Would you like to explore Mexico and discover its hidden treasures? In this article, I’ll take you on an exciting journey through some of the most exciting destinations in the country. From stunning beaches to ancient ruins, Mexico has a lot to offer. Get ready to discover what to do and see in Mexico, a destination full of wonders to explore!
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What to see and do in Mexico
In this guide on Mexico, I am going to tell you which are the best places in the country ordered by states. In this way it will be easier for you to organize your vacation.
State of Oaxaca
Oaxaca, located in southern Mexico, is a fascinating state that captivates with its rich culture, indigenous heritage, and breathtaking landscapes. From the majesty of the city of Oaxaca to the natural wonders of its beaches and mountains, Oaxaca offers a unique experience full of tradition and beauty.
Oaxaca City: Art, Culture and Living Traditions
The city of Oaxaca, located in the state of the same name, is a cultural treasure that will surprise you with its artistic richness, its living traditions, and its colonial architecture. Walk its cobbled streets and admire its colorful facades.
Visit the impressive Oaxaca Cathedral and explore the museums and art galleries that house works by renowned Oaxacan artists. In addition, you cannot stop trying the delicious local gastronomy, such as the famous Oaxacan tamales and mezcal, a traditional drink of the region. Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of Oaxaca and be amazed by its vibrant art scene.
Puerto Escondido: Sun, Beaches and Water Adventures
In the state of Oaxaca, there is Puerto Escondido, a charming place known for its beautiful beaches and exciting water activities. Enjoy the sun and waves in Zicatela, a perfect beach for surf lovers. Immerse yourself in the crystal clear waters of Carrizalillo and explore the colorful underwater world by snorkeling. Puerto Escondido gives you the opportunity to enjoy the sun, the beach and water fun in a relaxed and welcoming environment.
Mazunte: Virgin Beaches and Sea Turtle Conservation
Mazunte, in the state of Oaxaca, is a destination that combines virgin beaches with the conservation of sea turtles. Enjoy its quiet beaches and stroll through the Magical Town of Mazunte, where you will find handicrafts and natural products. Also, you can visit the Mexican Turtle Center and learn about the importance of protecting these marine species. Mazunte invites you to connect with nature and enjoy its relaxed atmosphere.
Huatulco: Virgin Beaches and Ecotourism
Huatulco, in the state of Oaxaca , is an ideal destination for those looking for virgin beaches and ecotourism experiences. Discover its hidden bays and dive into crystal clear waters in places like Bahía de Santa Cruz and Bahía Maguey. In addition, you can explore the Huatulco National Park, where you will find natural trails and impressive waterfalls. Huatulco gives you the opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the serenity of its pristine beaches.
The Mexico City it is a place full of history, culture and delicious flavors. Explore the Historic Center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and marvel at the majesty of the Zócalo and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Visit famous museums like the Frida Kahlo Museum and the National Museum of Anthropology to immerse yourself in Mexico’s rich cultural heritage. Also, you cannot miss the opportunity to try the delicious Mexican gastronomy, from tacos to mole and churros.
Yucatán, on the Mexican peninsula, is a cultural and natural treasure. With Mayan ruins, such as Chichén Itzá, and charming colonial cities such as Mérida, the Yucatán offers a unique combination of history, architecture, gastronomy and beautiful beaches on the Caribbean coast.
Holbox: Nature, Beaches and Encounter with Marine Life
Holbox, in the state of Quintana Roo, is a paradisiacal destination that combines natural beauty with fascinating marine life. Let yourself be amazed by its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, where you can swim with the majestic whale shark. Explore the island by bike or golf cart and admire the area’s unique biodiversity. Holbox invites you to connect with nature and enjoy an unforgettable experience in the Mexican Caribbean.
Valladolid: Colonial Charm and Underground Cenotes
Introduction: Valladolid, in the state of Yucatán, transports you to Mexico’s colonial past with its architecture and historic charm. Explore the beautiful Cathedral of San Gervasio and walk through its cobbled streets lined with colorful colonial houses. In addition, you cannot miss visiting the nearby cenotes, such as Cenote Zací, where you can swim in fresh and crystalline waters. Valladolid offers you a unique mix of history and nature that you cannot miss.
