35 Best Places to Visit in Mexico in October 2022

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small folk art doll with a colorful pueblo behind her | best places to travel in Mexicosmall folk art doll with a colorful pueblo behind her | best places to travel in Mexico

Looking for the best places to go in mexico?

You’ve landed on the right article — because I live in Mexico! I know first-hand there’s no shortage of colorful colonial cities, beautiful beaches in Mexico and pueblos magicos (magic towns), which made compiling this list of the best places to visit in Mexico very hard.

While the list showcases just 35 places, Mexico is chock full of historic cities reminiscent of Europe, just much more colorful! The best places to visit in Mexico here showcase large- and medium-sized cities, but there’s also some smaller pueblos on this list as well.

Ready to discover the 35 best vacation spots in Mexico? Beyond their physical beauty, these best places to go in Mexico are also historic; many even designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site or Mexico pueblo magico (which means “magic town”).

If you’ve been wanting to travel to Mexico, let’s get to the list — which will be all the inspiration you need to finally book that Mexico trip!

Best Places to visit in Mexico

1. Merida, Yucatan

Colorful colonial buildingsColorful colonial buildingsKnown as the safest city in Mexico to live, Merida is also one of the safest vacation spots in Mexico.

Merida, Mexico takes the top spot on the list because it’s the safest city in Mexico. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula not far from the most popular Mexico places to vacation, like Cancun, Riviera Maya and Tulum — Merida feels like it’s a world away, with a more charming, small town feel.

I just so happen to live in Merida, and have a whole site dedicated to it! Please visit TravelToMerida.com for all things Merida.

Known as the Cultural Capital of Yucatan, Merida is the best place to vacation in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to explore the area’s rich Mayan history. There’s really no end to the amazing things to do in Merida — from museums to Merida restaurants serving traditional Yucatan food.

Uxmal Ruins, Yucatan

tall stone mayan pyramid - day trips from Meridatall stone mayan pyramid - day trips from MeridaUxmal Ruins are one of the most important Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico.

Located in the near-dead center of the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida’s location offers a great home base to take day trips from Merida and explore the surrounding area. One of the most popular Merida sites is Uxmal Mayan Ruins.

One of the best Mayan Ruins near Merida, Uxmal (pronounced yoush-mall) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of five ancient sites on the Ruta Puuc (Puuc Route), and the most visited of them all. Unlike at Chichén Itzá Ruins, you can climb the Uxmal pyramids!

Costa Esmerelda, Yucatan Beaches

day trip from merida to progreso beach, mexicoday trip from merida to progreso beach, mexicoPuerto Progreso Beach is also popular with water sports, as one of the top kite-boarding and kite-surfing destinations in Mexico.

Merida is not on the beach; rather it’s about 40 minutes to the nearest beach, Puerto Progreso. This is a popular stop on cruises in the Gulf of Mexico, and the most visited of all beaches near Merida, though there are others.

The Costa Esmerelda (Emerald Coast, named for its emerald-colored water) stretches from Puerto Chuburna Beach on the west about 61-miles (98 km) east to Dzilam de Bravo. There are other great Yucatan beach towns along the way, including Progreso, Chicxulub and Telchac.

Besides the beaches near Merida, there are also many great Merida cenotes to swim in. These “sinkholes,” or natural jungle pools, are found all over the Yucatan Peninsula, with hundreds located within an hour or two of Merida.

Merida (AKA La Ciudad Blanca, or The White City) is considered one of the best places to live in Mexico as well. If the city sounds like it might be for you, check out this guide to Living in Merida.

Best Places to visit in Mexico

2. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

large pink gothic style church in san miguel de allende mexico in front of a well manicured park/garden with trees cut into topiary style circles and colorful buildings in colonial architecture styles surrounding the town squarelarge pink gothic style church in san miguel de allende mexico in front of a well manicured park/garden with trees cut into topiary style circles and colorful buildings in colonial architecture styles surrounding the town squareSan Miguel de Allende is a popular destination for sightseeing, rest and relaxation.

San Miguel de Allende (SMA, for short) is located in Central Mexico, about 3.5 hours from Mexico City. In fact, it is one of the best day trips from Mexico City, especially for foodies, wine lovers and artists — Join the San Miguel de Allende Day Trip from Mexico City and find out!

SMA is a Mexico UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Guanajuato State, a state known as the most colorful in all Mexico. The top travel destination in the state, San Miguel de Allende is also among the best places to go to in Mexico, in any state.

In the last 15 years, many American, European and Canadian expats have relocated here. San Miguel de Allende is considered one of the best places to retire in Mexico with its “Eternal Spring” climate, which makes it the perfect year-round destination for any Mexico itinerary!

colorful street in San Miguel De Allende Mexicocolorful street in San Miguel De Allende MexicoSan Miguel de Allende is one of the best vacation cities in Mexico, and ranks among the safest cities in Mexico.

Beyond perfect weather, San Miguel de Allende is stunning and historic. The iconic Mexico architecture is well-preserved in San Miguel, and each home, building and street is prettier than the next. The iconic, Baroque-style Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel is a must-see.

This large, pink, San Miguel de Allende Cathedral is the centerpiece of town. It is located in a lovely and well-manicured park, Jardín Allende (Allende Garden), which serves as the town square, and is lively day and night.

Best Places to visit in Mexico

3. Tulum, Quintana Roo

Looking to have one of the best beach vacations in Mexico? Look no further than this Tulum itinerary!

In the last decade, Tulum, Mexico has become one of the top places for vacation in Mexico. This beachfront city is one of the best places in Mexico for vacation for those seeking Mayan ruins, beautiful beaches, swimmable cenotes, great nightlife and Instagram worthy photo ops.

Tulum is a Mexico pueblo magico (magic town) located right on the Caribbean Sea; some of the best Mexico real estate there is! The closest airport to Tulum is Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), and then you’ll need Cancun to Tulum transportation.

Tulum ruins, quintana roo

The Tulum Mayan Ruins overlook the Caribbean Sea — a great place for a swim after exploring the ruins.

Tulum’s geography is part jungle, part beach. It is often called the “Bali of Mexico,” because it’s similar to Bali, in that way. Tulum and the surrounding areas have several Mexico Mayan Ruins in Yucatan to explore, similar to the Hindu temples in Bali, Indonesia.

One of the best Mayan temples in Mexico is the Tulum Ruins. Though a smaller site, the Ruins of Tulum are located on a cliff, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, so they’re among the most beautiful! After exploring this Mayan site, you can even go for a swim in the sea directly below.

Gran Cenote & Tulum Cenotes

With the gorgeous cenotes in Tulum, and so much more, Tulum has become one of the best tourist cities in Mexico.

Besides the beautiful beaches, don’t miss the Tulum cenotes. Some of the most Instagrammable places in Mexico, these freshwater jungle pools make for a nice alternative to the Caribbean Sea. Among of the best cenotes in Tulum, and cenotes near Tulum, don’t miss these:

  • Gran Cenote
  • Cenote Suytun
  • Cenote Calavera
  • Cenote Dos Ojos
  • Cenote Zacil-Ha

While there’s no end to the number of things to do in Tulum, in recent years, it has become increasingly expensive. However, Tulum on a budget is certainly possible if you’re determined to visit one of the top vacation destinations in Mexico for cheap!

