If you ever visit Mexico, these are some places you could go to if you’re unsure on what locations you could venture to. Here’s a list of places you can visit in Mexico:
Sian Ka’an, Tulum
Tulum is a city that nowadays is a great tourist attraction of the Riviera Maya, this is located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. It’s known for its beautiful beaches and well-preserved ruins of the ancient Mayan civilization. Near the ruins, there is the Tulum National Park, a coastal area with mangroves and cenotes.
Within Tulum there are ruins where there is a rampart. It goes over the north, south and west sides of the complex, since the east side is located in the Caribbean Sea. The oldest and best preserved building is “El Castillo”, which was built on the seashore.
In the same city, is the Sian Ka’an Reserve, located in Tulum City, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Its name, which in Maya means “where the sky is born”, perfectly describes this earthly paradise. It is a World Heritage Site since 1987 and in its more than 528 million hectares, it has extensive beaches, coral reefs, cenotes, bays, mangroves and a jungle that give rise to hundreds of species of flora and fauna.
In the Sian Ka’an Reserve, you can dive in the coral reef, observe dozens of species almost impossible to find in other places, photograph wild animals in their natural habitat and visit Muyil (an archeological site) and its spectacular lagoon with the same name and the lookout tower from where you can photograph the lagoon and the Caribbean Sea.
Cancún, Quintana Roo
This city is almost impossible to unknow it since it’s known for its beaches, the many tourist centers and nightlife. It is located in the state of Quintana Roo. It consists of 2 different areas: the most traditional downtown area and the Hotel Zone.
What can I do in Cancún?
Visit shopping centers, such as “La Isla”, that although, for backpacking tourism it may not be something so attractive, what you have to see are the spectacular sunsets on the side of the dock that the shopping center has. It’s one of the activities that are worth visiting in Cancún, plus it’s a very nice outdoor shopping center.
Go to Playa Tortugas, it’s one of the best beaches in Cancún, it’s perfect to visit with children because its waves are not strong, it’s not a very deep beach, there are restaurants around to enjoy the best dishes based on fish and seafood. On it you can swim, dive or simply enjoy the seashore with your loved ones.
Go to Ventura Park, a family amusement park in Cancún with a spectacular view of the Mexican Caribbean and entertainment for all. It also provides the opportunity to swim with a dolphin, one of the most noble species of the marine world.
Go to the Xenotes Oasis Maya tour, which takes you to know four beautiful cenotes and many other things. The guide will tell you all about the legends and characteristics of the cenotes, as well as the importance of its preservation.
Visit Bacalar and/or Islas Mujeres, places with natural landscapes worthy of being photographed. Both places are very easy to visit if you travel to Cancún or a nearby city because they’re located in the state of Quintana Roo. Bacalar is simply a paradisiacal town where you will find a beautiful turquoise lagoon that will make you fall in love. It’s 4 hours from Cancún at approximately 345 km (214 mi) by the fastest route. Islas Mujeres, as its name says, is an island known for its beaches, such as Playa Norte, tourist resorts and also for snorkeling and diving in its surrounding coral reefs. It is 1 hour from Cancún by approximately 13 km (8 mi) by seaway.
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
It’s located south of Cancún, in the state of Quintana Roo. It’s inside the tourist area called “Riviera Maya”. The city is bathed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea.
What can I do in Playa del Carmen?
Go to the iconic Quinta Avenida, it is the street most visited by national and foreign tourists. It contains about 4 kilometers long. It is a very safe and busy pedestrian avenue, especially in the evenings and nights. Here most of the trade is concentrated, from craft and souvenir shops to restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Visit Dolphinaris Riviera Maya Park, it counts with a wide variety of activities with dolphins in one of the most privileged locations of the Mexican Caribbean for swimming with dolphins in Riviera Maya, located only 15 minutes away of Playa del Carmen.
Dive with bull sharks that, although this idea will seem crazy to many, more and more people are venturing to face these creatures that for many years have been misunderstood. It’s an activity that I personally recommend a lot, since Playa del Carmen has one of the most impressive nature shows: the migration of bull sharks up to these beaches in the month of November when the water temperature is a little cooler and therefore, the season of these sharks is from November to March. There are several dive shops that will allow you to carry out this activity that, without a doubt, you will take it with you your whole life. You can’t miss this opportunity to share the crystalline waters of the Mexican Caribbean with these awesome animals. In your nearest dive center you can ask for reports.
