10 of the Best Places to Visit in Mexico for Travel Enthusiasts

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, one of the best places in Mexico
Chichen Itza, located in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico

Chichen Itza, located in the Yucatan Peninsula, was one of the largest Mayan cities and played a significant role in the ancient Mayan civilization from around 600 AD to 1200 AD. The name “Chichen Itza” is derived from the Yucatec Maya language and roughly translates to “at the mouth of the well of the Itza,” referring to the presence of natural sinkholes, or cenotes, in the area. It served as a major political and economic hub, known for its impressive architecture, advanced astronomical observatory, and sacred cenotes.

Today, Chichen Itza stands as one of the best places to visit in Mexico, attracting tourists from all over the world. It serves as a testament to the ingenuity and architectural prowess of the ancient Mayans. Visitors can marvel at the iconic pyramid of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo, which served as a temple to the feathered serpent god.

Tulum

Tulum was one of the last Mayan cities built and inhabited, serving as a major port for trade and commerce along the Caribbean coast. Its strategic location allowed it to flourish as a center of maritime trade, connecting the Mayan civilization with other Mesoamerican cultures.

Tulum, Mexico
Tulum, Mexico (Photo by Darren Lawrence, Pexel)

Tulum attracts visitors with its breathtaking scenery, pristine beaches, and well-preserved Mayan ruins. Travelers can explore the ancient walled city perched atop cliffs overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Tulum also offers eco-friendly resorts, yoga retreats, and a laid-back atmosphere that appeals to those seeking relaxation and natural beauty.

Mexico City

Founded by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, Mexico City has a rich and storied history that spans centuries. It served as the capital of the Aztec Empire until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, who later established it as the capital of New Spain. Not only has it served as the capital city of Mexico, it has also lived up to the name by being one of the best places to visit in Mexico if you are looking to enjoy everything the country has to offer.

Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City
The impressive Chapultepec castle, Mexico City

Cancun

Cancun, One of the best places to visit in Mexico
Cancun Shoreline, Mexico (Photo by Fernando Garcia: https://www.pexels.com/)

When making a list of the best places to visit in Mexico to visit, Cancun is sure to be amongst the top options. Cancun was once a sparsely populated area on the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula until the Mexican government recognized its potential for tourism development in the 1970s. Since then, it has grown into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife.

Guadalajara

Mariachi Music dancers

Guadalajara, founded in 1542 by Spanish conquistadors, quickly grew into a cultural and economic center during the colonial period. It played a pivotal role in Mexico’s fight for independence and later emerged as the birthplace of Mariachi music and tequila production.

Hospicios Cabanas
Hospicios Cabanas, Guadalajra, Mexico

Oaxaca

Oaxaca, one of the best places to visit in Mexico, is also among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the country. With a cultural heritage spanning over 2,500 years, it was the capital of the Zapotec civilization and later flourished under Spanish colonial rule. The city offers a captivating blend of ancient ruins, colonial architecture, and vibrant traditions, making it a must-visit destination for travel enthusiasts.

Today, Oaxaca enchants visitors with its colonial charm, indigenous traditions, and culinary delights. Travelers can wander through the cobblestone streets of its UNESCO-listed historic center, admiring colonial architecture and vibrant street art. Oaxaca is also known for its diverse cuisine, including traditional dishes such as tlayudas, mole, and chapulines (grasshoppers), as well as its bustling markets, where artisans sell colorful textiles, pottery, and handicrafts.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta began as a small fishing village until it gained international fame after the filming of the movie “The Night of the Iguana” in 1963. Since then, it has evolved into a popular tourist destination known for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant cultural scene.

Puerto Vallartas Coastline
Puerto Vallartas Coastline, Mexico

Cozumel

Cozumel, an island off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, was considered sacred by the ancient Mayans, who dedicated it to the goddess Ixchel, the goddess of fertility and the moon. It served as an important pilgrimage site and trading hub for the Mayan civilization. The name Cozumel was derived from the Mayan “Cuzamil” (also spelled “Cutzmil” or “Ah Cuzamil Peten“) in full, which means “the island of swallows”

Palancar Reef with divers
Palancar Reef, Cozumel

Today, Cozumel is renowned for its spectacular coral reefs and abundant marine life, making it a mecca for snorkelers and scuba divers. Visitors can explore underwater wonders such as the Palancar Reef, home to colorful coral gardens and a diverse array of marine species. Cozumel also offers opportunities for relaxation and adventure, with pristine beaches, eco-parks, and nature reserves waiting to be explored.

San Miguel de Allende

Founded in the 16th century by Spanish conquistadors, San Miguel de Allende flourished as a colonial town known for its silver mines and Baroque architecture. It played a significant role in Mexico’s fight for independence and later became a haven for artists and intellectuals.

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel
Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel

Today, San Miguel de Allende is celebrated for its artistic ambiance, colonial charm, and thriving expat community. Visitors can wander through its picturesque streets lined with colorful facades, visit historic landmarks such as the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, and explore art galleries showcasing the works of local and international artists. The town also hosts cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including the renowned San Miguel de Allende International Jazz & Blues Festival.

Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon, located in the rugged terrain of the Sierra Madre Occidental, has been home to the indigenous Tarahumara people for centuries. The canyon’s name derives from the greenish hue of its copper and iron deposits, which give the landscape a distinctive color.

Copper canyons, Mexico
The Copper Canyon, Mexico

Today, Copper Canyon offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in pristine wilderness and indigenous culture. Travelers can embark on scenic hikes through rugged terrain, ride the iconic Chepe train for breathtaking views of the canyon, and learn about the traditional way of life of the Tarahumara people. The canyon’s stunning vistas, cascading waterfalls, and rich biodiversity make it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Our tour through best places to visit in Mexico ends here and we hope you’ve been inspired to embark on your own adventure and explore the wonders of this diverse and captivating country. From the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza to the sun-kissed beaches of Cancun, Mexico offers a tapestry of experiences that will enchant and delight every traveler. Whether you’re drawn to the rich history, vibrant culture, or natural beauty, there’s something for everyone to discover in this land of enchantment. So pack your bags, follow your wanderlust, and immerse yourself in the magic of Mexico. ¡Hasta luego! (Until next time!)

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2 Comments

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