official pet. Guanajuato used to be a major silver mining town and has a network of unique underground tunnels that serve as roads.

Culture Vultures Part 2 – Halloween Honeymoon

One of the highlights of Guanajuato has to be the Museo de las Momias – Mummy Museum – which was founded after the authorities were forced to exhume several bodies due to overcrowding in the local graveyard in 1910. When the bodies were dug up they were found to be mummified rather than decomposed and so the authorities decided to open up this fascinating museum.

Culture Vultures Part 2 – Halloween Honeymoon

So Mexico is more than sombreros and beaches. It has a wealth of fascinating culture and heritage just waiting to be explored and if you’re taking your honeymoon at this time of year then there is plenty going on! Would you fancy honeymooning over Halloween?


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