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, abbreviated as CDMX in Spanish. It is the oldest city in the Americas as well as the second largest city in the world; it is also the city with the most museums in the continent and the second in the world, just below London. It has 151 officially recognized museums and more than 200 that don’t have official recognition.
What can I do in Mexico City?
Go to delight yourself with the imposing largest prehispanic city: Teotihuacán. The city is located northeast of Mexico City. On the other hand, a projected light show in one of the pyramids of the city is offered. The visits are at night and include a tour on the Avenue of the Dead. The audio guides can be configured in any language, so anyone can go to this visit. The visit lasts approximately two hours and people of any age can attend as the tour is not very long or tired.
Go through Xochimilco waterways, a southern city delegation that welcomes you with open arms and invites you to discover the beauty of its man-made islands zones, surrounded by exceptional natural landscapes and ecotourism zones.
Visit the Chapultepec Forest, the largest urban park in Latin America; it’s twice as large as New York’s Central Park, with 6.7 km² (678 hectares). It lodges diverse species of flora and fauna, museums, the Castle of Chapultepec, sources, monuments, sport facilities, a zoo with a population of 1930 animals of 250 different species, restaurants, among others.Chapultepec Forest | Bosque de Chapultepec
The same as I recommend that you go to Xcaret and Xel-Há in Playa del Carmen, I also recommend that you go to Chapultepec Forest but most specifically to Chapultepec Castle and the National Museum of Anthropology that are inside. I'll tell you why they’re worth it:
• The Chapultepec Castle has 19 rooms containing more than ninety thousand items where the history of Mexico is exhibited and illustrated since the Spanish conquest, with many original documents, objects, furniture and clothing from the castle’s history.
• The National Museum of Anthropology has 23 rooms that have 7,661 archaeological pieces and 5,765 objects that testify our indigenous legacy. It is the largest with 79,700 m² (almost 8 hectares) and the most visited museum in Latin America as it has a wide collection of archaeological pieces as well as one of the most emblematic, the Aztec Sun Stone (popularly called the Aztec Calendar).
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
It’s a city in the central zone of Mexico, in the state of Guanajuato. It is one of the main tourist destinations in Mexico. In 2017 it was named by Travel + Leisure as the best city in the world for its quality service, friendliness, gastronomy, cleanliness, shopping experience and mobility as well as its great cultural contribution, architectural beauty, and places of entertainment.
What can I do in San Miguel de Allende?
Visit the parish of San Miguel Arcángel, symbol of the city. Its striking facade catches the attention of several national and foreign tourists.
Parish of San Miguel Arcángel
Taste delicious churros and hot chocolate at the San Agustín restaurant, located in an old 18th century mansion a few steps from the San Francisco Temple. This city is famous among other things for its shop selling churros. Take the morning to breakfast in one of the many there.
Visit the Casa de Allende Historical Museum. What a better way to get to know the history of a place than by visiting the house of the person who gave his name to this beautiful colonial city. His house was built in the 19th century, so it retains a beautiful old style. The place became a museum and shows the life of pre-Hispanic cultures, as well as the first settlers after the conquest.
Casa de Allende Historical Museum
Visit El Charco del Ingenio, a botanical garden of 670.000 m² (67 ha). A protected natural area and an extraordinary natural reserve. It has an extensive collection of cacti and other succulent plants of Mexico, many of them rare, threatened or at risk of extinction.
Is a city and capital of the state of Yucatán, with a rich Mayan and colonial heritage. It’s known for its nearby archaeological sites, its nearby beaches and its beautiful historic downtown.
Visit the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá, located 120 km (74 mi) east of the capital, following the highway to Cancún. In this fantastic archaeological site, you can’t miss El Castillo, El Cenote Sagrado and the curious construction known as El Caracol or El Observatorio. It should be noted that Chichén Itzá is among the new seven wonders of the modern world.
Eat a Edam cheese marquesita in any of the places and public parks that are located in the downtown area of Merida.
Escape to Celestún, a Yucatecan town that is 45 minutes from Mérida that, at dawn or dusk, hundreds of flamingos display their pink plumage passing by the estuary’s shore. A natural show!
Go to Ik Kil, it’s a crystal-clear water cenote outside Chichén Itzá. It is open to the public for swimming and is often included in bus tours.
Visit the historic center of the city, especially at night, as there are various shows such as the “video mapping” light and music show on Fridays starting at 8:30 p.m. in front of the Cathedral of San Ildefonso (Mérida Cathedral) where the history of the city is reflected with allusive images to what is being narrated. It always gets full of people in downtown’s night shows. There are always foreign people and the vibe of the place is amazing.
