February 6th 2020
Ahh Mexico! The country in Central America that brought us tequila (and margaritas as a result), Corona beer, avocados, chocolate (yes it originated in Mexico, not Switzerland or Belgium!), a national cuisine adored and found in countries worldwide and, of course, the Mexican wave!
We also have Mexico to thank for the fine talents of Salma Hayek and Carlos Santana as well as many magical World Cup moments over the years.
Beyond these contributions to the world, Mexico is home to some of the world’s most celebrated archaeological sites, sandy beaches and a multitude of cultural experiences. It comes as no surprise that it welcomes millions of tourists from all over the world.
There’s a lot more to Mexico than the day of the dead and beach towns like Cancun however! If you are planning a trip to Mexico, here are the 10 places you really should be considering visiting during your stay:
Mexico’s capital city deservedly belongs on any list of the best places to go in Mexico. While it may seem like visiting a country’s capital city is the age-old recommendation, Mexico City has such a variety of different appeals that ring unique to any other major city in the world.
Mexico City has attractions to visit and stories to tell from many different cultures and eras of history – the Aztec period, the Mexican revolution and the Spanish conquest to name but a few. Murals, the Metropolitan Cathedral, museums, major UNESCO World Heritage Sites and, of course, perhaps the most mouth-watering Mexican food, Mexico City simply has it all.
You can truly immerse yourself in every aspect of Mexican culture with a visit to Mexico City.
Want to visit Mexico City? Why not check out our “Corazon de Mexico” Trip?
Puebla & Cholula
Mexico’s fourth-largest city, Puebla is one of the oldest cities in the country and it boasts some of the longest-standing and most impressive structures and ruins, including Puebla Cathedral and the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, which was the first public library to open in the Americas region.
The ever-iconic Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling show draws huge crowds in Puebla and makes for quite the entertaining evening. However, if there’s one draw that will always keep us coming back to Puebla, it’s the food.
Puebla is simply bustling with culinary delights and, in fact, Mexicos’ beloved spicy chocolate sauce, mole poblano, was reportedly invented here. It’s no surprise then that Puebla is home to “Calle de los Dulces” – Candy Street – a street lined with independent candy stores selling lots of Mexican sweet treats, included some local to the region. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be in heaven!
Considered the oldest city in America, that alone is a reason why a visit to Cholula should feature on your Mexico trip itinerary. However, the fact that Cholula is home to the Great Pyramid of Cholula, the largest pyramid existing in the world today is quite simply an undeniable reason to put this place on your list.
The Great Pyramid is truly a bucket list site to visit and it’s a site you don’t have to admire from afar with travellers free to roam its outer paths and tunnels. With Cholula located so close to Puebla, you can easily double up and visit both cities on your trip. Win win!
Want to visit Puebla and the Cholula Pyramid? Why not check out our “Corazon de Mexico” Trip?
3. San Miguel Allende
San Miguel de Allende has become one of the most popular places to go in Mexico for culture vultures looking for fine food, wine and fun. This small town located about 150 miles north of Mexico City has been named best city in the world many years in a row by various travel surveys. Thanks in part to its colonial Spanish architecture, San Miguel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a beautiful architectural gem with quaint cobblestone streets, shops full of artisanal crafts and wonderful cafes and restaurants. San Miguel is a famous centre for artists and there are galleries and artist studios on every corner. In the local area, you can visit hot springs, ride horses, go on balloon rides, enjoy tequila tasting, try out inventive chefs working in all types of cuisines – and even go wine tasting in the local vineyards closeby!
There is more than enough to keep you happy in San Miguel Allende and if that wasn’t enough – other colonial gems such as Guanajuato are just a few hours away on a day trip.
One of Mexico’s best-known and most visited destinations, it is ever so easy to see why Oaxaca is a feature on almost everyone’s itinerary. If you like to wander and roam, this city in Mexico should be high on your bucket list.
A state capital city with small-town charm, Oaxaca has something for everyone; breath-taking skylines, beautiful cobbled streets, an incredible array of art galleries and their very own cuisine, not to mention being one of Mexico’s best coffee producing areas (you will struggle to get better coffee anywhere in Mexico!).
A visit to Oaxaca isn’t complete without a look at the ever so impressive Templo de Santo Domingo – which is not only Oaxaca’s most iconic landmark but it is one of the most famous in Mexico too.
Want to visit Oaxaca? Why not check out our “Corazon de Mexico” Trip?
Chiapa de Corzo & Sumidero Canyon
This small city (we say small – it’s small for Mexico; the city still has a population of more than 45,000) can fly under the radar when you are planning a trip to Mexico. However, it’s certainly a destination that should be on your “must-visit” list – especially if travelling in January.