🏝 Looking for a quieter beach town in Mexico? Head to Mahahual, located a few hours south of Tulum on the Costa Maya.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

4. Mexico City

European style Bellas Artes buildingEuropean style Bellas Artes buildingIconic Palacio de Bellas Artes is one of the best places to visit in Mexico City Centro Historico (Downtown).

When making a Mexico Popular Destinations list, there’s no way to leave off CDMX! If you’re looking for a big city, Mexico City is one of the best places to travel in Mexico; though Guadalajara and Monterrey are two other big city options.

CDMX, as it’s known, is the country’s largest city, and the fifth largest city on Earth. There are so many things to do in Mexico City, including a visit to Parque Chapultepec (Chapultepec Park), one of the largest urban parks in the world, which has the only castle in North America!

Besides that, the best neighborhoods in Mexico City, including Coyoacan, Polanco, Roma and Condesa, have tree-lined streets and buildings in varied architectural styles. These also have beautiful street art to admire, cool sidewalk cafes and the best parks in Mexico City.

Centro Historico and zocalo

Colorful paper lanterns and umbrellas in Mexico City's China TownColorful paper lanterns and umbrellas in Mexico City's China TownLooking for places to go in Mexico City? Don’t miss Barrio Chino (Chinatown CDMX) in Centro Historico.

Though some don’t think beauty and a big city can coexist, that’s not the case in Mexico City. Among one of the most visually-stimulating parrots of town, Centro Historico and Zocalo (Historic Downtown and the Town Square) is also a Mexico UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Downtown Mexico City, you’ll find the most beautiful and iconic buildings in CDMX. Perhaps the most photographed place in the city, Palacio Bellas Artes is an Art Deco theater built in 1904, which houses one of the best museums in Mexico City.

A few other noteworthy things to do in Downtown Mexico City include:

  • Templo Mayor: Aztec Temple, partially buried underground (A true must see Mexico City site!)
  • Catedral Metropolitana: Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Palacio Nacional: National Palace
  • Torre Latinoamericana: Latin America Tower skyscraper
  • Parque Alameda: Alameda Park, located next to Bellas Artes
  • Barrio Chino: Mexico City Chinatown

Xochimilco, Mexico City

colorful trajineras, gondola-style boats, at Xochimilco.colorful trajineras, gondola-style boats, at Xochimilco.Enjoy a Xochimilco boat trip, one of the best activities in Mexico City! With so many tourist attractions, there’s no shortage of things to do for anyone who visits Mexico City.

Xochimilco (pronounced so-chee-mill-co) is a Mexico City UNESCO World Heritage Site. These ancient canals, hand-dug by the Aztecs centuries ago, are still popular with visitors today. When in CDMX, enjoy a Xochimilco tour to parts on the colorful boats and see the floating gardens.

Valle de Bravo, Estado de Mexico

Known as “the Hamptons of Mexico City,” nearby Valle de Bravo is a gorgeous lakefront town with a lot to offer. From November to March, you can visit the Piedra Herrada Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary to see millions of monarch butterflies in Mexico during their annual migration.

Teotihuacan Ruins, Estado de Mexico

Teotihuacan tours Pyramid of the SunTeotihuacan tours Pyramid of the SunThe Ruins of Teotihuacan are one of the top Mexico destinations, with about two million annual visitors.

The ancient Teotihuacan Pyramids (pronounced tay-oh-tee-wok-on), located about an hour from Mexico City, are another one of the UNESCO Sites in Mexico. Built thousands of years ago by the mysterious Teotihuacanos, the best way to experience it is on a Teotihuacan tour.

acapulco, guerrero

Wondering, What’s the closest beach to Mexico City? It’s Acapulco, located about five hours away by car. While not one of the best beaches in Mexico, Acapulco is a popular vacation destination for Mexico City locals — but the hot springs of Las Grutas Tolantongo are another option.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

5. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Undeniably among the best Mexico beach destinations, there are so many things to do in Puerto Vallarta!

Located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Puerto Vallarta is among the safest beach towns in Mexico with some of the best beaches in Mexico! It has been one of the best Mexico vacation destinations for decades now, welcoming everyone from Average Joes and Joannas, to Old Hollywood movie stars.

After Richard Burton finished filming the 1964 film, The Night of the Iguana, he and Elizabeth Taylor bought a home (now the Kimberly Hotel & Spa), and lived together in Puerto Vallarta for years. Unlike other Mexico beach towns, Puerto Vallarta still retains its Old World charm.

Islas Marietas secret beach

hidden beach covehidden beach coveThe Hidden Beach at Islas Marietas Mexico. (Photo: Mexico best places to visit via Canva)

Not many know there’s a secret beach in Mexico, because well, it’s a secret! The hidden beach, called Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach), is part of Islas Marietas National Park, and accessible only by boat. Located off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, the Marietas Islands are simply magical.

nuevo vallarta, nayarit

Just 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta has gorgeous beaches and amazing resorts like Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta and Grand Luxxe at Vidanta. Besides vacationers, it’s also a popular place for Mexico digital nomads.

yelapa, jalisco

Yelapa is one of the best places Mexico has to still experience old school beach life.

Located on the Bay of Banderas, Yelapa is one of the best preserved towns on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It is best accessed on a boat tour from Puerto Vallarta — where you may see whales and dolphins along the way. At Yelapa, there’s waterfalls, beaches and horseback riding trails.

As far as vacation places in Mexico that check off a lot of boxes, Puerto Vallarta is an ideal place for your Mexico vacation. It has everything from beautiful beaches and nature, amazing food, authentic culture, colorful architecture — and there’s even chic Puerto Vallarta all-inclusive resorts.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

6. Guanajuato City, Guanajuato

brightly colored home and buildings in the colorful colonial town of Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, Mexico, located in central Mexico, and a safe place for female solo Mexico travelbrightly colored home and buildings in the colorful colonial town of Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, Mexico, located in central Mexico, and a safe place for female solo Mexico travelLooking for the best cities in Mexico to vacation? Look no further than Guanajuato City, one of the best Mexican vacation spots.

Guanajuato City is the capital of Guanajuato State. One of the most beautiful places in Mexico, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with colonial buildings, cobblestone streets and narrow winding alleyways — including the famous Callejon del Beso (Alley of the Kiss).

There are colorful plazas (or, plazuelas) all over downtown, as well as historic buildings, colonial churches and more. Unlike nearby San Miguel de Allende, with a large expat population that some say has led to a watered-down cultural feel, Guanajuato oozes Mexican culture.

Guanajuato City is more popular with national tourists, versus San Miguel which sees a higher number of international visitors. There are quite a few universities and art colleges in Guanajuato, which gives the town a youthful, lively feel.

It also has some actual festivals, including the Cervantino Festival, one of the biggest performing arts festivals in the world. It takes place each year in Guanajuato in mid-October. Immediately following is Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), Mexico’s large country-wide festival.

Zacatecas City, Zacatecas

For a similar vibe, but more off the beaten path Mexico trip, check out Zacatecas City. It was voted the American Cultural Capital of 2021, declaring it the top cultural center on the entire Americas Continent!

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

7. Los Cabos, Baja California Sur

For the Baja Peninsula, many consider Cabo San Lucas to be the best vacation spot in Mexico on the West Coast.

