What’s your idea of the perfect holiday? – Mine is Mexico, one of the favourite holiday destinations in the world. If you’re wondering why? keep scrolling.
Best known for the tequila, nightlife, Caribbean waters, Salma Hayek, and ancient monuments, you have a broad range of options for any budget. Mexico also has a reputation for street gangs. Think twice before you get involved. Kidding! Popular tourist destinations are totally safe for tourists. To make sure you get the best travel itinerary, we prepared a top ten list of the must-visit tourist attraction in Mexico. One advice; never ever watch the movie,” The Shallows” before your trip.
1. The Remarkable City of Cancun
After a stressful day at work, you are probably dreaming of constant pampering and sunshine, with miles of sand bordering the crystal-clear water. Don’t worry; the luxurious resorts of Cancun are your saviour. Stretching along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, Cancun offers an iconic package of gorgeous beaches, perfect weather, water sports, and endless nightlife. All you have to do is enjoy the turquoise water and relax by the beach. Whatever you have in mind, Cancun got your back. Do you want to go on a jeep safari, swim with the sharks, feed the dolphins, or even kiss a sea lion?
The area also offers a unique experience of diving in the largest underwater museum in the world. Come on! Put on your diving suit, hop into the water, and swim with the tropical fish and an extensive collection of sculptures at a depth of 8 metres. As you go to the downtown area, El Centro, you delve into an authentic Mexican culture from the restaurants, markets, bars, and historic buildings. Within the Cancun area, you can visit some famous archaeological sites, including El Meco and El Ray. Want to party at the Cancun? – Dance all night and live the nightlife of Mexico with the best dance clubs and biggest parties in town. This beautiful city is one of the prominent reasons to visit Mexico.
2. The Mayan Archaeology Site, Chichen Itza
Well, you can’t be in Mexico and not visit Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Located in the Yucatán Peninsula, Chichen Itza is among the most prominent tourists attractions of Mexico, attracting millions of tourists and history enthusiasts. As you step into the ancient city, you’ll go back in time to the 6th century, and take a glimpse of the Mayan civilization.
The UNESCO Heritage Site has a great combination of historic monuments and mysterious buildings with astronomical significance. The highlight of the site is “El Castillo,” the temple-shaped pyramid, which has a total of 365 steps, representing the number of days per year. The 1,000-years-old Caracol, another noteworthy structure, is great proof on how advanced the Mayans were. The building’ walls have very narrow slits which allow the sunlight inside only twice a year. This is how the priests used to identify the date. Impressive!
The site includes numerous statues such as the Mayan Chacmools, holding their sacrificial vessels while guarding the “Temple of Warriors.” Unfortunately, climbing the Castillo pyramid is banned today for safety precautions as the descent can be so steep.
3. The Mayan Walled City of Tulum
Escape into a tropical paradise with a little touch of history!
Combine a visit to the latest city of the Mayan civilization with a dip in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. While the 1,200-year old ruins are worth the visit, the sand beaches, jungle restaurants, and clear water make it much more appealing.
You’ll find most of the city’s ruins, including the castle and shrine on the rocky cliffs east coast of Yucatán Peninsula. The Temple of the Frescoes, the Ancient Fortress of Tulum, and the Temple of Descending God are among the distinguished attractions over there. Just outside Tulum, you can go snorkelling in the stunning sinkhole of Cenote Dos Ojos, one of the largest underwater caves.
Tulum is one of the great reasons to visit Mexico.
4. The Historical City of Teotihuacan
Put on your comfortable shoes and don’t forget your sunblock because we are heading to the mysterious city of Teotihuacan. While Egypt has the Great Pyramids of Giza, Teotihuacan has its fair share of magnificent pyramids too. Between 100 AD and 450 AD, Teotihuacan was a substantial religious centre of Mesoamerica that left us many wonderful monuments.
It was also an honoured place and pilgrimage site of the Aztecs. The city has many wondrous archaeological sites, making it one of the top tourist attractions in Mexico. You can visit the Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon, and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. Have a walk on the “Avenue of the Dead,” the main street and explore the ceremonial world of the city.
5. The Colonial City of Guanajuato
Explore the four squares of the city on foot and enjoy the colourful streets, the fabulous Cobblestone lanes, and colonial buildings. You’ll notice the baroque architecture that gives the city a charming European flavour. Guanajuato boasts a traditional environment, representing the Mexican culture in the most perfect way. Being home to many silver and gold mines, you can visit “La Valencia,” one of the richest silver mines across the globe.
