I traveled for almost 2 months around Mexico to truly see a different life in various areas. From the Pacific coast of the country to the Caribbean side, I have you covered!
In this article, I will share with you the best places to visit in Mexico and some things you can't miss out on!
Safest places in Mexico to travel to
You can't miss out on the Capital - Mexico City! Known for its fascinating blend of history and vibrant culture, it offers a delightful mix of modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks. The bustling Zocalo, the city's main square, is an excellent starting point. You'll be drawn to the magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace. Take some time to explore charming neighborhoods like Coyoacan, brimming with colorful houses and artistic vibes.
I was personally very impressed by how clean, organized, and safe the city was! Some of my favorites are the Chapultepec Park and Castle, Reforma Avenue, and the views from the Latin American Tower. All that you can check out in my Mexico City Travel Guide ⬇️
The Pacific Coast provides a unique and authentic Mexican experience. It's a surfer's paradise, with Puerto Escondido being a standout hotspot. It's known for its phenomenal waves, stunning beaches, and laid-back lifestyle. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, there's a wave for everyone.
If you are looking for a truly authentic beach time in Mexico, Puerto Escondido is for you! Find out all the best beach spots in my Puerto Escondido Travel Guide ⬇️
Oaxaca is the heart and soul of Mexican culture and cuisine. It's a city where age-old traditions are kept alive. Explore its lively markets, where local artisans sell beautiful handmade crafts, and sample the exquisite Oaxacan cheese and chocolate. The historical center is lovely and I highly recommend checking out the nearby Jalatlaco neighborhood. More about Oaxaca and the best things to do there find on my Oaxaca Travel Guide ⬇️
While I personally couldn't visit Chiapas, it's a region that comes highly recommended. Bordered by lush jungles, rich natural beauty, indigenous culture, and archaeological sites. The area is definitely for nature lovers.
Visit the magnificent waterfalls of Agua Azul, stunning blue cascades and pools surrounded by dense vegetation. Hike through the Sumidero Canyon or visit Lagunas de Montebello National Park, home to 59 multi-colored lakes surrounded by pine forests.
I really wish I had more time to include this incredible place on my Mexico Travel itinerary.
The Caribbean Coast is synonymous with postcard-perfect white sandy beaches. This region is home to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, making snorkeling an absolute dream. Take a boat ride to the beautiful islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, or simply lounge on the palm-fringed beaches of Tulum. The Caribbean Coast is the perfect vacation getaway spot!
My personal favorite spot on the Caribbean Coast was Cozumel Island ⬇️
To understand the rich history of Mexico, a visit to the Mayan ruins is essential. The 3 most important and impressive I want to highlight are:
Chichen Itza - an actual World Wonder! Chichen Itza was one of the largest and most influential cities of the Mayan civilization. Architecturally, Chichen Itza is a testament to the Mayans' exceptional skill in design, engineering, and astronomy. Culturally, Chichen Itza is a significant site for understanding Mayan beliefs, rituals, and daily life. It was like stepping back in time.
Cliff-top Ruins of Tulum - This coastal city features Mayan ruins perched atop cliffs, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The main structure, El Castillo, served as a lighthouse for ancient mariners and offers visitors a spectacular view of the ocean. This site provides captivating insights into the sophisticated Mayan civilization.
Palenque - Nestled in the dense jungle of Chiapas, Palenque stands as a mesmerizing archaeological site. The Temple of Inscriptions, which houses the tomb of the Mayan ruler, Pakal the Great, is particularly noteworthy.
Exploring cenotes, the natural sinkholes found on the East side of Mexico, is a truly unique experience. Swimming in the crystal-clear waters of these underground pools is an adventure you won't want to miss.
There are thousands of cenotes scattered throughout the Yucatan Peninsula so you can visit a few on a day out roadtriping around. Each has its unique charm and attractions. However, some of the most significant and frequently visited cenotes include:
Cenote Ik Kil: This is one of the most famous cenotes in Mexico due to its proximity to Chichen Itza. It is a beautiful open cenote with vines hanging down and small waterfalls adding to its beauty. A platform in the center of the cenote allows for spectacular dives.
Cenote Dos Ojos: This cenote is known for its crystal clear waters and is perfect for snorkeling and diving. Its name translates to "Two Eyes," referring to the two connected underwater caves that you can explore.
Cenote Samula and X'Keken: These two cenotes are located in the same complex near Valladolid. Both are underground with a hole in the ceiling that lets in light, creating a unique and magical atmosphere.
Gran Cenote: Located near Tulum, the Gran Cenote is a favorite for snorkeling and diving due to its clear waters and the variety of wildlife that can be seen, including turtles and colorful fish.
Cenote Suytun: This cenote has become famous for its Instagram-worthy view. The cenote is underground, and a single beam of light shines down from an opening in the ceiling, illuminating a platform in the center of the water.
One of the rare experiences Mexico offers is the opportunity to swim with whale sharks. These gentle giants congregate in large numbers off the coast, providing a thrilling wildlife encounter that's hard to match. There are only a few spots in the world where you can see them so I would highly encourage you to use this opportunity.
The spot is a 2-hour ride away from Cancun so you will first need to get to Cancun.
Safest places in Mexico to travel to
Despite some negative media portrayals, Mexico is generally safe for travelers who apply common sense and respect local laws and customs. Merida, known for its colonial charm and cultural richness, and the bustling metropolis of Mexico City are among the safest destinations for visitors. Remember, a mindful traveler is a safe traveler!