Travel

Bosque de Chapultepec

Establishment neighborhood
Chapultepec Park
Bosque de Chapultepec
Encompassing the zoo, the botanical gardens, several man-made lakes, museums, a system of aqueducts developed by the Aztecs, and crowned by Mexico's one-time emperor Maximilian's castle, Chapultepec Park is unsurprisingly one of the largest city parks in the world. The center of all the action is right off the Paseo de la Reforma near the Museum of Anthropology, where most of the park's major attractions are located through the grand wrought iron entrance gates. Hike up to the castle and get lost on the way, discovering its many kid-friendly features, including a scenic lake where you can rent pedal boats.
Castillo de Chapultepec
Bosque de Chapultepec
Fun fact: Mexico was, for a short time, under the rule of Maximilian I, a puppet emperor put in place by Napoleon III. The empire didn't last long, but his 18th-century castle on a hill overlooking Chapultepec Park remains. Today it's the National Museum of History, adorned in historical murals by José Clemente Orozco, Juan O'Gorman, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, and displaying costumes and historical ephemera from the 16th-century on. The most exciting rooms, though, are the ones that show exactly how the Emperor and his wife lived in the castle; meanwhile, the views of the park below are stunning.
Museo de Antropología
Av. Paseo de la Reforma & Calzada Gandhi, Bosque de Chapultepec
For anyone who's even remotely interested in pre-Hispanic culture, this museum is a must. It houses many of the most important findings from archaeological digs across the country, from the original Aztec calendar which was unearthed in Mexico City, to enormous monolithic stone Olmec heads from Veracruz, to all the treasures found in the Mayan tomb of Pakal in Palenque. Meanwhile, outside the museum stands an enormous monolith of Tlaloc, the god of rain. Legend has it that when he arrived in Mexico City, there was an almost catastrophic rainstorm. In short, it's a lot to take in, but worth it: It's a 101 crash course into pre-Hispanic culture.
Museo Tamayo
Paseo de la Reforma 51, Bosque de Chapultepec
While the arrival of the Museo Jumex certainly brings some stiff competition in the contemporary art arena, the Museo Tamayo, open since the 80's, housing muralist Rufino Tamayo's entire collection, has still got it. They've brought everyone from Sophie Calle, to Wolfgang Tillmans, to Francis Alÿs, to Yayoi Kusama—whose exhibition last year broke attendance records—to the Mexican audience, complementing each show with film series, talks, educational programs, and their famous jazz nights. Originally designed by two of Mexico's most prominent modernist architects, Abraham Zabludovsky and Teodoro González de León, the museum, which is nestled in Chapultepec park, has recently undergone an expansion and refurb. Meanwhile, the newly appointed curator, Juan Gaitan, will undoubtedly continue to shake things up in the years to come.
You may also like