You can grab a drink in one of the sidewalk cafes and enjoy some traditional mariachi music. As you wander the “Plaza de Armas,” don’t forget to pass by the religious landmark, the Guadalajara Cathedral. Guarded as “City of Art,” the UNESCO World Heritage Site includes several museums and galleries, as well as the Juarez Theatre, surrounded by fountains and flower beds.
6. The Grand Copper Canyon
Let’s go, a new adventure is waiting for you!
Located in the state of Chihuahua, the Copper Canyon is a series of six deep canyons, four times bigger than the famous, Grand Canyon. The Netflix documentary, The Evolution of Us has described these gorges as the “one of the most extreme landscapes in the world.” As you can see, the Copper Canyon has extraordinary scenery, with a wide diversity in the species of flowers, trees, and wildlife. You can also spot many beautiful waterfalls and different intriguing rock shapes.
There are several ways to explore the park from suspension bridges, hiking, and mountain biking to the cablecar. Without a doubt, the absolute best way to enjoy the Canyon is through the “Copper Canyon Train.” The luxury train offers a panoramic view of the entire place, passing through about 86 tunnels and over 37 bridges. That’s not it; the park offers the second-longest zip line in the world, the Zip Rider and the glass-bottom restaurant for some thrilling views. The Grand Copper Canyon could be one of the prominent reasons to add Mexico in your next holiday destinations list.
7. The Marvelous City of Acapulco
Situated on a semicircular bay, Acapulco offers the perfect mix of luxury hotels and traditional Mexican architecture. The city encompasses many beautiful beaches, including Hornos, Papagayo, and Icacos, stretching all the way by “Las Costera” bay. Aside from the beaches, you can have a tour in the main square and blend in the local culture.
The Fort of San Diego and the House of Masks are among the city’s popular tourist attractions. The cliff divers’ spectacle, La Quebrada Cliff Divers, is certainly the highlight of the place. You can’t visit the Mexican resort town without watching the cliff divers jump 174 feet into the ocean.
8. San Ignacio Lagoon
Do you want to experience a close encounter with the friendly grey whales? – Well, San Ignacio Lagoon gives you the thrill of meeting these majestic and reason to visit Mexico, yet lovely giants closely. While there are many places to go whale watching, nothing is as remarkable as the San Ignacio Lagoon.
However, you need to visit the lagoon during the winter months, when the grey whales give birth in its shallowest parts. San Ignacio Lagoon is not only the largest wildlife sanctuary but also the world’s last breeding ground of the Pacific grey whales.
9. The Mayan Ruins of the Palenque
Another Maya city, Palenque has made it to the list of Mexico’s top tourist attractions since its excavation. Although it is much smaller than Chichen Itza, it features memorable Mayan sculptures, roof comb, and bas-relief carvings, dating back to the 7th century.
You can visit the Temple of the Court, the Temple of the Cross, and the Temple of Inscriptions, which is the only Mesoamerican funerary pyramid. It’s really amazing to stand in the ruins of a once-great city and discover the genius architecture and monuments, isn’t it?
10. Mexico City’s Historic Centre
Mexico City is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Mexico, despite its small area. Focus your attention on the city’s historic centre, where you will find the major attractions from museums, galleries, cathedrals, and colonial buildings. Mexico’s remarkable landmarks include the colonial site of San Angel, Coyoacan, and the UNESCO Heritage Site of Teotihuacan.
As you walk through the Construction Square, you’ll come across the National Palace and the Templo Mayor, the Aztec relic. Situated in the central plaza, Zocalo, the Cathedral Metropolitana is the largest cathedral in Latin America, dating back to the 16th century. You’ll be stunned with its architecture and the perfect combination of the baroque and the Mexican Churrigueresque design.
Besides, the Cathedral boasts a wide art collection, in addition to the catacombs beneath the site. You may want to explore the two mighty mountains Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, guarding the city. There is actually no shortage of things to do, Mexico always has art performances, music and dance festivals, expositions, and art exhibitions all year round.
From the gorgeous beaches, ancient pyramids, and powerful culture, Mexico offers an unforgettable holiday you’ll be talking about for years. Mexico will never disappoint you! It is truly a treat for the eye and wonder for the mind. If you want to experience a day into the Mexican traditions, visit the country at the end of October to attend the “Day of the dead” in Oaxaca. Pack your bags because I can’t wait!