With diverse destinations, stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, vibrant traditions, delicious culinary creations, and rich cultural heritage – Mexico has always been a favorite vacation destination among North Americans and also Europeans. Mexico is a land of colors and contrasts, as it is filled with crowded beaches and quiet colonial towns, majestic mountains and remote desserts, Mayan city ruins and modern metropolises, and traditional pueblo houses and Spanish haciendas.
Anywhere you turn in Mexico, you can be confronted with a cacophony of music, color, and breadth of terrain. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or someone looking for a country to go to for their first trip, there’s always something new and exciting to go to in Mexico.
A world-famous tourist destination on the Caribbean coast on the Gulf of Mexico, Cancun is known as the resort capital of Mexico. Cancun has long been popular among spring breakers and travelers who love the luxury of all-inclusive resorts. The magnificent area that boasts fabulous white beaches, endless crystal-clear water, exuberant nightlife, and lots of fun water sports to try attracts about five million visitors a year. This beautiful beach area also makes a great wedding destination.
Its perfect year-round weather, beaches, and energetic nightlife are the top tourist magnets on the island. Still, the downtown area beats to a more authentic Mexican tune with restaurants, historic architecture, markets, clubs, and bars. There are also a few Mayan archaeological sites in Cancun that’s worthy of a visit.
If you’re looking for one of the best scuba diving destinations in the West, the island of Cozumel is a must-visit. The island has pretty much everything you need for a perfect Mexican getaway. Located 20 kilometers from the Yucatán Peninsula, this tropical paradise offers superlative diving experiences that can reward you with the undulating seabed and coral reefs.
In addition to underwater fun, Cozumel also offers other fascinating attractions like the Mayan archaeological sites of El Caracol and San Gervasio and the Chankanaab National Park, where you can explore great nature trails. On the island’s capital, San Miguel de Cozumel, you can also ride a ferry for a day trip to either Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
Known as the only fortified Mayan settlement located on the coast, the ancient city of Tulum is one of the most visited places in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The site’s well-preserved ruins can be viewed for miles around because of its location on top of 12-meter-high cliffs that overlook the majestic Caribbean sea. Tulum’s tall walls and ruins give the feel of a fortress with military and religious significance.
The surrounding sugar sand beaches and turquoise water makes it home to the most picturesque ruins in Mexico. It also offers numerous nature reserves, breathtaking cenotes, exciting diving and snorkeling opportunities, fun water parks, and great street art just a few away.
Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico and also one of the biggest and best restored. The Mayan site is one of the new seven wonders of the world and is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It can get very crowded during peak season, but even the most seasoned traveler will be impressed by the greatness of the ruins. Built between the ninth and 12th centuries, the once-great city covers a vast area, and you can see many of the temples, buildings, and palaces are still in good condition, offering any visitor a fascinating insight into the Mayan civilization.
The highlight of Chichen Itza is the Pyramid of Kukulcan, which is the most famous landmark from the site. The site is a popular day trip for those visiting Playa del Carmen, Cancun, or Merida.
Playa del Carmen
Commonly known as Playa, Playa del Carmen is becoming the hippest place to be in the Yucatán Peninsula with its chic cafés, lively bars, and all-inclusive resorts opening all over the city. This lively resort town has recently expanded in recent years into a vibrant city with beautiful beaches and various entertainment venues. Travelers who just want to relax under the sun, swim in the oceans by day, and drink and dance at nightclubs would want to stay at Playa del Carmen.
The international influence is one of the things that makes Playa del Carmen’s place different from the rest of Mexico. In here, you can find such a wide variety of flavors within a few feet of each other. The most popular spot to visit here is Quinta Avenida (or 5th Avenue). Along this pedestrian-only, 20-block street, you can find lots of international restaurants, trendy clubs, bars, boutiques, hotels, and cheap souvenir stands.
Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, is one of the world’s largest cities made of many ethnic groups worldwide. Not only is this vast city the most important cultural and political center in Mexico, but it’s also one of the most important financial centers in Latin America. While there are no beaches here, tourists can discover a lot of things to see and do especially in a rental car.
This capital city is large, so don’t be overwhelmed. You can focus your trip on the historic city center Centro Historico de la Ciudad, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts more than a thousand colonial buildings from the 16th to 19th centuries. With a flourishing cultural scene that comprises hundreds of art galleries, international restaurants, museums, and performing arts centers, Mexico City is becoming a haven for hipsters, foodies, and anyone who loves culture.
Los Cabos – often called simply Cabo – is one of Mexico’s top beach destinations due to its beautiful resort beaches, lively party scene, excellent scuba diving, luxury resorts, and upscale restaurants. Consisting of a large stretch of coastline extending from Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, this stretch of pristine beaches attracts visitors worldwide for its pristine waters, fishing, snorkeling, and diving.
Resorts have sprung up all around the area to cater to all tastes and budgets, but for the most part, Cabo most appeals to big-budget travelers. Los Cabos is one of the luxury capitals of Mexico.
Puerto Vallarta is one of the prettiest resort towns in Mexico, and it offers something to do for every type of traveler. Located on the Bay of Banderas along Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Puerto Vallarta is more than just your typical resort getaway. Gorgeous beaches and lush jungle mountains envelope this picturesque town of first-class resorts, colonial landmarks, gourmet restaurants, and lots of nightclubs.
The golden sand beaches are the main attraction in the city, and it offers water sports such as diving, sailing, kite surfing, and deep-sea fishing. Malecon, an esplanade in Puerto Vallarta, is also a must-visit, thanks to its beautiful boardwalk, shops, bars, and restaurants that make it a great place to shop, socialize, dine, and watch street performers.
Nicknamed the “White City” because of its white stone buildings, Merida is one of Mexico’s most acceptable old colonial cities. It is perfectly located to serve as a base from which to explore the Yucatan region’s famous Mayan sites, including the Tulum and Chichen Itza. The city has its own unique dialect, culture, and cuisine shaped by Caribbean, Mayan, and colonial influences.
In Merida, you can see European influences everywhere, especially in the old city squares and plazas where French influences in architecture can clearly be seen. It’s also a remarkably tidy and neat city with numerous attractive parks and fine old buildings. Make sure you don’t forget to bring your best camera with you so you can take awesome travel photos that can show how cultured you are.
If you’re looking for a charming town to visit in Mexico, Guanajuato is the one to beat. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Guanajuato is full of old colonial buildings, cobblestone lanes, sidewalk cafes, and narrow alleys that just beg to be explored by foot. The city also has a network of underground tunnels that serve as roads, making it truly unique. It’s the place in Mexico with some of the most stunning baroque architecture that gives it a European flavor.
Known as an art city, Guanajuato is also home to several fine galleries and fascinating museums like the Museum of Quixote, which is dedicated to the works of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes. The city also hosts a festival in honor of the writer.