Mexico has long been a favorite vacation destination for North Americans and Europeans alike. From majestic mountains to remote deserts, this incredibly rich country has something for everyone!
In addition to a stunning array of beaches and resorts, many travelers enjoy exploring the country’s ancient Aztec and Mayan sites and historic colonial cities. Many are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ensuring that they’ll remain unchanged for future generations to explore.
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Cancun is a distinct modern metropolis, home to first-rate shopping and sophisticated dining and nightlife. It’s also one of the most popular beach destinations in Mexico, with 22 km of gorgeous Caribbean beaches and a seemingly endless range of activities on offer.
During your stay, be sure to visit the Hotel Zone, which is built around the tourist industry and abounds with sprawling all-inclusive mega hotels and glitzy shopping malls that compare to those in North America. You’ll also find ancient Maya ruins tucked away in between towering glass and concrete.
Another great destination is Isla Mujeres, a small island with stunning beaches and a lively atmosphere. You can rent a golf cart and explore the rocky coast, check out Garrafon Reef Park for snorkeling, or watch sea turtles hatch at a local conservation center.
Cancun is a hot and humid tropical city, so it’s important to bring plenty of water with you. A catamaran cruise is a fun way to get out on the open Caribbean Sea and relax without being in the heat of the sun.
2.The Riviera Maya
A smattering of sleepy beach towns and boho-chic boutique hotels, fabulous local cuisine, ancient ruins, and jungle treasures make The Riviera Maya one of the most sought after vacation destinations in Mexico. However, the area is still growing fast and it’s important to protect its precious natural resources.
The culinary scene is diverse in the Riviera Maya with options that range from authentic Mexican restaurants to international fusion and fresh seafood spots right on the water. From the upscale dining at Carboncitos in Playa del Carmen to local favorites Peskayitos in Puerto Morelos, there is something for everyone.
It is also the perfect spot for an indulgent meal with a view of a beautiful sunset. You can dine out at a beachside shack or head to the posh restaurants on Quinta Avenida, Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen where you will find hundreds of bars and restaurants.
The Riviera Maya is surrounded by some of the world’s most spectacular beaches and coral reefs. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system runs for over 600 miles along the coast of the Yucatan peninsula and is home to some of the world’s best diving and a variety of tropical fish, sea turtles, dolphins, and whale sharks depending on the time of year you visit.
From sand dunes to beaches and mountains, Baja California offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. It’s a place where you can hike through sherbet-colored canyons, go whale watching or snorkel with sea lions.
While this state is not as developed as the others in Mexico, it’s still a great place to visit and get away from the crowds. In fact, the majority of Baja is undeveloped or sparsely populated and you’ll find plenty of beautiful secluded beaches and small, authentic restaurants along the way.
The area around La Huasteca Potosina is a secluded and mystical region where visitors come to see waterfalls, caves and stunning sinkholes. There are also many opportunities to learn about the local Huastec people (Tenek) and their customs.
The best time to swim with mobula rays is between May and August, when they travel north to mate and feed. If you’re lucky, you can see them in aggregations of fevers (groups) that number in the thousands.
Mexico City is a major world city with a rich history, a lot to see and do, lots of high-quality accommodation and great food. It’s a fantastic city to explore with family or friends.
The capital of Mexico, it’s a mix of old and new with modern skyscrapers and ancient ruins, as well as some of the country’s most important museums and art galleries. The largest museum in the city is the Soumaya Museum, which hosts a range of historic and contemporary art.
Another must-visit is Museo Frida Kahlo, which houses her iconic paintings. This UNESCO-listed site is one of the most popular Mexico City museums and a must for lovers of Kahlo’s work or anyone wanting to learn more about her life.
The UNESCO-listed Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, which were hand-dug by the Aztecs centuries ago, are a must-see for locals and visitors alike. This enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Site is accessed by gondolas (or trajineras) and is a popular destination for parties, weddings and other celebrations.
5.San Juan Teotihuacan
One of the most awe-inspiring sites in Mexico is San Juan Teotihuacan. This archaeological complex northeast of Mexico City is home to some of the world’s largest pyramids. It’s an absolute must-visit for history buffs and anyone who loves ancient architecture!
If you’re looking for a day of exploration, a guided tour is the way to go. With an experienced guide, you’ll learn all about the history and culture of Teotihuacan.
The best time to visit is early in the morning when it’s quieter and the weather is more pleasant. Make sure you bring plenty of water and hats for your trip to Teotihuacan.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an incredible place to explore, and it’s worth every penny of your hard-earned dollars. It’s also a great place to take in the natural scenery of central Mexico.
While there are plenty of places to stay in the area, if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, book a hot air balloon ride over the site. This is an unforgettable experience and is a perfect way to see Teotihuacan from above!
6.The Mayan Ruins
The ruins of Mexico’s ancient Mayan civilization are some of the most beautiful and fascinating sites in all of Mesoamerica. Located all over the Yucatan Peninsula, the ruins of this ancient culture are positively bursting with charm and fascinating history.
The best way to experience this amazing history is to visit the ruins themselves. Some of the most popular sites in the area include Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba and Ek Balam.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Palenque is a stunning place to explore Mayan ruins. Set in the lush jungles of Chiapas, this ruins site is one of the most beautiful and magical in all of Mexico.
This ruins site is an excellent choice for those who are looking to escape the crowds of Chichen Itza and experience a more peaceful, natural setting. It’s also very easy to access as it’s just a short drive from Costa Maya. You can even book a guided tour to help you make the most of your time here!
7.The Magical Towns
Across the country, 132 towns and small cities have been designated Pueblos Magicos—a national program that highlights rural areas with special qualities.
These magical towns are a great option for travelers who want to experience authentic culture. They preserve traditions, history and original architecture that help visitors connect with Mexico’s rich history.
One of the best-known Pueblos Magicos is Cholula, a town with an incredible pyramid built in honor of the god Quetzalcoatl. It’s also home to 365 churches, among many other historical and religious attractions.
Another magical town in Mexico is Mascota, a farming hub famous for its corn and coffee production. Here, visitors can take a stroll through the Templo Inconcluso de La Preciosa Sangre, a beautiful, unfinished church that’s surrounded by an oasis of green.
Another magical town in Mexico is Tequisquiapan, a charming quaint town that transports visitors back to the past. With cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial buildings and natural hot springs, it’s a mellow place to get lost in the moment. It’s also known for its pink neoclassical Santa Maria de la Asuncion church.
8.San Miguel De Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a culturally diverse city that celebrates its Spanish colonial roots and embraces modern-day influences. The UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its historic streets and vibrant street art, and its cosmopolitan vibe attracts artists, writers, and filmmakers alike.
While the city’s main attractions are easily accessible on foot, be sure to rent a car if you want to explore further out of town or venture into nearby villages. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of the weekly tianguis (outdoor farmers’ market) on Tuesdays, which stocks everything from artisanal cheeses and cured meats to fresh fruits and vegetables.
The city’s springlike climate, extraordinary light, and stunning architecture make it a perfect choice for travelers on the hunt for an authentic Mexican experience. And its frequent festivities, from the wildly festive Holy Week celebrations to the legendary Fiesta Charra that marks Mexico’s Independence Day, mean there’s always something fun to do and see here.