5 Places To See In Mexico

Located in such close proximity to the U.S. and the Caribbean, Mexico can occasionally be overlooked as a travel destination. But if you’re interested in seeing more of the world, you might want to put it on your list. Mexico is a country with a deep history, rich culture, and lots of beautiful attractions, and it makes a fine stop on any tour of the Americas. So, let’s get into it a little bit! Here are my picks for five specific places you have to see if you make it to Mexico.

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Marieta Islands

Mexico has some truly incredible coastal destinations, but we’re actually moving off the coast entirely with our first suggestion. The Marieta Islands, just west of the common vacation getaway of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast, are commonly recommended as having some of the country’s very best beaches. Specifically, we’d recommend you seek out Playa del Armor, which one travel site describes as looking like something out of a fantasy movie. It’s actually a place you may well have seen photographs of without realizing it. Basically, Playa del Amor is a golden beach within a cave, which gets sunlight because its roof has a giant hole in it. Many believe the hole was actually caused by a bomb long ago when the Mexican military was testing weapons on the island – but whatever the case, the result now is one of the most unique beaches you’ll find in the world.

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San Miguel de Allende

If you’ve looked into Caribbean travel before you know that many of the islands that make up the region are famous for their colonial towns. These are places that were colonized by European explorers hundreds of years ago, and often their capital cities still have “Old Town” areas that are mostly preserved from that time. Mexico is of course not a Caribbean island, but San Miguel de Allende is perhaps its most similar attraction. It’s an old Spanish colonial town in the Mexican highlands, full of striking baroque architecture and marked in particular by a towering, neo-gothic church called Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel.

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Tulum

Tulum, in a way, combines the best aspects of Mexico that most tourists want to see. Which is to say, hints of ancient culture and beautiful beaches. A located on the Caribbean coast, on the Yucatan peninsula and close to the popular vacation island of Cozumel. The beaches are pristine, with white sands, often-gentle surfs, and transparent turquoise waters typical of the most famous Caribbean islands. But the main attraction is El Castillo, a Mayan ruin that looks the part of a fortress overlooking the coastline. (And at one point in history perhaps welcoming Spanish settlers from across the ocean).

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Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza has become perhaps the most enduring symbol of the history of native people in Mexico. It represents the past of the country in countless projects, sometimes overtly and sometimes less so. For instance, games and rituals from the city of Chichen Itza (and the Mayan people) have been depicted in films. Films like Apocalypto and The Road To El Dorado. More directly, players could build it as a wonder in Civilization computer games, and it serves as a backdrop for the popular internet game Gonzo’s Quest, which prides itself on creating a better sense of engagement largely through setting pieces like this.

As is the case with the Egyptian pyramids. However, no amount of representation in fiction or pop culture does the area justice. This is an astonishingly well-preserved place that gives you a true sense of how the Mayans lived. And the central attraction – another “El Castillo,” essentially a M
ayan pyramid built in tiers – is unforgettable.

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Mexico City

It may not be the most creative choice, but this list would be incomplete without mention of Mexico’s capital. This city has changed a lot throughout history, it’s effectively built on top of what was once the Aztec capital. Of Tenochtitlan – one of the great cities of the ancient world, the Aztecs built over a network of lakes. Which the conquering Spanish ultimately drained in favor of different kind of construction. But now, several hundred years later, Mexico City is a thriving blend of modern and ancient culture. It’s full of monuments, cultural exhibitions, and plenty of things to do, such that it makes for a crucial stop on any broader tour of the country.

*Collaborative

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52 Comments

  1. Bethany Maysie Sibley
    January 21, 2018 / 1:05 pm

    Ive Leah’s wanted to go to Mexico, if one day I do get to go I’m going to take up your five things 🙌🏼

  2. December 29, 2017 / 10:45 am

    I love Mexico. We went a couple of years ago and visited Chichen Itza and a cenote along with a tequila factory, such amazing history x

  3. Zena's Suitcase
    December 27, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    I hadn’t realised that Mexico was so pretty and interesting. I think I’d be pleasantry surprised with a visit here and to these places

    • December 28, 2017 / 7:37 am

      Tell me about it, its pleasantry surprising for sure

  4. David E
    December 24, 2017 / 3:42 pm

    I know Mexico has some amazingly beautiful places out there. I would really love to go visiting down there some day.

