The Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Mexico is a country that has it all – stunning beaches, vibrant cities, ancient ruins, mouthwatering cuisine, and a rich cultural heritage. With so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. To help you plan your Mexican adventure, here are some of the best places to visit.

Cancun and the Riviera Maya

Let’s start with one of Mexico’s most popular destinations – the resort town of Cancun and the nearby Riviera Maya. Cancun boasts miles of pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The city itself is a lively mix of luxury hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, and shopping.

Just south of Cancun lies the Riviera Maya, a stretch of stunning Caribbean coastline dotted with charming beach towns like Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Akumal. Playa del Carmen offers a pedestrian-friendly downtown filled with shops, restaurants, and a lively nightlife scene. Tulum is famous for its stunning beach set against towering cliffs, chic boutique hotels, and the nearby ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum. Akumal is a more low-key beach destination known for its excellent snorkeling with turtles.

Mexico City

For a taste of Mexican city life and culture, head to the nation’s massive capital – Mexico City. This bustling metropolis combines modern skyscrapers and trendy neighborhoods with ancient historical sites like the Zocalo (main square) and the Templo Mayor (ruins of an Aztec temple).

Don’t miss visiting the impressive Museum of Anthropology to see exhibits on Mexico’s pre-Hispanic heritage. To experience the vibrant art scene, explore the trendy districts of Roma, Condesa, and Coyoacan. And be sure to indulge in Mexico City’s incredible food scene, from high-end restaurants to humble street food stalls.

Puerto Vallarta

Situated along Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is a beach resort town that combines old-world charm with modern amenities. Stroll along the iconic seafront malec√≥n (boardwalk), relax on the sandy beaches of Playa de los Muertos or Playa Las Gemelas, and explore the traditional downtown area with its cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings.

Puerto Vallarta is also a great base for outdoor adventures like whale watching (December to March), zip lining through the jungle, swimming in hidden coves and waterfalls, or taking a day trip to explore the colonial towns of the Sierra Madre mountains.

Oaxaca

For those seeking an authentic cultural experience, the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico is an absolute must. The colonial city of Oaxaca de Juarez is the vibrant capital, filled with Spanish colonial churches, colorful markets, indigenous craft vendors, and some of Mexico’s best cuisine. Don’t miss sampling Oaxaca’s famous moles, mezcal, chocolate, and amazing street food.

Just outside the city, you’ll find ancient Zapotec ruins like Monte Alban as well as charming towns and villages where the indigenous communities maintain their vibrant textile, pottery, and culinary traditions. The coastal regions offer incredible beaches and opportunities to see wildlife like sea turtles.

Chichen Itza

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Chichen Itza is one of Mexico’s most iconic ancient Mayan sites and a must-see for history buffs. This UNESCO World Heritage site dates back to around 600 AD and showcases the advanced architectural and astronomical knowledge of the Maya.

The most famous structure is the massive El Castillo pyramid, which has 365 steps – one for each day of the year. Other highlights include the largest ball court in Mesoamerica, the sacred cenote (natural sinkhole), and El Caracol, an observatory used to track the movements of the moon and planets. Time your visit to experience the equinox “light show” when the sun creates the illusion of a snake descending the El Castillo pyramid.

Cabo San Lucas

Located at the very tip of the Baja California peninsula, Cabo San Lucas offers a dramatic desert landscape meeting the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. This once sleepy fishing village has transformed into one of Mexico’s top resort destinations, with luxury hotels, golf courses, nightlife, shopping, and beautiful beaches.

Spend your days lounging on the white sands of Playa el Medano or book a boat tour to view the iconic El Arco rock formation and search for whales, dolphins, and sea lions. Nightlife in Cabo centers around lively bars and nightclubs. The nearby Corridor area has even more upscale resorts, championship golf courses, and amazing ocean views.

San Miguel de Allende

For a charming colonial city experience, head to the inland town of San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico. This extremely well-preserved city dating back to the 16th century is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its beautiful Spanish baroque architecture, church domes, winding alleyways, lively plazas, and thriving art scene.

Spend your days wandering the cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings, stopping in art galleries and artisan workshops, and relaxing in picturesque courtyard cafes. San Miguel is also a great base for day trips to nearby hot springs, vineyards, ghost towns, and indigenous villages.

These are just a few highlights of the incredible destinations Mexico has to offer. From ancient ruins and colonial cities to modern beach resorts, outdoor adventures, world-class cuisine and vibrant culture – Mexico truly has something for every type of traveler to explore.