Visit Las Coloradas, a lake that is dyed a very striking pink color where you can stop and take pictures to never forget the place. It is approximately 3 hours and 41 minutes from Mérida. Mind you, it doesn’t have restaurants or hotels to stay, so I recommend you to bring food, but not much because you’d only go to take pictures and have a good time. Or, if you wish, you could explore the place more, but that is your choice.
Go to the Puuc Route tour, which includes the archaeological sites of Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, X-Lapak, Labná, Oxkintok, Calcehtok Cave and Loltún Cave. It’s really worth it because you learn a lot of Mayan history and appreciate the wonders that they left us.
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful place that surprises and inspires every day: a beautiful blue sky that frames spectacular moons and suns with an incredible orange. A temperate and generous sea that relaxes and imposes, complemented by sunsets that deserve to be admired. It’s a city inhabited by friendly people and with a helpful spirit. Its geographical location is privileged, on the one hand a huge bay in the Pacific Ocean, with blue waters and, on the other hand, with mountains at cooler temperatures. Puerto Vallarta is touristically recognized as one of the most beautiful bays in the world as well as one of the top 10 tourist destinations in Mexico.
What can I do in Puerto Vallarta?
Walk along the waterfront, the main walkway of Puerto Vallarta. You could say that it is the most tourist area. Here you will find several craft stalls (especially Huichol), several restaurants serving typical food of the region as well as places where they serve international food. You can take photos in the different monuments and, you will see several artists working on sculptures made of sand!
Spend an afternoon at Playa de Los Muertos, the busiest beach that is one of the most beautiful of the place. Stay until sunset to witness how the sun turns red and orange to the sky and how this scene is reflected in the sea. If you wish, you can rent boats to go along the beach.
Dive in the blue seas. If you are a lover diving or are interested in learning, you can’t miss visiting the Marietas, El Morro or Los Anegados Islands, they’re the ideal places to do this activity. You will be surprised by the fabulous marine flora and fauna.
Go to Nuevo Vallarta, a city north of Puerto Vallarta and one of the most touristic and important in the Mexican Pacific region. Unlike Puerto Vallarta, this city is located in the state of Nayarit. It is only 15 km (9 mi) away from Puerto Vallarta in approximately 30 minutes.
Mazatlán is a city on the Pacific coast in the state of Sinaloa in northwestern Mexico. It is currently one of the most important beach tourist destinations in Mexico. Tourism and fishing are the main industries of Mazatlán. The city is home to the main beach resorts and has the second largest fishing fleet in Mexico, since most of the seafood products processed in the city are shrimp and tuna.
What can I do in Mazatlán?
Go to the Mazatlán Aquarium, an aquarium with a large fish tank, live shows with marine animals and swim with sharks. It has sea lions, diving, birds and predatory animals shows.
Mazatlán is an outstanding gastronomic destination and is recognized as the shrimp capital since that’s where the freshest seafood from Mexico comes from. Don’t forget to try the ceviche tostadas, squid cracklings, marlín tacos as well as marlín empanadas and the aguachile.
Walk along the waterfront street, the second longest in the world with 7 km (4.3 mi). I recommend you to go from south to north, from the Lighthouse to the Valentino’s night club, so you can see the urbanization process that the city has experienced over the years.
Visit the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (the Mazatlán cathedral), one of the most beautiful in the Mexican Pacific. Its quality fuses Neoclassical, Baroque and Mudejar styles that you will love.
Take a walk through the city center whose buildings are more than 180 years old, besides that you can also walk through the Plaza Machado to enjoy its gardens.
If you are ecotourism lover, then you can’t miss a visit to the Deer Island (next to the Birds Islands and Wolves Islands) where you can practice medium or deep diving and kayak.
Guanajuato is a city in the state of the same name in the central part of Mexico famous for its historic silver mines, as well as for its colonial architecture. It is formed by a network of alleys and tunnels, among which is the famous Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss).
What can I do in Guanajuato?
Go to the Mummy Museum of Guanajuato, the largest collection of mummies in the world. Here you can appreciate the mummified remains from an approximate age of 1840 to 1984. These mummies are natural because they didn’t go through a conservation process or embalming and its state of preservation was thanks to the absence of oxygen and humidity outside the drawers where they were.