Los Cabos actually encompasses two cities, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Cabo San Lucas is the more visited of the two destinations, but the airport, Los Cabo International Airport (code: SJD) is in San Jose del Cabo — though there’s only about 45-minutes between them.

The two “Cabos” are in Baja California Sur state, on the West Coast of Mexico. The entire Baja Peninsula has a similar climate to Southern California, and is said to have had years with 350 days of sunshine (it averages closer to 300), and some of the best scuba diving in Mexico.

Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur

Cabo San Lucas is one of the top tourist destinations in Mexico, known for gorgeous beaches and posh hotels. Among the best things to do in Cabo is take a boat tour to El Arco de Cabo (Cabo Arch), a natural stone arch at Land’s End, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.

During the winter, many head to Baja California for whale watching in Mexico. Take a boat tour just off the coast of Cabo San Lucas and you’re in one of the best places to see humpback whales in Mexico, though you can also see orcas (killer whales), gray whales, blue whales and more.

San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur

beautiful blue water and homes on the beach in san jose del cabo, one of the Best Mexican Beach Townsbeautiful blue water and homes on the beach in san jose del cabo, one of the Best Mexican Beach TownsFor one of the best tropical places in Mexico, San Jose del Cabo is a great option that combines beach with desert.

San Jose del Cabo is also a beach town, but with a more laid back feel than Cabo San Lucas. There’s a thriving cultural scene in San Jose with it’s popular monthly art walk, and the Historical Walking Tour with a Local. This popular tour, led by locals, benefits the San Jose community.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

8. Oaxaca City, Oaxaca

Two girls in traditional Oaxacan clothingTwo girls in traditional Oaxacan clothingOaxaca City is among the most popular Mexican destinations for culture travelers who want to enjoy the best Mexican food!

Oaxaca City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the capital of Oaxaca State. The entire state is known as one of the top places in Mexico for culturally-minded travelers, and Oaxaca City is considered the cultural epicenter of it — though the beaches of Oaxaca are also amazing.

Besides all the amazing Oaxaca food, the city hosts some of the country’s most colorful, fun and culturally-rich festivals. In July, there’s the Guelaguetza (pronounced geh-la-getz-uh), the largest folk festival on the Americas Continent, and Day of the Dead on November 1-2.

Hierve el agua

Water and a tree on a cliff at Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca CityWater and a tree on a cliff at Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca CityWhen discussing gorgeous Mexican places, no list is complete without Hierve el Agua Oaxaca.

There are so many things to do in Oaxaca itself, like visiting the beautiful Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán Cathedral and Oaxaca Botanical Garden in Centro Historico (Historic Downtown). However, one of the best Oaxaca sites, Hierve el Agua, is located just outside the city.

Hierve el agua translates to “boiling water,” and there are natural thermal pools and hot springs here. There’s also a calcified waterfall, which isn’t actually a waterfall, though it does look like one from a distance. You can hike down to the waterfall, then enjoy relaxing in the pools afterwards.

Monte Alban Ruins

Located about 30 minutes outside of Oaxaca City Center, Monte Alban is the most-visited of all archeological sites and ancient ruins in Oaxaca. It is another one of the Oaxaca UNESCO World Heritage Sites, though there are other ruins in the area, including Mitla and Yagul.

Day of the Dead in Oaxaca Mexico

Oaxaca City is among the most popular Mexican destinations for culture travelers who want to enjoy the best Mexican food — and all the amazing annual festivals.

Each November 1-2, there’s the Oaxaca Day of the Dead festival. This holiday’s origins date back to the ancient Aztecs, though some traditions changed after the Spanish Conquest. What remains today, is a beautiful city-wide celebration and party in tribute to deceased loved ones.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

9. Puebla City, Puebla

Stroll the Callejón de los Sapos in Puebla, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Mexico.

About three hours south of Mexico City, you’ll arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ciudad de Puebla de Zaragoza (better known as Puebla City, Mexico). Puebla City is the capital of Puebla state, a fascinating city and one of the top places to visit in Mexico.

Puebla City is known for its colorful buildings and an abundance of churches. Urban legends say there are 365 churches and chapels in Puebla, one for each day of the year, but the city also has amazing food and the country’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration.

One of the most underrated foodie destinations in the world, sampling authentic Puebla Mexican food and Mexico drinks is a good reason to visit this historic city! However, one particular day of the year is more festive than many others.

Cinco de Mayo in Puebla, Mexico

One of numerous colorful churches in Puebla, considered among the best colonial towns in Mexico.

A popular weekend trip or Mexico City day trip all year-long, many visitors will head to Puebla for Cinco de Mayo, or May 5th. A very popular holiday commemorated in the U.S. and a few other countries, in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is rarely celebrated outside of Puebla.

Historically, Puebla is the only city in the country with real ties to Cinco de Mayo. Though the holiday is often mislabeled as Mexican Independence Day, that holiday actually takes place on September 16th, not May 5th.

The holiday, rather, is in honor of May 5, 1862; the day Mexico declared victory over France at the Battle of Puebla to end the Franco-Mexican War. As this event took place in Puebla, Mexico, the city hosts battle reenactments and elaborate festivals during their annual celebration.

Cholula, Puebla

the colorful colonial town of Cholula, one of the most unique places to visit in mexico the colorful colonial town of Cholula, one of the most unique places to visit in mexico Colorful Cholula is one of the most beautiful places in Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo aside, Puebla is among the best cities to visit in Mexico any day of the year. Downtown is lined with colorful buildings, especially on the Callejón de los Sapos (Frog Alley), where you can buy some talavera, a colorful Mexican tile and pottery art from Puebla state.

Puebla state, considered by some as the safest place to visit in Mexico, also has the most pueblos magicos (magic towns) of any state in Mexico. Of its 10 so-called magical towns, Cholula is one of the most unique places to visit in Mexico, located 30 just minutes from Downtown Puebla.

Great Pyramid of Cholula

Located underneath the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Cholula church — yes, under it — you’ll find the Great Pyramid of Cholula. It is the largest pyramid on Earth by volume, and the largest archeological site that has a pyramid in the New World.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

10. Valladolid, Yucatan

best places to visit in mexico, valladolid calzadda de los frailesbest places to visit in mexico, valladolid calzadda de los frailesCalzada de Los Frailes (AKA Calle de Los Frailes) in Valladolid — one of the most popular vacation destinations in Mexico for off the beaten path travel.

Though you won’t find the pueblo magico of Valladolid, Mexico on all “Popular Vacation Spots in Mexico” lists, those visiting the Yucatán Peninsula will want to see this charming town. Colorful Valladolid is a top destination for European visitors, with U.S. visitors just starting to catch on.

For visitors headed to the big-name beach towns of Cancun, Tulum, Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen who want to experience authentic Mexican culture, Valladolid is it. Still relatively off the beaten path, it has remained affordable, yet is still one of the best places in Mexico to vacation.

At only two hours from both Tulum and Merida, it makes for a great day trip from either. However, staying overnight is even better as there’s so many things to do in Valladolid. For fans of Mexican folk art, the Casa de los Venados has the country’s largest private collection.

Besides this museum, check out the Valladolid Zocalo (Town Square), where you’ll find the Iglesia de San Servacio Valladolid church, a beautiful cathedral built in 1545. Located nearby, the historic Convento de San Bernardino de Siena is one of the oldest Franciscan missions in Mexico.