Mérida: Yucatecan Culture, Crafts and Gastronomy
Mérida, the Capital of the state of Yucatan, it is a cultural treasure that will surprise you. Explore the majestic Paseo de Montejo and admire its colonial architecture. Visit the Great Museum of the Mayan World to immerse yourself in the rich history of the region. Mérida is also famous for its crafts and its delicious Yucatecan gastronomy, such as the famous panuchos and cochinita pibil. Enjoy the culture, art and unique flavors of Mérida on this fascinating trip. From Mérida you can also take an excursion to Izamal, the magical town.
Quintana Roo, on the east coast of Mexico, is a Caribbean paradise filled with natural wonders. From the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, to the impressive coral reefs of Cozumel and the jungle of Tulum, Quintana Roo offers an experience like no other.
Cancun: Dream Beaches and Nightlife
Cancún, in the state of Quintana Roo, is synonymous with dreamy beaches and lively nightlife. Relax on the beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters, where you can sunbathe and enjoy various water activities. In addition, Cancun offers an exciting nightlife, with a wide variety of bars, clubs and restaurants. Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of this destination and enjoy unforgettable moments.
Isla Mujeres: Tropical Paradise and Encounter with Nature
Not far from Cancun is Isla Mujeres, a small tropical paradise. Enjoy its serene beaches and crystal clear waters, ideal for snorkeling and diving. Explore the Garrafón National Park and admire the beauty of the coral reefs and marine life. Isla Mujeres offers you the opportunity to escape from the bustle of the city and connect with nature in a peaceful environment.
Playa del Carmen: White Sand Beaches and Urban Life
Playa del Carmen, in the state of Quintana Roo, is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and its lively urban life. Dive into the crystal clear waters and relax under the warm Caribbean sun. In addition to its beaches, Playa del Carmen has a vibrant nightlife, world-class restaurants, and exclusive shops on the famous Fifth Avenue. Discover the perfect combination of relaxation and entertainment in this enchanting destination.
Cozumel: Underwater Paradise and Natural Landscapes
Cozumel is known as a underwater paradise and a perfect destination for nature lovers. Its crystal clear waters and coral reefs make Cozumel one of the best places in the world for diving and snorkeling. Explore incredible marine life, swim alongside colorful tropical fish, and marvel at majestic corals. In addition to its underwater attractions, Cozumel boasts beautiful white-sand beaches and exuberant natural landscapes that will take your breath away.
Tulum: Mayan Ruins and Postcard Beaches
Tulum is a unique place that combines history and natural beauty. Explore the Mayan ruins facing the Caribbean Sea and admire the impressive views from the cliff. In addition, Tulum has dream beaches where you can relax and enjoy a calm environment. Immerse yourself in the history and serenity of this fascinating destination.
Akumal: An Underwater Paradise in the Riviera Maya
Akumal, located in the Riviera Maya, is a true underwater paradise that will captivate you with its crystal clear waters and marine biodiversity. Known as the place of the turtles in Maya, Akumal offers the opportunity to swim and snorkel alongside these fascinating marine creatures. Explore the coral reefs and discover the richness of its aquatic flora and fauna. In addition, Akumal has beautiful white sand beaches, where you can relax and enjoy the Caribbean sun. Immerse yourself in the underwater wonders of Akumal and be amazed by its natural beauty.
Bacalar: The Lagoon of Seven Colors
In the state of Quintana Roo, is Bacalar, known as the Lagoon of Seven Colors. Let yourself be amazed by its crystalline waters and shades of blue that will leave you breathless. Kayak around the lagoon and explore the beautiful cenotes and mangroves that surround it. Bacalar is a perfect destination to relax and enjoy the natural beauty in a peaceful environment.