Why January? Chiapa de Corzo plays host to the Fiesta Grande de Enero (Great January Feast) every year from January 4th to 23rd to honor local patron saints. One of the most attractive events in the country, the festival was included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2010.
Of course, there are lots of other reasons to visit the city of Chiapa de Corzo year-round, with lots of impressive structures to admire and attractions to explore. Nearby one of the main reasons people come through this area is to take a boat ride through the Sumidero Canyon.
San Cristóbal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas is a place where travellers always want to stay an extra few days when visiting Mexico. Why? It’s just so easy to fall in love with.
One of Mexico’s historical colonial architecture havens, San Cristobal de las Casas has everything a traveller could ask for.
Abundant with culture and blessed with a relaxing atmosphere that’s radiating from the beautiful boutique hotels and charming cafes, the people here have a deep love for crafts and folk art. If you want to experience “real” Mexico, this place is a must. .
Just outside of San Cristobal are the indigenous towns of Chamula and Zinacantan which are both worth the short journey out to visit to yet another set of different perspectives on life in Mexico, as well as to admire some stunning ancient Mayan ruins.
Palenque is the perfect place to stay for touring the Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls with one-day tours operating to the waterfalls from the town every day.
The Misol-Ha waterfall consists of a 35m cascade of water, falling into a pool of the bluest water you will ever likely see while the Aqua Azul is a series of multi-tiered waterfalls, which flow down stunning natural limestone steps. Both are truly a sight to behold and among Mexico’s most beautiful landmarks.
Of course, once you have been to see the magnificent waterfalls, your exploration isn’t done quite just yet. Palenque is also home to some of the best-preserved ruins from Mayan culture.
In fact, the ruins and monuments of Palenque were recognized in 1987 by UNESCO as a world heritage site and are a key reason why the area is considered one of the best places to visit in Mexico.
While lots of travellers stay in Valladolid to visit the nearby Maya ruins of Chichen Itza (undoubtedly one of the most visited Mayan sites in Mexico) and Ek’Balam, they find themselves enchanted by the colonial charm that this little city has preserved so well through the years.
You may find yourself wondering whether you are in Mexico or Spain such is the array of peaceful, long-standing churches and charming neighbourhoods.
For those interested in art, located nearby is Casa de los Venados (House of the Deer), which is home to the largest privately-owned folk art collection in Mexico while the San Roque Museum brings to life the very intriguing history of the area.
Often referred to as “Mexico’s hidden gem” or “Mexico’s most underrated city”, Merida is a peaceful paradise. It deservedly won a place on The Guardian’s 2017 list of the top places in the world to visit with its amazing heritage sites, world-renowned live music and consistent flow of cultural events.
Mérida is a mind-blowing city, with one of the best atmospheres to soak up in the whole of Mexico. Take a stroll to the park of Santa Lucia which is a haven of activity, seek solace from the sun in the many nearby cenotes, tour the historical ruins or do something different and visit the flamingo sanctuary of Celestún.
Time and time again, Mérida is listed by travellers as their favourite place in Mexico. Once you have been there, you will completely understand why. We are forever mesmerized by the brilliance of the city.
Playa del Carmen
We did say there was more to Mexico than Cancun but let us explain. If it is beautiful beaches and coral reefs you are seeking on your Mexico trip, then a visit to Playa del Carmen is an absolute necessity.
Located along the Caribbean Sea, it is quieter than Cancun but still boasts a varied nightlife. Where it really wins out is it abundance of things to see and do for the “explorer” and cultural travellers and its preservation of Mexican culture.
It is centrally located in the center of the Riviera Maya, with day trips feasible to top sites such as Chichén Itzá, while it is a famous hotspot for activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving. Travellers can even get the ferry over to visit Cozumel Island.
Playa del Carmen is the perfect place to visit in Mexico for a mix of relaxation and adventure!
Make magnificent Mexico your next holiday destination
From deserts and jungle to beaches, waterfalls, pyramids, ancient ruins, feasts and festivals, you will truly get to see and do it all in Mexico. Other vacation spots that are worth visiting include Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende and the Yucatán Peninsulas.
Your budget will stretch a lot further than other countries in the Americas and, of course, what better excuse to sample some “real” Mexican food and tequila.
In fact, all the amazing culture, adventure, pristine beaches and historical sites aside, the food and drink alone are one of the best reasons to make Mexico your next destination. Viva Mexico!
If you are interested to find out more about Mexico and the trips we operate there please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
February 6th 2020
Something else to take a look at…
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April 3rd 2019