Wandering Chapultepec’s Enchanted Forest

Most visitors to Mexico City have probably heard about Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Park) and have likely navigated some part of its expanses.  I lived there for 5 months and after several trips, I only accessed a small portion of it.  It is truly impossible to see it all in a day, even a week.  The area within the park has long been deemed a special place.  In fact, its name predates Aztec rule when the Toltecs called the great hill “Chapultepec,” roughly meaning Grasshopper Hill in the Nahuatl language.  Later, it served as a sacred resting place for the great Aztec leader, Montezuma, and other nobility.  Nowadays, it’s one of the world’s largest urban parks, and in my opinion, it offers one of the best varieties of activities a park could offer.  It is separated into three sections.

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Niños Héroes Obelisk

 

Section 1 is a hub for tourism, and not without reason.  It covers a total of 450 acres and houses some of Mexico City’s greatest attractions, including the amazing National Museum of Anthropology, the Museo de Arte Moderno, Rufino Tamayo Museo, and my favorite…Chapultepec Castle.  If you’re feeling outdoorsy, simply enjoy a stroll through the forest, walk the cactus gardens at the Chapultepec Botanical Gardens, or boat around in a Swan on Lago Menor (small lake).  Slow down guys, I’m just providing an overview today…more details on my places will come!  For now, here are some shots from around Section 1.

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Lovely fauna at Chapultepec Botanical Garden

 

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Beautiful Ocelotl-Cuauhxicalli statue at the National Museum of Anthropology
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Museo de Arte Moderno

Section 2 is father off and definitely less visited.  It is really a gem, though.  To get there, we walked along a super congested highway from our house.  It was quite a long walk and I thought my lungs would never work again after inhaling all the smog.  I wouldn’t recommend walking there for that reason.  Next time we’ll Uber.  Anyways, once we got there it was a real treat.  There is Lago Mayor with a couple of nice restaurants on it and beautiful walking paths weaving around acres of the park.  There are much more succulents living wildly free in this part of the park.  Papalote Children’s Museum and The Museum of HistorÍa Natural are housed in this section and the historic water tower, Cárcamo de Dolores can also be seen.  In front of the tower, a spectacular tiled fountain, el Fuente de Tláloc is one of the delights to be enjoyed by the offbeat traveler.

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The third section of the park is a place I cannot write too much about as I did not get the pleasure of visiting.  However, I do know that it is a Protected Natural Area, is accessible to the public, and houses a couple of fountains and a collection of statues depicting an orchestra of animals.  Perhaps a visit will happen on my next trip to the city.  Check out the website for Bosque de Chapultepec for more information on planning your next trip.