  5. December 24, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    They all look like wonderful places to visit in Mexico. I’ve never been but have wanted to go since the summer, so might have to book a trip in 2018! xx

  6. Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️
    December 23, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    I didn’t know Mexico city was once the Aztec capital!

  7. Sarah Honey
    December 22, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    We love vacating in Mexico. It is so beautiful. Haven’t been to Mexico City yet. Would love to check that out next trip.

  8. Hungry_Healthy_Happy
    December 22, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    I have been to Tulum, but I would love to go to Mexico City. I hear the street food scene there is amazing.

  9. Kristine Nicole Alessandra VA
    December 22, 2017 / 6:35 am

    Wow. There is more to see in Mexico other than the beaches! I would love to go back there again someday and explore these beautiful historical sites!

  10. John Milnes
    December 22, 2017 / 5:00 am

    Tulum and Chichen Itza are on my Bucket list, its just getting there. As a photographer myself. These would fit what I am trying do for a pet project I am launching next year.

    John M

  11. December 22, 2017 / 2:32 am

    Beautiful photography and article. I have not visited Mexico yet but I’m looking forward to it in the near future. Thanks for all of the tips.

  12. Baby Isabella
    December 21, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    This post makes us a bit sad as we were due to go toe Mexico last March but unfortunately my mummy had a collapsed lung and had to be hospitalised. Its a great destination and we hope to have the opportunity to visit again x

  13. Laura Dove
    December 21, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    We often talk of visiting mexico but haven’t yet gotten round to it. It sounds amazing!

  14. Stephanie
    December 21, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    The coastlines sound amazing in Mexico, somewhere I’ve never been.

  15. Kara
    December 21, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    I went to Mexico as a child but never appreciated all it had to offer. The The Marieta Islands sound absolutely incredible

  16. Ali || Veggies by Candlelight
    December 21, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    I’ve recently gone to Mexico but none of the areas, I was in Cozumel and we went to the Mayan Ruins! It was so much fun and I loved learning the history of the country. Tulum looks beautiful place to visit, it also sounds like I was super CLOSE to there

  17. Jenna E Morley
    December 21, 2017 / 10:24 am

    When I think of Mexico, I think of long sandy beaches…There is really so much more to explore! It’s definitely on my travel bucket list 🙂

  18. December 21, 2017 / 9:19 am

    I went to Mexico before kids and would love to go back with them. The Marieta Islands, look beautiful and I haven’t been there before so that would be top of the list.

  19. December 21, 2017 / 3:42 am

    I have actually never been to Mexico but your post is making me want to break out my passport and go! I would love to visit Tulum and Mexico City. The architecture looks amazing in Mexico City and I would also love to sneak in a trip to some ruins while I’m there!

  20. valmg
    December 21, 2017 / 3:07 am

    I’ve always wanted to travel part of Mezxico. I have heard of Tulum and have heard it is just lovely in many areas.

  21. Lynn White
    December 21, 2017 / 2:07 am

    I’ve only been to the usual tourist places in Mexico – Cozumel and Costa Maya. My anniversary is coming up. I’ll have to look into them.

  22. Claudia K
    December 21, 2017 / 1:58 am

    I have been to Mexico a few times and always enjoyed my travels. The food and the culture is fascinating and the weather is lovely.

  23. December 21, 2017 / 1:32 am

    To me what is fascinating about Mexico is not just its delicious food but also the history of Aztec and Mayan settlements. El Castillo is of course a major draw as is Playa del Amo.

  24. December 20, 2017 / 11:32 pm

    It’s lovely to read about the culture and places to visit in Mexico, I usually only hear about people staying on resorts and not venturing off which is a shame because clearly there’s a lot to see.

  25. Debra Hawkins
    December 20, 2017 / 9:45 pm

    CHICHEN ITZA, is on my short list of places I HAVE to see! I am going to add a few of these others in on that trip too!

  26. Afshan
    December 20, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Have always wanted to go to Mexico, ever since Sex in the City. LOL. Would love to see El Castillo, have heard that it is a must-see.

