You want to discover the best places to visit in Mexico, but you don’t know exactly where to go? You have many choices! For things to see in Mexico, it really depends on how you want to spend your time in this tropical paradise. Not only are there incredible beaches and fantastic food; it is a land of dramatic landscapes and rich history.
Let us help you plan that perfect holiday to Mexico.
Without a doubt, Cancun is the official party zone in Mexico, and known as the gateway to the Yucatan peninsula. If you wish for gorgeous, sunny beaches with aquamarine waters, look no further! All along the shore you have beachfront access to the Caribbean, and this is where you will find the best beaches in Mexico. Having said that, Cancun attractions offer much more than a great beach party and nightlife scene.
Explore the Hotel Zone – Cancún is essentially two areas. Ciudad (downtown) and Cancún Island (Zona Hotelera). As you may guess, this hotel zone is a very touristy area, and is synonymous with large resorts, catamarans, vibrant nightlife and more beaches! Shaped like the number 7, it is a 15-mile-long strip of beach, and is where most people stay. Kulkukan Boulevard is the main road that follows this stretch of beach, and can be compared to the Las Vegas strip.
Downtown Cancún is for those who wish to get out of tourist-land, providing a nice respite from the party atmosphere, lending a bit of culture to your stay. This is where many of the locals live. Meander down to Avenida Tulum to experience the “real” Cancún. There is a nice park called Parque Las Palapas, and the area also has a lot of great street food to sample.
The amazing Yucatan Peninsula is famous for its cenotes, which are natural pools in limestone caves. Of all the things to do in Riviera Maya, this is it: you can swim, snorkel or scuba dive in many of the cenotes. And some of the best are located along the Ruta De Cenotes, near Puerto Morelos, about a half-hour drive from Cancún.
As one of Cancún’s hallmark adventures, you really cannot pass up zip-lining in the jungle if you are at all adventurous. Discover Selvatica, a great theme park that offers multiple packages with ten different zip lines to choose from!
This capital city is one that you could easily get lost in, and that’s a good thing! Let the allure of wanderlust take over as you soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Mexico City. Whether you spend two days or a month here, you will never fall short of things to do. But to narrow it down, here are the highlights:
You’ve no doubt seen the sparkling image of the iconic, shimmering-tiled, orange-roofed building of Palacio de Ballas Artes, but to witness it in person is quite another thing. The art nouveau, art deco architecture wonder graces many a Mexico guide book and is best known for its impressive gathering of murals and Tiffany glass curtains. It hosts notable events in dance, music and theatre throughout the year.
Located in the heart of the city’s historical center in a wide-open square lies Catedral Metropolitana, its towering shadow looming large over the city’s zocalo. It is, in fact, the oldest cathedral in Latin America. Made of stone from the Mesoamerican period, it took a full three centuries to build! And if you think the outside is impressive, just wait until you’ve seen the inside, it will take your breath away.
To get the freshest food in the city, head to the traditional Mexican market, Mercado de la Merced. Leisurely wander the stalls and breathe in the sights, sounds and smells of authentic Mexico. Piles of fresh fruits and veggies are ripe for the picking. There are also plenty of puestos (street food vendors), but to know which ones are the best, look for the longest queue!
Taking a free walking tour is a good thing to do on your first day, as it will get you quickly acquainted with the city. Not only will you visit some of Mexico City’s top attractions, but you will also get the inside scoop and tips from locals. Ask your guide for recommendations on food and other places to visit.
Coming in at just under 1,700 acres, the urban green space of Chapultepec Park is one of the largest parks in the Western Hemisphere! (Yep, bigger than Central Park in New York City). It practically begs you to rent a bicycle and go exploring.
Located at the southern tip of the Baja, California peninsula, this is one of Mexico’s premier beach destinations. The resort location is the place for a relaxing, tranquil getaway and you may even rub shoulders with the rich and famous. The entire area encompasses the towns of San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.
In the times when you’re not relaxing on the many beaches of Los Cabos, parasailing, scuba diving and snorkeling are excellent choices for staying active. The area is known as the marlin sportfishing capital of the world, with tournaments, charter captains and famous fishing spots. Medano Beach is also great for jet skiing, parasailing and kayaking.
One of the most famous landmarks you’ll find in Cabo is El Arco. It’s a natural arch rock formation at the very tip of the peninsula, and a classic spot where sea lions bask in the sun. You must book a tour to visit this popular place by boat, hire a water taxi or a glass-bottom boat ride.
Something that is slightly amusing is the name of two connected beaches, A Tale of Two Beaches or Playa del Amor. One is Lover’s Beach and the other is Divorce Beach. Can you guess which one is calmer and which has more turbulent waters? The beaches make a perfect day trip and whilst Divorce Beach isn’t the best for swimming, Lover’s Beach is swimmable, accessible via boat.
As far as great accommodations go, Las Ventanas Al Paraiso is an excellent choice. A desert oasis that offers romantic and atmospheric suites with an array of culinary experiences. Or the ME Cabo, located on Medano Beach for more of an energetic pace, offering breathtaking sunset views in exquisite rooms with natural lighting.
A tiny slice of paradise situated along the coast from Cancún, Holbox Island is still considered a hidden gem, although word is spreading quickly and may not stay that way for long. To get there, head to Chiquila port in Cancún, and catch the ferry to the island.
The clear warm waters, white sand beaches and colorful buildings are just the antidote to escaping any hectic lifestyle. You are truly on island time here and are almost guaranteed to feel that deserted island feel you’d always wondered about.
Several shops on the island rent bikes, so it is easy to pick one up by the hour or day and get riding! And it is an island, so there’s no getting lost! Explore Holbox at your leisure and cycle right along the beach.
Bioluminescence is a nighttime phenomenon that occurs from June through September. As long as the moon isn’t too bright, you can go to the beaches, away from town lights, and see these naturally-occurring blue lights in the water, made possible via a chemical reaction that produces light energy within an organism’s body.
While in Holbox, stay at Hotel Casa Las Tortugas, offering a bohemian ambiance indicative of the island. A culmination of glamour and low-key chic that allows you to enjoy seamless enjoyment of your surroundings; as yet untarnished by man.
For a great day trip from Cancún, head to Tulum. Its close proximity to the Mayan ruins sets Tulum apart from all other fine beaches in the world. An ancient walled city sitting on a rocky cliff that offers stunning views overlooking a spectacular white sand beach. It is touristy, but the mesmerising turquoise Caribbean waters make up for the throngs of crowds. Get into the hippie vibe of the place, as not only is it an area of natural beauty, but the relaxed atmosphere will truly put you at ease and in harmony with the spiritual side of life.
Tulum encourages you to pay attention to the ancient Mayan civilisation that surrounds the area, as it was once an empire steeped in religious and ceremonial history. To make the Tulum ruins even more incredible, imagine this scene set against the backdrop of a beach with dazzling blue water and white sand. To make the most of the ruins, come first thing in the morning when it opens in order to avoid the crowds!
Whilst visiting, stay at Jashita Tulum. This hotel offers laidback luxury and a secluded, desert island feel, where you can snorkel and dive, get a relaxing massage at the spa, or attend morning yoga sessions.
No matter what your holiday pleasure, vacationing in Mexico promises sun, sand and a laid-back luxury not found anywhere else.
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