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With enchanting towns, historical heritage and natural beauty, the area around the capital city serenely complements the hustle and bustle of energetic Mexico City.

The State of Mexico is a perfect destination for escaping the city crowds and getting a sense of rural Mexico. Discover important archeological sites, stunning nature and calm, colonial towns. If you crave something more exciting, take a short drive to Mexico City.

Immerse yourself in the state’s rich pre-Hispanic history and visit Teotihuacan, one of the oldest and most important ceremonial centers of Mesoamerica. This ancient archeological site has one of the country’s biggest pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun. Climb the Pyramid of the Moon for fantastic views of both Teotihuacan and the surrounding countryside. Other pre-Hispanic settlements include the fortified city of Teotenango and the once-powerful cities of Calixtlahuaca and Huamango.

Explore more modern Mexico by heading to Malinalco, one of the state’s five towns designated as “magical” by Mexico’s tourist board. Wander its quaint squares, admire its charming architecture and revel in its delightfully tranquil pace of life. The famous village of Chalma, just outside the town, is one of the country’s most important religious sites and an excellent place to watch pilgrims arriving from across the country and even farther afield.

If you visit during winter, head to one of the area’s monarch butterfly sanctuaries. Monarchs are rare in North America, and the UNESCO-listed Oyamel fir sanctuaries are their southernmost stop during their cross-continent migration. Nature lovers can also explore the famous volcanoes of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl.

Don’t miss the state’s capital city, Toluca de Lerdo. Stroll along the narrow streets of the charming historic center, admiring colonial-era houses. Look for Los Portales, a set of 19th-century arches around which the city’s social and commercial life centers. The live music and interesting nightlife here provide the perfect ending to a day out in one of Mexico’s most interesting states.

To reach the State of Mexico, fly into Mexico City. From there, take a bus to Toluca. Rent a car to get around the state itself.

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