  27. Little Steps
    December 20, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    We have a close friend who teaches at an International school in `Mexico and we’ve been wanting to visit. Never heard of Mariette islands, but it looks so beautiful. Will have to ask him if he’s familiar with it. Hopefully, we’ll manage to visit our friend soon. Fingers crossed 🙂 x

  28. leona
    December 20, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    what a variety of places. I personally like the look of Tulum

  29. December 20, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I like the idea of travelling the Americas, but I think we will have to wait until the boys are a bit older. I’ve heard Mexico is just beautiful.

  30. December 20, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    Thanks for the post, I’ve always wanted to visit Mexico so i’ll be sure to take a mental note of these places for when i’m there!

  31. Sonia Cave
    December 20, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    I love the sound of the Marieta Islands and their uniqueness and landscape. If I ever travel that way I think that sounds a good place to head

  32. Melanie
    December 20, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    Mexico is such a must see destination, this has really inspired me to get booking my 2018 holidays x

  33. Super Busy Mum
    December 20, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    Mexico is a place that I have never been too but it does look like a stunning destination to visit!

  34. Tomi_C
    December 20, 2017 / 3:46 pm

    Loved our visits to Mexico City and Marieta Islands has been on my travel bucket list for years. We have friends who rave about snorkeling there.

  35. Mellissa Williams
    December 20, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    Chichen Itza is one of those places you must see before you die. It looks simply amazing, so much rich history there. Mexico is certainly a place I would visit, I think the architecture is stunning too

  36. KGR
    December 20, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    CHICHEN ITZA is one of the most iconic places in Mexico’s history. I studied the ancient world as part of my History Degree and the history of Mexico from the Maya’s to the Aztecs was my most favourite module.

  37. December 20, 2017 / 2:50 pm

    What some amazing sounding places to visit, I would love to see Chichen Itza there is something wonderful about history and getting to learn about the world just a little more.

  38. WelshCakes&Wellies
    December 20, 2017 / 2:40 pm

    Mexico has never really been on my list of places to visit, but your photos and descriptions are making me think otherwise. The Marieta Islands sound fantastic

  39. December 20, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    Mexico is just one of those places that I never really want to visit. But the photos and the descriptions of the places may have changed my mind! These places you’ve shared are beautiful.

  40. December 20, 2017 / 2:01 pm

    Wow, you’ve got me wanting to book a trip to Mexico ASAP! The Marieta Islands sound absolutely incredible, I’d love to explore the beautiful beaches.

  41. Jeanette
    December 20, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    I definitely want to go to the MARIETA ISLANDS! I didn’t even know they existed but boy does that picture look gorgeous.

  42. Jenni Grainger
    December 20, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    I have friends flying to Mexico on Christmas day, looks amazing some beautiful places to visit

  43. December 20, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    These are all such stunning places. I have to get to Mexico one day. My son would be excited to see the Mayan ruin.

  44. Candy Kage
    December 20, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    Love Mexico for the history. All the different ruins to visit and explore. Some go just for the resorts but we like to get out and explore and talk with the locals.

  45. December 20, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    I’ve only been to mexico once as a kid, definitely need to go back :))

  46. Alli Smith
    December 20, 2017 / 11:19 am

    I’ve been to Mexico several times and have never visited these places. My favorite places have been Mazatlan and Cabo. I’d love to visit the places you showcased as well.

  47. Robin Rue
    December 20, 2017 / 10:23 am

    I drove over the border to Mexico by accident once when I was in San Diego, but that was it LOL. I would love to see more of the country one of these days.

  48. Rebecca U
    December 19, 2017 / 11:04 pm

    so good to hear about the parts I have not explored before. Cancun is the one time I’ve been, and let’s be honest, it isn’t real Mexico!

  49. Laura Dove
    December 19, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    I haven’t heard of the marieta islands either but wow they are just gorgeous! I’d love to go to mexico!

  50. Hannah Denton
    December 19, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    Oh wow! I’ve never heard of the Marieta islands before, they look absolutely beautiful. The dream trip!

  51. December 19, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    I would love to go diving in the Cenotes in Mexico. My husband went a few years ago and swears its some of the best diving he’s done.

    C x

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