Whether you’re planning a round-the-world trip or donning your backpack for the very first time, Mexico should be on your list of must-visit destinations. The country is famous for tequila, fantastic food, Mayan ruins, deserts, excellent hospitality and beautiful beaches. And everything is at a very affordable price including some of the best beachfront homes in Mexico. Some come to relax or honeymoon while others for the adventure or to practice their Spanish. Whatever the reason, Mexico won’t disappoint.
The Best Things to Do in Mexico
Planning a trip to Mexico is difficult because there are just so many things to do and new experience to have. The beaches are some of the best outside of the Caribbean and crystal clear water makes a perfect spot for snorkelling and scuba diving. You can head to the resort areas of Los Cabos or Cancun for a relaxing vacation at an all-inclusive or find a vacation rental with a view. Or head along the coast to the smaller towns for a more local experience.
Next are the ruins. Mayan ruins are all around the country including pyramids, settlements and temples of which some have a very gruesome history. Check them out and learn about the unique culture that lived here and their practices of human sacrifice. Other awesome things to do include whale-watching, exploring some of the islands, heading into the desert and soaking up the atmosphere in the colonial towns.
Where are the Best Places to Visit?
Mexico is a huge country taking up about 20% of the landmass of the United States making a lot of ground to cover. The most popular destinations for those taking a holiday around the coastal areas are to places like Los Cabos, Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Fewer take the time to visit some of the areas on the interior and miss out on colonial towns and ruins. Let’s look at some of the less explored parts of Mexico to visit.
Mexico City, in the Valle de Mexico or Valley of Mexico in the central part of the country, is the economic and cultural centre of the nation. Highlights include museums, both Aztec and Mayan ruins, colonial buildings along with beautiful gardens and public spaces. The shopping district is unlike any other in Mexico selling the very latest accessories and fashion. Despite the humongous size of the city, it’s not that difficult or overwhelming to visit as most attractions are clustered in three or four districts. And any negative reputation for safety isn’t as bad as you may think after the government began cracking down on crime.
Mexico City Palace of Fine Arts
Tulum shares a stretch of the Caribbean coast and has some of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches. Tourists often come to relax in the high-end resorts and spend a few days lounging on the beaches soaking up the sunshine. Head a little away from the town, and you’ll find an ancient Mayan city that once acted as an important port. The complex has a series of ruins with the main building, a castle, sat on the cliff. Head to the north of Tulum Beach and you’ll come across plenty of other ruins, including the ancient Mayan city of Coba. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also worth visiting on a day trip from Tulum.
Off the Beaten Path
Perhaps you want to visit the lesser-explored parts of Mexico. After all, it’s big enough, and if you know where you want to go, you’ll have an incredible experience with warm and friendly locals.
San Miguel de Allende is in the central highlands of Mexico and is one of the prettiest colonial towns in the country. Spanish baroque architecture dominates the facades, and an active arts scene makes San Miguel a cultural centre. Expect cobblestone streets with lots of churches, such as the neo-Gothic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel and the Templo de San Francisco church. Most visitors typically spend a few days in the pretty town for the architecture, culture and the cooler climate.
San Pancho, or sometimes referred to as San Francisco, is a seaside town on the central Pacific coast. Beaches are quiet and many of the visitors are yoga enthusiasts. Apart from joining a yoga class, you can also visit the Punta Monterrey inside the jungle or follow the trails to very secluded beaches. You won’t find as many tourists here giving you a more authentic Mexican experience.
How to Get Around Mexico
The fastest and easiest way is to fly. Domestic flights connect major cities and depart on regular schedules making it convenient to get from one side of the country to the other. Alternatively, if you want to get to the smaller towns, especially in the interior, you’ll need to use the chicken bus. A chicken bus is a minibus taking passengers around the country with fares costing very little. This is the preferred method for visitors who want to slow travel around Mexico or are on a budget. You can also use the ferry or boat services to get from one destination to the next along the coast.
The Ingredients for a Trip of a Lifetime
What makes Mexico so special as a travel destination is its diversity, culture and your ability to get off the beaten path at affordable prices. You’ll see beaches, Mayan ruins and colonial towns or replace your wardrobe in Mexico City while enjoying their delicious food on a daily basis.
Tulum ruins Mexico