Cenote Zaci & Valladolid Cenotes

natural swimming pool with waterfall - day trips from Meridanatural swimming pool with waterfall - day trips from MeridaStill wondering where to vacation in Mexico? Perhaps this image of Cenote Zaci will make you choose Valladolid!

Valladolid is also the closest city to Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins, and many of the best cenotes in Mexico! If you’re wondering What is a cenote? — They are essentially natural jungle pools with freshwater, found almost exclusively in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

One of the best cenotes in Valladolid, Cenote Zaci, is only about a short walk from downtown. This partially-open cenote is the perfect place to cool off after a few hours of exploring the town, though there are other great cenotes nearby, like Cenote Suytun and Cenote Oxman.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

11. Isla Holbox Island, Quintana Roo

woman laying in the Caribbean Sea on a hammock in Holbox Island, Mexicowoman laying in the Caribbean Sea on a hammock in Holbox Island, MexicoThe perfect place for rest and relaxation, one of the best things to do in Holbox Island is lay in a hammock in the sea!

Before we get to any info, let’s make sure you’re pronouncing this island’s name right! Isla Holbox is pronounced hole-bosh, not hole-box! Holbox pronunciation out of the way, let’s discuss this gorgeous Mexican Caribbean island.

Holbox Island is located in the state of Quintana Roo, about three hours from Cancun. In fact, many visitors fly to Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), then make the trip from Cancun to Holbox Island. To get to the island, you take the Holbox Ferry from the small pueblo of Chiquila Mexico.

🚴 Holbox Travel Tip: There are no cars allowed on Holbox Island! Everyone gets around by walking, biking or on a golf cart.

Located in the Caribbean Sea, Holbox is one of the Mexican Caribbean islands, along with Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy. It is popular with a more laid back crowd, and especially popular from June to September when you can swim with the whale sharks in Holbox Island.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

12. Copper Canyon (Barranca del Cobre)

The El Chepe Express Train making its way through the Copper Canyon Mexico. (Photo: Nice places in Mexico via Canva)

🇲🇽 Mexico Fun Fact: The Copper Canyon is the eighth largest canyon on Earth, second largest in North America (after the Grand Canyon), and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The best way to see the Mexico Copper Canyon is on the El Chepe Train. This famous Mexico train goes through the canyon and the deserts in Northern Mexico. For the best views, board in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, and travel 220 miles (354 km) northeast to the city of Creel in Chihuahua, Mexico.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

13. Guadalajara, Jalisco

beautiful large spanish colonial church in the colonial town of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, located in central Mexico, and a safe place for female solo Mexico travelbeautiful large spanish colonial church in the colonial town of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, located in central Mexico, and a safe place for female solo Mexico travelAs the second biggest city in the country, Guadalajara is one of the most popular places in Mexico to visit.

Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city, after Mexico City — but you wouldn’t know it by visiting! This city has a much smaller feel compared to Mexico City, with its colonial historic center and quaint neighborhoods.

You can easily spend a couple of days visiting, as there’s so many things to do in Guadalajara. Take a day to explore Centro Historico, including the Guadalajara Cathedral and Hospicio Cabanas. A walkable city, and all the main sights are not far from Plaza Guadalajara (Main Plaza).

Don’t miss shopping for artesanias (artisan products) and Mexico souvenirs in the huge Mercado San Juan de Dios market. Located nearby, enjoy Guadalajara day trips to picturesque towns of Tlaquepaque, Ajijic and Tequila, three Mexico pueblos magicos (magic towns).

Tequila, Jalisco

woman in green and white striped sundress wearing a tan sun hat walking through a field of large spiked green agave plants in a field in Tequila, one of the most unique places to visit in mexicowoman in green and white striped sundress wearing a tan sun hat walking through a field of large spiked green agave plants in a field in Tequila, one of the most unique places to visit in mexicoWandering through the blue agave fields in Tequila, Mexico. (Photo: Tequila: Best places to travel Mexico via Canva)

The beautiful agave plant fields in and around the Tequila pueblo magico (magic town) were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. Agave is the plant used to make the popular drink that bears the town’s name — which was first made in Tequila, Mexico centuries ago.

Nowadays, Tequila is a fun, colorful town, with cool street art and murals in the Plaza Principal (Town Square). There’s also museums and distilleries to learn more about the history of the area and its popular creation, where you can also buy tequila directly from local, artisanal producers.

Ride the Tequila Express Train

One of the most fun ways to experience the Tequila pueblo magico (magic town) is taking the Jose Cuervo Express Tequila Train. This day trip goes to Tequila from Guadalajara, Mexico, with unlimited drinks and educational classes about Mexico’s famous spirit — tequila!

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

14. Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California

a vineyard landscape in Valle de Guadalupe wine country, located in Baja California Norte, Mexicoa vineyard landscape in Valle de Guadalupe wine country, located in Baja California Norte, MexicoValle de Guadalupe Mexico Wine Country is fast becoming one of the top Mexico tourist destinations.

Valle de Guadalupe, or just Valle (pronounced vie-yay) for short, is among the most unique places in Mexico. Often called the Napa Valley of Mexico, this up-and-coming wine region and foodie paradise in Baja California state is just two hours from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Wine novices will enjoy the views from the tasting room at Santo Tomas Vineyard, while learning about winemaking through multimedia exhibits. Among the best things to do in Valle de Guadalupe is visit AlXimia, one of the most unique and best vineyards in Valle de Guadalupe.

This is one of the most popular areas for glamping in Mexico, especially at Cuatro Cuartos. You’re also not far from the popular Mexico beach town of Ensenada, one of the top vacation spots in Mexico for U.S. visitors, located only 30 minutes from Valle de Guadalupe.

Ensenada, Baja California

Looking for where to travel in Mexico that’s not too far from the United States? Ensenada, Mexico is a great option.

Ensenada is one of the best beaches in Baja California Mexico — especially popular with the party crowd. Besides the beaches, one of the best things to do in Ensenada is visit La Bufadora, located on the Punta Banda Peninsula of Baja California state.

La Bufadora, meaning “the blowhole,” is a natural rock formation, which has a hole that shoots water into the air up to 100-feet (30.5 m) above the ocean. It is one of only the largest blowholes in the world, along with Halona Blowhole in Hawaii and Kiama Blowhole in Australia.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

15. Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi

waterfall in Huasteca Potosina, one of the most unique places to visit in mexicowaterfall in Huasteca Potosina, one of the most unique places to visit in mexicoTamul Waterfall is among the best natural wonders in Huasteca Potosina, Mexico. (Photo: Mexico’s places via Canva)

Located mostly in the state of San Luis Potosi, northeast of Mexico City, and bordering the Sierra Gorda UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is the Huasteca Potosina. This natural playground for the outdoor enthusiasts has breathtaking waterfalls, rivers, jungle pools and even some caves.

The Huasteca Potosina is still quite undeveloped, and has retained its natural beauty and charm — despite increasing tourism. To explore the whole area, the easiest way is to go with a group tour or rent a car so you can drive everywhere. It is safe to explore either way you choose.

💧 Visit Huasteca Potosina on the 3-Day Adventure and Nature Lovers Tour in Huasteca Potosina Tour! 

