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Next time you’re in Mexico City, bring your hiking stick!

The Ciudad de México embraces the most populous metropolitan area in North America, teeming with around 25 million inhabitants.

pg8cThere couldn’t be much green in such a place, you might think, but, according to Peter Winckers of Aztec Explorers hiking club, that assessment would be dead wrong.

“Believe it or not, 51 percent of Mexico City is still green, and nine of our favorite hikes are entirely inside the city limits,” says the Dutchman, who’s been living in the capital for over 13 years.

Whether or not you are a hiker, Winckers claims that Mexico City is much more interesting than many other big metropolises. “Originally it started out as 21 little villages which all grouped together into the monster that is now Mexico City,” he says. “In fact, you could say we have 21 barrios mágicos inside the city limits: magical neighborhoods. So our group started out doing walking tours inside the city. Then we got into hikes and finally day trips.”

The quality manager at a call center, Winckers came to Mexico as a consultant, met his wife Lidia, and never left.

She is a certified guide and organizes hikes for small groups of up to 12 people.

Below is a sample of this couple’s favorite caminatas in and around the big city.

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