So you don’t know where to travel in Mexico? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. With so many options to choose from ranging from big cities to small towns to beaches to archaeological sites, you will have a hard time picking a single destination. I certainly do.
You can virtually find in Mexico anything you need for the vacation of your dreams. That’s why I came up with some useful information to help you make a more informed decision. Let’s get started!
One of the main attractions in Mexico is its beaches. Did you know that Mexico’s coastline is 5,800 miles (9,330 km) long? This places us at number 14 worldwide. There are certainly other places with longer coastlines like Canada and Norway, but the fact that many people from those places come to visit our country’s beaches should tell us something.
Mexico is surrounded by 2 oceans: the Atlantic Ocean (including the Gulf of California) to the west and the Pacific Ocean (including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea) to the east. The side along the Pacific Ocean is more than 3 times longer than the side along the Atlantic Ocean. There are many beaches with varying degrees of blue along the coastline.
Due to our proximity to the equator, many parts of our country enjoy a tropical climate. Most of our beaches have warm-hot temperatures all year round, not to mention they are very beautiful, making them a perfect destination for tourists escaping from the cold weather in their countries.
Among the most visited beaches we have:
- Playa del Carmen
- Nuevo Vallarta
- Puerto Vallarta
- Los Cabos
- Puerto Progreso
Mexico is not a desert with men wearing ponchos and sombreros taking siestas on the street. We have large cities with modern technology and tourist attractions of all kinds.
The 3 largest cities are:
- Mexico City. International hub with restaurants of all kinds, more museums than any other Mexican city, numerous parks, an active cultural scene, and much more!
- Guadalajara. Land of the mariachi and tequila. Need I say more?
- Monterrey. Mexico’s industrial hub and the land of cabrito and carne asada. It also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.
Other cities worth mentioning are:
- Puebla City
- Ciudad Juarez
Visiting a large city doesn’t have to be boring. You can find activities for all the family. Or if you’re traveling solo or with friends, you have plenty of options as well.
Due to our Spanish heritage, there are many cities of this kind in Mexico. Colonial cities reflect the architecture and culture from the Spanish Colony, hence the title. Unlike other cities in Mexico, colonial cities boast of cobbled streets, monumental buildings and houses with balconies, doors, and windows of Spanish style. They were the most prosperous cities back in those times.
Some of the most famous colonial cities include:
- San Miguel de Allende
- Queretaro City
- Zacatecas City
- Oaxaca City
- San Cristobal de las Casas
- Puebla City
I feel like traveling back in time when I visit these places. They all have a special charm to them that can be seen in their main squares, their plazas, their kiosks, their buildings, their dishes… You don’t want to miss out!
If you prefer small towns, you should check out pueblos mágicos. These are small towns all over Mexico that possess a strong cultural identity among other things, which differentiate them from other places in Mexico. I always try to visit at least once when I travel. You can learn about the culture, admire the architecture, enjoy regional dishes, watch a typical dance, take many photos and just unwind. A magical experience!
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t visit other small towns. I’ve visited several places that are quite charming but are not considered pueblos mágicos. Don’t let this discourage you from visiting.
You can read more about pueblos mágicos here.
Mexico has 189 sites open to the public, and the number just keeps growing. Some of them have even been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Most people are familiarized with Mayans and Aztecs, but we have had many other ethnicities like Totonacs, Zapotecs, Tzotzils, and Tarahumaras, just to name a few.
The majority of archaeological sites are found in central/southern Mexico. If you are an archaeology enthusiast like me, you have to plan a visit to one of them while in Mexico. I always try to visit one when I travel. I’m amazed by the architecture, the history, the symbolism, everything! There are some I could visit over and over again.
Some of the most visited archaeological sites are:
- Chichen Itza
- Monte Alban
- El Tajin
You will be impressed by all you can learn there. Not to mention you will be able to take a lot of cool pictures for your Instagram account.
Due to being one of the most biodiverse countries in the whole world, Mexico has many different ecosystems throughout its territory. You can find deserts, tropical rain forests, coniferous forests, high mountains, coral reefs, coastal lagoons, among others.
Geographically speaking, the northern part of Mexico is arider than the southern portion. Among some natural attractions with mountains we can mention:
- Barrancas del Cobre (connected to the Grand Canyon in Arizona)
- Cerro Tetakawi
- Cerro de la Silla
- Parque La Huasteca
- El Pinacate
If you haven’t had enough yet, you could visit one of the many volcanoes we have like:
- Pico de Orizaba
- Nevado de Toluca (long-time extinct)
- El Chichon
- Colima volcano
On the contrary, the south is greener and has lots of forests and jungles.
Some of the most popular destinations in this category are:
- Selva Lacandona
- Huasteca Potosina
Other important ecotourism destinations include:
- Cabo Pulmo
- Lagunas Montebello
- Santuario de la Mariposa Monarca
- Rio Lagartos
- Hierve el Agua
The list above is just for you to have an idea. As you can see, the options are endless!
For more information on all the destinations mentioned in this article, you can visit Mexico’s official tourism website. For your convenience, the site offers information in different languages like English, German and French.
To Wrap Up
Mexico is such a vast country that it will take you months if not years to tour it all. That’s why I have a bucket list. There are so many places waiting to be visited. Give yourself a chance and plan your vacation to one or many of these different wonderful destinations.
There are no more excuses. I hope to have provided some good recommendations for your upcoming trip. As always, I would love to read your comments below. And if you liked this, please feel free to share with your loved ones. See you soon!