Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Mexico to Add to Your Itinerary

The Top 10 Must-Visit Locations in the Whole of Mexico

Tick all these places off your Mexico bucket list.

There is no shortage of amazing places to visit in Mexico. This country has everything from mountains to deserts, beaches, and natural freshwater swimming pools. With such an abundance of great destinations in Mexico, you can be overwhelmed with the choice of which ones to visit and which ones to let go of. Here are the top 10 must-visit places in Mexico to make that choice easier.

Top 10 must-visit places in Mexico

1. The Mayan Riviera

Cancun is one of the must-visit places in Mexico

Image credit: Michelle_Raponi

Lying on the spectacular coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, the Mayan Riviera comprises resort destinations of Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Cozumel Island, and many more. This amazing area on the eastern corner of the Yucatan Peninsula receives more than five million tourists every year. Yet, because the riviera has a 100-mile-long coastline and countless all-inclusive resorts, you won’t find this place crowded with tourists.

The cool activities you can do here include stingray and dolphin swimming, snorkelling among tropical fish and reefs, scuba diving, and the world’s largest underwater museum. If you are a history buff, the ancient Mayan Ruins are scattered all over the place, and the world-famous Citchen Itza is just a few hours away.

2. Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres

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Just 13 kilometres off of the coast of Cancun is Isla Mujeres, known for its top-rated family resorts and immaculate Caribbean beaches, Playa Norte on the North of the Island being the most famous of them. Ruins of the Mayan Civilization, a sea turtle sanctuary, and the ancient lighthouse are also some of the island’s highlights.

There are plenty of things to do in Isla Mujeres like snorkelling, scuba diving, whale watching, fishing, and luxury cruises. It is truly one of the must-visit places in Mexico.

3. Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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One of the best things about Mexico is that it has beaches in both the Pacific and Caribbean. Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s increasingly popular beach destinations on the Pacific. This beach first gained popularity among tourists in the early 1960s and has since become a destination for people looking for a sunny, warm climate. Despite its popularity, many parts of this beach are still untouched by modern development. That gives you a perfect combination of a modern beach with preserved pristine parts.

Due to the popularity of Puerto Vallarta among North America’s elite, this city is also great for shopping and all-inclusive resort retreats.

4. Los Cabos Corridor

Los Cabos Westin Hotel

Image credit: Ken Bosma

The Los Cabos Corridor is a 30-kilometre stretch of beachline that extends from the town of Cabo San Lucas to San Jose del Cabo. This pristine stretch of beaches on the North Pacific ocean attracts tourists from all over the world who come here for the crystal-clear waters, diving, snorkelling, surfboarding, and fishing.

This series of beaches has numerous resorts that can satisfy the needs of travellers with any taste or budget. You can find everything from spas to golf courses in this area of Southern Mexico.

5. Barranca del Cobre

Barranca del Cobre is one of the must-visit places in Mexico

Image credit: Jens Uhlenbrock

Barranca del Cobre, Spanish for Copper Canyon, also called Mexico’s Grand Canyon, is the most visited natural attraction in Mexico. The Copper Canyon is in the Sierra Madre Occidental region near the city of Chihuahua. Often compared to the Grand Canyon, this one is actually larger and deeper. It is formed by six rivers converging into Rio Fuerte before draining into the Gulf of California and gets the name from the distinctive copper colouring of the walls.

The best way to explore this series of canyons is via the Copper Canyon Railroad, which starts at Chihuahua and ends at Los Mochis. This 13.5-hour journey will cost you between $2,000 and $5,000 (MXN), but it is totally worth it.

6. Mexico City

must-visit places in Mexico

Image credit: bpperry via Canva Pro

Natural beauty is not all that Mexico has to offer. The capital of the country, bearing the same name, is also on the list of the places you must visit if you travel to Mexico. There are more things to do in this historical city than you might think, like visiting the historical city centre, which is a 15-sqm UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 1,400 colonial buildings from the 16th to 19th-century era. These include the Constitution Square, National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Templo Mayor.

Beware, there are many things considered normal in the US that you should not do in Mexico City.

7. Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá is one of the must-visit places in Mexico

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The ruins of the ancient Mayan city, known as Chichen Itza, are the most-visited archaeological site in Mexico. There are numerous things to see in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, like the Pyramid of Kukulkán, aka El Castillo, and Caracol, the 100-year-old observatory that’s a testament to the advancement of the Mayan civilization.

8. Guanajuato

Guanajuato, Mexico

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Another UNESCO site in Mexico is the colonial-era city of Guanajuato. This is a city to be explored on foot if you want to admire the winding lanes, colonial buildings, and narrow alleys. The best things in this city are its Plazas, like the Jardin de la Union, San Diego Church, and Juarez Theater.

The city also has a network of underground subterranean that once used to be a river but now carry cars.

9. Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

Image credit: Jennie Robinson Faber

While the larger beach resorts of Mexico get all the spotlight, the smaller beach destinations, like Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, are equally amazing. These neighbouring cities, which once used to be small fishing villages, are now popular tourist destinations. Even though these cities have been remodelled to serve as tourist hubs, the streets and beaches are still uncrowded.

10. The Ancient Fortress of Tulum

The Ancient Fortress of Tulum

Image credit: Popo le Chien

The only coastal fortified Mayan settlement can be found in the city of Tulum. It is situated in the Mayan Riviera, and if you visit the beaches of Cancún, Playa del Carmen, or Cozumel, this site is well within reach.

Also read: 16 Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals in Tulum With Private Pools & Jungle Views

Mexico is full of natural, manmade, and historical destinations that attract a lot of tourists. The must-visit places in Mexico that you should not miss include The Mayan Riviera, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos Corridor, Barranca del Cobre, Mexico City, Chichén Itzá, Guanajuato, Ixtapa, and The Ancient Fortress of Tulum.

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