- 1 Yucatan Peninsula
- 2 Mexico City
- 3 Teotihuacan
- 4 San Miguel de Allende
- 5 Palenque
- 6 San Cristóbal de las Casas
Mexico is one of the most visited countries, and no wonder. Its remains of ancient cultures, such as the Aztec or Mayan, or its incredible beaches that bathe most of its territory, make this destination a place for sun and beach vacations, as well as culture. So that you don’t miss anything, today we tell you about the best places to visit in Mexico, and the best recommendations.
The Yucatan Peninsula includes the Mexican states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche. If you think of Mexican paradisiacal beaches, this is the area you have in mind. We recommend the best places:
To talk about Mexico is to talk about the Mayan culture and therefore about Chichen Itza, an ancient Mayan city in the state of Yucatan that still preserves some of its constructions from 800-1,000 AD. Although we tend to believe that the entire Chichen-Itza area is one of the 7 Wonders of the World, it is only the Temple of Kukulcan (the pyramid) that is included. In fact, there are many curiosities of Chichén Itzá that you surely don’t know.
In Chichen-Itza you will find about 20 more archaeological ruins that will take you back centuries, when this culture reigned in Mexico. Without a doubt, this area has to be on your list of best places to visit in Mexico.
Cenotes in Yucatan
The cenotes of Yucatan are another of the attractions of the area.
They are large water wells that are located below the ground. Swimming in one of these is one of the best things to do in Mexico. If we have to recommend one, we would say visit Il Kil; you can do it with our tour to Chichen Itza and Cenote Sagrado, and visit both on the same day.
Cancún and Isla Mujeres
If you travel to one of the two places, you can’t miss the other. First of all, Cancun is the most touristic destination in all of Mexico and the landscape you imagine when you think of paradisiacal beaches. It is a newly created city, so you will not find great historical monuments or archaeological ruins, but many hotels and vacation atmosphere.
A visit to Isla Mujeres by catamaran is a must on your trip to Cancun.
It is a small fishing island located just 10 km off the coast of Cancun. It has been able to adapt to tourism but retains its essence very well. If you are in the mood for adventure, we recommend swimming with whale sharks in Isla Mujeres. It is a very exciting experience.
Without a doubt, you can’t leave Cancun without visiting Isla Mujeres and having your picture taken on its white sand beaches, you’re going to cause a sensation on your social networks!
The Riviera Maya, also in Quintana Roo, extends from Playa del Carmen, through Tulum, to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. There are more than 40 kilometers of beaches and places with great Mayan history. If you are going to visit this place, we recommend you take a look at our post about what to do in Riviera Maya.
Playa del Carmen
This city has endless tourist resorts and the downtown is full of stores. Don’t miss “the fifth avenue”, the Mayan Portal, a 16 meter high sculpture that welcomes you to the city.
It is also one of the most beautiful places to spend “El Día de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) in Mexico. This city is known for its Todas Somos Catrinas festival, when its streets are transformed into murals and there are many workshops related to this festivity.
If you are interested in Mayan culture, you have to visit Tulum, another area that like Chichen Itza, is known for its archaeological remains. It is 60 km from Playa del Carmen and is a perfect place to go on a day trip.
If you don’t know what Sian Ka’an is, we advise you to go and discover it. This biosphere reserve was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is truly impressive.
Cozumel Island is located in front of Playa del Carmen. It is an island famous for its diving sites. Its crystal clear waters and the coral reefs off its coast make this island a perfect destination for snorkeling.
You cannot leave the Yucatan Peninsula without visiting Holbox. It is a paradisiacal island located north of the city of Cancun. Although it is an island, many times the sandbanks are above the water and you can get there without getting your feet wet.
Of course, this island is characterized by white sand beaches and crystal clear water, just like in the movies!
An excursion to Holbox can be the perfect plan to spend the day; don’t miss the photo at its main attraction, the swing located in the water that will show everyone your visit to the island.
The capital of Mexico is the largest city in the country, and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with about 22 million people.
This city can provide you with countless corners full of history. You can see and visit from the Palacio de Bellas Artes to the Plaza de la Constitución, the largest square in the city. Walking on the same street you will find the famous Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City.
Also don’t miss the Angel of Independence monument and the Monument to the Revolution, two structures full of meaning for the country. In our post about what to see in Mexico City in 2 days, you will find many more details 😉 .
The Trajineras of Xochimilco
Surely you have heard of the trajineras. This is a place you can’t miss if you’re in Mexico City. Its meaning is: “place of the flowery sowing”.
They are boats decorated with flowers and bright colors. Each one has its name and you can enjoy a relaxing ride through the water channels.
Another essential place to visit if you go to Mexico City. Teotihuacan is an archaeological site, which means “city of the gods”, and is another of the best places to visit in Mexico that UNESCO designated as a World Heritage Site.
It is believed that around 100,000 inhabitants lived in this area in its best times, being one of the most important cities during the Classic Period (between the 3rd and 7th centuries A.D.). The best thing to do is to take a trip to the pyramids of Teotihuacan and discover it for yourself 😉 .
San Miguel de Allende
This beautiful city is located about 300 km from Mexico City, and like most of the sites included in this list, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
With about 70,000 inhabitants, San Miguel de Allende has one of the most beautiful historical centers you can find. Its colorful streets and colonial-style monuments will make you feel in a magical environment.
A must-see is the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, a beautiful neo-gothic style cathedral that has undergone different transformations throughout its history. In its last reconstruction, the architect used pink quarry for the façade, giving this church an unusual charm.
This city is located in the state of Chiapas, the area that connects the Yucatan Peninsula with the rest of Mexico.
On one side we find Palenque, an archaeological site of the Mayan culture, but smaller in size compared to Chichen-Itza.
There are many temples in a perfect state of conservation, such as the Temple of the Count or the Temple of the Inscriptions, or the Palace, a complex of interconnected buildings whose emblematic element is the 4-story Tower!
San Cristóbal de las Casas
Really close to Palenque is San Cristobal de las Casas. Despite its proximity on the map, the truth is that to get from one city to another, you will need a few hours by bus (more than 5). Don’t worry, because, after so many curves and hours of travel, the destination is going to be worth it.
San Cristóbal de las Casas is a city of almost 200,000 inhabitants, which stands out for its colonial architecture. There you can find numerous churches and temples of this characteristic style.
The charm of its streets and buildings have served to make this city one of the most beautiful in all of Mexico. As a symbol of this, the President of the Republic recognized San Cristobal de las Casas as “The Most Magical of the Magical Towns in Mexico” in 2010.
Now that you have seen all the incredible places to visit in Mexico, do you think you can rule out any of them?