Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is at once ancient and modern, quaint and chaotic. It sits on the site of Tenochtitlan, a city on Lake Texcoco that was taken over by the Aztecs in 1325. Tenochtitlan was nearly destroyed in a battle with Spanish forces in 1521. The Spanish soon started rebuilding Mexico City in the European style. The modern city of 9 million offers a mix of architectural eras and rich experiences.

Venture 30 miles northeast to explore the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon in the ruins of 2,100 year old Teotihuacan - look for murals of jaguars and coyotes on the walls of its ancient apartments. Back in town, breathe fresh air in the vast oasis of Chapultepec Park, protected as urban green space in 1428 and located just 3 miles from the center of Mexico City. Climb the hill to 18th century Chapultepec Castle for a beautiful view of the whole city.

Make sure you try one of Mexico City's most famous foods – the taco. Pick up some well-seasoned tacos al pastor at Tacos el Califa de Leon. Try a modern spin on traditional Mexican fare with a dish of duck in mole sauce or spicy Oaxacan stone soup. Peruse the premier art bazaar of Mexico at the San Angel Saturday Market. While you're in that neighborhood, stop by the art studios where Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo created their legendary paintings.