Mexico is truly a wonder to visit, covered with stunning beaches, vibrant cities, and beautiful, unique landscapes. To help you plan your next Mexico vacation, we have created this article featuring the 10 most incredible places to visit in Mexico – the perfect planning tool for your next visit to paradise. Of course many places have not been included as there are just SO MANY amazing destinations to discover in Mexico, including gems like San Cristobal de les Casas, in Chiapas!
If you want to know where to stay on your dream trip, check out these incredible all inclusive hotels across Mexico! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s start exploring this diverse country!
Top 15 Places To Visit in Mexico 2020
Guanajuato is a wonderful place to go in Mexico. If you have children, then going to Guanajuato with kids is an absolute treat. Here are some other great locations to visit in Mexico.
A 2.5 hours bus ride from Tulum brings you to a recognized Pueblo Mágicos of the Mexican Government. Lake Bacalar is home to the Lake of the Seven Colors due to the turquoise hues. This small fisherman’s town will steal your heart, with small fishermen’s houses and a delightful town. Bacalar is an escape from this world, where you can lounge on hammocks, go diving in Lake Bacalar, and enjoy the wildlife.
Where to stay:The Yak Lake House – A beautiful hostel/hotel with a private dock stretching into the lagoon and close to the ADO bus station a 15 minute walk.
14. Isla Holbox
Off the north coast of Yucutan peninsula is Mexico’s best kept secret, Isla Holbox. The wildlife here is out of this world, highlighted by the whale sharks that visit during the summer months. There is not much to do here other than relax and spend as much time lounging in one of the many hammocks that hang in the sea. In order to see the expansive wildlife around Holbox it is great to take a boat on the Three Island Tour where you can see Flamingos, Crocodiles, and beautiful tropical fish.
How to get to Holbox:There are no cars allowed on the island, so if you drive you will have to leave your car in Chiquila to take the ferry to the island. Otherwise you have to take the ADO Bus from Cancun to Chiquila.
Where to stay: Hostel Che Holboxis the best option to meet other solo travelers to explore this natural paradise with and there is a pool. Every day and night they host events and tours around the island that will make your experience unforgettable.
13. Puerto Escondido
The best places to surf in Mexico goes to Puerto Escondido, which translates as “Hidden Port” in English. It is surprising how this corner of Mexico has remained relatively undiscovered by most tourists, since it has been very popular amongst backpackers and surfers.
If waves aren’t your thing, there is plenty more to keep you busy. From swimming in a bioluminescent lagoon, to sky diving there is something for the adventure traveler. Between late October and May sea turtles lay eggs. Bacocho Beach organizes turtle releases that you can watch.
It is not easy to get here, with a connecting flight from Mexico City to Oaxaca City and a bumpy 7-hour bus ride the journey it may not fit in everyone’s itinerary. However, it is well worth the journey to get here.
Where to stay: Puerto Dreams Hostel – a home away from home, that offers free bicycles, AC, free breakfast, and has a great roof top bar to cool down after a long day hitting the waves.
12. Oaxaca City
Oaxaca City’s downtown, a Unesco World Heritage City since 1987 is full of surprises. It is known for its colonial buildings, many are made of the volcanic rock. The city is a cultural hub, with cobblestone streets, and Monte Alban the Meso- American Ruins a mere 3 miles outside the city.
Templo de Santo Domingo, the church and former monastery in the heart of Oaxaca is a must for anyone going to Oaxaca. The local snack to try are grasshoppers! Salty and crunchy with a little bit of lime, fried grasshoppers are the local foodie experience to have! With so many wonderful things to do in Oaxaca City, you are guaranteed a good time.
Where to stay: Casa Angel Youth Hostelwith daily activities, such as salsa and yoga classes it will keep you active while you are on the road. Casa Angel is close to all the famous attractions of Oaxaca City and includes breakfast!
Merida is one of the most colourful cites in Mexico, and has also been named one of the safest. It’s a popular place with expats and digital nomads from around the world to use as a base for a few months (or years if they fall in love with the place!).
One of the best things about the city, besides its laid back atmosphere and gorgeous old buildings, is how close it is to other big attractions. It’s a great stopping point for trips to Isla Holbox, Chichén Itzá and a selection of cenotes hiding just outside the city limits. It also has a great, chilled out nightlife with lots of amazing bars to visit and drinks to taste! If you’re planning to visit, be sure to read this excellent Merida Guide written by a couple who actually live there.
Where to stay in Merida
Nomadas Hostel is one of the top hostels in Mexico and is a great choice of place to stay in Merida. They have one of the biggest swimming pools I’ve ever seen. They have free salsa dancing classes, a great free breakfast and the rooms have great high ceilings so they don’t get too hot. Plus…this place is crazy cheap! Wondering where to eat in lovely Merida? Check out this great food guide!
10. Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is widely known as the most popular Marlin sport fishing spot in the world. Not to mention, it is remarked as one of the best travel destinations in all of Mexico. Located in Baja California Sur, it is comprised of dual towns, San Lucas and San Jose, which are separated by a twenty-miles highway called “the Corridor.” Although Cabo San Jose has a more relaxed atmosphere, Cabo San Lucas offers amazing 5 star hotels, gorgeous resorts, high-quality restaurants, and clubs. It’s also popularly known for Land’s End, a naturally formed collection of rocks created by the wind and sea.
