Seven Safer Places to Visit in Mexico

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Downtown Puerto Vallarta is lined with cobblestone streets, white-walled houses, wrought-iron balconies and red-tiled roofs, complemented by impressive colonial structures like the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, a church located in the city's main square and a symbol of Puerto Vallarta's historical architecture.

#5: Riviera Nayarit -- Surrounded by tropical jungles and the Sierra Madre Mountains, Riviera Nayarit has quickly developed into an important tourist resort.

In Riviera Nayarit you'll find seemingly untouched beaches, bays and coasts where diverse plant and animal species thrive. While enjoying the magnificent scenery, you can surf, swim with dolphins, snorkel, scuba dive and sail.

The area is fast-becoming one of Mexico's foremost golfing destinations. Renowned professionals and designers have created several aesthetically pleasing golf courses with varying degrees of difficulty. Among the highlights is the El Tigre Golf Club at Paradise Village designed by Von Hagge; the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at the Four Seasons Golf Club in Punta Mita; and the Mayan Golf Resorts Vallarta by Lipe.

#6: Mazatlan -- Located on Mexico's Pacific Coast at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains, Mazatlan is Mexico's second-largest coastal city with nearly 600,000 inhabitants. Visitors enjoy an authentic mix of culture and history within a modern destination. The city's two main areas include the revitalized Old Mazatlan historic district and Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), the main shopping, dining and entertainment corridor. Both areas are connected by a seven-mile coastal road that borders golden-sand beaches.

After being discovered by Hollywood in the 1940s, Mazatlan became known as the first "Mexican Riviera" resort. This fishing village has evolved into one of Mexico's major seaport cities and tourist resorts.

Mazatlan has the country's largest sport fishing fleet. The coastal waters here teem with Pacific sailfish, marlin, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and dorado.

#7: Mexico City -- Mexico's capital and the world's largest city, Mexico City combines sophistication and modern conveniences with rich culture and thousands of years of history, making it one of the country's most popular tourist cities.

The immense, volcano-dotted valley in which Mexico City sits, harbors a population approaching 23 million, commonly referred to as "chilangos."

It is the longest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere and sits atop the lake basin where the Aztecs founded their empire in 1325 and were defeated by the Spanish under Hernan Cortes two centuries later.

Mexico City boasts a wealth of museums containing everything from pre-Hispanic artifacts and colonial treasures to handicrafts and modern art. Mexico's bustling capital also offers visitors all sorts of dining and entertainment possibilities during the day and at night.

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