You’ll want to book a hotel in Ciudad Valles, Mexico, a town right in the heart of the Huasteca. From there, you can take daily trips to the best waterfalls: Mico, Tamul, Tamasopo, El Salto, Puente de Dios. There’s also the Sotano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows), which you must see before sunrise.

These locations are all spread out, which is why it’s easiest to stay central in Ciudad Valles and head in different directions every day. You can also make yourself a custom itinerary and find local places to stay closer to each of the Huasteca Potosina sites you want to explore.

Xilitla, San Luis Potosi

large surrealist sculpture with arches and stairways in the jungle at Las Pozas or Xilitla, one of the most unique places to visit in mexicolarge surrealist sculpture with arches and stairways in the jungle at Las Pozas or Xilitla, one of the most unique places to visit in mexicoFor those who love unique places, the Laz Pozas Surrealist Garden of Edward James in Xilitla is a Mexico must see.

Xilitla (pronounced hee-leet-la) is the oldest town in San Luis Potosí state, dating back to the 16th Century. This small town is surrounded by limestone cliffs and has a more verdant, lush feel than the rest of the Bajío — the lowland region of Central Mexico where Xilitla lies.

The town is not the easiest place to get to, being on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve. However, many make this part of Mexico its own trip by traveling to Xilitla, the Sierra Gorda and the Huasteca Potosina.

The main draw in the Xilitla pueblo magico is the Surrealist Gardens of Edward James, also called Los Pozas (The Pools). Inspired by his love of surrealist art, eccentric Englishman Edward James began building his dream home and gardens, though he passed away before completion.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

16. San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

San Cristóbal de las Casas is among the best cities in Mexico to visit for culture travelers.

San Cristobal de las Casas is a beautiful colonial city and pueblo magico (magic town) in Chiapas state. It is located in southern Mexico, next to Oaxaca state — two states known to provide a true Mexican cultural experience.

Looking for cheap places to travel Mexico? Your dollars will stretch far in San Cristobal.

Some of the best things to do in San Cristobal include exploring the local markets, admiring the colonial architecture, and immersing yourself in the surrounding nature, like El Chiflon Waterfalls. There are some great towns nearby, like San Juan de Chamula and Zinacantan.

Palenque ruins, Chiapas

When making a list of Mexico cities to visit, do not overlook Palenque, Mexico.

While designating the “best places to vacation in Mexico” is subjective to each traveler, those looking to experience unspoilt, beautiful Mexican nature will enjoy Palenqne, a pueblo magico in Chiapas. Located in a rainforest high in the mountains, the top site here is the Palenque Mayan Ruins.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is about 135 miles (220km) from San Cristobal de las Casas. Some of the more notable buildings include the Templo del Conde (Temple of the Count), El Palacio (The Palace) Templo de las Inscripciones (Temple of the Inscriptions) and Templos XII and XIII.

Agua Azul, Chiapas

Agua Azul, meaning Blue Waters, is a giant series of waterfalls and swimming pools with bright blue, beautiful waters. It is located a few hours from San Cristobal, on the way to Palenque Ruins, so it’s a popular stop to break up that long drive.

Sumidero Canyon, Chiapas

smaller blue boat approaching the large Sumidero Canyon, one of the most unique places to visit in mexicosmaller blue boat approaching the large Sumidero Canyon, one of the most unique places to visit in mexico

One of the best things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas is take a boat tour of Sumidero Canyon. You’ll depart from Chiapa de Corzo, a pueblo magico (magic town) located about 30 minutes from Downtown San Cristobal.

On the thrilling boat ride, you’ll marvel at the canyon walls, which extend up to about 3,000-feet-tall (1000 m) in some areas. Chock full of wildlife, you may see crocodiles a few feet from the boat, and playful monkeys swinging around in the trees on shore.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

17. Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

One of the best resort towns in Mexico, Playa del Carmen is a great option for sun and fun.

Looking for the best beach resorts in Mexico? How about one of the best beach cities in Mexico? Or best Mexico resort towns? Located about midway between Cancun to the north and Tulum to the south, Playa del Carmen fits the bill!

Besides the miles of pristine beaches in Playa del Carmen, you’re near amazing Mayan Ruins, like Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Just outside of downtown, check out the best cenotes in Playa del Carmen, and popular Xcaret and Xel-Ha water parks in Mexico.

Spend time strolling Avenida Quinta, Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen. This popular street has it all: shopping, live music, bars, clubs, the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen, and even a Frida Kahlo Museum! In fact, walking 5th Ave. is one of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen.

On 5th Avenue, head to the southern end of the street to enjoy Parque los Fundadores (Founders Park), home of the iconic Portal Maya statue. Here, you’ll also see the Voladores de Papantla perform their ancient ritual while flying suspended from a 100-foot-tall (30.5 m) pole.

Playa Maroma, Quintana Roo

El Dorado Palafitos on Playa Maroma Beach, MexicoEl Dorado Palafitos on Playa Maroma Beach, MexicoLocated on on Playa Maroma, El Dorado Palafitos is one of the best vacation spots in Mexico for couples. (Photo: Expedia)

Playa Maroma Beach, located near Playa del Carmen, was named one of the 10 Best Beaches in the World by the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel. For those looking to stay in one of the best overwater bungalows in Mexico, look no further than El Dorado Palafitos on Playa Maroma.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

18. Morelia, Michoacan

Underrated Morelia really is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico!

Morelia is the capital of Michoacan state, and the 22nd largest city in Mexico. At four hours west of Mexico City, Morelia makes a great weekend trip from Mexico City with gorgeous-yet-affordable hotels like the stunning Hotel de la Soledad — the best hotel in Morelia, Mexico.

This is one of the most European looking cities in Mexico, with classic architecture and beautiful stone fountains scattered throughout the town. While so many of Mexico’s colonial cities are painted in varying bright colors, Morelia’s buildings are all kept in their natural stone.

One of the most iconic buildings in the Historic Center of Morelia, is the beautiful baroque Catedral de Morelia. Head to the Plaza de Armas (Main Plaza) to see the Morelia Cathedral, beautiful both inside and out. The Plaza de Armas park makes a nice place to relax for a bit in this bustling city.

Besides the cathedral, the one-mile long Acueducto de Morelia (Morelia Aqueduct), which was built in the 1700s, is one of the oldest sites in town. It is beautiful during the day, but head there at night to its 250 limestone arches lit up.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

19. Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Stairs leading down to a tropical beach in MexicoStairs leading down to a tropical beach in Mexico

This is the most popular Oaxaca beach town of them all! For those who have seen photos of the best Puerto Escondido beaches, like Playa Carrizalillo, you already know why this Oaxaca coastline town is so popular.

One of the things that put Puerto Escondido, Mexico on the map are its surf waves. Puerto Escondido’s famous big wave surf spot is Playa Zicatela beach. The Mexican Pipeline wave at Zicatela regularly reaches 10-feet (3 m) in height 🏄‍♀️

While Pipeline is not a wave for beginner surfers, you’ll find surf schools and smaller waves at La Punta and Playa Marinero. In fact, surfing is one of the best things to do in Puerto Escondido — aside from just simply enjoying a Puerto Escondido beach or two.

