A land of ancient history, buzzing cities, and incredible beaches, Mexico is big, bold, and beautiful. This best of Mexico guide takes in the best things to do and regions to visit in this mind-boggling country.
1. Mexico City
Travel to Mexico City to start of your trip in the country’s heady capital. While this metropolis, one of the largest cities in North America, can be daunting at first, pair you exploration with a bit of common sense and there’s nothing to fear here.
Tick off the historical sights such as the National Museum of Anthropology, Zócalo (the city’s breathtaking main square that has links to the Aztecs), and the National Palace. Also don’t miss the Frida Kahlo Museum, a space dedicated to this infamous Mexican artist, housed in a striking blue building.
2. Playa del Carmen
Playa de Carmen is among Mexico’s best beach destinations. Treasured by travellers for at least the last few decades, there’s always something fun and exciting to do here, whether that be lying back on the white sands, strolling down its shopping avenues, or grabbing a drink in its many bars.
There’s always a lively atmosphere at night here, making it one of the best places in Mexico if you want to be out in the evenings and relax by day. Life moves at an unhurried pace in Playa del Carmen – an ideal destination if you want to break away from your hectic everyday life back home.
Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most beautiful colonial cities. There are deep cultural roots here, with archaeological sites dotted all over the outskirts of the city, making it one of the best places to come if you’re into history. Around these are also mountains and beautiful landscapes, ideal for outdoor adventurers.
That said, the centre of Oaxaca itself should not be missed. The city is quickly developing a strong foodie scene, bustled along by its own traditional cuisine that’s inherant to the surroundings. Make sure you spend time both in and outside Oaxaca during your stay.
4. Chichen Itza and the Ik Kil Cenote
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Chichen Itza is a must-do on any trip to Mexico. These fascinating Mayan site is thought to have been here for around 1,000 years, revealing many things about this intrinsic part of Mexican history.
Explore the complex of ruins for a day, and on your way back to your base stop by the Ik Kil Cenote. One of Mexico’s most visited and beautiful cenotes (essentially an underground pool of water), Ik Kil is less than 5km from Chichen Itza so easily accessible after your day of soaking up history. And a relaxing way to finish it off!
5. Puerto Vallarta
Fly to Puerto Vallarta to find one of Mexico’s best resort towns, a sun-drenched paradise on the west coast of the country. This is another place that’s perfect for relaxation, where you can spend your days snorkelling in the clear waters, ambling through markets, and walking along the city’s breezy boardwalk. Top sights here include the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a significant landmark for Puerto Vallarta, and the city’s peaceful botanical gardens.