Mahahual: Relaxation and Fun on the Costa Maya
Mahahual, on the Costa Maya, is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the beach. Walk along the boardwalk and admire the turquoise sea while enjoying delicious seafood. If you are looking for adventure, you can practice snorkeling or diving in the famous Barrier Reef of Banco Chinchorro. Mahahual offers you a calm and relaxed environment to enjoy the natural beauty of the Mexican Caribbean.
Guanajuato, located in the center of Mexico, is a historical and cultural treasure. Its charming colonial city of Guanajuato Capital, declared a World Heritage Site, is home to impressive colonial buildings, cobblestone alleys, and the famous International Cervantino Festival. Discover its rich history, art and gastronomy in every corner.
San Miguel de Allende: Colonial Charm and Inspiring Art
San Miguel de Allende, located in the state of Guanajuato, is a destination that combines colonial charm with a vibrant arts scene. Its cobbled streets, colorful facades and magnificent churches will transport you to bygone times. Stroll through its squares, admire its beautiful courtyards and be surprised by the architecture of its historic buildings. In addition, San Miguel de Allende is recognized as an important artistic center, with numerous galleries and workshops where you can appreciate and acquire unique works of art. Immerse yourself in the culture, history and art of this enchanting destination.
Guanajuato City: Cultural Heritage and Mexican Tradition
The city of Guanajuato, also located in the state of the same name, is a cultural treasure and a destination that will transport you to Mexico’s past. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this colonial city will surprise you with its colonial architecture, narrow streets and picturesque alleys.
Explore its lively plazas, visit its fascinating museums and immerse yourself in the history of Mexico through its monuments and historical sites. In addition, Guanajuato is famous for its annual Cervantino festival, one of the most important cultural events in Latin America. Enjoy the Mexican tradition, live music and the festive atmosphere that characterizes this city.
Puebla, a treasure in the heart of Mexico, will surprise you with its rich history, colonial charm and exquisite cuisine.
Puebla de Zaragoza: Architectural Treasures and Exquisite Gastronomy
Puebla de Zaragoza is a city full of history, colonial architecture and exquisite cuisine. Its cobbled streets will take you through the centuries, while you admire its impressive churches, convents and palaces. Visit the famous Puebla Cathedral, considered one of the largest in Latin America, and marvel at the beauty of the Talavera tiles that adorn many of its buildings.
You cannot stop trying the typical dishes of Puebla, such as mole poblano and chiles en nogada, which are a true feast for the senses. Discover the magic of Puebla and let yourself be captivated by its colonial charm and its delicious cuisine. From here you can also visit Cholula, Atlixco and Tlatlauquitepec.
Cuetzalan: Nature, Culture and Tradition in the Sierra Norte de Puebla
Cuetzalan, located in the Sierra Norte of the state of Puebla, is a destination that combines natural beauty with the cultural richness and ancestral traditions of the region. Surrounded by exuberant vegetation and impressive waterfalls, Cuetzalan invites you to explore its trails and immerse yourself in nature. Discover the famous Yohualichan Archaeological Zone, a historical site that will transport you to Mexico’s pre-Hispanic past. In addition, Cuetzalan is known for its festivities and traditional dances, such as the Dance of the Voladores.
Chiapas, a natural and cultural treasure in southeastern Mexico, offers a unique experience to visitors. From its impressive waterfalls and lush jungles to its ancient Mayan ruins and vibrant indigenous communities, Chiapas immerses you in fascinating beauty and diversity.
San Cristóbal de las Casas: Colonial Charm in the Chiapas Mountains
San Cristóbal de las Casas, located in the state of Chiapas, is a destination that combines colonial charm with the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains. Its cobbled streets, colorful houses and lively squares will transport you to another era.
Explore the colonial architecture of its churches and historic buildings, and immerse yourself in the bohemian atmosphere of its cafes and craft shops. In addition, San Cristóbal de las Casas is an ideal starting point to explore the natural wonders of Chiapas, such as the Agua Azul waterfalls and the Sumidero canyon. Discover the colonial charm and natural beauty of San Cristóbal de las Casas and let yourself be captivated by its magic.