One of the most popular attractions takes place on the beach at sunset; the Oaxaca Turtle Release Program. A Puerto Escondido must do for many, you can opt for a more complete tour to also visit other Puerto Escondido sites, like the bioluminescent Laguna Manialtepec Lagoon.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

20. Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins, Yucatan

chichen itza, a mayan pyramid and wonder of the world - day trips from Meridachichen itza, a mayan pyramid and wonder of the world - day trips from MeridaEl Castillo Pyramid at Chichen Itza (also called the Temple of Kukulkan).

One of the most visited of all Mexico tourist attractions is Chichen Itza Ruins, which sees an astounding two million visitors each year! Chichen Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and one of the Mexico UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Yucatan.

Chichen Itza is located about 2.5- to 3-hours from all the top Yucatan Mexico destinations, like Cancun, Tulum, Merida and Playa del Carmen, and less than one hour from Valladolid, Mexico. There are many tours of Chichen Itza from all these places, or you can drive your rental car

chichen itza stone mayan - day trips from Merida ruins - day trips from Meridachichen itza stone mayan - day trips from Merida ruins - day trips from Meridastone wall of skull heads at chichen itza - day trips from Meridastone wall of skull heads at chichen itza - day trips from Merida

Historians believe Chichen Itza is more than 1,500-years-old. They say the Mayan people, experts in astronomy, architecture and mathematics, strategically positioned the buildings in a unique pattern that follows the rotation of the Earth and position of the sun.

El Caracol (The Shell) is the Astronomical Observatory, with a telescope once used to track the planet Venus. The Maya believed Venus was a war god, and they observed its position in the sky to determine the best time to go into battle.

The largest of all Chichen Itza pyramids is El Castillo. It has 91 steps on each side, adding up to 364 — and when combined with the top platform makes 365, one step for each calendar day. The entire site is filled with amazing facts like this, so do book a Chichen Itza guided tour when you visit.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

21. Taxco, Guerrero

large tan church with colorful dome in the ornate baroque style site high atop the town of taxco, one of the most unique places to visit in mexicolarge tan church with colorful dome in the ornate baroque style site high atop the town of taxco, one of the most unique places to visit in mexicoThe Iglesia Santa Prisca de Taxco church towers over this hilly town.

Taxco was one a booming silver mining town, and still known as the top Mexico silver town to this day. These days, Taxco gets most of its income from tourism, as one of the most beautiful and best pueblos magicos in Mexico — anchored by the gorgeous Santa Prisca de Taxco church.

Many go there to walk the town’s winding cobblestone streets, and also to shop for silver. You can buy directly from artisans who still do handmade silver work to this day. Just outside of town, there’s Cacahuamilpa Caves, the famed Taxco caves in Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

22. Cozumel, Quintana Roo

Cozumel is a popular tourist destination, especially with divers and cruise goers.

Accessible only by boat, Isla Cozumel Island is located about 25 minutes by ferry from Playa del Carmen. It is one of the best islands in Mexico, a popular spot for cruise ships, and one of the best places for diving in Mexico.

There are the San Gervasio Mayan Ruins in Cozumel, beautiful sandy beaches and pristine natural areas, like Punta Sur Eco Park. However, the best things to do in Cozumel involve being in the water — as there’s a whole other world to enjoy beneath the Caribbean Sea.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the second largest reef in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef. Located in the crystal-clear Caribbean waters, Cozumel is a top snorkel and dive destination, with comfortable water temperatures all year, amazing visibility, and healthy marine life.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

23. Izamal, Yucatan: The Yellow City

colonial town with yellow walls and man on his bike in the street - day trips from Meridacolonial town with yellow walls and man on his bike in the street - day trips from MeridaLooking for unique places of interest in Mexico? Look no further than the Yellow Town of Izamal, Mexico.

Izamal, Mexico has been nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Nicknamed “The Yellow City,” buildings in Downtown Izamal are all yellow. The reason why is unknown, but as one of the world’s only monochromatic cities, Izamal is one of the coolest places in Mexico.

One of the best day trips from Merida, Mexico, the Yucatan pueblo magico of Izamal is a feast for the eyes. A small city, you can explore all of downtown in a few hours, including the Convento de San Antonio de Padua Izamal church, built in the 16th Century.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

24. Cancun, Quintana Roo

Though there’s so many things to do in Cancun, Mexico, its beaches are still the best places to visit in Cancun.

Cancun, arguably the most famous beach in Mexico, is indeed a place for everyone — not just those looking to party! Now, there are plenty of Cancun nightlife spots to dance and drink the night away, but Cancun is a top Mexico travel destination because it’s a place many can enjoy.

Cancun all inclusive resorts are perfect for families; backpackers have great Cancun hostel options; and party goers have plenty of Cancun bars and clubs. Among the best places in Mexico for couples, romance seekers will love a luxury retreat at Nizuc Hotel and Spa.

Cancun Travel Tip: The best month to visit Cancun is February, as you’ll have perfect weather and smaller crowds.

Cancun, Mexico also makes a great home base to explore the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Yucatan Mayan Ruins. In fact, not many know there are a few places to see Mayan ruins in Cancun — like El Rey, in front of Playa Delfines, one of the best beaches in Cancun, and El Meco, in Puerto Juarez.

In the Hotel Zone, there’s the Museo Maya de Cancun (Cancun Mayan Museum) which has a Mayan temple. Just off shore, there’s Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), better known as the Cancun Underwater Museum, with 500 submerged sculptures and healthy coral reefs.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

25. Ixtapa & Zihuatanejo, Guerrero

flowers in the foreground and a beautiful horseshoe shaped bay with a few sailboats in the background, in Zihuatanejo, one of the Best Mexican Beach Townsflowers in the foreground and a beautiful horseshoe shaped bay with a few sailboats in the background, in Zihuatanejo, one of the Best Mexican Beach TownsWhile Ixtapa is one of the best Mexico resort cities, Zihuatanejo is much more laid back.

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo (pronounced zee-waa-ten-eh-hoe) are located right next to one another — so a visit to either essentially gives you two Mexico vacation spots in one.

Ixtapa, located in Guerrero state on the Pacific Ocean, has some of the best beaches of Mexico. It is decidedly a resort town, and among the best Mexico coast cities with plenty of amenities and great infrastructure for visitors, including Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (code: ZIH).

Spend some time exploring the best beaches in Ixtapa, Playa El Palmar, Playa Linda and Playa Quita, and then do an Ixtapa boat tour to Isla Ixtapa (Ixtapa Island). Exploring this beautiful, tranquil island is among the best things to do in Ixtapa.

Zihuatanejo is right next to Ixtapa, and while gaining in popularity, for now, it remains one of the top Mexico hidden beach towns. Unlike the hustle and bustle you’ll find in Ixtapa, this peaceful, sleepy beach town of Zihuatanejo feels like it’s a world away.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

26. Ajijic, Jalisco (Lake Chapala)

Located just 35 miles south of Guadalajara on Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Chapala, the Ajijic, Mexico offers an escape from crowds. Part of the Chapala Riviera, Ajijic is famous for its tropical weather, lush vegetation and natural beauty.

Ajijic pueblo magico (magic town) has charming cobblestone streets lined with colorful bougainvillea, with plenty of enticing restaurants and cafes. It is a popular place for Mexico expats, and considered among the best places to live in Mexico, and best places to retire in Mexico.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

27. Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo

Isla Mujeres, Mexico is a small island paradise just a few miles from Cancun, across the Bahía de Mujeres. It is accessible only by ferry from Cancun, and is a popular day or weekend trip for both visitors and locals.

