Best Places to Visit on Your Next Trip to Mexico
Mexico is a vibrant country filled with culture and exotic locales, making it a top spot for tourists who want to get away from it all on vacation. Millions of people visit the country throughout the year to just relax or go on grand adventures with friends and family.
From delicious cuisine and fabulous beaches with crystal blue water to catchy music and exhilarating activities, the country offers tons of options for all your preferences. When you visit, be sure to add these hot destinations to the top of your Mexico to-do list.
Cancún is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico, which is why it’s often the first place people visit in the country. The city is filled with all-inclusive resorts that are constantly populated by college students — especially during spring and summer breaks — as well as other travelers.
Right off the Riviera Maya lies Cozumel, Mexico's premier spot for diving as well as the most popular port of call for cruise ships in Mexico. Visitors love shopping for special souvenirs and treats like Mexican chocolate, pottery, jewelry and other handicrafts.
Puerto Vallarta has become one of the most popular places to visit in Mexico, for good reason. Beyond its all-inclusive resorts, it offers plenty of activities for the adventurer in you. The area is perfect for various types of tours and excursions, including mountain biking, skydiving, bungee jumping and paragliding.
Mexico City, the country's lively capital, has so many things to do that visitors have a hard time working them all into their packed schedules. The city is home to tons of historical artifacts and museums that highlight the country's anthropology, art and other cultural elements. You can also visit the ruins of the former Aztec capital city as well as the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral and Frida Kahlo's home.
Playa del Carmen
This hot spot located in the Riviera Maya is a popular beach destination for tourists. Situated right between Cancún and Tulum, Playa del Carmen offers several beautiful beaches for tourists to do some bird watching, explore caves and underground rivers, and even go swimming with sea turtles.
This vibrant colonial city is located on the Pacific coast of Southern Mexico. Although tourists do visit the area, Oaxaca remains a largely traditional Mexican city without big resorts. It certainly offers plenty of options for visitors to enjoy their visits.
Tulum is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, which are some of the best in Mexico. However, it also has popular historical ruins that were built on a tall cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The area has stunning cenotes, which are natural sinkholes where people often swim, dive and snorkel.
San Miguel de Allende
Located in central Mexico, San Miguel de Allende was the first Mexican town to gain its independence from Spain. The small town has a slower pace than other tourist spots in Mexico and is home to a lot of American and European retirees. The colorful architecture and relaxing lifestyle appeal to visitors looking for quieter vacations.
Cabo San Lucas
Believe it or not, Cabo San Lucas — and neighboring San Jose del Cabo — was a remote, rural area until a few decades ago when it was developed for tourism. Now, Cabo is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Mexico. It’s known for its top beach resorts, golf courses and nightlife.
Guanajuato was once a town known for its silver mining, but it has now become a huge tourist location. The area is home to beautiful architecture and bright houses as well as several festivals, museums, theaters and music venues for visitors to enjoy.
Located a short, two-hour drive from Mexico City, Puebla is the fourth-largest city in Mexico. The area is known for its gorgeous architecture, churches and art, and it’s home to the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, a 17th-century book collection and reading room that is widely considered to be the first public library in Mexico.
Punta Mita is thought of as a place of spiritual renewal and relaxation. With great weather year-round, it’s an ideal spot to check out the waves along the beaches off the coast. They are perfect for surfing as well as scuba diving and snorkeling.
Much like the Grand Canyon, Copper Canyon in northwestern Mexico is a big landmark in Mexico for tourists. However, the canyon is much larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon. (Wow, right?) It’s comprised of six distinct canyons and is still the home of indigenous people who live in the mountains.
Located near Cabo San Lucas, La Paz offers incredible beaches along the Sea of Cortez. This sea is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and is filled with wondrous marine life. That means swimming and diving with marine animals like sea lions and hammerhead sharks!
The coastal city of Mazatlán is known as the Pearl of the Pacific, and you won’t run out of things to do in the vibrant city. Of course, it has plenty of delicious cuisine at restaurants and at different street vendors, and the city's beautiful beaches are perfect for surfing and swimming.
Acapulco was once the most famous destination spot in Mexico. In the 1950s, many notable American figures like Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and John F. Kennedy traveled there regularly, adding to the city’s popularity. However, violence began to rage out of control throughout the city, which forced visitors to turn their attention to other areas.
Islas Marietas is certainly not a resort town. The group of small uninhabited islands is located off the coast of Mexico. However, that doesn't mean these islands aren't a perfect place for tourists to get in some sun and fun.
The small but pretty town of Huatulco is right by the Sierra Madre del Sur and close to 36 beaches and nine bays. The area allows tourists to tap into their adventurous side with offers of ATV tours, rappelling, white water rafting, zip-lining and hiking through Huatulco National Park.
Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo
Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are two gorgeous neighboring cities in the Mexican Riviera. The busy beaches of the area offer great spots for fishing and other water sports as well as oceanside golf courses and tennis courts. Tourists also enjoy horseback riding along the crystal blue waters of Playa La Ropa and Playa Linda.
Playa Maroma is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya and serves as both a relaxing and adventurous vacation. The water is beautiful and refreshing at the beach, and there are plenty of activities. One of the highlights is an "ocean safari" with snorkeling, jet skiing and other water sports designed to showcase the area’s marine life.
This beach, located near Huatulco, is a prime spot for surfing. Plenty of places in Puerto Escondido rent boards to experienced and beginning surfers and even provide some lessons for a reasonable price. If you prefer to stay dry, take one of the boat trips to view dolphins, turtles and whales or even do some deep-sea fishing.
The colonial town of Morelia is a beautiful place to visit and learn more about the history of Mexico. Founded in 1541, the historic city has more than 200 well-preserved buildings that date back hundreds of years. Visitors who love architecture are sure to enjoy touring this city.
Izamal was once one of the mightiest Mayan cities, but it was colonized in the mid-16th century, leading to the loss of some of its historic monuments. Nonetheless, other historic sites are still there for visitors to see, including the Convento de San Antonio de Padua, a Baroque monastery, and the Temple of Kabul.
A Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea, Isla Mujeres is a calm, beautiful paradise across the Bahia de Mujeres near Cancún. Although it’s certainly not as busy as Cancún, this island still offers a lot of activities, including water sports, shopping and exploring.
Guadalajara, a city in western Mexico, is the second-largest city in the country. It’s known throughout the country — and beyond — for its tequila and mariachi music. The city effortlessly combines traditional and modern aesthetics, staying true to cultural practices while developing modern technology and software.
Centrally located within the Yucatán Peninsula near the Gulf of Mexico, Mérida has a unique heritage. The city maintains the historical traditions of the Mayan civilization and the customs from Spanish conquistadors who began colonizing the area in the 16th century.
The ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itzá attract at least 3,500 visitors a day. In the high season, that number can climb as high as 8,000 daily visitors. Wow! The area is one of the new seven wonders of the world and one of Mexico’s top attractions.
Located on the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the small resort town of Akumal is surrounded by white sand beaches. It’s a popular destination for spotting marine life, and many tourists take advantage of the opportunity to snorkel with sea turtles.
Isla Holbox is a small island on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a quiet, laidback gateway with pristine undeveloped beaches, but it has nice restaurants with delicious Mexican food and hotels that are perfect for smaller budgets. You can also enjoy all the street art throughout the island.
Todos Santos is on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. The small town is a quiet destination for people who aren’t into the party scene and who just want a relaxing vacation without a lot of noise.