San Luis Potosi
San Luis Potosí, a captivating destination in the heart of Mexico, will amaze you with its rich history and natural beauty. From its charming colonial cities to its imposing desert landscapes and majestic mountains, San Luis Potosí offers a unique experience full of culture and adventure.
San Luis Potosí: Historical Treasures and Colonial Elegance
The city of San Luis Potosí, located in the state of the same name, is a destination that will surprise you with its colonial architecture and its historical treasures. Walk its streets and discover its impressive colonial buildings, such as the imposing Cathedral of San Luis Potosí and the majestic Government Palace. Admire the elegance of its squares and gardens, and immerse yourself in the history of Mexico through its museums and historical sites. San Luis Potosí is also famous for its festivals and traditions, which reflect the rich culture of the region. Explore the historical treasures and colonial elegance of San Luis Potosí and be captivated by its charm.
Querétaro, a treasure in central Mexico, invites you to discover its historic charm and vibrant cultural scene. With its beautiful plazas, impressive baroque churches and cozy cobbled streets, Querétaro will transport you to another era while you delight in its gastronomy and hospitality.
Santiago de Querétaro: History, Architecture and Traditions
Introduction: Santiago de Querétaro, located in the state of Querétaro, is a city full of Mexican history, architecture and traditions. Its cobbled streets, colonial houses and lively squares will transport you to bygone times. Visit the imposing Querétaro Aqueduct, one of the most representative symbols of the city, and marvel at its majesty. Tour the historic center and discover the beauty of its churches, such as the church of Santa Rosa de Viterbo. In addition, Querétaro is famous for its traditional cheesecake and its cultural festivals, where you can enjoy music, dance, and typical food.
Baja California, a jewel in the extreme northwest of Mexico, will captivate you with its impressive natural beauty and its rich tourist offer. With its magnificent beaches, desert landscapes, exquisite cuisine, and exciting outdoor activities, Baja California is the ideal destination for lovers of adventure and relaxation.
Los Cabos: Natural Beauty and Unforgettable Experiences
Los Cabos, located in the state of Baja California Sur, is a beach destination that combines natural beauty with unforgettable experiences. Its beaches with crystal clear waters, such as Playa del Amor and Playa Santa María, invite you to relax and enjoy the sun. In addition, Los Cabos is known for being a paradise for golf lovers, with world-class courses that offer breathtaking views. You can also venture into exciting water activities, such as snorkeling or whale watching. Discover the natural beauty and unique experiences that Los Cabos has to offer and be surprised by its charm.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
Mexico is a country where violent crime, such as robbery, homicide, and kidnapping, is common. There are states that it is not recommended to travel to ecause of safety reasons. Bellow, you’ll find a list of the places that you should avoid.
The following states are not recommended for travel: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas. And take extra precautions in Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Mexico State, Morelos, Nayarit, Sonora, and Zacatecas.
Remember to follow these recommendations:
- In case of robbery, do not resist physically.
- Do not show a high purchasing power, that is, do not go with jewels, bags, etc … that are expensive.
- Be careful if you go out at night, and stay in crowded places where you are surrounded by other people.
- Thefts are usual (at guntpoint and during daytime), so don’t go with the camera or mobile in your hand or hang out of your neck.
- Try to avoid carrying the backpack on the back. Put it in front of you, or use a belt pouch or a cross bag.
I, personally, spent 4 months solo traveling around Mexico (I was in Puerto Escondido + Chacahua, Huatulco, Mexico City, Holbox, Merida, Valladolid, Tulum, Bacalar, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen) and I didn’t find myself in any dangerous situation.
Although in most of these places murders took place in the middle of the street and people staying in the same hostel as me were robbed at gunpoint. But don’t let this scare you! Traveling to Mexico is totally possible, in fact it is a country with a lot of tourism.
In any case, it is always a good idea to have a TRAVEL INSURANCE that can compensate you economically and help you if a medical emergency arises.
If you are interested in traveling alone, I recommend this article on the reasons and benefits of solo traveling and this other article with tips for traveling alone as a woman. I encourage you to try it as it is a great and very beneficial experience for oneself.