Even though it’s close to Cancun, Isla Mujeres offers a totally different experience. As island life is much more laid back, it’s the perfect spot to come and relax for a few days in a beautiful Isla Mujeres resort.

The best beach in Isla Mujeres is Playa Norte, on the northern tip of the island. It’s a long stretch of white sand beach, lined with palm trees and beautiful turquoise waters. Playa Norte is among the best beaches Mexico has because the water is calm enough for swimming.

One of the best things to do in Isla Mujeres, if you visit from May to September, is swim with whale sharks. During this time, the largest fish in the ocean pass by Isla Mujeres on their annual migration, and you can swim alongside these gentle giants.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

28. Sayulita, Nayarit

woman smiling on a colorful street in Sayulita, one of the Best Mexican Beach Townswoman smiling on a colorful street in Sayulita, one of the Best Mexican Beach Towns

A once sleepy fishing village, Sayulita, Mexico, in Nayarit state, has grown into a laid-back, boho beach town on many Mexico bucket lists. Sayulita is one of the best surf spots in Mexico, and a favorite among yogis, artists, and those looking for a chill beach vacation in Mexico.

This small town, one of the 135 or so pueblos magicos (magic towns) in Mexico has a tight-knit community of locals and expats. In fact, it’s one of the most popular places for expats in Mexico.

Sayulita is known as a hub for spiritual seekers and wellness enthusiasts, and you’ll find plenty of yoga studios and retreats in Sayulita. There are also great street food stands and restaurants in Sayulita, cool shops and art galleries, jungle hikes and even horseback riding on the beach!

Riviera Nayarit

Looking for nice places to visit in Mexico that aren’t too touristy? Then the Riviera Nayarit beaches on Mexico’s Pacific Coast will really wow you! This 200-mile (322 km) stretch of Mexico coastline has some of the best beaches in Mexico, like Sayulita, Punta Mita, Litibu and Lo de Marcos.

San Pancho, Nayarit

Colorful San Pancho is one of the best Mexican cities to visit for a laid back trip.

Located in the Riviera Nayarit, the pueblo of San Pancho, Mexico is often overlooked by its more popular neighbors to the south — Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita and Bucerias. However, it’s an up and coming beach town, and one of the top places to visit in Mexico for those in the know.

For such a small town, there are many great things to do in San Pancho (AKA San Francisco). With cobblestone streets, quiet plazas, great surf waves and amazing beaches, San Pancho is one of the best day trips from Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

29. Bahias de Huatulco, Oaxaca

beautiful lagoon on the beachbeautiful lagoon on the beachOne of the best outdoor activities in Huatulco is simply laying around on the beautiful beaches in Huatulco.

Located about two hours west of Puerto Escondido is Bahías de Huatulco, usually just called Huatulco (pronounced wa-tool-coh). Huatulco is the perfect spot for those wanting resort style accommodations, and relatively crowd-free, amazing beaches in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Huatulco has an astounding 36 beaches, as well as nine bays. In fact, the word bahías in its name means “bays” in Spanish. With so much beachfront real estate and beautiful landscape, the best things to do in Huatulco involve being in or around the ocean at a Huatulco Mexico beach.

There’s also Huatulco National Park, a 29,000-acre park (116 km²) that’s partially on land and partially in the protected waters off the coast. In 2005, Huatulco achieved international Green Globe Certification, as it has more protected space than all other Mexico tourism destinations.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

30. Mazatlan, Sinaloa

colorful buildings along the beach in Mazatlan, one of the Best Mexican Beach Townscolorful buildings along the beach in Mazatlan, one of the Best Mexican Beach TownsThough Mazatlan is a Mexico resort city, the town also offers visitors a lot in terms of outdoor activities and culture.

Mazatlan, known as the “Pacific Pearl,” is the best Mexican beach destination in Sinaloa state, and in general, one of the best places to visit in Mexico. Located on the Pacific Ocean, it’s rich history, delicious Sinaloa-style seafood, and beach views make it a perfect Mexico vacation destination. 

You’ll want to visit all the best beaches in Mazatlan while you’re there. If you’re staying at a Mazatlan resort, you’ll likely be visiting the beaches in the Golden Zone. This is where the action happens, as these beaches are tourist-friendly.

If you prefer a locals’ beach, head to Playa Olas Altas to venture off the beaten path in Mazatlan. Regardless of which beach you choose, the waves can be powerful in Mazatlan, so use caution while enjoying the water. For calmer waters, head to the Golden Zone beaches.

Besides the beaches, another one of the best things to do in Mazatlan is go zip lining. Located just a bit out of the city, you’ll be in a dense forest of the Sierra Madre mountains in rural Sinaloa, perfect for flying through the treetops on a zip line tour in Mazatlan.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

27. Tepoztlan, Morelos

Looking for cool places to visit in Mexico?! Tepoztlan is one of the best Mexico hidden gems. (Photo: Best vacation in Mexico via Canva)

Tepoztlán, Morelos is one of the best day trips from Mexico City, at just one hour away. This town is a hub for artists, healers and spiritual seekers, and one of the 135 or so pueblos magicos (magical towns), a prestigious title awarded by the Mexico Tourism Secretary.

For many, no visit to Tepoztlan is complete without climbing up to the Tepozteco Aztec Pyramid. It’s an intense climb, though the views are spectacular. This mountain-top ruin is dedicated to Tepoztēcatl, the Aztec god of pulque (pronounced pull-kay), known as “the drink of the gods.”

Cuernavaca, Morelos

Famous place in Mexico alert: Some scenes from the Denzel Washington movie “Man On Fire” were filmed on the streets of Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Cuernavaca is a super easy Mexico City day trip, perfect for lovers of history, architecture, nature and art. As many of the old haciendas have been turned into resorts, you can stay in luxury for relatively little money at Anticavilla Cuernavaca Hotel and Hacienda San Gabriel de las Palmas.

Cuernavaca is the capital of Morelos state, and often called the “City of Eternal Spring” due to its lovely, balmy weather and pleasant climate year-round. The city has gorgeous views of the Tepozteco Mountains, and plenty to do on a day trip from CDMX.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

32. Akumal, Quintana Roo

quintana roo travel: swimming with turtles in akumal, mexico, in akumal bayquintana roo travel: swimming with turtles in akumal, mexico, in akumal bayAkumal, Mexico is one of the top Mexican resort cities, but it’s the turtles that put it on the map!

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, you’ll find the Mexico beach town of Akumal. The closest airport to Akumal is Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), so you’ll fly there and then make your way from Cancun to Akumal.

swim with the turtles in akumal Mexico

Akumal is mostly known as one of the best Mexico resort areas — and it has some of the best all inclusive resorts in Mexico — but this town is famous for its turtles 🐢

Among many amazing outdoor adventures in Yucatan, swimming with the turtles in Akumal is a Mexico bucket list experience. The only way to swim with the turtles is by booking a tour, as the number of people allowed in Akumal Bay each day is regulated, for the turtle’s safety.