Visit Dolores Hidalgo, a municipality of the state of Guanajuato, cradle of the Independence of Mexico and one of the most important historical sites for the history of Mexico. It is located 54 km (33 mi) from Guanajuato and it was home to the singer-songwriter José Alfredo Jiménez. In a museum in honor of him, are his charro costumes, pieces of songs, trophies, among other things.
Go to the city center. Guanajuato has one of the most beautiful city centers in Mexico. Its squares, tunnels, atmosphere, alleys, make it a special place. There you can visit the Union Garden a place surrounded by restaurants and bars where you can spend an afternoon enjoying the atmosphere of the city and its exquisite cuisine; just in front you can see the Juárez Theater, an architectural treasure of Roman Doric style and columns holding some muses.
Go to the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, a building (now a museum) that was built at the end of the 18th century during the viceroyalty. It was one of the main first places in the battle for the Independence of Mexico. The building covers a lot of history, something that I will let you discover for yourself.
Go to Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss). For all who come to Guanajuato with a couple is a place that shouldn’t be missed. This owes its name to a famous Mexican legend, which says that there were two people who fell in love and, at the time of kissing, could do so because each one lived in front of the other and their balconies were less than one meter distance.
Los Cabos, Baja California Sur
Los Cabos (also known as Cabo San Lucas) is a municipality at the southern tip of the state of Baja California Sur, with crystal clear waters. Located between two seas, the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, and the mountainous desert called “The End of the Earth”, as it is the last piece of land in Baja California Sur. All this makes it a dynamic mix of desert landscapes, beaches and mountainous areas. One of its many advantages is its natural beauty and its endless adventure and luxury activities that will allow you to get to know Los Cabos.
What can I do in Los Cabos?
Tour La Paz. It is located 157 km (98 mi) in 1 hour and 56 minutes from Los Cabos. It is a peaceful city in the same state, known for its beaches and attractive waterfront. There you can do activities such as sighting the gray whale in the Sea of Cortez, go to the museums of the city, take a walk along the waterfront, swim with whale sharks and practice diving or snorkeling in Isla Espíritu Santo. You can also take a calm tour visiting the town of Todos Santos.
Spot whales, one of the most incredible experiences you can take from Los Cabos. These animals arrive from Alaska to the waters of Baja California Sur between the months of December to March. You can enjoy this natural show by renting a boat where sometimes, whales with days of birth approach the boats to be caressed, you can’t let this moment pass. You can also observe other animals such as seals, dolphins and other animals.
Visit San José del Cabo, a wonderful bay, a typically Mexican calm town. The beaches are definitely one of the most attractive points of interest of this place. The particular desert geography contrasts with the sea, surrounded by a great diversity of cacti and the most peculiar desert vegetation.
The capital of Jalisco, Guadalajara, is an elegant city that, at the same time, is one of the most modern in Mexico. The architecture of the city is beautiful and although some buildings have been modified and others are more modern, the oldest and most representative are preserved to this day. On the walk through Guadalajara you will see beautiful civil buildings, fountains and roundabouts; public squares and monuments, as well as churches, temples and convents. It still preserves its centennial culture and traditions: music, dance and lots of tequila. That’s right, Guadalajara is the land of the well-known mariachi and tequila.
What can I do in Guadalajara?
Visit the magnificent city center. They say that if you want to know the best of a city you have to visit its city center, and Guadalajara is not the exception. In it you can find part of the essence of this wonderful city and, even with a short time, you will realize that a quick visit will suffice to soak you up with its traditions. There you can visit the Metropolitan Cathedral (also known as Guadalajara Cathedral), Plaza de Armas, Hospicio Cabañas and the Degollado Theater.
Go to the Guadalajara Zoo, and inside it, the Masai Mara Safari; one of the most recent areas where you can find giraffes, flamingos, cheetahs and even white rhinos. The zoo is considered one of the most important in the country, due the variety of animals that it refuges, safeguards and preserves; including animals in danger of extinction. If you’re looking for what to do in Guadalajara and you like and are interested in animals, this is one of the best options. Inside the zoo you will find an aviary with a large number of tropical birds; an aquarium with sharks, jellyfish, among other species; an Australian village that harbors red kangaroos and even koalas, but temporarily. And so, you’ll find more areas ranging from Antarctica to the rainforest.
Try a delicious torta ahogada, reference dish of the region. The torta ahogada consist in a meat stuffed bread, bathed in a rich tomato sauce, which is what gives it its original distinctive color. In Guadalajara it’s easy to find them in practically every corner; all restaurants, shops and even numerous street stalls offer them at any time of the day. You can accompany them with a soft drink or delicious horchata water.
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