Where to stay in Cabo San Lucas: Bahia Hotel & Beach Club
Cancun is a spot you can’t miss on your vacation to Mexico. It is located on the coast of the Caribbean, the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun. Though this spot is perhaps best known as a spring break destination, it is so much more. This travel destination is full of beaches, hotels, nightlife, attractions, and Mayan ruins for the whole family to enjoy. However, the perfect weather that Cancun experiences throughout the year makes it a busy spot, full of first-class resorts for vacationers. Plus, downtown Cancun, also commonly referred as El Centro, contains Mexico’s best authentic bars, markets, restaurants, and clubs.
8. Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen, otherwise known as Playa, is a vibrant beach town located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo. Originally, it was a peaceful fishing village that expanded into a large resort town, full of venues and beaches. However, Playa still holds a calm atmosphere and kind natives. Plus, with the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef close by, there’s plenty of activities to dip your feet into. Head down and enjoy a slower pace of life. If you’re looking for somewhere even more chilled out, head to Lake Bacalar – a real hidden paradise!
If you plan on driving around, you’ll need to know how to get a driver’s license in Playa Del Carmen. This will come in very handy for your travels.
Acapulco is especially popular among tourists on spring break. This vacation spot is located on a bay along the Pacific Coast and is full of beautiful beaches for travelers of any kind to enjoy. Although, the majority of these beaches known as Icacos, Papagayo, Hornos, and Tamarindos are located along the bay called Las Costera.
One of the largest attractions in Acapulco is the La Quebrada Cliff that allows professional divers to plunge nearly 147 feet into a small inlet. This long-lived tradition has been around since 1934 and can be viewed from spectators from nearby restaurants and cliff tops.
Tulum is located on the Yucatan Peninsula and consists of Mayan ruins and Caribbean beaches. It is actually one of the very last cities constructed by the Mayans and one of the best preserved sites on the east coast of Mexico.
Due to the position of the ruins, you will be able to get an amazing view of the Caribbean Coast. Plus, the ruins also provide a fun day for the whole family to explore. However, Tulum’s beaches also provide other activities such as diving, snorkeling, and sunbathing.
5. Isla Cozumel
Isla Cozumel is located off the coast of Playa del Carmen and is popularly known as one of the best scuba spots in the world. With clear waters and large amounts of marine activity, tourists can enjoy snorkeling and diving, as well as the beaches around the island. Plus, for travelers who don’t plan to get wet, there are plenty of natural parks and scenery to explore off the main trails.
The second largest city in Mexico is called Guadalajara and is incredibly popular for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the culture of Mexico. With vast cultural spots and museums for the whole family to enjoy, this is one of the most common travel destinations that tourists opt in for. However, if you’re traveling alone, nightlife is huge in Guadalajara due to it being the birthplace of both tequila and mariachi.
3. Mexico City
Though once known for its high crime rates, Mexico City is quickly becoming more and more tourist friendly. In recent years, the capital city has gone through something of a transformation. Public spaces are being cleaned up and the whole city has been given new life. Mexico City is also an increasingly popular location for new international restaurants. This growing cultural scene is drawing in people from all around the globe.
However, this city is not just a great vacation spot for foodies, there is still plenty of history to be enjoyed in this city. In fact, some of the city’s best attractions are its many Mexican heritage museums dedicated to preserving the country’s rich history. When you are there, be sure to hop on a sightseeing tour so you can experience all the sights and hidden spots that Mexico City is home to.
2. Chichén Itzá
This is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and it is an absolute must-see for anyone traveling to Mexico. Chichén Itzá is currently located in Tinúm Municipality, Yucatán State, Mexico though it was once the site of a pre-Colombian city built by the Mayan people.
This site is one of the best preserved and most famous Mayan sites in all of Mexico. The site has more than a million visitors every year, so the area can get crowded quickly.
However, it is so breathtaking that it is worth battling the crowds to see. While you are in the area, you can also visit some of the smaller nearby archaeological sites and wonderful cenotes. If you do not wish to take a Mexico vacation dedicated only to the Chichén Itzá, you can stay in one of the small neighbouring towns to experience more of modern day Mexican culture. The site is also easily accessible from anywhere along the Riviera Maya, which is made up of Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and more.
This is an incredibly popular vacation destination as it serves as something of an escape from the cold during the winter months. Mazatlan is home to 11 miles of sandy beaches, blue lagoons, and the biggest boardwalk in Latin America. One of the biggest draws of this area is its many water sports. This city has been nicknamed the “Pearl of the Pacific” and is part of the Sinaloa Province. Because of its location, tourists can also take in traditional Mexican culture. Visitors of Mazatlan love to walk through the historic section of the town and truly experience what life in Mexico was like before tourists began to head to their many beaches.
As you can see, Mexico is a beautiful and varied country with peaceful beaches, historic landmarks, and plenty to do. With so many different vacation spots to choose from, there will be something to please everyone, no matter who you travel with. Do you have any more favourite spots? We would love to know your favourite places to visit in Mexico. Leave a comment!
Phoenix Hutton is an avid traveler and blogger. She has visited over 50 countries so far and her goal is to visit them all! She was a flight attendant for 7 years before choosing this career path.