Akumal turtle tours follow strict guidelines to continue conservation efforts and protect this endangered animal. Swimmers must maintain a 10-foot (3 m) distance from the sea turtles so they can easily surface to breathe. Akumal turtle season runs from May to November each year.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

33. Todos Santos, Baja California Sur

Colorful Mexican folk art flags (papel picado) on a street in Todos Santos pueblo magico (magic town), a great place for Solo Mexico travel in Baja California, Mexico,Colorful Mexican folk art flags (papel picado) on a street in Todos Santos pueblo magico (magic town), a great place for Solo Mexico travel in Baja California, Mexico,Fast becoming one of the best tourist places in Mexico, Todos Santos is a must visit Baja California town.

Todos Santos is a quaint, hip pueblo, and one of the best small beach towns in Mexico. In 2006, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism designated Todos Santos a pueblo magico (Mexico magic town), one of about 135 places in the country with this high honor.

One of the best beaches near Todos Santos is Punta Lobos, a quiet beach about 15-minutes from town. Here, you’ll find local villagers who still use traditional fishing practices, and it’s quite impressive to watch the small boats go in and out throughout the day.

In Downtown Todos Santos, enjoy shopping at El Taller Todos Santos, Nomad Chic and Etnica. Stroll through the town and be on the lookout for colorful, creative Todos Santos street art.

Hotel California in Mexico

While strolling through Downtown Todos Santos, make sure to stop in at the Hotel California. This is the hotel urban legend says inspired The Eagles’ hit song; though lead singer Don Henley denies it. Still, no visit to Todos Santos is complete without seeing the Hotel California.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

34. Lake Bacalar, Quintana Roo

a sail boat in the middle of the blue waters of bacalar lagoon mexicoa sail boat in the middle of the blue waters of bacalar lagoon mexicoWith crystal clear freshwater and warm temperatures all year, Lake Bacalar is the best place in Mexico to swim!

Bacalar Lagoon is also called the Lagoon of Seven Colors and the Maldives of Mexico — a reference to the crystal clear waters of the Maldives Islands. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Bacalar is about 4.5 hours from Cancun, and 30 minutes from the Belize-Mexico border.

Though technically a pueblo (small town), there are quite a few things to do in Bacalar, including a blissful swim in beautiful Laguna Bacalar (Bacalar Lake). There’s also a historic fort in Downtown Bacalar, with cannons once used to fend off pirates 🏴‍☠️

Lake Bacalar is the second largest freshwater lake in Mexico — at 26-miles-long (42 km). The best way to see it all is on a Bacalar tour of the lagoon to check out the Canal de los Piratas (Pirate’s Channel), Cenote la Bruja (Witch’s Cenote) and Isla de los Pajaros (Bird Island).

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

35. La Paz, Baja California Sur

the beautiful blue water and mountains along Blandera Beach in La Paz, one of the Best Mexican Beach Townsthe beautiful blue water and mountains along Blandera Beach in La Paz, one of the Best Mexican Beach TownsPlaya Balandra Beach is always among every visitors’ favorite places in La Paz.

The town of La Paz in Baja California Sur state has some of the best swimming beaches in Mexico, making it the perfect spot to vacation for everyone from families to tranquility-seekers. The best beaches in La Paz, Mexico include Playa El Coromuel, Playa El Tesoro and Playa Tecolote.

However, the undeniable star of the La Paz Mexico beach scene is the gorgeous Playa Balandra. It is known as the best beach in Mexico, and what some consider one of the best beaches in the world! In case you’re wondering Is La Paz worth visiting? — Playa Balandra alone is worth the trip!

Cabo Pulmo National Park

Cabo Pulmo is located in the Sea of Cortez, famously called “the aquarium of the world” by diver and 1970s TV personality, Jacques Cousteau. It is located about 90-minutes north of San José del Cabo (and the Los Cabos Airport), in a protected Mexico national park.

During the winter months, this is the best place to see humpback whales in Mexico as they migrate past from about late-November to early-April. If you’re visiting in the summer, Cabo Pulmo is one of the best places to snorkel in Mexico, with many taking a Cabo Pulmo snorkeling tour.

Isla Espiritu Santo

Among the nicest places in Mexico, don’t miss the uninhabited Isla Espiritu Santo Island.

When visiting La Paz, Mexico, don’t miss out on taking a boat tour through the Sea of Cortez. This narrow gulf lies between mainland Mexico and the Baja Peninsula, and is a protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

On a Sea of Cortez boat tour, you’ll see an abundance of wildlife — like dolphins, whales and sea lions. When you jump in the water, juvenile sea lions may even swim up right beside you! You’ll also see Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Los Islotes, two of the best places to visit in Baja California.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

Mexico Travel Guide & Mexico FAQ

Is Mexico safe for travelers?

Yes — For the vast majority of travelers, Mexico is safe. That’s not to say “bad” things don’t happen in Mexico; they do. As safety is never guaranteed anywhere on Earth, you must prioritize your safety while traveling to Mexico by staying aware of yourself and your belongings at all times.

woman in white dress and hat with her back to the camera, looking at tall cactus | is mexico safe HEADER IMAGEwoman in white dress and hat with her back to the camera, looking at tall cactus | is mexico safe HEADER IMAGE

As Mexico travel safety is a complex topic, head to Is Mexico Safe? 25 Tips to Stay Safe in Mexico for an in-depth explanation on Mexico safety.

Should I get Mexico travel insurance?

While you don’t legally have to have travel insurance for Mexico, you’ll definitely want to have it. During these strange times, travel insurance for Mexico will give you an added level of security and peace of mind so you can just kick back and enjoy your Mexico vacation 😎

Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling. If Mexico travel safety is on your mind, get your FREE quote below from World Nomads and Safety Wing, two of the biggest names in travel insurance.

  • Safety Wing:

    Perfect for general travel coverage, and digital nomads who travel for extended periods of time

    .

  • World Nomads:

    Perfect for those who want to do adventurous activities while traveling.

After determining which of the above beautiful places in Mexico to visit, you’ll need to know what to pack for Mexico.

BEST PLACES TO visit IN MEXICO

What do I include on my Mexico packing list?

If you’re wondering, What’s the best month to visit Mexico?, that will absolutely depend on where you’re headed. Mexico is a very big country (the 14th largest country on Earth, in fact) with varied climates in different parts of the country.

While Mexico beaches have warm temperatures year-round, cities are much cooler. Make sure to double check the weather where you’re headed — as there’s more temperature fluctuations than most realize when they travel Mexico.

As a general rule, Mexicans tend to dress on the conservative side. Even in hotter places and pueblos (small towns), jeans and long sleeves are the norm. While on beaches it’s normal to see shorts and sandals, in cities you’ll definitely stand out.

FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico

Head to the Ultimate Packing List for Mexico, or download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below ⤵ This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers Mexico beach packing and Mexico city packing, so you know want to bring, and what not to bring to Mexico!

Final Thoughts: Best Places to Visit in Mexico Right Now

While many think Mexico is just one giant beach, there are amazing and historic vacation cities in Mexico as well. Now, with 5,800-miles of coastline, if you’re looking for a beachfront vacation place in Mexico, you have no shortage of those either. Hopefully, this list well represents both!

To classify the “Best Places in Mexico to Visit” or “Best Part of Mexico to Visit” is impossible, as they are subject to each individual traveler. However, rest assured all destinations featured above are among the safest places to vacation in Mexico. In short, you can’t go wrong with any of them!

So what are you waiting for? Book your Mexico flight below, and start making your Mexican travel dream come true ⤵

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